Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents often result in serious injuries. Collisions with other vehicles can be dangerous even at relatively low speeds, and drivers and passengers can suffer painful, debilitating and life-altering injuries regardless of the specific circumstances involved. Following a collision, it is important to seek medical and legal help promptly, and we encourage you to contact our The Villages car accident law firm to speak with an attorney about your recovery right away.Your Injuries and Your Right to Just Compensation After a Car Accident in The Villages
When you are injured in a car accident, you have clear legal rights under Florida law. However, to an extent, your legal rights depend on the severity of the injuries you sustained.Understanding Florida’s “No Fault” Insurance Law
Florida is a “no fault” auto insurance state. This means that all insured drivers and passengers are entitled to insurance coverage regardless of who is to blame for their injuries. If you have auto insurance, this “no fault” coverage is provided under the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your policy.
However, the benefits of PIP coverage are limited. Most people only have $10,000 in PIP coverage (the minimum amount required under Florida law), and PIP only covers medical expenses and loss of income. If these costs exceed your PIP coverage, or if you have suffered other losses, then you will need to determine if you have grounds to file a fault-based claim.“Significant” and “Permanent” Injuries that Can Support Claims Outside of PIP
In The Villages, filing a fault-based auto insurance claim outside of PIP after a car accident requires proof of a “significant” or “permanent” injury. Under Florida law, this includes injuries that:
- Cause significant and permanent loss of an “important bodily function;”
- Injuries that are expected to be permanent, “within a reasonable degree of medical probability;” and,
- Injuries that result in significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Florida law does not identify specific types of injuries that qualify as “significant” or “permanent” for auto insurance purposes. Instead, drivers’ and passengers’ legal rights are determined case-by-case based upon the severity and effects of their injuries. With this in mind, types of injuries that will often support fault-based claims outside of PIP include:
- Abdominal Injuries – Abdominal injuries can result from blunt force trauma or from twisting that results in stretching and tearing of the stomach, intestines, kidneys, muscles, or other organs or tissue. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and treatment needs can range from rest to emergency surgery.
- Back Injuries – Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries (SCI), are common in many types of car accidents. This includes injuries that can heal with treatment and rest, as well as injuries that may result in chronic pain, paralysis or other lifelong effects.
- Brain Injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are also common in many types of collisions. Along with concussions, this includes coup-contrecoup injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, hemorrhages, hematomas and other types of brain trauma.
- Broken Bones – Car accidents can cause bone fractures throughout the body. As a The Villages car accident law firm, we have experience representing residents who have suffered all types of broken bones in all types of vehicle collisions.
- Burns – Burns can result from friction (i.e. seatbelt burns), coming into contact with hot objects, fires, and exposure to dangerous chemicals. We represent individuals who have suffered first, second, third and fourth-degree burns.
- Chest Injuries – Chest injuries are common in car accidents, and they frequently (though not always) result from impacts with steering wheels and dashboards. Common chest injuries include fractured ribs, punctured lungs, collapsed lungs and internal bleeding.
- Facial Injuries – Facial injuries can result from broken glass and other debris, airbag deployment, and various other factors. In addition to injuries that may lead to permanent scarring, these also include jaw fractures and nose, eye and ear injuries.
- Neck Injuries – Neck injuries are among the most-common types of injuries sustained in car accidents and other vehicle collisions. Head-on and rear-end collisions frequently leave drivers and passengers suffering from whiplash, while nerve damage and various other types of internal injuries are common as well.
- Organ Damage and Internal Bleeding – In addition to damage to the abdominal organs and the lungs, other types of organ damage are possible in car accidents as well. Internal bleeding can also present a serious risk for drivers and passengers, and emergency medical intervention may be necessary.
- Severe Lacerations, Bruises and Swelling – Severe lacerations and bruises are common injuries in car accidents, and many accident victims will experience significant swelling due to their injuries. While these types of injuries can heal over time, treatment may be necessary to relieve pain and prevent further complications, and many drivers and passengers will be left with permanent scars.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – In a car accident, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries can occur throughout the body. Tears will often require surgery; and, even after surgery, injured drivers and passengers will often experience permanent limitations.
Regardless of the severity of your injuries and the cause of your accident, it is always important to consult with an attorney after a car accident. Even securing PIP coverage can prove difficult; and, if you are entitled to fault-based compensation, you will need to engage experienced legal counsel to recover the full compensation you deserve.
At Whittel & Melton, LLC, we are more than happy to review your case, and our lawyers can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. Contact our The Villages car accident law firm today if you are looking for an experienced and compassionate legal team and learn why local residents have trusted our attorneys for decades.Speak with an Attorney at The Villages Car Accident Law Firm
Would you like to discuss your car accident with a local attorney? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment at our law firm’s offices in The Villages, please call 352-369-5334 or tell us how you prefer to be contacted online today.