How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
Whether you’re a victim of a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or a car accident, a personal injury can be overwhelming. The injury claim process can be complicated and daunting, especially if you don’t have legal representation. So, to save yourself time and the complexities that come along with filing for a claim, hire a professional injury attorney.
How Long Do I’ve to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
All personal injury lawsuits in Florida are subject to different requirements for filing deadlines. The deadlines are a provision of what Federal Laws refer to as Statute of Limitations. The deadlines tell you how much time you have to claim compensation for your injuries.
In Florida, the type of injury, the claimant’s age, and even the nature of an accident can impact a case’s statute of limitations. Note, though, that, in many cases, you will have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Note too, that you may not know the extent of your injuries until well after an accident. For instance, if your employer continuously exposes you to a toxic or radioactive substance at work, you may not develop symptoms for months or years after the exposure.
Even after the discovery, you may not directly associate the injury with your workplace until much later. In such cases, Florida laws can extend your timeframe for filing a lawsuit.
Note that Florida has a separate statute of limitations requirements for cases that involve medical malpractice. These cases involve negligence or malice by a medical professional.
Your injuries here can occur through botched surgeries, improper treatment, misdiagnosis, and many other harmful actions. In a nutshell, medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to a complex set of the statute of limitation laws.
How Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?
Start by speaking to a personal injury attorney in Florida, immediately you are involved in an accident or medical malpractice. Your attorney will help you determine if your case falls within the statute of limitation.
The attorney will then help you file for a claim and argue it in court. You may be offered an out of court settlement at some point, which you can accept or turn down. Once it’s successful, you may get compensated for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income if the injury forced you to stop working to recover
- Loss of quality of life
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
- Punitive damages
In a nutshell, filing for a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is a five-step process. It starts with your attorney launching an investigation into your accident. This stage involves speaking to witnesses, reviewing security footage, and examining medical records. Aptly put, it is all about gathering enough evidence to craft a compelling claim.
The next process involves preparing the claim. A lot of drafting is required at this stage. The documents prepared are referred to as pleadings. They will outline your injuries and how they affect your life. The pleadings will also explain why you are entitled to compensatory damages.
The third stage involves exploring possibilities for an out of court settlement. You will enter negotiations with an insurance company or the at-fault party. Like already hinted, you may choose to turn out offers at this stage, which brings in the fourth stage – trial.
The trial stage may be lengthy, depending on many factors. Witnesses will be called; the court will also form a jury at this stage. You will also be called to testify.
Finally, a verdict will be given. This is the final process. You can choose to appeal to a higher court if you are dissatisfied with the judgment.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Florida?
The short answer is yes; you can sue for damages in Florida. Note, though that, the term ‘pain and suffering’ is a broad term. It encompasses non-monetary damages caused by an injury. Besides, damages for pain and suffering are often a more substantial sum than the general economic term for injuries.
What Amount to Pain and Suffering in Florida?
It is hard to capture what amounts to pain and suffering aptly. Courts often determine this on a case-by-case basis. All you need to know is that when you are injured, there is always a higher cost involved beyond lost wages, medical bills, and limitations of earning some income in the future.
In other words, pain and suffering damages cover additional charges to your emotional and mental health. Disfigurement, enduring physical pain, and long-term disability are significant elements that form part of pain and suffering in Florida.
It is important to note that Florida is one of the few states that allow claimants to file for pain and suffering. For example, Florida statutes allow pain and suffering to be included in a clam when any of the following events happen:
- Permanent disability
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of life
- Permanent or major loss of a bodily function
How long after a car accident, can you claim injury in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you can only claim personal injury legal claims against an at-fault driver. The deadline for this is four years, which begins to count from the date of the car accident.
Don’t attempt to file a personal injury claim on your own. Involve a competent to help you argue your case aggressively and receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (386) 255- 6400 for legal representation.