When You Can and Can’t Sue after a Crash in Florida
People rely on vehicles to get to their destinations safely every day. Although you may leave ample space between you and other cars and stay aware of driving hazards, car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye—even to the most cautious of drivers. No matter how the accident occurred, your car is most likely damaged, and you may have even sustained injuries.
Accidents are overwhelming, especially if you have to take time off work and lose income to treat any injuries, which is why you should contact an experienced Orlando car accident attorney in many cases.
What Is No-Fault Auto Insurance?
Florida uses no-fault auto insurance. Each driver’s car insurance may pay for their damages, so determining the at-fault driver is unnecessary. Your insurer may cover out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. The coverage may also extend to vehicle passengers and any injuries they sustained.
Since Florida uses no-fault auto insurance, the chances of being sued or having to sue another party to obtain compensation after an auto accident are lower compared to other states.
When Can I Sue after a Car Accident in Florida?
If your injuries are “serious injuries,” you may be able to pursue legal action against the other party. Florida law states four injuries that qualify as “serious”:
- Permanent injury
- Significant or permanent scars
- Significant or permanent loss of a bodily function, such as walking
In these situations, you may be able to sue the other driver for the accident and receive compensation for your injuries, including pain and suffering. Since the term “significant” can be left to interpretation, part of your debate in court will be negotiating whether your injuries are “serious.” Because of this, you should meet with a Central Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim.
How to Prove the Other Driver Caused the Accident
As with any personal injury case, you will need to prove the other party caused your accidents. Generally, you’ll have to establish that the driver was negligent in their actions. You’ll need to prove the following occurred for a successful negligence lawsuit:
- The driver owed you a duty of reasonable care.
- The driver violated this duty of care by acting recklessly or carelessly.
- You suffered a serious injury.
- Your injury was a direct result of the driver’s negligence.
You can establish negligence in many ways, including police reports, eyewitness testimonies, or medical records.
Can I Sue Even If I’m Partially Responsible for an Accident?
There is usually more than one party liable in most car crashes, and the other driver may claim that you were partially responsible for the accident. This falls under the comparative negligence rule, which means the percentage of damages you’re responsible for may reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
For example, if someone ran a red light, but you were speeding, a judge or jury may reduce your total compensation by a certain percentage.
Skilled Auto Accident Attorneys in Central Florida
Don’t delay seeking out a car accident attorney in Central Florida. The state only gives you four years from the accident to file a personal injury claim. At The Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience and are well versed in handling auto accident claims.
We can negotiate with your insurance company to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation, or we can represent you in court if you have a serious injury. Whatever your case may be, our attorneys will fight for the justice you deserve.
Call our office or complete a contact form to schedule your free consultation.