Can You Sue for a Car Accident in Florida If You Are Not Hurt?
November 16, 2022 | Winters & Yonker, P.A. | Car Accident
Personal injury claims are typically associated with car accidents. However, even if a driver is not injured after a crash, they may still be able to bring a claim to recover damages.
Suing may be necessary if a driver’s car is damaged and the property damage liability (PDL) insurance company refuses to cover the costs required to repair or replace the vehicle. In order to win this type of case, a plaintiff must prove that another driver caused the accident and resulting damages.
Consulting a car accident attorney is the best way to determine if you have a valid property damage claim.
How Can I Sue Someone for Damaging My Car?
Even if you are not injured in a car accident, you can file a claim for property damage. Property damage claims in these situations can cover the vehicle itself, and any property inside that is damaged in the collision. The first avenue for compensation will likely be the at-fault driver’s PDL auto insurance. However, you have options if they deny or undervalue your claim.
If the damage is not major, you may be able to bring your claim to small claims court. You should first assess the damage and limits of small claims court to determine if your damage qualifies. If the cost of your damages exceeds the small claims limits, you can file a claim in civil court.
What Happens After You Estimate Your Property Damages?
After you file your claim with the insurance provider, the adjuster will investigate and notify you of the cost to repair or replace your car. They will either (a) send you an offer to cover these costs or (b) offer much less than the costs provided.
In the case of the latter option, this will signify to you that a negotiation needs to take place. This is a good scenario to contact a Lakeland car accident lawyer, as they will be able to provide the expertise and knowledge required to get your settlement closer to the number you rightfully deserve. If you fail to reach an agreement, you may have to file a lawsuit.
Can I Bring a Negligence Claim Without Having Suffered an Injury?
If someone breaches their duty of care to you, resulting in damages to your property, you have the right to file a lawsuit to compensate for their actions. Physical injury is not a requirement to be awarded economic damages after a car accident.
For example, someone may side-swipe your vehicle and not cause injuries, but your lawyer can still advocate for you to be compensated for the damage caused due to their reckless or negligent driving. Accidents can also leave you with non-physical damages, such as emotional distress, which you may be able to file a claim for in some instances.
What Do I Need To Prove To File a Property Damage Claim?
In order to hold a driver liable for the damages to your car, you will need to prove negligence and fault. This means that you will have to prove the following:
- The driver had a legal duty to adhere to the standard of care while driving on the road,
- The driver failed to uphold this duty and caused the accident at issue, and
- You directly and proximately suffered financial damages as a result of the accident.
Hiring a car accident attorney means that your attorney will take on the responsibility of collecting evidence to support your claim and hopefully negotiate the maximum settlement without bringing your claim to court. An attorney will ensure that you are awarded a fair amount from the insurance company, which may convince you to settle for a lowball amount if you negotiate with them on your own.
If you have suffered property damage as a result of a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida for assistance.
Contact the Lakeland Car Accident Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Lakeland today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805