After a car accident, dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial stress can be overwhelming. Further, once you have received immediate medical care and recovered from the shock of the collision, the last thing you want is a battle on your hands when pursuing compensation.
If you are unsure about your legal options after being injured by a negligent driver, our Jacksonville car accident lawyers can provide counsel and advice in a free consultation. If we can help, we provide everything you need for your case. We are powerful legal advocates and can seek damages on your behalf while you take time to heal.
Seeking Compensation after a Car Accident in Jacksonville
Florida’s insurance laws work slightly differently from other states. Initially, both drivers can make a claim under their policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of who is legally responsible for causing the accident, up to policy limits.
Compensation Available Under PIP
Florida drivers are legally required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage which pays 80 percent of medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working. So if your medical treatment costs $10,000, PIP would pay $8,000. Further, if your injuries are not considered an emergency, PIP only provides $2,500 in coverage. In fatal accidents, PIP provides $5000 in death benefits.
What if My Damages Exceed the Limits of My PIP Coverage?
If the sum of your medical treatment and lost wages exceeds your PIP cap, you can seek to recover the difference from the at-fault driver’s PIP (again, up to their policy limits). However, if they were also injured, their claim would be deducted from the PIP available first, reducing the amount available to cover your losses.
For example, if your losses amount to $50,000, and you and the other driver each have $10,000 in PIP coverage, the maximum you could recover would be $16,000 (as PIP covers up to 80% of costs) minus the amount the other driver claimed under their PIP. So what about the rest?
If you purchased underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), an optional add-on to your auto insurance, you would probably use this to recoup the rest of your losses up to policy limits. UIM pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related losses, provided you are not at fault for the accident, and the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your financial damages.
If PIP and UIM still aren’t enough to cover your medical costs, you could sue the other driver for the remaining amount by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, your injuries must meet a specific legal threshold.
What if I don’t Have UIM Insurance Coverage?
UIM coverage and uninsured motorist coverage (UM) are both vital in Florida, where many drivers are uninsured. However, if you don’t have UIM coverage, you could still make a third-party claim or lawsuit against the other driver or their insurer if the accident caused a permanent injury, severe disability, severe scarring, or disfigurement.
Common financial damages include:
- Current and anticipated lost wages
- Past and ongoing medical bills and treatment costs
- Impaired quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Filing a personal injury lawsuit means proving the other driver was negligent (for example, drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, or failing to obey traffic signs and signals).
What Happens if the Other Driver Is Not Insured?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 20 percent of Florida motorists do not have auto insurance, which is much higher than the national average of 12.6 percent. Again, we recommend taking additional insurance coverage to protect you if an underinsured driver injures you. If you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you could file a lawsuit against the other driver if their negligence caused your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (561) 995-1966
We Take the Stress Out of Making a Car Accident Claim
While PIP coverage was designed to make auto accident claims easier for injured drivers, recovering compensation after a collision can still be complex and overwhelming for many. This is where our Jacksonville auto accident lawyers can help. We make the claim process simpler for our clients by:
- Helping you understand how to file a claim and what to expect from the legal process
- Investigating the accident to determine who is liable
- Assessing how much insurance coverage is available to pay for your injuries and other losses related to the accident
- Determining an appropriate course of legal action to recoup your losses (the process could involve several claims against different policies or parties)
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Calculating your current and anticipated financial damages
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Representing you in court if necessary
- Always being available to answer your questions and providing regular case updates
- Providing our legal services with a no-win-no-fee guarantee
Time Limits Apply to Your Case
While you should make sure you notify your insurer as soon as possible after the accident, several other critical deadlines could affect your claim. For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida car accidents is typically four years.
However, if you were injured by an uninsured driver and carry UM coverage, you would have five years to pursue your claim.
Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (561) 995-1966
Call Our Car Accident Attorneys in Jacksonville for a Free Consultation
For almost three decades, the legal team at GED lawyers has been helping clients with their personal injury cases. During this time, we’ve learned a thing or two about fighting for results that make a difference in the lives of everyone we represent.
So, if you or a loved one is worried about making a claim or struggling to get the compensation you deserve, contact GED Lawyers today. We offer free consultations to explore your legal options and learn how we can take the stress out of this difficult situation.
Call or text (561) 995-1966 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form