Car Accident Fault and Damages – Let a Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Lawyer Help
When you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer who is familiar with Florida accident law. If there is another driver at fault, you may be able to obtain legal compensation. Fault and damages are the two key issues in Florida car accidents.
A Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer at the Maus Law Firm can inform you of the fault and compensation available related to your specific car accident. We are trial lawyers who have fought and won for numerous people injured in Florida car accidents. We can assess the strength of any given case and we can work to obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Fault is Established in Florida Car Accidents
When an insurance company settles with a person injured in a car accident, it is generally because they believe the insured driver may be found legally at fault for the accident. The process for determining legal fault is the filing of a lawsuit, which eventually proceeds to a trial in certain cases. To win at trial, the judge or jury must determine that the driver failed to operate their vehicle with reasonable care and this failure caused the accident and your resulting injuries.
Comparative Fault in Florida Car Accidents
Under Florida’s comparative fault laws, more than one person can share liability for the same accident. The liability can be divided or “apportioned” between different people on a percentage basis. It is important to note that even the person filing the lawsuit can be found partially at fault; however, that individual should not assume that they cannot recover because they are partially to blame for the accident.
For example, suppose a plaintiff is found 10% at fault for an accident. The driver he or she sued is found to be 90% at fault. If the plaintiff suffered $100,000 in damages, the damages award will be reduced by 10% to $90,000.
No-fault Insurance in Florida and PIP Coverage
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means a driver involved in an accident must look to their insurance company for primary recovery, regardless of who was at fault. Florida law requires insurance companies to provide this no-fault primary coverage, which is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP coverage will cover lost wages and medical expenses resulting from the accident. And passengers with their own car insurance generally have PIP coverage available. Florida requires anyone owning or operating a motor vehicle to maintain at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.
While PIP coverage is important, it will not be sufficient to cover all medical expenses and lost wages in the case of a serious accident and it will not cover such items as pain and suffering. A Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer can speak with you regarding additional methods of recovery.
Common Injuries in Florida Car Wrecks
At the Maus Law Firm, we have worked with victims of many types of injuries resulting from Florida car accidents. These include the following:
- Whiplash: This is one of the most common car accident injuries. Whiplash refers to neck strain or hyperextension as a result of a sudden impact. It can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, along with back problems.
- Burns: Burn injuries pose a serious risk of permanent disfigurement or scarring.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: “Soft tissue” refers to the body’s connective tissue – muscles, ligaments and tendons. A soft tissue injury could be a tear, sprain, strain or contusion.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can result in nerve damage. At their most serious, spinal cord injuries can cause full or partial paralysis or even death. But even a relatively minor spinal cord injury can cause tingling, pain, reduced sensation or impaired movement.
- Head Injuries: These can range from mild concussions to permanent mental impairment or even death.
Damages a Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover After a Car Accident
Damages are the compensation that can be legally awarded to a person injured in a car accident. A Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer can identify and seek every form of damages available, which can include the following:
- Medical Expenses: This includes past medical bills and a reasonable estimate of future expenses. Your attorney can work with medical experts to determine future medical expenses.
- Property Damage: In auto accidents, this generally covers damages to the plaintiff’s vehicle and any damaged property inside the vehicle. For a totaled vehicle, the property damage is generally the car’s replacement value. For non-totaled vehicles, the repair expenses will be the damages.
- Lost Wages: As with medical expenses, this also includes past and future lost wages.
- Rehabilitation Expenses: Common rehabilitation expenses include physical therapy and occupational therapy.
- Reduced Earning Potential: For serious injuries, a person may be unable to return to their profession or they may only be able to work at a reduced capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Although these damages are difficult to calculate, they can be substantial for people with serious and long-lasting injuries.
- Diminished Quality of Life: If a plaintiff’s quality of life is lessened by their injury, this can be included in a damages award. It might include payment for a reduced ability to perform activities of daily living. The victim might also be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of certain activities.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Lawyer at the Maus Law Firm
Establishing fault and damages is no easy feat under Florida law, so you need highly competent counsel to assist you. Our attorneys have handled over 130 jury trials and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Call 1-855-999-5297 or contact the Maus Law firm online for a consultation today so that our Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer can work hard for you.