Florida’s slower pace and sun-and-fun attitude appeal to vacationers, snowbirds, and fortunate full-time residents. The Sunshine State has so much to offer and see and plenty of roads to get you from A to B. Unfortunately, due to its immense popularity, there are also an unfathomable amount of vehicles on its streets and highways. And with more vehicles comes a higher likelihood of a car crash.
After a car accident in Ocala, contact Meldon Law for a free consultation. As Central Florida’s car accident lawsuit experts, they can help you receive compensation for your damages so that you can try to put this tragic event behind you.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, between January 01, 2023, and July 07, 2023, there were 196,355 vehicular crashes in the state. These accidents resulted in a little less than 1,700 fatalities and 125,530 injuries. During this same period, 3,490 crashes occurred in Marion County.
These accidents were the result of many different reasons. Drug and alcohol impairment, driver error, vehicle problems, and adverse weather are just a few causes of Florida car crashes. Overall, per 100,000 vehicle miles driven, Florida averages 1.72 deaths, one of the highest in the country.
Florida’s car crash lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury cases. However, the Sunshine State has a few nuances to the law that could differ considerably from other states. Each car crash will differ, but certain regulations are common to all of them.
Florida is a no-fault state. All resident drivers must carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) on their vehicle’s insurance policy. If you’re injured in a car wreck, your personal car insurance will pay for your damages, such as medical bills. However, depending on the amount of coverage you opted for, it may not cover all of your needs. If you’re suffering from physical or emotional chronic pain, PIP won’t pay a dime for it.
To receive the maximum compensation for your economic and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering), you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Florida recently lowered the personal injury statute of limitations from 4 to 2 years, so filing the lawsuit as early as possible is crucial. The change in the time to file is an attempt to cut back on frivolous personal injury lawsuits, but it’s impossible to be certain if it’ll have any effect. However, this shortened time to legally file a lawsuit highlights the importance of working with an attorney as quickly as possible.
With Florida being a no-fault state, you may think that you’re only entitled to collect what your PIP caps are. While this is true in the broadest sense, you can seek compensation that’s well beyond what your car insurance policy will pay. To do so, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
To file a Florida personal injury claim, you’ll have the burden of proving that the other driver was at fault and, as a result, you sustained severe injuries. Victims of car accidents can experience not only physical injuries but also emotional trauma. Unfortunately, PIP coverage doesn’t acknowledge this. However, with a successful personal injury case, you can sue for non-economic damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
Factors that can affect the monetary amounts for these non-economic damages can vary. The severity of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s quality of life weigh heavily on the value. Other factors include how long the recovery will take or if the victim’s injuries are permanent.
You may have a greater chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida than in other states. Florida’s mandatory PIP car insurance was established to squash frivolous personal injury lawsuits. However, this may be unfair to accident victims who did nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To ensure you’re fully compensated for all economic and non-economic damages after an accident, contact an experienced car crash attorney who can help you file a personal injury lawsuit. They have the know-how to negotiate with insurance companies and can assist you in getting the compensation that you deserve.