To prove negligence in Florida, you must establish four basic elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Read on to learn more about building a case based on negligence and how you can recover personal injury compensation from a liable party.
What Is Negligence?
The Legal Information Institute (LII) defines negligence as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” When someone acts (or fails to act) reasonably and their behavior harms others, they are negligent and can be held legally liable for the resulting damages.
You may have a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit based on negligence if someone else’s reckless, careless, or wrongful behavior caused an accident or injury that resulted in financial losses and pain and suffering for you or your loved one.
Our firm’s lawyer can assist you with proving negligence in Florida. We help with many types of personal injury cases, including by not limited to the following:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Workplace injuries
- Wrongful death
To consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
Establishing the Four Elements of Negligence
To prove negligence in Florida, you must establish the following:
- Duty of care. You must show the at-fault party had a legal obligation to avoid causing you injury. For example, all drivers owe others a duty of care when behind the wheel. This means motorists must drive carefully, obey traffic laws, and not engage in wrongful behaviors.
- Breach of duty. You must prove a liable party’s actions breached the duty of care. Continuing with the example of an auto accident, a breach may include failing to stop at a red light, driving above the speed limit, driving while intoxicated, or disobeying any of Florida’s rules of the road.
- Causation. You must demonstrate a link between the at-fault party’s actions and your injuries. A car accident case may require proving a driver ran a red light, causing them to broadside your vehicle, which resulted in a broken leg and a concussion.
- Damages. You must show your injury led to financial damages and pain and suffering.
What Evidence Will You Need to Build Your Case?
There will be evidence specific to your case and the type of accident you suffered. However, common pieces of evidence used to prove negligence in Florida can include:
- Police reports
- Official accident or injury reports (from your job or a place of business)
- Medical records
- Photographs of your injuries
- Surveillance footage
- Photographs of vehicle or personal property damages sustained during your accident
- Physical data, accident debris, or photographs of the accident site
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Bills, receipts, pay records, and other proof of your losses
You Can Seek Compensation for Damages Caused by Negligence
If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for the resulting losses. You can seek compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses. You can recover the cost of current and future medical bills related to your personal injury. Medical compensation may include ambulance transportation, emergency treatment, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medical procedures, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and long-term care services.
- Lost income. You can recover your back pay and lost benefits, bonuses, tips, and other earnings. If you suffered a permanent or disabling injury and can no longer work or perform the same job in the same capacity, you can seek compensation for your lost earning capabilities.
- Property damage. You can pursue the cost of repairing or replacing personal property damaged during your accident, including vehicles, electronics, and jewelry.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages compensate for intangible losses caused by physical and chronic pain, loss of mobility, scarring, disfigurement, mental and emotional distress, and other quality-of-life reductions.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one suffered a fatal injury, their personal representative (executor) can take action to recover damages on behalf of their estate and surviving beneficiaries. Wrongful death compensation could include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income (including earnings the deceased would have received had they lived), loss of the deceased’s support, services, and companionship, and survivors’ mental pain and suffering.
You Have a Limited Time to Take Action
According to HB837/SB236, you have two years from your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Florida Statutes § 95.11 allows two years to sue for wrongful death, starting at the time of your loved one’s passing.
If you do not take legal action within the statute of limitations, the court will likely refuse your case, even if you have solid proof of negligence. In addition, waiting until the deadline expires will reduce your insurance bargaining power. You could end up with a reduced or denied claim and no further options for seeking damages.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Prove Negligence in Florida?
You do not have to hire an attorney to pursue your insurance claim or lawsuit. However, working with our legal team can provide you with a legal ally backed by our firm’s 40-plus years of experience. We can use our extensive personal injury knowledge to build a robust case proving negligence and establishing your right to compensation.
We will focus on the details of your case so you can focus on your health and family. We can:
- Complete and file your insurance claims or lawsuits and all case-related paperwork
- Handle phone calls, emails, and meetings with insurance agents, opposing counsel, and other involved parties
- Collect evidence supporting your losses
- Identify and assessing the value of your damages
- Negotiate for the maximum possible settlement
- Represent you at trial if necessary
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Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for Help With Your Personal Injury Case
If you have a case based on negligence, Bogin, Munns & Munns can fight for you. We will work tirelessly to recover your losses and hold at-fault parties accountable. We offer free consultations and take cases on contingency. Contact us today to connect with a Florida lawyer near you.