If you are injured because of another person’s or company’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses caused by your injury under Florida statutes. However, these statutes for personal injury outline specific requirements for filing a personal injury claim in the state. Here is what you should know about Florida’s personal injury statutes if you are considering filing a case.
Who Can File a Personal Injury Claim?
Florida statutes allow those who are injured because of another party’s negligence to sue that negligent party. However, you must be able to prove that the other party was negligent, and you did indeed suffer an injury and losses because of that injury. You and your personal injury attorney will need to provide proof that the negligent party:
- Was required to protect you from injury
- Failed in their duty to protect you and that failure resulted in your injury
- Caused you to suffer damages
Under the statutes, persons that are injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, boating accident, or in slip and fall accidents, or have been bitten by a dog may file a personal injury case. However, because Florida is a no-fault state, most injuries from automobile accidents must meet a minimum threshold, namely when:
- Permanent injuries occur
- Significant disfigurement or scarring occurs
- Permanent and significant loss of important bodily functions occur
- Death occurs
Dog Bite Liability under Florida Law
Some states protect dog owners if their dogs have never bitten anyone before by what is considered the “one-bite rule” if they have no reason to consider their dog dangerous. However, under Florida statutes, if you are lawfully on a dog owner’s property, they are liable if their dog bites you, regardless of the dog’s past behavior. If their dog is running loose off their property, the owner is also liable. Having a history of prior bites can lead the dog owner’s insurance to exclude that dog from coverage, which should be checked into by the attorney.
Damages Covered under an Injury Lawsuit
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to seek compensation for damages you suffered because of your injury. Damages are financial losses, such as past, current and future medical bills because of your injury. Florida statutes allow for additional damages for:
- Lost wages not only for time off during your recovery, but also for time off for travel to and from doctor appointments and physical therapy
- Reimbursement for property damaged because of the accident
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Expenses for hiring help for household chores while you are injured
- Emotional distress, such as depression or anxiety related to your injury, as well as pain and suffering
- You may also be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium when your injury has interfered with your relationship with your family
Strict Statute of Limitations
Perhaps the most important stipulation under Florida personal injury statutes is the strict statute of limitations. If you do not file your personal injury claim within the time period allowed for your injury, you lose your right to sue. Traffic accidents carry a wide variety of time deadlines, from as little as 6 months to four or five years, depending on circumstances. Products Liability cases have much longer statutes of limitations in some cases. Remember, many accidents could have shorter time limitations, including some boating accidents. Hiring a personal injury attorney immediately after your injury will help ensure you the timeliness of your court filing to protect your right to sue.
The personal injury attorneys at Steven A. Bagen & Associates can explain your rights under Florida statutes for your injury. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees or costs unless your case is won.