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Things You Should Know Before Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit In Florida

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Filing a personal lawsuit can be tricky, and the situation is often made even more confusing by the vast differences in how cases are handled from state to state. If you are planning on filing in Florida, then here are some key statutes that you should be aware of when planning your lawsuit:

Statute of Limitations: 4 Years

When filing in Florida, you need to make sure that your claim is in before 4 years have passed since the date of the injury. In some cases, this can be extended, but normally only applies in situations where the injury was not immediately apparent. For example, if you were exposed to hazardous chemicals at work due to the negligence of your employer, you might develop cancer decades later.

When you are filing specifically for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you only have 2 years instead.

Comparative Negligence: Yes

When you are filing for damages, your compensation will be partially determined by exactly how responsible you were for the injury. This involves breaking down your involvement into a percentage relative to the responsibility of the party that you are suing. For instance, you might be found to be 20% responsible for an accident while the other party assumes the other 80%.

In that example, your damages would ultimately be reduced by 20% under comparative negligence laws. A lawsuit for $100,000 in compensation would result in you getting $80,000.

Unlike in states that follow a modified version of comparative negligence, your compensation will not drop to nothing if you are found to be more than 50% responsible.

Damage Caps: Punitive and Medical Malpractice

In the majority of cases in Florida, there are no caps on damages. Not all cases allow for punitive damages and very few cases fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice.

However, in the cases where punitive damages are permitted, they are capped at 3x compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.

Medical malpractice lawsuits limit the non-economic damages of a lawsuit to $500,000 in cases where you are suing a health care practitioner and $750,000 in cases where you are suing someone who is not a practitioner. To figure out the distinction between the two in regards to your case, in addition to other facets of your case, you will likely need to consult a lawyer. The specific nature of Florida's statutes on medical malpractice lawsuits makes it very difficult for the average plaintiff to determine how their suit should be filed on their own. To find out more, contact someone like Norris, Gary G. Attorney.