The majority of personal injury cases revolve around negligence. If you suffer or incur damages and injuries due to the negligence of another person, you may seek compensation under Florida's personal injury laws. A person is guilty of negligence if his/her conduct does not match the standard of a reasonably prudent person. If a person's act of commission or omission leads to the injury of another individual, a person may be liable. The negligent party might not be ready to accept responsibility for your injuries. It is, therefore, important to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Clay County Personal Injury Attorney helps victims to seek compensation after suffering injuries due to the negligence of other parties. For instance, if you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, an experienced St. Augustine Beach personal injury attorney can help you to get compensation.
Understanding Personal Injury Laws in Florida
The main purpose of Florida personal injury laws is to compensate people who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another individual. Personal injuries may vary greatly depending on what led to the injury. When seeking compensation for injuries, a victim has to prove that the party at fault owed him/her a duty of care. The plaintiff/ victim must further prove that the defendant breached his/her duty of care. It should be evident that the defendant's negligence or breach of duty of care led to the plaintiff's injuries. A St. Augustine Beach personal injury attorney can help you prove that the defendant contributed to your injuries.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law
In 1973, the State of Florida joined the other 13 states in the U.S in adopting the theory of pure comparative negligence. Comparative negligence entails apportioning damages between negligent parties depending on the degree of fault. Therefore, if the plaintiff is partly to blame for his/her damages, he/she can get compensation. For instance, if the plaintiff is 95% at fault, he/she can still recover 5% of damages.
Florida also adopts joint and several liability principles while apportioning fault between multiple defendants. It is common for an accident to have multiple defendants. For instance, if you suffer injuries in a pile-up traffic accident, you might have several negligent parties from whom to seek compensation. Florida adopts a structured system and apportions fault amongst the negligent parties.
Statute of Limitations
After suffering injuries, you have to file a personal injury case within a particular time limit. This limit is provided in the Statute of Limitations. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the applicable time in the Statute of Limitations, you may not be able to seek compensation. Your St. Augustine Beach personal injury attorney can advise you on the applicable statutes of limitations. The statutes of limitations may vary depending on the type of injury.
Typical Personal Injury Lawsuits in Florida
There are several types of personal injury lawsuits handled by our personal injury attorneys. Some of the common causes include:
1. Vehicle Accidents
Florida is a robust state that attracts numerous tourists and investors every year. Given the busy nature of the state, car accidents are common. You may suffer injuries in head-on collisions, side-impact collisions, or rollover vehicle accidents. If you feel that the driver or another negligent party caused the accident, you may file a personal injury lawsuit. You might be able to get compensation for medical expenses incurred in seeking treatment. You will also get compensation for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. In case your loved one dies in a car accident, you may file a wrongful death claim.
2. Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents may not sound like a worthy consideration by many people but it causes serious injuries in some cases and may have lasting effects on the victim. The state of Florida has enacted laws to protect victims of slip and fall accidents. The state in enacting such laws considers that they do happen most often and cause serious injuries. If in your opinion your slip and fall results from malicious act or negligence of someone else, you have a right to sue for a personal injury under Florida laws. Most slip and fall cases rarely make it to trial and settle out of court through formal or informal lawsuit settlements.
The discretion of your St Augustine personal injury attorney is vital in determining the cause of action to take in slip and fall cases depending on the strength of the evidence at hand. Informal lawsuits are commonly used in slip and fall cases. This entails reaching an agreement by both parties whereby they come to a consensus. The victim then signs a release indicating acceptance of informal settlement and agrees not to seek more legal action against the party at fault. Your attorney may also file an official complaint in a formal lawsuit outlining the defendant’s negligence in your injury and seeking damages as well for your injury.
To successfully sue for slip and fall case your attorney will have to demonstrate to the court issues like:
- The defendant’s failure to extend a duty of care to you resulting in your injury
- The defendant's failure to eliminate threats that posed danger to you or others and its role in the injury
- Direct relationship in your injury and the resulting defendant's duty of care violation
- The damages you suffered because of the duty of care violation.
In successful lawsuits for slip and fall cases, you may get compensation for medical expenses incurred, wages lost for missed work, permanent injuries or disability, and emotional torment and pain.
It is important to have it in mind that the Statute of Limitations also applies to slip and fall cases. You might not be in a position to seek compensation if you exceed the four years granted by the statute. It is therefore imperative to engage the services of an attorney well conversant with Florida slip and fall laws.
3. Medical Malpractice
Most of us seek the services of a medical practitioner at one time or the other. At times you may feel that a doctor or a medical practitioner failed in professionalism which results in hurting a patient. Such an act which may include misdiagnosis or poor diagnosis may lead to a disability or other forms of physical pain and suffering. However, the victim of medical malpractice must prove that the practitioner failed in their specialty and injury arose as a result of negligence. Compensatory or punitive damages are awarded in successful medical malpractice lawsuits. Some of the liable medical malpractices include:
If in your opinion an injury resulted from misdiagnosis, you can successfully sue the doctor. In establishing negligence on the doctor’s role, the court will seek to establish what a doctor of similar competence would have done. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the misdiagnosis or late diagnosis resulted in greater suffering and pain or was the cause of death. To prove such cases, you may need the testimony of an expert medical practitioner who would also demonstrate to the court the effect of the delay or wrong treatment to the plaintiff’s health.
Anesthesia and Surgical Operations Errors
Anesthesia goes hand in hand with surgical operations. One error by an anesthesiologist can have far-reaching implications or be fatal. These errors may result from an anesthesiologist's failure to properly instruct the patient of the process. Administering the wrong anesthesia and the use of defective anesthesia equipment is also common malpractice. Where the plaintiff establishes negligence in such a process it is possible to sue for medical malpractice.
Many cases of errors in surgical operations are easy to prove in Florida courts. Cases of operating on wrong patients are an obvious case of negligence. Instances of leaving surgical instruments in a patient’s body are also a form of malpractice. Malpractices also arise where a medical practitioner operates you on the wrong part of the body.
Surgical errors are visible and self-evident in many instances. It is also evident that a medical practitioner operating on you owes you a duty of care. Where the practitioner exercises caution and are not negligent, such malpractices may never arise. Injuries resulting in such malpractices can cause serious infections and subsequent complications on the patient.
In case a doctor prescribes the wrong drugs to you that results in harm, you may sue them for medical malpractice. The doctor may also give you the proper prescription but the wrong amount and that will still amount to malpractice. Nurses also administer the wrong drugs or even confuse patients. Wrong prescription or administering the wrong drugs or wrong dosage may have serious implications. The nature of your ailment may aggravate or other medical conditions may arise as a result of drug poisoning.
Many birth defects are a result of negligence on gynecologists or obstetricians. Developmental disorders, paralysis and even death in newborns at times do arise for failure to exercise the required professionalism. Mothers and their infants die where physicians fail to conduct a cesarean section when the mother is at risk. Where a physician fails to exercise professionalism/necessary competence and complications arise, you can successfully sue for medical malpractice.
4. Defective/Dangerous Products
Cases of defective products harming consumers are on the rise. This is more so in the manufacturing and medical industry. Defective consumables can have adverse effects on the consumer. The defects may also cause health complications and injuries that may have adverse effects. Accidents also arise due to defective products. This may result from an error from the manufacturer or failure to give proper instructions more so in the auto industry. If you suffer a personal injury resulting from defective or dangerous products, you can successfully sue for damages. Our St. Augustine Beach personal injury attorney can offer you solid advice regarding your case. Cases of defective products that mostly arise include:
Drug and pharmaceutical companies manufacture new drugs daily. Some of these drugs are not adequately tested for possible side effects. Other companies fail to label warnings and side effects adequately on their drugs. The use of such drugs can cause serious medical complications or even death to the unaware patient. A pharmaceutical company or drug manufacturer who fails to disclose such information may be liable for resulting injuries. You may seek damages and lodge a product liability claim if you get an injury or severe side effects from the use of such drugs.
Defective Medical Gadgets
Advancement in technology has resulted in an increase in medical devices in use today. Almost any part of the human body has a medical device to replace it. Defects in the design of such gadgets result in serious medical complications. Implants and hip replacements are some of the devices that can have adverse effects if defective. Erosive devices and also decay in the human body can even cause the death of the patient. Failure by the manufacturer to disclose all the possible side effects and possible risks may make them liable. An injury may also result from improper installation of the device by a medical practitioner in which case they become liable for malpractice.
Defective Gadgets at Workplace
You may sustain a personal injury from a defective product in your place of work. Injuries of this nature are mainly compensated through workers' compensation benefits through the employer. However, the extent of the injury caused by the defective product may cost you your job or make you lose income. You may lodge a lawsuit for defective/dangerous products against the product manufacturer. You may get compensation for the suffering and pain and also for lost income as a result of the injury.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Given the high frequency of personal injuries in Florida, it is important to know what you should do after suffering an injury. As long as you can prove liability, you can get the compensation you deserve. You can get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you seek compensation. An attorney will help you to negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you get fair compensation for the damages suffered. Clay County Personal Injury Attorney can help you to handle your case. Contact us at 904-494-8242 and speak to one of our experienced St. Augustine Beach personal injury attorneys.