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Car Accident Injuries and Florida Law: What Are My Rights?

by Innov8tiv.com

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Unfortunately, car accidents resulting from injury are too common on Florida’s busy byways and highways. What starts as a routine drive can quickly become an emergency room visit and mounting medical bills. Florida’s complex car accident laws can add to your woes when figuring out your rights as a car crash victim.

If you’re one of the many who can’t make heads or tails out of Florida’s confusing personal injury laws, get a free consultation with Meldon Law Firm. Their legal experts can help you know if you have a case and how to receive compensation for your damages.

Florida Car Accident Requirements to File a Personal Injury Claim

When it comes to car accidents, the State of Florida sees things a bit differently than other parts of the country. Long-time resident drivers are most likely aware of the differences. However, those who recently moved to the Sunshine State may not understand how car accidents and recovering damages work. Let’s take a look at how things are done here.

Personal Injury Protection

Florida statute 627.7407 states that every registered vehicle must carry PIP coverage. This mandatory insurance coverage will pay for the driver’s and their occupants’ medical claims regardless of who is at fault. Depending on how much the insured selected for this special coverage, it may not pay for all victims’ damages. However, victims do have a legal right to seek more.

This is achieved by filing a personal injury lawsuit. The victim will need to prove that the other driver caused the accident, and as a result, severe injuries were sustained. Lawsuits of this nature should only be attempted under the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney.

Statute of Limitations

There’s been a recent change to how long a car accident victim can file a lawsuit to seek damages not covered by their PIP insurance policy. The Florida statute of limitations has been lowered from 4 to 2 years for filing personal injury lawsuits due to a car accident. Gathering the necessary proof for a car accident personal injury claim can be time-consuming, so legal representation should be retained as soon as possible.

Negligence and Injuries

Florida’s car crash personal injury law requires the victim to prove two things. First, they’ll have the burden of proving that the accident happened due to the other driver’s negligence or that the other driver was mostly at fault. Next, they’ll need to prove that their injuries are severe and require more compensation than PIP provides. This can be done by gathering the following types of evidence:

  • Police accident reports

  • Traffic light camera images or surveillance camera video

  • Eyewitness statements and medical expert testimony

  • Injury photos

  • Medical records

  • Medical bills

  • Medical images like X-rays and CAT scans

Damages

When seeking compensation for damages sustained from a car accident, several often overlooked expenses can be included in the lawsuit. Your lawyer can help identify expenses you’ve missed or weren’t aware of. Car crash lawsuits can seek damages for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages can include:

  • Medical bills

  • Insurance copayments

  • Over-the-counter medications and medical devices

  • Transportation expenses to and from required medical appointments

  • Housing construction costs to assist with mobility issues

Non-economic damages can also be sought. Typical non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering

  • Disability or disfigurement

  • Loss of future wages

  • Loss of consortium

  • Mental anguish

Do I Need a Lawyer if I’ve Already Been Offered a Settlement?

The answer is a resounding yes. Being offered a quick settlement is a good sign that the defendant’s insurance company is aware of the strength of your case and the severity of your injuries. Signing on the dotted line and collecting a settlement may at first seem like the best way to recoup your losses and move on with your life. However, it’s not as good as it seems.

Savvy insurance companies will never offer you a fair amount upfront, and oftentimes it’s far below what you deserve. Their job is to limit liability and loss, and they’re not working for your best interest. However, your personal injury attorney works for you and has the skills to negotiate the best possible settlement for your situation.

Car Accident Injuries and Florida Law: Final Thoughts

Florida victims of car crashes that were of no fault of their own can feel cheated and neglected for not receiving justice and inadequate compensation for their tragic event. If this fits your bill, hire a personal injury attorney who can file a lawsuit to ensure that you’re compensated far beyond your PIP compensation.

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