Car Accident Injuries and Compensation
If you are injured in an automobile accident, there are many different kinds of compensation to which you may be entitled. The money that you may receive from the negligent party is referred to as damages, because it is meant to compensate you for certain losses that you have suffered as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Damages can include compensation for many different kinds of losses, such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and past and future medical expenses. Furthermore, there are different requirements for being eligible for different kinds of damages after an accident. A skilled car accident attorney will be able to tell you more specifically what damages you may be awarded.
Application of Insurance and Damage Thresholds
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to motor vehicle insurance. Florida auto policies are required to have personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage in the amount of $10,000. If you are in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident, your PIP coverage pays for 80% of your medical expenses, 60% of your gross wage loss, plus all expenses reasonably incurred by you in obtaining services, such as housekeeping and child care, that except for the injury, you yourself would have performed for the benefit of your household. PIP also pays reasonable mileage or expenses for transportation to and from doctors’ offices for medical treatment. Medical expenses incurred by you over and above this $10,000 are part of your damages that you may be entitled to recover from the negligent party. In addition to damages for medical expenses, you may also be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. However, to be entitled to pain and suffering damages, under Florida law, you must have suffered a significant and permanent loss of bodily function or significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Fault and Comparative Fault
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, to be entitled to recover damages from the negligent party, you have the burden of proving that the other driver was negligent and that his or her negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Florida uses a comparative fault system in determining fault and this has an impact upon the amount of damage one can collect from the other party. This means, that if you were partly at fault for the accident, your recovery from the negligent party will be reduced by that percentage of negligence the jury may assign to you.
Damages are broken up into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are damages with a fixed monetary value and include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and others. Non-economic damages include those for pain and suffering, and are usually more difficult to determine. However, the purpose of personal injury actions are to make the person “whole” again and even though pain and suffering may be hard to quantify, it is a serious consequence of many injuries.
Contact Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys After an Accident
If you are injured in a car accident, you should contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your claims are preserved. Our experienced car accident attorneys at Roman & Roman in Clearwater, Florida can help you to get the compensation that you deserve.