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What Is a Clearwater Personal Injury Claim?

Cornell University College of Law defines a “tort” as a civil wrong which can be redressed by awarding damages. See, e.g. Smith v. United States [1], 507 U.S. 197 (1993).  Torts are civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party. The primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms.

Torts fall into three general categories:

  1. Intentional torts – Intentional torts are wrongs which someone knew or should have known would occur through their actions or inactions such as intentionally hitting another individual
  2. Negligent torts – Negligent torts occur when an individual’s actions were unreasonably unsafe like causing an accident by failing to obey traffic rules
  3. Strict liability torts – Strict liability wrongs to not depend on the degree of the carefulness by an individual or a business entity, but are established when a particular action causes damages such as a company making and selling defective products

In the state of Florida, Title XLV [2] of the statute relates to torts including damage caused by dogs, medical malpractice and negligence.  These and other torts are more commonly referred to as personal injury claims and are defined as legal matters where one person suffers harm from an accident or injury and someone else may be legally responsible by the American Bar Association [3].       

With all forms of tort/personal injury, there are two basic issues; liability and damages.  The questions raised by these types of cases:

  1. Was another person liable for the damages that were suffered; and
  2. If someone is liable, what is the extent of those damages.

These terms and explanation may seem complicated, as are the laws that apply to personal injury/tort claims.  In order to properly apply all of this confusing legal jargon to your individual case, or a case involving a loved one, it important to speak with a  attorney who interprets and applies all necessary laws in order to best protect your interests.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims can take on many different forms including:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Defective products
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and Fall accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Injuries caused by animals including dogs
  • Work related accidents or death
  • Defective medications

Common Terms in Personal Injury Cases

If you have been involved in an accident and sustained an injury, you will want to speak to a Clearwater personal injury attorney.  If you and your attorney decide that it is necessary to file a lawsuit in order to best protect your interests and to receive compensation on your behalf, there are words and phrases that are common to most personal injury cases including:

Plaintiff – The individual or group of individuals who file the lawsuit.
Defendant – The person or business entity that is being sued.
Party – A participant in the lawsuit; either the Plaintiff or the Defendant.
Complaint –  The plaintiff initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the appropriate court.  A personal injury complaint is a formal expression of an individual’s grievances.
Answer –  Defendants file a formal answer to the complaint which sets forth their position with regard to the statements made in the complaint.
Attorney – An individual who is licensed to practice law and who provides legal representation to a party (either the Plaintiff or the Defendant).
Prayer for Relief – The complaint includes a prayer for relief, which is a summary of the damages that the plaintiff wishes to receive.
Negligence – Occurs when the Defendant fails to meet their legal duty of care and the Plaintiff is injured as a result.
Statute of Limitations – A statute of limitations is the time period, which is set by law, in which an individual can file a case.  The time limit can vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.

At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys can explain all of these terms and how they apply to your individual case.  Our personal injury lawyers have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/507/197
[2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Index&Title_Request=XLV#TitleXLV
[3] https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury_typical.html