If an insurance claim against the liable party cannot sufficiently compensate your injury-related expenses, you could sue instead.
A personal injury attorney can explain what happens if your insurance claim wasn’t enough to cover the costs of your injuries and other factors to consider when seeking compensation in Florida.
What Happens If You go Through with a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In insurance claims, the insurance provider will pay an amount that is still within their client’s coverage. When you take a case to court, a jury will assess your situation and evidence instead of a claims adjuster. Then, they will determine how much compensation – if any – the liable party owes you for the injury.
The liable party will pay for your damages themselves. That would mean they may have to use personal assets to satisfy the civil court’s orders.
Examples of Usable Assets in an Injury Lawsuit
Some types of personal assets that could get used to pay injury lawsuit damages include:
- Cars: Under Florida law, the liable party might have to use their vehicle to pay the damages.
- Savings accounts: The liable party may use the money from their personal bank accounts to help pay for the damages.
- Other personal property: Other assets, such as jewelry and real estate, may also get used to pay damages.
However, Florida also has laws that help residents protect certain assets from lawsuits. You could consult with one of our personal injury lawyers before deciding to file a suit. We study Florida’s injury laws and can help assess the liable party’s finances to advise you on whether to proceed with taking legal action.
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Car Accident Insurance Claims Work Differently From Injury Insurance Claims
If you suffered injuries from an auto accident, note that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Therefore, you must first rely on your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to get compensated. Yet, even if your PIP coverage cannot fully cover your injury-related expenses, you still might not be able to proceed with a claim against the at-fault driver or other liable parties.
How to Qualify for a Third-Party Insurance Claim
To be able to file an injury claim against the liable driver or party in Florida, you have to meet at least one of the conditions below:
- You suffered from a permanent injury (ex., you have permanent brain damage).
- The injury resulted in the temporary or permanent loss of body functions (ex., bone fractures preventing you from walking).
- You were significantly scarred or disfigured from the accident.
When to Proceed with a Car Accident Lawsuit
Florida drivers are typically not required to carry bodily injury liability coverage unless they recently committed a DUI or are operating commercial vehicles. However, if the liable party does not have injury liability insurance, you can still file a lawsuit if your injuries qualify.
You Can Also Check Your Personal Insurance Policies
Aside from a PIP policy, you might have other insurance plans to turn to for help, such as health insurance. This coverage would help pay for your medical treatments. Meanwhile, collision coverage can cover vehicle damages.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law Applies to Both Injury Claims and Lawsuits
Florida uses a comparative fault rule which affects how much you can recover in your claim or lawsuit. This law means that you are not barred from financial recovery if you share fault.
However, the more fault you share, the higher the deduction from your total recoverable damages. Such a rule can prevent you from getting more than you would like from either your injury or lawsuit.
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Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Injury Claim or Lawsuit
To help you recover an amount that allows you to cover your medical treatment and other losses you suffered due to your injuries, consider taking these steps:
- Gather as much evidence at the scene as possible. For example, take photos of your injuries and where they occurred, and collect contact information for any eyewitnesses.
- Avoid discussing the incident online or speculating openly about fault. Insurers and attorneys could try to use such statements against you.
- Document all of your expenses and losses related to your injuries and the accident itself. That way, you can get a more accurate estimate of your damages.
You can also reach out to a law firm for support. Our lawyers know Florida personal injury laws and how to navigate insurance policies.
Take Legal Action with Our Florida Injury and Accident Attorneys
If you are still unclear about what happens if your insurance claim wasn’t enough to cover the costs of injuries, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can advise you. Medical care in Florida can be very expensive, especially if you have severe injuries. We have lawyers ready to help gather evidence and comply with filing requirements. They can also represent you in seeking recovery from liable parties.
Our legal team has handled personal injury claims and lawsuits throughout Florida since 2005. If you want to schedule a free consultation session, you can call to speak with a team member. We are available 24/7, so you may also call us anytime at 1-800-747-3733.
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