As many car accident victims know, expenses related to the accident can add up quickly. Victims often need weeks, if not months, to recover from their injuries and often have a difficult time making ends meet when they are unable to work.
In Florida, there are two ways to recover damages after a car accident:
- Filing a claim with your insurance company.
- Filing a lawsuit against parties responsible for the accident.
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, most Florida car accident victims can only recover economic damages through their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, no matter who is at fault for the accident. These economic damages are generally limited to a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages.
For victims of more serious accidents, these economic damages are often not enough. Under Fla. Stat. 627.737, you may file a lawsuit against an at-fault party for non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering) if the serious injury threshold is met through one of the following:
- Permanent injury
- Significant and permanent scarring, disfigurement or loss of an important bodily function
If the serious injury threshold is met, you can file a lawsuit against anyone you believe is responsible for the accident. You will likely have to show that their negligence directly and proximately caused the accident and your accident-related injuries and damages.
A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file your claim with the insurance company and help determine whether you can file a lawsuit for additional damages.