Getting the compensation you need to cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering is often complicated after a car accident. While your no-fault insurance might cover some of these damages, it also limits you from claiming other damages. Getting what you need often means turning to a lawyer for help.
With the help of our car accident attorneys, you can fight to get full compensation for your injuries in a court of law. However, there are thresholds you need to meet and evidence you need to prove your injury case.
Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer by dialing (954) 751-4258 for a free case analysis with our car accident attorneys.
What Your No-Fault Insurance Covers in a Hallandale Beach, FL Car Accident
Every driver in Florida must have no-fault insurance with a PIP (personal injury protection) policy. PIP pays the driver and any passengers in their car for some medical costs and lost wages after a crash no matter who was actually at fault for the accident. This helps drivers who caused their own crash get some of their damages covered without having to pay out of pocket, but for innocent victims, it might limit coverage.
Your PIP insurance should pay up to $10,000 for a minimum coverage policy, but this will cover only 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages. To get the rest of the medical bills and lost wages covered, you may need to take your case to court.
These insurance policies cover $0 for pain and suffering damages. To sue for these damages, you will need to meet certain requirements referred to as the “serious injury threshold.” In Florida, this threshold is met for any injury that is permanent as well as the loss of a fetus or death of a loved one. It also covers some scarring cases, but the scarring needs to be significant.
When someone else is responsible for your injuries, it should not be left to you and your insurance policy to cover your injuries. Instead, you should work with an experienced car accident lawyer and seek to have the at-fault driver pay for your damages, which often means turning to a lawsuit. Many car accident cases involving injuries will surpass the $10,000 policy limit quickly, and 100% of the medical bills and lost wages will never be covered by the 80% and 60% coverage limits. This often leaves a lawsuit as your only option for full coverage.
Proving Car Accident Cases in Hallandale Beach, FL
When you take your injury case to court, you have to prove that the other driver was at fault before the court can order your damages paid. The “burden of proof” is on the plaintiff – the victim – to produce evidence and witnesses to prove fault “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This burden of proof means that you have to show it was more likely than not that your claim is true and that the other driver caused the crash. It is a much lower burden of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.
Typically, you do not need to prove that the driver intentionally hit you or caused the crash on purpose. Instead, most car accident injury claims are based on “negligence.” The law uses a few different legal standards for mental states, and negligence is easier to prove than recklessness or intentionality, for example. To prove negligence, you have to show that the defendant caused your injuries by violating a legal duty that they owed you. Usually, this breach of duty involves violating a basic traffic law, such as speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, or so on.
The evidence needed to prove your case typically comes from the scene of the accident. Photos of the crash and the vehicle damage can help you show the jury where the cars were, what the intersection looked like, what signs and signals were present, what the lighting looked like, and how the cars actually collided. Police reports contain much of the information you can collect at the scene of the crash, so it is vital to get a copy of that report. Otherwise, your testimony about what happened and any witness testimony will also be important. You will also need separate evidence to prove your damages.
Proving Damages in a Hallandale Beach Car Accident Claim
When you file an injury case, you will typically have damages that fit into four major categories: lost wages, medical bills, other economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Your lost wages will typically be easier to prove if you missed a set period of work while recovering from your injuries, then returned to work at full capacity. If that happened in your case, then your damages will simply be proved by producing pay stubs showing how much money you make and producing evidence of how much time at work you missed.
If your injuries caused ongoing disabilities or limitations, then you could be left making reduced wages for the rest of your life. In many cases, disabilities can mean you are unable to work at all after your car accident injuries. In these cases, we can use financial records plus expert analyses about how much your future lost earnings will be worth to prove your lost wages.
Any medical bills you face from the accident should be reimbursed, not just the 80% your PIP will cover. This should include payments for hospital stays, emergency procedures, follow-up appointments, mental health therapy, physical therapy, and other expenses. The value of these damages is typically proved by simply producing the bills in court.
Other Economic Damages
Other expenses you faced because of the accident can also be claimed. This can include the cost of childcare during your recovery period, wheelchairs, neck braces, vehicle repairs, and more.
Getting pain and suffering and other non-economic damages paid at their full value often means working with a lawyer for help calculating the cost of these damages and collecting the evidence needed. Your testimony and the testimony of loved ones and doctors will also provide strong proof of your pain and suffering.
Call Our Hallandale Beach Car Accident Injury Attorneys Today
Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer’s car accident lawyers today for a free case review by calling (954) 751-4258.