How to Recover Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in Miami
Getting your damages paid after a car accident is often more of a struggle than it should be. In Florida, we use a no-fault insurance system that is supposed to make payments easier because they come from your own insurance company. However, insurance doesn’t cover medical bills in full, and you’ll usually need to consider a lawsuit to get full damages.
Under Florida law, your insurance only covers 80% of the medical expenses caused by your crash, and most minimum policies cover only $10,000. To get the other 20% and anything over $10,000, you will typically have to consider a lawsuit against the driver who hit you.
For a free case review on your car accident claim, call the Miami car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer by dialing (954) 751-4258 today.
How Much Does My Insurance Cover for Medical Bills in a Miami Car Accident
Under Fla. Stat. § 627.736, drivers are required to carry PIP (personal injury protection) insurance that covers up to $10,000 for medical bills and “disability benefits” – a.k.a. lost wages. These policies cover 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost income. These policies also usually have a deductible, meaning that no matter what you do when you get into a car accident, your insurance won’t cover your medical bills in full.
Many people opt for higher coverage in their policies, and this might mean getting additional benefits and coverage. However, you are still going to have to pay a deductible, and your policy usually will not cover 100% of medical expenses. If your condition was not actually an “emergency,” then your benefits could even be reduced to only $2,500 worth of coverage under subsection 4 of this statute, meaning even lower compensation for your injuries.
Our Miami car accident lawyers can help you understand how much of your medical bills will be covered by your insurance and fight to get you that coverage. We can also let you know how much more compensation you deserve and what options you have to get those damages covered, too.
Filing an Insurance Claim Against the At-Fault Driver for Additional Medical Bill Coverage in a Miami Car Crash
Even though Florida is considered an at-fault state, you can usually file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to get additional coverage for your medical bills – if they have insurance. Many no-fault states prevent lawsuits and third-party insurance claims against the at-fault driver unless you meet certain thresholds, but Florida law usually allows a lawsuit or claim to cover additional medical bills and lost wages if your damages go beyond what your insurance covers.
However, drivers in Florida are not required to carry liability insurance. If they do have insurance, then they might be able to cover the additional damages without you needing to file a lawsuit. If they do not, then you will have to consider filing a lawsuit against them instead.
Lawsuits for Medical Bills After Miami Car Accidents
Ultimately, the only option left to recover the rest of your medical expenses might be to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This is often a good idea for a few reasons, but there are some challenges to a lawsuit:
Why Sue for Medical Bills in a Miami Car Accident?
Your insurance will only cover up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, meaning that it will never cover your damages in full. Additionally, this coverage caps out at $10,000 and includes a deductible, reducing what you actually recover even further.
If your damages are well over the $10,000 limit, then all of those additional damages will go unreimbursed. Even in cases where your damages are under the limit, you will never recover the remaining 20% of damages from your own insurance company, and you will still have to pay a deductible to get coverage, leaving you with unreimbursed expenses.
If the driver who hit you has no liability insurance, you will have no other option to get coverage except to file a lawsuit.
Additional Compensation for Pain and Suffering
If you are filing a lawsuit, then you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering on top of the medical bills and lost wages you claim in your case. Pain and suffering damages are not paid through insurance, so the main way of getting them is to file a lawsuit. However, lawsuits are not permitted for pain and suffering damages unless you meet Florida’s “serious injury threshold.”
Under Fla. Stat. § 627.737, there is a list of injuries that qualify you for pain and suffering damages. These are usually referred to as “serious injuries,” even though the statute does not actually use that phrase. The listed injuries include any injury that is or loss of “an important bodily function.” They also include “significant” scarring or “disfigurement. Death also qualifies, allowing a family member to sue for the deceased’s suffering.
These damages are separate from medical expenses, but if you are debating whether or not to file, the availability of these additional damages might be enough to convince you that filing a lawsuit is the best option.
Requirements to Win a Car Accident Lawsuit for Medical Bills
In a no-fault insurance claim, it does not matter which driver was at fault; your insurance will pay you for damages either way. If you were at fault, it might increase your premiums or lead to other expenses, but proving fault is not a requirement for you to get damages.
In a lawsuit, you do have to prove fault before you can get compensation. That means showing that the other driver caused the accident through negligence and that you suffered damages from it. You also need to prove the amount of medical bills.
Call Our Miami, FL Car Accident Lawyers Today
Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer at (954) 751-4258 for a free case review with our Miami personal injury attorneys.