Personal Injury Cases and Florida Law

Tue, Aug 21, 2012

Personal Injury

Personal injury cases often bring to mind various scenarios like being scalded by coffee, slip-and-falls in stores, and grievous injuries brought on by careless employees. However, there are many situations that might leave people wondering, “Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?”

Sometimes slander and libel, especially that which damages someone’s reputation, can be considered personal injury as well. But that is not the type of case we will be considering in this blog post—we will cover that in another post.

Personal injury cases can be lengthy, costly, and quite complicated. They are best handled by qualified attorneys who can advise you of your rights and whether or not your case will have a chance of being won. A blog post cannot reveal that to you. However, SmithLaw endeavors to help explain personal injury cases a little more to those who are wondering about their scope.

What is a personal injury case? The Oxford Dictionary defines personal injury as: “physical injury inflicted on a person’s body, as opposed to damage to property or reputation.” (In legal terms though, personal injury can sometimes extend to something other than one’s person.)

How can a personal injury happen? A personal injury could result from product malfunction, negligence on the part of another, medical malpractice, from unsafe conditions, accidents, etc. There is a broad range of ways you can be injured.

Where can a personal injury happen? A personal injury case could happen almost anywhere. Some common places are homes, malls, stores, parking lots, hospitals, stables, cars, etc. There is nowhere that could be easily ruled out.

What type of proof is needed for a personal injury case? This varies from case to case. But you will need evidence of injury and the extent of that injury, as well as some type of proof indicating who is at fault for your injury. Pictures, witness statements, descriptions, diagrams, medical documentation, etc. are all helpful.

What might be the outcome of a successful personal injury case? If negligence is found on the part of the person who inflicted or caused your personal injury, that person (or business) might be required to pay compensatory and/or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are awarded to help compensate the injured party to help pay for medical bills or similar types of expenses. Punitive damages are monetary awards that go beyond compensatory damages. They are considered punitive because they are meant to send a message to the wrongdoer and/or to “punish” them for their wrongdoing. The idea is that next time they will try harder to prevent an injury from occurring.

What is Florida’s stance on personal injury cases? Florida law covers personal injury cases in a few different places. The majority of the statutes covering personal injury can be found in Chapters 766-774, in the Torts section. Personal injury laws relating to vehicular accidents are also found in chapters 627.

Why are personal injury cases so controversial? Personal injury cases have gotten a bit of a bad reputation from some outlandish cases that resulted in large payouts. It is hard to say what makes a valid personal injury case. There are always individuals who will try to thwart the system to make some cash. However, most personal injury cases are valid and caused huge inconveniences and financial loss to good people. Those truly injured should be compensated.

SmithLaw also has an article on our blog about wrongful death, a specific type of personal injury.  Medical malpractice is also examined more in-depth on our blog. We hope that these posts help educate you more about personal injury and Florida’s laws regarding them.

Image: Some rights reserved by rysac1

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