Should I Seek Medical Attention For Minor Injuries?
It is generally a good idea for anyone involved in a car accident to visit the emergency room or doctor’s office as soon as possible following the collision. Even if no serious injuries are apparent, some injuries may develop symptoms over time and a victim can receive proper treatment faster if they undergo a thorough medical evaluation just after the accident. For example, a mild traumatic brain injury can be detected with advanced imaging tests even if the victim does not realize they have suffered a concussion. A diagnosis will not only ensure that the victim receives the necessary treatment recommendations, but also will serve as evidence for the victim to be compensated by their insurance or by the party responsible for causing the accident.
Will I Have To Make An Insurance Claim?
If an accident victim incurs medical expenses or lost income due to missed work during their recovery, they have the right to file a claim with the auto insurance company to be reimbursed for such losses. Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, so a victim will have to make a claim with their own insurance company whether or not they caused the accident. It is important to consider all possible losses prior to making a claim and it is wise to discuss the value of your claim with an experienced car accident attorney to make sure you receive the proper amount of compensation.
When Can I Hold Someone Else Liable For My Car Accident Losses?
In many cases, no-fault insurance laws will prohibit car accident victims in Florida from filing a lawsuit against the party who caused or contributed to the accident. However, a no-fault insurance policy will not reimburse a victim for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or permanent disability. In cases involving very serious injuries, the law does give victims the right to seek compensation for these non-economic losses directly for any parties that were negligent in causing the collision. In order to prevail, the victim must sufficiently prove the negligence and the damages they suffered as a result. Anyone who sustains serious injuries that cause permanent disfigurement or substantial impairments should discuss a possible legal claim with a skilled car accident lawyer.
What Kinds Of Negligence Can Lead To Car Accidents?
Compensation through the courts is only available if another party caused the accident through a negligent act or omission. Some examples of parties that can be held liable for accidents for negligent acts include as follows:
- Other drivers — Other drivers can be negligent in many ways, including drunk driving, speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, or violations of traffic laws.
- Auto manufacturers —
- Government entities —
How Long Do I Have To File A Car Accident Claim in Tampa?
It is important not to delay in consulting with a car accident attorney about a potential case because victims only have a certain amount of time in which to file a claim. Under Florida law, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident. If an accident led to a death, surviving family members have only two years from the date of death to file a legal claim against the negligent party.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The amount of financial recovery available in car accident cases can vary significantly depending on the type and severity of the injuries sustained. For example, if a victim breaks an arm, they may recover the amount of the medical costs required for treatment, which averages about $2,500 if no surgery is required. If the victim cannot perform their job duties until their arm recovers, they may also recover for the wages they lost as a result of missing work for a few weeks.
On the other hand, if the car accident victim sustained a serious spinal cord injury, they may have to spend a significant time in the hospital, may require complex surgical procedures, and may even be left permanently paralyzed. This may require home health care, extensive medical equipment, or even may require them to live in an assisted-living facility. Due to their permanent impairments, they may never be able to return to work. In such cases, the claim can include both past and future losses for medical bills, lost earning potential, and much more. Damages in such cases involving catastrophic injuries can rise into the millions of dollars.
Do I Need To Hire An Attorney?
Florida courts do not require that an accident victim be represented by an attorney in order to file a car accident claim. However, the legal process is complicated with many different deadlines, requirements, specific burdens of proof, rules of evidence, and more. An experienced litigator will be familiar with the process of filing a car accident case in Hillsborough County courts and having high quality representation can often increase the chances of a more favorable settlement or jury award.