Auto accident injuries can have a devastating impact on your physical and mental health, and cause financial strain for you and your family. After an accident, insurance companies may try to deny your claims, downplay your injuries or delay settling your case.
Miami personal injury attorney Mike Redondo knows from experience – he spent years of his early career representing insurance companies to limit their liability in personal injury lawsuits. Now, he uses that experience to maximize settlement awards and judgements for accident victims.
You don’t have to face the insurance companies alone after an auto accident. Even if you are unsure of whether or not you have a valid claim, a Miami car accident lawyer at Redondo Law, P.A. is here to take your call, answer your questions and help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Florida Auto Accident Laws
If you were injured by another driver through no fault of your own, then you will be entitled to compensation from the driver at fault for medical bills, lost wages and other losses.
In Florida, however, both parties to an accident may share liability for the accident. Florida follows what is known as a pure comparative fault rule. In most auto accident cases, the jury must calculate the total dollar amount of the accident victim’s damages, and the percentage of fault the belongs to each party. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, then their damages award is reduced by the percentage equal to responsibility for the accident. Comparative negligence rules are also used by car insurance claims adjusters when determining the value of your case.
You should never let Florida’s comparative negligence laws prevent you from seeking compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured in an auto accident and suffered losses, you should speak with about your accident to determine the best course of action.
Statute of Limitations
There are deadlines associated with filing a personal injury lawsuit for auto accidents. This time period is known as a “statute of limitations.” If you do not file your car accident lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, then the Florida court system will dismiss your case. In Florida, accident victims have four years, starting from the date of the crash, to file an auto accident lawsuit.
No-Fault Car Insurance
Florida is one of several states that have a no-fault car insurance system. In Florida, every driver is required to carry personal injury protection (or PIP) coverage, which pays for medical bills and other economic damages suffered by anyone under the policy – regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
PIP insurance claims have limits, though. For example, you cannot recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In order to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident, your injuries must meet a “serious injury” threshold amount set by Florida state law.
That means you must have experienced one of the following as a result of the auto accident:
- significant disfigurement
- bone fracture
- permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
- a significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or
- substantially full disability for 90 days.
The no-fault system does not apply to car damage claims. Liability for vehicle damage can be made against the at-fault driver without limitation.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Miami
Most car accidents in Miami are caused by driver negligence. Under Florida law, negligence is a failure to act with reasonable caution that results in harm or damage. Other forms of negligence include running a red light, failing to yield, and ignoring the speed limit.
Common causes of auto accidents in Miami include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Disregard of weather or traffic conditions
- Improper turns
- Running red lights
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Documenting your injuries following a car accident can help you succeed on your personal injury claim. In addition to seeking medical treatment, you may want to photograph your injuries following the accident.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries experienced after an auto accident. Soft tissue injuries occur when connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles are damaged by a strong impact.
Soft tissue injuries are often hard to prove when filing an auto accident insurance claim, and a successful outcome of your case may depend on a proper medical examination.
Brain injuries caused by a car accident are nearly impossible to self-diagnose. Seeking a medical evaluation immediately following an accident is critical to treating potential brain damage. Brain and head injuries can range from a concussion to traumatic brain injury. This type of injury has the ability to profoundly affect quality of life.
Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations can be caused by loose objects in the car, such as phones, sunglasses, and coffee mugs. Items may become airborne during an auto accident. Car windows and mirrors can break, and metal may be bent to expose sharp edges.
Broken bones often follow auto accidents involving high-speed collisions. Forceful impact with the interior components of the car, such as the steering wheel, dashboard and airbags can cause broken wrists, arms, legs, and ribs.
Spinal Cord Injury
Injury to the spine, neck, and back can also occur in an auto accident. The most common injury to the back after an auto accident is whiplash. In the worst of cases, spine, neck and back injuries may also lead to paralysis or even death. Those suffering from pain in their spine, neck or back after a car accident should consult seek emergency care for a proper diagnosis.
What Can You Recover From a Car Accident?
After an auto accident, you may have medical bills, lost wages, and other associated costs. These are called economic damages. If you were injured in an auto accident in Miami, you are entitled to seek compensation for economic damages in order to make a full financial recovery.
You may also be entitled to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment for life and emotional trauma. These types of damages are often difficult to calculate, which is why it is advisable to speak with an auto accident attorney to determine the full value of your case.
Contact a Miami Auto Accident Attorney
You may have questions about your auto accident injuries. Who is responsible for my accident? Who will pay my medical bills? Do I have a valid personal injury claim? Can I afford an auto accident lawyer?
The answers to those questions are just a free consultation away. Call Miami personal injury attorney Mike Redondo at Redondo Law, P.A. today to find out if you have a case today.