What Should You Do If You Are Hit While Driving Someone Else’s Car in Gainesville, FL?
Bill Allen | May 24, 2022 | Car Accidents
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. However, what happens if you drive someone else’s car and another driver hits you? Who pays for your damages and injuries?
Regardless of who owns the car, call 911 to request police emergency medical assistance. You need to report the accident just as you would if driving your vehicle. Things to keep in mind to protect your rights include:
- Do not admit fault for the car accident because it could impact a claim against the other driver for damages
- If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and use your cell phone to make a video
- Ask for the names and contact information of any bystanders and eyewitnesses
- Do not refuse medical care or say that you were not injured because you may have sustained injuries that might not be immediately known
- Notify the owner of the vehicle as soon as possible that you were involved in a car accident so they can notify their car insurance company
- Seek prompt medical attention for your injuries
- Do not discuss the accident with an insurance adjuster or claims investigator without seeking legal advice from a car accident lawyer
Depending on the facts of your case, you could be entitled to compensation from the owner’s PIP insurance provider and the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Coverage When You Borrow Someone’s Car
Florida is a no-fault insurance state for car insurance. You are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage in the amount of $10,000. No-fault insurance pays benefits to you and those covered by the policy regardless of who caused the automobile accident.
PIP covers up to 80% of your medical bills, 60% of your lost wages, and some out-of-pocket expenses after a car crash. The coverage for an automobile includes the owner and extends to:
- The owner’s family members living in the household
- Passengers in the vehicle
- Another person driving the vehicle
- Bicyclists and pedestrians struck by the vehicle
Therefore, if you borrow another person’s vehicle, you should be able to file a PIP claim for your injuries. However, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for benefits.
Can You Sue the Driver Who Hit You in Florida?
Generally, injured parties cannot sue the at-fault driver for damages under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws. Therefore, you are limited to receiving reimbursement for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. However, if you meet the serious injury threshold, you can pursue a negligence claim against the driver who caused the accident.
Serious injuries are defined in Florida Statute §627.737 as:
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent and significant loss of an important body function
- Permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring
You have the burden of proving a negligence claim to recover compensation for your damages. However, a negligence claim allows you to recover non-economic damages in addition to economic damages.
Your economic damages include your loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and other financial losses. Non-economic damages represent the “pain and suffering” you experience because of the accident and your injuries.
Non-economic damages include:
- Impairments and disabilities
- Physical discomfort
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Decreased quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
How much your personal injury claim is worth depends on the facts of the case. Typically, the value of a claim increases as the severity of the injuries increase. Other factors that could impact how much money you receive include the availability of insurance, the strength of your evidence, and whether you were partially to blame for the cause of the accident.
Proving Fault for a Gainesville Car Accident
In addition to proving you sustained serious injuries, you must prove the elements of a negligence claim:
- Duty – The other driver owed you a duty of care
- Breach of Duty – The other driver breached the duty of care through their omissions or acts
- Causation – The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries
- Damages – You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
Proving negligence in a car accident can be challenging. A car accident lawyer has the resources to investigate the cause of your car wreck. They gather evidence proving the elements of negligence.
Additionally, a car accident attorney helps you document your damages and calculate the correct value for your injury claim. Insurance adjusters are only interested in paying you as little as possible to end the claim. It helps to have a trusted legal advocate on your side fighting to recover a fair settlement amount for your car accident claim.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have two convenient locations in North Central Florida:
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471