Representation for Auto Accident Claims in St. John’s County
Automobile accidents happen every day, and these events are a common cause of property damage, personal injury, physical damage, and even death. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a traffic accident, it’s important to have the right legal help on your side.
Many factors dictate the extent of your injuries and the damages you are entitled to. Compensation may include payment of medical bills, lost wages, damages for pain and suffering, and more. You can guarantee that the other driver’s insurance company will be lining up lawyers who will try to push you into a quick settlement.
At Glober + Glober Attorneys, P.A., we know you are eager to get your life back on track, and you don’t want to spend all your time arguing with the defense on the other team. Our Jacksonville car accident lawyers are here to help you get the answers, the support, and the compensation you need to put this horrific event behind you and focus squarely on getting back on your feet.
Florida Car Accident Laws
After a car accident occurs Florida follows a no-fault rule to determine who pays damages, and who is legally liable. A no-fault rule essentially states that, with the exception of some circumstances, all parties file an accident claim with their own insurance regardless of who is at fault for causing an accident.
This system is directly opposed to an at-fault system some states follow. In this system, the party responsible for causing the accident is the one held liable for paying damages through their insurance carrier. An at-fault system works through the use of personal injury protection insurance or PIP insurance.
What Is PIP Insurance?
In Florida, PIP coverage is mandatory for all drivers and coverage includes:
- A minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits
- A minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) benefits (This coverage is also mandatory and is used if you damage someone else's vehicle or other property in an accident).
PIP benefits cover up to 80% of all necessary medical expenses up to a maximum of $10,000 after an accident. For most cases, compensation will be recovered through the PIP system, meaning regardless of who was at fault, your own insurance will pay out damages.
However, some injuries are more severe than others. The state of Florida does take this into account when it comes to pursuing damages. In the event the injured party suffers a “serious” injury Florida car accident law allows for a third party, personal injury claim to be filed against the negligent party.
What Is Considered a Serious Injury?
A serious injury can be:
- A permanent injury
- Injuries that lead to death
- An injury that leads to severe scarring or disfigurement
- An injury that leads to a loss of an important bodily function
If an injury victim has suffered any of the above, they or their families will have an option to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. A personal injury claim allows an injury victim the option to recover more compensation than a PIP claim and allows the claimant to pursue damages not available in PIP claims, such as non-economic damages.
A Jacksonville car accident attorney from our firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve, in either PIP or personal injury claims. After an accident it can be easy to think that an insurance company will come through for you, especially your own insurance company. However, contrary to what they say, insurance companies are not typically on your side.
When Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were in a car accident, you may be asking yourself when the best time to hire a lawyer could be. There isn’t a “correct” answer for this, but ultimately the sooner you hire one, the better.
There are multiple reasons why hiring a Jacksonville car accident lawyer right away after an accident can help. They will take care of:
- Gathering evidence: The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can begin gathering evidence to support your case. This can include taking photos of the scene where the accident happened, interviewing any witnesses, and collecting medical records so you receive proper compensation.
- Protecting your rights: A car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and prevent you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies, or other parties, involved in the accident.
- Dealing with insurance companies: Insurance companies may try to contact you not long after the accident happened so they can try and settle your claim quickly. Normally the settlements are for a lower amount than what you may be entitled to. A car accident lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company and ensure you receive the fair compensation you're entitled to.
- Statute of limitations: In Florida, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident. If you wait too long, you may not be able to pursue compensation. Hiring a car accident lawyer as soon as possible can help ensure you meet those deadlines.
- Knowledge and experience: An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to handle car accident cases and can help guide you through the legal process. They will provide you with legal advice, answer your questions, and help you understand what your rights and options are.
Overall, hiring a car accident lawyer as soon as you're able to after a car accident can help protect your legal rights, ensure you receive fair compensation, and provide you with peace of mind so you can focus on recovering from you injuries.
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver for Hitting You?
If you were in a car accident where a drunk driver caused you injuries, you might be wondering if you can sue them. The short answer is yes, you can sue them for hitting you and causing harm. But there are things you have to do in order to prove the intoxicated driver caused the accident.
To have a successful lawsuit against a drunk driver, you will likely need to prove their negligence. For a drunk driving accident, this means proving the driver's intoxication and their impairment were what caused the accident and your injuries. To help do this, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim. Things like police reports, photographs/videos of the accident scene, eyewitness testimonies, medical records of your injuries, and any other relevant documentation can be extremely useful pieces of evidence.
The fact that the driver was intoxicated can be a crucial element in proving their negligence. Drunk driving isn’t only illegal but also shows a clear disregard for the safety of others on the road. The driver's intoxication impairs their ability to operate a vehicle safely and increases the likelihood of them causing an accident. Additionally, if the drunk driver was cited for other traffic violations at the time of the accident, like speeding or running a red light, these violations can further support your claim. Traffic violations indicate a breach of the driver's duty to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care.
Why You Should Speak With an Attorney Before Accepting an Insurance Settlement
At heart, insurance companies are a business that first and foremost care more about their bottom line than ensuring you are properly compensated for your injuries. Additionally, since most injuries sustained in a car accident are soft tissue injuries, it is very common for injury victims to find their injuries get worse in the days or weeks following their accident.
If you agree to an insurance settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries, you will most likely be unable to pursue any more compensation, as most insurance companies include in their settlement offers that no additional compensation beyond the settlement amount can be collected once the agreement is signed. Our Jacksonville car accident experienced attorneys know how to navigate this legal system and will fight for the compensation and justice you deserve after suffering injuries from a negligent driver.
Have you or someone you love been injured in an auto accident? Contact our firm today for a free consultation with our skilled Jacksonville car accident lawyers!
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