What Is Comparative Negligence? How Does It Affect My Auto Injury Claim?
Comparative negligence means that the amount of recovery you receive will be discounted by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury determines that your damages are worth $100,000 and that you were 50 percent at fault, then your overall damages of $100,000 would be reduced by 50 percent, leaving you entitled to $50,000. Florida is one of the states that will allow you to recover money damages even if you are 99 percent at fault. Comparative negligence usually comes into play in cases where liability is disputed.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Bringing An Auto Accident Injury Claim In Florida?
In Florida, there is a four-year statute of limitations on most auto accident injury claims. This means that you have four years from the date of the incident or the crash to bring a lawsuit; if you do not bring a lawsuit within that period of time, then you will be forever barred from bringing a lawsuit. If you are suing a governmental entity, then you only have three years from the date of the incident to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Florida is two years.
In Florida, there is another very important deadline to remember in order to ensure that you will be entitled to the full benefit of your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. You must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the crash or your personal injury protection benefits will be limited. In other words, if you seek medical attention within 14 days, then you will get the full $10,000 or up to 80 percent of the benefits through PIP. If you wait longer than that, then you will be limited to $2,500.
What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Accident And Need To File A Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention at a hospital or urgent care center. I handled a case once that involved a fire rescue worker who told me a story of a woman who was in a car crash and refused to get treatment. She ended up going to the hospital a few days later and discovered that she had a hairline fracture in her cervical spine that could have killed her. It is very important to get checked out by a medical professional after a car accident, especially since pain is not always felt right away. Your body is designed to protect you from damage by pumping adrenaline, which will mask the pain. In addition, you will be nervous and likely have a million worries running through your head.
If you go to the hospital and get checked out, your PIP benefits will pay for the emergency room or urgent care visit, so don’t let the cost of the visit deter you from going. After getting checked out medically and physically, you should try to obtain photographs of the area where the accident occurred, witness statements, and a copy of the police report or case exchange form, which should contain basic information (i.e. address, phone number, type of car, insurance company) pertaining to the parties who were involved in the crash. You or your attorney will need to use the insurance policy number to set up a claim, and the sooner you do that, the better.
Perhaps the most important step to take after being involved in a car accident is to contact a lawyer who handles personal injury cases. Allstate did a study a couple of years ago that showed that consulting with a lawyer increases settlement amounts. This is because lawyers who frequently deal with these types of cases know the tricks that the insurance adjusters are going to use. For example, insurance adjusters will often ask questions that are designed to confuse and deceive you into making a statement that could be interpreted to mean that you are not really injured.
For more information on Comparative Negligence In The State Of FL, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.
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