If you have been injured in a
car accident in Florida, you need to understand your options for recovering financial
compensation for your losses, such as medical expenses, property damage,
and lost wages. One of the most important things to know is that Florida
is a “no-fault” insurance state.
A no-fault state means that – after a collision – you must
file a claim under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
in order to get compensated for your losses – no matter who is at
fault for the accident. PIP insurance covers your medical treatment, lost
income, and other expenses as a result of the crash.
However, there are some exceptions to this law. First, if a person suffered
a “permanent injury” from the collision, then he/she can file
a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Common examples of permanent injuries include:
Permanent or significant loss of an important body function
Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
Permanent or significant disfigurement or scarring
Another exception to the no-fault rule is if the injury you suffered results
in medical bills or lost wages totaling more than the $10,000 in PIP coverage.
In this example, you can file a claim to recover any medical expenses
of lost income not covered by your PIP insurance.
But what happens if the at-fault driver claims you were partially or completely
responsible for the crash? In such cases where all parties share liability,
Florida follows a “pure comparative fault” rule, which means
your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
For instance, let’s say the jury awards you with $100,000 in total
damages, but also decide you are 20 percent to blame for causing the accident.
Under Florida’s comparative fault rule, you can only take home $80,000
or 80 percent of your $100,000 total. Even if the jury decides you are
more liable for the collision compared to the other driver; you will still
be able to recover some percentage of your total damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Dunedin,
contact Paulsen Law Group today for a free initial consultation.