You have rights as the victim of a car accident in Florida. In fact, most people don’t realize how many rights they really have after a car accident. When you understand your rights, you can exercise them. Our Miami car accident attorneys explain what your rights are after a car accident.
What Are My Rights as the Victim of a Car Accident in Florida?
Your rights as the victim of a car accident in Florida are to pursue no-fault benefits and a third-party claim for compensation. When you purchase mandatory no-fault insurance in Florida, you have the right to immediate benefits directly from your own insurance.
In addition, if your injuries are severe, you may file a claim for compensation based on fault. As a car accident victim in Florida, you have many rights, including the right to no-fault compensation or third-party compensation depending on the severity of your injuries.
Your Rights as a Car Accident Victim in Florida
Here are the rights you have as a car accident victim in Florida:
1. No-Fault Benefits Under the Terms of Your Contract
Florida’s no-fault benefits give you important rights when you’re hurt in a car accident. In fact, the whole purpose of the no-fault system is to provide you with easy access to benefits when you’re injured in a car accident.
Your own no-fault insurance doesn’t require you to prove fault to receive benefits. A car accident victim can claim up to the limits of their policy without having to prove fault. You have the right to make a claim to your own insurer to receive coverage of medical bills and other expenses after a car accident.
2. Third-Party Benefits Based on Serious or Permanent Injuries
When you have serious or permanent injuries, you have the right to go outside the no-fault system. You can make a third-party claim against the responsible driver. When injuries are especially severe, or when they’re expected to be permanent, you have the right to hold the person responsible for causing the crash. The other side must answer for their actions, and compensate you as required under the law.
3. The Right to Pain and Suffering (In Third-Party Cases)
If your case is one that is a third-party claim and doesn’t involve the no-fault system, you have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation as part of your demand. A lot of people think that the no-fault system means that car accident victims can never receive pain and suffering.
However, that isn’t the case. When you have serious injuries, you can include pain and suffering compensation as part of your claim. A car accident attorney can offer assistance to help you understand if you can seek pain and suffering payments and how much you can claim.
4. A Claim Against the Car Manufacturer If It Was Defective in Some Way
Not all car accidents happen because of driver error. If your accident occurs because of a defect with the vehicle, you can bring your claim against the vehicle manufacturer. A vehicle defect can be legal grounds for financial compensation. Your damages may include any type of damages that is traditionally available under the no-fault system.
5. Access to The Other Driver’s Information
Drivers must exchange information after a car accident. You have the right to know the other driver’s name, their address, and their insurance information. You may also note the license plate number of their vehicle. Florida law 316.070 requires the parties to exchange information after a crash. This information is critical for you to make the appropriate claims through insurance.
6. Appeals If You’re Unhappy With the Insurance Company’s Decision
Sometimes, insurance companies don’t make the right decisions. They might deny a case without a legal basis for it. They may not pay you as much as you deserve. When the insurance company doesn’t honestly honor their contract with you, you have the right to pursue appeals.
The insurance company can be held accountable when they don’t pay you fairly. You can file appeals to demand additional consideration of your case. You can present more information to help the insurance company reach the right result.
7. Formal Legal Action to Enforce the Insurance Contract
If the insurance company still doesn’t pay you fairly, you can initiate a legal action to enforce the insurance contract. The insurance company doesn’t have the final say. They don’t get to just deny your claim without any recourse to you.
Instead, you can bring legal action to make the insurance company pay what you deserve. If the insurance company denies your claim unreasonably, you can ask for compensation for bad faith insurance practices in addition to the compensation that you deserve under your contract.
8. Some Compensation Even If You Are Partially at Fault
Florida uses a system of comparative negligence. You have the right to receive some compensation even if you’re partially to blame for the accident. Don’t assume that you have no rights simply because the other side is accusing you of fault. A car accident attorney can help you determine what you might deserve under the comparative negligence system.
9.Right To Report the Accident to the Police
The police can investigate an accident for violations of traffic laws. They also look to see if someone is drunk driving, reckless driving, or violating another kind of traffic law. When you’re in an accident, you have the right, and in many cases, the legal obligation to report the accident to the police.
10. A Personal Determination of the Value of Your Car Accident Claim
There is no standard recovery when it comes to a car accident. You deserve the compensation that is appropriate in your case. Your rights as a car accident victim include all of the monetary compensation that you deserve under the law. Each car accident victim deserves an individual determination of their damages and compensation.
Contact Our Miami Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been in a car accident? Exercise your rights! Our Miami car accident attorneys fight for the rights of car accident victims every day. Call us for an immediate and free consultation. There is no fee unless you win.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.