Although the safety of personal automobiles has evolved exponentially over the last few decades, unfortunately, the behavior of the individuals driving those vehicles seems to have gotten exponentially worse.
With more distractions than ever on the road and inside automobiles, vehicle operators constantly have their attention diverted from the road, resulting in more collisions and injuries than ever before.
According to statistics, there are, on average, 6 million auto accidents occurring each year in the United States with over half of those collisions causing injuries to the individuals involved.
As a result, a large number of cases handled by Tallahassee car accident lawyers at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro involve injuries resulting from automobile wrecks.
With over 40 years of experience assisting injured victims in Florida, we can help you determine your legal options. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our Tallahassee car accident lawyers can best assist you.
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning your first course of recovery is through your personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver or third parties who share some responsibility for the accident.
Personal Injury Protection Requirements in Florida
Florida vehicle owners must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).
With no-fault coverage, you present a claim through your own policy, regardless of who caused the accident.
PIP coverage will pay for a portion of your medical bills and time off work up to your limits, provided you seek treatment within the allotted time. It will not pay for other damages, such as pain and suffering.
Under a basic PIP policy, your insurance company would pay:
- 80% of your reasonable and necessary medical bills;
- 60% of your loss of earnings; and
- Up to $10,000 based on injury severity.
Although the no-fault laws limit the amount of compensation you can pursue, it doesn’t necessarily preclude you from filing a lawsuit in some situations.
Florida law allows plaintiffs who suffered severe and permanent injuries to seek financial compensation from the responsible parties.
Serious Injury Threshold Rule
Florida has a serious injury threshold rule that allows injured parties to file legal action against the responsible parties, providing their injuries meet the criteria.
Your injuries must affect your daily activities and result in:
- A significant loss of bodily function,
- A permanent severe injury,
- Permanent scarring, or
If you sustained permanent injuries that meet Florida’s serious injury threshold law, you could have the right to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
Filing a serious injury car accident claim in Florida can be complicated. It’s best to hire a car accident lawyer in Tallahassee to represent you; otherwise, you could jeopardize your potential compensation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Tallahassee
Many factors can lead to a collision. When you pursue a claim against the responsible party, it’s usually based on legal negligence.
Accidents are never really accidents; there is some action or inaction that leads to a collision. Some of the most common causes of Tallahassee car accidents include the following.
Distracted driving is more than just texting and driving; it’s anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road.
Someone looking at their GPS, changing the radio station, eating, talking to passengers, etc., can all lead to a collision.
Drivers who fail to adhere to the various traffic laws put other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders at risk.
Driving too fast or slow for the conditions, going over the posted speed limit, failing to stop at a light or stop sign, and not signaling are just a few of the actions that can result in a collision.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers who get behind the wheel of a car even after one drink have impaired judgment and slower reaction times. Drivers should not mistakenly think having one or two drinks is okay because their BAC is under 0.08.
Any alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment, resulting in a fatality. Hiring a car accident lawyer in Tallahassee is essential if you were struck by an intoxicated driver.
Potential Compensation in a Florida Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can be devastating. You could have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
Some victims do not realize they could be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses and their permanent disability.
Each case is unique, but some potential damages in a car accident lawsuit include:
- Emergency medical transport and hospitalization;
- Surgery, including future surgeries;
- Physical therapy;
- Diagnostic tests;
- Short-term and long-term prescription costs;
- Lost wages and future loss of earning capacity; and
- Pain and suffering.
To increase your chances of resolving your case for maximum compensation, you should entrust your case to our skilled Florida car accident lawyers.
What to Do Following a Tallahassee Car Accident
Building a solid personal injury case starts immediately after the accident. The actions you take in the following moments can impact a future claim.
Here are some helpful tips to remember:
- Call the police immediately following the accident as you want a record of the accident and your injuries;
- Be sure to exchange contact information with all involved parties;
- Get contact information from all witnesses—do not wait for the police to do so in case the witnesses have to leave beforehand;
- If you can do so safely, take photos of all the damage, debris, surrounding scene, and your injuries;
- Seek medical treatment immediately if you are not transported to the hospital from the accident scene;
- Follow your doctors’ orders and treatment plans; otherwise, you can jeopardize your PIP claim and potential personal injury lawsuit;
- Report the claim to your insurance company right away; and
- Contact a car accident lawyer in Tallahassee to discuss your legal options.
Be sure to document your injuries and pain levels throughout the recovery period. Should you file a lawsuit, you may not remember all the little details that could be essential elements of your case.
Be descriptive and honest. If your injuries prevented you from even being able to get dressed independently for a month, that is crucial information.
Keeping a pain journal can help refresh your memory months or a year later when you are asked to recall specific details from the accident.
How We Help Tallahassee Car Accident Victims
Fortunately, the law holds individuals and companies responsible for their own actions and the actions of those who they employ when their negligent actions result in injuries to others.
The law requires those operating a motor vehicle to use due care, this includes driving at a safe speed, remaining focused on the road, and generally operating the vehicle the same as a reasonably safe person would under the same or similar circumstances.
Our auto accident attorneys handle auto accident cases in both Florida and Georgia.
The auto insurance requirements in Florida and Georgia are very different and, as a result, the way an auto accident case is handled in Florida can be very different than the way the same type of case is handled in Georgia.
For instance, Florida is what is considered a “No-Fault” state, whereas Georgia is a “Traditional Tort Liability” state, which means there are very different duties and requirements on the part of both the at-fault party and the victim after an auto collision.
Retaining a law firm that has attorneys licensed and experienced in both Florida and Georgia such as Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro can make all the difference.
Auto Accident Legal Process
- Call us, email us or message us via our website
- Describe your case and the circumstances surrounding your injuries
- Schedule a visit to our office for a free consultation
- Give us time to build the case: collect evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports
- Partner with us to bring justice to your situation
Contact Our Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyers at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro
If you are searching online for auto injury lawyers near me, schedule a free consultation with our Tallahassee car accident lawyers.
Our decades of experience have shown us how complicated insurance laws can be in Florida.
Don’t jeopardize your rights or potential compensation by trying to handle your claim independently. You deserve a legal advocate who will protect your rights.
When a car accident has left you with severe injuries that exceed your PIP coverage, the attorneys at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro are here to help.