Who Pays For Car Accident Compensation In Florida?
You've been hurt in a car accident and you don't know what to do. You're being treated for your injuries and your medical expenses keep adding up. You can't go back to work yet. You're losing income. Other bills keep coming in. It's a complicated and confusing time. What should you do? How will you pay all these bills?
West Palm beach car accident lawyer David Glatthorn can help. He has been working with people dealing with similar situations for more than 30 years. He understands how Florida's complex legal system works and he knows how to maximize your compensation.
Filing a 'no-fault' claim with your insurance company
Unlike many states, Florida is a "no-fault" insurance state. That means accident victims turn to their own insurance companies first for compensation. State law requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL)
But the true cost of a car accident often exceeds those amounts, and it's a good idea to buy additional coverage.
How the system works
Personal injury protection will pay 80 percent of your reasonable medical expenses related to your injury. It will also pay up to 60 percent of your lost wages if you can't return to work right away. In addition, this insurance will help cover the costs of replacement services, including household chores you are unable to do because of your injury.
Property damage liability helps cover the costs of damage you caused to another's property, such as a fence, or their car.
It is also a good idea to buy optional insurance coverage to help protect you. For example, bodily injury liability insurance helps pay the costs of any permanent injury. Collision coverage helps you pay for damage to your car, or for a replacement if it can't be repaired. Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection (UIM) can help you pay for certain damages caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers. These can include the costs of permanent, serious injuries and your own property damage.
Filing a lawsuit
In many cases, the best way to address your accident-related expenses in Florida is to file a lawsuit. But not everyone can do so. Florida places strict limits on who can sue other drivers for costs associated with a motor vehicle accident. By law, the injury must meet certain conditions. The injury must have caused:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
There are no such limitations on suing another driver to seek compensation for property damage.
The problem is insurance companies sometimes dispute such medical conditions. They might claim that your injuries don't meet one of these definitions. As a result, such insurance companies will object to your right to file a lawsuit. Attorney Glatthorn knows how to build a strong case that insurance companies can't ignore.
All lawsuits must be filed within 4 years of the date of the accident. That deadline is known as the "statute of limitations." Four years might seem like a long time. But the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to build a strong legal case. Evidence disappears. Memories fade. And insurance companies don't rest. They're often actively working to gather evidence to reduce or deny your claim.
We can help you
Attorney Glatthorn has a strong track record of getting results for clients who have been injured in Florida car accidents. He has negotiated favorable settlements with insurance companies. He has won against them in court. He will not rest until justice is served.
Contact us for a free case evaluation. Call 800-990-9394. When you have David Glatthorn on your side, you'll get a tireless advocate with the knowledge and experience to get you maximum compensation. Best of all, you pay nothing if we don't win.