Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
While most people have at least heard of personal injury law, many are unfamiliar with what the term actually encompasses. This can be a complex area of the law, so we’ve included a few answers to the most common questions we receive about personal injury law in Florida.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law allows accident victims to file civil lawsuits against the negligent or reckless parties responsible for their injuries. Unlike criminal cases, which seek to punish a wrongdoer with a criminal record and jail time, personal injury cases seek to make an accident victim whole by awarding monetary damages. There are actually a variety of accidents that would allow an injured party to pursue compensation via a personal injury award, but the most common are:
- Car and truck accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Cases involving medical negligence;
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Dog bites and animal attacks;
- Accidents involving defective consumer products; and
- Nursing home abuse and neglect.
If you or a loved one were injured in one of these kinds of accidents through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
What Types of Compensation Could I Receive?
The types of damages, or monetary compensation, that an accident victim can receive after filing a successful personal injury lawsuit include both economic and non-economic damages. The former refers to quantifiable losses, such as accident-related medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The latter, on the other hand, while harder to quantify, seek to compensate accident victims for more subjective losses, such as physical pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, a jury may even be willing to award punitive damages, which do not attempt to compensate plaintiffs, but are aimed at punishing a defendant for his or her wrongdoing. In Florida, punitive damages are calculated as either three times the amount of the compensatory award, or $500,000, whichever amount is higher.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Each state has its own specific time limits, known as a statute of limitations that govern how long an accident victim has to file a civil lawsuit in court. In Florida, accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury claim. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Someone who was under the age of 18 years old, for instance, would have more time to file a claim, as would someone who didn’t immediately discover his or her injury. Although claimants technically have two years to file a lawsuit, it’s usually in an injured party’s best interests to file much sooner, as this ensures that the evidence to support the claim isn’t lost or destroyed.
Call or Contact Us Online Today
To learn more about personal injury law, or for an evaluation of your own accident case, feel free to call 954-566-9919 and set up a meeting with one of the dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers at Boone & Davis today.