Many things need to be figured out when you are involved in an accident resulting in a personal injury. Between deciphering Florida law and dealing with the pain from your physical injuries, you may be overwhelmed and wondering whether you should seek a lawyer to pursue your claim.
Calculating the impact of possible medical expenses, repairing or replacing damaged property, recovering lost wages, and more can be a lot to take on without the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Additionally, contacting skilled legal representation as early as possible can help you determine when you should or should not pursue a personal injury case.
When deciding if you should pursue your personal injury case, you should consider the type of accident you experienced. Different circumstances have different rules and requirements for taking legal action. Take car accidents, for example. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that each individual’s car insurance will pay for his or her injuries, regardless of who is at fault for the collision.
In most situations, the injured person cannot file a civil claim against the responsible party. The exception to this is in the case of serious injuries, defined by Florida law to include permanent injuries, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, significant and permanent loss of bodily function, or death.
In all other cases, you should consider the fault of the accident itself. The injured party holds the burden of proof in court, which means you must establish liability to recover any damages. If you hold any responsibility for the actions that led to your injuries, the court may assign you a percentage of the blame.
Typically, the court will reduce your total award amount by your corresponding amount of liability. If you are 90 percent to blame for your injuries, your compensation amount would also be reduced by 90 percent. Depending on how much the total monetary award is, and how extensive your losses are, this could impact whether filing a personal injury case makes sense.
Another factor to consider is how long it has been since your accident and injuries occurred. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years in most instances but could be as little as two years in specific circumstances, including wrongful death and medical negligence. If the statute of limitations has passed, with rare exceptions, you can no longer file your claim. Other important considerations include the extent and severity of your injuries, where the accident occurred, whether you were a minor at the time of the event, and more.
Many circumstances may impede your ability to pursue compensation after an accident. When you are unsure whether you should or should not pursue a personal injury case, reach out to Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law. Our experienced team can provide you with comprehensive guidance regarding your legal options during a free consultation.