You need to be prepared to face road accidents by brushing up on your rights and responsibilities in a state like Florida. Here, there were over 400,000 crashes in 2018 alone. So, the first thing to do in case you get into a car accident is to hire a Florida car accident lawyer.
Florida is a Pure Comparative Negligence state. This means that if both parties are partially responsible for the accident, then the amount of damages received by the plaintiff is reduced. To receive compensation for the claim you filed, you need to prove the following four elements:
You need to prove that the defendant had a duty of care towards you.
The defendant breached that duty of care through their action or non-action.
It was this breach that caused the plaintiff’s injury.
There was harm to the plaintiff due to the actions of the defendant.
This said, because Florida follows pure comparative negligence laws, you need to prove that a defendant was at fault. This can be determined through:
The investigators from law enforcement and the insurance company will look at the physical evidence present at the crash site. They will examine the extent of damage to the vehicle, the accident scene, the damage to the road near the site, skid marks, and any photos or videos of the crash.
The investigators will take statements from any witnesses present at the time of the crash. They may be the plaintiff, the defendant, the passengers riding with them, and people present around the site at the time of the collision.
Usually, when a crash occurs, one of the drivers’ was breaking the law. It could be in to form of speeding, jumping a red light, and/or not using the proper lanes. A Florida car accident lawyer, along with the police, will help determine fault.
Florida’s No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
This means that the plaintiff and passengers will send a claim to their insurance company for medical expenses, lost income, and other out of pocket expenses incurred due to the accident. Only in cases where the defendant is completely at fault will the claim be sent to their insurance company.
The vehicle damage claim can be sent to the defendant’s insurance company with no limitations according to Florida law.
The Exceptions to No-Fault Laws
According to Florida law, you can shed the limitation of no-fault laws if you can prove that the accident caused “serious injury” to you. In Florida, serious injury constitutes the following:
- Fracture of Bone
- Significant Disfigurement or Scaring
- Permanent Partial Impairment of a Body Part
- Permanent Complete Impairment of a Body Part
- Full Disability for 90 days or more
If you can prove that your injuries meet the above conditions, then you’re not limited to making a personal injury claim with your insurance company alone. You can hold the at-fault driver responsible for the injuries either by a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. This allows you to claim compensation for non-economic losses such as “pain and suffering” caused by accident.
Now that you know how fault is determined in a car accident, you can file the relevant claim with the insurance company. If you can prove that your injuries qualify as serious as per Florida law, then you can file a third-party claim or a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for the non-economic losses caused by accident.