If you are in the process of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit after an injury or accident in the state of Florida, here are the rules that you need to bear in mind.
Hiring an experienced Florida personal injury attorney happens to be the first rule to follow. This will make sure that you receive the most out of your personal injury claim.
But first, let us understand what constitutes a personal injury.
What Is Personal Injury?
When you are injured or harmed in person, or there is damage to your property due to the negligence of another person, it is considered as personal injury. It could be anything like a dog bite, a collision, a boating accident, or a slip and fall. The damage could be to your vehicle, property, or body. All these constitute a personal injury.
The damages that you can claim under personal injury are:
- Medical expenses paid and likely to be incurred due to the injury
- Lost income due to absence from work
- Damage to property
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Cost of getting help with chores you would otherwise do yourself
- The emotional distress, anxiety, and/or depression caused by the incident
Know the Statute of Limitations in Florida
Like the rest of the country, Florida also has limits on the amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. These are statute of limitations.
The Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11(3) states that a personal injury lawsuit should be filed during the first four years from the date of the accident, or the courts may not agree to hear it.
The exception to this is the statute on medical malpractice, which may extend up to seven years in exceptional cases.
There may be a chance that the parties you are trying to hold liable for your injury will, in turn, place the blame on you (fully or partially). If this becomes true, then the compensation that you receive will be smaller. You can ask your Florida personal injury attorney to explain these liabilities and help you out.
No-Fault Car Insurance
In Florida, only in minor car accident cases, your insurance company will provide compensation for medical expenses and lost income, notwithstanding who was at fault. Only serious injuries such as permanent injury, permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement, and permanent and significant loss of bodily function are allowed to step out of the no-fault threshold.
Dog owners have some protection by law to the extent of the first injury caused by their dogs. In Florida, this rule does not apply as Fla. Stat. Ann. § 767.04 makes dog owners liable for the damages caused by the dog regardless of its past behavior, subject to the fact that you were lawfully on the property.
Limit On Personal Injury Cases
The Fla. Stat. Ann. section 768.73 states that punitive damages are limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is higher. There are no other limits on the non-economic damages such as pain and suffering in Florida since June 2017.
Florida’s personal injury laws are different from the rest. If you have a valid claim, then you need to know these rules to make sure that your claim sticks, and you are compensated for the damages caused to you.