Car Accident Attorney in Altamonte Springs, Florida
Each state sets its own auto insurance laws and regulations, which generally comprise two types – fault-based or tort insurance, and no-fault insurance. Florida is one of a dozen states that require drivers to purchase no-fault insurance. Part of that coverage includes what is known as personal injury protection (PIP).
Under PIP if you’re injured in an auto accident, you must rely first on your PIP coverage to reimburse you for any economic losses related to your injuries, including medical expenses and lost income from missing work. If your injuries are severe enough, then you can sue the at-fault driver and their insurance company, or even your own insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. for dependable legal guidance. I have more than 25 years’ experience in representing clients in personal injury claims and lawsuits. Your first consultation is free, and there will no fees unless we win. I also proudly serve clients throughout Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Polk, and Lake County.
How PIP Works – and How I Can Help
No-fault insurance requires you to make a claim against the PIP provision in your auto policy when you are injured in an accident. However, PIP covers only 80 percent of your medical expenses and only 60 percent of your lost wages. A basic PIP policy also can be exhausted fairly quickly. It also doesn’t reimburse you for pain and suffering or other emotional and mental issues.
PIP allows you to sue the other driver if that person was at fault, if your injuries are serious enough. That’s why it’s essential to bring the details of your accident to me immediately after the accident. I can assess what happened, and advise you of your best options going forward, including the possibility of a lawsuit. In fact, after you make your initial insurance/PIP claim, let me handle the negotiations with the claim adjuster who will be assigned to you.
Claim adjusters are trained professionals whose role it is to get you to admit some portion of the fault or disclose some pre-existing condition to prevent paying for your injuries. That’s why you should let an experienced personal injury attorney like me deal with insurance representatives and demands. If they send you a medical release form to sign, run that by me as well. Don’t sign anything until I’ve reviewed it.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Under PIP only economic damages are compensated for, in other words, medical expenses and lost wages, and even then not fully, as noted earlier. In a personal injury lawsuit, you open up the possibility of obtaining compensation for your pain and suffering, for loss of consortium (companionship), and for mental anguish. You can also seek full recovery for your economic losses.
A personal injury lawsuit is possible if your injuries are severe enough, but you must prove that the other driver was at least more than 50 percent at fault. Under Florida’s revised comparative negligence rule (as of March 2023), any party that is more than half at fault cannot seek damages from the other driver.
Say you’re rear-ended but it was because you slammed on your brakes for no reason, or your brake lights didn’t work. If you’re judged to be more than 50 percent at fault, you can’t win anything from the driver who struck you in the rear and caused your injuries.
Car Accident Attorney Serving Altamonte Springs, Florida
Insurance companies are for-profit institutions, so their goal – through the claim adjuster – is to minimize what they pay out. That’s why you should let me handle all negotiations, answer all their questions, and review anything they send you to sign. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, reach out to me immediately at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius, P.A.