Auto Accidents Resulting in Injuries
Filing a lawsuit must have crossed your mind after an auto accident if you have experienced injuries and damage to your vehicle. Most auto accidents happen as a result of negligence on a driver’s part. A negligent driver is one who is being careless behind the wheel: speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, or to turn on their signal lights at night. Any of these things could potentially cause injury to an individual.
Auto Accident Claim Requirements
In most cases, you can only hold a driver liable for the auto accident when it resulted in serious injuries based on the tort threshold. After the crash, a liability claim can be filed against the at-fault driver or motor vehicle operator if the plaintiff suffered from the following:
1. loss of any important bodily function that is significant and permanent in nature
2. permanent injury that is established via a medical expert’s testimony
3. scarring or disfigurement that is of a significant and permanent type
An individual who has expereinced any of these situations can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages pertain to mental anguish, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life, to name a few.
Florida is a No-Fault Insurance State
Before anything else, you must be aware that Florida upholds a “no-fault” system for car insurance. This implies that you have to turn to your own car insurance first for compensation on injuries as well as lost income. The minimum insurance required for personal injury protection is $10,000, the minimum for property damage liability is also $10,000.
If the accident injuries are permanent because they result in significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring, or if the crash results in the loss of any important bodily functions, then you can leave out of the no-fault car insurance system and consider pursuing claims against the at-fault driver.
Should you choose to make a claim for vehicle damage, then there is no need to consider the no-fault policy and go ahead with making a claim using the property damage liability policy of the at-fault driver.
Auto Accident Filing Deadlines
Once its established that you can file a liability claim, then you have to take note of the filing deadline that has been set in Florida for injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations states that for personal injury cases, they have to be filed within the next 4 years starting from the day the auto accident took place. Failure to do so means that the civil courts can refuse to hear your case. The only exception to this is if you discover that an injury was indeed related to the crash which was not apparent at the time and you were not aware of it for a long time following the crash.
For damages to or the total loss of your car, the same 4-year time window for filing any lawsuit applies. If the accident has resulted to death, the family can file a case of wrongful death against the driver or operator. The same must be filed within 2 years from the car accident date or the date the person was declared deceased if it is different from the accident date.
How Can The Bennett Law Center Help?
The Bennett Law Center is familiar with the procedures revolving around auto accidents in the State of Florida, as well as the best course of action to recover any damages from your injuries and and damage to your vehicle. Having a reliable attorney on your side to protect your rights and assist with any obstacles in your lawsuit will help to put you at ease and to focus on your health.