Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience. Even the most minor bump can cause damages to your vehicle, and possibly injuries to another driver or passenger. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after a car accident, but having a strong car accident lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm in your corner can make the entire process much more manageable.
What is the Average Compensation Following a Florida Car Accident?
Until you have discussed your car accident with an experienced car accident lawyer, it is virtually impossible to know what compensation you are entitled to. Your compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries, whether your injuries kept you from returning to your typical routine, whether you experienced pain and suffering, and how extensive any property damage may be. Since Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state, this means all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) that will pay for your medical expenses and other damages, no matter who is responsible for the collisions.
Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP, and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) to pay for any damages to the other person’s vehicle. There is no mandated bodily injury liability coverage, however, drivers may purchase an optional policy, as well as a policy for underinsured/uninsured motorists. PIP will pay for 80 percent of all “reasonable” medical expenses resulting from your car accident, including ambulance fees, hospitalization costs, surgical procedures, physician expenses, and other medical expenses—so long as you seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident.
PIP can also provide 60 percent of your gross wages if your injuries rendered you unable to return to work. Unfortunately, $10,000 in PIP benefits may not go very far if your injuries are more severe. In this case, you would want to pursue compensation from the negligent party. By filing a claim against the at-fault driver (and their insurance company), you can obtain medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering (accident-related damages that have reduced your quality of life), and property damages.
Medical expenses and lost wages are considered economic damages since a specific monetary value is attached to that financial damage—they are quantifiable. Pain and suffering expenses are more difficult because they are more subjective, thus labeled non-economic damages. Only you know how much pain you are experience daily, and how much that pain prevents you from participating in your typical routine.
If your injuries are severe and influence your daily routine, you will reach the “severe injury threshold” required by the state of Florida. Any significant or permanent loss of a central bodily function, total or partial disability, or permanent disfigurement or scarring will meet the severe injury threshold, allowing you to seek financial compensation.
What If I’ve Been Injured by an Uninsured Driver?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida ranks sixth among states with the highest number of uninsured drivers, with 20.4% of adults driving without auto insurance. If your injuries are minor, your PIP insurance will likely cover the expenses incurred from the accident. If, however, your injuries are severe—and that driver has no insurance—your options become more and more limited.
If your PIP insurance does not cover your medical expenses and lost wages, you could file a claim against the negligent driver. If a driver has no auto insurance, they are unlikely to have the capacity to pay a settlement; however, if you carry uninsured motorist coverage and can prove the other driver was at fault, your own insurer may pay your claim. Since uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory, it may or may not be a part of your policy.
How the Lauriston Law Firm Will Help
Being involved in a car accident is already frustrating, but when you discover the at-fault driver is without insurance, it can make the entire process infinitely more difficult. Speaking to a car accident lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm can make a significant difference in the outcome of your car accident. Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers have earned a solid reputation in Broward County. We understand your situation and will work to help you clear the uncertainty. Contact Lauriston Law Firm today.