A car accident can be traumatizing and very expensive in Florida. If a reckless driver caused the collision, you could sue them for compensation that covers your medical bills, lost wages and other related costs incurred.
Florida is typically a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents, which means drivers must carry their own protection for their medical costs and other related damages, regardless of who’s responsible for the collision. However, the state allows a victim of an accident to pursue the person that caused the crash, especially when the extent of injuries and property damages exceed their policy limit. To determine fault, you may need to obtain the police report from the incident, record witness statements from the scene, hire expert witnesses and gather evidence like videos, photos and medical records.
Choose a court
In Florida, plaintiffs can file lawsuits involving car accidents in either small claims or civil court. Small claims courts usually only consider cases that involve $8,000 or less in damages. Filing fees vary depending on the amount you’re seeking; however, they can range from $55 – $300. If you’re seeking more than $8,000 in damages, then you should consider filing your lawsuit in a civil court and paying an additional filing fee (usually around $400).
Draft the complaint
The complaint is essentially an outline of what happened during your accident and how it caused you damages. It should include details about the crash, such as when and where it occurred, persons involved, any injuries or property damage that resulted, and what type of compensation you’re seeking.
Serve the defendant
After filing your lawsuit in court, you must then serve a copy of the complaint to the other party (the defendant). You can do this in two ways: through personal service or legal mail. Personal service involves having someone hand-deliver a copy of the complaint and notice of hearing to the defendant. Legal mail is where you use traditional mail to serve where court papers to the defendant’s residence.
The outcome of your lawsuit ultimately depends on how well you present your case at trial. If all goes well, the court may award you compensation for your damages and even punish the reckless driver for risking your life and others.