Can You Sue for a Car Accident in Jacksonville If You Are Not Hurt?
The physics of a car accident can cause severe injuries ranging from broken bones to paralysis. Even a minor accident could result in neck strain and a seat belt bruise.
But what if you suffer no injuries in an accident? You may still have damage to your vehicle. And more importantly, you may have mental and emotional injuries from your accident.
Here is some information about suing for a car accident in Jacksonville if you did not get hurt.
Car Accident Lawsuits
Tort law gives victims the right to sue when they have been wronged. Tort law covers intentional torts, strict liability torts, and negligence. Most car accident lawsuits fall under the umbrella of negligence.
But you do not need to suffer a bodily injury in order to file a lawsuit. The damages you can recover in a lawsuit include property damage, lost income, and emotional and mental damage.
In many situations, road rage involves something more than negligence. If another driver intentionally bumps you, that might meet the requirements of an intentional tort such as assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Mental and Emotional Trauma
Mental and emotional injuries qualify as injuries for purposes of lawsuits. This means that you can sue for a car accident in Jacksonville based solely on your emotional and mental injuries. You do not need bodily injuries for a lawsuit.
When you sue for mental or emotional injuries, you can potentially recover both your economic and non-economic losses. Your economic losses include all of the ways in which your emotional and mental injuries affect your finances.
Medical bills for treatment, therapy, and medication qualify as economic losses. If you had to take time off from work or quit your job, you can also claim your lost income as an economic loss.
Non-economic losses cover the ways your mental and emotional injuries diminish your quality of life. Some examples of symptoms that might support non-economic losses for mental and emotional injuries include:
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Trouble concentrating
- Emotional outbursts
Thus, if your mental and emotional injuries cause you to have a panic attack every time you drive, you might recover economic damages because you must pay for transportation.
You might also recover non-economic damages because of the anguish and discomfort you experience when you have a panic attack.
Unreimbursed Property Damage
In some situations, you might have trouble recovering all of your property losses from your insurance company. If you only have property damage liability (PDL) coverage, you will probably not receive anything from your auto insurer. PDL coverage only pays for damage you cause to someone else. It does not cover your losses.
If you have collision coverage, you will receive some insurance money for your property losses. But this money has some limitations.
First, you probably have a deductible for your collision coverage. You will need to pay at least partly out-of-pocket to replace or repair your car.
Secondly, collision coverage usually does not cover any customizations or valuables in the car when it is damaged. If you own a vintage or customized vehicle, your collision coverage will probably not cover all of the damage.
When you cannot get fully reimbursed for your property damage, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Choosing to Sue for a Car Accident Without Bodily Injuries
The question about suing over a non-injury accident usually comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. Car accident lawyers charge fees to file lawsuits. You must compare your expected damages to the fees you will need to pay. This will tell you whether a lawsuit is worthwhile.
Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra car accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Duval County, St, Johns County, and its surrounding areas:
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256, United States
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081