- The element of duty requires the claimant to prove that the defendant had a legal obligation to either do a particular thing or to refrain from doing a certain thing. In the context of car accidents, this means operating a vehicle as carefully as an ordinary, prudent person in similar circumstances.
- The second element, breach of duty, is shown by demonstrating that the defendant either did not do what he or she was supposed to do or did something that should not have been done.
- The third step of a negligence lawsuit consists of proving causation. This means showing that the defendant’s breach of duty was the action that brought about the accident. In other words, the defendant’s failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person would have acted in a certain situation must have resulted in financial or other losses to the person who is seeking to recover an award of damages.
- The last step of a negligence lawsuit is proving damages. These can be either economic or noneconomic in nature. Compensatory damages are often awarded for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded when a defendant acted with malice, wantonness or willfulness, which requires an additional deterrent against engaging in such conduct in the future.
The state of Florida imposes a statute of limitations on anyone who has been injured in a car accident. During this time, the victim or the family of a person killed in a crash may file a lawsuit, but thereafter there can be no recovery in most cases.
The time period allowed for filing suit after a Florida drunk driving accident may be complex. A claim filed outside the four-year limitation for negligence cases would most likely be dismissed as untimely, but there may be situations in which a shorter or longer period could apply. For instance, claims involving wrongful death must be filed within two years. The wise course of action for anyone who has been hurt or lost a family member in an accident is to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Our lawyers have been protecting the rights of victims since 1991. We are careful to explain a client’s legal rights and options in understandable terms, and we work closely with each client to move a case forward in a timely fashion. To put our experience to work in your case, call 954-340-0037 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.