Car Accident Lawyer Delray Beach FL
As your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL residents trust from the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A., every car registered in Florida must carry No-Fault insurance. This coverage is also known as PIP, or personal injury protection coverage. No-fault pays 80% of your reasonable medical expenses and it also pays 60% of your lost wages if you are unable to work due to injuries suffered in the accident. The maximum amount payable, for both medical bills and lost wages, is $10,000.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
A few years ago the legislature made substantial changes to Florida’s No-fault law. Most significantly, in order to be eligible for No-fault benefits, you now must receive medical care within 14 days from the accident or you are ineligible for benefits. In addition, if you do not have an “emergency medical condition,” you will not be able to receive more than $2,500 of the $10,000 in benefits. If you have not visited a doctor for an exam and treament of your accident injuries, then a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients depend on recommends doing so as soon as possible.
Florida law defines “emergency medical condition” as a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention and could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to the patient’s health. Another change made by the legislature to the No-fault law was to exclude coverage for acupuncture and massage therapy. These services used to be covered by PIP.
The good thing about No-fault is that (as the name implies) it doesn’t matter who was at fault in causing the auto accident. Your own insurer is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages, even if the other driver caused the accident. Certain conditions must be met, but generally speaking, the medical bills and lost wages must be paid within 30 days of the insurer’s receipt of the bills or documents substantiating the wage loss. Most medical providers have patients sign paperwork authorizing and directing the insurer to pay the medical provider directly, as opposed to sending a check to the patient.
Compensation For Lost Wages
In order to receive benefits for lost wages, most insurers require that a “Wage & Salary Verification” form be completed by the injury victim’s employer. The form asks the employer a number of questions related to the victim’s employment and also asks the employer to verify the employee’s salary for the 13 weeks preceding the accident. The form then is submitted to the insurer, who calculates the victim’s average weekly wage for the 13 weeks before the accident and benefits are paid at 60% of the average weekly wage. The insurer will also require documentation from the injury victim’s treating doctor verifying that the victim is unable to work due to injuries suffered in the accident.
Other Types of Damages
When a car driver causes a serious accident because they were being negligent, the injured victim may be able to recover various types of damages. Whether these damages may be recovered depends on the severity of the injuries and what other losses were endured. Since damages are dependent on facts, it is important that victims speak with a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients trust about what their rights are, legal options, and value of their claim. Other types of damages aside from medical bills can include:
- Income Loss: accident victims who are not able to work, temporarily or permanently, may recover damages for their wage loss. Your lawyer can calculate how much you have lost in earnings by reviewing statements from your employer regarding used PTO or vacation hours, past paychecks or automatic deposits, etc. If you are now permanently disabled, then your lawyer can include approximations for future anticipated income loss or a reduction in your capacity to earn, through using certain formulas.
- Pain and Suffering: victims who experienced immense pain and suffering due to their injuries may receive compensation for this type of damages. The law permits recovery of pain and suffering and depending on the diagnosis, the restitution can be substantial. While determining a pain and suffering award is less straightforward to calculate an amount for, it is worth talking about with your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL injured residents rely on.
- Loss of Quality of Life: your injuries may have left you with permanent physical damage and disabilities that reduce the quality of your life. Perhaps you have not been able to participate in the same hobbies you used to, or you now have more trouble getting around on a daily basis. Additionally, if you are struggling mentally and need support through counseling or have seen a therapist, then please do not forget to share this with your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL residents trust so it can be factored into your case.
- Loss of Consortium: victims who are suffering from a condition that prevents them from enjoying their relationship with their spouse, the spouse may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium. But, the spouse may only be able to receive compensation if the victim is also successful in seeking damages. The spouse’s claim is a component of the victim’s personal injury claim.
- Scarring or Disfigurement: accidents can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. The victim may be awarded a significant amount in disfigurement damages, especially if their scarring is clearly visable (such as on their face, neck, or hands).
- Property Loss: the car accident may have caused your vehicle to be damaged and needed repairs, or was considered totalled and now you must purchase a new automobile altogether. Victims can pursue property loss compensation so they can replace the personal items that were lost.
If you have additional coverage under your automobile insurance policy (usually called “Medical Payments,” “Med Pay” or “Extended PIP”), your insurer will pay 100% of your medical bills. This additional coverage will sometimes cover 100% of your lost wages, depending on the policy language. Different insurers offer different limits of coverage, but you can usually buy at least another $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage above the $10,000 in No-fault coverage. If you do not have this optional coverage, the 20% of your medical bills and the 40% of your lost wages that are not covered by your own PIP are recoverable from the driver and/or owner of the vehicle that caused the crash.
Call Eric H. Luckman, P.A. Right Now
If you have been involved in an auto accident and you need help with your claim, please feel free to contact a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients trust with their case from the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. at (561) 737-3133 right now.