Rear-end crashes are among the most common accidents that we see in our Clearwater Personal Injury practice. I can’t say with certainty but in most circumstances, absent an intentional act of stopping short, if you are rear-ended chances are you are a victim. The most frequent types of rear-end collision occur while the victim is stationary such as at a traffic light or stop sign.
Following an accident many important questions arise for victims.
Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. Fortunately, Florida is a No-Fault state, which means that regardless of fault in the accident, an injured person is entitled to receive Personal Injury Protection benefits to pay for expeditious medical treatment. Personal Injury Protection benefits will pay for reasonable medical care, and a portion of lost wages directly as a result of an accident.
Many Florida Auto Insurance policies contain comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage is designed to protect your vehicle in circumstances OTHER than an accident such as vandalism, storms and a falling tree. Collision coverage provides protection for damage to your vehicle arising from a crash. Florida Insurance policies are required to include Property Damage coverage as well which covers the victim in the event of an accident. If the at-fault party carries only the minimal coverage ($10,000) then the victim may elect to file a claim against their OWN Collision policy.
In garden variety rear-end crashes, liability is typically not highly contested. This may simplify some of the aspects of filing a claim and lay the framework for a personal injury case. Not all cases are cut and dry though. Less common rear-end accidents occur such as while vehicles are in motion, when two vehicles are in the process of occupying the same lane (while merging on or off a road way or highway or when changing lanes), or in situations where a vehicle is stopped in the middle of the road. The latter variety of these situations creates some interesting legal arguments to demonstrate liability. I recall handling a case where a woman was rear-ended while stopped to permit a duck to cross the road and many cases where a vehicle was stopped due to mechanical failure.
While all of the legal maneuvering is going on I always encourage my clients to focus solely on their medical care and getting better; that is their job in this process. Questions about case valuation and how long the case will take are impossible to answer in a vacuum. There are countless variables which dictate legal strategy and determine what a case will ultimately be worth. Most ethical attorneys will not be able to guarantee a result as they are still learning all of the details of a case. Be wary of anyone that makes promises while the investigation is still in progress.
If this sounds complicated to you, don’t be alarmed. The general population is not accustomed to dealing with the nuances of insurance policies and Florida Law. Dolman Law Group is available to answer questions for you if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Our Firm is comprised of 6 licensed Florida Personal Injury Attorneys ready, willing and able to zealously represent injured victims of negligence. Call us to make an appointment for a free consultation; 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765