A collision with any vehicle can cause damages and injuries, but commercial vehicle accidents have an increased potential to cause complications that could last a lifetime. Whether it’s a delivery van or a tractor-trailer, commercial vehicles are often larger and heavier than a private passenger automobiles. The impacts tend to be severe enough to total your car or cause life threatening injuries.
When you’re trying to recover from serious injuries the medical bills can pile up quickly. If you have an accident induced disability, whether temporary or permanent, it may affect your ability to earn a living. An accident with a commercial vehicle can cause financial setbacks that are difficult to overcome and problems that can change your life for years to come. That’s why it’s important to have a commercial vehicle accident attorney to protect your rights and handle your legal interests.
What About Florida No Fault Benefits?
If you own or operate a car in Florida, you are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance (no fault). Even if another person is at “fault” in causing your accident, your PIP coverage will pay your injury-related expenses.
Unfortunately, if your injuries are serious or catastrophic, the $10,000 per person limit probably won’t be enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages. Due to recent changes in the law, if your injuries are initially diagnosed as minor, you may only qualify for a lower amount of PIP coverage.
You May Be Entitled to More Money
Florida’s $10,000 personal injury protection coverage may sound like an adequate sum to pay for your injuries, but if your recovery is slow it might not be enough. If you have long-term medical needs, a lengthy period of lost wages, or a permanent disability, you may need more.
Under certain circumstances Florida law gives you the right to pursue a claim against the person who caused your injuries. If injuries lead to scarring, loss of bodily functions, a permanent disability, significant disfigurement, or death, the injuries automatically exceed the PIP tort threshold. That means the injured person has a legal right to pursue a liability claim.
It’s Important to Know Your Legal Rights
When you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s important that you have a basic knowledge of your rights and responsibilities. Your own insurance company should assist you with making a claim for medical bills and lost wages, but you’ll probably need help in seeking damages from the person legally responsible for your injuries.
You’ll need an investigation to verify that the other person is liable. That could include police reports, witness statements, a site investigation, and other information. You’ll also need a basic understanding of Florida auto laws, PIP tort thresholds, and statutes of limitations.
To evaluate and present your claim, you will need medical bills, physician and ER reports, and documentation of your lost wages. Even if you present comprehensive documentation of your claim, it’s possible that the other person’s insurance company still won’t offer you a settlement. In the end you may still have to file a lawsuit to get the settlement you deserve.
Should You Seek Professional to Help?
You could handle your own claim, but wouldn’t you feel more confident about your future with a commercial accident attorney handling it for you? A legal professional will conduct an investigation, determine liability, evaluate your injuries and present a claim for damages against the commercial driver’s insurance company. An attorney can handle the complicated details while you take on the important task of getting your life back on track.