Florida’s no-fault car accident laws can be confusing for many car accident victims. It is important to understand that, despite what car insurance companies might tell you, Florida law does allow you to file a lawsuit in many cases. These lawsuits can help you fully cover the compensation you need after a car crash and get you the damages you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you were injured in the Coral Gables area, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Coral Gables car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked represents victims of car accidents and their families and fights to get them the compensation they need to keep going after a serious car crash. Call (305) 694-2676 today to schedule a free consultation on your case.
When Can You File a Lawsuit for Car Accidents in Florida?
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state. This means that every auto insurance policy is required to carry $10,000 of “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage. After a crash, your insurance company can pay you up to $10,000 to cover the costs of medical bills and lost wages without requiring you to prove who was at fault. However, the trade-off is that you give up the right to sue for basic car accidents. That means any non-permanent injuries worth under $10,000 must go through insurance, not the courts.
However, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit if the injuries you face are serious or especially expensive. Under Florida law, any car accident claims involving injuries that are considered “permanent” can go straight to court. This includes permanent loss of bodily function, injuries that will never heal, significant scarring/disfigurement, or death. In addition, any injuries that are worth more than the PIP limit can go to court. That means that if your medical bills and lost wages total more than $10,000, you can take your case to court to cover the balance.
When you use your car insurance, your policy may not fully cover the damages you face. First, you might be required to pay a deductible as part of the terms of your policy. Your policy may also cover things like lost wages and medical expenses only up to a certain extent, forcing you to pay a certain percentage out of pocket or through your health insurance. Second, additional damages may be available for pain and suffering. This can be a substantial part of your case, which you miss by filing through insurance.
Proving Fault in a Coral Gables Car Accident Case
When you take your car accident case to court, the most important factor the court will consider is who was at fault for the crash. Under Florida law, even if you were partly responsible for the crash, you can still recover damages for your injuries. The court may reduce your damages to account for the percentage of fault that you were responsible for if you were speeding or distracted, for example, when the accident occurred. However, the at-fault driver can still be made to cover the rest of the damages if you can prove they caused the car accident.
When trying to prove the case, your attorney will work to prove that the other driver was “negligent.” Most car accidents do not accuse the other driver of intentionally causing the accident, which is much harder to prove. Instead, your attorney works to prove that the other driver owed you a duty to drive safely and follow traffic regulations – but that the other driver breached that duty, causing your injuries.
When arguing your case, your lawyer can point to traffic laws and regulations, which help define what duty the other driver owed you. For instance, speed limits are written to keep other drivers safe, but if the other driver was speeding when they caused the accident, that speed limit violation can help you prove the driver’s negligence. The same is true if the other driver ran a red light, was texting and driving, or was under the influence when the crash occurred.
If you can, it is important to record as many details about the crash as you can. Take pictures or video of the scene of the crash, gather contact information from witnesses and other driver(s), and see if there are any nearby traffic cameras or security cameras that might have captured the crash. Your attorney can help you research this if you contact them quickly after the crash.
Coral Gables Car Accident Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash in Coral Gables, talk to an attorney today. Coral Gables car accident attorney Prosper Shaked represents victims of car crashes and their families in car accident lawsuits against the at-fault driver. If you suffered serious injuries or a loved one was killed in a car crash, you could be entitled to substantial damages and compensation. To set up a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.