You may be at a crossroads about what to do after sustaining an injury in Florida. Fortunately, most law firms, like Lopez & Humphries, offer free case reviews and advice to determine whether you can sue for damages. Where did the injury occur? What was its origin? And, how serious were the injuries? All these factors will come into play when deciding on the next course of action.
Personal injury claims in Florida can arise out of negligent acts, product liability (defective products), or defamation. In all these cases, the law provides recourse in the form of compensation.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all injuries can form the basis of compensation claims. For you to recover damages for pain or suffering thereof, certain aspects have to be considered.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Depending on the circumstance of your injuries, you may be in line for compensation. For instance, if you are owed a duty of care that was breached, you can get compensated in the event of an accident that was not your fault.
Relief is usually monetary and covers several aspects of your injuries, including medical bills, loss of income, and mental or emotional anguish.
When arriving at a settlement, damages are classified into two.
- Economic damages, which are measurable and quantifiable, such as medical bills.
- Non-economic damages, which are subjective and unquantifiable, such as the pain and suffering caused by the injuries.
For personal injury cases, there is a legal cap on economic damages that a court can award, but there is no limit on the non-economic damages you may suffer as a result of these injuries. However, this depends on individual states, and the figures may vary. Florida law does not put a cap on both economic and non-economic damages, but the former has to be fully documented. For punitive damages, the compensation can only be thrice the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.
If an out-of-court agreement is not arrived at between the parties, or if you feel that the compensation is insufficient, you can file a personal injury lawsuit trial to receive a fair settlement.
Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are four elements considered in a personal injury lawsuit, all of which must be present for you to file a successful claim:
- An owed duty of care
- The breach of that duty of care
- An injury arising out of that breach
- Suffering or damage stemming from the injury
Whether or not you are owed a duty of care is a legal question, and a Florida court will decide. In most cases, the defendant will not admit liability and claim that they are not directly responsible for your injuries, even if they were negligent.
As the plaintiff, Florida laws require you to prove the defendant’s action or inaction led to your injuries. Keep in mind that a personal injury lawsuit is a civil case, and unlike criminal cases, the proof does not have to be beyond a reasonable doubt. You just have to show that the defendant’s negligence was quite significant, and without which, you would not have suffered your injuries.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
Personal injury lawsuits can get complicated, and compensation is not as straightforward. Legal technicalities may come into play, and it is crucial to contact a qualified personal injury attorney to help you with your case. Your attorney will help you determine fault and damages as well as lay a strategy that will maximize the chances of success in your case.
There are instances where more than one party is at fault, and that may present a whole different legal landscape when it comes to recovering damages.