Hundreds of thousands of personal injury claims are filed across the United States every year, accounting for millions of dollars in benefits for claimants. Florida is no stranger to personal injury claims, with countless car accidents, work-related injuries, and public liabilities claims being filed every day.
Since personal injury claims cover such a broad spectrum of cases, many victims have questions about their claims and the process. At LJW Legal, we strive to educate our clients about the ins and outs of their claims, which is why we provide a frequently asked question guide about the most common cases, including personal injury.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury refers to an injury to the body, mind, or psyche caused by the negligence of someone else. If the carelessness and negligence of someone else led to your injuries, under Florida law, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is “negligence?”
Negligence refers to the failure to provide reasonable care to prevent harm to others. Negligence can be observed in many different ways when it comes to personal injury. It is the courts’ responsibility to determine if a person’s behavior or actions were negligent.
What if I can’t prove negligence? Do I still have a personal injury case?
Yes. Even when you can’t prove negligence, there are other bases to support your personal injury case, such as with defective products. Persons or companies can still be held liable, even if their actions are not negligent or with wrongful intent. Under strict liability, they can still be held responsible for your injuries.
What is the statute of limitations on personal injury in Florida?
Under the Florida Statutes Annotated Section 95.11(3), the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years from the date of the accident. In rare occasions, when people discover their accident caused them injuries after this period, the window could be extended.
Do I need an attorney?
Generally speaking, you don’t. However, after being involved in any accident, or if you or someone you know has been a victim of negligence, working with an experienced law firm that can provide you with a personal injury lawyer is always recommended. Personal injury claims can be complex and with the pressure Having an attorney that provides legal counsel and makes sure you’re following the personal injury claim process will give you and your family peace of mind.
After being hurt in an accident, what should I do?
After being involved in an accident, you need to follow these steps to protect yourself from further harm:
- Get to a safe place
- Call the police
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Contact a lawyer to help you determine your rights
What is a wrongful death case?
When someone dies as the result of an accident or negligence, this is a personal injury case referred to as wrongful death. In this case, spouses, children, parents, siblings, and other family members can file a claim for wrongful death against the responsible party.
What if I was partly at fault in the accident?
Under Florida law, contributory negligence exists. This means you can still pursue a personal injury claim. However, in this case, if it is determined that you are partly at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced in proportion to the fault you contributed to the accident or injuries.
What are catastrophic injuries? Who is liable?
Catastrophic injuries often leave the victim with a permanent disability. Catastrophic injuries can contribute to physical, mental, emotional, and financial distress. These type of injuries are considered very serious injuries. In the event of a catastrophic injury, multiple parties may be held liable. It will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
What should I bring with me for a meeting with a personal injury attorney?
For your meeting with a personal injury attorney, please bring all documents in your possession that relate to your injuries and the accident. These documents include:
- Incident reports
- Automobile insurance declaration page
- Photos of the accident
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical records for all treatments related to the accident
- Any correspondence from the insurance company
- Repair records for your automobile
- Receipts for towing and car rental, if applicable
- Wage loss information
What type of cases does LJW Legal, handle?
At LJW Legal Law group we have handled a variety of personal injury claims across South Florida, including:
- Boating accidents
- Car accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home neglect and elder care
- Product liability and mass torts
- Slip and fall
- Premises liability
- Sovereign immunity in Florida
- Workers’ compensation
- Wrongful death
Learn more about our areas of practice.
Personal Injury Claims
Is filing a lawsuit necessary?
No. Many personal injury claims are settled without filing a lawsuit. However, seeking legal advice from a personal injury attorney can help you determine if you need to file a lawsuit to seek the full compensation you deserve.
How do I file a personal injury claim?
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, a lot can vary, depending on the severity of the injuries, the parties involved, and the circumstances, to name a few. You have to follow specific steps that may include:
- Determining if the insurance company will cover your injuries
- Contacting an attorney
- Deciding if you need to file a claim or lawsuit
- Preparing for a personal injury claim or suit
Who can file a personal injury lawsuit?
Any person that can prove that they were not responsible for their injuries and someone else was can file a personal injury lawsuit. Also, a spouse, children, domestic partner, parents, or grandparents can also submit a personal injury lawsuit in the event the plaintiff was killed as a result of the injuries or the accident.
How do I know if I even have a personal injury claim?
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may be questioning if you have a personal injury claim. However, to know if you have the grounds for a personal injury claim, you have to look at all the factors surrounding the events that lead to your injuries. Ask yourself these questions to determine if you have a valid claim or not:
- Did you suffer an injury?
- Is someone else at fault or partially at fault?
- Do you have recoverable damages?
How long will it take to resolve a personal injury claim?
Some claims can be resolved in a few weeks. However, in some cases, litigations can continue for over a year. It all depends on how complicated your injury claim is and whether or not you accept the settlement offers.
What can I expect during my personal injury case?
Once you file your personal injury claim, you must wait for the other party, often the insurance company, to respond. After that, you and your attorney will gather evidence, contact witnesses, compile medical records, and everything needed to prove your case. At this point, your attorney may try to reach the other party to agree on a settlement. If, at this point, you agree to the settlement, the case ends. If your case goes to trial instead, you will go to court and ask a jury for a fair outcome.
Who can be accountable for my injuries?
Anyone who acted negligently and caused your injuries can be held accountable. However, every case is different, which is why looking at the specifics of your case is so important to create a strategic plan to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve and that those responsible for your suffering are held accountable.
Will my personal injury case goes to trial?
Not necessarily. Some cases are settled between your attorney and the insurance company or other parties. A personal injury claim is more likely to go to trial when there’s contested legal issue. This is why working with a personal injury attorney is so important, as they can help build a solid case that will help you fight for your benefits.
What is a personal injury demand letter?
A personal injury demand letter is an effort from your attorney to avoid court hearings. The letter is sent to the insurance company to reach an agreement on a settlement without going to court. The insurance company should answer this letter, with either an agreement or a refusal, which will determine the next steps.
Can I appeal a court’s decision on my personal injury claim?
Yes. If you don’t agree with the court’s decision, you can choose to appeal to the appellate court. Your attorney will help you build a strong appeal for your claim, gather valuable evidence, and walk you through the process.
Personal Injury Benefits
What is “PIP” Insurance coverage?
“PIP” stands for Personal Insurance Protection, which is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits. Sometimes called “no-fault” coverage, PIP insurance covers claims regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
How much is my case worth?
How much you’ll be entitled to recover will depend on the extent of your injuries. Every personal injury case is different, which is why it is difficult to estimate the value of a claim. A personal injury attorney can help you have a better idea of the estimate you should expect and to make sure you don’t settle for less than you’re entitled to receive.
What are punitive damages?
Those responsible for your injuries are often not punished through a personal injury claim. However, in some instances, courts can award punitive damages, which punish defendants who have been found negligent or behaved intentionally recklessly against the public’s interest. The idea of punitive damages is to discourage defendants from engaging in the same kind of behavior in the future.
What type of damages could I recover?
They depend on the damages sustained and other factors surrounding the case. Recoverable damages include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
What are the damage caps in Florida personal injury cases?
Under Florida law, damage cap statutes set limits on the amount of money an injured person is entitled to receive. Damage caps are in place mostly to limit the amount of non-economic damages that a person can recover. For most personal injury cases, Florida damage caps establish that:
- Punitive damages are capped to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater
What should I do if the insurance company approaches me about a settlement?
Insurance companies will often try to approach you with a settlement immediately after the accident. Do not accept any settlements before speaking to an attorney first. Insurance companies are only catering to their own benefits, and they will always try to minimize the value of your claim, to make a profit.
Have More Questions?
If you or someone you know has been recently involved in an accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at LJW Legal Our attorneys will tirelessly work to explain every aspect of your personal injury claim and to make sure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. If you still have more questions about your personal injury, use our online form to start a free consultation with one of our lawyers.