Accidents happen. When they’re our fault, we seek medical treatment and hopefully learn from our mistakes. However, if injured by someone’s careless actions, we’re left angry, resentful, and perhaps even worried about our future. It can be difficult to know when a lawsuit is justified, who to file it against, and what damages you can recover. These things aren’t common knowledge.
If you’ve been injured but are unsure what to do next, contact Meldon Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Florida’s personal injury laws can be tricky to navigate. Don’t attempt to seek compensation without Florida’s best legal team on your side.
The Different Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Several different situations fall under the umbrella of personal injury lawsuits. The broadest definition of a personal injury is when a careless act causes a person to suffer an injury. Culprits can be people, companies, and products. There are several types of personal injury cases, each with its own subtleties and nuances. Below you’ll find the 5 most common types.
- Motor vehicle accidents – A more common type of personal injury lawsuit involves automobiles, motorcycles, and trucks.
- Medical malpractice – This tragedy occurs when a healthcare professional doesn’t follow the generally accepted standard of care and makes a medical mistake.
- Product liability – If a product is defective, faulty, or poorly designed and it causes a consumer to become injured from its use, this falls under the category of personal injury.
- Slip and fall – A falling accident on public or private property is also considered personal injury if an entity or company is at fault.
- Dog bites – As long as the animal was unprovoked, being bitten by a dog is grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Requirements for Filing a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
Two requirements are necessary for a lawsuit to be considered a personal liability case. First, a person or entity, through a careless or neglectful act, must have caused an accident. This could be a driver running a red light or a surgeon leaving behind a medical device in a patient’s body.
Secondly, the neglectful act must cause an injury. The injury must be severe enough to have negatively affected your life. This is up for debate, and that’s where your lawyer comes into play. Injuries can be broken bones, but they can also be emotional scars.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer must collect as much evidence as possible to prove that negligence occurred and that you were somehow injured. The type of evidence required will depend on the nature of your lawsuit. However, some evidence is universal to all personal injury lawsuits, proving that you’ve been injured. Common proof for this can include:
- Doctors’ notes and diagnosis of your injuries
- Photos of your injuries taken shortly after the accident
- Lab test results
- Emergency room documents
- X-rays, MRI, and CAT scan images
- List of prescribed medications
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Once you’ve decided to file a case, the process should begin as soon as possible. Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations is a mere 2 years for some claims and 4 years for others. If you attempt to recover damages after this time has passed, your claim will be rejected by both the courts and the negligent’s parties’ insurance company.
- Hire a personal injury attorney – Florida’s personal injury laws can be a complex maze for most to navigate and should only be attempted under the guidance of an attorney.
- Gather Evidence – Depending on your case, you’ll need to gather as much evidence of neglect and injury as possible. Common personal injury case evidence includes medical records, bills, and accident reports.
- Discovery phase – Fortunately, most personal injury claims are settled pre-trial when both legal teams meet to share evidence and information.
It’s important to note that personal injury lawsuits can be time-consuming. Gathering the required evidence to prove your claims can take time, and the discovery phase can sometimes move painfully slowly. However, this shouldn’t be a reason not to file or to accept the first settlement offer hastily.
Florida Personal Injury Cases: What You Need To Know
If you’ve been injured due to a person or entity’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. However, in most cases, you’ll need to prove that you were injured due to a careless act of no fault of your own. Seeking compensation without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney should never be attempted. Let the experts do what they do while you recover from your injuries.