It can be overwhelming knowing what to do following a car accident. Not only are you recovering from your injuries, but you will also be faced with expenses for medical treatment and property damage. You may have been forced to take time off work and are no longer earning a living. You may even be facing the prospect of never regaining your previous quality of life. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way that you can be adequately compensated for your losses, and an experienced lawyer is the only person who can hold a responsible party financially liable for their actions.
If you have been injured in an accident in Florida and are unsure about who can be sued and how you can file a personal injury claim, The Law Place can help. During a free consultation, one of our experienced car accident attorneys can explain this process to you. Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Florida’s Auto Accident Laws
The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with Florida’s car accident laws because there is a good chance that they will affect your compensation claim.
- Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that before you make any claims against another driver’s car insurance company, you will need to speak to your own insurance provider.
- Florida follows the comparative fault model for establishing fault in an accident.
- The statute of limitations (deadline) or filing an accident claim in Florida is four years.
- Drivers who have been involved in an accident are required by law to file a police report if the damages exceed $500.
The Florida No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law
Every driver in Florida is required by law to carry motor vehicle insurance. The state operates under a no-fault system, as per Florida Statute 627.7407, which means that individuals will usually need to file a claim against their own insurance policy in order to receive any compensation. However, we recommend that you speak with a car accident lawyer before you contact your insurance company. A lawyer can handle everything and will support you through the legal process. Remember, insurance companies will pay out as little as possible, and only the most experienced attorneys can ensure that you are awarded a fair settlement.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Rule
In more serious car accident cases, determining fault is important. The Florida courts will follow the comparative fault rule, as per Florida Statute 768.81, to establish liability and award damages to the victim. A jury that follows pure comparative fault guidelines will reduce the total amount of damages based on your total percentage of fault. For example, if a drunk driver caused your accident, but you were traveling above the speed limit at the time of the collision, the jury may lower your settlement by around 10%.
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When You Can Sue Following an Accident
A personal injury lawyer will be able to provide a definitive answer about your ability to sue for damages following an accident. They can review the facts of your case and tell you how to proceed.
Some examples of circumstances that warrant a car accident lawsuit in Florida are:
The Offer From Your Car Insurance Company Does Not Cover the Costs of Your Damages
All insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly as possible. They will also do everything they can to reach the lowest possible settlement. This can lead to victims struggling to pay their medical bills and other expenses. This is why you should not accept a settlement offer until you have asked an attorney to review your case.
The Accident Was Not Your Fault
If another party is liable for your injuries, you can hold them legally responsible for all of your losses associated with the accident. This includes medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and future earning capability, as well as the cost of any long-term care, such as physical therapy.
A Faulty Car Part or Manufacturing Error Part or a Product Caused the Accident
An experienced car accident attorney may advise looking into alternative types of legal action. For example, car manufacturers must follow strict liability laws. If they can be shown to have violated these laws and their errors contributed to your injuries, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against them.
Car accident claims involve several factors. Liability must be established, as well as the severity of an individual’s injuries and their subsequent losses. If you do qualify to sue another party under Florida law, an experienced attorney can fight for compensation on your behalf.
Suing a Negligent Driver in Florida
Common grounds for suing another driver following an accident involve acts of negligence. For example, you can file a lawsuit against a person who was:
Driving Under the Influence
A driver who is found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher will face severe penalties. If the drunk driver caused your accident, they could be held liable for your injuries.
Driving Whilst Distracted
Common examples of car accidents caused by distracted driving include using your mobile phone, eating, or talking to other passengers. If an accident was caused because a driver was not paying attention to the road, you could sue them for negligence.
Fleeing the Scene (Hit and Run)
Any person in Florida who is involved in an accident must remain at the scene until law enforcement permits them to leave. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime and is even more serious if someone is injured in the process.
Violating Florida Traffic Laws
Florida law sets out strict road traffic laws that every driver must adhere to. Drivers who violate right of way rules, travel over the posted speed limit, or driving on the wrong side of the road, for example, will face serious penalties.
To prove that another driver acted negligently, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can thoroughly investigate your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf. Call The Law Place today for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Damages That Can Be Included in Your Car Accident Settlement
Following a car accident, an injury victim may be eligible to claim economic and non-economic damages for their physical and emotional injuries. This can include:
- Medical costs.
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings.
- Pain and suffering.
- Property damage.
- Rehabilitation, such as physical therapy.
Unfortunately, not all of these damages will be covered in full by your insurance company. You may need to file a lawsuit in order to be fully compensated for your losses.
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Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in the State of Florida is four years from the time of the incident. Whatever the case, you should speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later. Accident cases take time to build, and the quality of evidence diminishes over time. Furthermore, if you think four years have passed, you should still seek legal advice as your claim may still be valid under some circumstances.
How Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You
A personal injury lawyer can help in several ways. They can investigate the accident scene, examine the police reports and witness reports, and contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. The auto accident attorneys at The Law Place will fight for the compensation that you are rightfully owed.
Call The Law Place Today
If you have been injured in a car accident and another driver was liable, The Law Place can help. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience and has handled many car accident lawsuits similar to yours.
During a free, no-obligation with us, a car accident attorney will review your case and begin to prepare your claim. With our knowledge and experience, we can ensure that you are successful in obtaining the settlement you deserve.
Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call today; we are ready to get started on your case.