Auto accidents can range from a mild fender bender with delayed soft tissue injuries to a devastating, multi-car pileup causing catastrophic damage.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and the financial well-being of you and your family following a traffic collision.
We understand difficulties that can arise following a car accident. In addition to coping with physical recovery and property damage, there are many specific rules and regulations in Florida that complicate insurance claims and compensation for additional damages in cases of serious injury or death.
We have a history of handling auto accident claims throughout the area, including Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach. Our goal is to ensure your rights are protected and you receive appropriate compensation for injuries and losses you have sustained.
Regardless of the severity of your case, it’s wise to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale area. Many insurance companies try to get in early – before you have legal representation – to make an unfair settlement offer.
We generally advise people to speak to a lawyer before accepting any insurance company offer. Failure to do so may result in loss of future opportunity to collect damages to which you may be entitled.Florida No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
Over 30,000 people are killed in auto accidents annually in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report Florida bears a significant economic cost for these collisions, with medical and work loss costs exceeding $3.16 billion annually. That’s roughly 7 percent of the national total.
With regard to auto accidents, Florida follows a no-fault system.
What this means is following a traffic collision, the insurance company of the injured person will provide coverage for minor medical expenses and property damage. This is true regardless of who actually caused the crash.
In Florida, you can’t pursue another driver for liability in a car accident unless the “serious injury” threshold is met. Still many “minor” traffic accidents may fall outside the “no-fault” umbrella, making consultation with an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer especially critical.
A driver can pursue a liability claim against another driver, vehicle owner or manufacturer if one of the following applies:
- Permanent injury
- Significant or permanent scarring
These terms are vague, and sometimes, attorneys must advocate aggressively that a claim meets the “serious injury” threshold.Car Accident Injuries and Compensation
Each accident is different, which means extent of injuries suffered is only one critical element of the case. Still it is very common that the cost for treatment of injuries exceeds the amount covered by personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. That means the case has to be further negotiated or possibly litigated.
Some injuries for which a car accident attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area may help you collect additional compensation are:
- Burns and scars
- Head injuries
- Joint, muscle, neck, back and bone injuries
- Knee and joint damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
Most seek economic damages, also sometimes referred to as compensatory damages. These seek to compensate the victim for what he or she has lost. Depending on the circumstances, these might include:
- Medical Expenses. Costs for emergency room treatment, hospital care, surgery and follow-up appointments and treatment.
- Future Medical Expenses. These would be available if plaintiff can show there will be an ongoing need for medical care as a direct result of the accident.
- Lost Wages. These would be money lost as a result of not being able to work, from the time of the accident through to the end of the lawsuit.
- Loss of Earning Capacity. When a person’s ability to work into the future is negatively impacted, he or she may be entitled to collect money for wages that would have been earned had the crash never happened.
In addition to non-economic damages, those injured in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale may be entitled to non-economic damages for losses that are not financial in nature. These are tougher to quantify, but are no less important. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Mental Anguish. This is compensation for emotional pain, embarrassment, fear, anxiety, grief or other emotional distress resulting from the crash.
- Pain and Suffering. This is compensation for physical pain caused by the crash. In determining this amount, the court will weigh the nature of the injury and for how long plaintiff will be expected to suffer.
- Loss of Consortium. This is compensation available to the injured person’s spouse for the loss of marital benefits, including comfort, sexual relations, affection and companionship. The court will examine the strength of the marriage in determining how much to award.
- Punitive Damages. These are damages intended to punish defendant and discourage similar behavior. They are only available in cases where defendant’s actions were egregious and malicious.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Florida auto accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (888) ANSARA-8.