What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Accident victims can suffer serious injuries in accidents, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents. These accidents can cause expensive medical bills, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering.
If your accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims arise when one party sustains harm that was caused by someone else.
If you were harmed, a personal injury lawyer can help you process your claim, build your case and work to get you the compensation you need.
What Elements Make Up a Florida Personal Injury Claim?
In most personal injury claims, you must prove that another’s negligent behavior led to the accident and the damages that you suffered. If your claim is successful, you can be compensated for the damages you have lost.
The following are elements that must be proven in a personal injury case:
Duty of Care
You must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to adhere to a reasonable standard of care while engaged in potentially harmful acts. The duty owed to you will depend on the circumstances of the situation. For example, motorists have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and drive safely.
Breach of duty
If the other party fails to meet the duty they owe, then they have breached the duty. If a motorist rear-ends you because they were speeding, then they have breached the duty to drive as a reasonable driver would. Proving that the other party breached the duty owed to you puts you one step closer to proving negligence.
In order to recover compensation, you must prove that your damages were caused by the other party’s breach of duty. This generally also means that you’ve sustained a physical injury, though financial losses could also suffice.
Florida Rules on Personal Injury Claims
If you are injured, the process of filing a claim can be stressful. However, being prepared can help make the personal injury claims process easier.
The following are Florida laws to be aware of if you plan to file a personal injury claim:
- Statute of limitations: In Florida, you have two years to bring your personal injury claim. If you fail to bring your claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will be barred from recovering damages.
- Limits on damages: In Florida, punitive damages are limited to $500,000 in personal injury cases. Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases involving extreme conduct.
- Comparative fault: Florida is a modified comparative negligence state. If you are not more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you may recover compensation. However, your damages will be reduced in accordance with your amount of fault.
An attorney can protect your rights and ensure your claim is handled appropriately and effectively.
What Steps Should You Take After a Personal Injury Accident?
If you were harmed in a personal injury accident, knowing what to do can help your claim in the future.
The following are steps to take following a personal injury accident:
- Get immediate medical attention
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene, property damage, hazards, and visible injuries
- Gather evidence such as contact information and insurance information for the other parties involved
- Collect witness statements
- Take notes regarding the date, location, time, names of the parties involved and details about what occurred
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Following the above steps after a personal injury accident can help you establish the severity of your injury and get you the compensation you need.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Personal Injury Claim?
If you prove that the defendant is liable for your injury, you are entitled to compensation. The amount you recover can depend on the severity of your injury, time missed from work, and out-of-pocket expenses.
The following are the types of damages that you can recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
If you were injured in an accident in Florida, a local personal injury lawyer can help you with the personal injury claims process from start to finish. Since most attorneys in personal injury law offer free initial consultations, it’s likely worth the effort to reach out and find out whether you have a claim.
Contact the Jacksonville Personal Injury Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202