How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work in the State of South Florida?

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you can get legal assistance to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. There are different types of personal injury lawsuits filed in South Florida and every case is unique in its own right. It’s always important to have a qualified lawyer by your side who will explain the options and navigate the case increasing your chances of a successful outcome.

Establishing negligence

In order to obtain any form of compensation, you must be able to establish negligence in the case. Negligence is simply defined as failure to exercise reasonable care causing another person to be injured or harmed. In this case, reasonable care refers to a standard of care that someone would use in a similar situation to avoid causing harm to another. You have to prove that the defendant failed to meet their duty of care giving rise to an injury. Your lawyer will also have to show that indeed the defendant’s negligent actions gave rise to real injuries. The appropriate standard of care varies in different situations. Experienced personal injury lawyers will review the facts of each case and establish the duty of care and exactly how the defendant violated the standard of care. That is, the lawyer will determine what the defendant did or failed to do that made his actions unreasonable leading to the client’s injuries.

Different forms of damage

After filing the personal injury case, you may be entitled to different forms of damages. Compensatory damages are those awarded to the individual in order to make him/her whole again (back to the condition in which they were before the injury). Compensatory damages can be economic and non-economic. Common forms of economic compensatory damages include compensation for lost income, medical costs, property damage and inability to earn in future. Non-economic damages are usually in the form of pain and suffering which is hard to measure in monetary form.

Though not common in South Florida personal injury cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. The purpose of this form of damages is to punish the wrongdoer and prevent others from behaving in a similar manner. In Florida, punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. There is usually no cap for compensatory damages in South Florida.

You may also be entitled to receive compensation for property that may have been damaged in the process. In this case, a property damage assessment will be done to determine the value of the property at the time of the accident. If the property only requires repairs, the cost of repairs will be covered in the settlement. Alternatively, you may receive a full amount to replace the property based on its fair market value at the time of the accident. This especially applies to car and motorcycle accident cases.

Getting a lawyer to carefully analyze the facts of your case can help you get a full and fair compensation.