In the United States, thousands of people suffer personal injuries on a daily basis. Every state in the nation has its own laws that govern personal injury cases. The benefit of these differences in the law is that local citizens have a say in legislation; the disadvantages of these differences in the law is that it is hard to know what your rights are.
If you are in Pensacola, Florida – or anywhere else in the state – below are several must-know facts about our state’s personal injury laws.
Florida’s No-Fault Statute
The state of Florida is referred to as a “no-fault state,” meaning that state law mandates each automobile insurer pay for its respective policyholder’s damages resulting from a car accident – regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Florida car accident cases are different than most personal injury claims because, in every other type of personal injury case, the at-fault party is held financially liable for damages.
That being said, Florida law allows personal injury victims to go outside of the “no-fault” statute if the damages are deemed serious. This includes permanent disfigurement or scarring, permanent loss of a body function, and death. Plaintiffs must be 50% or less at-fault for an accident in order to recover damages in a lawsuit.
If you are a victim of a personal injury and plan to file a lawsuit in Florida, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for multiple losses. This may include medical expenses related to the injuries, lost past and future wages, property damage, and emotional distress, among others. For this reason, it is critical to properly express every inconvenience caused by the accident – monetary and otherwise – to ensure just compensation for damages suffered as a result of another’s negligence.
Statute of Limitations
Under Florida law, a person who suffers a personal injury has up to two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. Failure to file a claim within this time period will forever bar the case. There are some different deadlines, however, depending on the type of personal injury case. Knowing this critical legally imposed deadline is key and more reason to pursue legal action against a negligent party as soon as you know you have been hurt.
Unfortunately, injuries from Florida car accidents do not always have immediate symptoms; sometimes it may take days, weeks, months, or even years for injuries to show. For this reason, it is important to record all evidence relating to the accident. This should include pictures and/or videos of the accident scene and injuries, names and contact information of witnesses to the crash, your detailed account of what happened, the police report, and any other relevant information.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know suffered a personal injury in Pensacola, Florida or anywhere else in the state, be sure to keep the above in mind to best protect your legal interests. Understand that different types of personal injury cases – aside from car accidents such as medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, and others – require different legal approaches. To learn about your rights and obligations under state law, contact the Pensacola auto accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz Law Firm for your initial case evaluation.