What is a Personal Injury Claim?

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims arise when someone suffers an injury due to another party’s behavior. The laws that regulate personal injury claims differ from state to state. 

Florida has laws that limit the time you have to file a lawsuit, affect the amount of damages you can recover, and determine how your fault affects the claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you with any claims you may have to get the compensation you need. 

How Does a Personal Injury Claim Arise?

Personal injury is a term that people hear all the time because these types of cases are so common. But what exactly is a personal injury claim, and how does it arise? 

Generally, personal injury claims cover injuries suffered by a person rather than property damage. These injuries can be physical, mental, or affect a person’s reputation and good name.  For our purposes, we’re referring to physical and mental injuries.

Most personal injury claims are brought because a defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. In these cases, the plaintiff will argue that the defendant didn’t act with the reasonable care that others in the same situation would have. 

For example, imagine that a grocery store manager left a banana peel on the ground in the produce section, and someone slipped on it and hurt themselves. 

To prove negligence, the plaintiff would have to show that the grocery store:

  • Had a duty as a store owner to provide a safe environment for its customers;
  • Breached this duty; and
  • You suffered injuries that were caused by the grocery store’s failure to pick up the peel. 

The most common causes of personal injury claims are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and incidents where people slip and fall. Workplace accidents and medical malpractice are other types of personal injury cases. 

What Damages Can I Recover If I Prove Negligence?

If you prove the elements of negligence, you will recover money to help pay for your injuries and other costs caused by the accident. This compensation is called damages

Damages often include your medical expenses and lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to the accident. They can also include money for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, help at home, and transportation expenses.

What Florida Statutes May Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

Florida has several laws regarding personal injury claims that could affect your case. It’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney to help you navigate these laws.

Statute of Limitations 

For most personal injury cases in Florida, you have four years to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called a statute of limitations. If you don’t meet the deadline, your case won’t go forward – and you’ll forfeit your right to compensation from the at-fault party. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may have more or less time to file a lawsuit. For instance, if a child or government agency is involved, the deadline may differ. It’s best to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights and ensure that you don’t miss the deadline that applies to your case.

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages in situations where the at-fault party’s actions were exceedingly harmful. These damages are rarely awarded.

In Florida, the amount of punitive damages you can receive in certain personal injury cases is capped at $500,000 or up to three times the amount of actual damages, whichever amount is higher. 

Pure Comparative Fault 

Florida law reduces the damages you may receive for your personal injury case by your percentage of fault. This concept is called pure comparative fault. For example, if the accident was 20 percent your fault, your damages will be reduced by 20 percent. 

Consult with a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim 

Filing a personal injury claim involves a lot of details and moving parts. Your best first move is to consult with an attorney who regularly handles these types of claims. They can help you chart a path forward to bring you optimal results. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact one of our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015