Being injured in an automobile crash is usually a traumatic and time consuming event. Most often, the car crash injury victim requires legal representation to resolve the issues of property damage, payment of medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages and financial compensation for past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
Fault, or in other words the conduct of all vehicle drivers in a car crash is a very important factor that influences the financial benefits and financial responsibilities of the people who suffer injuries and who have out of pocket losses, including unpaid medical bills, lost salary and who have to repair or replace their damaged motor vehicle.
The question of fault, or in other words negligence, looks at whether the vehicle operator did something he or she should not have done, or if the driver didn’t do something he or she should have done. The conduct is compared to that of a prudent motor vehicle operator. Florida is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence allocates the percentage of culpability of all involved drivers to causing or contributing to the crash. Each driver may be held liable for anywhere from zero to one hundred percent at fault. The financial outcome to an injured motorist will be reduced by the percentage that the motorist is considered to be responsible for causing or contributing to her own injuries. As a hypothetical example, under comparative negligence, an injured driver who is twenty-five percent at fault will receive only seventy five percent of the benefits he would have been entitled to if he had not been comparatively negligent to any degree.
What are the common acts of careless driving or negligence? Distracted driving such as dialing, holding and speaking into a smart phone , twittering or texting are increasingly causing motor vehicle accidents. Failing to stop for red lights and stop signs usually result in major losses of physical well being. Drivers who fail to pay attention to road conditions in front often cause rear-end collisions. Speed or excessive velocity usually result in serious injuries.
The role of negligence influences each of the following financial benefits:
A). REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEDICAL BILLS
Florida requires all persons who want to.register a vehicle in the state must buy insurance that pays for the medical bills for injuries caused by the operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle. The insurance called No- Fault Insurance or Personal Injury Protection , pays for medical bills of the person who has purchased the insurance and occupants , whether driver or passenger of the insured vehicle.
This type of insurance reimburses eighty percent of medical bills for services required by the effects of the crash. A fee schedule determines the rate of reimbursement. No- fault insurance pays a maximum of $10,000.00 towards medical bills.
The twenty percent of medical bills up to the amount of $10,000.00 not paid by no fault insurance is the responsibility of the at fault party. In other words, if an injured motorist is free of fault it may demand full reimbursement of twenty percent of the unpaid medical bills up to $ 10,000.00 and one hundred percent of medical bills in excess of ten- thousand dollars. On the other hand , an injured driver who is partially at fault will have its recovery of unpaid bills reduced in amount equal to the degree of its comparative fault.
B) LOST WAGES- LOSS OF FUTURE INCOME EARNING CAPACITY
A motor vehicle driver injured in a crash usually misses time from work and therefore is out of pocket in the form of lost wages. Personal Injury Protection reimburses lost wages at the level of sixty – percent . The remainder of the lost wages , or future loss of income earning capacity, is attained by making a claim against the at fault motorist. Recovery of lost wages , as with recovery of unreimbursed medical bills is reduced by the comparative negligence of the car crash injury victim.
Lost wages and future loss of income is proven by pay stubs , income tax returns , W-2 statements and the medical reports discussing the extent of the injuries. Self -employed injury claimants are often required to produce their company’s financial records including profit and loss statements to substantate their lost income and loss of income earning capacity.
C) PAIN AND SUFFERING AND OTHER INTANGIBLE DAMAGES
Financial compensation for physical pain and suffering is often the largest element of recovery in a car crash case. The driver or passenger injured in a car crash must prove that the injury is permanent , often referred to as permanent impairment, or must suffer loss of a limb , , loss of a physical sense , such as sight, permanent and significant scarring or death in order in order to be eligible for compensation for past pain and suffering , future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The determination of a permanent injury or permanent condition is usually made by the injured victims’ treating chiropractor or medical doctor. The conclusion of permanency is arrived at after the injured motorist has completed the recommended course of treatment.. Those who are injured in an automobile accident but who are not permanently injured will not be compensated for pain and suffering and for other non economic damages. If a car crash victim is not permanently injured , the only benefits available are reimbursement of the out of pocket losses of medical bills not covered by insurance , and lost wages. The permanent injury requirement , also called threshold injury to attain financial compensation does not apply to drivers or passengers of motorcycles and mopeds and to.passengers on public buses or passengers in taxi cabs.
The following factors influence the amount of financial compensation from
a car crash :
1) The extent and nature of the injuries, including psychological injuries;
2) The amount of bodily injury or liability insurance , including uninsured motorist insurance coverage on the cars or trucks involved in the automobile accident
3) Out of pocket losses including lost wages , loss of income earning capacity and medical bills.
4) The extent of physical damages to the vehicles involved in the crash.
5) The relative fault or in other words, comparative negligence of the drivers .
Other Practice Areas
- Product Liability
- General Negligence
- Liquor Liability
- Premise Liability
- Slip and Fall
- Police Misconduct
If you are looking for auto accident lawyer in Pembroke Pines/Miramar, contact Law Office of Oscar Syger!