Being involved in a car accident can be a jarring experience—literally and emotionally. You may have received serious injuries because of a negligent driver and may be questioning what step to take next. A knowledgeable, compassionate car accident lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm can dramatically influence the outcome of your car accident claim. We have a deep understanding of Florida law and will work to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Are Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws?
Because the state of Florida requires drivers to carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) as a part of their auto insurance, they are known as a “no-fault” state. This means that no matter whose fault the car accident is, each driver’s PIP insurance will pay for medical costs related to the accident, as well as lost wages related to the accident. Florida is one of only 12 states in the U.S. that have no-fault insurance laws.
These laws were implemented under the belief that insurance premiums would decrease if ineffective insurance claims were reduced. The troubling fact is that, in actuality, Florida’s no-fault laws have doubled the insurance coverage required for any given accident, since both drivers—the at-fault driver and the innocent driver—are paying for coverage on an accident.
Florida requires all drivers to carry a minimum PIP of $10,000 medical and disability benefits per person per accident, which is paid with no determination of fault. While PIP covers economic losses—those losses that have a specific financial amount attached to them—it does not cover non-economic losses.
These losses are pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. To recover non-economic damages, you will either have to make a claim under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, a bodily injury liability policy, or by filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver. PIP benefits start paying first, before you can pursue other coverages, but you must see a doctor within 14 days of your auto accident to receive the full $10,000 in benefits—and must be diagnosed with an “emergent medical condition.”
As you might imagine, $10,000 can be used quickly, with a single trip to the hospital exceeding that amount. You can purchase Medpay, which will pay medical bills after your PIP is exhausted, otherwise, your options become more limited. If the car accident left you with serious physical injuries, as well as non-economic damages (pain and suffering), you must meet Florida’s “threshold” requirement. This means your injuries must be considered significant enough and permanent enough to qualify. Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury, and significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement all qualify under the threshold requirement.
What are the Most Common Causes of Fort Lauderdale Car Accidents?
Distracted driving has quickly moved up the list of the most common causes of car accidents. We are a nation of distracted, multi-tasking drivers, and the result is an increase in car accidents. The most common distractions include texting or talking on a cell phone, changing car controls, eating, talking to a passenger, and turning around to see what the kids or pets are doing in the back seat.
Speeding is another top cause of car accidents. Not only are accidents more likely when drivers exceed the speed limit, but they also cause more serious injuries. Failure to stop at stop signs or traffic lights is another factor in car accidents, often leading to “t-bone,” or side-impact car accidents.
Impaired driving, whether drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs (prescription or illegal) is a common cause of car accidents. Those under the influence have a diminished ability to recognize and react to any situation, making them more likely to be involved in a car accident.
Car accidents caused by overly fatigued or sleepy drivers are quickly becoming a top cause of car accidents, as well. Many American adults are consistently sleep deprived, which affects the body much in the same way as being impaired, drastically slowing reaction times and decision-making abilities.
How a Car Accident Lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm Will Help
Having a car accident lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm can make all the difference in the outcome of your car accident. You may be (understandably) shaken, unsure of the next step to protect your future following a car accident. Florida’s no-fault insurance laws can be confusing and complex, so having a strong car accident lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm allows you the time to heal while we handle the legalities. We will comprehensively evaluate your car accident, then present your options clearly. You pay nothing unless we recover a settlement on your behalf. Contact Lauriston Law Firm today.