Compensation And Your Rights After A T-Bone Car Accident
T-bone car accidents are some of the deadliest auto accidents you can experience on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tens of thousands of people are injured by T-bone car accidents. Also known as broadside collisions, they can have long-lasting effects on your financial and physical health, especially if you weren’t at fault for the incident.
Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident, which can make fighting for compensation more difficult if you were injured.
Luckily, Hoag Law Firm, P.A., is here to help. Attorney Brian Hoag in St. Petersburg, Florida, has profound knowledge of personal injury and car accident law, so he can help you pursue compensation so you won’t be stuck with paying for the accident that wasn’t even your fault.
Potential Costs Of These Collisions
The most common injuries from T-bone accidents are as follows. Current sources put the average cost of recovery within these ranges:
- Head/brain trauma: $33,000 to $80,000
- Neck/back injuries: $10,000 to $100,000
- Broken bones: $2,500 to $35,000
Keep in mind, these numbers are based solely on current data. These costs only take into account direct costs, such as emergency room visits, X-rays, casts, surgeries and so on. You may need physical or cognitive therapy, equipment such as a wheelchair, or other things that require a constant financial commitment, which can and will add up drastically.
Depending on certain factors (such as the speed of the cars, angle of impact, age and value of the car, and more), you could be facing several thousand dollars in damages that need to be fixed. Even “older” cars can prove costly after you’ve left the auto shop.
Lost Wages And Earning Capacity
Both lost wages and lost earning capacity have subtle yet important differences. Lost wages typically refer to the cost of wages that you weren’t able to earn up to the point of the lawsuit’s commencement. Lost earning capacity reflects how much money you could have been earning in the future if you were never injured.
Though they don’t have a physical price tag, noneconomic costs in Florida are defined as “pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience.” These intangible costs can include any of the following:
- Mental anguish (fear, humiliation, depression, etc.)
- Disfigurement (such as scarring and its personal and social effect on you)
- Loss of life enjoyment (i.e., not being able to play with your children because of your injury/disability)
- Loss of consortium (for the uninjured spouse’s loss of affection, intimacy, support, etc.)
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Policy
If you’re injured in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, Clear Water, Land O’ Lakes or anywhere in Florida, you may have to seek financial recovery through your own insurers, regardless of who is at fault. This policy is referred to as the “no-fault auto insurance policy,” which means you must go through your own insurance to seek compensation instead of the other driver’s.
Because the state of Florida requires all drivers to keep a minimum $10,000 insurance policy for both personal injury and property damage, it is assumed that it’s enough to cover the costs of being involved in an accident. However, insurance may not completely cover your costs. This means you cannot file a claim against the other driver, even if it’s been proven they were at fault, although there is one exception.
When You Can Sue The Other Driver
In most cases, you are not able to take legal action against the driver because of Florida’s no-fault policy. The exception to this rule is if you were seriously injured and/or the expenses of your accident exceed the $10,000 of coverage that you’re required to have in Florida.
To find out if your case qualifies to file a lawsuit against the other driver, contact an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney to evaluate your case and discuss your options.
Contact Us To Get Strategic Representation
Since graduating and earning his Juris Doctor and MBA from Stetson University in 2004, attorney Brian Hoag has been dedicated to helping clients who have been injured or are in a dispute with their insurance company.
If you have been involved in a T-bone or another car accident, he can help you fight for the compensation you deserve if Florida’s “no-fault” policy has kept you from doing so. Call 727-739-8665 or send an email to schedule your free consultation.