If you are considering filing a claim against a negligent party that has injured you, you will need to know the basics of a personal injury lawsuit. Florida’s laws about civil claims can be complex, but the basic principles upon which they are based are fairly simple.
Tort Law: Compensating Victims
A tort is an act of malice or negligence that causes injury to a person or property. Tort law is the body of civil law that allows victims to win fair compensation from their tortfeasors, or the parties who injured them. Torts are divided into three basic categories: strict liability, intentional torts, and negligence.
- Strict liability: Some parties have an inherent obligation to keep others safe. For example, a company has to ensure that the products it sells are not dangerous when used correctly. If they fail to meet this obligation, the people they injure can win compensation.
- Intentional tort: This is a deliberate act, such as assault or defamation, that causes injury or emotional distress to another person. To win an intentional tort case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant intended to cause harm, or should have foreseen that his or her actions would do so. Many intentional torts are also criminal acts.
- Negligence: This is the most common civil case. To win compensation for negligence, plaintiffs must show that defendants owed them a duty of care, failed to meet that duty, and directly caused injury as a result. The law maintains that everyone has a duty to take reasonable care to avoid hurting others.
A plaintiff can be awarded different amounts of money for different injuries or expenses. These awards are called damages. Damages that can be awarded in a tort case include medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, attorney’s fees, punitive damages (meant to punish the defendant), and the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. If you feel like you are entitled to compensation, be sure to contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer.
To discuss your case with a top Orlando injury attorney, call Todd Miner Law.