Did you know that there are many different accident types that fall under personal injury law? If you have been involved in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, a medical malpractice accident, or a product liability accident and were injured, you can initiate a personal injury claim. With personal injury law encompassing so many different claims types, it stands to reason that they will differ state to state.
In the event that you find yourself or someone you care for embroiled in a personal injury lawsuit, you might want to consider hiring an attorney. Within this article, we will look into the four things Floridians need to know about personal injury law in their state.
Four Things About Florida’s Personal Injury Law
Now that your interest is piqued, let’s dive into some little-known facts surrounding the personal injury laws that set Florida apart from other US states:
1. The Statute of Limitations
In most US states, the statute of limitations within which you can file a personal injury claim is two years. However, Florida is different in that it has a four-year statute of limitations in which you can file a personal injury claim. Essentially, this means you have up to four years from when you were injured in an accident to file a claim with an attorney.
Yet, there are exceptions to this. For example, if you are filing a claim that involves wrongful death or medical negligence, you only have two years to file a claim. If you don’t adhere to these timeframes, you will likely be forever barred from filing your personal injury claim.
2. If You Were Partially at Fault, You Can Still File a Claim
In Florida, even if you were partially at fault for the accident you were involved in which caused your injuries, you can still file a personal injury claim. This is because Florida is a comparative fault state, unlike a few other states in America. As a comparative fault state, all potential damages you receive are dependent on how responsible you were for the accident that transpired.
In most cases, you will be judged on how your inactions or actions contributed to the accident, and then you will receive compensation according to this finding. For example, suppose you were involved in a vehicle accident, and it was established that you were 40 percent at fault and the other party was 60 percent responsible. In that case, the total damages you receive will be reduced by 40 percent. Additionally, even if you are found to be responsible for more than 51 percent of the accident, you can still file a lawsuit.
3. There Is a Punitive Damage Cap in Florida
In Florida, punitive damages are rarely sought during a personal injury lawsuit. This is because punitive damages are generally only sought when acts of gross negligence occur or acts of malicious or intentional harm cause injury or death. In this state, the cap for punitive damages is set at $500,000, or up to three times the compensatory damages the plaintiff will receive.
4. In Florida, You Can File a Lawsuit Against the Government for Negligence
In most states in America, you cannot file a personal injury claim against the government. However, in Florida, under the Florida Statutes section 768.28, the state has conditionally waived its immunity status in certain liability cases. However, you should note that the rules surrounding suing the government differ from standard personal injury claims procedures.
These are only a few of the differences associated with Florida’s personal injury law. If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, it’s important to understand the differences in how laws are handled and how personal injury cases are executed. That’s why when you are ready to file a claim, it would be in your best interests to consult a Florida personal injury attorney, as they will know the laws best.