What Is a Personal Injury Case?

There are various types of cases involved in the law. For example, criminal cases deal with bad acts people commit against others or property. Employment law deals with the relationship between employers and employees. Personal injury law deals with instances when someone harms another person and owes them money due to their conduct. 

At Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys, we focus exclusively on personal injury cases. We understand the ins and outs of these types of cases and can explain them to you during a free consultation. 

Overview of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases deal with torts, which are acts or omissions that harm others and amount to a civil wrong for which a court can provide redress. Torts include intentional causes of harm, such as assault and battery, as well as unintentional causes of harm, such as those present in car accidents and similar incidents. 

By pursuing a personal injury claim against another party, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, as well as hold them responsible. 

Purpose of Tort Law

Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, and other personal injury incidents can have a significant impact on a victim’s life. They may experience painful injuries. These injuries can cause them to miss substantial time away from work and could possibly cause permanent disabilities that impede their ability to earn a living. 

Additionally, they may have to undergo painful and expensive medical treatments. Personal injuries can also affect the victim’s quality of life and mental health. 

Tort law attempts to make victims whole again by providing financial compensation for these and other losses. In this way, victims don’t have to pay for someone else’s mistake.

Common Examples of Personal Injury Cases

There are various types of personal injury cases. 

Some of those that we handle at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys include:

If you were hurt in any of the above accidents, reach out to our team for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Proving Negligence in a Florida Personal Injury Case

Most personal injury cases are based on the legal theory of negligence

There are four legal elements of negligence that you must be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence, which include the following:

Duty of Care

The first legal element you must show is the duty of care, which is the legal duty the defendant owed you. The duty of care depends on the circumstances. 

For example, the duty of care for a motorist is to obey traffic laws and drive safely. The duty of care for a property owner is to keep the premises in a safe condition to avoid injury. 

The duty of care can also depend on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. For example, in a medical malpractice case, the duty of care the doctor owes their patient is to provide the same standard of care another doctor with the same background and in the same specialty would provide under the circumstances. 

Absent a specific duty of care outlined in the law, all people owe each other a duty to act as a reasonable, prudent person who avoids harming others. If the harm was foreseeable, the defendant may be responsible for the resulting damages. 

Breach of Duty

The next element you must prove is that the defendant violated their duty of care. They must have done something contrary to their duty, such as a motorist texting while driving or a store owner failing to warn customers of a wet floor. 

Causation

The next element is often the hardest to prove. You must show that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care is what actually caused your injuries. It is not enough that the defendant acted carelessly. Instead, you must be able to show the direct causal link between the defendant’s actions (or inactions) and your injuries. 

For example, because the motorist was texting, they were not looking up and ran into the back of your car. Because the store owner failed to warn you about the wet floor, you slipped and fell. 

Damages

Finally, you must show that the defendant’s breach of their duty of care caused you to suffer damages. In Florida, you can recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases. 

Economic damages are damages that are tied to a specific and calculable financial loss, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost support and services
  • Replacement value of lost personal property
  • Past lost income 
  • Future lost income 
  • Costs of construction repairs
  • Loss of appraised fair market value of real property
  • Any other economic loss that would not have occurred but for the injury

Florida personal injury victims can also recover compensation for non-economic damages, which are more difficult to quantify but still represent real losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Florida also allows juries to award punitive damages in some cases, which are designed to punish the wrongdoer for particularly egregious behavior. 

If you were partially to blame for the accident, your compensation is reduced by your degree of fault. For example, if you are found 40% at fault for the accident, you can only recover compensation for the other 60% of damages. If your responsibility exceeds 50%, you’re barred from financial recovery.

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida? 

All personal injury claims have a limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This is known as the statute of limitations

If this deadline passes and you have not filed your claim, your claim can be barred, and you will be left without the option of recovering compensation in court. 

In Florida, this time limit is two years from the date of the injury in most cases.

Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers For Help With Your Case Today

If you were injured in a personal injury accident, you do not have to go through the claims process alone. The compassionate team at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys wants to help you recover the compensation you need for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you suffered. 

We can answer any questions you have about the personal injury system when you contact us at (727) 933-0015 for your free case review.