When we hear there has been a car accident, our initial thought is to wonder if the driver has suffered any injuries. But what if there were other passengers on board the vehicle? With over 14 million registered car owners in Florida, it is not a surprise that car accidents occur regularly throughout St. Petersburg.
As a passenger, you confidently put your faith into the hands of the driver and trust them to make the correct judgments on the road. If you’re not a license holder with no need to carry car insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP), then you’re probably wondering who will pay for damages, injuries, or your loss of income.
If you were involved in a vehicle accident as a passenger, we recommend you get in touch with our St. Petersburg office and seek guidance from a car accident attorney. We can offer you a free consultation that will allow you to explain the incident at hand so that we can give you professional advice on the matter. You could be entitled to well-deserved compensation, so please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444.
Our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help your claim.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in an Accident?
Following a car accident, our lawyers recommend taking the relevant steps to record the incident correctly, so your car accident attorney can later use this as evidence to prove that another party was liable for the car accident. This will help to ensure you receive a significantly increased chance of receiving compensation. Following an accident, you should:
- Check for injuries – It is important to look at your injuries carefully, and if you’re able to, you should check on other drivers, passengers, or passers-by for injuries as well.
- Call emergency services- If anyone is seriously injured, then phone for an ambulance for medical attention. As stated in Florida Statute 316.062, you must call for law enforcement officers to arrange the removal of vehicles from the road if necessary. Law enforcement officers will also be able to record the incident properly and record relevant statements from those involved or eyewitnesses.
- Collect evidence- This includes recording all details of those involved, such as the name, number, vehicle information of all drivers, and record statements from eyewitnesses. It is also highly beneficial to take photographs of the scene, including vehicles, road conditions, skid marks on the road, and photos of your injuries.
- Seek medical care- According to Florida Statute 627.736, you have 14 days from the date of the car accident to seek medical care. If you do not seek medical care within the 14-day window, then your claim will unlikely be heard by a judge. If an accident victim was not aware of the statute of limitations, there might be an exception in some cases. However, you will need the guidance of a car accident lawyer.
- Contact an attorney- If you were a passenger in a car accident, it would benefit you to contact a personal injury lawyer if you wish to receive any compensation. It is statistically proven that your claim stands a significantly higher chance of being successful with a car accident lawyer at your side fighting for the compensation you deserve.
- Keep a journal- We recommend that you keep a journal or diary of the accident and note down any details necessary. This way, you won’t forget to tell us about even the tiniest details of the accident, which could be of aid to your case.
Florida’s No-Fault Laws
In Florida, the state works on a no-fault basis as stated under Florida Statute 627.7407. This means that the state is not liable for paying out any compensation for those involved in a car accident. Instead, all drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection as part of their insurance policy to cover all damages in the event of an accident.
The law states that as a passenger, you can claim damages from the driver operating the vehicle you were riding in when the crash occurred, whether they were at fault for the crash or not. You will be able to make a claim against their insurance policy unless your damages exceed the agreed $10,000 limit covered by their policy.
Personal Injury Protection is a minimum of $10,000 which means that your insurance plan or PIP will not be responsible for covering any damages exceeding this amount. In this case, your personal injury lawyer may be able to get you coverage for any damages exceeding the amount of $10,000. You can find more information on PIP in Florida Statute 627.736.
Which Driver Do I File a Personal Injury Claim Against?
If you were a passenger who was involved in a vehicle accident, then there could be a chance that you do not own a driver’s license or know how to drive. Therefore, you could be completely unaware of how an insurance company works or who to turn to for damages in the event of a car accident. As a passenger, you might be able to claim against:
- The driver’s insurance policy unless your damages exceed the agreed $10,000 limit covered by their insurance or PIP.
- Other parties at fault.
- Depending on the accident itself, there may be another party who is responsible for the crash. For example, there could have been a mechanical default or faulty car part which caused the accident, in which case you may be able to claim for negligence.
- If you are unable to claim from either driver involved, in some instances, you might be able to claim from your own insurance policy if you have one.
Each St. Petersburg car accident is different from the last. Whether you have been a passenger of somebody who was drunk driving or were injured at the fault of another driver, The Law Place is available to offer you professional legal advice.
Every crash in St. Petersburg is different from the last, but the injuries frequently sustained from a collision can result in a crash victim experiencing extreme pain and suffering. The increased speed and weight of a vehicle can commonly result in the following injuries:
- Head injuries/TBI’s– Traumatic brain injuries, sometimes resulting in brain damage.
- Whiplash– Known as one of the most common injuries sustained from a vehicle accident and involves injury to the neck.
- Spinal cord injury – Impact to the back could cause a broken back or damaged spinal cord, sometimes resulting in paralysis.
- Broken bones – This includes fractures or breaks commonly occurring to arms, legs, fingers, toes.
- Internal injuries- Severe bruising and damage may have occurred to organs, which can result in internal bleeding.
- Mental and emotional trauma – After experiencing a vehicle accident, it is common to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes the damage is not always physical but can result in a crash victim feeling extreme emotional distress.
Damages You Could Be Entitled To
Each car accident is different from the last, so it can be difficult to determine straight away the type of compensation you could be entitled to. If you were involved in a car accident and have suffered an injury, damages, or emotional distress as a result, then you could be entitled to a number of damages. Some of the usual damages that our accident lawyers may be able to claim for you are:
- Medical expenses – If you attained injuries that required you to go to the hospital, then you might be left with a huge list of medical bills, such as ambulance fees, hospital room bills, or require future hospital appointments, etc. Our law firm is here to help you with any medical bills that have been left to you and fund you for any future hospital appointments that you might have to attend.
- Loss of earnings – If you suffered serious injuries, then you may have spent a significant amount of time off work at home or in the hospital recovering. This means that you might have lost out on your usual job wage or monthly income, and as a result, are now struggling to pay for rent, bills, child support, etc.
- Property damage – As a passenger, it will not be your concern to pay for property damage, but the driver’s insurance companies responsibility. However, if you had personal property inside the vehicle that has become damaged or broken as a result of the car accident, you could be entitled to payment for your damages.
- Pain and suffering – You may be suffering from not just physical injuries but emotional distress as well. You might be suffering from PTSD or loss of interest in activities you normally would find pleasure in. If you have been prevented from taking part in your usual hobbies or daily activities, then our law firm believes you should be entitled to compensation for your emotional anguish.
- Loss of a loved one – In the worst-case scenario, you may have lost a loved one due to being a passenger in a car accident. If this is the case, The Law Place is here to offer you potential payment for funeral fees, loss of consortium, or any medical bills that have been left behind to you.
We understand the level of distress you must be feeling at this time if you or a loved one was unfortunate enough to be involved in a St. Petersburg car accident, but you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. We can assign you a highly established accident lawyer to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost Me in St. Petersburg?
You might be wondering how you will ever be able to afford to hire a car accident attorney. With the damages and loss of wages you have suffered as a result of time spent recovering, the last thing you need to worry about is finding the money for a lawyer. To have financial concerns on top of this can become all too overwhelming.
Here at The Law Place, all of our claims work on a no-win-no-fee basis. This means that unless your claim is successful and you receive compensation, you will not have to pay our attorneys a single thing. Only if your claim is successful will our attorneys take a small percentage of your settlement to cover all costs, so you do not have to worry about putting money aside for us.
You can also rest assured that as our valued client, you only pay for the service we provide; there are no catches or nasty surprises. We promise to show complete transparency on all legal costs from the get-go.
The Law Place
Our free consultations are an excellent way for you to make the first steps in gaining compensation. We will listen carefully to the incident and take our time in building up an excellent client-attorney relationship with you. Using our experience and knowledge, we can offer you high-quality, honest advice on which options are best for you at this time.
Our helpful legal team is always available 24 hours a day for you to call us, so when you feel you are ready to explain the incident to us, we promise to offer you our professional opinion on whether we think you could be entitled to compensation. With over seventy-five years of joined experience in a range of practice areas, our knowledgable law firm promises to work hard to receive you an outcome you can be happy with.
We take your claim seriously and value all of our clients. Call us today for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.