Auto collisions cause more serious injuries in the Sunshine State than any other type of accident, and they often happen entirely because of one person’s reckless or careless conduct. Because of how Florida personal injury law is set up, though, you may have limited rights to demand compensation for your losses after this kind of incident depending on the severity of your injuries and what insurance coverage you do or do not have.
Making sense of legal procedures and maximizing the recovery available to you after a wreck could be much easier with support from a capable Florida car accident lawyer at Distasio Law Firm. Whether you need to recover through insurance for a few short-term losses or need to make up for long-term harm caused by a life-altering injury, your dedicated personal injury attorney’s help will make a world of difference in how effectively you can enforce your rights.
No-Fault Rules for Florida Car Crash Claims
Generally, when you get into a wreck in Florida, your “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage—which you should have as part of your legally required car insurance coverage—should cover vehicle damage up to policy limits. It should also cover up to 80 percent of expenses for medical treatment made necessary by the accident and up to 60 percent of wages lost during recovery from accident-related injuries. However, Florida’s “no-fault” approach prohibits victims from filing lawsuits over car accidents to recover for additional losses unless the crash directly led to a “serious injury.”
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The specific definition of a “serious” injury can vary a bit from case to case, but it usually means an injury expected to cause substantial and permanent physical disability or disfigurement. Litigation is also possible after a crash resulting directly in someone’s premature death, in which case PIP benefits would also provide up to $5,000 in death benefits directly to the decedent’s estate administrator/executor.
If the “serious injury” threshold is met, you could demand restitution for the full value of both past and future medical expenses and income loss, as well as non-economic forms of harm like physical pain and lost quality of life. A Florida car accident attorney like Scott Distasio could go into more specific detail about potentially compensable losses during a private consultation.
Important Deadlines After an Auto Wreck
Under Florida Statutes §95.11(3), a person with standing to file suit over a serious injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident must do so within two years of when the collision actually occurred. Failing to file before this deadline expires will almost always lead to your prospective case being “time-barred,” leaving you with no legal means of recovering compensation.
Additionally, eligibility for PIP benefits is generally contingent upon an injured person seeking professional medical diagnosis and treatment no later than 14 days after their wreck. Once again, support from a well-practiced lawyer can be key to understanding and complying with these rules following an auto accident in Florida.
Seek Help from a Florida Car Accident Attorney
Getting in a wreck while driving can be a frightening experience under any circumstances, especially when you are not responsible for the crash happening in the first place. Fortunately, help is available from knowledgeable legal professionals with experience assisting people just like you.