If you suffered injuries in an auto accident, you might have the opportunity to recover damages from the negligent driver that caused the crash.
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you must carry personal injury protection insurance to cover your losses after an accident. However, if you qualify for the serious injury exemption, you can bypass that law and file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Economic, or financial, losses include the cost of medical care, lost income, property damage and any out-of-pocket expenses you paid as a direct result of your accident or injuries. For example, if you need replacement services, such as childcare or household help during recovery, you could also claim those damages.
Non-economic losses refer to the ways your accident and injuries affected your psychological health and negatively impacted your daily life. You can claim the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured from your injuries, including the pain caused by treatments.
You can also address the loss of enjoyment in life or loss of consortium if your injuries impacted your intimate spousal relationship.
Receiving an award for punitive damages is rare in auto accident cases. The court reserves these orders for cases where the defendant displayed grossly negligent action or a complete disregard for the safety of others. This could include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing a severe accident that resulted in substantial losses.
As the person filing the claim, you carry the responsibility of proving the other driver’s negligence and providing support for your damages claims.