It is hard to overstate the disruption and inconvenience that comes with a car accident, even when everyone escapes serious injury. When an accident does leave someone with significant injuries, however, the stress could be overwhelming.
If you were involved in a severe crash, calling an aggressive personal injury attorney should be one of your first steps so they can give you proper advice about how to proceed.
If the accident caused significant injuries or property damage, a Mount Dora car accident lawyer could immediately begin preparing your claim for damages from the liable party.
Florida has a no-fault system for car accident claims. Everyone who registers a vehicle must have liability insurance to cover property damage and a $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) policy. When an accident occurs, each driver and any passengers in their vehicle who do not have their own coverage turn to the driver’s PIP for coverage of their injuries, regardless of which driver was at fault.
PIP covers 80 percent of medical expenses, up to the coverage limits, and 60 percent of the wages lost while the accident victim is recovering. However, PIP does not offer compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering. Drivers can buy additional coverage that pays more toward an accident victim’s medical expenses and lost wages, but there is no coverage for the subjective losses an injured person might suffer in a wreck.
PIP will not pay for medical treatment unless the injured person sought care within 14 days of the accident. Anyone who has been in a wreck should get medical care as soon as possible. Getting prompt medical treatment protects an injured person’s health and produces a medical record that a Mount Dora personal injury attorney could use as evidence later, if necessary.
If an injury requires hospitalization and the person has minimum PIP coverage, they will likely reach their coverage limit quickly. Their health insurance will cover their injuries, but many people do not have health insurance or they have high-deductible policies. They must step out of the no-fault system and into the civil court system to get appropriate compensation.
The law does not allow everyone with car accident injuries to bring a civil lawsuit for damages. Only people with injuries that the law defines as “serious” have the option of suing a negligent driver. According to Florida Statutes § 316.027, serious injuries include:
Fatal injuries are also considered serious under this statute. The family of someone who died in a car accident could sue the negligent party who caused the accident in order to compensate for their loved one’s loss.
The definition of “serious” leaves room for interpretation – and pushback from the defendant’s legal team. A car crash attorney in Mount Dora could review an injured person’s medical records and consult with experts to determine whether an injury qualifies for a lawsuit under the statute’s definition.
When an injured person seeks damages in civil court, they must prove another party’s negligence caused the accident. In most auto collisions, the liable party is another driver. The injured person could prove them negligent by showing that they disobeyed a law or did not operate their vehicle with reasonable care.
If the injured person could prove negligence, the responsible party is liable for damages, which could include the medical costs and lost wages PIP did not cover and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include payments for losses like inconvenience, humiliation, physical pain, mental trauma, disability, scarring, and diminished quality of life.
Sometimes an injured person is partially responsible for an accident. A negligent driver could still collect reduced damages from other negligent parties based on their level of fault. It is important to have a lawyer who could rebut any insincere attempts to place blame.
Suffering significant injuries in a motor vehicle collision is frightening, and not just because of concern for your health. You might be wondering how to pay for the treatment and support you need if you have only PIP coverage.
A Mount Dora car accident lawyer could guide you through the process and put your mind at ease. Get in touch with The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense and Injury Attorneys today.
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