"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes
Palatka Car Accident Attorney
Car Accidents in Putnam County
If you were recently injured in a car accident, it’s important that you understand your rights. Under Florida’s no-fault system, you are entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages (up to your policy limits) regardless of who was at fault. You may also be able to go outside the no-fault system and file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver if your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold. By filing a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for both your economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
Reach out to the Palatka car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. today. We can help you understand your options and navigate the legal process. Since 2003, our firm has been helping injured accident victims fight for the maximum compensation they were owed; learn how we can help you with your car accident claim today.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Laws
Because Florida is a no-fault state, all licensed drivers are required to have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in addition to minimum liability coverage. After an accident, your PIP insurance covers you for certain damages, regardless of fault. This means that you do not have to prove that the other driver was negligent, reckless, or in any way to blame for the accident. However, PIP coverage is limited, and you will not be able to recover compensation for all of your damages.
In Florida, PIP insurance covers the following:
- Up to 80% of “approved” medical services
- Up to 60% of lost wages up to a $10,000 limit
- Death benefits (funeral/burial costs) up to $5,000
PIP does not cover the full cost of your medical expenses, nor does it cover all medical services. For example, acupuncture is not covered by PIP. Additionally, if your injury does not warrant emergency attention, you may only be covered up to $2,500 through PIP.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident in Florida
It is possible to go outside of Florida’s no-fault system and file a personal injury claim directly against the at-fault driver’s (or another liable party’s) insurance provider.
To do this, you will need to prove several things:
- Your injuries qualify as “serious injuries” according to the state’s serious injury threshold or your medical costs exceed $10,000
- The other driver was at least partly at fault for the accident that caused your injuries
- You not only suffered injuries but also sustained measurable damages
You may bring a personal injury claim against the other driver and pursue compensation through your PIP insurance. For example, if your injuries resulted in $20,000 in medical bills, you could sue the at-fault driver for the outstanding $10,000 not covered by your PIP insurance.
What Injuries Are Considered “Serious?”
Florida laws state which types of injuries are considered “serious.” These include injuries that:
- Are permanently disabling or disfiguring
- Result in permanent loss of function
- Are permanent (even if not disfiguring)
- Result in permanent scarring
- Lead to death
Catastrophic injuries, like brain and spine injuries, are nearly always considered “serious.” However, you will still need to prove that your injuries meet the state’s threshold if you wish to go outside the no-fault system and file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Our Team Is Ready to Fight for You
After a serious car accident, turn to a team that’s been trusted throughout Florida and Georgia for more than 17 years. the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. has earned a reputation for providing compassionate client service and personal attention, coupled with aggressive and effective advocacy. Our Palatka car accident attorneys understand the unique challenges you are up against, and we know how to fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed.
If you were hurt, we will fight. Contact our firm 24/7 to speak to a friendly and professional member of our team. We provide legal services in Spanish, Russian, and German as needed.