If you’re in an accident and decide to sue, you need to know the laws of the state in which you reside to be sure you receive adequate compensation. That’s because personal injury laws differ from one state to another.
Here are answers to three important questions about Florida’s personal injury laws:
How Long Do I Have to File My Lawsuit?
Each state has “statute of limitation” laws, which determine how long you have to bring your personal injury lawsuit. For residents of Florida, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file such a suit. If you wait longer than four years, you probably won’t be able to file. There is an exception to this rule, the “discovery rule”. In some cases, you might not be aware (or “discover”) your injury for some period of time after the injury occurs. For example, a car accident could cause a back injury, but you don’t feel significant pain for a year or two. In these cases the time you have to file might be longer. Also, if your claim is against the government of a city, county or the state, you only have three years to file your lawsuit.
What If I’m Partially at Fault for the Injury?
In Florida law, this if sometimes referred to as comparative negligence, in which both parties are partially at fault. For example, if an accident occurs when another driver runs a stop sign, but you were driving over the listed speed limit, you could both be found partly responsible for the accident. In such cases, the court will determine what percent of the accident each party is responsible for and damages will be determined accordingly. In the example above, the court might determine that your speeding means you were 25% at fault. If your damages are $10,000, this will be reduced by 25% to $7,500.
Is There Any Limit to How Much Compensation I Can Receive?
Several states, including Florida, have caps on the amount you can receive in personal injury cases. In the majority of Florida personal injury cases, caps apply to punitive damages, which are limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or a maximum of $500,000, whichever amount is higher.
Every state has its own laws regarding personal injury lawsuits, and the laws of each state can be complicated and confusing. The guidelines presented here are a good starting point, but your best bet is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can walk you through the process and ensure you receive all the compensation for which you are eligible.
Roughly 42.1 percent of all spinal cord injuries are caused by automobile or motorcycle accidents. Because the spinal cord is so important in carrying messages from the brain to the rest of the body via the nervous system, regulating everything from movement to involuntary functions such as breathing, body temperature, bladder, and sexual performance, damage to this part of the body can lead to lifelong, serious health difficulties. Since there is as yet no medical procedure that can repair spinal cord damage, these problems will lead to great expense for both healthcare and lifestyle changes.
There are two common bases for a personal injury lawsuit related to a spinal cord injury as the result of a car accident. Either the driver of another vehicle was negligent, causing the accident that resulted in the injury, or there is some product defect related to the automobile itself that led to the accident. In the latter case, it can range from malfunctioning air bags to bad brakes as a result of a manufacturing defect.
The purpose of a spinal cord injury law suit is to provide a monetary award great enough to restore the plaintiff to a state he or she enjoyed before the accident, insomuch as is possible with the current state of medical science. That means that the award will go above and beyond immediate health care costs and pain and suffering to include anticipated costs incurred by the injury throughout the life of the patient. That can include everything from physical therapy, a motorized wheel chair, and modifications to a victim’s home to make it more accessible.
If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of a car accident, please call the experienced attorneys at DiCesare, Davidson and Barker to secure the compensation you deserve. For more information, please contact us today.
Bicyclists have the same rights as the drivers of other vehicles. However, those rights are sometimes not observed by others. Because they are not as protected as other drivers, victims of bicycle accidents almost always suffer serious injuries or death. Here are a few facts about bicycle accidents in Florida that you may not know.
- According to the 2012 report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles—the most recent report available—there were 6,425 traffic crashes involving bicycles statewide.
- 116 bicycle riders were killed in crashes in Florida in 2012. Another 6,058 bicycle riders were injured.
- 27 bicycle riders involved in accidents in Florida during 2012 were wearing a helmet and were not injured. 241 were listed as having possible injuries and another 391 had non-serious injuries. Of the helmet-wearing bicyclists involved in crashes, 104 had serious injuries and 14 died as a result of their injuries.
- 91 bicyclists who died as a result of accidents in Florida that year were not wearing a helmet or using other safety equipment such as lighting. A lack of safety equipment was also reported for 734 seriously injured bicyclists.
- In 2012, Polk County had 121 bicycle accidents, with 3 fatalities and 116 injuries.
- Broward County reported the highest number of bicycle accidents in 2012, with 822, followed by Miami-Dade, with 751. 770 and 693 of those accidents resulted in injury, respectively. Broward also had the highest number of bicycle fatalities, with 14, followed by Hillsborough County with 13.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one due to a bicycle accident, the law firm of DDB Law may be able to help you get compensation needed to cover unexpected expenses. For more information, please contact us.