Being in a car accident is a stressful, frightening experience that can lead to serious consequences. After a car accident, you may incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses while treating your injuries. Repairing your vehicle after an accident can also set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to work, engage in your favorite activities, or live independently for the foreseeable future.
There’s no doubt that a car accident can take a physical and financial toll on you. Fortunately, if you’ve been injured in an accident, a Tampa car accident attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But whose insurance will pay for these damages? Here’s what you need to know:
What Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Cover After A Car Accident?
Florida is a no-fault state, which means every driver in this state is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you are involved in an accident, your PIP insurance will cover certain damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. But to take advantage of this coverage, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. If you miss this deadline, your PIP insurance provider may immediately reject your claim.
PIP insurance will cover 80% of medical expenses (up to your policy limit) incurred while treating an “emergency medical condition” sustained in a car accident. An emergency medical condition is defined as an injury that:
- Puts your life in danger, or
- Severely impairs a bodily function, or
- Causes the severe disfunction of a bodily part or organ.
For example, if you incur $10,000 in medical expenses while treating a life-threatening injury, your PIP insurance will cover $8,000 of these expenses even if you were at fault for the crash.
If you only sustain non-emergency injuries, PIP insurance will not cover 80% of your expenses. Instead, this insurance will cover up to $2,500 of your medical expenses.
It’s important to note that PIP insurance will only cover medical expenses incurred while you were being treated by a licensed physician. This type of insurance will not cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
PIP insurance will also cover a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work as a result of your car accident injuries. If your injuries impact your ability to work, your PIP insurance will cover 60% of the income you have lost due to these injuries. To determine how much income you have lost, your insurance provider will need to see how much you earned in the 13 weeks leading up to the crash.
What If Your Car Accident Damages Exceed Your PIP Insurance Coverage?
Remember, Florida drivers are only required to carry $10,000 in PIP insurance. If you are seriously injured in an accident, you will need more than $10,000 to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. If you are in this situation, you may be able to obtain more compensation by filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you can still take legal action against an at-fault driver if you suffer a serious and permanent injury as a result of their negligence. Some examples of these injuries include traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and spinal cord injuries.
You can only file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if they were at fault for the accident. If you were 100% to blame for the accident, the other driver’s insurance company is not obligated to compensate you for your damages. But if the other driver was partly or completely to blame, you can obtain additional compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident.
A Tampa personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company. Most of these claims are resolved in private negotiations that take place outside of the courtroom. Your attorney can handle these negotiations to ensure you are fully compensated for your damages. But if the insurance company isn’t willing to make a fair offer, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit and take your case to court. If your case ends up in court, a jury will get to decide whether or not the defendant is liable for your injuries and if so, how much compensation you deserve for your damages.
Whose Insurance Pays For Property Damage After A Car Accident?
Another issue you will need to address after a car accident is your property damage. If your vehicle has been damaged in the accident, it’s important to understand how you can be compensated for the cost of repairs.
Florida law requires every driver to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance coverage. This insurance will cover property damage sustained by another party in an accident caused by the policyholder.
For example, say your car is damaged in an accident caused by another driver. The other driver’s property damage liability insurance will cover the cost of repairing your car, up to their policy limit, since their policyholder was at fault for the accident.
Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Auto Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence? Don’t wait any longer to seek legal representation from the experienced auto accident attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett. Since 1971, our team has successfully recovered over $115 million in compensation for the injured in Tampa Bay.
Based on these results, it’s clear that we know what it takes to obtain compensation for our clients. Let us put our resources and knowledge to work for you. Schedule a free consultation with our team today to learn more about your legal options and right to compensation.