If you have been involved in a minor car accident, you may be wondering if you can sue or be sued for the incident. If a driver or pedestrian was seriously injured, there is potential for a court dispute or settlement for pain and suffering damages. However, minor accidents generally cannot involve civil courts or non-economic compensation. Florida No-Fault law means that insurance will have to cover expenses related to the crash.
If you are unsure of how to proceed, contact The Law Place to discuss your options. Our team of qualified Sarasota auto accident attorneys will provide you with exceptional legal advice and inform you of the potential outcome of your car accident claim.
Schedule a free consultation with The Law Place and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444.
What Does No-Fault Law in Florida Mean?
You may not be able to sue for damages after a car accident. This will rest on whether or not you have sustained serious injury as a result of the incident. If you have, you have the right to pursue a court case. However, if not, Florida Statute 627.7407 denies you the ability to sue a driver for damages. This is known as Florida’s No-Fault law.
Under this law, insurance providers are the ones who automatically cover any expenses related to car accidents. This is the same law that forces motorists to carry insurance that includes PIP (personal injury protection). Involved parties will make claims against their insurance no matter whose fault the crash was.
In order to sue for damages, your injuries must meet what is known as the serious injury threshold. Florida Statute 316.027 defines serious injury as a physical condition that poses a real risk for long-term debilitation, permanent or extensive scarring/ disfigurement, loss of mobility/ bodily function, or death.
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Can I Be Personally Sued for a Car Accident?
You may be worried about the legal ramifications if you have been involved in a car accident that was your fault. Florida No-Fault law means insurance automatically covers property and minor injury damages related to a car accident, no matter whose fault it is.
Individuals cannot sue for a car crash if there was no serious injury sustained. An insurance company will typically cover the majority of property damage, lost wages, and other economic damages, as well as medical bills for minor personal injury to a driver.
If the crash resulted in serious personal injury for one or more of the involved parties, they might have the right to file an injury claim for non-economic damages suffered as a result. Also, if a commercial vehicle was involved, victims have the right to sue the driver and company for damages.
What Happens If Someone Sues You After a Car Accident?
The first thing you must do in the event of being sued for damages in a car accident is to consult with a qualified attorney. Obtaining accurate legal advice is essential for your defense.
If a driver or pedestrian has been seriously injured as a result of your actions, your insurance may not be willing to cover the potential damages. Consult with your insurance company and car accident lawyer to plan a strategy for your defense and find out the potential ramifications of a court case or settlement.
How Long Do You Have to Sue For an Auto Accident?
If you have sustained a serious injury, you will have 4 years to file your personal injury claim with a civil court, according to Florida Statute 95.11(3)(a). If you were a minor at the time of the accident, the 4 years would begin on your 18th birthday at the discretion of the court.
You should file a lawsuit as soon as possible. It is important to act quickly. Auto insurance companies will try to devalue your claim and possibly hide evidence that would be in your favor. All they care about is their bottom line. A qualified car accident attorney will start an investigation into your crash and collect evidence for your case.
Don’t let an insurance company get away with offering you a small figure for your pain and suffering. Contact The Law Place to see how much you may be entitled to today.
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How Much Should I Ask for Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident?
Each car accident case is as unique as the individuals involved. This makes any claim for pain and suffering equally unique. There is no average settlement for auto accident cases that result in serious injury.
Determining how much your injury claim should be is a decision you and your lawyer should discuss. You need to address the strengths of your case and how much anguish you have endured after your accident occurred. The hardships of your daily life can be a deciding factor in whatever sum you come to.
Different methods can be used to quantify your pain and suffering. Most often, lawyers will use a “multiplier,” or “per diem” method. These quantify anguish and personal loss for the plaintiff’s claim.
This multiplies the costs of your accident to calculate the pain and suffering damages owed to you. Typically, this is done on a range of 1.5 to 5. If your initial costs were $20,000, your lawyer may decide on a multiplier of 2 to account for the anguish you experienced. Your pain and suffering claim would be $40,000, plus the initial $20,000 cost, making your total potential settlement $60,000.
Per Diem Method
The “per day” method calculates the amount of financial compensation you are owed by determining a figure for each day you have been affected. For example, if your medical bills were $30,000 and you lost $200 per day in lost wages over 100 days ($20,000), you would be you be owed an additional $50,000 in pain and suffering damages.
An insurance company will almost always take a precedent-based approach to any policy claim. If a previous case was awarded $25,000 for an injury similar to yours, they may offer you the same amount.
This should not be taken as a concrete calculation for your potential claim. Each case is unique and requires a lawyer to help you determine what you should argue for. You shouldn’t let an insurance company decide how much your pain and suffering is worth.
Consult a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer Today
Have you been involved in a minor car accident? Was anyone hurt as a result?
Contact The Law Place today to discuss your options. Whether you are seeking to sue or are looking to defend yourself from a lawsuit, our qualified car accident attorneys are here to ensure you have the best legal aid available. With over 75 years of combined experience, our lawyers can give you the answers you need.
Schedule a free consultation with us today to find out what you could be entitled to.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444.