Car accidents can happen regardless of how careful we are. But when someone’s carelessness or recklessness has caused the accident, sometimes that person can be held responsible for any injuries that have resulted.
When you are riding in a car as a passenger in Florida, you have the right to expect that the driver is operating that vehicle cautiously and responsibly. If that driver acts recklessly and contributes to an accident and you are injured, that driver may be held liable for damages under certain conditions.
If you have been injured in an accident in Florida as a passenger, your best recourse is to get the immediate guidance of a Boca Raton personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, we can help.
Establishing Negligence in a Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit requires proof that some form of negligence was involved. The legal concept of negligence has four separate factors, or elements, that must be proven in a successful lawsuit. They are
- The driver had a duty of care toward you. As a passenger, the driver had a duty of care to drive carefully and cautiously to ensure your safety as well as all the other drivers on the road. All drivers have a duty of care toward each other and anyone else in the vicinity.
- The driver breached that duty. If the driver was acting recklessly or unlawfully, he or she breached the duty of care that was owed you as their passenger.
- The breach caused the accident. It is not enough that the driver was involved in an accident that resulted in your injury. The accident must have been caused, to some degree, by that driver’s breach.
- The accident led to damages. You must have been harmed or injured in some way, resulting in measurable damages.
Getting the advice of an experienced Boca Raton personal injury lawyer is critical to understanding if negligence was involved and if the at-fault driver can be held liable for your injuries
Florida’s No-Fault Laws
Under Florida no-fault laws, if you have been injured as a passenger in someone else’s car, you will first need to exhaust any insurance coverage available to you before bringing a lawsuit against that driver.
In Florida, anyone who owns a car is required to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage. As an injured party, if you have personal injury protection coverage, you will need to first seek reimbursement for your damages through your own PIP coverage. If you do not own a car, have no PIP coverage of your own, and no one else in your family has coverage, you will then file a claim against the driver’s insurance of the vehicle you were in.
For a free legal consultation, call (561) 995-1966
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Driver
Under Florida statute 627.737, a lawsuit may be filed against the car’s driver for economic damages if your injuries meet the no-fault threshold. You may also be able to sue the driver for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Requirements for meeting the no-fault threshold in Florida are injuries that have caused
- A significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement
- A fatality
The term “significant” can be highly subjective and can vary based on the individual, the circumstances and seriousness of the accident, and the severity of the injuries. Consequently, any lawsuit brought against a driver can be highly complex and will require the assistance of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who understands the nuances of our laws.
At Ged Lawyers, LLP, we diligently represent those who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, call us at (561) 562-4170 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your case.
Call or text (561) 995-1966 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form