Miami is infamous for being one of the most dangerous cities in America to drive in. As such, your chances are high of being involved in a vehicle collision at some point in Miami.
While you can suffer countless injuries in a car crash, you can recover compensation from the driver that injured you. Our firm can provide valuable assistance by determining what damages you can recover and helping file your insurance claim. If your injuries are serious, we can help prepare a lawsuit to get you additional damages.
Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today at (954) 751-4258 for a free assessment of your case with our car accident lawyers.
Common Injuries Sustained in Miami Car Accidents
The types of injuries that victims can sustain in a Miami car accident come in many forms, but even the most minor injury can result in extensive medical bills and other damages. Car accident victims can suffer countless personal injuries. In the worst cases, the wrongful death of a loved one could be caused. Fortunately, our car accident lawyers can help you recover compensation regardless of the injures you sustained.
Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe and life changing. The most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents are broken bones, bruises and cuts. However, victims of a car accident can also suffer serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. Other common causes of injury include flying debris that cause lacerations or road burn from being dragged along the pavement.
Even if your personal injuries were minor, if they were caused by another person, you deserve to be compensated. While your own car insurance should cover most of your damages, it will not cover everything. In many cases, you will need to a third-party insurance claim against the person that injured you to recover additional compensation for your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries that require extensive treatment, you might need to consider filing a lawsuit to recover the full amount of your damages.
If someone dies as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness in a Miami car accident, their estate may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for causing their death. Wrongful death claims are often complicated because they can involve multiple family members with different interests in how any settlement or judgment is distributed. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand these claims so that you know what steps you should take if someone close to you dies as a result of someone else’s negligence.
In a wrongful death case, surviving family members can recover compensation for their losses. This includes the loss of companionship and wages the individual that died would have contributed if they had lived. Damages such as hospital costs and funeral expenses can also be recovered.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Miami
Car accidents are a fact of life, but when they happen, you want to make sure that you are prepared for what comes next. To protect your legal rights, you can take several steps that will put your case in that much better of a position during negotiations later. Efforts to exchange information, documenting the scene, and talking with law enforcement can all have a significant impact on your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Exchange Information with Other Parties
The first thing you should do after an accident is exchange information with the driver that caused your injuries. You should exchange your name and contact information as well as insurance information. However, some driver might be upset after an accident and refuse to speak to you. In that case, do not try to force it. You can wait for the police to arrive and investigate your accident. The police will question and gather information from the other driver, which will be included in their police report. If the driver did not exchange information with you, it will be included in your police report, which can be obtained later.
Document Evidence at the Scene
It’s important to document all evidence at the scene of an accident because this could affect your legal rights later on. Take photos of any damage to vehicles and surrounding objects with your cell phone so that you have visual proof that it existed before police arrive on scene. It is also helpful to take photos of skid marks on roads or pavement markings that may show where one vehicle started braking before another vehicle crashed into them.
Be sure to document anything else that happened during your accident For instance, if there were other people involved in the crash who did not exchange information with you or if the other vehicle hit yours from behind at a high speed. The more detailed notes of your accident that you have, the easier it will be to reconstruct your accident later when recovering compensation.
Speak with Law Enforcement
When law enforcement arrives after your car accident, be sure to speak with them. This will give you an opportunity to provide a detailed explanation of what happened. If they need photographs or other evidence, this is the time to provide it. Having law enforcement investigate your crash can have several advantages. The names, contact, and insurance provider of the parties involved will contained in the report, which can be used later to locate and sue the negligent driver. It will also include the observations made by the investigating officer. If there were any witnesses to your accident, the police should get the contact information for those individuals who were present. The police report can usually be obtained online about a week after the crash occurred.
Get Medical Attention
If you were involved in a Miami car accident, you should receive medical attention immediately. While many people believe that they can wait until the next day or even the next week, this can negatively impact your chances at recovering compensation. If you sustained injuries during an accident and did not seek medical attention immediately, you will have less evidence available if you need to exercise your legal options. Further, medical treatment could also reveal injuries you were not aware of just after the accident.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Speaking with our attorneys can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the recovery process, whether you are going through insurance or need to file a lawsuit. We can help you get compensation for your damages, including hospital bills, lost wages and pain and suffering compensation. Our team can also assist you with gather evidence to prove your injuries and filing all the necessary paperwork with the court.
Settling with Insurance After a Car Accident in Miami
Recovering compensation after a Miami car accident is often a challenging process because of Florida’s insurance rules. In many cases, insurance will be the only route to get paid for damages. However, if serious injuries were sustained, you can usually file a lawsuit.
No-Fault Insurance Claims
All drivers in Miami are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in the event they or their passengers are injured in a car accident to cover their own injuries. The good thing about PIP insurance is that it will provide compensation no matter who was responsible for the accident. However, it will only cover a certain amount of your losses.
PIP insurance only covers up to 80% of the medical bills and 60% of the lost wages you suffered. Also, most PIP insurance policies are exhausted once they reach the $10,000 limit and provides no compensation for non-economic losses, like pain and suffering damages. In most cases, a third-party insurance claim will need to be filed against the other driver to recover your remaining damages.
Insurance Claims Against the At-Fault Driver
If your PIP insurance is exhausted before your damages have been compensated fully, you must file a third-party insurance claim against the negligent driver’s insurance. Since your medical bills and lost wages are capped, and there is usually a $10,000 coverage limit, filing a third-party claim will be necessary in most cases.
When to File a Lawsuit for a Miami Car Accident
If you suffered severe injuries in your accident, you might need to sue the other driver in addition to filing your insurance claims. However, a lawsuit to recover pain and suffering damages can only be filed if your injuries satisfies Florida’s “serious injury” standard. To meet this standard, you must have suffered an injury that Florida considers serious. This includes losing a body part or the function of a body part, but also includes the loss of a pregnancy and wrongful death as serious. Scarring and disfigurement can be considered serious, but usually must be significant to overcome the threshold.
Car accident victims often suffer not only physical damage but also emotional pain and suffering. Unfortunately, PIP insurance does not cover pain and suffering damages. Those can only be recovered in a lawsuit.
What Damages Can be Compensated After a Car Accident in Miami?
If you are injured in a Maimi car accident, you could be entitled to recover several categories of damages. You can claim your economic losses, like medical bills, and also non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. If your injuries were caused by truly egregious behavior, you might be able to claim punitive damages, as well.
Economic damages refer to any financial losses sustained by the victim because of their accident and can usually be calculated by using monetary values. These include medical expenses, and other costs such as property damage and repair costs for vehicles. If during this time you were unable to work, then you can claim lost wages because of your absences from work. These losses will then be used as proof at trial as well as evidence during settlement negotiations with insurance companies.
These damages refer to emotional distress or pain and suffering caused by the accident. Non-economic damages are those that cannot be easily calculated into monetary values but rather involve more subjective factors, which usually require testimony from experts, such as doctors, to establish. This includes both physical pain and emotional trauma caused by the car accident, and can also include anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have suffered the loss of enjoyment in life or your marital relationship has suffered, these can be claimed as non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are a type of monetary award given by the court to punish a wrongdoer. In car accident cases, they can be sought against a defendant who acted with extreme carelessness or recklessness. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the plaintiff but rather to punish the defendant, and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. They are meant to inflict punishment on someone who has acted in an outrageous way that could never be justified as an accident or honest mistake. For instance, punitive damages would likely be awarded in a case involving DUI as an additional punishment for the driver who was intoxicated when they caused the accident.
In Miami and throughout Florida, punitive damages can be awarded if there is clear evidence that the defendant’s actions were willful or maliciously reckless or wanton when they caused the accident. This means that they are aware that their actions might cause harm but do them anyway. Punitive damages are usually awarded in addition to compensatory damages, which can greatly increase the compensation you recover.
Speak with a Miami Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case Today
For a free case consultation with our car accident lawyers, call The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258.