Streets and highways are increasingly congested with motor vehicles, to the extent that it is almost inevitable a driver will get into a car accident at some point.
Even if a crash seems relatively minor, it could cause property damage, physical and emotional injuries, and substantial inconvenience.
State laws establish a complex system for settling car accident claims and navigating the process without professional help is unwise. A Miami Gardens car accident lawyer can help an individual identify responsible parties, collect evidence of negligence, and demand appropriate compensation for their losses. Reach out to a Miami Gardens personal injury attorney like David Fuchs today to learn more and get started.
How Does Car Insurance Work in Miami Gardens?
State law establishes a no-fault car insurance system, which means that a driver must first turn to their own insurance to cover their injuries and lost wages. According to this system, all drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP).
A driver’s PIP will cover them if they are actively driving, riding as a passenger in another vehicle, or if a car hits them while they are walking or bicycling. A driver’s PIP will also cover passengers in their own vehicle.
An injured person must see a medical professional and be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition resulting from the accident within 14 days to access the full $10,000 of PIP coverage. Even if the injured person receives a timely diagnosis, PIP only covers 80 percent of their medical expenses and 60 percent of their lost wages, up to policy limits. Understanding the intricacies of the PIP system can be challenging after a car wreck, but a skilled Miami Gardens lawyer like David Fuchs is here to help.
When Can You File a Claim Against a Negligent Driver?
If a car collision results in more damage and injury than PIP covers, a plaintiff should understand that they can then turn to the at-fault driver’s policy to seek reimbursement for their losses.
The at-fault driver is personally liable for losses insurance does not cover. If an injured person has exhausted the at-fault driver’s coverage limits and their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, they then could seek damages in the courts. However, in many cases, the claim would be limited to the balance of the injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished future income.
In addition, there might be little point in taking an at-fault driver to court if they do not have sufficient assets to pay an injured person’s claim. A Miami Gardens attorney could advise an injured person about the best next step when insurance coverage does not fully compensate their car accident losses.
Seeking Pain and Suffering Damages in Court
In most negligence cases, an injured person can seek damages for their physical pain, disability, disfigurement, emotional suffering, loss of companionship, and the other intangible effects of an injury. These are called non-economic damages. However, state law might restrict many car accident victims from recovering non-economic damages.
According to Florida Statute §627.737(2), someone injured in a vehicle accident can only sue for non-economic damages if their injuries are severe. To meet the law’s threshold, an injury must cause a:
- Loss of a significant body function
- Permanent injury
- Severe and permanent scarring or disfigurement
A tenacious lawyer in Miami Gardens can help a car accident victim demonstrate their injury is severe enough to warrant receiving non-economic damages. A legal professional could gather medical and pharmacy records, expert witnesses, and testimony from the victim and their family to prove that the injury in question caused significant or permanent harm.
Trust a Miami Gardens Car Accident Attorney with Your Claim
The liability system for motor vehicle accidents in Florida complex, and it could be challenging for you to understand the full extent of compensation you deserve after a crash. A Miami Gardens car accident lawyer knows the rules and understands how to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Do not delay seeking advice. Call a local legal professional to discuss your case today.