If there are questions that we have not covered here or elsewhere on our site, call us today at (407) 423-1313 or contact us online. One of our attorneys will respond to your questions as soon as possible.
General Case FAQs
Will my medical bills be paid for?
In general, if your injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else, that person is responsible for the reasonable and necessary medical bills you incur due to your injuries. You may also be entitled to be compensated for medical care that you may receive in the future. Of course, each case is different. So, if you have any questions about the medical bills you have incurred in a case, please contact our personal injury attorneys to discuss your case at no charge bu calling us or filling out our Web form.
What if the other person’s insurance company contacts me for a recorded statement?
We always recommend that you do not give a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company without having the advice of an attorney. Please understand – and this is very important – there is no requirement under the law that you give the other insurance company a recorded statement. The insurance company is looking for ways to trip you up, confuse you and otherwise protect its own interests. It is worried about itself, not you.
Be careful if you do speak with them, though. We are all familiar with the now common recording when we call a business that says “This call may be recorded for quality control” or something similar. Thus, this means you are being recorded even if it’s not a formal recorded statement! So avoid any problems and do not give a statement until you have spoken with an attorney to advise you on your rights.
Our personal injury attorneys are available to discuss any accident, injury or death claim with you before you speak with the other person’s insurance company. Feel free to call us or fill out our Web Form for a free consultation.
How soon after my accident should I hire an attorney or file a lawsuit?
Once again, this question will depend on the specific facts of a case. We recommend that you contact our personal injury attorneys us as soon after an accident as possible. Of course, your health is always going to be your most important concern and you must take care of your injuries. But understand that an insurance company will not be waiting to begin its investigation. They will leap into action as soon as they learn of the accident. So once you are able to contact an attorney, we suggest you do so to protect your rights.
Do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer in my city or town?
No, it is not necessary to hire a personal injury attorney in your home city or town. If you are visiting Orlando and are injured in an accident here or at one of the theme parks, an Orlando personal injury attorney may best for your case.
We handle personal injury, negligence, accident and wrongful death claims across the state of Florida. So even if you are not from Florida but have been injured in while in our state, we would be honored to discuss your case with you. Please call our toll free number or fill out the Web Form for a free consultation with no obligation.
Do I have any say in whether my case settles or if a lawsuit is filed?
The answer to this is a resounding yes! Some firms will send a demand package to the insurance company and after getting a response, call the client and say I have settled your case.
We will never have this happen. In the pre-suit stage, you will be advised of each and every offer that the insurance company makes during the negotiations. Each response to the insurance company will be discussed with you at which time a recommendation will be made to you. This also applies to any settlement negotiations that take place while a case is in suit. Your case will never be settled at any time without your prior approval.
Will you try to settle my claim before we sue anyone?
Generally, yes, but we will not try to settle you claim until you have reached what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement, or what is commonly known in the industry as MMI. MMI is the stage in your treatment where the doctors are confident they have a good handle on the nature and extent of your injuries. More than likely you have completed most of the recommended treatment for your injuries.
When you reach MMI, we will put together what is called a Demand Package and mail it to the insurance company. A demand is the term used to describe the beginning of settlement negotiations in your case. The package generally contains a letter outlining the case and includes all the records we deem pertinent to the case, such as the medical records, bills, photographs, etc.
We wait for you reach MMI before sending the demand. If a demand package is sent and the case settled before you reach MMI, the settlement may not include some important treatment that you may eventually need, such as surgery. For example, if you case settles and then after the settlement your doctor recommends surgery (which you end of having), the settlement cannot be reopened to include the surgery.
Upon receiving the demand package, the insurance company will usually be given a period of 20 to 30 days to review it and to respond with an offer to settle. The insurance company will respond to the demand with an offer and then negotiations begin to try to settle the case.
Our goal is to try to settle your case for a fair and reasonable amount without the need for the filing of a lawsuit. A lawsuit can take a long time, be very stressful and is a very invasive process. If it goes to a jury, the case is put in the hands of six people who really do not what to be there. However, if the insurance company fails to make what we and you agree is a fair and reasonable settlement offer, then a lawsuit can be filed.
What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?
This question seems simple but in truth can require a very complex answer. Generally two stages to a personal injury case: they are what lawyers call the pre-suit stage and the litigation stage.
- The pre-suit stage is everything from the day of the accident itself up until the time an actual lawsuit is filed in the courthouse. During the pre-suit stage of a case, you will be treating for your injuries and we will be gathering the documentation and evidence needed to support your case.
- The litigation stage is everything that happens after a lawsuit is filed up until the case is settled either before or after a jury trial. During this stage the insurance company will hire an attorney to represent the person who caused the accident. A process known as discovery will take place. Discovery is just as it sounds. Each side will try to discover as much about the other side as possible through the use of requests for documents and information and by taking depositions of the parties, witnesses and medical providers. Near the end of the litigation stage there may be a mediation, or formal settlement conference and of course there may be a trial.
What kind of settlement will I get?
While it might be smart marketing to tell you how much your claim might be worth, in reality, each case is different and the value of your claim will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim. You should be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages. You also might be entitled to recover something for the pain and suffering the accident has caused you. If your injuries are serious enough, they may affect you for the rest of your life, and so you should be able to recover for your future medical bills and inability to earn money in the future. Allow our Orlando personal injury attorneys to help you evaluate your personal injury case free of charge.
Do I have a case?
Each case has an identity of its own with different facts and circumstances. The best way for us to determine if you have a case is for us discuss your case with you as soon as possible. So, please call us or fill out our Web form for your free evaluation and consultation.
Do you charge for a consultation?
There is never any charge to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. Your first meeting with the attorney will always be free of any charges whether or not you retain us to be your attorneys.
What sets your law firm apart from the big commercialized law firms?
When you hire a law firm to represent you in your claim, in addition to aggressive legal representation, you should also expect personal service. Your attorney should be accessible to answer questions and to discuss the various stages of your case. At our law firm, personal service is not just a goal, but a requirement. When you have been injured in an accident, you have questions that need to be answered and concerns that need to be addressed. Do you want those concerns to be answered by an investigator, paralegal or case worker? Or do you want your questions and concerns to be addressed by an attorney? Of course you want to speak with an attorney. An attorney can answer your legal questions, explain the process of how a case works, help evaluate your case and to give you advice on what to do after the conference. Many firms, when you call them for the first time, will set up your initial meeting with an investigator. If you call us, all your questions and concerns will be addressed by an attorney. In the big commercialized firm, you can get lost in the administrative jungle, have your case assigned to a case worker or paralegal and rarely, if ever, speak with, let alone meet, an attorney. That is not the type of attorney client relationship we believe in here. Each and every step of your case will be with an attorney at your side.
Automobile Insurance FAQs
Is uninsured motorist coverage really necessary?
Uninsured motorist coverage is, by far, the most valuable automobile insurance coverage you can buy. Even if you have health insurance, health insurance won’t pay for lost wages, past or future, nor will it pay for pain and suffering, disability or for the loss of enjoyment of life your injuries have caused you. Do not wait until you or a loved one has an accident and you find out the person causing the accident is not properly insured. Protect yourself and your family now, before it is too late. Uninsured Motorist Coverage cannot be added after you have had an accident. It must be in place before the accident.
So, if you have been in an accident, we can help you sort through the complex area of Florida automobile insurance to help determine what your rights are. Contact us or call our toll free number at (407) 423-1313 for a free consultation and evaluation.
So how do I adequately protect myself and my family?
There is one type of insurance coverage that will help to make sure you are properly protected in all circumstances. This insurance is called Uninsured Motorist coverage (it is commonly called just “UM”). Uninsured Motorist coverage is designed with one goal in mind….to protect you in all these situations. The name adequately describes what it does. It provides insurance coverage for your injury damages when the driver that causes an accident has little or no liability insurance.
So, when a driver who has no liability insurance causes an accident and injures you, you will be protected because you have Uninsured Motorist coverage. In essence, Uninsured Motorist Coverage fills in for the insurance coverage the negligent driver does not have.
Will full coverage completely protect me and my family?
Generally, the answer is no. If you are injured in an accident, you may be entitled to collect damages from the person who caused the accident, including unpaid and future medical bills, and lost and future wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In order to collect these damages, the person causing the accident must have Bodily Injury (BI) liability insurance. But what happens if the person that caused the accident only has PIP and Property Damage liability coverage, the minimum insurance required by law? In that case, there won’t be any liability insurance available to pay for your injury damages. They can pay to get your car fixed, but not pay for your injuries.
Unfortunately, there are many drivers in Florida that purchase the minimum insurance so that can get a registration and be legally driving on the road. In fact, you would be surprised at the number of drivers that are on the road with absolutely no insurance coverage at all. If you assume or take for granted that a person who causes an accident will have adequate insurance to pay your injury damages, you may be in for a rude an unpleasant surprise. And worse yet, it may come too late for you do anything about it.
What does liability coverage mean?
Liability coverage is a type of insurance that protects the person who is “liable” or, in other words, responsible for causing the accident. For example, if you have the Property Damage Liability coverage mentioned above, you are protected if you cause damage someone’s car in an accident. Your insurance will pay to have the car you damaged fixed. The same type of insurance is available if you want protection in case you injure someone in an accident you cause. That coverage would be called Bodily Injury Liability coverage. Again, since it is “liability coverage” protects, it protects you if you are the cause of an accident.
So this is full coverage?
Yes, full coverage, that is the insurance required to satisfy Florida law, only consists of PIP and Property Damage Liability coverage. While a policy with only PIP and PD is the minimum or smallest coverage you can buy in Florida to satisfy the law, this is considered to be “full coverage” under Florida law.
Why is property damage (PD) liability required?
Property damage liability coverage protects you if you cause an accident and damage someone else’s car or other property. This coverage only protects you from a claim made against you for property damage. It does not provide coverage for you to repair your car if it is damaged. You need Collision Coverage in that instance.
Property Damage liability coverage is the other coverage that is required by Florida law when you own a vehicle in the state of Florida. Just like PIP, you cannot buy a Florida automobile insurance policy without Property Damage liability coverage.
Who pays the rest of the medical bills and lost wages?
If you were not at fault for the accident, then you can recover any outstanding medical bills and unpaid lost wages look from the person that caused the accident. So in this instance, fault does matter when dealing with the bills and wages that remain unpaid after the PIP have paid its portion.
What will my PIP coverage pay for?
Under Florida’s No-Fault law, the PIP coverage will pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. Again it does not matter who is at fault for the accident. The law provides a cap and limits the total amount that PIP can pay to $10,000.00. This includes payments for both medical bills and/or wages is $10,000.00.
Why should my PIP pay my bills if I was not at fault?
Some people ask, why should my insurance company have to pay my medical bills if I didn’t cause the accident? That is a good question. In states where No-Fault is not required, an injured person must look to the driver that caused the accident to pay his medical bills. However, what if you were at fault and caused your own injuries? How do you pay for your medical bills if you did not have health insurance? Or, what if neither driver admits that they were at fault or the police can not determine who is at fault for causing the accident? Then no one has any of there medical bills paid until the question of who is at fault is settled. This could take a long time and may even require a trial to determine who is at fault.
The Florida legislature said we are not going to make people determine who is at fault before they can get medical treatment. The No-Fault system provides everyone who is in an accident with insurance coverage to pay a portion of their bills and lost wages. This is not a perfect system but it is the law in Florida. And you should have attorneys who understand these laws.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage?
Don’t ALL automobile policies have the same coverages?
A policy of automobile insurance will contain many different parts called “coverages”. Some coverages are required by law and some are optional coverages. Some contain deductibles and some do not. The number of different coverages you can have under your policy is determined by how much you want to pay for that coverage. Here is a list of some of the possible coverages you can have under a Florida Automobile Insurance policy:
- Liability Coverage
- Collision & Comprehensive Coverage
- Towing and Rental Coverage
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- No-Fault or PIP Coverage
- Medical Payments Coverage
Some of these coverages are discussed below.
Do I have “Full Coverage” and is it enough?
Automobile insurance law in Florida is confusing. Many people believe that when they purchase “full coverage” they are fully protected from all consequences of an accident. Those people may be wrong. In Florida, “full coverage” only means you have the basic coverage required by Florida law, namely Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and Property Damage (PD) liability coverage.