What is Florida Personal Injury Law?

Have you been the victim of a personal injury? If so, it’s important to explore your options and read up on your rights. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury cases in Florida.

Our Florida wrongful death and personal injury lawyers help you navigate the complexities of your legal case. Call us today at 888-554-2030.

Q: What Counts as a Personal Injury?

A: In the law, the phrase “personal injury,” is a term of art—it has a particular meaning with legal weight. According to Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute, a personal injury is defined as a: “injury to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation.”

A personal injury can be the result of many kinds of actions or inactions. When determining if you’ve suffered from a personal injury under the law, it helps to understand how the law views the causes of personal injuries. Generally, the law separates the causes of a personal injury into three buckets:

1. Negligence.

A personal injury that arises from an act of negligence is one that occurs because a person fails to act with the level of care they should have acted with.

A classic example is an injury that results from a stray bullet fired by a negligent hunter. While the hunter may not have meant to harm anyone, if he or she should have exercised better care than they did, a legally recognized personal injury claim could result from the hunter’s actions.

2. Intent.

Simply stated, a personal injury can be the cause of a wrongdoer’s intentional action or inaction. An example of a personal injury caused by an act of intent is a battery. Battery may include actions like hitting, tripping, pushing, intentional shooting, and so on.

3. Strict liability.

Strict liability is another legal term of art. The concept of strict liability can hold an individual accountable no matter their mental state. A classic example of a personal injury brought on the grounds of strict liability is an injury suffered as a result of the malfunction of a defective product.

Q: What is Florida’s Negligence Law?

A: Florida is a “comparative negligence” jurisdiction, which means that in Florida, more than one person, and sometimes both parties, can be at fault when an injury occurs. As a general rule of thumb, if an individual is found to be 10 percent at fault for their own injury, they may recover an award of up to 90 percent of what they would otherwise be owed if they weren’t at fault for their injury at all.

It’s important to remember that circumstances are unique. You should review the specifics of your case with an experienced lawyer for personal injury cases before assuming you were at fault for your injury—whether fully or partially. Your attorney can discuss your options with you and help you determine the best course of action to recover what you deserve after your injury.

Q: What are the Different Types of Personal Injury Cases?

A: Typically, people think of bodily harm when they think of a personal injury case. However, an individual may have a personal injury claim whether or not they were physically harmed.

You can generally divide personal injury cases into two types: those that cause bodily harm and those that do not. Of course, there are endless types of personal injuries. Consider the following examples:

Personal injury cases involving bodily harm may include:

  • car, truck, and motorcycle crashes
  • assault and/or battery
  • product defect accidents
  • medical malpractice
  • abuse
  • slips/falls
  • animal bites or attacks
  • construction or workplace injuries
  • birth injuries
  • burns
  • exposure to toxic substances
  • and more

Personal injury cases not involving bodily harm may include;

  • intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • defamation
  • libel
  • slander
  • invasion of privacy
  • false impressment, false arrest, and/or false detention
  • and more

Q: What Personal Injury Damages Can a Person Sue For?

A: There are three main types of damages associated with personal injury cases: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages “Damages” are a type of remedy in the form of a monetary award paid to an individual who brings a successful lawsuit.

“Economic damages” refers to monies awarded for quantifiable losses that can be proven. Examples of economic damages may include:

  • medical expenses
  • lost income, lost wages, and/or lost earnings
  • travel expenses
  • property damage
  • personal care costs
  • and more

“Non-economic damages,” on the other hand, are a type of damages you may be eligible to recover as compensation for the intangible losses you’ve suffered as a result of your personal injury. Examples of non-economic damages may include awards for:

  • mental and emotional anguish
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of companionship
  • loss of consortium
  • damage to reputation
  • scarring and disfigurement
  • disability or impairment
  • lost quality of life and enjoyment of activities
  • emotional distress, depression, and anxiety
  • and more

Finally, “punitive” damages are a type of damage that may be available to some victims of personal injury cases. Punitive damages are a type of payment to the victim that is meant to punish the wrongdoer.

Q: Time Limits and Building Your Personal Injury Case:

A: When you’ve been the victim of an injury, it’s important to reach out to an attorney quickly. A concept known as the “statute of limitations” on a case could bar your recovery if you wait. The longer you wait to initiate your case, the tougher fault may be to prove.

The statute of limitations in a personal injury case lawsuit refers to the period of time in which an individual may bring a case against a party they believe is responsible, whether through intent or negligence. Statutes of limitation vary from state to state, even for the same civil action. In Florida, you have two calendar years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

Q: What is “Liability” in Personal Injury Law?

A: Liability is a critical element of a personal injury claim. If a person is “liable” for a claim, that means that they can be held accountable for what they’ve done (or failed to do) under the law.

Either an individual or an entity (like a corporation) can have liability in a personal injury case. Sometimes, multiple parties may be liable for the same injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine who may be liable for your injury.

Q: Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?

If you’ve experienced a personal injury, you deserve justice. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer means that you will have an expert in your corner to fight for your best interests.

At The Ferraro Law Firm, we’re an experienced personal injury law firm that is focused on helping you work through the legalities of your circumstances. We’ll fight to ensure you receive the damages you’re entitled to, even in the worst of situations.

To schedule your free personal injury consultation, call 888-554-2030 or just fill out our free case consultation form and a member of our team will be in touch.