Florida Car Accidents
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you need a Florida personal injury lawyer that can provide you with the highest quality representation from start to finish. Some car accidents leave clients with injuries to deal with, mounting medical bills, time off work without pay, and a car that may destroyed. Knowledge, experience, and results all matter. And I can help you!
It’s unfortunate, but most Americans are not in a position to take time off to recover without their entire world being changed for the worse. Vacation time is limited, short and long-term disability may not be offered, and cars are expensive. And most people can’t afford to go out and get a new car. None of this matters to bill collectors. The phrase to “add insult to injury” applies here.
Florida Car Wrecks Cause More than Just Physical Injury
Not only do physical injuries happen in a lot of car accidents, but there are other time and expenses that result. Car repairs, time away from work, doctor’s appointments, and treatment. Not only that, but the bill collections are quick to go after the medical bills related to an accident. It’s easy to feel helpless and alone.
Time is not on your side in injury cases. In fact, some insurance companies will rush in to offer you a few thousand dollars when they know your case is worth many, many times more than that! Don’t be cheated.
You are not alone, there is help. I’ve been in your exact situation. I can help you!
When you hire me, I will handle all aspects of your claim: Paperwork, phone calls, getting you paid. Together we’ve got this! I handle the rest so you can focus on recovery of your physical injuries. My job is to seek justice for you!
Whether you Contact Me or another lawyer, you should do so as soon as possible after your accident. There are many short deadlines, including when you start your treatment. These delays can cost you thousands in benefits that you are entitled to, and also jeopardize your overall claim.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits
Florida is a “no-fault” state and requires Personal Injury Protection Benefits. This means that vehicles registered in Florida must carry a minimum of $10,000 of coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses. This coverage is provided by your own insurance.
I know, you are Thinking: “this accident was not my fault, why is my insurance paying?!”
That’s the point. In Florida, it does not matter who is at fault. The first $10,000.00 in coverage is paid by each party’s own insurance regardless of fault.
You are entitled to $10,000.00 of coverage in every accident from your own coverage. Don’t worry though. You don’t have to pay this money back to anyone. It’s your personal injury protection. And you read that right: You can recover lost wages from this money.
Any person injured in a car accident is eligible for PIP benefits, including pedestrians, regardless of fault. Even if you do not have a car, there are still ways to seek PIP coverage.
$10,000.00 in Free Coverage? There must be a catch! There is. You MUST seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for PIP coverage.
Serious Injury Threshold Required to Make Additional Claims
A serious injury is required in order to make additional claims against the at-fault parties. Those claims include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease resulting from the accident.
So what injuries qualify under the “Serious Injury Threshold”?
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
NOTE: In order to get an award for pain and suffering, you must meet the Serious Injury Threshold
Conduct: Negligent, Reckless, and Intentional.
If you are seriously injured, you can make a claim against the negligent party to recover damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience.
Negligence is when a person fails to use a reasonable degree of care under the circumstances. This of negligence in this way: The at-fault person did mean for it to happen, and didn’t necessarily know the accident could happen.
It was an accident. Sure, but just because it was an “accident” does not mean they aren’t responsible for the resulting harm caused by the accident.
Some examples of negligence in car accidents are:
- failing to stop at a red light and rear-ending a car,
- following too closely and hitting another car that suddenly brakes,
- running a stop sign,
- running a red light,
The list for negligence endless.
But sometimes a wreck is caused by more than simple negligence. The at-fault driver’s conduct could be so bad that it is considered “reckless”.
Reckless behavior is well beyond that of negligence, and it is considered gross negligence. Reckless means that the person that caused the accident either knew it would happen or should have know it could cause an accident. Why, because the conduct was so dangerous that something bad should be expected.
Some examples of reckless conduct:
- driving under the influence (DUI) and causing an accident,
- Speeding well over the limit (think driving over 100 mph in a 25mph zone).
Intentional conduct means exactly what you think: Someone knows their actions are wrong and there’s a good chance that an injury is going to happen if they go through with it.
A couple examples of intentional conduct:
- A passenger grabs the wheel of a moving vehicle in order to crash the car,
- A person drives a car onto a crowded sidewalk.
Reckless and Intentional Are Different. And so are the Damages!
It’s easy to see the differences between not paying attention and causing an accident versus driving drunk, or driving onto a crowded sidewalk.
In Florida, people that cause accidents by acting recklessly or intentionally, are subject to Punitive damages.
Punitive damages are in addition to the economic and non-economic damages listed above. Punitive damages are presented for one reason: Punish the at-fault driver. The law punishes these cases because they are not as simple as an accident. Clearly, they are worse.
Evidence in a Car Accident Case
In most cases, the police report is the primary piece of documentary evidence, but unless the officers observed the accident, it’s just based on what the drivers said.
That’s why it’s important to see if there were witnesses and/or videos of the scene, especially if the police report is not favorable.
Sometimes it’s necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert to testify about how the accident likely happened based on the physical evidence and points of impact of the vehicles.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
It’s important to choose a Florida car accident lawyer that will answer all of your questions and fully address your concerns.
One of your burning questions most likely will be the value of your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will not be able to answer that question honestly at the onset of your case.
Generally, lawyers that guarantee large results at the beginning of the case, either don’t know how to handle these types of cases, or they are just trying to get you to sign up.
The value of your case will be determined by the extent of the your injuries, how fully you recover from your injuries, how long you’re out of work, and other factors that can’t be determined at the beginning of your case.
Required Medical Treatment, Adequate Coverage, and Experienced Lawyers
Required, and related medical treatment and procedures, and time off work generally increase the value of your case. But just because you need extensive surgery, does not mean an insurance company is going to properly compensate you for your injuries. But that’s not the only reason victims are not fully compensated.
Unfortunately many claimants with very serious injuries are not able to collect the full value of compensation the are due, because insufficient insurance coverage. Not everyone has adequate insurance to cover the injuries they have caused.
Finally, inexperienced lawyers also leave money on the table. Their personal interest may drive the need for a quick settlement or they don’t know how to extract that value from presenting your case to a jury. In either case, you shouldn’t have to settle for less than justice demands!
An experienced and ethical attorney will only promise to work their hardest to get you the best settlement or verdict possible.I have helped thousands of clients get there best results. I can help you too. Contact me with any questions you may have. The call is always Free.