Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Miller & Zois regularly handles personal injury cases all over the country by partnering with local counsel in other states. Florida is one of the states where we have an established working relationship with local Florida personal injury attorneys. This arrangement with our Florida injury lawyers allows us to accept all types of major personal injury cases in Florida including: medical malpractice; auto accidents; truck accidents; and more.
A claim for medical malpractice exists under Florida law when two basic elements can be proven by the plaintiff: (1) a doctor (or other healthcare professional) provides negligent treatment or medical care that falls below the accepted standard of care in that field of practice; and (2) that negligent treatment directly results in physical injury to the patient. In Florida, medical malpractice claims can be brought against doctors and any other healthcare professional licensed by the state (e.g., dentists, nurses, hospitals, physical therapists, etc.).
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida is 2-years from the date that the plaintiff discovered or reasonably should have discovered that they had an injury and that it may have been caused by medical malpractice. The date that the 2-year period begins is called the “date of discovery.” In some cases (such as botched surgery) the date of discovery is the same date as the treatment. In other cases (such as failure to diagnose) the discovery date may not occur until months or years after the negligent medical care.
Like many other states, Florida has a law called a statute of repose that sets a maximum time limit for bringing a medical malpractice case regardless of when the injury and claim were discovered. Florida’s statute of repose for malpractice cases is 4 years from the date of the negligent medical care. This means all malpractice cases must be filed no later than 4 years of the alleged malpractice.
Approximately 60-75% of all plaintiffs who bring medical malpractice cases in Florida end up getting some financial compensation either in the form of a settlement or jury verdict. Most Florida medical malpractice claims settle out of court and only around 10% actually go to trial. For those med mal cases that do go to trial, plaintiffs in Florida only win about 15% of the time.
Miller & Zois is one of the leading medical malpractice firms in the Mid-Atlantic region and many of our medical malpractice lawyers are nationally recognized. Over the last decade we have recovered over $100 million in compensation for victims of medical malpractice. We have a level of skill and experience with complex medical malpractice cases that you may not find in local firms. If you choose M&Z to handle to your Florida medical malpractice case you will get to leverage all of our resources, experience and ability. We will work through local counsel in Florida at no additional cost to you. You get our experience and resources combined with local expertise. It’s like getting 2 law firms for the price of one. You also get access to our extensive network of medical experts from some of the most prestigious east-coast hospitals.
Florida has a “no-fault” system which requires drivers to get covered by their own insurer for an accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, if suffer serious physical injuries in the accident, Florida’s no-fault accident law allows you to sue the at-fault driver (and his or her insurance company) and hold them financially liable for the costs of any and all damages that directly result from the accident. Florida law permits injured drivers to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, and also pain & suffering associated with physical injuries that they suffer in the accident.
Florida has a 4-year statute of limitations for auto accident lawsuits. This means that if you are seriously injured in an auto accident caused by another driver, you must file a lawsuit against that driver within 4 years of the date of the accident. If you don’t file within the 4 year period you will lose you right to bring any claim.
Florida is among the majority of states that follows a rule known as comparative negligence in auto tort cases. Florida has what is known as a “modified comparative negligence” standard. Under this rule a plaintiff’s damages can be reduced if they are found to be partially at fault for an accident. If the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault, their damages will be reduced by 20%. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault they cannot recover ANY damages.
The typical settlement value of an auto accident lawsuit in Florida depends largely on the type and severity of the plaintiff’s physical injuries. A case involving minor injuries (e.g., neck sprains or “soft tissue” injuries) may have an average value between $10,000 and $20,000. An Florida auto accident claim with moderate level injuries may be worth between $40,000 and $115,000 on average. Cases with the most serious injuries can be worth 2 or 3 times this average.
The truck accident lawyers at Miller & Zois can handle your Florida truck accident lawsuit through local counsel at no additional cost to you. Truck accident cases involving tractor trailers or 18-wheelers are significantly different from normal auto accident cases. Big rig accidents generally involve much more serious damages because of the immense size and weight of the vehicles. Commercial trucks also carry large auto liability insurance policies with limits around $1 million. These two factors make the average compensation awards in Florida truck accident cases much higher than those in regular auto accident lawsuits.
Big truck accident lawsuits are much more complex and challenging to litigated when compared to standard auto tort claims. Commercial trucking companies are usually defended by very skilled counsel compared to defense counsel in ordinary auto cases. Moreover, the depth and complexity of legal regulations involving in truck accident cases can make them very challenging for inexperience lawyers. Miller & Zois has a long track record of success representing plaintiffs in 18-wheeler accident cases. We know exactly how to win these cases and we have recovered millions from big trucking companies and their insurance carriers over the years.Settlement Value of Florida Personal Injury Cases
The settlement value of a personal injury lawsuit in Florida depends on the type of case (medical malpractice vs. auto accident) and the severity of the plaintiff’s physical injuries. The average award in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida is around $290,000. The average value of a Florida auto accident lawsuit involving moderate injuries (e.g., herniated disc, broken arm or leg, etc.) is between $40,000 to $60,000.Florida Personal Injury Settlements and Verdicts
The best way to evaluate the potential value of your own Florida personal injury case is by looking at results in prior injury lawsuits. Below are summaries of recent settlements and verdicts in prior personal injury cases in Florida.Florida Malpractice Settlements & Verdicts
|2019||Radiologist sued for failure to diagnose based on his negligent misinterpretation of chest x-ray resulting in subsequent death of patient from cardiac arrest.||$6,424,000|
|2019||Dermatologist accused of negligently failing to timely diagnose malignant melanoma (skin cancer), allowing the cancer to progress to advance stage before treatment.||$500,000|
|2019||Physician’s assistance at dermatology practice negligently performed laser skin procedure resulting in laser burn and ruptured tendon.||$132,018|
|2019||Hospital and OB/GYN allegedly failed to diagnose placenta accreta during childbirth causing 34-year-old mother to die from blood loss. Timely diagnosis would have led to emergency c-section and saved her life.||$24,500,000|
|2018||Plaintiff alleged that defendant doctor negligently recommended him for knee replacement surgery despite the fact that he was a high-risk candidate. He developed complications and infection which led to amputation of his left leg.||$11,882,175|
|2019||Plaintiff is struck while driving through intersection. He suffers herniated disc but defense disputes the extent of his injuries. Jury finds defendant was 61% at fault for the accident and awards $156,000 for past medica expenses and $110,000 for future medical expenses.||$266,000|
|2018||Plaintiff is rear-ended while stopped at intersection in Broward County. Claims various neck and back injuries including a cervical disc herniation with continuing neck pain and bilateral hand numbness and tingling. Defense claims injuries were from pre-existing degenerative back condition.||$70,000|
|2018||Pedestrian gets hits by landscaping truck at Broward County intersection cross walk and suffers broken arm and multiple disc herniations. Undergoes surgery with fixation hardware implanted.||$600,000|