When most people think about car accidents in Sarasota, their attention goes to the drivers involved. However, passengers also often suffer injuries and are very rarely at fault. If you have suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, then you have just as much of a right to compensation for your damages, which could include medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish. Florida law entitles you to pursue a personal injury claim; however, depending on the circumstances, the law can become a little complex.
That is why you need a reputable law firm on your side who is dedicated to fighting for your rights following an accident. At The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience dealing with car accident cases in Sarasota and the rest of Florida. We are a committed team of car accident lawyers who will fight by your side every step of the way. Contact us today on 941-444-4444 for a free consultation.
Which Driver Do I File a Personal Injury Claim Against in Sarasota, Fl?
If you were the passenger in a car accident, who you file a claim against will be dependent on your specific circumstances. Always be mindful when speaking to car insurance companies. Car insurance is big business, and like any large company, their top priority is profit. This means they will want to pay you as little as possible following an accident. Anything you say to them could devalue your claim, and because several car insurance companies could be involved in your car accident case, you need to be careful. Stick to the facts and avoid talking about the extent of your injuries, and, if possible, speak to a car accident attorney before you speak to an insurance adjuster.
However, you may file a claim against:
- The driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in or their insurance company. As stated in Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida is a no-fault state, so you may claim against your driver’s insurance company even if they were not at fault. If the driver of the car was not the owner, then you could still file a claim against the person who does own the vehicle or their insurance.
- If the other driver was at fault and the crash was severe, then you may be able to claim against them or their insurance company.
- If you own an automobile, then you may be able to claim from your own insurance company.
If you are unsure where to seek compensation in Sarasota, FL, then contact us at The Law Place today for a free consultation, we will offer you unbiased advice so that you can make an informed decision on your next steps.
Florida’s No-Fault Laws
Florida law, as outlined in Florida Statute 627.736, requires all drivers to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP will pay for 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost income. The driver’s PIP coverage will also cover you as a passenger, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, compensation can only be recovered up to the limits of the insurance policy. Therefore, you may have no choice but to claim from both drivers.
If one driver’s insurance policy only compensates you for some of your damages, then you may be able to claim the rest from the other driver. This will depend on the severity of your injuries, how many people were involved in the car accident, and what insurance limits each driver has. The minimum PIP in Florida is $10,000 in PIP. However, medical expenses can quickly exceed this amount.
Seek Medical Treatment After an Accident
After a car accident in Sarasota, Florida, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days in order to make a claim. However, we recommend seeking medical attention as soon as possible. This makes it easier for your car accident lawyer to prove that your injuries were a result of the accident. After a car accident, the adrenaline may initially cover the true extent of your injuries, so it is always better to get yourself checked out, even if you feel alright.
The Duty of Care
In Sarasota and across Florida, drivers automatically have a duty of care when driving their car. This means that they are expected to drive reasonably and safely in order to protect passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. If someone acts negligently, such as if they fail to follow the rules of the road or drive distracted, then they have violated this duty and could be liable to a lawsuit.
If you were injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle, you might be able to claim for the following damages:
- Medical Expenses – This includes any medical expenses as a result of the car accident, including past present and future. This may include hospital visits, rehabilitation, and transport to and from the hospital.
- Loss of Earnings – If you missed work because of the accident, then you deserve to be compensated for your lost wages and any lost earning potential.
- Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering damages include compensation for mental anguish and loss of enjoyment if you are left unable to do your usual activities. These are difficult to quantify, and you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side in order to fight for what you deserve.
- Loss of a Loved One – If you lost a loved one in a car accident, whether they were a passenger or a driver, then you could be owed compensation for funeral expenses and loss of consortium (loss of income to a family household).
What Will The Law Place Do for Me After a Car Accident in Sarasota, Florida?
Research has shown that more than 90% of people who have support from accident lawyers receive a payout. And on average, the payout is worth 60% more than those without representation.
After calling The Law Place, you will speak to one of our injury lawyers who will provide a free case review. In this review, they will determine whether they believe you have a strong case. If you decide you would like to proceed, then we will arrange a free consultation with a car accident lawyer who will explain in detail how they can help you, and what our fee structure looks like. That way, you have all the information before you commit to representation.
If you decide to continue with representation from our law firm in Florida, then one of our injury lawyers will begin investigating your case, contacting witnesses, and putting together a strong claim. That way, all you need to do is focus on your recovery.
Insurance companies in Sarasota are notorious for using underhand tactics to try and devalue car accident claims. When they hear that you have a car accident lawyer on your side, they will try and settle with you quickly. If you settle with insurance companies, then you waiver your right for any further compensation. This could leave you with much less then you deserve. Always speak to your car accident attorney first, who will make sure that you are not taken advantage of.
Most injury cases involving car accidents result in settlement. We will fight for a fair settlement without the hassle of going to court. However, we will not accept anything less than what you deserve. Therefore, if your car accident case does go to court, then we will have already built up a strong claim, and we will be ready to fight.
The Law Place
If you were a passenger in a car accident in Florida, then you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. With so many insurance companies involved, things can get complicated fast, and there may be people involved with a lot of experience in Florida law. So, level the playing field, by contacting The Law Place for representation.
At the very least, contact us for a free case review for some no-obligation advice. Car accidents are often preventable, and you deserve compensation for your injuries. We are open 24 hours a day so that you can speak to us when you need it most. Our practice areas cover the whole of Florida, so contact an accident attorney today on 941-444-4444.