Here’s What You Need to Know After Being Involved in an Accident in Fort Myers
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Fort Myers or within Florida, dealing with the insurance companies is more than just a hassle. You need to make sure your medical bills will be covered. Also, if you are unable to work, you need to make sure you receive the compensation you need to avoid financial strain. However, insurance companies are not in the business of making things easy for accident victims. Still, with the right approach and help from an experienced and compassionate auto accident attorney, you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
Following an auto accident, there is a great deal of information you need to know. This guide to recovery provides the critical information you need in order to recover just compensation for your accident-related losses. While it is intended to assist you with your research after a crash, it is always best to speak directly with a skilled attorney who handles such cases on a regular basis. All cases are unique, and seeking counsel will help ensure that your situation is dealt with appropriately based on the facts surrounding your accident.
Tourism and Activities in Fort Myers May Lead to Accidents
Once again, the City of Fort Myers was named the fastest growing city in America in 2020 and is ranked number one for jobs and economy, among other accolades. Additionally, for 2020-2021, U.S. News and World Report ranks Fort Myers as the second-best place to retire in the U.S. Given all of the shopping, fishing and exceptional beach options available, it’s no wonder why the area would be highly desirable to people of all ages.
Throughout the year, thousands of people visit or choose to make Florida home. Given the influx of traffic on area roads, the chance of being involved in an automobile crash increases. Staying safe on the road is challenging enough for locals who are familiar with the area. However, adding newcomers who are unfamiliar with area roads, speed limits and traffic patterns can result in even more incidents of crashes involving vehicles, motorcyclists, bikers, and pedestrians.
Fort Myers Car Accident Statistics
When you are dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident, it helps to know you are not alone. Auto accidents happen in and around Fort Myers every day. Consider these statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV):
- On average, there are more than 12,000 auto accidents per year in Lee County.
- More than half of all auto accidents in Lee County result in injuries.
- Each year, close to 100 people die in auto accidents in Lee County.
- Drugs and alcohol play a role in more than 200 accidents per year in Lee County.
- Approximately one-third of all serious and fatal auto accidents in Lee County involve drivers under the age of 25.
- Each year, there are close to 1,500 collisions involving commercial vehicles in Lee County, resulting in hundreds of serious and fatal injuries.
What Should You Do After an Auto Accident in Fort Myers?
For individuals who have never been involved in a crash, knowing what to do immediately afterward may be confusing. Most people know that you must stop after an accident occurs, even if the collision is minor, and move out of the road (if possible) to ensure the safety of others passing by.
Also, if you have been involved in an auto accident, one of the most important things you can do is to seek help promptly. This means that you should (i) see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment and (ii) talk to an auto accident attorney about your legal rights. A lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and accident-related evidence is properly preserved. An attorney can also advise you regarding the next steps with respect to dealing with your own and the at-fault parties’ insurance companies.
Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law requires all drivers to have policies, so you should have at least some coverage available. In order to determine how much coverage – and to improve your chances of securing payment – you will need to discuss your accident with a local attorney.
How Does Florida Auto Insurance Work?
Under Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage protects the policyholder in the event of an accident. So, as long as you have auto insurance, you should have PIP coverage available. You can use your PIP policy to help cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
What if Your PIP Coverage Isn’t Enough?
In Florida, PIP coverage provides payment of 80% of reasonable and necessary medical expenses from an accident, and 60% of lost wages up to a maximum of $10,000. The good news is that you have the right to make a civil claim for the other types of damages that exceed the available PIP. These damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and past and future non-economic damages for pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, impairment, mental anguish, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
But, it is also possible that you will have a claim outside of auto insurance. In addition to driver negligence, issues such as vehicle defects and road defects can cause accidents as well. If one of these types of issues played a role in your accident, your attorney may be able to help you file a claim against the responsible party in order to collect just compensation.
Do You Have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Insurance?
Another option to consider is filing a claim under your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy. This is optional coverage in Florida, but it can be extremely beneficial to purchase this coverage just in case you ever get injured. If the other driver doesn’t have adequate liability coverage (or doesn’t have liability coverage at all), your attorney can help you seek payment under your own UIM policy.
How Much Can You Recover if You’ve Been Injured?
The amount you can recover after an auto accident in Fort Myers depends on the effects of your injuries. If you suffered a broken bone, a permanent injury, a severe concussion, organ damage, or any other type of serious injury, you may be entitled to a significant financial recovery.
Should You Hire an Attorney After an Auto Accident?
Do you need to hire an attorney to help you? You should contact an accident attorney right away. There are several benefits to hiring an experienced attorney to handle your case. Here are just five reasons to hire an attorney if you have been injured in an auto accident in Fort Myers or throughout Florida:
1. You Need to Determine What Type(s) of Insurance Claims to File
Are you limited to filing for PIP? Or, is UIM or other auto insurance coverage available?
2. You Need to Determine if You are Entitled to Additional Compensation
Are you entitled to compensation for a vehicle defect, road defect or some other issue that does not involve filing an auto insurance claim?
3. You Need to Calculate Your Losses Accurately
When you file your claim (or claims), how much should you expect to recover?
4. You Need to Make Smart Decisions about Settlement
You should not accept a settlement offer without the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
5. You Only Get One Chance to Recover Your Losses
Have your accident-related injuries turned out to be far worse than you initially thought? Are you unable to work due to your injuries? Can you afford not to receive the full compensation you deserve?
Talk to a Car Accident Law Firm - Your First Meeting is Probably Free!
Do you have questions about what to do after an auto accident in Fort Myers? Would you like help with your insurance claim? If so, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled car accident attorney for appropriate legal guidance. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Fort Myers auto accident attorney, call us at 239-337-7483 or contact us online today.