A damaged windshield can be dangerous. A small crack could turn into a massive web of cracks that impair your ability to see the road and traffic. Any damage to the windshield could cause the glass to shatter if you hit a pothole or other object in the road.
It is best to have a damaged windshield repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. However, many drivers put off repairing a windshield because of the prohibitive cost of the repair or replacement.
Did you know that there is a Florida statute that makes windshield repairs free? You can have your windshield replaced or repaired without paying anything.
Florida Statute Removes Deductible for Windshield Repairs
If you have combined additional coverage or comprehensive car insurance coverage, you cannot be charged a deductible by your insurance company for windshield repair or replacement. Florida Statute Title 37 Chapter 627.7288 states that the deductible does not apply to damage to the windshield of any motor vehicle covered by the insurance policy.
It is in everyone’s best interest for motor vehicle owners to repair damaged windshields. A damaged windshield could contribute to the cause of a car accident that injuries other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Therefore, the statute ensures that drivers do not have monetary reasons for not repairing or replacing damaged windshields.
Vehicle Maintenance and Traffic Accidents
A lack of vehicle maintenance can be a contributing factor to the cause of traffic accidents. Many traffic accidents are caused by driver negligence. For example, distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and violating traffic laws are often contributing factors to the cause of a motor vehicle accident.
However, a vehicle’s condition can also be the cause of a car crash. Suppose a driver fails to replace the brake pads on the vehicle when they become worn. In that case, the brakes could fail when the driver tries to stop, causing the driver to slam into the rear of another vehicle.
Worn tires can also be a problem. The lack of tread on the tire can cause the vehicle to spin out of control in rainy weather. Worn tires can also reduce the stopping distance or cause a tire blowout on the interstate, which could lead to a car wreck.
A driver who fails to maintain the vehicle could be held financially liable for the damages caused by a car accident if the failure to maintain the vehicle directly led to the cause of the crash.
Damages Caused by a Car Accident
The damages caused by a car accident depend on the circumstances of the accident. However, most accident victims are entitled to receive compensation for their:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Loss of benefits, wages, and income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities, impairments, and scarring
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
- Decreases in future earning capacity
The value of a personal injury claim depends on the severity of your injuries, financial losses, and other factors. The first step in recovering compensation is filing an insurance claim. However, Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so your first claim is with your no-fault insurance provider.
Filing an Insurance Claim for a Car Accident in Florida
Every driver in Florida is required to have PIP insurance (no-fault insurance). PIP coverage pays a portion of your medical bills and lost wages after a car accident. It does not compensate you fully for all loss of income or medical expenses. PIP insurance does not compensate you for other damages, such as pain and suffering damages.
However, if you sustain serious injuries because of a car accident, you may have a claim against the driver who caused the crash. Your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold defined by Florida statutes. If you are unsure whether your injuries meet the threshold for filing a personal injury claim, you can speak with a car accident lawyer.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney to File an Insurance Claim?
You are not required to hire a lawyer to file an insurance claim after an accident. However, you may want to talk with a lawyer to learn about your legal rights. No-fault insurance and car accident claims can be complicated.
The insurance company for the other driver may give you incorrect information to avoid paying a claim. It could undervalue your claim to avoid compensating you fully for all damages. Without a lawyer to advise you about your legal rights and options, you could receive much less for your injury claim than it is worth.
Make sure you consider all your options before accepting a settlement offer. You want to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your car accident claim.