Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents are a leading cause of personal injury in Tampa and the greater Tampa Bay area. In recent years, nearly 30,000 traffic crashes have been occurring annually in Hillsborough County, causing tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths every year. Even though we call them “accidents,” meaning no one intended them to happen, that doesn’t mean they aren’t somebody’s fault. Most accidents happen because someone was operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner, such as by speeding, failing to yield right of way, failing to keep in their proper lane, or even driving on the wrong side of the road. People who cause these accidents need to be held accountable to the people they have harmed by their careless or negligent driving.
Franco Law Firm helps people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents in Tampa. We understand the emotionally exhausting experience you are going through while being forced to deal with costly medical bills and other expenses during a period of intense physical pain and infirmity. Our team is here for you to support you, listen to you, guide you and fight for you. Learn more below about the compensation you are entitled to after a car accident and how our team can help. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced Tampa auto accident lawyers at Franco Law Firm for a free consultation or immediate assistance getting the care and compensation you need and deserve.
No-Fault Benefits After a Crash
As an insured driver in Florida, you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance that covers you whenever you get into a crash as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist. PIP benefits are no-fault benefits, meaning you don’t have to prove the other driver was negligent to receive benefits. Fault is irrelevant to a PIP claim; it doesn’t even matter if you were the one to blame for causing the crash. By filing a PIP claim, you can receive coverage for your medical expenses and also receive benefits to help make up for lost wages and income for any time you missed work due to your injuries.
PIP benefits are limited, however. They only pay for 80% of “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses, and they only cover 60% of lost wages. The maximum you can receive in PIP benefits is $2,500, or $10,000 if a doctor certifies that you had an “emergency medical condition” as defined under Florida law. You must also seek medical treatment within 14 days of the crash to preserve your right to submit a claim.
Pursuing Negligent Drivers for Money Damages
The Florida PIP law is designed to make sure car crash victims get help with medical bills after an accident, but it is also designed to limit lawsuits and limit the size of financial recovery an accident victim can receive. PIP does a good job of meeting those goals, but it doesn’t fully meet the needs of the accident victim, especially if they have been seriously hurt. In cases of serious injury, accident victims can forgo a PIP claim and instead file a negligence claim against the other driver, assuming that driver was at-fault for causing the accident. A “serious injury” in this instance means one of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
In a claim against the negligent driver, you have to be able to prove they were at fault in causing the accident through negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other of a number of careless or negligent driving behaviors. You need to prove their negligence caused the crash and the injuries you suffered. If successful, you can recover money damages for the full amount of your medical expenses and lost income, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other ways the crash has negatively impacted your life.
Franco Law Firm can help you with your negligence claim. You’ll be going up against insurance company claims adjusters and lawyers who handle auto accident claims every day, and you’ll want to be represented by somebody who knows the law as well or better than the people on the other side. Our Tampa automotive accident lawyers take the time to fully understand your needs and the facts of the case. We’ll work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company that meets your needs and reflects the true value of your claim. If the insurance company refuses to settle, we’ll be prepared to go to court if necessary to get the result you need.
Contact the Franco Law Firm Today
In almost every case, people who are not represented by an attorney either lose out on their auto accident claim or receive far less than if they had a lawyer working for them. Don’t gamble with your valuable car accident claim and the important benefits you need to receive. Call Franco Law Firm at 813-872-0929 for a free consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable Tampa automotive accident lawyer.