A case handled by Fort Lauderdale car accident liability lawyer may or may not play a role in your financial recovery after a collision. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could collect all the compensation you need from your own insurance company to cover the economic damages you face. However, if your damages exceed a certain threshold and there is evidence to prove fault, you could seek a liability claim or lawsuit against another driver.
When Is No-Fault Insurance Insufficient?
As a no-fault state, Florida requires drivers to carry a certain amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The point of this requirement is to help motorists who suffer injuries in a collision pay their medical bills and make up some of the income they lose during recovery. Since this is no-fault insurance, coverage is generally available regardless of who caused the accident.
Keep in mind that the damages caused by a collision frequently go beyond PIP policy limits. Personal injury protection only pays for a portion of an injured driver’s medical expenses and lost wages. It also offers no coverage for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. In these cases, accident victims may need to turn to other legal options to obtain additional financial support.
If another motorist’s negligent driving led to you suffering significant injuries in a collision, you could use evidence of this negligence to support a third-party liability claim. Alternatively, you could apply your evidence toward a personal injury lawsuit against them and seek damages in court.
What Is the Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Liability Threshold?
Before you can file a car accident liability claim or lawsuit in Florida, your case will need to meet a few requirements. Like other no-fault states, Florida enforces a serious injury threshold when determining who can step outside of the no-fault car insurance claims process.
If your injuries do not qualify as “serious,” according to the standards laid out in Florida Statutes § 627.737, you will be limited to the compensation available under your PIP policy. This statute gives a general outline for the types of injuries that can qualify an accident victim or their surviving family members for a liability case:
- Significant scarring
- Permanent injury
- Loss or impairment of an essential bodily function
When a victim’s injuries meet the necessary threshold and they or their family members pursue a lawsuit, non-economic damages may be recoverable. Non-economic damages are those that are intangible, and therefore do not carry a monetary value on their own. Rather, an attorney can use various industry techniques to assign value to these damages and build a case to seek them in court.
The same statute outlining the threshold for serious injuries, Florida Statute § 627.737, also explains the types of damages that fall into this category. If you suffered severe injuries because of a negligent driver, you might be able to recover compensation for the following intangible damages:
- Inconvenience due to impairment or disability your injuries caused
- Mental anguish
When injuries from a collision lead to death, surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party. This type of case often entails other damages.
Part of building a case for liability involves proving who the liable party is in the first place. Even if your injuries are severe, you cannot bring a third-party claim or lawsuit against another driver unless there is evidence of negligence or wrongdoing.
Negligence implies that someone who owed you a duty of care did not abide by this duty, putting your safety at risk. Any time a driver gets behind the wheel, they take on the responsibility of driving safely in order to protect themselves and other road users.
Driving carelessly or breaking traffic laws are broad examples of driver negligence that can lead to collisions and injuries. An investigation into your case can reveal evidence pointing to what caused your collision and who is liable for your damages.
Hiring an attorney to represent you after a collision can provide a lot of benefits. To begin with, the legal team can review the damages you suffered to help you determine whether a liability claim or lawsuit may be the best option for seeking compensation.
Attorneys who handle these cases are familiar with what the courts look for when evaluating a case for non-economic damages. They can guide you so that the damages you request are recoverable, backed by solid evidence, and properly valued.
Your lawyer can also help you navigate any issues that come up regarding Florida’s comparative negligence laws. In some collision cases, a victim can be found partially liable if the defendant presents evidence against them.
If the negligent driver in your case attempts this and is successful, it will impact the amount of damages the court will award you. Your attorney can prepare your case to help disprove or minimize any liability on your part so you can fight to receive the compensation you need.
Reach out to our firm for a complimentary case assessment. We can discuss your damages and potential liability case today when you call (954) 633-8270.