Injuries are a common part of life, but sometimes a person’s injuries are caused through no fault of their own but on account of another person. Personal injury victims are rarely prepared to suffer a devastating injury but deserve compensation from the person responsible.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit after being injured is often a complex process with many critical steps. However, our Miami personal injury lawyers have represented clients for years in various personal injury claims. Different legal strategies must be adapted for your personal injury case, which typically requires a great deal of evidence to prove your lawsuit successfully.
If you suffered a personal injury, our Miami personal injury lawyers can fight to recover compensation for the harm you have endured. Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., at (954) 751-4258 for a free review of your case.
Common Causes of Personal Injuries in Miami
There is, unfortunately, no shortage of ways someone can cause a personal injury in Miami. Most personal injuries are the result of negligence and were not intended. However, some injuries are caused on purpose. Regardless of the state of mind of the person that injured them, victims deserve to be compensated if they suffer damages at the hands of another person.
Fortunately, our Miami personal injury lawyers have years of experience recovering compensation for clients in numerous types of personal injury lawsuits. The following are the common causes of personal injuries that our firm can help you with:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Bus accidents
- Cruise ship injuries
- Taxi and passenger van accidents
- Wrongful death accidents
- ATV accidents
While personal injury cases share some similarities, each one is unique. The success of a particular lawsuit can turn on a single fact specific to the circumstances of the case. Thus, it is vital to investigate each personal injury claim on its own merits so that the proper legal strategies are employed.
Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Miami
The time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is known as the statute of limitations. The amount of time you have will depend on the type of personal injury case you are filing. For negligence lawsuits, Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3) provides victims four years to file a lawsuit in Miami against the responsible person. For instance, lawsuits for car accidents and slip and fall accidents can typically be filed within four years from the date of the accident.
However, you will have less time if your lawsuit is for damages stemming from an intentional act, like assault and battery. Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4), lawsuits for intentional acts, medical malpractice, and wrongful death must be filed two years from the date when the injuries occurred or when discovered. Our Miami personal injury lawyers can review your case to ensure that the statute of limitations is identified and your lawsuit filed on time.
Steps to File a Miami Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are numerous steps to filing a lawsuit, each one of which is critical to successfully recovering compensation for your injuries. Most people know that certain documents need to be filed with the court but might not be aware of all the work necessary to be ready to file. Our Miami personal injury lawyers can help you gather evidence on your case and ensure your lawsuit is filed properly in the correct court.
Drafting Your Complaint
A personal injury lawsuit begins with an interview to review your case and begin drafting the complaint that will be filed in your Miami personal injury lawsuit. Complaints are important legal documents explaining the reasons for filing a lawsuit, the person who caused the injuries, and the legal theories under which compensation is sought.
Complaints should also include important details about your injuries and their impact on your life since the accident. To show this, several important pieces of evidence will need to be submitted with your complaint, including medical records, pay statements, property damage estimates, and any other relevant documents that prove the claims contained in the complaint.
Filing with the Court
Once the complaint is drafted, it must be filed in the correct court with jurisdiction over the personal injury case. This is typically in the same city or county where the accident occurred, but it also can usually be filed in the jurisdiction the defendant lives or does business. For instance, if you were injured by a driver in a Miami car accident, it is likely that the other driver also lives in Miami so that the complaint can be filed conveniently in your home city. However, if you are suing a defendant that does not reside in Miami but does business here, like an insurance company, a lawsuit can still be filed against them in a Miami court.
It is vital to ensure that your lawsuit is filed with the proper court. Plaintiffs are responsible for filing their complaints with the court that has jurisdiction to hear their case. If the court determines that it does not have jurisdiction or the defense files a motion to dismiss the case for filing in an improper venue, your case will be rejected, and you will need to start the filing process over from the beginning.
Serve Notice on the Defendant
Lastly, you are required to serve notice on the defendant you are pursuing compensation from. Defendants have the right to be notified of legal actions being taken against them so that they know when court proceedings are scheduled to take place and have the appropriate time to prepare a defense.
Serving notice is done in the spirit of fairness and cannot be overlooked. If a plaintiff fails to serve notice on the party they are suing, their case will likely be dismissed, and their lawsuit will need to be refiled. Our Miami personal injury lawyers can help you with every step of the litigation process to ensure that your lawsuit is filed and served correctly.
Types of Personal Injury Claims that Can Be Filed in Miami
Determining what type of personal injury lawsuit to file depends on the circumstances of each case. In personal injury law, a person can generally be held liable for injuries caused by an act of negligence or if they caused another person’s injuries intentionally. The two kinds of claims are quite different from each other and require very different legal strategies to litigate successfully.
If someone is injured because of another person’s negligence, they can be held liable for the injuries their carelessness caused. To recover compensation in a personal injury case based on negligence, four distinct elements must be established: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
You must first show that the defendant owed you a legal duty of care when they injured you. If they negligently cause an accident, they have breached their duty of care, the second element you must establish. The breach of duty is the actual act or inaction that led to the accident.
Causation is arguably the most challenging aspect of any personal injury case. Once you have shown the first two elements, you will need to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries. Essentially, you must show that you would not have been injured but for the other person’s negligence.
Lastly, you must prove you suffered actual damages. Hypothetical damages and hurt feelings are not enough. You will need to provide evidence that you have sustained some real damage. This can typically be done by submitting medical expenses, records of lost wages, and any other expenses associated with treating your injuries.
Most personal injury cases are filed after someone is negligently injured. Car accidents, slip and falls, and injuries on a cruise ship are just a few of the reasons that a lawsuit will need to be filed. Our Miami personal injury lawyers can review your case to determine if the elements of negligence are met.
Intentional Acts Lawsuits
While not as common as negligence lawsuits, personal injury cases based on an intentional act can also be filed to recover compensation. Also known as intentional torts, these lawsuits are often filed after a victim has been assaulted or attacked by another person. Put simply, a person can be held liable if they hurt you on purpose. In most cases, criminal charges will usually be filed for the conduct you can later sue for.
Having a defendant go through criminal proceedings before filing a civil lawsuit is a good strategy to help prove your case later. If the person is convicted for the intentional act you are suing for, the verdict or guilty plea can be used in your personal injury lawsuit. However, it is often not a choice since criminal proceedings have priority over a civil case involving the same matter. Our Miami personal injury lawyers can help you build your civil lawsuit while the party responsible for your injuries is being prosecuted.
Evidence Used to Prove a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Miami
To prove the truth of your claims in a Miami personal injury lawsuit, sufficient evidence must be provided to show that your injuries were caused in the manner you describe. Evidence can come from several sources and can be complicated to organize so that an accurate picture of your accident is made.
Physical Evidence from the Scene
Physical evidence from the scene of your accident can be incredibly useful in your personal injury lawsuit. Physical evidence could include damaged vehicles, personal items, clothes, and anything else that can be held up in front of a jury to illustrate the damage you sustained. If you have scarring or disfigurement as a result of your accident, this could also serve as physical evidence of how your injuries occurred.
Photos of the Scene and Injuries
Photographs of your accident can greatly increase your chances of later recovering compensation in a lawsuit. Taking photos of the scene of your accident and the injuries you sustained could also be immensely helpful if you decide to pursue compensation through the insurance claims process.
Most people have cameras with recording capabilities on their phones now, making it easier than ever to preserve evidence of the circumstances of your case. For instance, you can take pictures and videos of how the location appeared at the time of the accident, any witnesses you spoke with, important details about the defendant, and your injuries could all be used to build the strongest case possible.
Records and Reports
Records and reports are often the backbone of a victim’s personal injury lawsuit. For example, your medical records, bills, and employment records can all be used to calculate and prove the value of the damages you should be awarded in court. Our firm can also ensure that a medical expert testifies or provides a report as to what is in your medical records and how the accident likely caused your injuries.
If a case involves the police, there could be a police report containing important details that will be useful in locating various parties and additional evidence. If, for some reason, the defendant in your case is unknown or you are unsure where to serve them notice of a lawsuit, a police report might have the information you need or lead to where it can be found.
While it can be difficult to procure, witness testimony can go a long way in proving a plaintiff’s personal injury case. A witness testifying to the same events that you claim can likely persuade a court more easily than when it is one party’s word versus the other. Even better if multiple witnesses with knowledge of the case can back up your claims.
However, tracking down witnesses and getting them to arrive at court proceedings can be notoriously difficult. Fortunately, our Miami personal injury lawyers can reach out to witnesses on your behalf and help ensure they provide their testimony for your case.
Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured because of another person’s negligence or intentional conduct, you can speak to our Miami personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., for help getting the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, call us today at (954) 751-4258.