What is the Personal Injury Claims Process in Florida?

March 15, 2023

Taking on the complexities of the legal system while you’re dealing with recovering from an injury can be daunting, but this is also when you may be most in need of recovering the financial damages you’ve suffered so you can focus on healing with fewer financial worries. A personal injury lawyer can bear the brunt of navigating Florida’s personal injury law, and represent your best interests through every step of the process. Before you make a claim, it’s important to have a good understanding of Florida’s process for personal injury claims.

When is an Injury Actionable Under a Personal Injury Claim?

When a preventable accident occurs due to the actions or inaction of someone else, you can file a personal injury claim to recover economic and non-economic damages. Personal injury claims in Florida commonly stem from the following:

  • Car accidents in which damages exceed the injury victim’s own insurance policy limits
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice injuries
  • Slip and fall injuries and other premises accidents
  • Defective product injuries
  • Workplace injuries not covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Dog bite injuries

When your injury causes medical bills to pile up at the same time you may be missing work to recover, you deserve compensation if someone else was at fault in the injury. A personal injury attorney can advocate for you by proving liability in your claim.

Proving Liability for a Florida Personal Injury Claim

When another party’s actions or negligence led to your injury, proving their liability is a necessary first step in the claims process. Meeting the legal terms of liability requires proving the following:

  • That the party at fault owed a duty of care to keep you and others safe, such as a driver’s duty to avoid distractions and follow traffic laws or a dog owner’s duty to secure a vicious dog so it cannot cause harm
  • That the at-fault party breached this duty by acting negligently, recklessly, or with purposeful wrongdoing
  • That the breach of reasonable care caused the accident
  • That your injury directly resulted from the accident
  • That you’ve suffered damages such as medical expenses, lost pay, and pain and suffering from the injury.

In Florida, car accident victims must file claims with their own insurance company regardless of fault and cannot gain compensation for pain and suffering unless it meets the state’s threshold for extreme injuries.

Stages of the Claims Process in Florida Personal Injuries

Once your lawyer has investigated the accident, identified the liable party, and gathered evidence to show liability—by reviewing any video or photos, the accident report, and testimony of eyewitnesses and expert witnesses—the next steps in the process move forward:

  • Notifying the liable party (defendant)
  • Drafting a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company detailing their client’s liability in the accident
  • Negotiating with insurance representatives for an ample, out-of-court settlement recovering all of your damages including compensation for your pain and suffering
  • Filing a complaint and summons to appear in court if the insurance company won’t provide an adequate settlement
  • Engaging in “discovery” with an exchange of all relevant information between the plaintiff and defendant, and sometimes filing for relief of unnecessary discovery demands or other motions
  • The trial proceeds with both sides presenting evidence to a jury or judge.

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court, especially with the help of a seasoned lawyer with an evidence-backed demand letter and strong negotiating skills; however, a diligent Coral Springs personal injury attorney will pursue your best interests all the way to a trial and court award if required.

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