If you were involved in a car accident, your first analysis of how bad the accident was usually comes from how much damage the car suffered. But in many car accident cases, the damage makes the crash look far worse than it was because parts break to dampen the impact on drivers and passengers. In a smaller percentage of cases, your car may have little to no damage, but you still suffer physical injuries. It is important to remember that car accident cases are often about the injuries, not the property damage. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains how you may be able to sue for a car crash, even if your car wasn’t damaged.
Filing Car Accident Claims for Accidents Without Car Damage
When you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit for a car accident, you may be entitled to multiple types of damages. If the crash caused serious damage or totaled your car, you may be entitled to the cost of repairs and other expenses. If you suffered bodily injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, any lost wages from missed work, and compensation for your physical pain and mental suffering.
If you were injured in a car accident, this should always be the focus of any claims or lawsuits. It is important to take your case to a personal injury attorney for help, since they will concentrate their efforts on the physical injury claims rather than the damage to your car. With the injuries as the focus of the lawsuit, damage to the car is not necessary to prove your case.
There are multiple ways that you could have physical injuries after a car accident, even if there isn’t much damage to your car. Many car accidents occur at low speeds, like crashes in heavy traffic or parking lots. Especially if you were injured in a rear-end accident in Florida, you could suffer whiplash injuries, back injuries, and other issues.
Just because there is no visible damage to the car does not mean that there was no accident or that it wasn’t the other driver’s fault. Sometimes “near misses” and other incidents can still cause damage or injury. For example, if you are forced off the road by another driver during a road rage accident, you may not collide with their car or any stationary objects. You could, however, drive into a ditch or bumpy surface which moves you around inside the car. You could suffer head injuries if you hit your head inside the car or neck and spine injuries if you get whiplash. There are many other types of low speed accidents that can lead to serious injuries, especially involving older cars with less destructible “crumple zones.”
Should I Sue for a Car Accident or File with Auto Insurance?
In many car accidents, Florida law may require you to file with insurance. However, there are exceptions to the rule that allow you to file your case in court instead. There are pros and cons to each method, but you may ultimately be entitled to more compensation through a lawsuit.
When you are injured in a car accident, car insurance may not pay for your full range of needs. First, while insurance can reimburse you for medical expenses, the insurance company may be picky about what damages it will cover, and some policies may not cover 100% of the expenses for medical bills. If you miss work, you may be entitled to recover your lost wages, but it is up to the specific insurance policy whether they will pay past and future wages or full amounts. Lastly, insurance may give only limited amounts for pain and suffering, but these damages can often be some of the most substantial parts of compensation in a lawsuit.
When you sue, the goal is to restore you to your pre-accident state, as best as the law can. This means reimbursing you for any expenses you made, like medical costs, the cost of transportation to doctors’ appointments, fees for any wheelchairs or crutches, the cost of missing work during recovery, any wages you will miss if your injuries affect your future work, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
However, Florida’s “no-fault” insurance laws limit when you can sue. If your injuries are worth more than $10,000 or are “permanent,” you can often take your case to court. Back and spine injuries and neck injuries like whiplash may be sufficiently “permanent,” so talk to an attorney about your case to see if filing a lawsuit is an option.
Miami Car Accident Lawyer with Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, talk to a personal injury lawyer in Miami today. The important thing is to get your medical treatment and the costs of your injury covered, not focus on the damage to your vehicle. For a free consultation on your case, contact Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.