What Do You Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Case in Florida?

This post will focus on the different personal injury claims that a Plaintiff may bring against the parties responsible for their injuries in Florida, the elements for each of those claims, and other important considerations involved in proving a personal injury case.

Proving Negligence in a Florida Personal Injury Cases

To establish a prima facie case of negligence, the plaintiff must establish: (1) the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant breached the duty; (3) the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) as a result the plaintiff suffered damages. Negligence is conduct (the commission of an act or failure to act), without wrongful intent, that falls below the minimum degree of ordinary care imposed by law to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm. A prima facie case of negligence consists of four elements: i) Duty, the obligation to protect another against unreasonable risk of injury; ii) Breach, the failure to meet that obligation; iii) Causation, a close causal connection between the action and the injury; and iv) Damages, the loss suffered. To establish a prima facie case of negligence, the plaintiff must establish: (1) the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant breached the duty; (3) the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) as a result the plaintiff suffered damages. The plaintiff must establish all four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.

DUTY

A duty is the obligation to protect another against unreasonable risk of injury. A duty is of care is owed to all foreseeable persons who may foreseeably be injured by the defendant’s failure to act as a reasonable prudent person under the circumstances. In Florida, if the defendant conduct creates a foreseeable zone of danger, the defendant owes a duty of care to persons within that zone. It is not necessary for defendant to foresee the actual injury that occurs. A duty is breached when the defendant fails to meet such obligation.

BREACH

A breach of duty occurs when the defendant departs from the required standards of care, or under res ipsa loquitur. Res Ipsa Loquitor allows a plaintiff to recover on a negligence claim even if he failed to prove an element of negligence, if he can show that (1) the injury does not normally occur in the absence of negligence; (2) the defendant had exclusive control of the instrumentality or premises; and (3) that the injury was a result of any action on the part of plaintiff. If the plaintiff establishes all the elements, it will create an inference of negligence to the jury.

CAUSATION (Actual & Proximate)

There are 2 types of causation, which is a close causal connection between the action and the injury. The plaintiff must prove the defendant’s actions were both the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Damages to the plaintiff are the loss suffered. A duty is owed to all foreseeable plaintiffs. The plaintiff must show that but for the defendant’s breach (actual cause) the plaintiff would not have been injured, and the defendant’s actions were the proximate (or legal) cause of the injuries, and that such injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions. The plaintiff must prove the defendant’s breach of duty was a proximate cause of her harm. In Florida, the injury must be a foreseeable outcome, a prudent human must be able to expect that similar harm is likely to be substantially caused by the act or omission at issue. A plaintiff can recover when the defendant’s acts are the direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm. An indirect cause is a result from an act occurring after the defendant’s act but before plaintiff’s injury. A superseding cause is an intervening event that breaks the chain of proximate cause between the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff’s harm. In Florida, to be superseding, an intervening cause must not be foreseeable nor set in motion by the defendant’s negligence. Foreseeable intervening acts do not generally remove the liability from the defendant. Unforeseeable intervening acts, however, break the chain of causation and remove the liability from the defendant.

DAMAGES

In Florida, a plaintiff must prove actual harm, such as personal injury or property damage. A plaintiff who suffers economic loss can only recover if the plaintiff has proven non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. As for compensatory damages, a Defendant must compensate a plaintiff for all damages, including past, present, and prospective damages, as well as economic (medical expenses, etc.) and non-economic (pain and suffering). However, Plaintiff must take reasonable steps to mitigate their damages.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today!

A good lawyer must be able to foresee how the jury will view your case. Your attorney must be extremely knowledgeable of the true value of your case and be open to the possibility of bringing a bad faith claim against the defendant’s insurance company—as well as weigh many more factors in order to realistically inform a client whether their accident case is worth pursuing. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.

The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:

• Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

• T-Bone Car Accidents

• Road Rage Car Accidents

• Head-on Collisions

• Rollover Accidents

• Rear-end Car Accidents

• Left Turn Accidents

• Failure to Yield Car Accidents

• Sideswipe Accidents

• Merging Accidents

• Lane Change Accidents

• Construction Zone Car Accidents

• Truck Accidents

• Semi-Truck Accidents

• Bicycle Accidents

• Train Accidents

• Pedestrian Accidents

• Boating Accidents

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.