- No-fault insurance: Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that after a car accident, each driver’s own insurance pays for their medical expenses and other losses, regardless of who caused the accident. However, if the injuries are serious or exceed the limits of the victim’s insurance policy, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
- Comparative negligence: Florida follows a comparative negligence system, which means that each party involved in an accident can be held responsible for a percentage of the damages based on their degree of fault. Even if you were partly responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages for the portion of the damages that the other driver was responsible for.
- Statute of limitations: In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, and four years from the date of the property damage to file a property damage lawsuit.
- Damages: Florida allows for different types of damages in automotive collision lawsuits, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
- Settlements: Most automotive collision lawsuits in Florida settle out of court. In some cases, a settlement may be reached through negotiation between the parties, while in others, mediation or arbitration may be required.
- Attorneys’ fees: In Florida, attorneys’ fees in automotive collision lawsuits are typically paid on a contingency basis, meaning that the attorney only receives payment if the lawsuit is successful. The fee is usually a percentage of the total recovery.
If you are involved in an automotive collision in Florida, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney to determine your options and protect your rights.
- Proving fault: In Florida, a plaintiff must prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This can be difficult to do, especially if there are conflicting accounts of what happened or if there are no witnesses.
- Comparative negligence: Even if the other driver is found to be at fault, the plaintiff may still face challenges if they are found to be partially at fault. Florida follows a comparative negligence system, which means that each party can be held responsible for a percentage of the damages based on their degree of fault.
- No-fault insurance: As mentioned earlier, Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that after an accident, each driver’s own insurance pays for their medical expenses and other losses, regardless of who caused the accident. This can limit the damages that a plaintiff can recover if their injuries are not considered “serious” under Florida law.
- Statute of limitations: In Florida, there is a time limit for filing a lawsuit after an accident. If the plaintiff misses this deadline, they may not be able to pursue a claim.
- Insurance company tactics: Insurance companies often use various tactics to try to limit their liability and reduce the amount of money they have to pay out. For example, they may argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were pre-existing or that they are not as severe as claimed.Insurance companies use various tactics to try to minimize their liability and reduce the amount of money they have to pay out for automotive collision claims. Here are some of the most common tactics: Delaying the claim: Insurance companies may intentionally delay processing a claim or responding to the plaintiff’s inquiries, hoping that the plaintiff will eventually give up or settle for a lower amount.
- Disputing liability: The insurance company may dispute who is at fault for the accident or argue that the plaintiff was partially or fully responsible, in order to limit the amount of damages they have to pay.
- Disputing the extent of damages: The insurance company may argue that the plaintiff’s injuries are not as severe as claimed or that they were pre-existing, in order to reduce the amount of damages they have to pay.
- Making lowball settlement offers: The insurance company may offer a settlement amount that is lower than the actual damages in the hopes that the plaintiff will accept it rather than pursue a lawsuit.
- Misrepresenting the law: The insurance company may misrepresent the law or the plaintiff’s rights in order to convince them to accept a lower settlement or drop the claim altogether.
- Using surveillance: The insurance company may hire private investigators to conduct surveillance on the plaintiff, hoping to find evidence that contradicts their claim of injury or disability.
- Pressuring the plaintiff: The insurance company may use various forms of pressure, such as repeatedly contacting the plaintiff or threatening to take legal action, in order to force them into accepting a lowball settlement or dropping the claim altogether.
- Complexity of the legal system: The legal system can be complex, and plaintiffs who represent themselves may struggle to navigate it effectively.
It is important to have an experienced attorney who can help guide the plaintiff through the process and advocate for their rights. Overall, pursuing an automotive collision lawsuit in Florida can be challenging. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help the plaintiff overcome these challenges and pursue a successful outcome.
Why You Need an Attorney
- Legal expertise: Attorneys who specialize in personal injury law have the legal knowledge and experience needed to navigate the complex legal system and advocate for their client’s rights.
- Investigation: An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct the events leading up to the collision. This can help to establish fault and liability.
- Communication with insurance companies: An attorney can communicate with the insurance company on the plaintiff’s behalf, negotiate for a fair settlement, and ensure that the plaintiff’s rights are protected throughout the claims process.
- Maximizing compensation: An attorney can help the plaintiff calculate the full extent of their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. They can then work to maximize the compensation the plaintiff receives.
- Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can represent the plaintiff in court and fight for their rights at trial.
- Contingency fees: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if the plaintiff receives a settlement or award. This helps to ensure that the plaintiff can afford quality legal representation.
Hiring an attorney in an automotive collision lawsuit can help to level the playing field, protect the plaintiff’s rights, and maximize their chances of receiving fair compensation for their injuries and losses.