How Do You Recover Compensation for a Car Accident Injury?
After a wreck, you may be wondering how to recover compensation for a car accident injury. It doesn’t take much for a car accident to cause serious injuries. Even seemingly minor collisions can leave drivers and passengers in need of emergency treatment—and this treatment can prove incredibly expensive. When combined with lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses, these costs can leave many injured drivers and passengers in need of significant financial compensation.
So, how do you recover compensation for a car accident injury?
The answer to this question isn’t straightforward. Car accident victims can have different legal rights in different circumstances, and asserting these legal rights can prove challenging. As a result, if you have been seriously injured in a collision, it is best that you seek help from an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Financial Recovery Options After a Car Accident In Florida
In some cases, car accident victims will only have one option for recovering their losses. In others, they may be able to file multiple claims to maximize their financial compensation. Generally speaking, the financial recovery options after a car accident in Florida include:
1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, your first source of financial recovery is your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. By law, all drivers in Florida must carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
Since Florida is a “no fault” insurance state, you are limited to filing a PIP claim unless you can show that you have suffered a “significant” or “permanent” injury (as defined in Florida’s “no fault” insurance law). Personal injury protection insurance covers medical bills and a portion of your lost wages up to your policy limit.
2. Auto Liability Insurance
If you suffered a “significant” or “permanent” injury in your car accident, then you can file a claim for additional auto insurance coverage outside of PIP. However, while PIP provides coverage regardless of fault, liability insurance coverage is only available if you can prove that another driver caused your accident. There are two main types of auto liability insurance:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – This is coverage that protects other drivers and passengers when the insured driver causes an accident. Unfortunately, BIL insurance is not mandatory in Florida. However, many drivers still opt to purchase this coverage.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) – This is coverage that drivers can buy to protect themselves in the event of a serious accident. If you have UIM coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company if the driver who hit you: (i) is uninsured; (ii) fled the scene; or, (iii) does not have enough BIL insurance to fully cover your losses.
Whether you have a BIL claim or a UIM claim (or both), you will need to present evidence of fault in order to secure the coverage you deserve. You will also need to present evidence that proves how much you are entitled to recover. As a result, even if you will be dealing with your own insurance company, it is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
3. Vehicle Defect Claims
Another option for recovering compensation for a car accident injury involves filing a vehicle defect claim. If a vehicle defect caused your accident or your accident-related injuries, the vehicle’s manufacturer could be legally and financially responsible. This is true whether the defect affected your vehicle or another driver’s vehicle.
4. Road Defect Claims
Road defects are common causes of car accidents as well. If you crashed or another driver lost control because of an issue with the road, then the government entity that is responsible for building and maintaining the road could be liable for your injury-related losses. Hazards in the road (i.e., gravel, debris, and lost truck loads) can entitle car accident victims to financial compensation as well.
5. Employer or Rideshare Company Liability
If the driver who hit you was working at the time of the collision, his or her employer may be liable for your losses under Florida law. Similarly, even though rideshare drivers are not considered “employees,” companies like Uber and Lyft can be held liable for car accidents in some cases as well. To find out what claim (or claims) you can file—and to maximize your financial recovery—you should speak with a lawyer promptly.
Contact an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer for FREE
Do you need to know more about your financial recovery options after a car accident in Florida? If so, we encourage you to contact an Orlando car accident lawyer at Colling Gilbert Wright right away. Our attorneys can help you pursue the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
Contact our office today online or at (800) 766-1000 for a FREE case evaluation. We handle car accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we win.