Accidents are made worse when you are left with working through the aftermath of one. Not only are you trying to recover, but now the insurance company is trying to work their angles to see if they can get away with compensating you as little as possible. While it would be easy to settle and not deal with the headache of negotiating your claim, you don’t have to do that.
Hiring a Fort Myers accident lawyer will enable you to seek an appropriate settlement allowing you to both heal and move past an accident. At King Law, we represent accident victims in various stages of their claims. Some have gotten in a crash just days prior, while others have been stalled in the negotiation stages with little or no help from their insurance company.
In this article, we are going to discuss how accident claims work in Florida since the state is a no-fault state, and when fault can be determined when negligence is a factor in an accident.
No-Fault Insurance – Defined
There are only a handful of states in America who use no-fault insurance laws; Florida is one such state. In most states, when there are two or more people involved in an accident, the “at-fault” driver’s insurance would usually be the company responsible for compensating for damages. However, in Florida, this is not the case.
A no-fault state operates on the basis that no matter who hits you or causes an accident, your insurance is responsible for you. This insurance practice was adopted to protect residents who might be hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance or to shorten the claims process.
This kind of insurance is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and is mandatory for drivers in Florida. While the upside is that you do not have to file a lengthy claim with the other driver’s insurance company, there have been some downsides. This is partially in how costly this insurance can be and how it can put you at odds with your own insurance company creating a tumultuous experience. Some people feel they are now “reluctantly” covered by their insurance rather than having an advocate when they are injured or in an accident.
There are times when your accident will warrant that you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, and those situations vary from accident to accident. To learn if this is an option for you, we encourage you to give our Fort Myers accident attorney a call today and get a better legal perspective on your case.
Florida Comparative Negligence
When determining negligence for an accident in Florida, the state operates under comparative negligence. There are two other types, pure contributory negligence, and modified pure comparative negligence. We won’t get into these two since they do not pertain to Florida Drivers, but let’s talk comparative negligence.
Negligence helps to determine who was at fault and who bears liability for damages. When another person is determined to be 100% at fault, which doesn’t happen all the time, you might have a case for filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, most of the time both drivers will share some sort of liability. This is usually determined in percentages, and that number determines how much you ask your insurance company to cover. For example, if you were found to be only 25% responsible for the accident, you would ask your insurance company to cover 75% of your damages.
The Role of a Police Report in an Accident
Your Fort Myers accident lawyer will want to see the police report about your accident. This information can provide valuable details to support your claim. The report will reveal if any traffic violations were made and what any witnesses saw. The report might even suggest who was at fault. If you had a police presence at your crash event, it would be essential to get this information to your lawyer to help provide a better picture of the accident and backup your legal claims.
The Role of Evidence in Your Accident
In an effort to place negligence on one party or another, or simply to illustrate to your insurance company that you were not the party at fault, evidence will be needed. Let’s take a look at some of the sources of evidence that can really make your case a success.
Accident Images – Hopefully, there are lots of images of the accident to pull from. These images can back up your damage claims and your account of what happened.
Injury Images or X-Rays – Any images that you can obtain of your injuries or x-rays that provide validation of your injuries will be helpful to your claim.
Medical Records – Your medical records will be crucial to your testament of what happened and how you were injured. You will want to keep every document or receipt relating to your medical care.
Witnesses – If you know of any witnesses to your accident, your Fort Myers accident attorney will want that information. This will give your attorney additional validation of your accident account.
Red Light or Surveillance Camera Footage – With the help of your attorney, you may be able to obtain accident footage depending on where it occurred.
Vehicle Damage Assessment – Chances are your vehicle was moderately damaged in your accident. You’ll want to have an assessment done of the damage and prove that to the insurer.
Miscellaneous Accident Items – Keep all of your prescriptions, empty medication bottles, therapy receipts, casts, braces, etc. These items illustrate you’ve followed doctor’s orders.
Employment Records Relating to Your Accident – If anything has changed in your work life, you’ll want to document that. This will include changes in responsibilities, demotions, time off, etc.
Can we help you with your accident claim? Call or connect with the King Law Office today and let’s start taking a closer look at your accident lawyer Fort Myers accident case.