When Should I Sue After A Car Accident
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, but that doesn’t mean that there is no tort system for traffic issues. You can file a lawsuit against another driver but first, you must file the claim on your own insurance policy which covers personal injury protection (PIP).
One of the bigger problems with PIP is that it doesn’t cover enough of your medical expenses and won’t necessarily compensate for your reduced quality of life or lost wages. To recover either, you must file a lawsuit directly against the driver and their insurance policy.
Motor vehicle accidents are complex
Motor vehicle accidents tend to be complex. You wouldn’t necessarily want to file one unless you have serious injuries, are missing time from work, or expect never to fully recover. That being said, having a personal injury lawyer juggle the various insurance policies and they’re litigation will take all of the pressure off of you and allow you to fully commit to your recovery.
Serious injuries: What does that mean?
Essentially, any injury you have to be hospitalized for is considered serious. That means more than just bumps and bruises that require basic first aid. Generally, you’re talking about admission to the hospital for multiple days, uncertain prognosis, the loss of the function of a bodily organ or limb, permanent scarring or mutilation, death, traumatic brain injury, and paralysis.
The question of negligence
PIP is a no-fault system. That means you’re paid even if the accident was your fault. By the time you’re filing a lawsuit, you’re in a different rule set. In order to file a successful tort claim, you must be able to establish that the accident was primarily the fault of the other driver.
Florida works on a comparative fault system which allows a plaintiff to file a lawsuit even when they’re 99% at fault for the accident. However, it may not be worth it to sue if you can only recover 1% of your damages. In other words, you can only recover your percentage of the blame for an accident, so %1 of $50,000 probably isn’t worth the effort of recovering.
When to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident
The extent of your injuries generally decides whether or not it is worth filing a lawsuit. PIP probably won’t give you enough money to completely cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic losses. Further, a lawsuit allows you to recover non-economic damages like reduced quality of life and pain and suffering. Spouses can recover damages for loss of consortium and other losses.
Gillette Law helps Jacksonville residents file personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents. We can discuss your options, determine whether or not a lawsuit would be worth it, and then file the proper claims with PIP insurers and lawsuits against negligent drivers. Call our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.