Car accidents occur suddenly, but the injuries they cause can affect you for a lifetime. When you sustain serious or catastrophic injuries, costly medical bills and rehabilitation costs become an unanticipated financial burden. If your injuries temporarily disable you, your lost income can force you to change the way you live.
While you work hard to recover from your injuries, you need a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer working on your behalf. They can protect your legal rights and determine if a negligent driver owes you compensation for your injuries. Our board-certified team at Baker Legal Team can help you make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.
Who Is Legally Responsible for a Car Accident?
Post-accident complications often begin immediately following a crash. These injuries can quickly overwhelm your life, and holding the negligent party accountable for their actions can help your financial situation.
A vehicle operator is responsible for damage and injuries when their negligent driving causes or contributes to an accident. Their negligence often involves risky driving behaviors that often increase accident and injury severity. When a liability insurer investigates their policyholder's accident, they sometimes rely on Florida statutes to minimize their responsibility for damages and injuries. Other parties may be responsible as well, depending on the situation. Your West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help you navigate challenges such as these.
Florida's Comparative Fault Statute §768.81 recognizes that more than one person can share liability for an accident. Even if a liability insurer decides that their policyholder was negligent, they may also decide that you contributed to the accident in some way. If the insurer eventually decides to pay your injury claim, they may reduce your settlement based on what they perceive as your negligence percentage.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
As mandated by Florida Statutes §627.736, all personal auto policies issued in the state must include Personal Injury Protection benefits coverage. If you sustain injuries in a car accident, your PIP benefits pay for your injury-related damages.
- Medical benefits: 80%of medical bills up to $10,000
- Disability benefits: 60% of lost income and loss of earning capacity
- Death benefit: $5,000 per person
- Extra expenses: Costs paid to others for necessary services
PIP is a no-fault coverage. This means your own insurer must pay covered benefits regardless of who caused the accident.
What Are Tort Exemptions?
If someone injures you in a Florida accident, you have a right to make a liability claim only if you meet one of the exemptions listed below:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Liability insurers often take advantage of the fact that you might not fully understand these legal issues. When you deal directly with their claim investigators, they ask for your statement and record your answers. When they evaluate your responses, they look for facts that support their liability position. Even if the other driver's liability seems clear to you, the insurer may decide that they have reasons to offer a low settlement or deny your claim. These reasons may include:
- Their insured party wasn't negligent and didn't cause the accident.
- Your actions contributed to the accident and your injuries.
- Your Florida PIP coverage should pay your medical bills and lost wages.
- Your injuries don't meet a threshold for a tort exemption that allows you to make a liability claim.
- Your injury claim isn't worth as much as you demand.
When you work with a Baker Legal Team car accident attorney, we deal with insurers on your behalf. Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers understand the legal issues, so we know how to overcome an insurance company's liability defenses and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Experienced West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorneys at Baker Legal Team
When you're injured in an accident, you should never try to handle your claim on your own. Even when liability seems clear, the legal issues often contribute to unanticipated outcomes. When you establish a working relationship with the Baker Legal Team, we take immediate steps to protect your legal rights. We investigate your accident and analyze the liability issues. When appropriate, we intervene with the insurance carriers and work to recover compensation on your behalf.
Baker Legal Team has offices in Boca Raton, Stuart, Weston, and Coral Springs, Florida. Our injury and accident lawyers help clients in West Palm Beach and throughout the area. If someone injures you in a car crash or any other type of accident, contact us for a free consultation. You may reach our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at (561) 320-0000 or leave a message on our contact page.