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Commonly Used Terms in Florida Personal Injury Actions

A personal injury claim is a civil remedy that provides an injured party a legal avenue for compensation. Personal injury falls under tort law statutes and encompasses many different types of claims, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall cases, intentional torts, dog bites, assault and battery cases and more. Despite the many different scenarios giving rise to a personal injury action, there are many terms that are common among personal injury actions. It is important for you to know some common terms that may arise during an initial consultation regarding your personal injury matter, should you choose to meet with an attorney.

Statute of Limitations

The statutes of limitations are a variety of laws that set out the timeframe in which a legal action may be brought. It is one of the most crucial requirements to comply with, as the failure to comply may prevent you for instituting or winning a claim. During an initial consultation, our attorneys will inquire into the date of injury and the date in which you became aware of the injury. We will also obtain the facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether the period has tolled for any period of time. A tolling of the statute of limitation will delay or pause the period of time for bringing a claim in certain instances.


Negligence is a tort action that results when a party is injured due to another individual’s carelessness or failure to use reasonable care. The standard of reasonable care varies and is dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Some factors that determine the standard of care include:

  • Age, training, education, and experience of the individual;
  • Whether emergency circumstances exist; and
  • Whether an ordinary person in comparable circumstances would have engaged in similar conduct;

To successfully assert a negligence claim, a party must show (1) that a duty was owed (2) a breach of the duty occurred (3) the breach was the cause of damages and (4) damages exist.

Preponderance of the Evidence

This term refers to the legal standard necessary in order to prevail in a civil, personal injury action. It is sometimes referred to as the “51 percent” rule. This means that a plaintiff is required to prove that their version of events are more likely than not when compared to the argument raised by any defendants.


Damages are a form of recovery that injured parties seek in a court action. Damages are monetary compensation that is awarded in different forms including economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are intended to compensate an injured party in such a way as to make the individual whole again (provide the individual with enough monetary compensation to put them in the financial position they experienced before the accident or incident). Economic damages and punitive damages are figures that are merely arrived at by determining the appropriate figure as opposed to using an exact calculation.

Obtain Basic Information

If you have been injured in an accident or incident in or around Port St. Lucie, Florida contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Our attorneys can help you determine a plan at any stage, whether you are considering initiating a personal injury action or have already engaged in negotiations and need an attorney to advise on a settlement decision.

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