You do have legal remedies available after being hurt in a Miami car accident, including the option to seek compensation for your losses. In a particularly serious crash, you may be able to pursue the responsible driver’s insurance company by filing a claim. The objective is to recoup monetary damages for the costs you have accrued and other ways your injuries impact your life. However, as you might expect, it is not likely that you will receive a check overnight. Instead, your compensation will be paid out after your claim is resolved – either through a settlement agreement with the insurer or in court. Therefore, you could have difficulty paying your medical bills, especially if your injuries prevent you from working.
It is a relief to know that there could be other sources you can turn to when you need financial support as the victim of a collision. While your Miami car accident attorney is working through the claims process, you should also ask about getting funds through:
Your Auto Insurance PIP Coverage
Florida is a “no-fault” state for purposes of auto collisions, which means you file a claim for compensation with your own insurance company after a crash. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires you to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which pays out for some of your medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, you do not have to prove that the other driver was at fault in the crash, so you may receive payment promptly after filing your claim.
If you have insurance coverage through your employer or purchased on your own, it is possible that your treating physicians have already processed some medical bills through your policy. If they have not, you should provide your information so health care providers can bill your insurance. Using your existing health insurance prevents late or overdue payment, which could otherwise affect your credit rating. However, depending on the terms of your policy, you could still be responsible for a deductible and any remaining balance not covered by insurance.
Florida’s Collateral Source Rule
Because the point of monetary damages is to reimburse you for your losses, you might assume that amounts you receive from other sources would offset your compensation. The collateral source rule works in your favor in this respect. Under Florida law, the negligent driver cannot benefit by paying out less just because you received funds from:
- Your PIP coverage;
- Disability benefits under Social Security;
- Benefits you receive through your health insurance;
- Amounts for your lost wages, such as through a private disability insurance provider; and,
- Any other collateral source.
Contact a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer About Your Legal Options
As you look into one or more of these options for financial support after an auto crash, you can rest assured that you will not have to worry about legal fees. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA, our team offers a no-cost initial consultation for personal injury cases, and you do not pay for additional services unless you recover compensation in your case. Please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL today to schedule your meeting.