Can I Sue for Whiplash in Florida?
Whiplash happens far too often in accidents. Whether it occurs because of a car crash or another type of accident, people who suffer whiplash need to decide if a lawsuit is possible to recover damages from the injury. Before you sue, it’s important to determine your chance of winning the case. The laws within your state, the details of the accident, and the records kept on the accident will be the most important factors for deciding the outcome of a lawsuit.
Whiplash, the common term for the medical injury that occurs from an abrupt back-and-forth flexion of the neck, is accompanied by a variety of symptoms. These symptoms include neck pain, loss of range of motion, muscle stiffness, tingling or numbness, headaches at the base of the skull, dizziness, blurred vision, and fatigue.
No-Fault State for Car Accidents
Florida is one of twelve states that have no-fault insurance laws. Basically, these laws require car accident victims to recover their damages through their own car insurers rather than filing a claim with the person who was at fault in the accident. Only in certain situations and under specific conditions can you file a lawsuit against another party to recover damages. In a no-fault system, it can be difficult to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault driver for property damage or bodily harm.
For the most part, the primary source of damage recovery comes from your own car insurance policy. It doesn’t matter who was at fault. As soon as you’ve suffered a car accident with whiplash, notify your insurance company. The facts of the accident will be investigated, and your car insurance company will offer coverage if it accepts the claim. While there is no need to prove that you weren’t at fault for the accident, it could be worth proving to help reduce the chance that your premium will increase.
The minor exception to collecting from your own insurance company is filing a “mini-tort” claim. This claim is called a statutorily defined claim because it is paid by the at-fault driver’s carrier. In these situations, the damages paid are usually between $500 and $1,000. For the most part, only the most serious and life-altering cases are entertained in court and receive the opportunity to collect damages.
Florida Law on Serious Injury in a Car Accident
While most minor car accidents fall under the no-fault laws in Florida, some injuries are so serious that a claim can be filed against an at-fault driver. A serious injury is considered a permanent injury, with significant scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of bodily function. While these terms are vague, a knowledgeable private injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case for a serious injury claim.
Take pictures of the car accident scene, the location, the road conditions, and your injuries. If a police report is made about the accident, request to have a copy. Witnesses of the accident can be helpful as well.
While you may feel fine after an accident, it’s common for injuries to show up in the following days. Keep track of your symptoms and your ability to do daily tasks. If your injury prevents you from sleeping or taking care of your life responsibilities, this is important information for a serious injury claim.
Document Your Injury
When you have experienced any type of injury, be sure to document your injury from the beginning. Document your doctor visits, treatments, and costs. This information can be crucial when you are seeking to receive damages from your insurance company or planning to file a claim for a private injury lawsuit. Your medical records will tell the story of your injury and present a strong argument to the court.
A doctor’s word holds more credibility in court than your own explanation of your injury, so make sure to visit your doctor after the accident. During your doctor visit, request a copy of the medical records from the appointment for your own files.
In addition to tracking your medical bills, keep track of other costs like wages lost and the cost of travel to visit the doctor. If you need to miss work for recovery from your accident and aren’t paid for that time off, document that information as well. You will want to know exactly how much money you’ve lost due to your injury, recovery, and missed work.
Filing a claim for a serious injury in a no-fault state like Florida can be a complicated endeavor. You need to be sure that you consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide you with all possible solutions. Chat with Carrillo & Carrillo today at firstname.lastname@example.org.