Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Personal injury law for passengers in car accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Auto Accident |

As a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, understanding your rights and the legal avenues available is crucial for obtaining compensation for injuries and losses. However, if it is not your car and not your insurance, it can be complicated to know what to do.

No-fault insurance system

Orlando accidents are subject to Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system. Irrespective of fault, passengers, like drivers, must initially file a claim with the Personal Injury Protection coverage of the car they were in. PIP covers medical bills, lost income and out-of-pocket expenses. However, the minimum coverage is only $10,000.

Serious injury claims

If your injuries meet Florida’s criteria for a “serious” injury, you may pursue a liability claim against the at-fault driver. Serious injuries include significant bodily function loss, permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement or death. Proving the driver’s negligence is essential to claim economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Comparative negligence rule

In cases involving shared fault among drivers, Florida follows the comparative negligence rule. Liability is reduced by the each party’s respective fault percentage. For instance, if a passenger is 10% at fault, their recovery may be reduced accordingly. This rule applies to factors like distraction or failure to wear a seat belt.

Statute of limitations

Passengers must be mindful of the 4-year statute of limitations in Florida. Legal claims for injuries resulting from an accident must be filed within this timeframe. Failing to do so may forfeit the right to seek compensation.

Essential steps after a car accident

To safeguard your rights and interests, after a car accident, seek immediate medical attention for injuries. Call 9-1-1. Report the car accident to the insurance company and file a PIP claim. Obtain relevant documents, including the police report. Keep detailed records of medical bills and related expenses.

Understanding these key points can empower passengers involved in motor vehicle accidents in Orlando, Florida. Navigating the legal landscape with a clear understanding of their rights increases the likelihood of obtaining fair compensation for damages.

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