There are many reasons why you would file a personal injury claim. Personal injury refers to any injury to a person’s emotions, body, or reputation. Therefore, personal injury claims cover a wide variety of accidents and situations.
Hiring a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims can help you understand the legal process, guide you through the complexities of the court system, and advocate on your behalf to secure the rightful compensation. Common personal injury claims filed in Florida include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
There were 397,542 traffic crashes in Florida during 2022. Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common personal injury claims filed across the state. Accident cases include crashes involving:
- Passenger cars
- Rideshare vehicles
Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents. You file a claim with your PIP insurance company, regardless of how the accident occurred and who is at fault. However, if you sustained serious injuries, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, which could be worth far more than a PIP claim.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slips, trips, and falls are another common type of personal injury case attorneys handle. Slip and fall accidents are generally governed by premises liability laws. Property owners and other parties with control over property have a duty of care to keep their premises safe for visitors and invitees.
Premises liability also covers other injuries and accidents on someone else’s property. Examples include food poisoning, burns, bedbugs, exposure to toxic chemicals, swimming pool accidents, and assaults.
Family members can sue the party responsible for the death of their loved one to recover compensation for damages. Wrongful death claims can arise from any personal injury case. Money does not bring back a loved one or ease the grief, but it can provide much-needed financial support for the family and a small sense of justice.
Medical Malpractice Claims
When a medical provider fails to adhere to the medical standard of care for a situation, they can be guilty of malpractice. Medical negligence and medical errors lead to malpractice claims. Medical malpractice claims are complex personal injury cases that require hiring a medical expert to provide an affidavit and testimony supporting your claim.
The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may consider handling your personal injury claim without a lawyer. However, hiring a personal injury lawyer gives you a better chance of obtaining a fair settlement amount for your claim.
Furthermore, insurance companies take claims more seriously when an experienced attorney is involved. Insurance companies know which lawyers have a winning track record, are willing to go to court for their clients, and do not give up until they exhaust all means of obtaining compensation for their clients.
Three important reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer are:
Your Time to File a Personal Injury Claim is Limited
Florida law recently reduced the statute of limitations for most negligence-based claims from four years to two years. Wrongful death and medical malpractice cases also have two-year statutes of limitations. If you miss the deadline, the court can dismiss your case.
Determining the filing deadline for a personal injury claim can be complicated. Exceptions to the statute of limitations, the parties involved in your case, the type of claim you file, and other factors can change the deadline. Therefore, you could have less time than you think to file your claim or lose the right to pursue a court action.
Contributory Fault Allegations Can Bar You From Receiving Damages
Florida changed its contributory fault laws to add a 50% bar date for damages. The change became effective with cases accruing on March 24, 2023, and after.
If you are more than 50% to blame for causing your injury, you are barred from receiving compensation for damages. If you are less than 50% to blame, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault. This law only applies to claims arising on or after the effective date.
Claims before March 24, 2023, are governed by the old law. You could be 99% to blame for causing your injury and receive 1% of your damages. Damages are apportioned based on the percent of fault assigned to each party by the jury.
Your Damages Could Be Worth More Than You Realize
Injured victims can receive compensatory damages from the party who caused their injuries, including economic and non-economic damages. Most personal injury claims are settled by the insurance company for the at-fault party.
Insurance companies are only interested in protecting their bottom line. Therefore, the insurance adjuster works to reduce the value of your claim. The adjuster will not tell you if you accept a settlement offer worth less than your damages.
Personal injury lawyers protect your best interests by monitoring deadlines, defending you against allegations of contributory fault, and fighting for maximum compensation for your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer has many other benefits. You can take advantage of a free consultation to learn more and obtain legal advice about your personal injury claim.