Here in Florida our roads are congested which calls for careful driving. The possibility of a car accident should always be taken seriously, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Anyone who has been in an accident should see a medical professional within 48 hours of the accident. Florida, a “no-fault” insurance state, requires that you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers up to $10,000 of medical expenses and/or lost wages. However, you must see an approved medical provider for your injuries within 2 weeks of the accident in order to be eligible for any financial compensation.
The degree of injury in an auto accident varies depending on the speed of the impact, the size of the cars involved, the degree of safety features in the car, the angle of the impact, and the size, age, and health of the occupants and how close they are to the impact. In short, every accident is different, but few people escape an accident with no injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may even take a few days or weeks to become evident, which is why medical attention is critical.
Types of Injuries
There is a lot of overlap among types of injuries in any kind of car crash, but certain kinds of injuries are seen more frequently and more seriously in auto accidents than others. Statistically, the most serious accidents, causing severe injuries and fatalities, are head-on impact and side-impact accidents. However, side-impact accidents can be particularly debilitating; impacts from the front or back have more room between you and the other car – more “crumple zone.” But when hit from the side, there’s only the car door between you and the impact, and you’re jerked sideways rather than forward or backward. Rollover accidents cause injury to the entire body.
Common seatbelt injuries:
- Bruising or other soft tissue injuries
- Chest injuries – cracked ribs, bruising of lungs
- Abdominal injuries, internal injuries
- Lower spinal injuries when only a lap belt is worn
Common injuries from a front or rear impact:
- Whiplash from sudden jerking of the head forward and back – can include pain, stiffness, numbness in extremities, headaches, dizziness – may be a delayed manifestation
- Head injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), injury to the eyes, nose, etc.
- Blunt trauma – from the seatbelt, airbag, or banging against something – could cause broken bones, internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries – leading to impairment or paralysis
Common injuries from broadside impacts or t-bone accidents:
- Whiplash, concussions, TBI
- Head trauma, ear and eye trauma (often from a broken window)
- Chest, shoulder, and arm injuries
- Hip and leg injuries
- Abdominal injury
- Spinal injury
Common injuries from rollover accidents:
- Multiple injuries throughout the entire body
- Head and neck injuries, including TBI
- Spinal injuries
- Injuries to the limbs
- Internal injuries
What compensation is available
As mentioned, in Florida, your first financial compensation comes from PIP. However, in a serious accident, and sometimes in a less-serious accident, PIP coverage is simply insufficient. Especially if you have sustained injuries that will need care into the future or that have limited your income, you will need additional compensation to cover future expenses. Types of financial compensation you can seek are:
- Medical costs, current and future
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Other expenses caused by the accident, such as necessary changes to your home to accommodate your injuries
- Loss of companionship in the case of serious permanent injury or death
Fault in the accident
Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” compensation system, which means that awards from a personal injury lawsuit are apportioned according to the degree of fault in the accident. For instance, if you were to receive a $1,000,000 award in your accident but you are judged to be 50% at fault, you would receive $500,000 of the award. Therefore, it is worthwhile to discuss your case with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer.
As an expert in personal injury law and a lifelong Florida resident, I’m dedicated to helping injured Floridians get the compensation they need to live as comfortably as possible following an injury. I will dive deeply into the details of your case to discover any and all factors involved in your accident in order to present the strongest argument for compensation. I have a long track record of winning significant awards in court or in settlements. Contact me today at (954) 448-7288 so that we can discuss the details of your accident.