Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers
Representing Florida Car Accident Victims for Over 20 Years
If you were recently injured in a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by mounting medical bills, being unable to work, and trying to manage your day-to-day expenses on top of getting your car repaired or replaced, dealing with the insurance company, and recovering. At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we understand just how stressful this time is for you and your family, and we are here to help.
In Florida, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages through your own auto insurance policy. You may also be able to sue the at-fault driver and seek additional compensation to make up for the gaps in your coverage. It’s important that you work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand all of your options and ensure your rights are protected.
Our firm offers free initial consultations, and we do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless we win. There are no out-of-pocket expenses and zero risks involved in contacting our team to discuss your potential case.
Will My Insurance Pay for My Medical Bills & Lost Wages?
As a no-fault state, Florida requires drivers to purchase $10,000 in personal injury insurance (PIP) and $10,000 in property liability damage. PIP will cover 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent in lost wages up to $10,000. This means that, after an accident, you can turn to your own auto insurance policy for compensation—but that compensation is limited. In addition to only covering some of your economic costs, PIP does not cover any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Can You Sue an at-Fault Driver in Florida?
Often, PIP is not enough. The good news is that it is possible to step outside the no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver directly. This allows you to seek additional compensation for your outstanding medical costs, lost wages, and non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
However, to do this, there are several important elements you must prove:
- Fault: You will need to prove that the other driver was at least partially at fault for the accident in order to sue them directly for damages
- Serious Injuries: You will also need to prove that your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold (more below)
- Causation: Additionally, you must prove that the cause of your injuries was the other driver’s negligent or reckless conduct, and that this led you to experience measurable damages
Determining Fault in Auto Accident Cases
To step outside the Florida no-fault system and bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will first need to establish that the other driver was at fault. Typically, a driver who acts negligently is considered to be at least partially at fault if that negligence contributes to or causes the accident.
Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care. Florida Statute 316.1925 defines this as careless driving, and it is a crime when it endangers the lives of others.
Examples of negligent and/or reckless driving include:
- Distracted driving (e.g., using a cell phone/texting)
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Failing to obey traffic laws (e.g., running a stop sign/red light, failure to yield, etc.)
- Driving while fatigued/drowsy
- Hit-and-run crashes
- Tailgating or following too closely
In order to obtain compensation for your injuries, you will need to be able to prove that the other driver was behaving irresponsibly or negligently.
To establish fault, you will need to prove the following three elements:
- The driver that injured you had a duty to drive reasonably/with care
- The driver breached their duty to drive reasonably/with care
- The driver’s breach caused damages/injuries
At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., we represent victims of car accidents involving drunk drivers, other negligent persons, trucking companies or commercial vehicles, uninsured drivers (UM claims), and more. If you have questions about your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers.
What If You Were Partly to Blame for the Accident?
In some cases, the person you are holding liable for your injuries may argue that you were partly to blame for the accident. If you were at fault in some way, it does not impact your ability to bring a claim against the other driver, but it will affect the amount of compensation you receive.
Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which can reduce your compensation amount by the percentage of your fault in the accident. For example, if you were 30 percent negligent, your recovery would be reduced by 30 percent. In other words, you would be entitled to a 70 percent monetary reward.
Serious Injuries in Car Accident Claims
In addition to establishing fault, you will also need to prove that your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold if you wish to go outside the no-fault system. In Florida, “serious” injuries are defined as those that are permanent (within a reasonable degree of medical probability), result in significant/permanent disfigurement or loss of a bodily function, or lead to death.
Some examples of serious injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Significant head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What If the Negligent Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
When you go outside the Florida no-fault system and sue an at-fault driver, their insurance company pays for your damages. But what if the at-fault driver is uninsured? What if you are not able to get their insurance information because they flee the scene of the accident?
Often, after first exhausting your PIP, this is where uninsured motorist (UM) coverage comes in.
Though it is not a requirement, it is recommended that Florida drivers have uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist benefits. These coverage plans will protect you from negligent drivers who do not have enough coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries. UM coverage can protect you when the other driver is uninsured, whereas UIM coverage kicks in if the negligent driver is underinsured or has limited liability coverage.
How Our Firm Can Help
If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re probably experiencing considerable stress about:
- Mounting medical bills
- Lost wages
- Car repairs
At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., we can help ease some of the stress you are experiencing by working with the insurance companies and fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve. At our firm, you are not just another case. We value your rights as a human being, and we are here to help you get what you need to fully recover.
You have nothing to lose by calling our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys to learn how we can guide you through this challenging situation. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, so there are no fees for you unless we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Committed to Client-Focused Legal Representation
At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., we have earned a strong reputation throughout South Florida as staunch advocates for injured Floridians’ rights. We’re not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies—whether in negotiations or in front of a jury. Our lead attorney, Mr. Ameen, has over 20 years of experience handling personal injury, accident, and insurance claims.
“Early in my career, I worked as an attorney representing the insurance industry. During this time, I gained valuable insight into how insurance companies defend cases. This inside knowledge of how the other side operates has helped me recover millions of dollars for my clients over the past few years.” – Mr. Ameen
Contact Our Offices Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was the victim of a car accident, call the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. to review your case and provide you with a free consultation. We understand your situation and are ready to fight for you.
Your time to file a claim is limited—don’t wait until it’s too late! We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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“My family loves John as our lawyer.”- Yvolon
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