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Be prepared: Florida automobile accident myths

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South Florida is notorious for bad drivers and a relatively high number of automobile accidents. Meaning that you, as a Miami, Broward, or Palm Beach driver are more susceptible to being involved in a car accident. While the best course of action is to avoid an accident by being hyper vigilant on the road, the next thing you should do is be aware of the facts regarding automobile accidents and your legal rights.

Myth 1: You have an unlimited amount of time to file your claim.
Each state has its own statute of limitations in place for personal injury cases.  That is basically a time limit that is applied, after which it becomes nearly impossible to have a suit filed in the court system. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident, barring any rare circumstance where a related injury was not discovered.

Myth 2: You can wait to see a doctor.
In order to be eligible to receive compensation from the insurance company, you must see a doctor within 14 calendar days of the accident. Furthermore, to be eligible for the full PIP coverage amount, you must have an emergency medical condition that needs immediate treatment caused by the accident, which is determined by the physician.

Myth 3: You can get “rich quick” by collecting on a personal injury.
To begin, personal injury cases can take years, at the very least several months. You must first undergo all or a majority of your treatment to assess the amount that is needed in order to cover all related expenses. The amount you receive may be several thousands, but most of that will go to pay related expenses for doctors, lawyer, and lost wages. Once it is finalized, the optimal situation is that you have enough to get back on your feet after a serious injury.

Myth 4: You can expect to receive the same settlement as someone with a similar injury.
You may have a friend or a relative that received $100,000 as a result of a serious back injury in an auto accident, however, if you have the same injury it does not guarantee that you’ll receive the same compensation. Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence rule,” which means that the amount covered is equal to the percentage of fault by the other party. In court, the defense will attempt to prove that you had some fault in the accident, thus it’s advantageous to have an experienced Miami personal injury attorney representing your case.

Myth 5: Your claim will be processed by the insurance of the at-fault party.
The severity of your injuries will determine which insurance company covers the medical expenses. You may have heard of the Florida no-fault system for insurance companies, this means that your insurance will generally cover your injuries, unless the “serious injury” threshold is met.

Accidents are unplanned and always interfere with our lives whether it’s for a day, or in the worst circumstances, for the rest of your life. Being well informed is a key for ensuring that your rights are retained. If you have any other questions regarding your auto accident, call our office immediately to speak with one of our Miami personal injury attorneys.

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