Your first action after any car accident is to seek medical care. If you were severely injured, you may have been taken to the nearest emergency room by ambulance. Even if your injuries were not life-threatening, you should see your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.
There are a few potential parties who could be liable to pay for your medical bills after a car accident you did not cause in Florida.
Medical Bills and Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Regulations
Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state. Even if you did not cause the car accident, the first $10,000 in medical claims will be paid by your personal auto insurance. However, “no-fault” does not limit your legal rights if a reckless driver severely injured you. A car accident lawyer in Florida can seek compensation beyond the $10,000 benchmark depending on your injuries and medical bills.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Pursue Compensation From the Liable Party
Because some car accidents result in expensive, life-threatening injuries, you may qualify for added compensation from the other driver after the $10,000 coverage is exhausted. You could file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party if you suffered:
- Significant, permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant, permanent loss of a bodily function.
- Permanent injury.
As you can see, this “serious injury” threshold can be broadly interpreted. That is why you should contact a Florida car accident lawyer to find out who pays for your medical bills after a car accident you did not cause.
Basic Car Insurance Requirements in Florida
All licensed drivers who drive a vehicle with at least four wheels must carry the minimum “no-fault” car insurance that includes:
- $10,000 maximum coverage for bodily injury liability per person in one accident.
- $20,000 maximum coverage for bodily injury liability for one accident.
- $10,000 maximum coverage for property damage liability for one accident.
This minimum insurance is also known as “10-20-10” coverage. While $10,000 coverage may be enough for minor to moderate injuries, it is inadequate if you or a family member sustained permanent injuries that need lifelong care.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Florida has a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. You have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This may seem like plenty of time, but you should consider that many personal injury lawsuits are the result of a stalled insurance settlement negotiation.
A car accident lawyer in Florida will first seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance coverage. This typically takes less time, which means faster compensation for you.
A successful car insurance settlement will look to recover for damages such as:
- Ambulance and emergency room services
- Hospital stays
- Doctor’s visits and other medical expenses
- Lost pay
- Lifecare costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Who Pays for Medical Bills and Other Damages for a Loved One’s Passing
If you lost a family member in a car accident you did not cause in Florida, you could be entitled to compensation from the other driver’s insurance. A car accident lawyer in Florida may file a wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit. Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, Florida’s statute of limitations on a wrongful death lawsuit is only two years from the date of passing.
A wrongful death lawsuit may seek damages for:
- Medical bills for your loved one until passing.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium, protection, guidance, and support.
- Lost income had your loved one lived a normal life expectancy.
- Mental anguish.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida Seeks Compensation for You
A car accident lawyer will talk to your doctor (with your written permission) to get a correct evaluation of your injuries, medical bills, and expected prognosis. This information will be sent to the other driver’s insurance company or used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we believe that you should recover the maximum compensation you may be entitled to receive.
In addition to speaking with your healthcare provider and getting copies of your medical bills, a car accident lawyer in Florida will also:
- Review police accident reports.
- View available photos or videos of the accident site, your damaged car, skid marks, road debris, and other photographic evidence.
- Read witness statements and if necessary, ask more questions.
- Consult accident recreationist experts if appropriate.
If you have further questions about who pays for your medical bills after a car accident you did not cause in Florida, please call our firm at 1-800-747-3733.