Accident victims in the Sunshine State are subject to Florida’s no fault laws, which place a cap on the amount of money you can ask for in a Florida personal injury lawsuit stemming from something like a pedestrian accident.
A Florida pedestrian accident lawyer can examine your case and injuries to estimate the amount of compensation needed for your medical treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Your attorney can also factor in your lost income and the loss of potential future earnings as well as quality of life issues. All of this will factor into their estimation of your pedestrian accident claim, which, in turn, is impacted by Florida no fault laws.
An Overview of Florida No Fault Laws
Florida no fault laws state that when two drivers are involved in an accident that results in injuries, each driver must use his or her own insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
The idea behind no fault laws is that it reduces the amount of so-called frivolous lawsuits in the Florida legal system and the over-inflation of personal injury settlements. Currently, Florida is one of 12 states with no fault laws on the books.
Florida drivers are required to have a personal insurance protection (PIP) that covers the driver in the event of an accident. This prevents drivers from being sued unless the cost of medical treatment goes over a certain threshold.
Florida has what is called a “qualitative threshold.” If a person sustains permanent or disfiguring injuries, or wrongful death, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the other driver’s insurance company; however, the damages can only go up to a specific amount.
Florida no fault laws can be extremely complex, increasing the odds that victims will have a difficult time knowing when they have or have not been offered a fair settlement. This is why working with a pedestrian accident lawyer can make such a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
Hiring an experienced accident lawyer increases the odds that your accident case has a favorable income. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you collect evidence in order to prove that the other driver was liable for the accident and may even work with a team of specialists to determine the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.
Pedestrian Victims and Florida No Fault Laws
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident and have car insurance, you must use your own PIP to cover your medical bills and lost wages. This policy will cover 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your lost income after you meet your deductible.
In some cases, a pedestrian involved in an accident may be covered by the insurance policy of a relative who lives in the home. For example, a minor child may be covered by his or her parents’ PIP policy. If you or your relatives do not have PIP insurance, the driver who caused the pedestrian accident would have to cover your injuries with his or her own policy.
Because of Florida’s qualitative threshold, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the pedestrian sustains permanent or disfiguring injuries.
Why Should I Hire an Accident Lawyer?
After a pedestrian accident, you have enough to worry about. Besides thinking about your medical treatments and rehabilitation, you may be concerned about the time you have to take off of work in order to recover. By having an experienced accident lawyer on your side, you do not have to worry about dealing with the insurance companies or the often overwhelming aspects of a personal injury claim.
In most cases, the auto insurance company wants to settle out of court; this saves them both time and money. If you have a Clearwater pedestrian accident attorney on your side, he or she can negotiate with the insurance company for you. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may take your case to court in order to recover damages for your accident.