Florida State has stringent laws on personal injury cases. If you file a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim, you have to be familiar with Florida statutes or better hire an experienced lawyer. This is because there are different issues involved, including no-fault law on car accidents, apportionment of fault, and the limitations on personal injury lawsuits. Get in touch with our Hampton personal injury attorneys at the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney to get help in seeking compensation.
Principles of Negligence in Florida
Negligence occurs when someone behaves recklessly that a prudent person would not exercise if they were in a similar situation. In Florida, you must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant did commit a tort against you. All the elements of negligence must be shown out clearly as follows:
- The defendant had a duty of care to you. For a traffic accident, you must prove that the defendant flouted traffic laws and drove recklessly
- There was a breach of the duty of care on the accused side
- Your injury resulted from the violation of the defendant’s duty
- The injuries the defendant caused you are compensable per Florida statutes
What Happens if you are Injured in a Traffic Accident?
Florida traffic accident insurance law requires that your car insurance pays for your injuries and damages resulting from an accident whether or not you were at fault. Motorists in Florida are required to have a $10,000 cover for personal injury accidents. Under this personal injury liability law, you are not held liable for another person’s injury despite having caused a car accident.
If you were a passenger and you sustained bodily injuries in a car accident, you should seek for no-fault coverage from the driver whose car you were in at the time of the accident.
If your claim fits in the ‘serious injury’ bracket, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver. You submit through a personal injury lawsuit or the third party insurance claim.
Forms of serious injuries include:
- Permanent injury
- The destruction of someone’s physical appearance
- The permanent loss of a limb or body part
The no-fault insurance law requires you to seek medical care within 14 days from the time you suffered bodily injury. Failure to meet this deadline could result in the insurance company denying you the claim.
Balance billing occurs when a health provider charges you more than the allowed amount. The difference between the physician’s charges and the allowed ones is what is termed as a balance bill. Florida law prohibits balance billing. This helps to deter the medical providers from making excess charges and claiming this amount as balance billing.
You can prevent balance billing by ensuring the medical provider is part of your insurance plan’s provider network’ or ask your Hampton personal injury attorney to go with you to the hospital.
Emergency Medical Condition
This is a medical condition that shows severe symptoms such as severe pain. If immediate medical attention is not given, some of the consequences are:
- Bodily function impairment
- Bodily part or organ dysfunction
- A significant threat to your health
Only a qualified medical provider can determine if a personal injury requires emergency medical care. Our attorneys are available to file for you an insurance injury claim on a traffic accident.
Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite injury is considered a strict liability case. You will not be required to prove that the h resulted from the owner’s negligence. The owner is held liable even if he or she was not aware of the dog’s aggressive nature to bite. To recover damages, you must prove that you were “lawfully” at the location where the dog bit you. An attorney is available to assist you in filing a lawsuit and claiming your damages.
A mistake from a medical professional will not just be held as malpractice. It occurs under these situations:
- Anesthesia not properly administered
- Injuries that can be prevented when you are admitted in hospital
- Either delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
It’s very complicated to file and win a lawsuit in a medical malpractice claim. You will need a Hamptonian expert injury attorney to help you prove the following elements in a medical malpractice claim:
- There was a breach of the standard of care
- Proximate cause
Product Liability Claims
Strict liability principles are applied to these claims. Product manufacturers are under a duty to produce safe products. They are held accountable for producing faulty products. When a defective consumer product hurts you, you can file a lawsuit and be compensated for the damages suffered.
The comparative negligence rule is observed. Here, you recover damages proportionally to your fault. The faults range from defective design, manufacturing defects, and marketing default cases. The supplier should include adequate warnings on a product that was previously designed appropriately and adequately built.
To successfully win a lawsuit on product liability claims, seek the services of an experienced attorney. The defendant may claim that the product was altered and modified after it was out of his control. They might also argue that you knew the dangers of the product, but you decided to assume the risk.
Slip and Fall Injury
Slip and fall injuries are part of personal injury in Florida. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property or business property, you can successfully file a lawsuit under slip and fall personal injury law. The slip and fall injury should result from a slippery floor or objects placed in the middle.
The property owner should maintain a safe environment. Some hazardous conditions, like large cracks on the sidewalk, can make you slip and fall. Immediately after a slip and fall accident, report to the property owner or the person in charge with the highest rank of the property where you fell. Give out accurate details of your fall. You can hire a slip and fall attorney to help you file a lawsuit with full proof of the nature of your slip and fall.
Limitations of Personal Injury statute
In Florida, the different types of personal injuries have different time limits to file for a lawsuit. Some of the personal injury cases are:
- Traffic Accident
The deadline to file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit is four years from the date of the accident.
- Medical Malpractice
The timeframe to file a lawsuit is extended to within two years from the time you realized you were injured.
- Product Liability Claim
The lawsuit should be filed within four years for injury caused to a person and within two years for wrongful death.
- Slip and Fall Injury
You can seek compensation within four years from the date of the accident.
- Dog Bite
Should be filed within four years from the date of injury.
How Do You Preserve Personal Injury Claim Elements?
Being a victim in a personal injury lawsuit, you bear the burden to prove with reasonable evidence that all your claim elements occurred. Some of the best ways to preserve your claim elements are:
- Get the contact information of any person who witnessed the accident occurrence
- Take different pictures of the scene of the accident from various angles
- When the accident is still fresh in your mind, write all the details about how the accident happened
- Seek medical attention and take pictures of any injuries that you suffered
- Immediately, report the accident and have it documented
In a personal injury lawsuit, damages are the harm that you got from an accident. If you have sufficient proof of damages, you are entitled to get compensation. The laws governing Florida’s injury cases allow damages to be apportioned among the negligent parties according to their share of fault. A victim can hence recover any damages caused to him. Some of these damages are:
- Medical expenses - past, current, and future
- Suffering and pain both in the past and future
- Permanent injury
- Past and future lost income
- And any other damages directly associated with the accident reduced to present value
Permanent injury is the mental or physical incapacitation that restricts you from performing any activity for the rest of your life. Permanent injury is considered a significant element in awarding general damages.
It’s an injury that you sustain from an accident, and you are hospitalized for over 48 hours within seven days from the date you incurred the damage.
Pain and Suffering
Besides pain and suffering, there are punitive damages aimed at punishing the defendant for egregious conduct. They act as a deterrent for similar negligence in the future. If you are injured from a car accident, defective product, fall, or any other action of negligence, you can pursue compensation as well as damages for suffering and pain.
After a traffic accident, Florida law requires that the primary payer of medical bills is your PIP insurance. Florida is a no-fault state in car accidents. Regardless of who caused the accident, the driver’s PIP coverage initially caters to the lost wages and medical bills. Within 14 days from the date of the car accident, you must seek medical treatment to submit a valid claim for PIP benefits. Within 30 days, your insurer must either deny or pay your claim.
It’s essential to have an insurance cover, for you might end up paying more money for damages than what you have. Thus losing your home and your valuable assets.
Report the accident immediately to the police to be sure such cases as the defendant fleeing from the scene is safe. An insurance company might refuse to cover the damages if the accident was not reported.
The circumstances that make a claim be denied by insurance are:
- filing claim after the deadline
- error in claim forms
- Vital information not provided
- Questionable patient coverage
Fraud in Personal Injury Protection insurance claims has a significant burden of viability to the insurance sector. The insurance industry counterbalances this type of fraud by imposing high premiums. A few drivers fake medical claims under the PIP law. They claim to be compensated for nonexistent injury or exaggerated claims.
You are liable to the insurance company for filing a fraudulent personal injury claim. You face criminal charges. Consequently,
- you may lose your compensation claim from the insurance company
- your insurance coverage can be canceled
- the insurance company can drop you as their customer
- the insurance can revoke your settlement award
- It will request all the money paid to you to be returned. If the money can’t be returned, they may file a lawsuit against you to recover your award, and you pay all the losses incurred from the fraudulent claim.
Injury Settlement in a Lawsuit
How do you calculate your injury settlement?
Actual damage is the real damage to be compensated for injury or loss, which has happened. Damages could either be compensatory, punitive, or general damages.
The settlement value varies from one insurance company to the other. They differ in the amounts of settling the same injury. All the medical bills and lost wages that you paid are settled in full.
The settlement formula is rough and will be apportioned according to your fault. The injury settlement for a surgery case is high. For suffering and pain, the actual damages are generally multiplied by a certain number between 1 and 5. It varies by the severity of the injury.
Hire an attorney to help you calculate the settlement values, especially for a car accident.
Out of Court Personal Injury Settlements
Filing lawsuits might take relatively long periods to get financial compensation from the plaintiff. Court settlements may be expensive in terms of time, bills, and pain. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in all the elements of negligence.
The accused can admit to faults and prefer settlement without litigation. It’s a tricky process, but an attorney will be of great help to ensure you receive your claims.
Why Should I Hire a Hampton Personal Injury Attorney?
An attorney will ensure an insurance company does not reject your claim. The attorney will file your claim within the stipulated period. It’s necessary to hire an attorney even when the fault was not yours, but you sustained an injury. Filing a malpractice medical claim is very complicated. You will need an expert attorney.
Contact a Hampton Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
The Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney is a boutique personal injury law firm that helps personal injury victims to seek compensation. We have reputable lawyers who can handle your case if you are in Hampton, Bradford County, and the surrounding areas. Get in touch with us today at 904-494-8242.