Statute of Limitations
The time limit for filing a lawsuit or other civil action is called the “statute of limitations.” Every state carries its own statute of limitations laws, so it’s important to consult with an attorney in your respective state. Florida’s limitations period varies from two to four years, depending on the type of case, and it can also vary depending on the type of personal injury. The clock starts ticking at the time of the incident in question, or in some instances, with the discovery of the wrong.
Under Florida’s statues of limitations for basic automobile personal injury actions, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time frame, the court will likely say that you have waived your right to pursue the claim. In some instances, you may not have discovered the harm for a period that extends beyond the applicable statute, in which case, the filing window may be extended to allow you to make a claim. It is important to act quickly if you believe you have a viable claim and consult with an attorney.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law
Depending on the type of accident, the person that you hold liable for your injuries may seek to hold you comparatively negligent for some or all of your damages. Florida utilizes the “pure comparative negligence rule” when analyzing these scenarios. Under this rule, the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive as a result of an accident will be reduced according to your applicable percentage of fault for the very same accident. Therefore, if you were 20% at fault, the tortfeasor will only be obligated to pay for the other 80% of damages incurred.
Contribution among Tortfeasors
In Florida, when more than one person is responsible for damages to another, all must contribute to the damages even if there isn’t a judgment associated with each liable party. The defendant can seek contribution from other tortfeasors if he feels one tortfeasor has paid more than his fair share of the liability.
Caps on Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The Florida Legislature enacted certain types of statutory caps to limit a person’s recovery in certain types of cases. These laws focus on limiting recovery for “non-economic damages,” which include “pain and suffering.” One important cap to note is made on punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to penalize a wrongdoer for acting in a way that was particularly dangerous or reprehensible to the average person (i.e. drunk driving). Florida limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
If you or a loved one have been hurt, and fall within the allowed timeframe to report your case, please contact Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA. Don’t fight the insurance company and the medical bills alone. Call (855) LAW-DENNIS or visit www.dennishernandez.com for more information.