a. What is an auto accident?
The question seems obvious and to a certain extent it is. An auto accident typically happens when two or more cars impact each other causing some type of vehicle damage and personal injury. Generally, one driver is at fault and liable for the other’s injury. If the car being driven by the at fault driver is not the owner, than the actual car owner is also liable for the accident. Hopefully, the at-fault driver and the car owner have bodily insurance to pay for the damages caused to the injured.
b. Generally, what are the auto accident laws in Florida?
lorida automobile law is best known for being a No-Fault state. This means that no matter who is at fault in the auto accident, your own insurance will cover for payment of medical bills, loss wages and property damage. However, the at-fault driver can still be sued for outstanding medical bills, wage loss, pain & suffering and future medical care.
c. What type of auto insurance coverages generally apply when you’re in an auto accident?
- Bodily Injury Insurance: Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crash involving your automobile. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. In particular, your company pays for injuries caused by you or members of your family who live with you, even if they were driving someone else’s vehicle. It may also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission. This coverage also provides you with legal defense in the event you are sued by the injured party.
- Personal Injury Protection: Also called Florida No Fault Insurance, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance covers you – regardless of fault (i.e. whether or not you cause the crash) – up to the limits of your policy. Your PIP will also cover your child, members of your household, certain passengers who lack PIP Insurance as long as they do not own a vehicle. People riding in your vehicle who carry PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries, and certain licensed drivers who drive your vehicle with your permission. PIP also covers your child if he or she suffers an injury while riding on a school bus. PIP coverage protects you while in someone else’s vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If you get hit by a driver and they have no insurance or are under insured, you can make a claim against your own insurance, if, and only if, you have Uninsured insurance coverage. This coverage will cover for medical expenses, wage loss, property damage and compensatory damages (pain and suffering, future medical care etc.).
d. How long does an injured victim of an auto accident have to file suit against the at fault driver?
You have 4 years from the date of accident to file suit. This is called the statute of limitations.
e. What should I do after I get injured in an auto accident?
Call us immediately at 813-254-1777 for a free consultation and to hire us without any upfront costs. We highly advise to not go about this process alone. If you make the wrong decision or do not make a decision at all, it could affect your case negatively.
f. What is the process of an auto accident case?
- The most important action to take after an accident is to seek and obtain medical attention. You should either go to the closet Emergency Room or Urgent Care walk-in clinic depending on how you feel.
- After you get emergency medical care, you must immediately seek medical attention from either a Medical Doctor, Chiropractor, Nurse Practitioner or Physical Therapist or combination. These medical professionals will assist you in providing the medical care you need in order to heal your injuries these best way possible.
- Insurance claims need to be setup with your insurance and the at-fault driver’s insurance company to determine what coverage’s exist.
- Your damaged vehicle should be taken to an auto body repair shop to determine the cost for repair.
- If possible, getting a car rental while your car is being fixed is imperative.
- If you missed work and lost wages, you can make a wage claim for the wage loss.
- Everybody heals differently and at different times. What medical care you receive and for how long depends on what you and your medical providers discuss. This could take between 90 days up to 12 months, however nothing is set in stone.
- Eventually you will complete your medical care and that’s when it’s time to make a settlement demand against the at-fault driver.
- If the insurance company does not settle the claim, the only other option is to file suit.
g. Who will pay for my vehicle repair?
Either your own insurance or the at fault parties insurance will pay for the car repair. If you have a deductible, you can get the fault driver’s insurance to pay for the deductible.
h. Can I get a rental?
It depends if your insurance has coverage or the at fault driver’s insurance has coverage for car rental.
i. Where should I receive medical treatment?
This completely depends on you. However, you should always ask the Medical Doctor, Chiropractor, Nurse Practitioner or Physical Therapist if they accept auto insurance to pay for your medical expenses. Generally try to find a medical professional who is near your work or house and that they are reputable and know how to treat patients involved in auto accidents.
j. How long should I receive medical treatment?
It all depends on what your medical professional recommend. Everyone heals differently so be patient and listen to your body.
k. Who pays for my medical bills?
Initially your auto insurance PIP coverage will pay, followed by the at fault parties Bodily Injury insurance. You can also use your health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid but they will have to be reimbursed in case of a settlement.
l. What should I not do after I am injured?
Doing nothing is the worst possible thing to do. Not getting medical treatment despite having pain is also a bad thing to do. Take action but don’t do anything when you have been a victim.
m. How do you pay the attorney for representation?
You don’t pay unless we obtain a recovery for your injuries. If we do not obtain a monetary recovery than we do not get paid. This is called a contingency retainer. Call us for more information.
a. What is a truck accident?
Generally the same explanations from the Auto Accident section above apply but the big difference is in the way you handle the case. An accident with a truck or a commercial vehicle can be devastating and therefore greater care and experience in handling the claim is critical. The insurance policy coverage is usually $1MM. Therefore the insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will fight tooth and nail.
b. What is unique about handling a case against a trucking company?
Trucking companies are heavily regulated by state and federal laws. Understanding compliance issues can be the tipping point of winning or losing a case. Was the truck to heavy? Did the truck driver drive more hours than required? Were stop lights broken? These are all very important questions to ask and more.
a. What is a motorcycle accident?
Generally the same explanations from the Auto Accident section above apply but the big difference is in the way you handle the case. Emergency Room doctors say that the worst patients they see are those involving motorcycle crashes. It is critical to know how to manage serious or catastrophic bodily injury.
Assault & Battery (Sexual Assault | Rape)
a. What is an Assault & Battery?
This is when someone physically hits you with their person or object causing injury. This could happen at bar, in public or at your house. As long as you did not initiate or threaten to injury first, you could file suit against the person who hit you. Since this is considered an intentional tort, you may be able to seek punitive damages. This could also include rape and sexual assault.
b. Is there insurance coverage for this type of injury?
Generally there is no type of insurance coverage that will compensate you for the harm caused by the other person. Therefore the person who caused the injury will have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused against you. You may be able to use your own health insurance to pay for your medical bills.
Bike & Pedestrian Accidents
a. What is Bike and Pedestrian Accident?
If you are walking or on your bike and get hit by a car and its not your fault, you will be able to make a claim against the at fault driver’s auto insurance. If you happen to have insurance than you can also make a claim against your auto insurance for payment of medical bills, loss wages and property damage.
b. If I don’t have auto insurance, who will pay my medical bills?
This can be paid through the at fault driver’s PIP insurance.
Drunk Driving Accidents
a. What is a Drunk Driving Accident?
If the at fault driver was drunk while causing the accident, you will be able to add punitive damages to your claims to financially punish them for their recklessness
Slip & Falls
a. What is a Slip & Fall Accident?
It is when you are minding your business while your shopping and all the sudden you slip and fall because there is liquid on the floor which you couldn’t see and suffer injury. In this case the negligent party will be the owner of the business and maybe the owner of the property depending on the circumstance. This type of accident can also be known as Premises Liability. A claim can be filed against the commercial liability policy of the business.
a. What is a Wrongful Death?
Unfortunately, someone else’s negligence may cause the person to pass away. What happens next is a very complicated legal process to obtain financial recovery for the estate of the person who died, their heirs and dependants. A probate will have to be setup in order to seek compensation for the deceased and the heirs/dependants may also have the chance to sue the at fault party. These cases can be long, expensive and complicated. We recommend you call us to fully evaluate the claim, explain the detailed process and to represent you and your family members.
a. What is a Medical Malpractice?
Generally this is when a medical doctor, nurse, dentist or medical professional deviates from the standard of care which results in an injury to the patient. Florida Medical Malpractice laws are complex and are pro medical professional. In order to file suit, you have to follow very specific statutory steps such as obtaining a medical affidavit stating that after review of the record, the doctor committed medical malpractice. We are pro doctors and the laws should protect medical professionals. However, we are against the few bad apples who put profit over patient.
b. What is the Statute of Limitations?
You have 2 years from the date of malpractice or when you discovered the malpractice to file suit against the doctor, dentist or nurse.