If you or someone you know is involved in any type of car accident in Florida and property was damaged or people were hurt, you should understand your options for getting monetary compensation for harm suffered. Below is a simple explanation of important state laws that could affect your Pensacola car accident.
Florida is a No-Fault State
Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state. This means that after a car accident, the parties typically need to file a claim under their own personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance policy to be compensated for medical expenses and other financial losses due to the crash. This is true regardless of which driver was at fault for the accident. Only if a Florida car accident victim’s injury claim meets certain preconditions can the individual go outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. Florida no-fault/PIP claims, however, have monetary limits when it comes to the types of losses that will be compensated. For instance, these claims do not allow for recovery for pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages resulting from the car accident.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
If the other driver was completely at fault for the car accident that caused your injuries, then the result will be a predictable one: his or her auto insurance carrier will pay you for medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses incurred as a result of the crash. If you were partly at fault for the Pensacola car accident, however, the legal doctrine of “comparative negligence” applies.
Florida is a “pure” comparative state, which means that a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault he or she contributed to the accident that caused the injuries. Unlike other states, in Florida, a plaintiff can still recover monetary compensation even if he or she is found to be more at fault than the other driver by a jury. Most states in the country follow a “modified” comparative negligence theory, meaning that an injured plaintiff can only recover monetary compensation if he or she is found to be 50 percent or less at fault for the underlying accident.
Statutes of Limitations in Florida
A statute of limitations is the time limit within which a Florida car accident lawsuit must be filed in civil court or be forever barred simply by the passage of time. Failure to file a lawsuit within the prescribed time period will result in a dismissal of the case by a Florida court unless a rare exception to this deadline applies to your case. In most Florida personal injury lawsuits, an injured party has up to four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in the civil court system.
Pensacola, Florida Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been hurt in a Pensacola car accident, or know someone who has, regardless of who was at fault for the crash contact the Pensacola, Florida car accident lawyers at the Stevenson Klotz Law Firm. Our skilled Pensacola, Florida car accident lawyers will fight to seek the monetary compensation to which you are entitled to injuries suffered.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.