Car Accident FAQs
At the Disability Law Firm, we understand that the aftermath of a car accident can be a confusing time for injured people. That’s why we’ve created this helpful resource of some of the most frequently asked questions. We hope you find it informative, and we encourage you to contact us for individual answers to your specific questions.
Our Florida car accident lawyers are committed to helping accident victims seek the financial compensation they’re owed. That’s why we treat every client with the respect, honor, and dignity they deserve and why we provide personalized service. We also believe that justice shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy, which is why we offer free initial consultations and work without any upfront costs to you. You won’t pay us until you’ve been compensated first.
Contact us today online or by phone to discuss your situation with a compassionate Florida car accident lawyer.
What do I do if I’ve been involved in a Florida car accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car crash in Florida, it’s essential to take the following steps:
- See a doctor, even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious at first.
- Follow all recommended medical treatments.
- Keep a file of all pertinent documents regarding your case, from any police reports to your dealings with the insurance company.
- Document the financial burden the accident has placed on you by keeping all medical bills, pay stubs, and repair estimates.
- Stay off social media so that insurance adjusters and opposing attorneys can’t use your posts to argue against you.
I can’t afford a lawyer. Now what?
While you may believe that you can’t afford experienced legal representation, this is likely not the case. The Florida personal injury lawyers at the Disability Law Firm work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay us until you’ve received compensation from a successful insurance claim or lawsuit. And at the Disability Law Firm, we offer free initial consultations, so learning more about your legal options doesn’t cost you a penny.
What is a fair settlement?
A fair settlement compensates you adequately for all the expenses you have suffered as a consequence of a car accident. It will largely depend on the circumstances of your case, including:
- Any medical bills you have incurred
- Any loss of income caused by missed work or future opportunities
- The pain and suffering you have experienced
- Any damaged property that you’ve needed to repair or replace
How does Florida’s no-fault insurance affect my claim?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means in the event of a collision, you will make a claim with your own insurer regardless of who was responsible for the accident. All Florida drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical bills, a portion of lost wages, and certain other injury-related expenses, up to a limit.
No-fault insurance laws are meant to expedite the claims process and ensure that injury victims are not forced to pay for their medical expenses out of pocket as they wait for a claim to work its way through the system. However, PIP insurance does not cover all accident-related expenses. It will not compensate you for property damage, injuries to your vehicle’s other adult occupants, or the pain and suffering you have experienced. However, these damages and others may be available if your losses meet the requirements to be eligible for a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. At this point, it is advantageous to turn to an experienced car accident lawyer for help.
How long is the car accident claim process?
The length of the claim process is determined in part by the complexity of the case – that is, how difficult it is to prove that the other party caused the accident. Florida law requires that insurers either affirm or deny a claim “within a reasonable time” but does not specify what constitutes a “reasonable time.”
A Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, which covers certain but not all collision-related expenses, must be affirmed or denied by your insurer within 30 days of receipt. If your claim is denied and you wish to appeal it, this could add time to the claims process.
If you suffered losses severe enough to make you eligible for a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, significant time might be required to appropriately investigate the crash, build a solid case, negotiate for a settlement or pursue a claim in court, if necessary.
How can I prove fault?
To prove that the other driver was responsible for the collision, you must show that:
- That driver had a duty to drive safely and respect the rules of the road.
- That driver was negligent and failed to fulfill that duty.
- That negligence caused the crash.
- The crash led to your injury.
An experienced attorney can help you better understand what these steps entail.
What if I was partly to blame for the crash?
Florida is a pure comparative fault state, in which each driver is assessed a certain percentage of liability for an accident and can receive compensation based on that percentage. For example, if you are found to have been 30% at fault for the collision that caused your injury, and the total value of your claim or lawsuit is $100,000, you are entitled to $70,000 in compensation, which is 70% of the total value.
What if the other driver was uninsured?
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, your own insurance policy should cover a portion of your collision-related expenses. If your insurer does not adequately compensate you for these expenses, your only course of recovery is against the at-fault driver. However, if they are uninsured you would have to sue them personally which is very difficult and they may not have any monies from which you can recover. That is why it is so important to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your insurance company. If you have this coverage, you can make a claim against it just like you would against the at-fault driver and recover from your insurance company instead.
What kinds of damages may I be entitled to?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
How can a Florida car accident lawyer help me?
The claims process can be a complicated one, particularly if your injuries are serious. An experienced Florida car accident lawyer can help you by:
- Investigating the crash to determine fault
- Estimating the total cost of current and future expenses
- Handling the hospitals or debt collectors, so you don’t have to
- Negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Fighting for your interests in court if that’s what it takes
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and another party is at fault, there’s no time to waste. Contact the Florida car accident lawyers at the Disability Law Firm today so that we can begin the process of pursuing the compensation you deserve.