What Damages Can You Collect if You have a Car Accident?

Damages - Car AccidentOnce you are able to show that a driver is liable for the accident that caused your injuries or the death of a loved one, you can demand all the damages the law allows. At Lulich & Attorneys, we have been fighting for car accident victims for 30 years. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success settling cases with insurance companies and trying cases before juries. We demand damages for all your economic losses and all your personal losses.

We often demand some or all of the following damages provided you meet the “serious injury” threshold to file a personal injury claim:

Financial expenses for a Florida car accident

  • Medical bills. The defendant is responsible for all your medical expenses. In some cases, your own insurance carrier may have paid some of these expenses. In that case, the insurance company is entitled to reimbursement if you have a successful settlement or verdict. Often, we can negotiate any repayment with your medical providers. We also often provide letters of protection to your healthcare providers. A letter of protection means that the health provider agrees to defer payment for their services until your case is resolved. Some of the many medical expenses car accident victims may have include:
    • Ambulance rides to a local hospital.
    • Emergency medical care at the scene of the accident.
    • Treatment at emergency room centers.
    • Treatment at burn centers.
    • Hospital stays and surgeries.
    • Diagnosis and treatment by specialists. Some of the many specialists a car accident may see include orthopedists, neurosurgeons, pain management doctors, psychologists, and other physicians.
    • Therapy with different types of therapists. Therapy often takes weeks or months. In some cases, car accident victims may need to therapy for years or even the rest of their lives. Therapy includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, and rehabilitative therapy. Some victims may need speech therapy and other types of therapy.
    • Assistive devices such as prosthetics, computer technology, wheelchairs, and canes.
    • Medications for pain and for other ailments.
  • Lost income. If you are a salaried employee, you can claim damages in the amount of your weekly wages for as many weeks as you can’t work. If you are a contractor or own a business, you have the right to be paid your lost income while you can’t work. If you have a permanent disability, then you can claim damages for your inability to work (either fully or partially) for the rest of your life.
  • The damage to your car. If your car is totaled, we demand compensation for the cost to replace your vehicle. If your car can be fixed, we demand compensation for the cost to fix your car. We may also seek damages for rental car expenses while your car is being repaired.
  • Any other out of pocket expenses such as the cost to travel to your doctors and back if you can’t drive yourself.

The above damages all have a fixed amount. We work with your health providers to obtain bills for all your past care. We also obtain estimates from your health providers for all the future medical care you will need.

Compensation for personal noneconomic damages

In Florida, Indian River car accident victims can also claim damages for their:

  • Pain and suffering. This amount is often the largest part of you damage claim. You are entitled to damages for all your daily aches and pains, itches, anxiety, worries, and depression.
  • Loss of function. You can also claim damages for the loss of function of any body part.
  • Scarring and disfigurement. Vero Beach and Sebastian car accident victims who suffer burns or other disfiguring injuries may need skin grafts and plastic surgery. Even after this additional care, car accident victims may have scars and disfigurements which cause a loss of self-confidence, emotional discomfort, and other emotional scars. You can demand compensation for these emotional losses – especially if they are on a visible part of your body such as your face.
  • Loss of consortium. This compensation is payable because you can’t be intimate with your spouse and you can’t enjoy the company of your spouse – in the same way as you did before the accident.

How does the damage claim process work in Florida.

Florida requires that car owners have personal injury protection (PIP). FL §627.736 requires that the owner have at least $10,000 of PIP coverage. PIP is payable for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages regardless of fault – up to the policy limits. Some members of your family such as your children and passengers who don’t have PIP may be eligible for PIP benefits too.

In order to be eligible to file a third-party claim against a negligent driver or other negligent defendants, you need to show that your injuries qualify as a “serious injury.” Serious injuries are generally permanent bodily injuries, injuries that cause scarring or disfigurement, or death.

Once you’re eligible, you’ll need to show, with the help of our experienced car accident lawyers that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

If the driver or another defendant is liable for your injuries – and they don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance, then you can demand damages from your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance policy. You can demand damages up to the policy limits. In addition, if a hit-and-run driver struck your car, you can also demand UM/UIM damages.

You do need to be aware of the laws for filing claims. In Florida, a car accident claim must be filed within four years according to FL § 95.11.  The timeline for filing a wrongful death claim is just two years according to FL. There are also short notice requirements you must provide if you are filing a claim against Florida or any Florida subdivision or agency.

Florida also has a comparative negligence law. The law provides that your right to damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Even if you are 90% responsible, you have the right to compensation for the 10% the other driver caused

Make the call to a respected Indian River County car accident lawyer today

At Lulich & Attorneys, our car accident lawyers work with investigators to determine how your accident happened and who is responsible. We work with your health providers to fully understand all your injuries, the type of care you need, and how the injuries affect your life. We seek the maximum amount of compensation the law allows. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-589-5500 or fill out our contact form. We handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis.