Best Personal Injury Lawyers Miami, FL Of 2024 – Forbes

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If you’ve experienced a personal injury in Miami, you may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Personal injury is a broad and complicated topic, but below are ideas to consider as you begin your legal journey.

Florida Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the deadline by which you have to file a lawsuit for your case. It can vary depending on the state and the type of case that’s being filed.

Ultimately, the statute of limitations is designed to protect defendants from unfair legal action; after too much time has passed, it can be difficult to gather key evidence or victim statements. Resolving the case in a reasonable time ensures the case can be interpreted as accurately as possible.

In Florida, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case recently changed from four years to two in negligence cases. For example, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on June 1st, 2023, you would have until June 1st, 2025 to file your case. The case does not need to be completed by that point, but the process must be started.

While the law changed from four to two years, if you were injured before the law went into place then you still have four years from the date of the incident. The new statute became effective on March 24th, 2023. Thus, for instance, if you were injured in an accident on March 20th, 2023, then you would have until March 20th, 2027 to file your claim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

While there are many different types of personal injury cases, from dog bites to medical malpractice and more, all fall into one of three categories.

  • Intentional Torts: A type of case where the individual intentionally hurt another person. For instance, this type of claim would include assault. The victim could choose to sue the defendant for compensation and could also pursue a criminal charge if they so choose.
  • Strict Liability Claims: In this situation, an individual is hurt as a direct result of someone’s actions or inaction. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because of a faulty steering wheel, you may have a strict liability claim against the manufacturer.
  • Accidental injuries: This type of claim applies to a defendant who was accidentally negligent or failed to follow their professional obligation. This can include medical malpractice claims or premise liability claims, like in slip-and-fall accidents.

Florida Laws for Personal Injury Cases

  • No-fault for minor car accidents: For minor car accidents, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that individuals each pay for their own damages or injuries from a car accident. Motorists must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance which must provide minimum coverage of $10,000. In more serious accidents that result in a death or permanent injury, Florida uses modified comparative negligence.
  • Use of modified comparative negligence: This law allows an individual to recover any amount of damages as long as they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident.
  • Strict liability for dog owners: In Florida, dog owners are almost always at fault in dog bite cases. Dog owners can be held liable regardless of the animal’s behavior as long as the victim was lawfully on the property where the bite took place. In some cases, if the victim was also negligent, it can reduce the owner’s liability.
  • Premise liability: In Florida, regardless of if an individual was invited, licensed (going onto a property for their own benefit) or a trespasser, the property owner still has some liability for the safety of the visitor. In most cases, a property owner has an obligation to keep their property in a safe condition and if a danger is present, they must warn anyone invited onto the premises.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

If you choose to use an attorney when filing your lawsuit, they will handle the vast majority of the proceedings and paperwork. Using a lawyer helps ensure that you are advocating for the most compensation possible and can make a positive outcome more likely.

If you decide to work with an attorney, they help you file the case, collect and determine necessary evidence and witness statements, mediate with the defense’s insurance and advocate for you in front of a jury or judge if necessary. While most cases settle outside of the courtroom, in situations where the plaintiff and defendant are unable to come to an agreement, it can be helpful to have an experienced litigator on your team.

While working with a lawyer may be easier, it’s entirely possible to file on your own. In general, lawyers take a contingency fee, meaning that you do not have to pay them unless they obtain a settlement or verdict. If they obtain an award, they will take a percentage as their fee, usually around 30%.

Choosing to file alone means that you keep the entire award if won. Filing by yourself can be a good option if you feel the case is straightforward or if you are willing to be heavily involved in the case. In more complicated situations, it can be wise to consult with an attorney to increase the chances of a positive outcome.

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