Skilled Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach Auto Accident Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Vehicle Accidents
Injuries resulting from auto-related accidents can be devastating. Not only are you facing the potential of a prolonged recovery, but you will likely be stuck with large medical bills and lost wages. If you have recently been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, call the experienced attorneys at Thompson & Thomas, P.A. today.
According to data compiled by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), the state of Florida has already experienced more than 32,000 car accidents and 13,000 auto-related injuries. Just under 200 of these accidents have resulted in fatalities, and many of these collisions have involved both personal and commercial vehicles. Suffice it to say, operating a motor vehicle can be risky business.
Filing an Auto-Related Injury Suit in the State of Florida
Florida’s laws governing lawsuits related to auto-related injuries state that you have four years from the date of the accident to file suit in civil court. If you fail to submit a claim within four years, it is very likely that a Florida judge will refuse to hear it at all. In the event that you do not “discover” the injury within four years, a Florida court may extend your lawsuit-filing window. This is a relatively rare occurrence, however.
Often times, the person or insurance company from whom you’re seeking compensation may accuse you of being partially at fault for causing the accident. If you do share some amount of fault for your injuries, it may affect the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive, which makes speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney incredibly important. Indeed, under Florida law the amount of compensation you’re eligible to receive will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault for the accident.
“No-Fault” Car Insurance Laws
When it comes to car accidents, Florida follows what is called a “no-fault” system, meaning that if you are injured in a car accident, your own insurance company will provide a percentage of your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Once these “no-fault” benefits are exhausted, you may obtain a recovery from the at fault driver for any other unpaid medical bills or wage loss. If you can show either a permanent injury and/or significant scarring/disfigurement, you may also obtain a recovery for non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
The state of Florida requires motorcycle drivers and riders under the age of 21 to wear helmets. Those over the age of 21 who elect not to wear helmets must carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance. Additionally, Florida motorcyclists must obtain either a motorcycle endorsement on their current drivers license or a motorcycle-only license in order to operate a motorcycle with an engine larger than 50cc. Florida motorcyclists under the age of 21 must also complete a motorcycle safety course before they can legally operate their bike. While insurance is not required to register a bike in the state of Florida, motorcyclists involved in an accident may be held liable for property damage and/or bodily injury resulting from a collision.
Establishing whether or not a motorcyclist is liable for an injury depends on circumstances specific to each accident. Since Florida is a “comparative fault” state, liability will often be determined by examining factors such as the conduct of other drivers, road conditions, the motorcyclist’s speed, driver fatigue, alcohol and/or drug intoxication and weather. Contact the experienced attorneys at Thompson & Thomas, P.A. for help establishing who is responsible for your motorcycle-related injury.
In the state of Florida, semi-truck drivers are required to follow various state and federal regulations and must always carry insurance with higher limits than drivers of cars and/or motorcycles. Because of this, the injured party in a large-truck accident has a better chance of reaching a settlement that best reflects his or her damages than a plaintiff involved in a typical car accident. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s important that you begin working on your case immediately.
Speak Directly to an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
Attorneys Philip Thompson and Charles Thomas have dedicated their careers to assisting residents throughout West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie suffering from auto-related injuries. If you have recently been in a car accident, truck accident or motorcycle crash, contact Thompson & Thomas, P.A. as soon as possible.