Getting involved in an accident comes with a whole lot of baggage. For one, nursing the injuries can be expensive, time-consuming, and may restrict you from enjoying life the way you used to. Additionally, you may need to address the damage to your vehicle, which means using cash to repair it. All these might be overwhelming, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. Well, did you know that you can seek compensation if a crash was not your fault? Compensation helps you cater to the bills the accident made you incur.

At Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney, we help clients in Fleming Island file different personal injury compensation claims. The claims vary depending on the type of accident in which they are involved. This article focuses on the various accidents that may have you file a personal injury claim to recover damages.

Car Accidents

The critical thing to understand is that Florida is a no-fault state when talking about accident compensation laws and car insurance. This means if you get involved in a car crash in Fleming Island, you have to file a compensation claim with your insurance company. The claim is filed under personal injury protection (PIP) to cover any medical expenses.

This implies that regardless of who is injured (driver, passenger, and pedestrian), their injuries are handled by their car insurance companies first. If you are not insured, you can turn to the insurance policy of your closest relative. However, in case you suffered severe, permanent injuries, you can file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault.

Drivers are required to have a PIP policy worth $10,000. This policy is meant to protect them in case of minor accidents with minor injuries. In case your medical bills are more than what your car insurance covers, you may:

  • Turn to your medical insurance policy
  • Pay out of pocket
  • Sue the at-fault party if he/she was negligent and if your injuries exceed a given limit

Many drivers in Fleming Island still drive with no or very little insurance. Thus, It is advisable to obtain an uninsured or underinsurance motorist coverage. These will cover you if you are hit by a person who doesn’t have insurance. An underinsurance policy covers the medical expenses that would not be covered by the insurance policy of the other driver or PIP. On the other hand, an uninsurance policy makes you claim compensation against your insurance provider instead, so you will not suffer unnecessarily.

Truck Accidents

Trucking laws can be very complicated. In case of a truck accident, you will be dealing with several insurance companies; the cargo company, trucking company, and the driver’s company. All these companies will try to pressure you to settle quickly on a lesser compensation amount, so you don’t get the entire value of your claim. Since your bills will be piling up and will want to settle quickly, you may be tempted to go with what these companies are offering. We advise that you should not settle before talking to a Fleming Island personal injury attorney first.

The other reason you will need an attorney is to help you determine fault. This is because it can be complicated to determine who was at fault in truck accidents due to all the parties involved. Additionally, truck drivers are governed by many federal and state regulations, as well as local regulations where the crash took place. In all these, an attorney will help you not to short-change yourself.

Truck drivers are required to have a PIP policy worth $10,000, a property damage liability policy worth $10,000, and a bodily injury policy worth $10,000 for every passenger. PIP coverage is meant to protect a truck driver if minor accidents occur.

Another truck accident claims aspect is that, generally, a truck driver is working for a company. This brings about the idea of employer responsibility or respondeat superior. In case the driver was on duty at the time of the crash, his/her employer would assume responsibility for the injuries. This means there will be more compensation for your claim.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death refers to a demise that was as a result of the negligent acts of another person or entity. A wrongful death may occur due to several situations; for instance, pedestrian collisions, car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, etc.

Filing a wrongful death claim seeks financial compensation for the demise of a loved one. This is so you can offset the losses you suffered from the negligent demise of the person you love. It may also indicate that you are seeking justice for the untimely death of the person you love.

Since a wrongful death claim is filed in a civil court, it is resolved through financial means. There are guidelines in place for awarding compensation in a case like this one. Wrongful death damages are divided into two. That is, what the state can recover and what you can recover. The state may recover:

  • Lost earnings
  • The lost net accumulations
  • Medical bills and funeral expenses

You, on the other hand, might be compensated for:

  • Lost services and support
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, instruction, and protection
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills and funeral expenses

There are five surviving parties to the deceased who can sue for damages in a wrongful death claim. They include:

  • Minor children
  • Surviving spouse
  • Adult children (in case of no surviving spouse)
  • The parent of the deceased’s minor child
  • The parent of an adult child (if no other survivor is present

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is usually two years from the date your loved one died. However, under given circumstances, the statute of limitations can be postponed or tolled, though it is rare.  To know what circumstances warrant the postponement of the statute of limitations, talk to your Fleming Island personal injury attorney.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries, especially since these pedestrians do not walk around with any protective gear. A pedestrian can claim compensation in case he/she gets hit by a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle, and it is not his/her fault. However, there are cases where both the driver and the pedestrian are at fault. In this case, the pure comparative negligence standard will apply, just like it is with other personal injury cases.

This means the degree of your fault will determine what damages you recover. So, if you were 99% liable for the accident, you will collect 1% of compensation. The jury will weigh the circumstance and apportion guilt between you and the driver, depending on the facts surrounding the case.

Bus Accidents

When you get involved in a bus crash, the consequences may be more significant compared to a car accident. For instance, there are more liable parties, more victims, and the injuries may be more severe due to lack of safety equipment like seat belts and airbags. For this reason, you most likely will want to consult with an experienced and qualified Fleming Island personal injury attorney to assist you in filing a claim. Bus accident claims are likely to be very complicated. Thus, you should have someone by your side to help maximize your recovery.

Usually, bus companies have unique insurance, which is more detailed compared to ordinary car insurance so they can cover all the passengers. Our attorneys understand the requirements and laws related to this type of insurance. Based on what insurance company it is, the insurance policy could cover every passenger personally. It could also use one money pool to cover damages and injuries for each passenger. The latter will be advantageous if your injuries are significant. This is because a pooled insurance policy may limit your recovery amount to lower than the actual damages.

Mostly, there are ways to work around insurance policy limitations, mainly if an insurance provider has acted in bad faith or made errors. This is the more reason you will need the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer to help you with the claims. An attorney will help you determine whether insurance policy limitations exist and whether there is any loophole that may be exploited to your advantage.

Motorcycle Accident

In case of a motorcycle crash, the duty of care, like any other accident where compensation is claimed. This means you have to show that the crash was a result of someone else’s negligent actions. To do this, you must show that:

  • The party at fault owed you a duty of care,
  • He/she breached that duty, and
  • His/her negligent actions led to your injuries
  • You incurred damages

After being involved in a motorcycle accident, establish first if you have a legal claim. If the accident was not your fault and you sustained injuries, then you have a valid claim. Also, you have to try and find out how much your claim is worth. Your Fleming Island personal injury attorney can help calculate how much compensation you will receive.

If your motorcycle accident claim is successful, you may recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages refer to the money meant to restore your health to where it was before being injured. They include non-economic and economic damages.

Economic damages include:

  • Lost income
  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Additionally, you may recover punitive damages. These are meant to punish the at-fault party. The law restricts punitive damages to up to three times the compensatory damages amount or $500,000, whichever is greater.

The statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident claim is four years. Although, if thee motorcyclist died due to the accident, the statute of limitations would go down to two years.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice takes place in a health clinic or hospital setting. It involves your health professional committing any of the following practices:

  • Conducting surgery that is not needed
  • Offering a wrong diagnosis or failure to diagnose a given condition
  • Disregarding or misreading lab results
  • Giving an improper dose of medication
  • Providing poor or insufficient follow-up treatment or care
  • Discharging you prematurely
  • Making a surgical mistake or performing the surgery on an inappropriate site

In case your health professional committed any of these acts when under his/her care, you have legal options apart from filing for a medical malpractice claim. If you believe you have to make a medical malpractice claim, consult your Fleming Island personal injury attorney before filing the claim. Note that before being compensated, you have to prove the negligence of your medical care provider.  Your attorney can help you to prove negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that:

  • The medical professional owed you a duty of care
  • He/she breached the duty of care through negligence
  • His/her negligence directly led to your injuries
  • You suffered non-economic or economic damages due to the injuries

For the health professional that is found to be careless, your attorney must show that their conduct was below the standards of health care in the medical industry. To do this, your attorney can have a medical expert testify about which standards of care were violated.

Note that you have to serve a health care provider with a notice of intent before you can file your medical malpractice claim. This has to include an affidavit from a medical professional stating that you are filing a valid claim.

Types of Compensable Injuries

After an accident, you will likely sustain injuries. If the accident was not your fault, the party at fault needs to compensate for you to get treatment for your injuries and for any other loss you suffered. The most common types of injuries you can incur in an accident and for which you can be compensated include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Road rash or abrasions
  • Neck and head injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Hand fractures
  • Dental fractures
  • Concussions
  • Strains or dislocations
  • Brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal injuries
  • Limb amputations
  • Laceration

Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

Despite attempts to increase road safety, accidents are still prevalent in Fleming Island. It is bad enough to think that you would have done something right to avoid an accident. However, it is even more heartbreaking to know you followed road rules but still got into an accident due to someone else’s negligence. You can make the negligent party pay by filing a compensation claim. By paying, the defendant will be responsible for your recovery by catering for medical bills, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. At Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney, our work is to help any client that has a personal injury case get through it. We will fight to ensure the client receives his/her deserved compensation. Call us at 904-800-7557 if you believe you have a case.