Since Florida’s laws can be complex, you may need to seek the advice of a Clearwater personal injury lawyer when dealing with injuries from an accident that was due to someone else’s careless or reckless actions. A lawyer could verify whether a person who, for example, falls down a staircase because the handrail was not secured by the business owner, is eligible to file a claim.
Whatever situation you may be in, if you were injured due to the negligence of another individual, consider contacting a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They could help you sort through the legal options available to you for compensation and help you fight for a fair value.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury claim can result from any of the following situations:
- Car accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Intentional torts such as assault and battery
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products or drugs
- Nursing home abuse
If a person needs help determining whether their situation qualifies as a personal injury case. they should talk to a Clearwater personal injury lawyer for clarification.
When To File a Claim
The time limit for filing a claim is called the statute of limitations. In Florida, most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of four years, according to Fla. Stat. §95.11 (3). This means that an injured person must file their claim within four years of the date of injury. If they do not, they risk losing the right to pursue recovery from the at-fault party.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For example, the state has a statute of limitations of two years for medical malpractice claims. In these cases, the injured person must file the claim within two years of discovering the injury and cannot file the claim at all if more than four years have passed since the malpractice occurred.
With help from an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer, a claimant can ensure all the appropriate claim documents are completed and filed within the appropriate timeframe.
Who Pays Compensation for a Claim?
Depending on the type of personal injury claim that is brought to court, different people or organizations will compensate the injured person. In vehicular accidents, it is often the driver who caused the accident, or their insurance company, who pays a claimant compensation. In wrecks involving tractor-trailers, a truck driver, as well as the truck driver’s company, may be found liable for damages.
Other examples of negligent parties who may be required to pay compensation to the injured person include manufacturers of faulty products, property owners who fail to maintain their premises, and owners of aggressive dogs. In some cases, it may be necessary to recover from the injured person’s own insurance company. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Clearwater could gather evidence of multiple parties’ negligence and acquire compensation from everyone who is at fault for the injury.
Types of Recoverable Damages
There are several types of damages for which an injured person can be reimbursed.
The first category of damages, called economic damages, includes everything that can be assigned a precise value. Examples of this type of damage include medical bills, wages lost during a person’s recovery, the value of damaged property, the cost of repairs, and similar items.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not have clear values. They include factors like a victim’s pain and suffering, loss of consortium with a spouse, loss of enjoyment in life, and the mental toll of the injury. Since non-economic damages are more difficult to evaluate, they may require the help of an expert witness who can argue in court for higher, fairer compensation.
In rare circumstances in which the at-fault party showed intentional or excessive negligence, the injured person may be able to recover punitive damages. According to Fla. Stat. 768.73, this amount cannot exceed $500,000 or three times the total of the compensation already awarded to the injured person.
Since punitive damages are so rarely awarded, a claimant should discuss their case with a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater to see whether their case qualities for this type of compensation.
Contacting a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured due to the negligence of another person, contact a Clearwater personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They could use their experience in the state’s personal injury laws to help you navigate the complicated legal process and devise a strategic plan toward financial and physical recovery.