Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Florida?
Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident in Florida. Moreover, it’s in your best interest to do so, as Florida is one of a minority of no-fault insurance states in the country. In other words, Florida state law requires a person who registers a car anywhere in the state to have a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection insurance coverage.
If an auto accident leaves the policyholder or other covered person with an injury, then their auto insurer will pay up to $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits regardless of fault. To clarify, that’s paid at a rate of 80% of all medical bills and 60% of all lost earnings.
But, to qualify for full PIP coverage, the individual must seek medical treatment within 14 days of an accident. If a medical professional determines that the covered person’s injuries aren’t an emergency, then only $2,500 of PIP benefits will be available.
Stepping Outside of PIP
In the context of damages, there are economic and non-economic damages. An example of economic damages would be medical bills resulting from an accident. Non-economic damages don’t have a price tag on them. PIP coverage does not allow injured claimants to claim non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Florida Statutes 627.737 specify four types of injuries that qualify for stepping outside of PIP. Those injuries follow:
- An injury that is permanent
- Significant and irreversible scarring or disfigurement
- Significant permanent loss of bodily function
Damages Outside of PIP
Any of the above situations allow an injured car accident victim to sue a careless and negligent driver who causes an accident for full personal injury damages. Those damages typically include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
The general rule in Florida is that you have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. We know this as the statute of limitations. If your case involves wrongful death, you only have two years from the date of death. Specific laws are in place if a governmental entity causes your accident.
In any case, you should consult with a qualified Florida car accident lawyer to learn the specific time limit on your case. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the time limit of the statute of limitations, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be forever barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
We answer our phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During your free consultation, we will answer your questions, make recommendations and provide you with a free, and give a confidential evaluation of your injury claim. Also, we do this all without obligation to use our legal services.
Everyone at Hancock Injury Attorneys, from our receptionist and paralegals to our attorneys, is committed to providing our clients with exceptional legal representation and client service.
Hancock Injury Attorneys has been representing clients in Tampa and surrounding communities for over 30 years.