Our legal system allows those who are injured to file a civil lawsuit against the other party whose negligence or recklessness led to you suffering injuries. The goal is to try to obtain the best possible results for our clients’ injuries, whether it’s monetary or obtaining the best possible medical care. Because of the negligence or recklessness of others, it is important to have a personal injury attorney that fights for you in getting the monetary damages for medical bills, lost wages, and much more that you deserve and stands up against the insurance companies.
At Ivanor Law, we know that every personal injury case is unique and should be handled with the utmost importance and the personalized attention it deserves. No matter how large or small the case is, we treat all of our cases with the highest priority. Whether you have questions about the many facets of personal injury law such as Florida No- Fault, Bodily Injury, PIP, Personal Injury Protection, Auto Accident, Car Accident, Uninsured Motorist, etc., the experts at Ivanor Law have decades of personal injury law experience and have outlined the top 5 things to know and consider about Florida Personal Injury Claims.
Five Things You Should Know About Personal Injury Cases
1. You Have A Limited Amount Of Time To File A Claim
Under the State of Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, your personal injury claim is only viable or 4 years. For medical malpractice there is only a 2 year statute of limitations. In addition, in some types of cases against certain government entities you may be
required to provide notification of your intention to sue to the defendant within an even shorter timeframe than the typical statute of limitations dictates. Moreover, in Florida, you now have only 14 days from the date of the accident to see a doctor. Failure to see a doctor within that time period could result in your insurance company not paying your PIP benefits. With these short timeframes looming, it is highly recommended that you seek legal help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to collect evidence and call witnesses on your behalf.
2. Under Florida No-Fault Accident Laws Drivers Can Still Be Held Liable
All Florida drivers are required to carry car insurance, but what do these insurance plans actually cover? Florida Statute § 627.730, commonly referred to as the “No-Fault” Law, controls auto accidents in the State of Florida. This law provides that if you are involved in an auto accident your insurance company will cover your medical bills and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who was at fault. Simply put, Florida has a no-fault system of car insurance which means each driver’s insurance pays for their own medical bills no matter who causes a collision. Florida drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for that purpose. The no-fault law requires that all registered vehicles, with the exception of motorcycles, carry a $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) policy, which extends coverage to the insured person, regardless of who was at fault. Luckily, this does not mean that the negligent driver isn’t held to accountable, and the claim cannot exceed the $10,000 minimum.
However, pursing a car accident claim against an at-fault driver can be complicated. For example, if the other party was at fault and caused the car accident, the injured person must meet the Florida serious injury threshold as outlined in the state statute. The requirements include, but are not limited to, significant or permanent loss of a major bodily function, disfigurement or significant scarring, some forms of permanent injury or death. (Florida Statute § 627.737(2)). If the threshold is met, the law allows you to take legal action against the other driver when your injuries are permanent, involve significant/permanent scarring/disfigurement or the significant/permanent loss of a bodily function. Survivors of those killed in crashes may also pursue damages.
3. There Is NO Money Paid To Your Personal Injury Attorney Upfront
A Personal Injury Attorney Is Paid On A Contingency Basis. This means that in Florida, your personal injury attorney isn’t paid unless you win. This system was put in place to recognize the fact that many people who are seriously injured simply do not have the money and access to the legal resources they need upfront to pursue a cases against a negligent individual. The contingency fee system allows those that have been injured to access quality legal services without having to pay money upfront, which is usually customary in other types of cases. The attorney agrees to represent the person without an upfront fee but with an agreement to receive of a percentage of the amount ultimately won in a trial or through a settlement. If the case does not win, however, the attorney is not entitled to collect fees. This means that personal injury lawyers aren’t inclined to pursue cases with little chance of winning (putting the whole frivolous filing misconception to rest). Most cases aren’t “easy” wins. Some take months or years to pursue. Yes, lawyers should be fairly compensated for the expertise, professionalism and hard work we bring to the table. Ultimately though, that’s not why we do this. It’s to advocate for those who have been wronged, seeking justice to help make them as whole as possible again moving forward.
4. If You Are At-Fault You May Still Be Able To Collect Damages
Much like the Florida no-fault system, the state follows a system known as pure comparative fault if you are negligent in an auto accident. Under this system, each party in the case is financially responsible for their own portion of the wrongdoing. For example, if you were partly to blame, the defendant will not be responsible for paying 100 percent of your damages. Instead, if the court finds you were 20 percent at-fault and the defendant 80 percent, the defendant will be responsible to cover only 80 percent of your damages. With pure comparative fault, you can still collect damages even if you were 99 percent at-fault. Your personal injury attorney should advocate to reduce any findings of comparative fault on your behalf.
5. You Are Not Required To Carry Bodily Injury Coverage
Bodily injury coverage is optional in Florida. If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver does not carry any automobile insurance or has insufficient coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage can protect you. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) bodily injury coverage can cover different expenses including, but not limited to medical bills and lost wages. UM coverage is highly recommended, and drivers should be sure that each car in their household is covered.
Whether you have questions about Florida No- Fault, Bodily Injury, PIP, Personal Injury Protection, Auto Accident, Car Accident, Uninsured Motorist, etc., the experts at Ivanor Law have decades of personal injury law experience and will fight tirelessly for your rights and recovery of your personal injury case.