Can I Recover For My Auto Accident Injuries In Court?
Car accidents are common in Florida, just because of how many vehicles are on the road. Because of this, Florida’s legislature established a no-fault auto insurance system. Under a no-fault system, anyone sustaining injuries in an auto accident must seek compensation by filing a claim with their personal injury protection insurer – but if injuries are serious enough to meet a certain threshold, the injured person is entitled to file suit in court as one would in any other personal injury case.
Use PIP Coverage To Cover Expenses
Under Florida’s no-fault system, every driver in the state must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance, intended to pay for medical bills and other expenses like lost wages. However, many injuries sustained in an auto accident will be serious enough to blow past the limits of such coverage quickly.
PIP insurance in Florida also comes with caveats. If you are injured in an auto accident, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the crash – while this may not be an issue for many, it is not uncommon for certain injuries like soft tissue damage to only appear over time. In addition, PIP coverage only pays for “80 percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary [care].” Disputes over what is ‘reasonable’ or ‘medically necessary’ can add up.
Serious Injuries Pass The Threshold
In reply to many of these concerns, Florida’s legislature added what is known as the ‘injury threshold.’ The relevant statute holds that if a person has suffered “significant and permanent” loss of a limb or bodily function, death, or permanent injury “within a reasonable probability,” and it happened due to the alleged negligence of another driver, they may file suit against the driver in court instead of being required to go through their PIP insurer. These types of injuries are serious enough where the chance at a greater amount of compensation is almost required due to the likely medical care required.
That said, it is important to keep in mind that filing suit against an allegedly negligent driver does not guarantee success, nor does it guarantee that all of your expenses will be paid. Depending on your situation, though, it may be worth it to try; in general, you have a chance to recover for expenses that PIP coverage will not pay for, such as pain and suffering.
Contact An Orlando Auto Accident Attorney
If you have been in an auto accident, and your injuries are serious, you may be concerned with paying your medical bills, as PIP coverage will only stretch so far. An Orlando auto accident attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help you get the compensation you need. Contact our office today for a free consultation.