Dealing with a personal injury can be trying for anyone. Costly medical bills, physical limitations that impact your ability to work and the emotional stress of the incident and resulting physical conditions can weigh heavily upon even the strongest among us. That is why you should be aware of your legal options to recover financially after a personal injury, thereby making your recovery just the slightest bit easier.
If you were injured as a result of a situation that someone else created, that person or entity could be liable for the difficulties that you face today. You may have the opportunity to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them. Your case will depend on your ability to satisfy the elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages. If you can support your case with evidence, you have a good chance of recovery, but be sure that you file your lawsuit within the appropriate time frame, or else you may be barred from recovery entirely.
For all the information and resources that you may need to succeed in trying your personal injury case, I urge you to reach out to me, an experienced personal injury attorney. I am Jared Newman, and I understand the struggle of dealing with the pain and stress of a personal injury. At my firm, Jared Newman, Esq., my mission is to make your life just a bit easier. To schedule your first consultation for free, call my Davie office at 954-281-7709.
Liability For Personal Injuries
In order to determine whether you can properly bring a personal injury claim against a person or business in Florida, you should first see if you can apply the elements of a traditional negligence claim. While negligence is not the only legal theory for a personal injury claim, it is by far the most common. Further, chances are that if you can meet the requirements for a prima-facie negligence case for your personal injury, you will be able to meet the requirements to potentially win your case. I recommend that you speak to me to determine whether a negligence claim is best in your particular circumstances.
Negligence For Personal Injury Lawsuits
A negligence claim comprises four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant in your lawsuit owed you a responsibility that they failed to meet and that that failure caused you some injury for which you can recover in court.
Establishing duty in this context primarily depends on the relationship between the injured party and the allegedly negligent party. In a vacuum, two people walking in a park share no duty with each other aside from the duty to avoid intentionally injuring each other. But duty can be set by certain formal or informal legal relationships. For instance:
- Property owners owe duties to their guests.
- Businesses owe duties to their customers.
- Employers owe duties to their employees.
- Drivers owe duties to those with whom they share the road.
- Doctors owe duties to their patients, and so on.
These duties vary depending on the relationship in question and public policy concerns. For instance, there is a higher standard of care involved in a doctor’s duty to a patient than a property owner’s duty to a guest. If you are not sure about whether a potentially liable party owed you a duty or what that duty entailed, speak to me today.
Breach Of Duty
Someone who owes a duty and fails to reasonably meet the requirements of that duty has breached that duty. Proving breach of duty in court for a personal injury case may require the use of expert witnesses in certain circumstances. Sometimes, expert witnesses are needed to explain what a reasonable person in such a position might do in order to satisfy their duties.
The breach of duty must be the cause of the injuries in order for you to recover in court. This can be complicated because external factors may interfere with the direct line of causation in a given case. To succeed, you must prove that the alleged negligence was both the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the harm. “Cause in fact” is a legal way of expressing that the harms would not have occurred “but for” the negligence. “Proximate cause” is how lawyers express that the results were closely related to the cause.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that a court can reduce awards for damages if the victim in a personal injury case is found to be partially responsible for their own injuries. A good example of this would be when Driver A blew through a red light and collided with Driver B, who was not wearing a seat belt. While Driver A is clearly negligent here and caused the accident, Driver B’s failure to take proper safety precautions while driving made the injuries worse. A court could decide that the victim was 25% responsible for their own injuries, meaning that Driver B could only recover 75% of their damages against Driver A.
Once you have proven duty, breach and causation, it is time to recover for what you have been through. Florida allows personal injury victims to recover multiple areas of compensation, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is critical that you establish how these damages were direct results of the events at hand. Most personal injury plaintiffs will introduce testimony from medical experts to help illustrate the nature of the injuries as well as financial records to show monetary damages.
Talk To Me About Your Potential Case Today
I am standing by, ready to assist you with anything you may need for your potential personal injury claim in Florida. Call my firm, Jared Newman, Esq., today at 954-281-7709 to get your initial consultation for free.