Legally Speaking, What is Accident Law?
Accident law is the practice of law that protects those who sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligence. Occasionally, actions with the sole intent to cause harm to another fall under the umbrella of Personal Injury Law. These would be cases that receive Punitive Damages. Negligence, recklessness, and their consequences are a threat to public safety. These acts can even cause wrongful death.
Personal Injury law’s definition is the following:
“[…]physical injury inflicted on a person’s body, as opposed to damage to property or reputation.”
Following an accident or wrongful death, it’s important for an accident victim to consult with a law firm.
In the spirit of such necessity, this article will cover:
- What is the legal definition of “accident law”?
- When must a Personal Injury case proceed to trial?
- Trial or Mediation?
- What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida?
What is the legal definition of “accident law”?
A “Personal Injury” case arises when one sustains injuries or a wrongful death occurs. In cases of wrongful death, taking legal action falls upon the victim’s family. Accident law applies when an accident is not the fault of the victim. When a victim sustains injuries in a slip and fall accident or sustains a TBI, the person at-fault is “liable”.
When a fatality results due to an act of negligence or recklessness, this is a “wrongful death”. Wrongful death cases often proceed to trial to properly compensate a victim’s surviving family.
When must a Personal Injury case proceed to trial?
Accidents with injuries can become “lawsuits” after consulting a Personal Injury law firm. Depending on the facts of the case, some cases settle during mediation. Settlements can be for policy limits, or enough to properly compensate the victim. If the amount is insufficient to provide justice, the case goes to trial. Settlements result from Mediation, while Verdicts result from trial.
Under normal circumstances, a settlement offer is made before trial is on the table. A mediation can, in certain cases, save time and money for all parties. Mediation is preferable whenever this method of Alternative Dispute Resolution is beneficial to the client. A great Personal Injury lawyer (Board Certification) prepares any twist and turn a case can take.
Trial or Mediation?
What is the difference between trial and mediation?
- Trial. A criminal case is initiated by the government (either at a state or federal level). A Formal Personal Injury claim is generally initiated when one person retains a Personal Injury lawyer. The lawyer files a civil “action” against another individual. These civil actions/complaints formally allege recklessness or negligence resulting in injury or death.
- Mediation. When it comes down to the wire, many Personal Injury cases reach a resolution during Mediation. This happens when a settlement offer is sufficient to provide both quality of life and lost wages indefinitely. The Personal Injury law firm, their client, and the insurance company are all a part of this process. If a settlement is sufficient, then there will be no further legal action. Lawyer and client receive compensation, and the case has a satisfactory resolution.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida?
Victims (“plaintiffs”) have limits on the amount available to file a lawsuit. This is Florida’s “Statute of Limitations”; it is (2) two years.
If the plaintiff exceeds the two-year Statute in which they have a right to file a lawsuit, they forfeit any potential financial compensation. The judge will dismiss the complaint every time, no matter how credible the case. There are very few instances where the “Discovery Rule” applies. This legal principle is normally only for cases where a wrongful death occurs. This is because the victim is no longer living to speak on their own behalf. Thus, consideration must be given to how long they were aware of their illness or injuries.
A handful of states are making attempts to summarize Personal Injury law within written Statutes of their own. However for now, many practical reasons deem that mediation, and when necessary, court verdicts, remain the official standard of law in cases resulting from injuries a victim sustains during an accident.
…Personal Injury law is about people
Morals are always at the forefront of all Personal Injury cases. A lawyer lacking a strong moral code is a red flag to find another firm. These are paper pusher lawyers. The lawyers who, if there’s a check for any amount, the client is out the door. This is a factory, not a law firm with real results. Compassion, understanding, and sufficient ethics all factor into the “mediation or trial?” question. Each case is unique. The goal of a great Personal Injury lawyer is restoring quality of life for those living with pain and suffering at the hands of another.