Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Florida
Filing a personal injury claim offers a chance to recover damages from a significant and severe injury that has negatively impacted your life. A personal injury due to negligence is an unfair circumstance that can ruin your health, well-being, and career. Between the traumatic event and recovery, your body may never be the same again, and you may have to pay thousands of dollars for medical care.
Never wait to file a personal injury claim. If you're injured due to someone else’s negligence at work or on the road, be sure to gather all information surrounding your accident. Most personal injury cases must be filed within a certain amount of time.
When you aren’t sure about whether you have a personal injury claim or not, it can be helpful to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case under the law. This blog will help you determine if you have a personal injury case, and what you need to know when filing a claim.
What is a Personal Injury?
Basically, a personal injury occurs when someone deals with physical harm because of someone else’s negligence. In most situations, personal injury lawsuits are against employers, businesses, insurance companies, and car owners. Common personal injuries include slips and falls, broken bones, critical illnesses, and more.
Florida Law and Car Accidents
In Florida, car accidents fall under a no-fault law, which means it’s extremely difficult to sue another driver for car damage and bodily injury. Your insurance company covers all these expenses. However, Florida does have a certain threshold for severe personal injuries, which allows for a personal injury claim. This threshold is set high, and you should reach out to a lawyer to determine if your personal injury circumstance is viable under the law for a personal injury claim.
4 Categories of Florida Serious Injuries
After a car accident injury, to file a personal injury claim, your injury must fit into one of these four categories to be considered severe enough to seek compensation from more than just your insurance company.
- Significant, permanent body function loss
- Permanent injury with a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant, permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Death of a loved one
What’s the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
The deadline, also known as the statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury claim in Florida is four years from the date of the accident, according to the Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11(3). A statute of limitations protects both parties because it offers the injured party plenty of time to file but also provides immunity to the defendant after the deadline comes to an end.
Be sure to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations ends. If you miss this window of time, your claim will not be heard. In some situations exceptions can be made; for example, an injury or disease that shows up much later with a clear connection to an incident. When problems like this arise, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you request an extension of the statute of limitations.
Also, be aware that the statute of limitations varies for different types of injuries. Injuries or diseases caused by medical malpractice have different rules and regulations.
How to File for a Personal Injury Claim
At the center of it, filing a personal injury claim means a lot of paperwork, patience for the legal system, and hard work. When you are preparing to file a personal injury claim, it’s vital to have a lawyer to guide you through the system. Here are some ways to prepare for filing a personal injury claim:
Responsibility for the Injury
A personal injury caused by negligence must be proved as someone’s responsibility. For example, a business has a duty to care for their flooring, and if a customer slips and falls on a business’s poorly maintained floor, the business would be considered responsible for the customer’s injuries. The defendant (in this case, the business) must obviously have a responsibility and have not taken appropriate care of that responsibility, which resulted in the customer’s injury.
Report the Injury
If you experience an injury while working, you must report the injury to your workplace and fill out the appropriate paperwork. It’s not personal. The law requires that businesses and employers have paperwork on any injury that happens on their watch.
After an injury, don’t wait to seek medical care. Go directly to a doctor and have your injuries treated. You will want to request copies of the paperwork. This documentation can be crucial in a personal injury claim to prove the severity of your injuries and the financial damages you suffered to receive treatment.
Throughout the healing process, it can be helpful to have a record of your appointments, expenses, feelings, and healing. Take the time to detail how your injuries are progressing and your emotional state throughout. This journal can help show the emotional suffering that you’ve experienced due to your injuries.
Know how much money is being paid for doctor appointments, treatments, medications, and other injury-related expenses. While you’re tracking the cost, be sure to also note where the documents can be found, whether online or in your filing cabinet. These documentations are imperative for knowing how much you’ve suffered financially due to your injury.
To ensure that no step is missed and every legal solution is available to you throughout your personal injury claim and case, seek a lawyer. Personal injury law can be complex, especially since much of the legal argument is based on past rulings. A lawyer is your legal advocate throughout the entire process and can be the difference between a good settlement and no settlement.
Your personal injury attorney will handle the paperwork connected with your personal injury claim, draft the demand letter, and represent you in legal conversations. A personal injury lawyer also knows what your case is worth and how much money to fight or settle for.
Have you been injured on the job or from a slip and fall? Call us today at 352-371-4000 to find out what your legal solutions may be.