Even though car accidents are so common, there are still so many misconceptions about personal injury cases. In Florida, which is a so-called “no-fault” state, these cases can be even more confusing. Whether you’ve been injured in a drunk driving car accident, were injured at work, or were involved in a collision with a commercial truck driver, personal injury attorneys help accident victims recover the damages they deserve. Unfortunately, too many Florida car accident victims try to handle their case alone based on a misunderstanding of the state’s personal injury law.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to Florida personal injury cases:
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, I can’t sue the other driver for my injuries.
Of all the myths faced by Tampa accident attorneys, this is perhaps the most common. To understand why this myth often does not apply, it’s important to understand the basics of Florida’s no-fault insurance law.
In “at-fault” states, you can file a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties after being injured in an auto accident. However, per Florida law, every driver must carry at least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage, also known as PIP coverage. When a driver suffers medical bills, lost wages, or other losses in an injury accident, their insurance company should cover some of the costs regardless of fault.
As a result, you may not always be able to seek damages after an accident. However, this is not always the case. According to Florida statute 627.737, you may have a personal injury claim if you suffered from “significant” or “permanent” injuries.
These permanent injuries include:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury, based on a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
In serious cases like these, Tampa accident attorneys can help you determine whether or not you have a valid civil claim.
Resolving a claim could take years
In some major instances, these injury cases can take a significant amount of time to finalize, but that’s certainly not always the case. The length of time it takes to resolve an injury case does depend on how complicated the particular case is, but the majority of claims are settled before a lawsuit is even filed. Insurance companies, like you, do not want to go to court, so they will often do all they can to avoid litigation. That’s one reason so many personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court.
You don’t need an attorney if you have insurance
Simply having insurance is not enough to ensure that you will always be compensated fairly for any injuries that you sustained in the crash. While insurance companies often help accident victims receive the financial compensation they need to recover, you may not be so lucky. Without an injury attorney, you’ll have to handle your lost wages, medical costs, and all the other logistical aspects of your case by yourself.
Injury claims are straightforward legal matters
Injury claims, on the contrary, actually require a lot of handwork, time, and effort to resolve. There are many legal requirements that must be met to move forward with an injury case. For instance, do you understand the statute of limitations for Florida personal injury cases, or the legal requirements of proving fault? If not, you may benefit from a consultation with Tampa accident attorneys.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida, it’s important to have all of the facts. That’s why you should explore all of your legal options and ensure you aren’t getting suckered by any of these common personal injury myths. If you want to clear up some other common misconceptions or speak with our Tampa personal injury attorneys, contact Herron Law today for a consultation.