October 9, 2012
Unfortunately, accidents are a part of life. Every day, people venture out… to work, to shops, and into vehicles. And every day, people suffer injuries due to the negligence, failures or misdeeds of others. In Florida, people injured in accidents that occur through the negligence or fault of others can often recover their lost wages and medical expenses. How the process of recovering these losses works, however, varies significantly based on the nature of your accident.
Generally speaking, a person injured may recover lost wages, medical bills and expenses, the cost of future medical care related to the injury, damage to his or her property related to the incident, other expenses not covered by insurance, and damages for pain and suffering.
Florida has specific rules, though, regarding personal injuries arising from auto accidents. In most cases, under Florida’s “no fault” law, if you sustain injuries in an auto accident within the state, your auto insurance provider, through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, bears the responsibility to pay most of your lost wages and medical bills; specifically, 60% of your lost wages and 80% of your medical bills. PIP is a mandatory coverage in the State of Florida. Florida does, however, allow drivers to elect to exclude wage loss reimbursement from their PIP coverage. Whatever portion of the lost wages that the insurer does not pay can be included in that person’s personal injury action against the at-fault driver.
Keep Your Bills
Regardless of whether you were injured in car accident, at work, or in a slip-and-fall, some helpful hints are universal. The chief among these is always to maintain meticulous records of everything related to your accident. This means that, when it comes to your medical bills, you should retain, in a single safe place, copies of any bill related to your injuries. These would include not only bills from doctors and hospitals, but bills for prescriptions, costs of over-the-counter medicines, bills for therapy, bills from medical labs for tests run on you, and so forth. Additionally, medical equipment counts, too. Be sure to keep your receipts for things like crutches, slings, or wheelchairs.
This record keeping task also applies to your missed work. You should maintain written records of the time you were away from work because of your injuries. Any time you miss from work, including sick leave, is something you should record. Also, if you receive a written opinion from your doctor regarding when you will be medically cleared to return to work, keep that with these records, as well.
Between working, driving, shopping, and the many other tasks that take us out of our homes, each of us faces a nearly daily risk of injury at the hands of others. If you suffer injury because of someone else’s negligence or mistake, it is important to work with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can help you weigh settlement versus going to court, and serve as your guide throughout the process, to ensure you get all the compensation owed to you.