Imagine you’re driving to work, then out of nowhere, another driver crashes into your car. It’s shocking and often painful, but the last thing on your mind is, “What did I do to cause this?” Figuring out which driver was at fault isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary to determine if you’re eligible for damages compensation. Florida recently made significant tort reform that could impact your personal injury claim. Once you learn what’s potentially at stake, it may influence the way you travel.
Comparative Negligence Explainer
Florida civil liability laws adhere to the concept of comparative negligence. This means that in personal injury claims, each party’s compensation is impacted by their involvement in causing the crash. For example, if you get into an accident and it’s determined that you are partially at fault–say 30%–your total compensation will be reduced by 30%. This number is subject to change depending on the circumstances and after an investigation.
People need lawyers for just about everything, but after tort reform, calling a lawyer after a car accident is going to be even more important. The recent changes have modified comparative negligence when determining who gets compensation. If someone is found more than 50% at fault for the accident, they don’t have the right to seek compensation. You can expect the other people involved in the accident to start working hard to make sure they gather enough evidence and prove they’re less than 50% at fault. Don’t worry, though–you’ve got That Lawyer in your corner!
Revised Statute of Limitations
If you’ve been injured in an accident in the past and you’re still on the fence about filing a personal injury claim, you may want to consider taking action. Fast. Tort reform also changed the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. We used to have up to four years to file certain personal injury claims. Now, we only have two. It is always important to call your lawyer after an accident as soon as possible, but with an even smaller window of time, you have to get to work much more quickly to protect your rights.
Changes to Compensation
There are certain thresholds that people have to meet when seeking compensation for non-economic damages. These damages include factors like pain and suffering, emotional distress, lowered quality of life, etc. The threshold usually requires “significant” circumstances like disfigurement, permanent injury, scarring, or disability. This requirement was designed to limit claims related to non-economic damages, particularly in cases that involve more severe injuries. From a practical standpoint, non-economic damages are pretty subjective. Even if you’re concerned that your claim won’t be considered, it’s still worth discussing all possible options.
The recent reform also updated the total amount of compensation people can receive for non-economic damages. The majority of claims are capped at $500,000. However, the cap for cases involving catastrophic loss or wrongful death has been increased to $1 million. It’s impossible to quantify the suffering you’ve experienced as a result of an accident, but the caps can give us more realistic expectations regarding the total possible compensation.
Taking Back Control
It can’t be overstated that injuries caused by someone’s negligence can completely alter your life. A traumatic event can physically, emotionally, and mentally change the way you view the world and how you move within it. Some people can return to life normally as soon as the situation has been de-escalated. For others, it’s sadly not that simple.
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you have a right to seek compensation. Even if insurance companies or the other party claims that you’re at fault, we have the power to take control of the narrative and get results. Start your journey toward justice by contacting The Law Office of Ashley M. Armstrong, PLLC, at (850) 977-3229.
The Law Office of Attorney Ashley M. Armstrong, PLLC
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