Surviving an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing can be a traumatic experience. However, while the legal aftermath might become overwhelming, you do not have to face this alone. A personal injury lawyer in Sunrise will help you seek justice.
At Winston Law Firm, we have been fighting alongside injured victims throughout Florida since 1989. We dedicate all our resources to helping you receive maximum compensation for your losses. Contact us to build a personalized legal strategy and protect your rights.
What Qualifies as Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term to describe harm suffered by an individual due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party (plaintiff) seeks compensation from the party responsible for their injuries (defendant).
While the legal concept of personal injury varies by state, the underlying principle remains to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions and compensate victims. If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, you might be entitled to compensation. A Sunrise personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Common Personal Injury Cases We Represent
Personal injury cases can take many forms, and our legal team has decades of experience representing injured victims throughout Florida. Some of the most common types of cases we handle include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Product liability
- Animal attacks and dog bite injuries
- Premises liability
If you were harmed in a different incident, do not hesitate to contact us, as we could still help you. We work diligently to build a strong case, negotiate a fair settlement, or take the case to trial if necessary.
How to Recover Compensation in Florida
Personal injury victims in Florida can recover financial damages through various legal means. For example, after a car accident, you may file a claim with your insurance company under the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage required by Florida law.
If the damages exceed the PIP coverage limits, you may pursue a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Personal injury protection coverage is a mandatory type of insurance coverage in Florida that provides drivers with medical and wage loss benefits in the event of an accident. PIP coverage is designed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses, regardless of who is at fault in the crash.
Florida requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. If you are involved in a collision, your insurance company will pay 80% of necessary medical expenses up to the policy limit, regardless of who caused the accident.
Personal Injury Claim
If the other party is at fault for the accident, you may file a claim against their insurance company to recover damages. The first step in this process is to notify the insurance provider of the incident and your intent to file a claim. They will then assign an adjuster to investigate your case and determine your damages.
Insurance companies are motivated to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. Therefore, work with an experienced personal injury attorney in Sunrise who can negotiate with the insurance agent on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
If a settlement cannot be reached, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover damages. An attorney will also help you navigate the legal process and maximize your chances of success.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
To file a lawsuit, you must first determine who is responsible for your injuries and identify the legal basis for your claim, such as negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Once you have this information, you must file a complaint with the appropriate court and serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint.
The defendant will then have an opportunity to respond to the complaint, and the discovery process will begin. During this stage, the parties will exchange information and evidence relevant to the case.
If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome. Work with an experienced personal injury attorney throughout this process to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of success in your case.
Recoverable Damages in a Sunrise Personal Injury Case
The damages you can access depend on the details of your case and your chosen path to recovery. At Winston Law Firm, our experienced legal team will help you find the most suitable alternative to recover maximum compensation.
In most personal injury cases, you may access compensatory damages. These are designed to compensate you for losses resulting from the injury and may include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are tangible losses that can be easily calculated. Gather all your bills and receipts documenting your accident-related expenses and hand these over to your attorney. You may recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that may be more difficult to calculate given their subjective character. However, a skilled attorney may help you recover the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Unlike compensatory damages, intended to compensate your expenses, punitive damages aim to punish the defendant for their conduct and deter similar behavior in the future. In Florida, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, such as in cases involving intentional harm or gross negligence.
Furthermore, Florida places a cap on punitive damages. Thus, the final amount may be three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.
Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence
Florida follows a modified comparative negligence system for most cases, excluding medical negligence. This system significantly impacts a plaintiff’s ability to recover damages in personal injury cases based on their degree of fault.
Under this system, the critical factor is whether the plaintiff’s share of fault exceeds 50%. If a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% responsible for their injuries, they are generally not eligible to recover damages from the defendant.
For example, in a car crash where the total damages are $100,000, if the plaintiff is found to be 51% at fault, they would not be able to recover damages because their level of fault exceeds the 50% threshold. In contrast, if the plaintiff’s fault is 50% or less, they can still recover damages; however, these would be proportionally reduced by their degree of fault.
This modification in Florida’s negligence law underscores the importance of accurately determining each party’s degree of fault in personal injury cases. It reflects a balanced approach, recognizing that while plaintiffs who are less at fault should be entitled to compensation, those predominantly responsible for their injuries should not receive damages from others.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the accident date. If you do not file within this period, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For example, the deadline may be extended if the injury is not discovered until later. Additionally, the statute of limitations may differ for cases involving government entities or medical malpractice.
Call Our Sunrise Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Understanding the unexpected accident’s legal repercussions can make you feel vulnerable and alone. However, at Winston Law Firm, we protect personal injury victims and help you rebuild your life.
Contact our personal injury lawyers in Sunrise for a free legal consultation. Together, we will fight for justice and fair compensation.