Injured in an Accident, But Minimal Property Damage
You are driving down North Market Street in Jacksonville, FL when you are rear-ended by
another vehicle. The impact jolts you forward and back. You immediately feel a burning sensation and tingling in your neck. However, when you inspect the damage to your vehicle, it is appears to be relatively “minor” in that the repair bill is relatively small.
If you are hurt in an accident, but the property damage is not extensive, should you still file a personal injury claim? The answer: yes.
The Insurance Company Will Fight
Make no bones about it – if you file a personal injury claim and there is minimal property damage, the insurance company is going to fight you tooth and nail. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will probably ask, “how could you be hurt so bad when the damage to the vehicle was so minor?”
Do not let this argument dissuade you. If you were feeling perfectly fine before the accident and are now in pain in the aftermath, you have a good faith basis to pursue a claim for personal injuries.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
In Florida, you can access P.I.P. (personal injury protection) benefits to help compensate you for injuries suffered in the accident. PIP is a no-fault insurance system so you can access these benefits even if you contributed to causing the accident.
Along with pursuing recovery for medical expenses, a personal injury claim enables you to pursue lost wages and pain and suffering. Lost wages are those funds you missed out on from your job because of the injury. This could be due to taking a day or two off from work due to pain or having to take time off of work because you had to see a doctor, physical therapist, etc.
If you believe you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, your Florida car accident attorney can advocate for that compensation with the insurance adjuster. Pain and suffering includes the loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, and general hassle associated with taking the time out of your daily life to deal with this incident and the injuries caused by the collision.
Filing a Lawsuit May Be Necessary
With minor property damage personal injury claims, the insurance adjuster may only make a low-ball settlement offer that you are not happy with. If this occurs and the adjuster is not willing to increase their offer, you should consult with your personal injury attorney and consider filing a civil lawsuit. Typically, lawsuits filed after a car accident include a claim for negligence on the part of the other driver. If a lawsuit is filed, the other driver is named as a “defendant” in the lawsuit, but if you recover a sum of money from a judge or jury, the insurance company will likely be obligated to pay.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident and the property damage was minor, you still have legal rights and should contact an experienced Florida car accident lawyer. Gillette Law, P.A. is here to help. We can give you advice based on your situation and assist in the personal injury claim process.