Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. What that essentially means is everyone must carry a special type of coverage on their auto policy known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). If you’re in an auto accident, the first insurance to pay for medical expenses, wage loss, and a select group of other damages is your insurance through your PIP policy.
The limits on a PIP policy is $10,000, and medical expenses are paid at 80% with adjustments based on a fee schedule. PIP applies no matter who is at fault for a collision.
The at-fault driver is still responsible for anything above the PIP limits or for any damages not covered by PIP.
This is only a quick summary and the details of PIP coverage are complex. For more information or questions about your situations specifically, call us. Our consultations are always free and we can help make sense of this process.
As attorneys dealing with the legal process day in and day out, we can sometimes use terms that are common place for us but not necessarily for the general public. One such term is “damages.” We use this term constantly because they form the backbone of the relief sought by an injured party. What are “damages” though?
In any legal claim, there are elements that must be proven in order to be successful. One such element is “damages.” This general term encompasses many different types of harm done to someone, and eventually, the person bringing the claim asks that the responsible party pay for the harm they’ve caused.
There are many types of damages, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll talk about the three most common in a personal injury matter like a car wreck.
The first is economic damages. Harm caused by a responsible party that fits into this category are simply put as anything with a dollar figure, or something that is quantifiable. Medical bills, wage loss, and out of pocket expenses would all be considered economic damages. Basically, anything coming out of or not going into your wallet as a result of someone else’s negligence is an economic damage.
The second is non-economic damages. As you can imagine, these damages are the exact opposite of economic damages. Any harm done that is not quantifiable is considered a non-economic damage. Pain and suffering is a common phrase for non-economic damages, but also included is effects of daily living, frustration and nuisance of the claim, emotional hardship caused, etc. The goal with non-economic damages is to quantify the unquantifiable.
The final type of damage most common in personal injury cases is permanent impairment. Should an injury be permanent or at least lasting for the foreseeable future, there may be an award for permanent impairment. Medical providers give opinions on the permanence of an injury, and again, your lawyer’s job is to quantify what the cost of those impairments will be in the future.
If you’ve been a car wreck or suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence, call us. We can discuss these damages and possibly other types that are more specific to your case. Our consultations are always free.
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“How much is my case worth?” is typically one of the first questions a client asks a lawyer after giving a rundown of the facts of their case. The reality is that there are so many details and specifics that dictate the value of a case, it is nearly impossible to estimate the value of a case on the front end. Here are some of the key variables that impact how much you are going to get:1. Liability
If a jury (or insurance adjuster) sees a dispute about the responsibility of each party for causing the accident, they may apportion fault and assign what is known as comparative negligence. The value of your damages can be offset by the percentage of fault assigned to each party. Where liability is in dispute, we use our experience and team of highly qualified experts to investigate and gather evidence to prove liability in your favor.2. Insurance Coverage
Sadly, in Florida, motorists who are legally insured may still not carry what is known as “bodily injury” liability insurance. No matter how valuable your case is, your ability to recover damages from the other driver may be limited by the amount of their insurance coverage. If the other driver’s policy has low limits, your multimillion-dollar case is worth only as much as the insurance company is contractually obligated to pay. There are other potential sources of recovery. For example, if the other driver was engaged in a work activity for their employer when the accident occurred, the employer’s insurance may cover your damages. Also, as a safeguard, it is important to carry Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM) on your own policy which may provide additional coverage for your personal injury damages. At Spinner Law Firm, we perform a comprehensive investigation to reveal each and every potential source of insurance coverage.3. Severity of Injuries
No matter how minor or how major your accident was, it is up to you as a Plaintiff to prove the injuries that were caused by the crash. If the client experiences an awful accident, but was not seriously injured, the claim for personal injuries is not significant. Conversely, even if a client was in a minor accident but suffer serious and/or life altering injuries, the claim will be worth much more. We will work alongside your medical providers to assure that the severity and permanency of your injuries are well documented.4. Medical bills and damages
In Florida, your initial medical bills are covered in part by your own personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage up to $10,000. Medical treatment is expensive and when someone is seriously injured, it is likely that their medical expenses will exceed that which is covered by PIP. The medical expenses you’ve incurred for accident-related treatments, and the cost of future medical expenses that you are “reasonably certain” to incur underly the damages you can collect in your personal injury case. In many cases we rely on experts, including life care professionals to calculate the amount of your past and future medical expenses. Other economic damages can be recovered in a personal injury case, including loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity, loss of spousal support and companionship, and pain and suffering. At Spinner Law Firm, we work hard to develop all the damages suffered in your accident to maximize the value of your case.GET HELP FROM EXPERIENCED SARASOTA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
As you can see, personal injury cases are very complex, which is why it is in your best interest to have skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel. At Spinner Law Firm, our team of injury attorneys and support staff focus on accident cases day in and day out. We have the experience and resources necessary to fully prosecute your case and we never settle for anything less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please call us today at (941) 269-1111 for a free, in depth, attorney consultation.