There are a number of legal technicalities that can affect a lawsuit, and an attorney who is experienced with personal injury laws is able to ensure that client rights are protected. Since a case in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach may be affected by such technicalities, an experienced attorney can take steps to assure that your case will proceed appropriately.
Staying Within the Statute of Limitations
Filing a lawsuit is limited by the statute of limitations that pertains to that particular type of case. For example, a lawsuit against a business or individual in a personal injury case has four years from the date of that injury to file in civil court under Florida Statutes. The opportunity to file after that date may be possible in certain circumstances where the victim does not know that an injury occurred until a later date. In this instance, the time limit may be extended. Otherwise, an individual who does not file by this deadline will in all likelihood not have the case heard by the court. Experienced personal injury attorneys can make sure the case is filed in a timely manner meeting the requirements of the statute of limitations.
Filing for Damages
In personal injury cases, damages may be economic or non-economic. Economic damages can include medical expenses, lost wages or property damage as a result of another individual’s negligence. Noneconomic damages are intangible damages such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. Knowing how to calculate non-economic damages is vital to getting the compensation a client deserves.
Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in a case because a special set of circumstances must be present in order to ask for such damages. Punitive damages can be claimed if gross negligence or intentional misconduct was involved. Intentional misconduct means that the negligent person must have known that his or her actions could result in damage or injury, but proceeded with that conduct. Gross negligence encompasses reckless actions with a disregard for the safety, rights or lives of other individuals.
Mental anguish is the result of physical impairment and mental distress experienced by an individual following a traumatic event, such as a motor vehicle accident. As a result of this trauma, the individual might experience physical and mental problems that hamper his or her daily life. Certain individuals or organizations cannot file for mental anguish unless they also qualify to file for noneconomic damage. This is a complex area that an attorney can explain.
Pain and Suffering
The legal definition of pain and suffering can include physical or mental damage. Physical pain and suffering may include trauma and pain from the accident but also that which occurs during the process of recovery. Mental pain and suffering can include feelings of embarrassment, fear, depression and anger along with emotions that keep a victim from enjoying his or her life. In addition, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may result from an injury.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is not claimed by the injured individual but by the spouse of that individual. A surviving spouse and family members can claim loss of companionship and society if it meets certain criteria. The criteria include whether the couple was living together, the impact the death of that person has on the surviving family members and whether the relationship between the deceased and family was harmonious and loving.
According to Florida law, the injured victim has to prove that he or she meets the legal criteria to be awarded damages. This proof must include permanent or major loss of a body function deemed important, significant disfigurement or scarring deemed permanent, a permanent injury, or have died as a result of the injury. The language of the law is complex, and an attorney with experience in this area can be extremely helpful.
Contact Personal Injury Attorneys
Involvement in an accident can be a traumatic time, filled with apprehension and concern about injuries or the death of a loved one, what the future will bring and the financial consequences. The law office of Kaiser-Romanello has experienced personal injury attorneys who can answer your questions and review your accident to determine fault. Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you may be able to recover damages. Contact us to speak to an attorney about your case.