There are different causes of personal injuries. In Florida, the most common are slip-and-fall, auto accidents, medical malpractice, and use of defective products. The law gives you the right to seek compensation for a personal injury caused accidentally by someone or negligence by an institution or an individual. What’s important is to prove that the other party is clearly responsible. However, you’ll need a good lawyer to do so and you can get one at Anderson & Anderson, PA.
Generally, the secret to winning any personal injury lawsuit is understanding the law. To help you out, here are Florida personal injury laws all Floridians should know about:
Statute of Limitations
This is a law that requires you to file an injury claim within a particular amount of time. Normally, the deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits is four years from the time that you sustained the injury. If you don’t comply with the law and you allow the time window to expire, you don’t have the legal ground to sue the offender. In fact, there is a high chance that your case may not be heard at all.
However, it’s important to note that the four-year time deadline does not apply to all personal injury claims. For example, the timeframe may be longer by at least two extra years for fraud and mental incapacitation cases and just three years for lawsuits against institutions.
No-Fault Auto Insurance Law
When it comes to personal injuries caused by car accidents, Florida is a no-fault state. The law basically means that your auto insurance company is the one to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses such as medical costs and lost earnings irrespective of who is at fault.
Essentially, you cannot hold the other motorist liable for your injuries unless they fall under the serious injury category. A serious injury can be any of the following:
- Permanent disability injury
- Permanent loss of an organ’s function
- Permanent disfigurement or bodily scarring
- An injury that leads to loss of life
The Law of Comparative Negligence
Sometimes, the person you are trying to sue may deny taking the full blame. He or she may argue that you are also to blame for the accident. In such a case, the law that comes into effect in court is called Comparative Negligence.
Under the Comparative Negligence law, your percentage of fault will be compared to that of the other party. Essentially, you’ll be compensated less since if you are slightly to blame. For example, if the total amount for compensation is supposed to be ten thousand dollars and you are found to have contributed twenty-five percent of the fault, you’ll only be awarded seventy-five hundred dollars. You should always be prepared for this law since it’s highly likely that Floridian court will apply it.
Strictly Liability Dog Bite Law
Unlike most states, the State of Florida does not protect dog owners when their dogs bite someone for the first time. The specific law that applies to such a case is One-Bite Law. It doesn’t matter if the dog has no history of viciousness. The owner is strictly liable in Florida.
However, the victim must have been on the owner’s property legally when the dog attack happened for the rule to apply. If it’s a case of trespassing, there is the chance that you may not be compensated.
Other factors that may limit your chances of compensation are:
- You were negligent of the owner’s warning about the dog’s viciousness.
- You annoyed the dog and this led to the attack.
The above statutes are the basic Florida personal injury laws all Floridians should know. Nonetheless, there are others that you can learn from your personal injury attorney. Not only will the attorney inform you of your rights but he or she will also help you negotiate fair compensation depending on the type of injury sustained.