In the aftermath of a car accident, one of the things you need to do is file a personal injury claim. You’ll have to meet the deadline to ensure you are not denied your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
One of the key things to know about filing a personal injury claim after a Florida car accident is that this is a no-fault insurance state. This means every driver, regardless of who was at fault, must file a claim with their insurance company first.
Your minimum PIP and PDL coverage mandated by the state must be enacted first. Aside from that, your insurer will need to be notified of the accident even if you have no damages as per your contractual agreement. But when do you need to notify your insurer of a personal injury claim?
What to Know About Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Florida Car Crash
When you’re injured in an accident in Florida, you should file a claim right away. You will need proof that you sustained injuries in the accident, which can be done through hospital bills and receipts. The police report from the accident can also serve as crucial evidence of your injuries and damages.
To file a claim for the accident, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the crash. The sooner you get treated and file your claim, the better off you’ll be. Insurance companies tend to be suspicious of those who don’t get immediate treatment. They will try to argue that your injuries aren’t related to the crash because you waited to get them treated.
What If the Insurance Payout Isn’t Enough for Your Damages?
Florida’s no-fault laws are there to limit lawsuits arising from every incident. Some lawsuits will be frivolous, but for the injured, there are ways to get further compensation.
For example, you may have gone to the hospital and received treatment for your injuries, and filed your claim within days of the accident. But what if you need continuous medical attention to help you continue your recovery? In a situation like that, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
You’ll need to prove that you sustained serious injuries from the accident caused by the negligent driver. If your medical costs are greater than your PIP coverage, you can sue. In these instances, you can also pursue non-economic damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and disfigurement.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit for a Personal Injury in Florida?
While you need to file your claim with your auto insurance carrier within 14 days of the accident, if you need to file a lawsuit afterward, there is a time limit. You will have two years from the date of the crash to file your claim per the state’s statute of limitations.
This may seem like a lot of time, but in reality, it will go by quickly. The longer you wait to file, the more likely that crucial evidence will become unavailable. Remember, Florida also has pure comparative negligence laws that could assign you some of the blame for the accident. Without evidence, you may wind up being assigned some or even all of the blame, therefore losing some or all of the compensation you deserve.
In those circumstances, it is always wise to speak with a Boca Raton car accident lawyer to help you obtain evidence and stand up for your legal rights. You’ll be far more likely to have a successful outcome in this way.