When you are injured in an accident in Fort Lauderdale because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through filing an accident claim in Fort Lauderdale Florida
Depending on the nature of your accident and the type of injuries you’ve sustained, filing a Florida accident claim can be confusing and stressful. Knowing what to expect from this process can help alleviate the concerns you might have about exploring your legal options.
Time Limits on Filing an Accident Claim in Fort Lauderdale Florida
One of the most important aspects of Florida personal injury law that accident victims should know is that there is a limit on the amount of time you have in which to file a claim in civil court. This limit is known as the statute of limitations, and every state has one.
In Florida, the time limit for filing personal injury claims is two years from the day the accident occurs. If you don’t file before this time expires, then you lose the ability to seek the damages you’re entitled to. Medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations of two years from the incident or the date the malpractice was discovered. Also, if the accident causes an injury that isn’t discovered until later, the statute of limitations may be extended in rare cases.
The statute of limitations is also different when the negligent party is a city, county or state government. When this is the case, the time limit in which to file a claim is three years under Florida law.
Proving an Accident Claim in Florida
The key to a successful Florida injury claim is early investigation and preservation of evidence. In a personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. This means the accident victim must demonstrate that the parties being sued are guilty of the action that cause the injuries.
In order to accomplish this, a thorough investigation must be conducted. Evidence that should be collected includes:
- The accident victim’s medical records
- Police reports from the accident
- Photographs from the accident
- Photographs of the injuries
- Insurance documentation
- Documentation of lost income stemming from the accident
In addition to this evidence, expert testimony may be needed. If there are witnesses to the accident, they may be called to testify as well.
The Cost of Legal Help
Many accident victims are afraid of getting legal assistance because they believe it’s not in their budget. Before deciding you can’t afford an attorney, it’s important to understand that getting experienced legal assistance does not have to break the bank.
Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Lisa S. Levine, P.A., offers accident victims a free consultation in which to discuss a potential claim. After this initial meeting, we work with clients on a contingency basis. That means that you pay no fees until we have obtained compensation for you from the negligent party.
Frequently Asked Questions About Accident Claims in Florida
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
There are many best practices after a car accident; some to keep you safe, and some to make sure your legal rights are protected. Here is a partial list:
• Stop at the scene. Never leave the scene of an accident.
• Move out of traffic, and turn on your hazard lights
• Call the Police
• Gather info from the other driver, like their name, number, and insurance info
• Gather evidence, like exactly what you remember of the accident, pictures of the scene and vehicles, and contact info from witnesses
• See a Doctor
• Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney
What is Comparative Negligence?
When someone gets injured in an accident that was the cause of negligence by one of the parties, Florida law gives the injured person the right to seek compensation for the damages.
In some accidents though, especially those involving motor vehicles, it is possible that both parties share some of the blame for an accident. When this happens, a judge or jury will have to apply comparative negligence, and decide what percentage each party’s negligence contributed to the accident. A party that is found to be more than 50% responsible will not be able to recover damages.
Should I Post About my Accident on Social Media?
The short answer here is no. We all know nowadays that social media is not a private place. And discussing your case with anyone other than your lawyer is not advisable.
But, to take this a step further, we recommend that you set all of your social media accounts to the highest level of privacy, and do not accept any requests from new people. Ask your friends not to post about you or your accident.
Insurance companies and opposing legal teams have been known to go to great lengths to try and prove that you aren’t really as injured as you say you are.
Choosing a Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyer
Injury victims may also be unsure of how to choose an attorney. Not knowing what to look for can result in choosing a lawyer who lacks the skills and experience necessary to bring the case to a successful resolution.
Personal injury law requires a very different set of skills, knowledge and experience than other types of law. Understanding the complexities of insurance claims, being able to identify the proper parties to file claims against, knowing how to evaluate the evidence, and being able to utilize expert witnesses are necessary skills to look for when choosing an accident attorney.
Some accidents and injuries lead to more complex claims than others. Injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, amputations and severe burns can have a much deeper impact on the victim’s life.
Not only is the medical treatment more extensive, but the effects of these injuries may be felt in every aspect of life for years and years to come. In these cases, you’ll need an attorney who understands not only the laws, but also the complexity of the injuries and how fight for your long-term needs.
Lisa S. Levine has been working for personal injury victims in Florida for more than 35 years. If you were injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, get the legal help you deserve. Contact us today at (954) 256-1820 or send us an online message to schedule a free consultation on your case with a well-qualified Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney.