WHAT KINDS OF DAMAGES CAN I BE COMPENSATED FOR AFTER MY AUTO ACCIDENT?
These damages include the repair or replacement of your vehicle, as well as any other items damaged due to the crash, such as glasses or cell phone that may have cracked, a car seat that needs to be replaced, or others.
Wage loss is typically paid at a rate of 60% by your personal injury protection benefits. However, if wage loss was excluded on the policy, then reimbursement for lost income will be included in the demand letter to the at-fault vehicle’s insurance. Additionally, the 40% not paid by the personal injury protection benefits can be included too.
Out-of-pocket Medical Expenses
These expenses will come from prescription costs, over-the-counter medications or items purchased for the treatment of injuries, co-pays or deductible payments made at doctor visits, and other medically related expenses. Again, some of these can be submitted for payment under your personal injury protection benefits, but most likely these types of expenses will be included in the demand letter as well.
The mileage to and from any medical appointments (within reason) can be submitted for reimbursement under personal injury protection benefits. The amount per mile is adjusted per year based on standard mileage rates. If personal injury protection benefits have been exhausted, the mileage amounts can be included as part of the damages submitted in the demand.
Pain & Suffering
Florida Statute provides the standard or threshold for being compensated after an auto accident. According to the law, the plaintiff has the burden to prove that he/she has suffered a serious and permanent injury (which is usually noted by the treating medical doctor in their medical records). This is why medical treatment following an accident is crucial to proving damages.
The amount of pain and suffering offered depends on the nature of the injury and the intensity of the medical treatment required. For example, lower amounts are offered if all medical treatment was conservative in nature, such as only physical therapy. In contrast, higher amounts would be offered if a person suffered a broken bone or had to undergo surgical repair for their injury.
The Treatment You Deserve
In addition to compensation, having an attorney on your side can ensure that you have access to the types of treatment you deserve. The insurance company will make every attempt to limit what they pay out, and that includes restricting or denying access to the treatment you need to fully recover.
By Janelle Squire, Esq.