Florida law recognizes that the operation of an motor vehicle is a dangerous undertaking. As such, every individual operating a motor vehicle within the State of Florida has a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of that vehicle. Failure of a driver to use reasonable care may result in a finding of liability against the owner of the vehicle for any resultant damages. Florida law identifies a driver's failure to use reasonable care as negligence.

Once the negligence of a party is established, it must be proven that the negligence caused the damage or injury in question. Causation, in a legal sense, can be a complex issue, but it must be proven in every lawsuit based upon a theory of negligence.

Finally, the claimant must prove that he or she has suffered damages as a result of the accident. The Court must determine what amount of money would fully compensate the person for the injuries and damage caused by the negligence of others. Damages may include such items as :

  • lost income or wages (past and future);
  • medical expenses (past and future);
  • lose of support and services;
  • funeral expenses;
  • damage to personal property;
  • pain and suffering;
  • mental anguish;
  • loss of enjoyment of life.

The State of Florida is considered a "No-Fault" state. In general, this law forces automobile insurers to compensate all persons injured in an accident, regardless of fault. More on Insurance. An injured person may also be entitled to pursue a bodily injury claim against the at-fault party if the injury caused:
  • significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
  • permanent injury;
  • significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement;
  • death

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, a person injured in an automobile accident may only file a lawsuit within four years from the date of the accident. The Statute of Limitations prohibits the filing of any lawsuits after this four-year period has lapsed. If you are considering a claim against another party as the result of a car accident, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your suit is timely filed.