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Personal Injury Laws in Florida

florida map silhouetteDealing with a potential lawsuit can be confusing. How do you know if your situation even qualifies as a lawsuit? What if your situation occurred a few years ago, can you still file a lawsuit? Every state has its own laws regarding lawsuits. Let’s check out some of them for Florida.

First of all, the question on whether the statute of limitations has run out for your claim. The statute of limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is four years. You would have four years from the date of the incident to file a claim. What if you aren’t aware of the injury right away? In those cases the limit can be extended. A three year limit for filing against a government or municipal entity exists in Florida.

Florida also has a comparative negligence law. Perhaps if you are seeking damages for a personal injury, the person you are suing may claim that you were partially responsible for those injuries. If you are found partially responsible, the amount awarded may reflect that. Perhaps you were involved in a car accident where you were struck by someone who ran a light. You were turning, but neglected to have a turn signal on. It might be determined that you had 20% responsibility for the accident. If the judge awarded you $5,000, that amount would be reduced by 20% or $1,000, thus acknowledging your percentage of responsibility.

Another personal injury law for Florida is the dog bite law. An owner of a dog, no matter what the level of viciousness is, is held totally responsible for the damages. Other states may have a “one-bite law” for owners that had no reason to believe their pet was vicious. Florida does not follow that law.

Florida also has a cap on the amount of damages someone can receive in some cases. This cap most often deals with awards for “pain and suffering”. This “pain and suffering” award is meant as punishment to the responsible party for particularly dangerous situations. It is normally three times the compensatory award amount up to $500,000.

Facing a personal injury lawsuit comes at a time when you might not be at your best physically or mentally depending on the injury. All the paperwork and legal terms may leave you at wit’s end! Why not let an attorney deal with the details?