Due to Florida’s no-fault rules regarding car insurance, registered drivers are expected first to seek compensation for their injury expenses through their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. However, if they incur an injury that meets the state’s serious injury threshold, as explained in Florida State Statute §627.737, they can bypass the PIP claims process and instead seek compensation through the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy. An experienced Cocoa Beach car accident lawyer from Andrew Pickett Law can help with this process.
Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Policy
Those who register their vehicles in Florida are required to obtain a PIP policy to cover expenses related to injuries they’ve sustained in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. This policy can provide 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost wages related to the injury, up to the policy’s limit. Drivers must have a policy that provides at least $10,000 in coverage.
If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the expenses exceed the limits of their PIP policy, or they meet the state’s serious injury threshold, the claimant can seek compensation from the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy. The types of injuries that meet the state’s serious injury threshold include:
- Permanent and significant loss of an essential bodily function
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Cocoa Beach, call 321-503-4014
When You Need More Compensation than PIP Provides
When coverage from your PIP policy runs out or in cases of a serious injury, the claimant can seek compensation through Florida’s personal injury claims process. This process generally involves the claimant — with an experienced car accident attorney in Cocoa Beach – first seeking compensation for their claim by sending a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance provider can then analyze the claim and accompanying documentation, conduct interviews of the parties involved, and determine whether to accept the demand as submitted, deny it, or offer an out-of-court settlement for less than the claim’s full value.
The value of the claim is based on several factors, including the amount of insurance the at-fault party has, the severity of their injury, and the expenses and impacts they have already incurred and will likely incur in the future due to their injury. It is not unusual for early settlement offers from the insurance provider to be far below this stated value. The claimant’s attorney can negotiate with the provider to garner an offer that fairly compensates them for the expenses and impacts of their injury.
If the insurance provider fails to fairly compensate the injury through an accepted demand or a negotiated settlement, the claimant’s attorney can file the case as a personal injury lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court so that a judge or jury can determine liability and compensation.
Proving Who Is Liable for Compensating Your Injuries
To receive compensation for your injuries, a Cocoa Beach car accident lawyer can help you to prove liability. Liability is proven by showing that:
- The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions to prevent injury or property damage when operating their vehicle on a public roadway. Reasonable actions include operating the vehicle safely and legally.
- There was a breach of this duty when the at-fault party took unsafe or illegal actions while operating their motor vehicle on the roadway.
- This breach resulted in the accident in which the claimant was injured.
The Expenses and Impacts You Can Be Compensated For
In addition to providing who was liable for the accident resulting in injury, Cocoa Beach car accident claimants must also show how the injury impacted their finances and day-to-day lives. Here is a look at some of the compensation that can be sought through the Florida personal injury claims process.
Florida car accident claimants can seek compensation for medical expenses such as:
- Emergency treatment
- Ambulance transport
- Surgical services
- Prescription medication
- Medical supplies, assistive devices such as crutches, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
Additionally, if there are disabilities that have been incurred as a result of the injury, compensation can be sought for hiring someone to provide assistance with personal tasks, as well as long-term care and modifications to the home that are necessary to accommodate the injury.
Claimants can seek the value of wages, benefits, and other earnings that were lost while they were too injured to work, as well as the value of future earnings if their injury prevents them from being able to achieve the same earning capacity as they did before their injury.
If the claimant’s vehicle was damaged due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, they could seek compensation to cover the cost of repairing or replacing it.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to compensating out-of-pocket expenses such as those listed above, Cocoa beach car accident claimants can also seek compensation for their injury’s impacts on their lives, including physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss the enjoyment of life.
Cocoa Beach Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 321-503-4014
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Cocoa Beach Today
Car accident attorneys provide experience with the process and an understanding of both the laws governing traffic and the needs of those who car accidents have seriously injured. We treat every claim as though it is going to trial and strive to provide the clear and prompt communication necessary to have a positive outcome for a claim.
Let an experienced Cocoa Beach car accident attorney from Andrew Pickett Law help you understand the process of seeking compensation for the injuries you incurred in a car accident. Contact us for a free case evaluation.