There are several tasks to complete right after a car accident, which can be challenging if you or another person is being treated for injuries. But after the accident, one of the first things you will start considering is what lawsuit car accident damages can you sue for. Here is what to know about bringing a lawsuit for car accident damages.
Will I receive a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) payout?
The first line of defense before starting your lawsuit for car accident damages is PIP insurance. If you are a vehicle owner, you can recoup your medical bills and lost wages if the other driver is at fault. It also protects you as a passenger in someone else’s or your own vehicle. It will provide you with some money to pay for medical expenses while you bring forward a lawsuit.
However, PIP does not pay all your medical costs or lost wages. Therefore, the at-fault driver will be liable for these costs when you bring a lawsuit against them.
What about my car – will I receive property damages?
In a Florida car accident lawsuit, you should recover the cost of having your vehicle repaired to its pre-collision condition. Alternatively, you can decide to accept free market value for your vehicle instead of getting it fixed.
Even if your vehicle looks fine after an impact, take it to a qualified mechanic. This can protect you from unknown safety hazards. Additionally, you will have a list of everything you need to fix to bring it back to pre-collision condition.
Who do I sue if the at-fault driver flees the scene or does not have insurance?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a driver to either have no insurance or flee the scene after an accident. If you find yourself in this position, file a claim with your Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance. This form of auto insurance protects you when a motorist does not have insurance or whenever you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
What about when an at-fault driver is underinsured?
Sometimes, a lawsuit is pointless if they do not have enough money to cover your bills. This can occur when an underinsured driver is the at-fault party in your accident. Instead of bringing forward a suit in this event, you will instead make a claim against your Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.
Which types of compensation can I recover?
In a lawsuit for car accident damages, there are several compensatory damages you can potentially receive. This includes compensation for the cost of your vehicle and for any medical bills you pay or expect to pay in the future.
Additionally, you may receive payments for any lost wages or reduction in earning potential. You may also be compensated for loss of enjoyment of life due to your injury or receive a settlement for the cost of your pain and suffering.
Can I sue the car owner if they were not driving the vehicle?
Sometimes, the driver at fault is not the owner of the vehicle. Fortunately, in Florida, the at-fault party can still be liable for your damages. This is called vicarious liability. It essentially describes a vehicle owner’s responsibility to pay for damages caused by a negligent party in operation of their car. Both vehicle owners and companies can be found liable, regardless of whether they or the company owner was driving the vehicle.
Does my vehicle manufacturer owe me damages as well?
In certain circumstances, your vehicle may malfunction during an accident. If this occurs and your car does not function how you would expect, then you may also have a property liability lawsuit to file. Because these cases are complex, consult an attorney before accepting any settlement or starting a lawsuit.
What are my next steps?
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what makes for a good auto lawsuit. Car accident damages cases are challenging to prove unless you have a talented team on your side. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will fight on your behalf with the auto insurance companies that owe you for your injuries and suffering.
Discuss your case with us by phone at (561) 655-1990 or use the live chat feature on our home page. When it comes to filing a lawsuit for car accident damages in Florida, time is not on your side. Discuss your case with us today.
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