5 things you need to know about accident claims in Palmetto Bay, FL

Palmetto Bay, FL –  Car accidents account for the vast majority of personal injury claims in Palmetto Bay. Everyone knows how to deal with a minor collision, you exchange insurance information with the other driver and get the money to fix the scratches on your car. Not much to it. However, when it comes to serious crashes resulting in injury or death, recovering damages is a much more complex process. This is the type of claim you cannot win without legal assistance. Seasoned Palmetto Bay accident lawyers warn their clients that the insurance company may be quick to offer a settlement, but it won’t be a fair one. 

Read on to understand the basics of a personal injury claim in Palmetto Beach. Many of the elements below apply to other types of accidents as well, including slip and falls, premises liability cases, defective products, etc.

Who pays damages under Florida’s no-fault law?

Florida is a no-fault law so if you were in a car accident you can claim damages under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. At this point, you don’t have to prove the other party was to blame. Your insurer will cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to your policy limits. If you sustained severe injuries, you may be left with a lot of unpaid bills. You have two options – file a claim against the other driver’s insurance or sue them. For that, you will have to step outside the no-fault laws and use Florida’s tort laws. 

How to prove negligence

Personal injury claims revolve around the concept of negligence. Your Florida accident lawyers will have to prove that the other party was negligent and this led to you being injured. To prove negligence, four elements must be established:

  • The defendant had a duty of care
  • There was a breach of duty
  • Your injured were caused by the other party’s actions (or lack of)
  • You suffered damages.

How does the comparative negligence rule affect an accident claim?

If you file a lawsuit, the other party may try to claim that you were also somewhat to blame for what happened. Under Florida’s comparative negligence rule, your damages will be reduced by a percentage corresponding to your share of the blame. If you have reason to believe you may be accused of negligence yourself, make sure to contact trustworthy accident lawyers to counter such claims 

What is the statute of limitations for accident claims?

In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. This is because important evidence may be lost over time. Also, you may have trouble locating key eyewitnesses and their recollections may become too vague to be of any use. 

When can you get punitive damages for an accident?

If you settle a claim with the insurance company, you can only get compensatory damages. This means economic damages to cover your financial losses and non-economic damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

However, if you were injured in a DUI crash, your lawyers may advise you to sue the drunk driver and seek punitive damages on top of the compensatory ones. In Florida, punitive damages are capped at $500,000 or three times the total amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

If you were recently injured in a car accident in the Palmetto Bay area, reach out to a trustworthy accident lawyer at Madalon Law and see how you can recover your losses. 

Contact info:

Madalon Law

Fort Lauderdale Office

Phone: (954) 923-0072

100 N. Federal Hwy #CU5

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301