After being seriously injured due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another, many find themselves dealing with crippling financial expenditures from medical bills and lost wages in addition to their physical injuries. If you have experienced a physical or psychological injury due to the negligence or wrongdoing of an individual, company, government agency, or other entity, you may be entitled to compensation, as well as damages for pain and suffering. Whether your injury is the result of an automobile accident, work accident, slip and fall, medical mistake, defective product, or other accident, we will zealously fight to obtain the compensation that you need and deserve.
Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and are committed to involving you in the legal process every step of the way. When it comes to righting these wrongs for accident victims, we are committed to fighting aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.
Florida drivers are required to carry the following minimum insurance:
Unlike most other U.S. states, Florida does not require drivers to have bodily injury liability (BI) benefits. BI pays for death or serious and permanent injury to others when you are legally liable for those damages. If an insured is sued, the insurer will provide legal representation. As previously stated, all auto insurance policies must be purchased from insurers licensed to do business in Florida. Driving without insurance in Florida is illegal, and a driver may have his or her license suspended if caught driving without at least the minimum required insurance.
For more information on Auto Insurance Requirements In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
Per Florida Statute 395.002(8), an EMC is a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
For more information on Emergency Medical Condition, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
In the state of Florida, if you own a vehicle with at least four wheels and are registering it, you must have Florida insurance. Any person who has a vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days during a 365-day period must purchase personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage. Since it is required, if you’re a driver in Florida, it would be prudent to understand a few key elements of Florida’s auto insurance laws.
Florida is a “No-Fault” Car Insurance State
Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state, as it relates to the payment of auto insurance claims after a car accident. In a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry auto insurance that pays personal injury protection, or PIP, benefits. PIP benefits in the policy pay for any medical expenses and certain non-medical-related costs when the policyholder suffers an accident. Non-medical-related costs could include lost wages or the costs of hiring someone to do household chores. These are known as “replacement benefits”.
Florida requires that all drivers carry minimum PIP benefits in their policies. Procedurally, when a crash occurs, each person involved in the crash turns to his or her own policy to pay the costs of medical care and other losses associated with the accident. These PIP benefits kick in regardless of who was at fault in the accident. By contrast, in an “at-fault” insurance state (also known as a “fault” or “tort liability” state), drivers have the choice to file claims with their own insurers, file claims with another driver’s insurer, or take the other driver to court to prove he or she was the one at fault.
Florida drivers can only step outside of the state’s no-fault system — and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver directly — if the injuries resulting from the accident are considered “permanent.” This includes but is not limited to significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
For more information on Florida Auto-Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
It is possible that if you’re injured in an accident a letter of protection (LOP) could be vital to your case. The LOP is a tool that allows the injured person to get the medical care they need during the time period it takes for the personal injury lawyer to get the case resolved. When a client is represented by an attorney, the attorney may issue an LOP to a doctor or medical provider, asking the doctor to hold their bill for collection, and promising to pay the doctor out of the proceeds of a personal injury case.
A letter of protection is a contract that places a lien on your injury settlement that requires that the medical provider be paid from any settlement the attorney achieves on your behalf. An LOP is typically obtained through a process in which the medical provider contacts the lawyer requesting a letter of protection. The LOP must be sent by an attorney. It is likely that if you don’t have an attorney, the medical provider will not accept a letter of protection from you personally, because there is no new contract created. You already owe for the bill, so a letter of protection from the patient is meaningless. Whether a billing agent will accept a letter of protection from your lawyer, is at the discretion of the medical provider. Some providers such as hospitals, and doctors performing surgery, may not accept a letter of protection.
It is important to note that the LOP does not make the lawyer responsible for the bill, it remains a contract between the patient and the doctor. Furthermore, the letter of protection is not a guarantee that the doctor will be paid. Instead, it is a guarantee that the medical provider will be paid in the event that there is a settlement or verdict. If there is no settlement or verdict, the attorney is not responsible to the provider for your medical bills. Unfortunately, you are solely responsible for the medical and other treatment expenses if there is no settlement or verdict. Because of this, it is important that you choose your attorney wisely.
Why Do I Need A Letter Of Protection From An Attorney?
A common situation in which letters of protection are necessary includes automobile accidents in which the medical bills exceed the $10,000.00 in PIP benefits, and for which there is no health insurance or other source of payment. Additionally, in motorcycle accidents or premises liability cases, where there is no personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, the injured client would have little chance to receive care for his or her injuries without a letter of protection.
Another common situation arises because PIP auto insurance in Florida only pays 80% of accident related medical bills, leaving 20% of your medical bills outstanding. Without a letter of protection your medical provider may require upfront payments or refuse to provide treatment without assurance that he will be paid. For many injured persons, a letter of protection may mean the difference between getting treatment for their injuries or not getting treatment.
Under a letter of protection, no money changes hands, no interest is charged, and the medical bills are not paid until the case is settled. Once the case is settled, the lawyer is obligated to honor the letter of protection and pay the medical providers in accordance with the agreed upon letter of protection.
For more information on Florida Auto-Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
Florida is one of ten states that have personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance. Also known as no fault insurance, the intention was to provide injured drivers up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage in lieu of establishing fault through the court system. The $10,000 is designed to cover your own injuries and lost wages resulting from auto accidents, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Requirements Under the PIP Law:
Limits and Exclusions of PIP:
PIP has limits ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. If your losses exceed the limits of your policy or involve non-economic damages, you will have to look outside of your PIP coverage for full and fair compensation. Non-economic damages include:
For more information on Personal Injury Protection, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
Stacked Uninsured Motorist Insurance is the best type of UM insurance to protect yourself and your family in the event of an automobile accident. Stacked UM Insurance allows you to “stack” the amount of coverage carried on several vehicles. For example, if you carry Stacked UM Insurance on three cars with coverage of $100,000 per car, you can stack the coverage available under the three policies, allowing you to receive up to $300,000. The amount of UM coverage that you wish to keep on each vehicle is your decision. If $300,000 seems excessive, you may opt for less coverage. The only requirement is that each vehicle carries the same amount of coverage. Just remember that it is better to have too much coverage than not enough coverage, and $10,000 is far too often not enough.
Stacked UM Insurance is also the better choice for motorists with only one car because the coverage “follows” the motorist. In other words, you are covered if you are a passenger or are driving someone else’s car, or if you are injured by a vehicle while riding a bicycle or walking. By contrast, Non-Stacked UM Insurance only allows you to recover under your policy if you are involved in an automobile accident while in your insured vehicle.
For more information on Stacked Uninsured Motorist Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 727-827-7777 today.
If you are injured in an automobile accident in Florida, the chances are about one in five that the driver at fault is uninsured. Florida has one of the highest uninsured driver populations in the nation, with 19% of its drivers without liability coverage. Although Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is mandatory and carries a $10,000 limit in Florida, this is often less than a single trip to the Emergency Room. And if the at-fault driver does not carry Bodily Injury Insurance, you could be left without any recovery for your losses. Motorists are not required to carry Bodily Injury Insurance under Florida law and about half of the cars on the road don’t carry Bodily Injury Insurance. Furthermore, while health insurance and disability insurance may cover your medical bills and lost wages, they will not cover any of your non-economic damages. This is why Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance is so important.
UM Insurance will pay for your damages if you are involved in an automobile accident with an at fault driver who either doesn’t have Bodily Injury Insurance at all (uninsured motorist), or who does not have enough Bodily Injury Insurance (underinsured motorist) to cover your losses. UM Insurance usually covers the following expenses: medical expenses and lost-wages not fully paid by PIP, future medical expenses and future wage losses, and non-economic damages such as disability, pain and suffering, and the loss of ability to enjoy life.
UM Requirements in Florida
Florida law requires that UM Insurance be offered and either accepted or properly rejected by a “named insured” when an insurance policy which provides liability coverage is issued or delivered. Properly rejected means that the insured is required to sign a form stating that they do not wish to purchase UM Insurance. If the insurer fails to have the insured properly rejected UM Insurance, then UM coverage is provided by the contract as through the required coverage had been offered and accepted by the named insured as a matter of law.
Generally speaking, insurance agents usually don’t explain the Uninsured Motorists Insurance very well, and may instead tell you that you are getting “Full Coverage.” Don’t let this fool you! Full coverage means that they are only selling you the Minimum Insurance that Florida law requires.
For more information on Uninsured Motorist Insurance In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
The most common question I am asked by friends and family is “What should I do following a car accident?” Such a time can be highly stressful, emotional, and scary. It is important to keep calm and remember that the steps you take directly following your accident can affect your potential insurance claim.
Get To A Safe Location
If at all possible, you want to get to a safe location by pulling your car off of the roadway. If not, you should turn your emergency flashing lights on. If you get out of your vehicle, be mindful of the traffic. Remember to stay at the scene of the accident until it is appropriate to leave.
Check On All Parties Involved
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it. If a person is unconscious or has neck or back pain, don’t move them until qualified medical help arrives.
Call The Police
If there’s significant property damage, physical injury, or death, you need to call the police. You need to have a trained police investigator assess the situation. Filing a police report with your account of what happened in the accident is vital in determining who will be held responsible for the crash. Furthermore, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash. If the police can’t make it to the scene which is may occur if there are no injuries, you can file an accident report through the DMV.
Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
In talking to all of the involved parties try to be cordial and cooperative. However, you SHOULD NOT apologize for anything at the scene. For example, if you say, “I’m so sorry I ran that red light! Is everyone okay?” you may be admitting legal liability for what happened. Try not to admit guilt unintentionally or unnecessarily.
Seek Medical Attention
This may be the most important step. See a doctor immediately. Although you may feel fine now or think your injuries aren’t very serious, symptoms such as the following can appear days after the accident:
Hidden injuries such as whiplash, TMJ, and traumatic brain injury can be devastating. Getting medical attention quickly isn’t just the best thing for your health; it also strengthens your personal injury claim. If you wait several days or weeks after the accident to seek medical attention, it will be harder to prove that your injuries were the result of the car crash.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Promptly alert your insurance company of the accident. Tell them the truth and the full extent of your injuries. Explain the facts clearly. If the insurance company finds out that you’ve lied to them about anything, you can get into serious trouble, including possible denial of coverage for the accident. Obtain and review any police report filed. You may be inclined to admit fault to your car insurance agent, however, doing so can seriously jeopardize your claim. Even if you believe you might have been fully or partially at fault, don’t say to the other party, your passengers, witnesses, or your car insurance company that you were to blame. Instead, provide an honest report of what happened and let the insurance companies determine the details.
Track Your Medical Treatment
Keep a detailed account of the treatments or medications you receive, including any contact information from any doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals that you receive treatment from, and each medical provider that referred you to other caregivers. Also, request copies of all medical reports and bills as these help you prove your medical expenses later. It would also be prudent to document how your injuries have impacted your daily life and routine, such as how many days of work you have missed or leisure activities you cannot longer participate in.
It is important to document the scene with as much detail as possible. Take photographs of any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident. Photos will also help your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be compensated for the damage to your car. Photos can also help your legal claim in court, should it get to that point. Pictures of your car before the accident can offer a great “compare and contrast” to show the true extent of the damage sustained in the accident.
Get A Damage Valuation
It is likely that your insurance company will employ an adjuster to evaluate the damage associated with the accident. If there is a report, request it from your insurance company. It may also prove useful to get one or more independent valuations of the damage.
Call An Experienced Attorney
This could be paramount. Call an experienced personal injury attorney to advise you in protecting your rights. Elysium Law is experienced in these matters and will always advise you of these and other steps you should take after an accident.
Other Things To Consider
We have touched on this in other headings, but what you say can be used against you. Avoid admitting fault and as best you can, do not talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police. If called by the other insurance company, be polite, but ask them to call your attorney or insurer to arrange an interview. Also, tell your lawyer or insurer about the call. Also be leery of early settlements. Confirm all your physical injuries have been treated as some injuries don’t show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks, or months later. Don’t settle a claim until you know you’ll be compensated for all your injuries, and consult an attorney before signing any settlement documents.
For more information on Things To Do After An Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.
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