What may seem like a straightforward insurance claim after a rear-end accident can become complicated. Contrary to popular belief, the rear driver is not automatically at fault in these types of claims. Fighting insurance companies while recovering from your injuries may feel like an uphill struggle.
As such, it is beneficial to understand your rights and how to avoid common mistakes that could harm your claim. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our Naples rear-end collision car accident lawyers can help. Our personal injury lawyers can handle your entire case.
Is The Rear Driver Always At Fault In A Rear-Impact Collision?
The short answer is no. For example, the lead driver may be at fault or share fault if their brake lights are not working, and a part manufacturer could share liability if they supplied defective brakes on your vehicle. The other driver may have caused the accident through negligence, such as drunk or distracted driving or being aggressive or reckless behind the wheel.
There are many factors to consider surrounding the question of liability in rear-end accidents. Our attorneys can help you to investigate what happened to determine who is responsible. If the fault is shared, we can present evidence showing to what extent. This is important because it affects the amount of compensation you could recover.
Florida follows the comparative negligence rule. While both parties can recover compensation, the amount is reduced by the proportion of fault you are allocated. For example, say your total damages amount to $1000, and you are 10% at fault. You would be able to recover $900 rather than the full amount. Therefore it is essential to build a robust case that fairly represents your circumstances so you do not lose out on a fair settlement.
How Do I Make A Claim For A Rear-End Accident In Naples?
Initially, you will turn to your own auto insurer and claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. While PIP has its advantages in streamlining the claim process, it only covers a certain amount of your damages. Under this system, you can recover up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages, capped at a maximum of $10,000. But what happens if your damages exceed this amount?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of your injuries, you may be able to recover additional damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver if they caused the accident through negligence. The most likely causes of driver negligence in rear-end collisions can include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, such as texting behind the wheel
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- If the lead driver did something unexpected, such as suddenly reversing their vehicle or braking erratically
We carefully analyze the facts of your case to establish how the accident occurred and gather evidence to show who is liable. If your injuries are serious enough to meet a specific legal threshold, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to ensure you are fairly compensated. However, unlike a PIP claim, you must prove the other driver’s negligence. Again, we will provide everything you need to support your case.
What Damages Are Available In Rear-End Collision Claims?
PIP covers a percentage of your medical bills and lost wages. However, a personal injury lawsuit allows injured people to recover additional damages, which can include compensation for current and future costs associated with:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills, treatment, and rehabilitation costs
- Compensation if your ability to work or return to work is affected
- Emotional distress
- Specialist equipment required for your ongoing well-being
- Lost or damaged property
Having established an appropriate course of legal action, we carefully assess the full extent of your financial damages. Insurance companies may seek to protect profit margins by undervaluing your claim. Therefore, an accurate estimate of your losses is vital to ensure you are fairly compensated before entering settlement negotiations.
How Long Do I Have To File A Rear-End Accident Claim In Naples?
Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, injured parties generally have four years to file a personal injury case and two years to file a wrongful death action. Missing these deadlines could mean you risk your right to pursue financial damages, so we encourage you to begin legal action as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary complications.
What Should I Do After A Rear-End Collision?
To summarize, the following steps can be helpful if you or a loved one are injured in a rear-end collision:
- Move to safety and contact the appropriate authorities.
- Exchange contact details with the other driver.
- Avoid discussing the accident or your injuries at the scene.
- Gather photographic or video evidence at the scene.
- Collect contact details of any witnesses.
- Notify your insurance company, providing only basic information.
- Avoid posting on social media, as doing so could harm your case.
- Consider calling for free advice to learn about your legal options before pursuing your claim.
- If you hire legal representation, they will manage any further communications with insurers, assess the extent of your losses, and handle settlement negotiations.
Whether making a claim with your insurance company, filing an injury lawsuit, or wrongful death action, our rear-end collision lawyers are here to answer your questions and take care of everything you need for your case. This way, you can focus on your well-being with the peace of mind that your case is in capable hands.
Where Do I Find A Rear-End Collision Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we understand our client’s challenges and frustrations after being injured in rear-end collisions and how disappointing it can be when insurance companies do not come through. However, you do not have to face this battle alone. We are here for you.
With offices throughout Florida, including Naples, we have a reputation for hard work, getting consistent results, and providing excellent client support. So let us put our years of experience to work for you, too. Learn more about making a claim today during a free consultation with our team. Call us today!
We Can Help.