Following a car accident in Florida, you are sure to have a number of questions. The topics of these queries can range from medical attention and costs, to interactions with your insurance provider. However, after the initial conversations with law enforcement and emergency medical attention is obtained, most Floridians ask questions about recovering expenses and losses related to the accident.
As a law firm that regularly represents individuals in the civil suits after a Florida car accident, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers are asked five common questions. These questions and their answers are only a starting point for recovering costs after a car accident, and we encourage you to contact our office for any legal advice or representation.
1. Why do I have to pay for my medical bills when another driver was at fault for a Florida car accident?
Florida law requires drivers to carry personal injury insurance. This insurance is provided on a no-fault basis, meaning it covers a percentage of medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault or the reason for the reason for the accident. In Florida, it is common for 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to $10,000 to fall under these insurance policies.
Of the remaining amounts, the at-fault driver’s insurance may cover some amounts related to personal injury or eventually repay these amounts. Reading your insurance policy carefully can clear up uncertainties regarding what your policy will cover after a Florida car accident.
2. Why do I have to cover the costs when my car is held in a storage facility?
After an accident, it is common for a damaged motor vehicle to be towed from the scene and then stored in a facility or at an auto garage for several days. In Florida, limited liability coverage pays a portion of these costs for the vehicle’s owner. Usually the insurance policy states that “reasonable costs of towing and storage” are covered, while notifying the vehicle owner that other costs will fall on the owner’s shoulders.
3. If I am not at fault for a Florida car accident, who will pay the costs to repair my car?
In most instances the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy will pay for the cost to repair your vehicle. This aspect of a policy is aptly called property damage coverage or collision insurance. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or has no collision coverage, your own insurance policy should cover the repairs.
In certain instances, your collision coverage will cover vehicle repairs even if the at-fault driver is properly insured. Your insurance provider will then collect the amount of your claim from the other driver’s insurance company at a later date.
4. What information do I need to disclose to my auto insurance company and why?
The business model of every insurance company is based on principles of quantifying risk. The amount of money you pay for coverage is determined by the specific information you provide, such as your driving record, make and model of your car, age of the policy holder, and number of people on the policy. In the aggregate, this information forms your risk profile and determines how much you pay the insurance company each month.
Being truthful with this information is necessary. If you lie about the people driving an insured vehicle or your driving record, the insurance company could deny coverage after an accident or when you need it most. It is possible for the insurance company to cancel your entire policy based on material misrepresentation of information.
5. When the at-fault driver in a Florida car accident has no insurance, what are my options?
Drivers are required by Florida law to carry no-fault personal injury insurance. In many instances, this means that even if the other driver is uninsured, your own policy will cover medical costs and personal injury expenses. However, there are gaps in this coverage in the amount your personal injury insurance will pay on a claim, and as the name indicates, property damage is not covered at all. Therefore, when the at-fault driver is uninsured, options are unfortunately limited.
To recover costs, you must directly sue the at-fault driver for those expenses. A jury may award you an amount based on this civil lawsuit, but even that is no assurance that you will recover the expenses. The at-fault driver is unlikely to have any substantial assets, or this driver would have purchased insurance in the first place.
Discuss These Questions with a Lawyer
If you require more information on any of these five topics, it is helpful to speak with a Florida car accident lawyer. Our Miami personal injury law firm provides a free, confidential consultation about the events surrounding your car accident. To schedule a consultation, call us at (305)441-0440, or toll-free at 1-866-5974529, or send us an email at [email protected] describing your case.