At any speed, a head-on collision between two multi-ton automobiles will almost always result in serious injuries, especially compared to accidents that occur where one vehicle is stationary. In front-end car accidents in Clearwater—like head-on, broadside, or overlapping collisions—there is often a question about who is to blame. Some people are also confused by Florida’s no-fault laws: We are often asked, “Does no-fault mean I can’t bring a claim against the other driver?”
Obtaining money for your injuries or losses is Perenich Law Injury Attorneys’ primary focus. We know how much is at stake in cases like yours and how much it matters to get the right car accident lawyer on your side. We’re three brothers helping others; once retained, we could put every bit of our legal experience and knowledge toward getting the best possible result for you and your family.
How Does Liability Work in Front-End Car Crash Cases?
When people hear the term “no-fault,” they often assume this means that fault or blame is not important. This is not true. The idea behind this insurance was to quickly and efficiently compensate injured parties who are involved in car accidents regardless of fault. No-fault is also referred to as PIP or Personal Injury Protection, The idea is that every person on the road will be self-insured for $10,000, and this money would go to compensate each party in an accident for their medical bills and lost wages.
Of course, Florida enacted this law in 1971, and that $10,000 would be equivalent to $75,000 in 2023 money. Unfortunately, Florida never adjusted the $10,000 PIP amount, and medical bills have skyrocketed since the 1970s; as a result, that $10,000 is oftentimes gone after the first hospital visit. Once this $10,000 is done, we look to the at-fault party’s insurance to compensate our clients for their losses; this insurance policy is called Bodily Injury (BI).
At the same time, though, injured Plaintiffs pursuing front-end car crash claims in Clearwater should be prepared to prove that they themselves were not negligent in a way that contributed to causing their accident. Florida Statutes § 768.81 allows a jury to assign a Plaintiff a percentage of “comparative fault” for their injuries and reduce the total compensation available to them as a result.
For example, if a jury found that a Plaintiff’s damages were valued at $100,000, but they were 50 percent negligent or at fault, the Plaintiff would only recover $50,000. This is why it’s important to hire an attorney who understands how the complex liability issue will add value to your case.
Also, as of March 2023, the legislature modified Fla. Sta, § 768.81, the comparative negligence statute: Now, if a defense lawyer can show the Plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for their injuries, the Plaintiff receives nothing.
What Am I Able To Recover in a Front-End Car Accident Case?
Assuming there are no issues with comparative negligence, a settlement demand is written and sent to the insurance company. In a head-on collision case, our Clearwater attorneys look at pain and suffering, medical bills, and other monetary losses like lost wages. Generally speaking, your losses are limited to the following categories:
- Lost overall enjoyment of life
- Psychological trauma and emotional distress
- Lost work income or long-term earning ability
- Expected future medical bills and other medical expenses not covered by insurance
- Personal property damage and other vehicle-related costs not covered by insurance
- Physical pain and suffering (disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, aggravation of a disease or physical defect)
In addition to the compensatory damages listed above, there are some situations when punitive damages could be available. Punitive damages are financial compensation paid by a Defendant as punishment for blatantly negligent behavior or to dissuade a Defendant (or others) from engaging in such behavior in the future. Examples include when a Defendant caused a head-on collision while driving drunk or when texting while driving. It should be noted that punitive damages are uncommon and are reserved for cases where the Defendant’s conduct is egregious.
Talk to a Clearwater Attorney Following a Front-End Car Accident
When you are in a front-end car accident in Clearwater, you should speak with an experienced lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible. Call Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.