Personal injury is an injury to our body, emotions, or physical property. A personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed by an injured person against the person held negligent for the accident. Some examples of personal injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product Liability
- Medical malpractice incidents
Statute of Limitations
The Statute Of Limitations is a time frame in the course of which a person has to file a lawsuit in the court. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, the injured person has FOUR YEARS to file his or her claim from the date of the accident. This law can also be found at the Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11. In rare cases where the injury is not discovered soon, the limitations start from the time when the injury has being discovered.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims
Florida follows a ‘no-fault’ insurance policy in motor vehicle personal injury cases. This means that after a vehicle accident, the insurance company of the injured person will provide all coverage for medical expenses and damages, with no reference to who actually was at fault. One cannot hold the negligent driver liable for a fault unless a serious injury threshold is met.
However, one may file a case, if he or she has suffered:
- Permanent injury, and
- Permanent scarring
Determining Fault in Personal Injury Case
Florida follows a ‘pure comparative fault’ in personal injury cases. This means that the amount of compensation to which the injured party is entitled will be determined on the basis of fault shared by him or her and the negligent party. Here is an EXAMPLE:
Suppose you are driving over speed limit, when a driver drives through a red traffic signal and hits you from side. The driver is at fault, but since you were not driving under speed limit, you share part of the fault as well. In court, it is found that you were 10 percent at fault while the driver is 90 percent at fault. Consequently, the compensation gets reduced to $9,000 from $ 10,000.
If you are filing a claim for your personal injury outside the court, the insurance company might also raise the comparative negligence rule during the negotiations.
Damage Caps in Florida
Damage caps are incorporated to set the limits on the amount of compensation to be given to an injured person. The damage caps in Florida are as follows:
- For most cases, the government of Florida limits punitive damages to thrice the amount of compensation or $500,000 (whichever is greater).
- There are caps for damages in medical malpractice cases. The caps are implied against medical practitioners, including pain and suffering damages.
- There are no other damage caps for standard personal injury claims.
Nonetheless, if you have suffered a personal injury due to the actions of another party, such as an injury from a slip and fall incident or a car accident, you should consult with a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss how to recover any losses you may have incurred.