Injuries must be Compensable in Florida Negligence Cases

It may seem rather obvious that when you are involved in an accident, there must be quantifiable injuries for you to be able to receive compensation. This simply means you must have sustained harm that can be remedied through compensation. The nature of the harm determines the amount of compensation one receives. If you or someone you know has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to seek the help of a qualified Miami personal injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

When an individual is injured because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, the injured party can take legal action by filing a negligence claim against the at-fault party. Negligence is the failure to take proper care when doing something. Reasonable care refers to the duty of behaving as a prudent or sensible individual would behave in the same or similar circumstances. Thus, what is considered ‘reasonable’ will vary depending on the specific situation.

In order for a plaintiff to prevail on a negligence claim, he or she must establish four basic elements:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff;
  3. The defendant’s breach caused an accident; and
  4. The plaintiff suffered measurable damages as a result.

All four of the above elements must be met in order to establish negligence and recover compensation. The last element seems very straightforward but can be tricky. This is because, in some cases, damages can be hard to measure.

Sadler v. PacifiCare of Nev., Inc. is a recent case decided by the Nevada Supreme Court. While medical malpractice laws differ from state to state, the general elements of negligence are largely the same. In the case at hand, an outbreak of hepatitis C was linked to unsafe injection practices in certain parts of Nevada. Patients who were treated in these areas were required to come forward to be tested for certain diseases. Each of the patients who came forward tested negative for the diseases that were being looked for. Therefore, the patients did not suffer a physical injury due to the healthcare facilities’ negligence.

The healthcare facilities that were the subject of the negligence lawsuit claimed that, since there was no measurable harm, there could be no negligence lawsuit. The trial court agreed that the patients had not shown any “actual injury.” The appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision, holding that the patients did sustain costs, pain, and mental anguish by needing to go through testing and monitoring again.

The healthcare facilities did not object to paying for medical monitoring but claimed that the ‘injury’ in this case would have to be a blood-borne illness or some type of physical injury.

Negligence cases are highly fact-intensive, and they can be very complicated. This is why it is critical to seek the help of a highly skilled Miami injury attorney who can investigate your case and determine all your legal rights and options. Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Liability for Alcohol Sellers in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 15, 2014

Exclusive Remedy in Workers’ Compensation Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 8, 2014

Phantom Vehicles in Florida Injury Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 2, 2014

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