Naples Personal Injury Lawyer
Everyone who drives in Florida is required to have auto insurance. Of course, many drivers simply ignore this mandate. By some estimates as many as 1 out of every 8 drivers do not carry any form of insurance.
Assuming that you are not one of those people, your own auto insurance actually provides you with critical benefits in the event of an accident. But obtaining these benefits is often a confusing process, especially if you are still struggling to recover from your injuries. This is where a skilled Naples personal injury lawyer can help. The Pendas Law Firm represents accident victims in dealing with insurance companies. We can advise you of your rights under the law and your policy and help make sure that your insurance company meets its legal obligations.
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Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Negligence legal standards are not uniform across the 50 states. Comparative and contributory negligence are the two primary standards, and within each, there are variations. Florida is one of 13 states to apply a comparative negligence standard. This standard seeks to account for the fact that fault is not always black and white, and that sometimes parties are each responsible for a certain percentage of fault. In applying the standard, the amount of compensation that an accident victim is entitled to receive will be reduced by an amount corresponding with his or her percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if, as an accident victim, you are determined to be 20% at-fault for your injuries, a judge or jury may only award you 80% of the resulting compensation. In order to ensure that you receive maximum compensation, it is in your best interests to contact our Naples personal injury lawyers today.
In a personal injury case, the doctrine of negligence comes into play. Negligence is based on the premise that, as human beings living together in society, we owe certain basic duties to one another. Specifically, we have a duty not to harm one another. Harms can result both through action and inaction, and in the case of negligence, most often concerns the latter. In legal terms, negligence is a breach of a duty owed to another that is both the actual and proximate cause of damages to the non-breaching party. When the four elements of negligence expressed in this definition can be “satisfied” (proven in a court of law), a personal injury accident victim will be able to obtain a judgment for damages to recover compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Contact our Florida personal injury lawyers for more information.
What To Do After Naples Auto Accidents
Negligence, especially in the comparative context, is a complex concept. To recover damages for personal injuries arising from an accident, victims must prove that another party failed to honor a duty owed to them, and that this failure was both the actual and proximate cause of the personal injuries. Immediately after the accident occurred, a little extra effort can go a long way in collecting evidence and key eye witness statements to use at a later time. If you were involved in a slip and fall, that might be finding out what caused the fall, telling the manager about the fall, getting medical attention soon afterwards to prove that there was, indeed, a serious injury, and even taking photographs of the fall scene and preserving your attire to bring to court if need be. If you were injured in a car collision, leaving a detailed testimony in the police report can go a long way, even if it is weeks after the crash due to your injured condition. You obviously will not be able to leave a report with the police at the scene of the crash if you are taken away by ambulance, but you can make one later. You can even submit a traffic crash report online at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Additionally, asking witnesses for their contact information or to leave their description of the event with the police at the scene or at a later time can help build evidence that you were not at fault and that the other driver needs to be held accountable. When another party breaches their duty of care, it is not uncommon for them to go back on their word and even lie about the conditions of an accident, be it a car collision or a greasy floor. Whether the duty in question was responsible driving, safe workplace conditions, or something else, accidents victims will benefit greatly from the assistance of a skilled and dedicated Naples personal injury lawyer today.
What Is PIP Coverage?
Florida is what is considered a “no-fault” state with respect to auto accidents. In simple terms, every driver is required to purchase their own insurance coverage. And if an accident happens, a driver must look to their own insurance carrier first, regardless of who was actually at-fault for the accident.
All Florida insurance policies include what is known as “personal injury protection” or PIP coverage. This is the key to the no-fault system. PIP coverage pays for 80 percent of your medical bills arising from a covered accident, up to a maximum of $10,000. In non-emergency cases, however, the maximum benefit is just $2,500. Keep in mind, PIP benefits are intended to work in tandem with any health insurance benefits you may have.
PIP benefits also cover lost wages. So if you are forced to miss time from your job following an auto accident, your insurer will compensate you for 60 percent of your lost wages, again up to a $10,000 limit. And in cases where an insured person dies, PIP coverage provides up to $50,000 in death benefits for funeral and burial expenses.
One thing to note is that many PIP policies do come with a deductible, oftentimes as high as $1,000. This is in addition to the premiums on the policy itself. It is a good idea to periodically review your insurance policy to ensure you are not paying too much for a policy and that you are receiving the amount of coverage you think you are.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
There are certain auto accidents where a person’s injuries may be far more serious than what is covered by personal injury protection. In such cases it may be possible to go beyond the no-fault system and take direct legal action against a negligent driver who caused the accident. Our qualified Naples personal injury lawyer can review your case and advise you of your options.
But even if you simply need advice or assistance regarding your own insurance policy’s PIP coverage, we can help. So if you need to speak with an attorney about your auto accident, contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.