After an auto accident, an insurance claim may seem like the quickest and easiest way to pursue compensation for the expenses related to your injuries. But particularly in cases of severe injuries, these claims can fail to finance the expenses you incur.
According to the official 2012 Florida Driver’s Handbook, Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance covering at least $10,000 for injuries to one person and $20,000 for injuries to two or more people. You also must carry no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover your own injuries and an equal amount of Property Damage Liability (PDL).
While this coverage may seem adequate, the high costs of medical care can quickly consume the maximum coverage and leave you facing financially-debilitating out-of-pocket costs, particularly if you suffer severe injury or permanent disability.
But policy limits apply to more than just the basic costs of a claim. While an insurance policy typically covers the costs related to medical treatment and even lost time from work, severe and disabling injuries result in many non-covered costs — potentially for a lifetime — such as the following:
- Long-term or permanent lost earnings capacity
- Costs for daily personal care
- Emotional costs such as loss of personal relationships
- Pain and suffering
Whether you file an insurance claim against your own policy or the policy of a liable driver, you need to understand that insurance companies often attempt to settle for less than the full value of your claim. Even if an insurance claim appears to be a reasonable choice for relatively minor injuries, it costs nothing to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident attorney who can assess your unique situation and explain the available legal options. Experienced car accident lawyers can help hold an insurance company accountable for paying the full value of your claim. And if you sustain serious injuries, they may recommend filing a lawsuit to let a jury identify the full compensation you deserve, even if you expect to incur expenses for the rest of your life.