Auto accidents are always complicated, even when they seem fairly simple. If you or a loved one sustained injuries from a car accident in Florida, you might be entitled to compensation. Our experienced Tallahassee auto accident lawyers can meet with you and determine if you have a valid case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means that if a car accident occurs, both parties can file a claim with their respective auto insurance companies to receive compensation.
By law, every Florida driver has to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance included in their car insurance policy. So making sure that you have this critical coverage is the first step to take—even before getting into a car accident.
The severity of the accident will impact whether or not you need an attorney. If your car accident does not involve injuries or significant property damage, filing an insurance claim may be sufficient.
Should I Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
No state requires you to obtain legal counsel after a car accident, but it is almost always in your best interest to do so. Once you have filed a claim with the insurance company, they will conduct an investigation to determine if you’re entitled to compensation and, if so, how much you are owed.
The minimum mandatory amount of PIP coverage required by law covers up to $10,000 in damages. You can purchase more coverage than that, but because so many people only purchase the minimum required, we will limit our discussion today to this amount.
The problem with buying only this minimum coverage is that a single broken bone could cost much more than $10,000 to repair. And if your injuries are more serious, you can see how quickly the minimum coverage becomes inadequate.
Insurance companies are not known for always offering fair settlements. It is important to know that you do not have to accept the first settlement amount they offer. At some point, you are likely to wonder, Do I need a lawyer for a car accident? In most cases, the answer is yes.
The experienced lawyers at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro know how to negotiate fair, meaningful settlements that properly compensate victims like you. We can help you determine the value of your claim, including future expenses that you may not have taken into account. Never settle for less than what you are actually owed.
Can I File a Lawsuit After a Florida Car Accident?
The minimum PIP insurance covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses resulting from a covered injury up to $10,000, no matter who caused the crash.
If your damages exceed $10,000 and you don’t have additional coverage, you can file a claim for compensation against the negligent party. When do you need a lawyer to help you? If you need compensation above and beyond your PIP coverage, you may have to file a lawsuit and should seek legal counsel to help.
It is possible to file a lawsuit and sue someone without an attorney. But remember, the opposing side will likely obtain their own legal counsel who understands the complexities of Florida personal injury law.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you will have to prove that the other driver’s negligent actions caused your injuries. Florida is a comparative negligence state. So if you are partially responsible for the accident, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
This is where an experienced car accident attorney becomes very important. The other party will undoubtedly attempt to blame you as much as possible, so they have to pay less. You may still be wondering, Should I contact a lawyer after a car accident? When filing a lawsuit, the answer is yes because defending and proving fault can be complicated.
Are You Ready to File a Car Accident Claim?
At Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro, we have decades of combined experience helping victims recover from their injuries and maximize their settlements. Call us at (850) 601-1111 or send an online message today to schedule a free consultation.