Auto Accidents: Why do you need an attorney?
In Florida, there are detailed laws and regulations that can make auto accident insurance claims complicated. To make sure you receive full compensation for your losses, it is important to contact an attorney who has experience dealing with Florida-specific laws. Our attorneys at Mitchell Law have a history of navigating the various rules and regulations regarding auto accident insurance claims.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment.
A good settlement is no accident!
What you need to know about PIP
Any conversation about auto accident insurance claims should begin with discussing Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000.00 in PIP Insurance. PIP covers up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident. That’s why Florida is referred to as a “no-fault state.” Unfortunately, in many cases this coverage is not enough to cover all of your medical bills and lost wages. Further, PIP will not cover property damage, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and other damages.
CAUTION: Be sure to read our discussion on how PIP can affect motorcycle accidents.
Before you exhaust your PIP benefits you may need to take legal action. Contact us now to set up an appointment.
Damages Beyond PIP
After PIP is exhausted, your attorney will contact the negligent party’s insurance company to recover damages for any remaining medical costs and other damages. Your attorney will determine whether or not the negligent party has Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI). Unfortunately, BI coverage is not mandatory and many drivers elect to go without, or if they do have BI coverage it may not be enough to cover all of your damages.
What do I do next if I exhaust my PIP and the negligent driver does not have BI coverage or not enough BI coverage?
When PIP is exhausted and the negligent party doesn’t have BI or not enough BI, your attorney will determine whether you are covered under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM). Attempting to collect compensation through your UM policy can be complicated, and will likely require the assistance of an experienced attorney. Your insurance company will likely try to limit your compensation. That’s why it’s imperative you consult with an attorney who is experienced in dealing with insurance companies.
All auto accidents are different. Injuries will vary according to many different factors. Some common injuries you may be diagnosed with include:
- Head Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Knee and Elbow Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Back Injuries
Compensation for Damages
Damages in auto accidents generally fall into two categories. “Economic Damages” also known as “compensatory damages” may include:
- Current and Past Medical
- Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
The other category of damages is referred to as non –economic damages. These damages may include compensation for the following:
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages