Car accidents can take away your livelihood, and in extreme cases even the lives of you or your loved ones. They can leave you with years of physical pain and emotional suffering, and an ever-growing pile of medical expenses. Meanwhile, recent changes to Florida’s insurance laws have impacted the rights of residents to file lawsuits and get fair compensation.
Morgan & Morgan’s Ocala attorneys have decades of experience helping their automobile accident victim clients receive compensation for their injuries. We’ve used our resources to build cases demonstrating the severity of an injury to prove that our clients need more compensation than what their insurance offered them.
How Can Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Affect My Auto Accident Case?
Florida has made changes to its insurance laws to reduce the number of crash-related lawsuits and to lower insurance rates. Car accident victims must meet an “injury threshold” to be eligible to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Injuries which meet this threshold include paralysis, brain damage, significant head injuries, permanent scarring and disfigurement, or fractured bones.
If your lawyer cannot prove your injury meets this threshold, you may not be able to file a lawsuit for additional compensation. An immediate evaluation by a physician (within 30 days or else you may not qualify for benefits), in addition to further testing and monitoring at the hospital, can be vital in proving that your injury is severe enough to warrant legal action under Florida’s insurance laws.
Injuries and Compensation
Automobile accident injuries are a rising concern for Floridians, and more specifically Ocala residents. According to a report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 5,903 car accidents in Marion County in 2015 - nearly 8 percent more than in 2014. These increasing accidents can cause injuries such as lacerations, fractures, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and severe head trauma.
In addition to handling injury cases like those, our lawyers also have experience in lawsuits regarding wrongful deaths from motor vehicle accidents, working to secure compensation for the victim’s loved ones in their time of need. We work to try and get our clients compensation for a number of different damages, including:
- Current and future related medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Funeral expenses and other related costs.
Car Accident Lawsuit Process
Immediately following the automobile accident, it is important for you to receive a thorough physical evaluation. Your physician can:
- Help determine if you have an “emergency medical condition,” which can increase the benefits you can collect under PIP coverage;
- Record any visible scratches, lacerations, or bruising;
- Determine if there is any readily apparent internal damage; and
- Find evidence that an injury may manifest at some point in the future.
The information documented in this evaluation can be crucial to the success of your case and the amount of compensation you may be able to recover. Following this initial evaluation, you should contact a car accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
It is important that you do not discuss the accident or your injury with anyone other than your physician and attorney. Anything you say can be used against you during future negotiations and litigation.
To determine how much you may be owed in compensation and to build the best case we can possibly present, your lawyer will do a thorough investigation into your accident and injury, to show that you were hurt by another driver’s negligence. This investigation can include:
- Photograph the scene of the accident;
- Review police reports and medical records;
- Interview eyewitnesses; and
- Work with reconstruction experts to recreate the scene.
Constructing Your Claim and Complaint
Following his or her investigation, your lawyer will construct a claim detailing the injury you have sustained, explaining how the other party was negligent, and stating the amount of compensation that you are seeking.
Negotiation and Litigation
It’s possible during the lawsuit that a settlement offer may occur. As successful negotiators, we’re willing to discuss a higher settlement with the other party if we feel as though you haven’t been offered a settlement that’s fair for your needs.
Should these negotiations stall, your case could be brought to a judge or jury to determine the liability and what you could receive
Truck Accident Attorneys
With major interstates, including I-75, running through Ocala, thousands of commercial trucks, tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, and semi-trucks pass through the city every day. Trucks are significantly less maneuverable, heavier, and larger than other vehicles on the road, and therefore put other drivers on Florida’s overcrowded interstates at an increased risk of serious injuries. To help ensure a safe driving environment, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to adhere to local and state regulations, as well as a set of laws passed by the Federal Motor Safety Administration regulating the operation and maintenance of trucks.
If the truck’s driver, owner, manufacturer, or maintenance crew fails to adhere to these regulations, and an accident occurs, they may be liable for any resulting damages. Our LAWYERS have years of experience helping clients recover compensation for their losses in a wake of a truck accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.