What Are Florida Motorists' Rights To Compensation?
A recent article in the Bradenton Herald told of a three vehicle accident that occurred on U.S. 41 in Bradenton, Florida on Thursday evening leaving two people injured. The article told about the driver of a Toyota Corolla who at about 11:00pm was traveling south on U.S. 41 and lost control hitting a wall and rolling into the oncoming Southbound lane of traffic. At the same time, the driver of a Chevrolet Metro who was following behind the Toyota tried to steer left and get around the wreck, but lost control and finally came to a stop in the Northbound lane of traffic.
Another driver who was also in the Northbound lane could not avoid colliding with the Metro. The driver of the Toyota who was a 27 year old woman that sustained serious injuries and was quickly taken to the hospital, was cited for careless driving by the police.
If You are in an Accident in Florida, What are Your Legal Rights?
Because there are so many more cars on the road today, accidents like this and worse are getting more common. Even though many of the new cars have built in safety features that are meant to address the issues of all accidents, safety features alone cannot prevent accidents. Drivers in Florida must understand their rights to protect themselves if injured in a traffic accident.
There is a "no fault" insurance scheme that only twelve states in the US employ, Florida is one of those states. This means that each time a driver who is involved in a traffic accident that results in either driver sustaining injuries, both drivers have to submit their compensation claim to their perspective insurance company, no matter who is at fault in the accident. An insurance requirement in Florida is for all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 worth of personal injury protection or PIP, and an additional $10,000 worth of Property damage liability or PDL.
With PIP coverage, all necessary medical treatment, economic damages that may result from the accident, which include as much as 80 percent of your medical charges and as much as 60 percent of your lost wages. There may be times when your PIP insurance may not be enough to compensate all damages, especially if an involved person has permanent injuries. If this happens the law will allow the injured person to sue the other driver for additional damages, not limited to the PIP.
The law in Florida defines a "permanent injury" as any injury resulting in any one or more of the following:
1) A permanent or significant loss of one or more important bodily functions.
2) A permanent injury besides disfigurement or scarring, within a certain degree of medical probability.
3) Permanent and/or significant disfigurement or scarring.
Accidents like the one in Bradenton, Florida show how any person can become a victim in a traffic accident. If you are anyone you may know has sustained an injury caused by a traffic accident, legal representation is essential in order to ensure your rights to compensation are preserved. It is important that your claim is thoroughly evaluated by a personal injury attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases as soon after the accident as possible. Visit the Gerson & Schwartz website for more Personal Injury Information.
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