Personal Injury: Understanding Florida Law
Accidents happen every day. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you end up being involved in one. Whether it is due to slip and fall or even from a dog bite, if you get injured in Florida, you should look into a lawyer. It has to be a priority, especially if someone else is to blame for your injury.
However, to win a case, you have to be able to show that the injuries you have acquired are because of the carelessness or negligence of another person. To do this, you may have to investigate some things. You also need to provide evidence.
What To Do
If you become a victim of personal injury, you will have to preserve as much evidence as you can. Here are a few things you can do if you can move:
- List everything you remember about the incident.
- If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information.
- Report everything to authorities. If it involves animals, contact animal control. If it is an accident, call the local police or sheriff.
- Take photos of visible injuries or property damages.
- Consult a lawyer. A professional will be able to tell you if you have a valid claim and what steps you need to take.
The state requires you to prove liability. There are three things you have to show. First, the person that is involved in the incident has to have a duty not to injure others but failed in ensuring that. Second, the person’s failure to do his or her duty is related to you getting injuries. Third, the incident caused you to suffer damages.
Additionally, you also have to keep in mind that Florida has a statute of limitations when it comes to filing personal injury lawsuits. Thus, you will have to file within four years. If you do not file within the given period, you automatically give up the right to sue the other person. There may also have certain accidents with shorter statutes of limitations. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to know if your circumstances fall under these special cases.
Who Is To Blame
There are times when more than one person is to blame for an individual’s injuries. In Florida, a person 10% or less at fault does not have to pay out of pocket for the victim’s economic losses. Those that are between 10% to 25% at fault are responsible for up to $500,000. People who are 26% to 50% at fault are liable for up to $1 million worth of damages. Those that are more than 50% at fault have the responsibility of up to $2 million.
Florida also has a comparative negligence law. Thus, the circumstances change if you are partially at fault for your injuries. There will be a reduction in the potential award you may get at trial. If this is the case, you can only get up to $200,000 from a person that is 10% to 25% at fault. The maximum you can collect from someone 26% to 50% at fault is $500,000. If the person is more than 50% at fault and you are partially at fault, you can collect up to $1 million.
To further understand the situation and have a better chance, the best thing you can do is to talk to a personal injury lawyer.