Unexpected injuries result in more than just physical harm. The missed work and medical expenses often result in a financial strain on the injured person and their family. The combination of the injury and the financial strain often damage the injured individual’s emotional health as well. It is a detrimental snowball effect that is even more frustrating when the injury was caused by another person or company.
If you have been injured and believe another person or business was at fault for the injury, Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Mark S. Lowry can advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to under Florida law.
There are many different types of personal injury cases, ranging from dog bites to slip-and-fall accidents to auto accidents. The potential legal claims for personal injuries can generally be divided into three categories: intentional torts, negligence-based torts, and strict liability torts. The key difference is the mindset of the person or business that caused the harm.Intentional Torts
Intentional torts are civil wrongs that are the result of an intentional act by the wrongdoer that results in harm. To be found liable, the wrongdoer does need not have intended the harm, only the act. For example, a person that punches someone in the face is still liable for battery even if they state that they didn’t intend to actually hurt the person, so long as they intended to hit the person.
Some Florida civil wrongs, like assault and battery, have counterparts in Florida criminal law. However, the standards of proof and goals of the criminal versions of these torts are different. In criminal law, the goal is to punish, whereas the goal of the civil system is to compensate the injured person. For example, a criminal battery conviction might result in jail time, a penalty that, while warranted, would not help the victim. In contrast, an injured party that brings a successful civil suit for battery can receive monetary compensation for their harm from the wrongdoer.
Some of the most common Florida intentional torts that often result in injury are assault, battery, and false imprisonment, and intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Emotional distress may not immediately seem like a physical injury, but where the conduct is egregious enough, the emotional distress often results in physical manifestations.Negligence
Unlike intentional torts, Florida negligence-based torts do not require that the wrongdoer acted intentionally. Most accidents, like slip-and-falls and car crashes, fall into this category. Negligence occurs when a person fails to live up to a duty imposed on them by law. In general, all members of society have a duty to act as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.
For example, if a driver in Fort Lauderdale drives their car recklessly and causes a car accident, they may be civilly liable based on negligence. They didn’t intend to hit the other car, but they acted unreasonably under the circumstances, creating an unreasonable risk of harm that resulted in an injury.Strict Liability
In certain limited circumstances, a person can be held liable for their conduct even where they did not intend the harm and were not negligent. Dog bites, defective products, and harm resulting from engaging in an abnormally dangerous activity are typically strict liability torts in Florida.Your Case
If you’ve suffered a personal injury from any cause, contact south Florida civil litigation attorney Mark S. Lowry today to discuss your case. For personal injury cases, we don’t get paid until you do.