You may have heard the term “personal injury” at some point in relation to getting hurt in an accident. But what does that term actually mean?
A personal injury lawsuit is typically a course of action where a hurt victim has the chance to get justice through the courts. To be specific, personal injury cases can represent an opportunity for an injured party to get compensated fairly by the at-fault party who caused those injuries due to negligence.
It is possible for victims to “go it alone” and navigate this legal process by themselves. However, most people lack the training and legal expertise of a lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury cases.
For that reason, many victims find that they have better outcomes and higher compensation with the help of an attorney. If you have questions about whether you should file a lawsuit, we offer free consultations to discuss your case. Call (813) 229-5353 or fill out the online form to set up yours today.
What is the Definition Of a Personal Injury Claim?
When an accident occurs, there can be more than one type of damage. For instance, there may be destruction to your personal belongings, and also to your body. The term “personal injury” usually specifies the damage to your person, such as a broken leg or a traumatic brain injury.
That is, a personal injury is usually the physical injury from the accident which hurts you. A personal injury lawsuit may also refer to destruction of your property, but will typically also include your bodily injuries as well.
For instance, maybe you were hurt in a traffic accident caused by someone else. Afterward, you may find yourself burdened with pain and suffering as well as financial expenses and costs for repairs.
Depending on your case, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be your best chance to hold that negligent defendant accountable. This is because Florida laws allow for victims to be “made whole” again after facing injuries and losses from a crash.
Accountability for personal injuries is centered around the courts requiring negligent defendants to pay for a victim’s financial recovery in addition to their pain and suffering. This is where having an experienced attorney by your side can make a big difference in your outcome.
Negligence And Florida Law
When it comes to supporting your personal injury claim, proving negligence is often key. The term negligence is based on a legal duty of care that is owed to other people.
Generally speaking, showing that a party was negligent usually involves providing evidence that they were less-than-reasonable in their actions. In other words, to be negligent is to act in a way that is not as careful as a reasonable person.
In theory, a successful negligence case sufficiently shows four things:
- The at-fault party had a duty to show some type of care to the victim
- The at-fault party failed to meet that duty owed
- That failure caused an injury to the victim
- The victim was in fact injured
If these four things can be proven, then the person who was injured can receive compensation under Florida law for the harm that was caused to them.
What to Do After I have Suffered a Personal Injury Occurs?
Based on the four points above, an accident harming a person can take place anytime someone else is negligent. Specifically, you could suffer from a personal injury anytime someone is not sufficiently meeting their duty owed to you.
As an example, say someone is texting on their phone while driving and not paying attention to anything else. They run a stop sign, hitting your car and causing an injury to your neck and back. Florida law requires that drivers uphold their duty of care to others.
A drivers’ duty of care involves following traffic rules while in the driver’s seat. That person’s failure to stop at the stop sign could be proven as the direct cause of your injuries.
If they are proven to be negligent, then you could possibly hold them responsible to pay for your pain and suffering and/or costs that came from the accident. That process could be made easier with the help of an attorney.
Some types of personal injuries that we’ve helped clients with include:
- Drunk driving accident injuries
- Auto accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful deaths
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
What Losses Can I Be Compensated For?
There are typically two types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit from which a victim can recover. One kind of loss is economic, which usually represents the financial impact of your injury. These damages may be presented in clear numbers, since they usually are claimed in a lawsuit as monetary losses and destruction to valued items.
Economic damages can include expenses like bills for medical care, necessary services to accomodate for your injuries, damage to your property, lost wages, and more.
The other type of damage victims suffer from are non-economic damages, which refer to pain and suffering. Although this value is more difficult to put into numbers, there is absolutely a significance to the pain and discomfort of accident-related injuries.
A victim’s injuries can be described in many different ways, for instance: minor, catastrophic, disfigurement, or permanent. Since different types of injuries can have different results for personal injury cases, there are ways to measure how much you have been affected by your pain and suffering.
There are also ways to gauge the emotional distress that you have suffered from after an accident. Florida law considers a victim’s emotional impact to be separate and apart from their physical suffering due to injuries.
When Is The Best Time To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The answer to this question can be complicated and fact-specific to your case. For that reason, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to know if filing a lawsuit is your best option. Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit from the day of your accident.
Florida’s statute of limitations allows for four (4) years’ time for victims to sue for their injuries from when they are first injured–or discover their injury. After that point, you essentially lose your right to file suit and courts will most likely reject to consider your case.
With time being such an important factor, you should speak with a lawyer right away if you were injured in an accident. We are ready to help you. Go online to get started with your no-cost attorney case review or call (813) 229-5353 today.
How Can A Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
You may not know the legal implications of your accident and how much your case could be worth. It is a mistake to assume that your injuries are not worth seeing an attorney about.
Your chance to get compensation will not last forever. With a free and no-commitment consultation, you could at least find out what the lawyers at Fernandez & Hernandez could get you.
If you were injured in an accident, call Attorney Martin Hernandez at (813) 229-5353 or fill out this form as soon as possible. Habla español.