After a personal injury, there are a great number of expenses you could face. Recovering the money you need from the responsible party can be critical when attempting to put your life back together after an accident. However, before pursuing compensation, you must determine who is liable for your damages.
At Fasig | Brooks, we have a long history of helping accident victims recover the money they need and deserve after an injury. We can help you identify who is liable for your damages and gather evidence supporting your claim. Contact us today by phone or through the contact form on this site to get started with a free case evaluation.
Determining Who Is Liable for Your Damages
Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must determine who you will be filing your lawsuit against. Determining who is at fault for your accident will be straightforward if you’re lucky. In many cases, establishing liability becomes difficult.
Determining fault is made more confusing by the possibility of parties not present at the time of your accident potentially holding a level of liability for your damages. For example, the trucking company or manufacturer could be responsible for your injuries if you are injured in a truck accident.
Alternatively, the manufacturer or distributor could be liable if a defective product hurts you. Fortunately, you can get help proving liability after an injury. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they will immediately investigate your case to determine liability and collect evidence to support your claim.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
Florida uses a pure comparative negligence law. In states that use comparative negligence laws, accident victims can potentially collect compensation even if they were partially at fault for the accident that led to their damages. Many states employ a comparative negligence rule that allows accident victims to recover compensation as long as their level of fault is below 50%.
However, under Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule, a victim can pursue compensation if they are less than 100% at fault. When filing a lawsuit, your level of fault directly correlates to the percentage of the compensation you will receive. For example, if you were 60% at fault, you would be eligible to recover 40% of the full value of your claim.
File Your Lawsuit on Time
In Florida, personal injury victims typically have four years to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. You may lose your right to pursue compensation if you don’t submit your lawsuit to the court within this period.
However, you need to understand that there are many exceptions to the statute of limitations. Depending on the specific details of your case, you could find that an exception applies to your case that allows you to file a lawsuit, even if the standard four-year period has already passed.
Alternatively, you could find that an exception puts additional limitations on your ability to sue the at-fault party. Rather than having years to file a lawsuit, you may be limited to months. The best way to ensure that your lawsuit gets filed on time and that your right to pursue compensation is protected is by hiring an experienced attorney from Fasig | Brooks shortly after your accident.
Damages You Can Claim in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Following a personal injury, there are a variety of damages you may be able to claim if you sue the liable party. The particular damages that apply to your case will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your accident. Damages are generally divided into three main categories.
Economic damages refer to any losses you suffered that were financial in nature. Common economic damages you can pursue in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning ability
- Property damage
- Necessary modifications to your home or vehicle
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
Non-economic damages are all of the other losses you incur. Common non-economic damages you can pursue in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disability
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Lowered quality of life
Punitive damages are not awarded to replace the victim’s losses. Instead, punitive damages are used to punish the person who caused the accident. The awarding of punitive damages is limited to a small percentage of personal injury lawsuit cases.
For your case to qualify for punitive damages, the party liable for your damages must have acted in a manner deemed criminally negligent or with the express intent of causing harm.
Reach Out to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Fasig | Brooks, we can help you figure out whom to sue after a personal injury accident. We have helped countless accident victims recover the money they need from the liable party.
Contact us today by phone or by filling out the online contact form on this website. You can schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from our experienced team.