Getting injured because of another party’s actions or behavior entitles the victim to some form of compensation. You could file a personal injury claim if you can hold the party legally responsible for the harm you suffered. Before pursuing a claim, injured victims need to understand what the process entails and their legal options.
To learn more about the process and your legal options, you can work with a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to determine how to proceed with your case. They understand the complexities of personal injury law in Florida and can fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call (800) 794-0444 today for an initial consultation with a team member.
Proving Liability Is the Key in Pursuing Claims
An injury does not always equate to an actionable personal injury claim. For an injured victim to recover their losses, they must prove the other party’s liability for the damages and fault for the incident. When establishing liability, you can use several underlying legal theories, with negligence being the most common.
Negligence happens when a person acts unreasonably or without care, causing harm to the victim. To prove negligence, you must first show that the liable party owed you a duty of care. In a medical malpractice case, the health care professional must provide an acceptable standard of medical care. The same applies to landlords who have the responsibility to keep their premises safe. When the party breached their duty, it resulted in your injuries and subsequent damages.
However, negligence does not apply to car accidents in Florida. Since the state follows a no-fault system, injured victims will file a claim for incurred medical expenses and lost wages with their insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. You can only pursue a personal injury case from the liable party if you have severe injuries, as outlined in Florida Statutes § 627.737. An injury is severe if it is permanent or has led to disability, scarring, disfigurement, or long-term loss of bodily function.
Sometimes, a personal injury case may apply strict liability and intentional wrongs as the basis of a legal claim. In dog bite and defective product claims, the injured victim can receive compensation on the principle of strict liability. Florida follows this approach in determining fault for the accident. Dog owners are responsible for their pets, just as manufacturers must ensure the safety of their products.
A Jacksonville personal injury lawyer can help you prove liability by determining the legal theory to use and compiling evidence to bolster your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Florida Follows Comparative Negligence Rule
Often, accidents do not happen because of only one individual’s actions. Some accidents involve multiple parties who could have liability. In personal injury cases with negligence as a legal basis, Florida apportions liability under its comparative negligence rule, Florida Statutes § 768.81. Under this statute, your share of fault in the accident affects the amount you can recover from the liable party.
There are two approaches to comparative negligence: pure and modified; Florida follows the former. Per the comparative negligence rule, parties can recoup their losses at an amount reduced by their degree of fault in the accident.
These principles apply when deciding how much compensation the victim should receive for injuries suffered. Some insurance adjusters and defendants will attempt to pin more of the blame on the victim to justify the lower settlement offer. A Jacksonville personal injury lawyer can help you combat these attempts to apportion more blame onto you than you deserve.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Damages You Could Receive in a Personal Injury Case
As an injured victim, you could receive compensation from liable parties. Also known as damages, these account for what you can recover because of the accident. In Florida, there are three types of damages—economic, noneconomic, and punitive.
Economic damages have an attached value and will often include injury-related medical expenses, repair bills, and earnings lost during your recovery. It can also cover other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the accident, such as car rental payments and household services that you would not have incurred if the unfortunate incident never happened. If the accident reduced your capacity to work, you could also receive compensation for lost future earnings.
Noneconomic damages pertain to losses without clear-cut value because of their abstract concept. It is difficult to estimate how much compensation a victim should receive for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment in life. A personal injury attorney can use one of two formulas (per diem or multiplier) to come up with a monetary figure for your noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages serve to punish the wrongdoer and deter future similar actions or behavior. Courts often impose punitive damages in cases where the legal basis is an intentional wrong instead of negligence.
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Understanding Florida’s Statute of Limitations
States have their respective statute of limitations, which are deadlines imposed for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Florida Statutes § 95.11 sets a four-year time limit for personal injury lawsuits, and when the clock starts running will depend on numerous factors.
Sometimes, the statute of limitations does not begin until the discovery of harm, which may be due to complications of previous accident-related injuries. If the deadline has passed, the court could dismiss your case, leaving you unable to hold the other party liable for damages.
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Why You Should Seek Legal Assistance
When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, having a lawyer on your side could make the process easier, regardless of whether the matter proceeds to court or involves settlement talks with an insurance company. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our legal team can help you navigate the process from beginning to end. Our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers can investigate your case and gather evidence to prove liability and establish damages related to the incident.
You can consult with our team by calling (800) 794-0444 today. The initial consultation is free.