Automobile accidents can happen for many reasons, including driving under the influence, speeding, poor weather conditions, and distracted driving.
Key Automobile Accident Statistics
- About 2 million people involved in automobile accidents experience permanent injuries every year.
- 40% of automobile accidents involve driving under the influence, and 33% involve reckless driving.
- In 2021, there were over 3,700 fatal motor vehicle accidents in Florida alone.
- Compared to other states, Florida has one of the highest rates of automobile accidents.
Florida’s “Threshold” Requirement for Pain and Suffering Compensation
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to understand Florida’s “threshold” requirement. This means that in most Florida automobile accident cases, you need a permanent injury to secure compensation for pain and suffering.
Florida’s no-fault automobile insurance laws state that a plaintiff may recover damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience in a motor vehicle accident lawsuit only if the injury consists of:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
However, the law does not define what a permanent injury is. As a result, this type of injury is most commonly proven in a motor vehicle accident case by offering medical testimony. A medical expert will testify under oath that your injury is permanent.
The trial lawyers at Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami understand how to work with your doctors or medical experts to prove your serious motor vehicle accident injuries are permanent. During a case, we front all costs for medical experts and, unlike other motor vehicle accident attorneys, we don’t ask you to pay unless you get paid.
On the flip side, the insurance company gets to hire its own doctors to examine you. Not surprisingly, their doctors will most likely say your injury is not permanent, so it typically comes down to which doctor the jury believes: yours or the insurance company’s “hired gun.” Our experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys in Miami, Florida, know how to win this “battle of the experts.”
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Following these steps after a car accident can prove and protect your case:
- Document the scene of the accident. Look for evidence of the crash, such as skid marks or damage to guardrails. Take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, inside and out. Protect any physical evidence, like damaged cell phones or bloody clothes. Don’t admit fault to anyone at the scene of the accident if asked. Never say you’re sorry!
- Locate witnesses. Try to identify as many witnesses to the accident as you can and obtain their name and contact information, including phone number and email. Ask them to tell you what they saw and keep a record to refresh your memory if necessary.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Don’t try to “tough it out.” You need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only will this give you the best chance to recover, it will also make a medical record of your injuries that can prove your case later on. Insurance companies love to dispute the seriousness of a person’s injuries as a result of their delay in seeking treatment. Make sure you tell your doctor about all your pain and injuries; don’t minimize your injuries.
- Document expenses. Document any expenses you incur as a result of the car accident, including medical bills, missed time at work, and vehicle repairs.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, contact us today for a free case evaluation.