Types of Car Accident Liability Claims: A Guide
You're injured in a car accident. Do you have a liability claim against someone? Laws differ from state to state. In general, if someone else caused the accident, you can file an insurance claim against that person's insurance policy. For Florida drivers, there's a caveat because Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Hire a personal injury lawyer in Bradenton, FL, to make sure you get full compensation for your car accident liability claim.
Florida drivers are required to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. If you're injured, your PIP coverage will pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. It doesn't matter whether you or the other driver was at fault for the accident. Your PIP insurance doesn't cover property damage or compensation for pain and suffering.
Liability Insurance Claims
If you suffer a serious injury, you may have a claim against the insurance policy of the person or company that caused the accident. Florida law lists 4 instances when an injury is considered serious:
- A permanent injury
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- The loss of the ability to perform a body function
A car accident personal injury lawyer can advise you on whether your injury meets the test. If so, you can recover not just your medical expenses and lost wages, but you can get compensation for your pain and suffering.
You'll also have a claim for property damage against the person or company causing the accident. You can recover for repairs to your vehicle or the replacement value. You can also get reimbursement for any rental expenses you have while your car is being repaired.
Someone other than the driver may be at fault for the accident. If a defective car part such as a tire caused the accident, you can recover against the insurance policy of the manufacturer of the tire. If the other driver was on the job, you may have a claim against the other driver's employer, or if a mechanic was responsible for the accident, you can recover against a repair shop.
In Florida, your fault doesn't bar your claim. Your fault only reduces the amount you can recover. Even if you're 90 percent at fault, you can recover 10 percent of your damages.
An insurance company may contact you about settling your claim. Don't sign a settlement document or a release without consulting an attorney. Attorneys are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies to get you full compensation for your injuries.
Time to File
In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury suit following an accident. If a spouse or child is killed in a car accident, a suit must be filed within two years of your loved one's death. Don't wait until the time for filing a suit is about to expire to contact a lawyer. A lawyer will need to investigate the scene, interview witnesses, and gather evidence soon after the accident.
If you're injured in a car accident, call Erjavec Injury Law at (941) 907-1133 for a free case evaluation.