If you were recently injured as a result of the negligence of another party, there are some things about Florida injury laws that you should know.
First, you need to know that you are entitled to compensation if you are injured due to the negligence of someone else. All you need to do is prove that the negligent party had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care but chose not to.
Some examples of personal injury claims include slip-and-fall accidents, medical malpractice, professional negligence, product defects, auto accidents, and toxic exposure torts.
If you want to open a case against the other party, Florida law dictates that you should file a claim in the same county where the other party resides or where the incident occurred. You may claim in the county court if the damages are under $15,000. For cases that are more than $15,000, circuit courts have jurisdiction. One of the disadvantages of claiming in county court is that in the event that a charity verdict feels you deserve more than $15,000, you will not receive more than this amount.
Time Limit for Injury Claims in Florida
According to Florida injury laws, you have a specific period of time in which you need to file your claim. Failure to do so within this time frame means that you could forfeit your right to do so.
Most personal injury cases in Florida allow you four years in which to file a claim. However, if you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, you have a maximum of two years to file the complaint. Ideally, a medical malpractice claim should be made as soon as you realize this injustice has occurred. In cases where a child was a victim of medical malpractice, the claim must be filed no later than the child’s eighth birthday or within two years of the incident occurring. If you are filing a claim against local municipalities, agencies, or local governments, you should note that stricter statutory procedures apply.
If it is determined that you are partially responsible for your injury, you may still be awarded a portion or percentage of your damages. For example, if it turns out that you are 60 percent responsible for your injury, you will be afforded 40 percent of your damages. This is because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state.
The Discovery Process
During the discovery process, both parties have an opportunity to exchange information, documents, and records applicable to the claim. Each party has the opportunity to demand answers to interrogatories. These are merely a series of questions. You are obligated to answer each question unless your Florida personal injury lawyer deems that a specific question is inappropriate.
In this pretrial process, you will need to submit any and all documentation and evidence relevant to your claim. You may also be called upon by the opposing attorney for questioning. The questions are usually related to any and all aspects of your claim. Your attorney is present during this process and will advise you accordingly. In most cases, you have to comply with a medical examination by a doctor of the opposing lawyer’s choice.
During this process, both attorneys have the opportunity to agree to mediation, where an unbiased third party will assist both parties in coming to a resolution and without the need to go to trial.
If you live in the state of Florida and you believe that you are the victim of personal injury, you should file a claim as soon as possible.