No one anticipates being involved in a car crash, which can make the experience even more frightening and stressful if you do find yourself the victim of a motor vehicle collision. You may suffer physical injuries, psychological trauma, and financial hardship because of the accident. Knowing what to do in the minutes, days, and weeks following a car accident can be the key to healing physically, emotionally, and financially. To help ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries, an experienced Melbourne car accident lawyer at Layman Law Firm, P.L. explains crucial steps to take if you are involved in a Melbourne car accident.
Melbourne Car Accident Facts and Figures
Located in the middle of the state along the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Melbourne is home to almost 90,000 permanent residents as well as being a popular year-round tourist destination. Melbourne is the second-largest city, both in terms of size and population, in Brevard County. According to figures released by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), there were 9,498 motor vehicle crashes in Brevard County in 2021, resulting in 102 fatalities and 6,730 non-fatal injuries.
What Do I Need to Know about Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law?
If you are involved in a Melbourne car accident, you need to understand how Florida’s no-fault insurance laws work. No-fault insurance laws are intended to act as a cost-effective and faster alternative to traditional litigation for victims who were injured in a motor vehicle collision. Because Florida is one of several “no-fault” insurance states, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP is required to cover medical bills (up to $10,000) if an insured is injured in an accident without regard to who was at fault in the collision. There are some important limitations to PIP coverage, such as:
- It only covers 80 percent of medical bills and prescription drug costs.
- It only covers a percentage of your lost income or wages.
- You are not entitled to non-economic damages (including pain and suffering).
If your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold, you may be entitled to leave the “no-fault” insurance system and pursue a traditional personal injury lawsuit. If so, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages for the physical and emotional injuries caused by the accident.
Steps to Take Following a Melbourne Car Accident
Being involved in a motor vehicle collision is a traumatic experience for most people. If you were injured in the crash, it can be downright terrifying. Knowing what to do following a Melbourne car accident is imperative to ensure that you recover physically and emotionally. It is also the key to ensuring that the at-fault party is held accountable and that you are fully and fairly compensated for your injuries. With that in mind, be sure to take the following steps after a Melbourne car accident:
- Prevent secondary collisions. All too often the injuries sustained in an initial car crash are exacerbated or multiplied by a secondary collision. To prevent that from happening, move your vehicle or yourself out of the path of oncoming traffic if possible.
- Contact the police. Call 9-1-1 and report the accident immediately regardless of the apparent severity of the damage or injuries. Along with practical concerns such as traffic control and contacting rescue services, contacting the police ensures that an official report will be available should you need one for litigation purposes.
- Submit to a thorough medical evaluation. You may not think you were seriously injured in the crash; however, it is important to have a thorough medical evaluation done anyway. First, some of the most potentially serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, do not always produce identifiable symptoms immediately after the injury. Submitting to an examination could save your life. Second, having a doctor check you out at a hospital creates a written record of the accident and can serve as valuable evidence linking your injuries to the collision for the purposes of a lawsuit.
- Consult with an experienced car accident attorney. Car accident victims frequently suffer emotional trauma along with the physical injuries sustained in a crash. Consequently, you may also lose income because those injuries prevent you from working. If another party caused or contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries, including lost wages and trauma. Consulting with an experienced Melbourne car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the collision is the best way to protect your right to recover monetary damages for your injuries.
What Compensation Is Available for a Melbourne Car Accident?
To pursue a traditional car accident lawsuit your injuries must exceed the “permanent injury” threshold established by Florida’s no-fault insurance law. Injuries exceed the permanent injury threshold if they cause any of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
If you are entitled to pursue a traditional personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to damages for both your physical and emotional injuries, including compensation for things such as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and other care costs
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
If you are a surviving family member of someone who was fatally injured in a Melbourne car accident, you may qualify to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may recover monetary damages that are intended to compensate you for the loss of companionship, care, and support your family member provided.
Contact An Experienced Melbourne Car Accident Lawyer at Layman Law Firm, P.L.
If you were injured in a Melbourne car accident, or you lost a family member in one, contact the experienced Melbourne car accident lawyers at Layman Law Firm, P.L. to discuss your legal options. We are dedicated to ensuring that the at-fault party (or parties) is held accountable and that injured victims are fully and fairly compensated. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 321-773-2111 or by filling out our convenient Intake Evaluation Form online.