If you Injured in a Car Accident
Your first action after any car accident regardless of fault is to get medical care. If you were severely injured, you were likely taken to the closest emergency room. Otherwise, please see your doctor or another healthcare provider as soon as possible. In our experience as Florida auto accident lawyers, sometimes the shock and confusion after a car accident can mask a serious health condition.
After a doctor has examined you, please follow all recommendations for any follow-up treatment, including appointments, prescription medicine, and therapy. Now it is time to call another professional who can help you: an auto accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Florida’s Tricky “No-Fault” Insurance Laws
Florida is one of a handful of states that has a “no-fault” liability for auto accidents. This is confusing as it implies that you cannot seek recovery from a negligent driver. You can. Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers, for example, have recovered compensation for clients from negligent drivers throughout Florida. However, Florida’s unique requirements make it challenging for most people to seek compensation.
Compensation From Your Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Your first source of compensation for car accident injuries is your own personal injury protection insurance, referred to as “PIP.” Your PIP will cover the first $10,000 in medical bills for each injured person in one accident. In addition, the Florida Financial Responsibility Law has other insurance requirements. If you are a Florida resident and own a vehicle with at least four wheels, you are compelled to carry:
- $10,000 personal injury protection limit per person, per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $20,000 bodily injury liability per accident
Your personal injury protection also covers, to policy limits:
- Your child or children
- Members of your household
- Passengers who do not own a vehicle and are not required to carry PIP
A car Accident Lawyer Helps You Get the Benefits You Deserve
You might think that getting compensation from your own personal auto insurance policy is as simple as filling a claim and including copies of your medical bills and other expenses.
Unfortunately, some insurance carriers make it difficult to recover compensation for their own policyholders. Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, and they lose money by paying claims. In our experience, insurance companies will try to deny, delay, or downplay legitimate claims.
Understanding Your Personal Insurance Coverage
Many people faithfully pay their auto insurance premiums without fully understanding their benefits. You would expect that your policy would cover medical bills, but your policy might also reimburse you for towing and rental cars.
Insurance policies are complex and have many legal references. A car accident lawyer can explain your policy coverage and make sure that you receive all the benefits you deserve.
When You Could Pursue Compensation From the Other Driver
The $10,000 minimum PIP from your insurance coverage will not be adequate if you are severely injured in a car accident. Florida has a significant injury threshold if your medical bills exceed the $10,000 limit.
You could be entitled to additional compensation beyond your personal injury protection if you suffered the following:
- Significant, permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Significant, permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent injury
The definition of these significant and permanent injuries can be broadly defined. That is why you should contact an auto accident lawyer who can prove that you are entitled to added compensation.
Examples of car accident injuries that are likely to exceed your PIP limits include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Multiple broken bones
- Internal bleeding and organ loss
- Severe and widespread burns
How a Car Accident Lawyer Recovers Additional Compensation
It is important that you have a car accident lawyer explain your legal rights if you exhaust the first $10,000 for medical bills. In these situations, a lawyer will assess your injuries, damages, and expected health prognosis. A lawyer who handles car accidents understands that both current and future damages must be calculated. If you are left disabled and unable to work because of a careless driver, it is only fair that you and your family are compensated.
Pursuing Compensation From the Other Driver
A car accident lawyer can investigate the other driver’s liability and seek recovery on your behalf. Liability is determined by a few factors:
- The other driver (the defendant) owed you (the plaintiff) a duty of care to drive safely and take reasonable actions to prevent the collision.
- The defendant breached this duty of care in some way, such as speeding or driving while intoxicated.
- Your injuries were caused by this negligence.
- You now have damages in the form of medical bills, car repairs, and other losses.
When There Are Multiple Liable Parties
In some accidents, there might be more than one liable party. For example, if you were injured by a commercial truck driver, the trucking company may also be held accountable. The same is true if your car was hit by a chartered bus. Whether the person or party is directly or vicariously responsible, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Car Accident Compensation
You may be entitled to economic and noneconomic damages such as:
- Ambulance and emergency room services
- Doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and other medical expenses
- Lost pay
- Lifecare costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today at (954) 633-8270.
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato have helped many car accident victims. You should know that Florida has a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. You have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Please call our personal injury lawyer in Florida today for a free consultation at (954) 633-8270.