Why Should I Get A Lawyer In A Florida Car Crash Case?
A sudden and unexpected car wreck can happen to anyone at any time. In addition to severe physical injury, these wrecks usually cause a great amount of personal stress over things like unpaid bills. To make matters worse, as the victim struggles to recover, an insurance company adjuster calls constantly with an offer of settlement.
This offer is almost always a low-ball offer. The insurance company knows that the victim is not working and therefore experiencing financial stress, so the company almost never offers fair compensation at this phase.
In situations like this, a strong and aggressive legal advocate who also gives good legal advice can make all the difference.
Economic Damages in Port St. Lucie
Medical bills often exceed $100,000 in injury-related cases, and this figure does not include follow-up medical care, physical rehabilitation, and other such expenses. Most health insurance companies do not cover car wreck-related claims in Florida and most families do not have the money to pay these expenses out-of-pocket. Moreover, some car crash injuries are difficult to diagnose. For example, most diagnostic tests usually do not detect whiplash, since the injury occurs in the soft tissue of the neck.
With one letter, an attorney solves both these problems. A letter of protection ensures medical providers that they will be paid when the case is resolved, so the victim pays nothing upfront for medical care. This care comes from a professional who is experienced in the field of Florida car wrecks, because most lawyers have existing relationships with injury specialists. Therefore, victims get the treatment they need, instead of just whatever treatment they are able to afford.
Moreover, an attorney negotiates with the insurance company on an ongoing basis, to get a fair settlement as quickly as possible. Since a lawyer can accurately determine the settlement value of your case, the victim has peace of mind that the attorney will not settle for less than what the claim is worth. There is no guesswork.
The Serious Injury Threshold in Florida
Typically, the settlement involves more than just economic damages like medical bills. As a rule of thumb, if the victim’s car is not driveable, the victim’s injuries probably exceed Florida’s serious injury threshold. The law defines a “serious injury” as one that involves:
- Permanent loss of an important bodily function, such as one of the five senses,
- Scarring or disfigurement, especially if the injury is on a visible part of the body, or
- “Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability.”
“Permanent” does not mean “complete” or “total.” Many people almost fully recover from their injuries, but there is a permanent, albeit slight, loss of motion or other residual effect. Such injury meets the standard.
In serious injury cases, additional compensation is available for noneconomic damages, including things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium (companionship),
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.
In some cases, additional punitive damages are also available. The tortfeasor (negligent driver) must pay such money if there is clear and convincing evidence that s/he intentionally disregarded a known risk, perhaps by consuming a lot of alcohol and then driving.
Count on Aggressive Lawyers
A lawyer is committed to maximum compensation in a car crash case. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We have five office locations in the area.