Are there alternatives to going to court in a Florida auto accident case?
There are alternatives to going to court in a Florida auto accident case. Most cases resolve before ever going to court and before ever a lawsuit is filed. It can be resolved by a demand package to an insurance company and the case settles that way. If you do have to file a lawsuit, each case is required to be mediated, which is a court ordered meeting of the parties and there’s a discussion. It’s all confidential. Many cases resolve at that mediation and many cases resolve at the courthouse steps before a jury is picked.
Are there parties other than the at-fault driver against whom I can take legal action in a Florida auto accident case?
There are other parties potentially that you can take action against other than the at-fault driver. One instance would be the owner of the vehicle that the at-fault driver was driving. Another instance would be if the at-fault driver was in the course and scope of his employment for his employer, you may have a claim against the employer. And finally, if you are a passenger in a car, and the driver of your car was negligent in any way, you may have a claim against them and you also may have a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage, which is your own insurance company.
Can a passenger recover damages for injuries caused by the other driver in a Florida auto accident case?
A passenger in a vehicle that is hit by another car may recover damages from the driver of the other car. If it’s owned by somebody else, from the owner of the car. If the driver was working at the time, maybe his employer. You also may have a claim against your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage if you have it.
Can I sue the driver of the car I was riding in if I was injured in a Florida car accident?
You may be able to sue the driver of the car you were riding in if you’re injured, if that driver was negligent. However, there is an exception to that in Florida and under many insurance policies for what they call a resident relative. That means a relative that lives with you under the same household, but the most important thing you need to do is you need to call an attorney to find out your rights. They’ll listen to the facts and they’ll look at the insurance policy, and they can determine whether you have a claim or not.
Do I have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company in a Florida auto accident case?
If you are contacted by an insurance company and are asked to give a recorded statement, the first thing you need to do is make sure you know who you’re talking to. Is it your insurance company or is it the person who hit you’s insurance company? Get their name, get their number, ask them what insurance company they’re with, because you absolutely do not have to give a recorded statement to the person who hit you’s insurance company. I highly recommend against that. If it is your insurance company, you do have an obligation to cooperate with them and give a recorded statement. However, I would advise that you have the services of an attorney so that you understand your rights, because sometimes your insurance company will ask questions tending to minimize your injuries, because they may have to step into the shoes of the person that hit you and pay your claim as well.
Do I need an attorney for my Florida auto accident case if the insurance company seems to be cooperating?
In my experience, I would recommend that you at least talk to an attorney before making any final decisions with any insurance company. Even though they seem like they’re cooperating with you, remember, they are there for the best interest of the insurance company. They are not there to serve your best interest. So just pick up the phone, call a qualified personal injury attorney, and tell them about the facts of the case and what’s going on. They will advise you whether you need an attorney or not, and that’s a free consultation.
Do I need to contact my insurance company about my Florida car accident?
Yes you do need to contact your insurance company about your Florida car accident and report it. Failure to do so may violate the policy and may keep you from getting all the benefits under that policy. So if you have an accident, even though somebody at the scene might say we can just exchange numbers. I wouldn’t do it. I would call the insurance company and report the accident to them.
How is fault determined in a Florida auto accident case?
Fault is ultimately determined by the trier effect, a judge or a jury, but in many instances, it’s the evidence that points to who’s at fault. For instance, in Florida, if there’s a rear end collision, in most cases there’s a presumption that it’s that person’s fault. But if you call an attorney and you talk about the situation with the attorney, they can give you a good idea of whether there’s a liability issue or an issue as to who caused the accident.
How quickly should I contact an attorney in a Florida auto accident case?
You don’t need to contact an attorney every single time there’s an auto accident or a fender bender. However, if you or a loved one fear that you are injured as a result of an accident, I would advise that you contact a qualified attorney right away. That way, you can have a free consultation. You can talk about the facts of your case. The attorney will ask you questions and raise issues with you, and you can discuss it. And then, you can make an informed decision on whether you need the services of an attorney or not.
If I miss work as a result of a Florida car accident, can my lost wages be recovered?
If you’re injured in a Florida car accident and you miss work, your lost wages may be covered. You need to make sure that you document them properly, though, with your employer, and make sure that you have documentation from your doctors that you couldn’t physically work. In addition to past lost wages, you may have a claim for future loss of ability to earn income. That is if your injuries are significant enough where they’ve affected your ability to earn income in the future.
If I was hit by a commercial vehicle in a Florida car accident, is the employer of the other driver also responsible?
If you’re hit by a commercial motor vehicle and that commercial motor vehicle driver was negligent, you have a claim against that driver. You may also have a claim against his employer if he was in fact employed. If he’s an independent contractor, that may be a different story. In addition to an employer, there may be other entities that are responsible for that driver’s negligence, such as employee leasing companies, logistics companies, the people who own the goods that are in the trailer. It’s very important if you’re injured in an accident with a commercial motor vehicle, that you seek legal advice right away.
If my seatbelt was not buckled when the driver of the car I was riding in caused an accident that injured me, can I sue for damages?
Yes, you may. What happens here is an issue of comparative negligence, meaning did you cause or contribute to your own injuries by not wearing that seatbelt? That’s a medical decision. That’s a biomedical decision that can be proven by experts, but just because you were not wearing your seatbelt does not bar you from making a claim.
Should I accept a check from the at-fault driver or their insurance company after my Florida auto accident?
Whether you should accept a check from the at-fault party or their insurance company after your Florida auto accident depends upon the facts and the situations surrounding your accident. And you wouldn’t likely know what your case value is, or what your damages are, unless and until you speak with a qualified Florida auto accident attorney. So before accepting a check from a at-fault driver or their insurance company, and they’re going to want you to sign a release, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to know your rights.
Should I go to the doctor after my Florida car accident?
If you have a car accident in Florida and you are feeling any kind of pain or stiffness or numbness or bruising, yes, I would advise that you get checked out by your doctor. Also, don’t forget about your children. Small babies, infants, toddlers. They may not understand why they can’t sleep or why their neck is hurting them. So it’s a good idea to get your children checked out if they’re involved in an accident as well.
Should I negotiate with the insurance adjuster myself without the help of an attorney in order to settle my Florida auto accident case?
Whether you negotiate your claim yourself is up to you, but my advice would be to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. Tell them the facts of your case. Tell them what’s going on with the insurance company, what they’re offering, and they will be able to advise you as to your rights and your options. This would be a free call, a free consultation so that you know what your rights are and then you can make an informed decision.
Should I release my medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster after a Florida car accident?
If you’re contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster and asked to provide a medical authorization so that they can get your medical records, they’re basically going to be acting like they’re doing you a favor. They’re going to help you establish your claim. What you’re giving them is carte blanche. They can get anything and everything about you in those medical records, and chances are, they’ll be using them against you not to help you. So, I would advise not signing any authorizations for insurance companies of the at-fault party to get your medical records. Please call a personal injury attorney first, talk to them about the situation, and they can guide you, and you can determine what your options are.
Should I sign a waiver allowing the insurance company to gain access to my medical records following my Florida car accident?
If you are asked by an insurance company to sign a waiver to get your medical records, it depends upon which insurance company is asking you for it. If it’s your own insurance company, you have an obligation to cooperate with them, and you must sign the waiver. If, however, it is the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster, they may even make it like they’re helping you out by getting your records for you to help you prove your claim. They’re not in it for your best interests. They’re in it to save their employer, the insurance company, money on your claim. So I would advise against signing any medical authorization for the at-fault insurance company, and if you need any legal advice, contact an attorney so you know your options and your rights.
The car accident was the other driver’s fault. Can I just settle it myself without an attorney?
If you were in a car accident and it was the other driver’s fault, sure, you can settle it without an attorney. I wouldn’t recommend it though. There are issues that you don’t know that are out there that can affect you negatively. For instance, if you have underinsured motorist coverage and you don’t get the permission from your insurance company to settle that claim, you’ve just voided your coverage, so I wouldn’t recommend you settle with any insurance company without at least speaking to a qualified personal injury attorney.
What are PIP benefits and what does it pay for?
PIP benefits are benefits that are provided through PIP insurance. That is Personal Injury Protection insurance. That is insurance that is required in the state of Florida if you own a car. Now personal injury benefits are paid regardless of fault, whether you caused the accident and are injured or somebody else injures you, they are the primary source to pay your medical bills and your lost wages. There’s a $10,000 limit on PIP and some policies have different deductibles, but generally it will pay 80% of your medical expenses, you’re responsible for the other 20%, and it will pay 60% of your lost wages.
What documents or evidence should I bring with me the first time I meet my attorney following my Florida car accident?
The first time you go to see an attorney after your car accident, you should bring as much information, paperwork, photographs, and evidence that you have. It makes the attorney’s job so much easier to get started right away in protecting your rights and prosecuting your claim. For instance, you want to bring your driver’s license, your auto insurance information, your health insurance information. If you had any medical treatment, bring any paperwork pertaining to that. If you have any photographs or physical evidence that was damaged, bring them. If you need a cord for your phone to transfer them, bring that. So, the answer is: bring everything you have and that way your attorney can get started working on your case aggressively, right away.
What happens if the other driver involved in the accident is not insured or has minimal coverage?
If you’re in an auto accident, and you’re injured by somebody who doesn’t have insurance, or has minimal insurance, you could be out of luck. However, if you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, this is where that insurance steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver, and you have additional coverage to go after.
What if I was the victim of a hit-and-run in Florida?
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Florida, there are a few things that you need to do right away, even before calling the police. The first one is try to get a description of the car, the make, the model, the tag. The second thing is if you can get an eye-view of the driver, you need to be able to identify that driver as well. The third thing is to scan for witnesses. After that, you need to immediately call the police to report it. Do not move your car. Call the police and report the accident, and then report it to your insurance company.
What information should I obtain after my Florida car accident?
After your Florida car accident, you should obtain the name and the contact number of the person that hit you, and any witnesses to the accident scene. You should also get from the police officer either the accident report or his case file number, and bring all that information to an attorney and that way they can get started on the prosecution of your case.
What is collision coverage?
Collision coverage is insurance coverage that you would buy yourself from your insurance company, and that would cover any damages due to your car being injured in a collision. And that protects you in cases where the other party that hit you doesn’t have insurance, or where you hit something and it’s your own fault, and it would pay for that coverage.
What is comprehensive coverage?
Comprehensive coverage is insurance coverage you would buy from your own insurance company and that would cover any damage to your car that was caused by something other than a collision. For instance, if a tree falls on your car or if there’s a hurricane and there’s flooding and your car is flooded out. That is comprehensive coverage and that’s when your damages would be paid on those claims.
What is liability insurance?
Liability insurance is insurance you buy from an insurance company that protects you if you cause or damage to somebody else. For instance, if you have a car accident and you injured somebody, your liability insurance will come into play. If you have a home and you have a leaky faucet that you knew about and it put water on the floor and somebody slipped and fell, your homeowner’s liability insurance would cover that.
What is negligence?
Negligence is a legal concept and negligence is the failure to use due care. In Florida, if a person is injured due to the negligence of another, they have a right to bring a civil suit against the person that injured them, so negligence is a legal concept, and it’s used in the civil arena.
What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance is actually insurance that is required by the state of Florida for you to carry on your car. No-fault insurance is also known as personal injury protection insurance. This provides $10,000 in coverage to you or any occupant in your car who doesn’t have their own PIP insurance. It’s there regardless of whose fault it was that you’re injured.
What is the first thing I should do after a Florida car accident?
The first thing that you should do after a Florida car accident is to make sure that you and your passengers are okay. Once that is done, you need to obtain information from the other person involved in the crash and get any witness names and contact information numbers. Also, your cell phone is a wonderful thing. You can take pictures of the location of the cars before you move them, the location of any broken glass, where it lies in the road. After that is done and you’ve gotten your medical treatment and you are now able to look at the big picture, you need to call an attorney so that you can discuss the facts of your particular case and they can assist you on what to do next.
What is the purpose of obtaining uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage?
You would obtain uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to protect you, your family, and the occupants of your car should it be hit by a person that does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover you or any of your occupants or family’s damages. Fortunately, it’s available in this state and unfortunately it’s not a mandatory requirement to have it, so you need specifically purchase this type of insurance to protect you from the 30% of drivers out there who don’t have insurance coverage.
What is the statute of limitations to bring a Florida auto accident case?
The statute of limitations, or the time within which you have to bring a claim, is different depending upon the facts of your case. If someone was unfortunately killed in an auto accident, the time within to bring that case is two years. In personal injury cases where the person is alive but injured, generally the statute of limitations is four years. However, there’s other instances, like if there was a municipality or a government vehicle involved, that can be three years. But again, there are certain notice requirements and time limitations and other factors that can arise. And what’s most important, is you should seek legal advice right away so you can know your rights and protect your rights.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a check right away?
If an insurance company offers you a check right away, I would suggest that you call an attorney to give them an idea of the facts and circumstances surrounding your crash. It may be that there’s minimal insurance and they’re tendering the policy to you. However, there may be ramifications, such as if you have your own insurance, your uninsured motorists’ coverage insurance, you have to get their permission before you can accept a settlement from another at-fault driver. There’s different considerations that need to be made. I would recommend that you call an attorney and get legal advice before accepting a check or signing any release.
What should I look for in hiring an attorney to represent me in my Florida auto accident case?
When looking for an attorney to represent you in your Florida auto accident case, you want to make sure you have a good rapport with that attorney and their office. You really need to meet that attorney face to face so you can look them in the eye and you can hear what they have to say and how they act because an attorney who wants to take the time to get to know you and your story is going to be more passionate in presenting your case to a jury or an insurance company.
Who pays for my injuries if I am injured in a Florida car accident?
First and foremost, if you are injured in a Florida car accident, your PIP, your personal injury protection insurance is primary. After that, if you have health insurance, that would be secondary. If you don’t have health insurance, you may incur medical expenses that won’t be paid unless and until you make a recovery from the at-fault driver.
Will I get reimbursed for my co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses as a result of my Florida car accident?
That depends. In Florida it is mandatory that everybody have Personal Injury Protection insurance. They call it PIP insurance. And that is for $10,000 of medical expenses. However, there is a deductible and 20% that you’re required to pay. So, the short answer is at first, you have up to $10,000 of benefits that will be paid. And if you have a claim, you will be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket or your copays from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Or in some instances, your insurance company if you have uninsured or underinsured motor’s coverage.