In our fast-paced modern world, car travel is an unavoidable daily reality. Whether it takes the form of commuting or just getting from A to B, the majority of adult American’s rely on their car. Unfortunately, this means that the possibility of a car accident is also an unavoidable part of life for most. Statistically, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is the most dangerous thing that most people do every day.
Bodily injury, along with property damage, is one of the most common results of a car accident. A bodily injury can range from minor soft tissue damages such as abrasions, all the way through to permanent paralysis. Bodily injury liability costs also take into account complications such as lost income or lifelong health issues. If you have experienced any of the above in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation from your insurance company.
This also works the other way. If you were at fault in a car accident and the other person receives a serious injury that exceeds your liability coverage insurance, your assets could be at risk. It is important to pick the right bodily injury liability insurance policy for you. Here at The Law Place, we can help you find liability coverage insurance that is right for you.
Dealing with an insurance company for your injury claims can be a daunting experience, especially considering that most insurance companies will attempt to pay the lowest sum possible. Luckily, an experienced personal injury lawyer from The Law Place can help you to claim the level of compensation you deserve from your insurance company. We understand that compensation can be essential for stabilizing your financial situation, as a combination of lost income and medical bills can turn a relatively straightforward case of physical injury into a downwards financial spiral.
Don’t allow yourself to settle for less compensation than you deserve from your insurance company. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers at The Law Place today. We are available for free consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call now on (941) 444-4444 to see how we could help you.
How Does Making a Bodily Injury Claim Work?
When considering making a claim, it is important to know how the system works in Florida. Florida is a no-fault state according to Florida Statue 95.11, which means that no matter who is at fault for the car accident, both drivers deal with the claims through their insurance companies.
In order for this system to work, Florida Statute 627.7407 requires all drivers to be insured with a minimum of $10,000 dollars worth of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, as well as an additional $10,000 worth of liability for property damage.
However, your insurance company is only obliged to cover 80% of your medical expenses up to your PIP insurance limit. This leaves many people in a situation where they receive a settlement from their insurance company which they find to be insufficient. The only way this 80% mark can be exceeded is if your medical bills reach a greater total than your insurance policy.
That being said, if your medical bills do not exceed your insurance limit but you still feel you deserve more compensation, you may still have legal options. After a car accident, a lawyer may file a lawsuit if they establish that your claim meets the required threshold.
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The minimum threshold for a bodily injury lawsuit following an accident is defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 627. This statute states that a lawsuit can only be filed against the insurance company if the victim receives a permanent injury, significant loss of function, disfigurement or if the accident results in a death.
Unfortunately, that is not the only criteria. Your lawyer must also prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injuries. This means proving that the other party’s actions were the cause of your bodily injury and were caused by their recklessness or carelessness.
How Can I Prove I Meet the Injury Threshold?
Detailed documentation is the key to proving that your bodily injury meets the injury threshold. It is important that a detailed journal, including photographs, is kept detailing your bodily injury. All correspondence and bills for medical expenses should also be retained. Your injury lawyer will help you compile these documents and any additional evidence they can muster, however it will be significantly easier to build a solid case if you practice good documentation from the beginning.
Examples of evidence used to prove your injury to an insurance company include:
- Copies of bills for your medical expenses.
- Photographs of your bodily injury.
- Prescription receipts.
- Testimony from your medical professional.
- Your own testimony, as well as that from your family, friends or others present during the accident.
- A bodily injury journal detailing how the injury has impacted your daily life.
What Other Factors Should I Consider in a Bodily Injury Claim?
A bodily injury case is rarely straight forward. As there are many different ways a car accident can occur, these can impact the way in which compensation is calculated.
If the other party was entirely at fault for the accident, then the liability lies with them. This is the most straight-forward situation, as they will be responsible for your compensation. Situations where the other party is entirely at fault can result from accidents caused by drink/drug driving, reckless driving or distracted driving, such as through the use of a mobile phone whilst driving.
However, often it is less clear cut whose fault an accident is. In these situations, the process of comparative negligence may be used to calculate a split in responsibility for costs.
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Dividing the portion of responsibility for an accident is one of the most important and challenging factors of a claim. Florida law operates under comparative negligence rules. This means that damages in a lawsuit will be limited by the amount you were at fault.
To give an example, if you were deemed to be 30% at fault for the accident, the compensation you receive will be reduced by 30%. This means you will only receive 70% of the worth of your claim.
As it is possible for multiple people to be found at fault, your case is likely to involve more than one insurance company. In this case, whatever you say to the other driver’s insurance company may be held against you. It is vital not to sign any documents, or even to avoid making a statement to an insurance company before speaking to your lawyer. An insurance company will be experienced in paying out as little as possible and may goad you into admitting more liability than is necessary.
The Statute of Limitations for Bodily Injury
Another thing to consider when making a claim is the statute of limitations.
Florida Statute 95.11 states that in an accident due to negligence, the statute of limitation is four years. This means that you may make a claim up to four years from the time of the accident.
While this may seem like a long time, it is the best practice to begin your claim as soon as possible, before there is any chance of evidence becoming lost or the opposing party’s insurance company getting a head start on creating a solid case.
What If I’m on the Receiving End of a Bodily Injury Claim?
There is always the chance that you were entirely at fault for your car accident. Lawyers at The Law Place will not judge you, as we know that life is rarely black and white.
As mentioned earlier, due to Florida’s no-fault laws, medical costs of up to $8,000 of basic PIP insurance will be covered by your insurance company’s liability coverage. However, if the other party has medical bills which exceed your PIP protection or have received serious, life-long issues, you will not be adequately protected by the liability coverage of basic PIP.
In order to be adequately protected from this risk, additional liability coverage can help. There is a specific type of bodily injury liability insurance, in case you are at fault in an accident which causes serious injury claims from others.
What Is the Recommended Amount of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?
Bodily injury liability coverage, unlike PIP, is not mandatory. However, this does not mean that it is not recommended. If you are found at fault of an accident which causes serious damages to the other party, lacking sufficient bodily injury liability coverage to deal with their medical bills can mean entering a perilous financial situation.
If you choose to buy insurance which covers bodily injury liability, there are minimum limits to how much you can spend. These limits are $10,000 for injuries per person and £20,000 for injuries per accident.
However, if you have a high income or considerable assets, it is possible to become a target for lawsuits. Having the correct bodily injury liability coverage can leave you safe in the knowledge that you are protected.
The best way to find out the correct level of bodily injury liability to buy is to contact one of the lawyers at The Law Place for a free consultation today. We can help you decide what insurance policy is right for you, considering your individual situation.
How Is a Bodily Injury Settlement Calculated?
Calculating the correct amount of compensation for a bodily injury settlement can be a complex process. There are a number of factors to consider, from the scale of injury and medical treatment to the additional damages of lost wages or affected lifestyle.
There are two methods commonly used to calculate the amount for a bodily injury claim. However, other alternatives exist such as computer modelling and the use of previous claimants as a payout precedent.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method involves gathering a figure from the quantifiable damages, such as medical bills or lost wages. This figure is totaled and then multiplied by a number between one and five, depending on the extent of the injuries, with five representing the higher end of the severity scale.
Permanent traumas such as paralysis or brain injuries have been known to receive a higher multiplier than five.
The Pier Diem Method
The Pier Diem method literally means ‘per day.’ This method entails calculating a monetary value for each day that the injury continued. Daily income is often used to calculate this, as it must be demonstrated to the court how you have arrived at your Pier Diem figure.
Due to the specifics involved, it would be unwise to employ this method when dealing with a long-term injury.
What Is the Average Pay Out for a Soft Tissue Injury?
While soft tissue injuries are common results of an auto accident, they can be difficult to claim for. This is due to the extent of the injury often being invisible to the naked eye. For this reason, it is essential that the claimant document the injury and associated medical expenses thoroughly.
The compensation from soft injury claims varies widely. However, if you are suffering from an injury, it is still worth seeking legal advice. The Law Place offers free consultations, so if you would like to get an accurate estimate of your potential compensation we can help by offering you a detailed evaluation.
Contact The Law Place Today
Our personal injury lawyers have a huge range of experience to assist you in your bodily injury liability case. We are here to help if you:
- Have been involved in an accident and need help recovering the appropriate compensation from your insurance company.
- Were at fault in an accident which exceeds your bodily injury liability insurance.
- Need help recovering your bodily injury liability compensation from the insurance company of an at-fault party.
- Or just need advice on any of the above.
Dealing with the cold realities of insurance companies can be an upsetting and disheartening experience. Choosing the right insurance for your situation can be confusing and can lead to you being misled. Luckily, with The Law Place, you are not alone. One of our attorneys can help you to receive the best result you are entitled to by law.
Here at The Law Place, we make it the bare minimum to go above and beyond to secure you the best results possible. Our devoted team will work tirelessly by your side, constantly aware and sensitive to the levels of residual trauma involved in any car accident. It is important to choose a law firm that you trust, so The Law Firm promises to offer you honest and unbiased advice concerning which legal options are the best for your situation.
Our free consultations are designed to work around you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unlike run-of-the-mill law firms, we operate our cases as a team. This means that you will benefit from the 75+ years of experience our combined legal team hold. If you want the best results from your legal situation, call us on (941) 444-4444 today!