Who Pays for Your Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been injured as a result of a workplace accident, a slip-and-fall, a car crash, a defective product, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, one of your primary concerns is likely to be determining how you will pay for the damages incurred as a result of the accident. Medical bills, property repairs, and other damages build up, and if you were harmed by the negligence of someone else, you should be able to hold that person liable. Read on for a discussion of who pays your personal injury claims, and contact an experienced Vero Beach personal injury lawyer for help if you’ve been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence in Vero Beach or Stuart.
Personal Injuries Other Than Car Accidents
For the typical personal injury matter, other than car accidents, you can seek recovery from the person who is at fault for your injury. You will have to prove that they owed you some duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that you were harmed as a result of their breach. The “breach of duty” might be failing to keep their premises safe, selling you a defective product, letting their dog bite you, or otherwise failing in some duty not to harm you. Typically, you will show that the person or entity was negligent, meaning they were not behaving as a reasonable person would and should under the circumstances, and that their negligence caused you actual harm. If you can demonstrate that their negligent behavior caused your injury, then you can sue them for any damages you have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other types of harm. They may have insurance to cover their own liability, but they owe you damages regardless.
Florida’s No-Fault System For Car Accidents
Florida, like a few other states, has what is known as a “no-fault” insurance system for car accidents. Florida law requires that all drivers carry a personal injury protection (PIP) policy with their car insurance company, covering a minimum $10,000 per person injured. Under Florida law, in a typical car accident, each person involved in the accident will file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The policies generally cover economic damages such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. The policies do not typically cover additional non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. If your costs exceed your PIP coverage, then your health insurance will pay the remainder but will likely look for repayment of that money from either the other driver or from your own Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage.
In order to sue the at-fault driver directly and recover for both your economic and non-economic damages, the plaintiff must have suffered a serious injury as defined under Florida law. Serious injuries include significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
If you’ve been injured in a car, pedestrian, truck or motorcycle accident, dog bite or suffered some other personal injury in Vero Beach or Stuart, call the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff PA at 772-492-8967 for a free consultation with a former insurance company attorney with over 25 years of trial experience.