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There are many misconceptions when it comes to personal injury claims in Florida. Some may be based on the overall motivations of the attorney involved in the case, while others may be due to a misunderstanding about how the claims process for these cases work.
Today, we will discuss 7 myths about Florida personal injury claims to shine some light on the subject and help you determine if you have a case yourself.
1. Florida No-Fault Means You Are Not Liable
No. Just because Florida is a no-fault state, this doesn’t absolve your liability in an auto accident. All registered vehicles in the state must carry a $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) policy. This coverage extends to the insured, regardless of who is found to be at fault for the accident.
This doesn’t mean that the negligent party is no longer liable for the accident. Keep in mind that $10,000 may not make a dent in medical bills in the case of a serious auto accident with significant injuries.
2. Your Claim Is Only Good for Four Years
Yes, to an extent. The statute of limitations for auto accidents in Florida is four years. However, some personal injury cases have only a two-year statute of limitations, including medical malpractice cases. There are also some situations where the deadline for filing the claim can be extended, but this is rare. The sooner you seek legal counsel and file your claim, the better.
3. You Can Collect Damages Even When You’re at Fault
Yes, to an extent. Florida follows something known as pure comparative fault. This means that each party involved in the accident is financially responsible for their percentage of the fault. Even if you were found to be 99% at fault for the accident, you could still collect for the other 1%.
4. My Insurance Company Will Cover Everything
No. This is unfortunately not true. People often put too much faith in their insurance company and then are shocked to discover that they will not cover what they thought they would. If you put too much trust in the insurance company covering your medical bills and lost income, you may be letting too much time pass to file your claim.
5. Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Too Expensive
Wrong. Personal injury cases in Florida are typically taken care of on a contingency fee basis. This means you are not paying your personal injury attorney out of pocket, but rather from your winnings. All the details and terms are explained beforehand and given to you in writing.
A percentage of what you win in your lawsuit is what the attorney will take for their services. Initial consultations are also free, so thinking that personal injury cases are too expensive to file is not the right mindset.
6. You Can Only File a Lawsuit When You Are Seriously Injured.
Wrong. This is another myth. You do not have to be seriously injured to file a claim for compensation after an accident. Some cases do fall under what is known as serious injury thresholds, but this applies only to certain damage types and cases. You may be entitled to compensation even for minor injuries. Discuss your case with a qualified Sarasota personal injury attorney who can navigate you through the process and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
7. A Lawsuit Punishes the Negligent Person
Not necessarily. In most cases, the insurance company actually covers personal injury claims. This applies to various personal injury cases, including auto accidents, dog bites, and boat accidents.
If the negligent party doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage to completely cover your claim, you may be able to pursue the claim with your own insurance company. You must first try to go through the other person’s insurance first.
As you can see, there are many myths and truths to uncover when it comes to Florida personal injury cases. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney.
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