Florida Car Accident Lawyers for Driver Injuries
Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Dedicated to Getting Fair Compensation for Driver Injuries in South Florida Crash Cases
Immediately following an accident, the first thought is to deal with any passenger or driver injuries. The next thing we tend to think about is who’s going to pay for those injuries. That responsibility will generally fall on each driver’s car insurance company and any driver who was at fault for causing the accident.
The at-fault driver will sometimes be legally and financially responsible for any injuries or damages that come from the accident. Even when the car insurance companies take care of everything, determining fault may still be necessary to decide who faces criminal punishment or might have to pay higher insurance premiums.
But sometimes fault cannot easily be assigned to only one driver. That’s because multiple parties may have contributed to the accident.
If you sustained injuries in a car crash in which you were the driver of one of the vehicles, it is particularly important to get the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our experienced driver injury attorneys will help advocate on your behalf, whether you were the at-fault driver or not.
Driver Injury Recovery Through PIP
After getting into an accident, regardless of who was at fault, each driver will first turn to their respective car insurance companies for compensation. This is because Florida is a “no fault” state.
Practically every Florida driver who carries car insurance will have PIP, or personal injury protection car insurance coverage. This allows injured drivers to receive 80% of their medical bills and 60% of their lost wages as compensation from their own car insurance company. Each driver will look to obtain compensation from their own PIP coverage regardless of their level of fault in the accident.
What happens if PIP coverage is not enough to fully compensate the injured driver? That’s when the “innocent” driver can go after the at-fault driver.
Because Florida is a no fault state, you can’t just sue another driver whenever you feel like it. This is true even if that driver is the sole cause of your injuries. You can usually only sue another driver in two situations.
The first situation is when you suffer severe injuries. An injury is severe if it results in any of the following:
- Significant limitation of a body system or function.
- At least one broken bone.
- Long-term disability.
- Serious disfigurement.
- A life-long reduction in the use of a body part or internal organ.
You can see how vague these requirements are. For example, how serious must a disfigurement be? Or what constitutes a serious limitation to the body?
Arguing these points is not always an easy task. It not only requires making the right legal arguments, but also entails gathering the necessary medical records and documentation.
The second situation is when your PIP car insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries and lost wages. For instance, if your PIP car insurance coverage has a $20,000 policy limit, but your injuries total $50,000, you can sue the at-fault driver for the remaining $30,000.
Getting Compensation from Insurance Companies
Even when determining fault is an easy thing to do, the at-fault driver won’t always readily pay up. That’s because it’s usually not the driver who actually pays for property damage or personal injuries to others.
Usually, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company writes the check when compensating other drivers. But insurance companies don’t always pay promptly or in the amount they should.
Insurance companies will often try to wiggle their way out of paying up. They might do this by trying to shift blame or fault to a driver who wasn’t at fault.
Or they might try to use intimidation tactics to make you think that you are responsible for your own injuries even if you weren’t at fault. Or perhaps they’ll stall and delay in the hopes you are willing to accept a smaller amount than you’re legally entitled to.
What Happens When More Than One Driver Is Legally Responsible for the Accident?
The short answer to this question is that a court will try and divide the fault among the multiple drivers. Unless a driver is 100% at fault, an injured driver will receive at least some compensation. This is called the “pure” comparative negligence rule.
This means that compensation amounts can be reduced for driver injuries based upon the percentage of fault assigned to that driver. For instance, imagine a driver is entitled to $10,000 in compensation for personal injuries and/or property damage. But they’re 30% at fault for causing the accident. This means they will only receive $7,000.
So unless the driver is 100% at fault, they can make a claim for compensation for any injuries sustained in the crash. This includes compensation for driver injuries such as:
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Strains and sprains
Why Hire a South Florida Car Accident Attorney?
When it comes to driver injuries, getting the help of an experienced car accident attorney is important. Our talented legal team will carefully analyze the evidence in your case. From there, we will formulate the strongest possible claim that you were not responsible for the driver injuries sustained in the crash.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our experienced personal injury lawyers will handle every aspect of your case. This includes establishing your claim, then recovering the maximum amount of compensation possible for your driver injuries from the car accident. We will:
- Gather and evaluate evidence surrounding the cause of your car accident.
- Coordinate with medical experts to determine how the injuries you sustained will impact your future and finances.
- Locate all insurance coverage and parties responsible for the accident.
- Use all our resources to make a compelling claim for compensation for the injuries you sustained as a driver in the crash.
- Complete and file all necessary insurance paperwork.
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and responsible parties to ensure you are fairly compensated.
- Advocate for your rights in court if necessary.
- Keep you up-to-date as to the progress of your case until it settles or we get a verdict.
Injured While Driving in Florida?
If you or a loved one sustained driver injuries in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, you need an experienced lawyer to advocate on your behalf. The skilled car accident lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey are ready and willing to put our collective decades’ worth of experience to work in your case.
Call or contact us today to schedule a free initial case evaluation. There’s no fee to discuss your case and help you understand your rights and what legal options you have available.
Frequently Asked Questions About Driver Injuries in South Florida Car Crash Cases
Not necessarily. While you will look first to your own insurance for compensation for driver injuries, if those injuries are extensive, you may also be entitled to recover compensation from another driver who was at-fault for the accident despite the no-fault law. You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or we can work to recover compensation via a personal injury lawsuit, assuming that the current and anticipated future costs of your driver injuries exceed the PIP limits on your policy.
The insurance company is always motivated to reduce their own financial liability for injuries sustained in a car accident. When you sustained those injuries as driver of one of the vehicles, assigning liability to you is one way that they can try to minimize their overall payout. Our skilled lawyers look to all of the evidence in your case to build a strong argument to minimize the percentage of liability assigned to you to obtain the most full and fair settlement award possible for your driver injuries.