Florida Car Accident Guide
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, the Florida Car Accident guide was created by our Tampa personal injury attorneys to help residents protect their claim and obtain the maximum compensation available by law.
It can be entirely devastating to get into a car crash. We often forget that we could get hit at any moment because of the negligence of other people. If you were hurt in an auto accident, contact our experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers to fight the insurance companies and get the compensation you deserve.
You are probably seriously injured, recovering, and worried about the medical bills you now have to pay because of someone else’s mistake. We understand how frustrating and scary this all can be. You are not alone. Give us a call today.
Fighting for Your Rightful Compensation
Road and traffic accidents comprise the most common types of personal injury cases in Florida. The Tampa Car Accident Lawyers at Morgenstern & Herd, PLLC fight for justice for those injured due to the reckless and negligent actions of a driver in any kind of vehicle. Our attorneys handle all Florida automobile accident cases, involving:
- Head-on collisions
- Side collisions
- Motorcycle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
The challenge with these cases, like most personal injury cases, is to find the liable or negligent party. Though Florida is a No Fault insurance state, meaning you can get your damages covered regardless of fault, if there was a liable party, you can bring a claim on them.
It is actually quite relieving to live in a No Fault state. You are protected by Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage no matter what happened to cause the accident. This will be a benefit you seek from your very own insurance. The downside of this is that PIP only covers 80% of your medical bills and you can only get 60% of lost wages. You will need to discuss your options with your attorney because you may bring a claim against the liable party under certain conditions.
The right attorney will be experienced in handling car accident cases in Florida. They will not shy away from preparing your case for trial, as the insurance companies will know who is willing to take your case all the way. It will, without a doubt, affect your compensation. Call our office to set up a free consultation with our Tampa car accident lawyers.
Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers handle all aspects of your claim so you can concentrate on recovering. We attempt to settle your claim out of court by negotiating with your insurance company, and those who caused your injury, including their employer and insurance carrier. If a settlement cannot be reached, we advise you on the feasibility of filing a lawsuit. A jury then determines if a driver has been:
- Negligent or careless
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Recklessly disregarding your safety
Common Car Accident Injuries
The most important thing you could do after your car accident is to seek medical attention. Whether you are taken on an ambulance or you make a visit to an urgent care center or your general physician, you need to make sure you are seen. The reasons are two-fold. The last thing you want is for your injuries to get worse or go completely undetected and put you into serious pain in the future. You should go to make sure you are healthy and getting the treatment that you need. You should also go to record your injuries to show the insurance company just how hurt you are. They won’t be keen to give compensation to you for injuries that have not been diagnosed or treated. If you feel at all in pain after the accident or even just a little sore, you absolutely should get to the doctor or ER as soon as possible. It is paramount to your health and your claim.
If you have suffered injuries—including spinal cord injuries, brain and head injuries, amputations, and less serious injuries like broken bones and herniated discs from an automobile accident in Florida, our lawyers are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve for:
- Medical treatment (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
These injuries can be extremely debilitating and may qualify as a permanent injury in which you will be able to bring a claim for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as any property damage. You may also be eligible to bring a claim against the liable party if your damages amount to over the amount of $10,000 in PIP coverage in cases where injuries are non-permanent.
This may be a bit confusing if you have never had to think about these types of things before. Therefore, contacting a competent Tampa car accident lawyer is so very important.
Frequently Asked Questions | Florida Car Accident Guide
What are the First Steps After a Car Accident?
You need to determine if the police and an ambulance are notified of the incident. You should also receive contact information of witnesses, and take photos of the scene. You should seek immediate medical attention upon getting into an auto accident. Under PIP Coverage, you can go to any hospital or doctor of your choosing. Your bills will be covered under your auto insurance provider.
What’s Important to Know About Car Accident Injuries?
You will want to take down information about your accident, record witness information, take photographs, cooperate with police officers, and seek medical attention. Anything you say to the police officer during investigation will not be inadmissible in court.
Why Should I Receive Medical Attention Within 14 Days of an Accident?
Under PIP, you will forfeit your benefits if you do not receive medical attention within 2 weeks of your accident. Your PIP benefits will be reduced if you do not have significant injuries.
What Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Cover?
If your vehicle is damaged, it will be repaired at a reputable shop. There will be no deductible, and the other party will pay for the damages. If the other party is not insured, your vehicle will be covered under collision coverage, but you will pay any deductibles. Any Injuries of damages you suffer include economic and noneconomic damages. An individual, or their deceased love one, must have a permanent or significant injury in order to qualify for non-economic damages.
Am I Still Eligible for PIP if I Do Not Get Medical Attention Within 14 Days?
If you do not receive medical care within 14 days of your accident, your insurance company will not provide PIP benefits for your medical treatment. If you do not have an emergency medical condition, you will receive a smaller amount of benefits from PIP.
Who Pays for the Damages in a Car Accident?
In the state of Florida, everyone’s required to have property damage coverage. That doesn’t mean that everybody follows the law, however. If you are not at fault for the cause of the collision, often the adverse insurance company, the insurance company of the person who hit you, will accept responsibility and pay for your property damage. If that doesn’t happen or if there’s no coverage on the other side, then your car will have to be repaired out of your coverage. That would be your collision coverage if you have it. Many people aren’t aware that we’re not required to have that kind of coverage. If you don’t have it in the state of Florida, that’s something you need to have in order to protect yourself.
How Do I Know If I Have a Good Claim?
When you get in a car accident and you speak to a lawyer, they will ask you four questions:
- Who is at fault for the accident?
- Does the opposite driver have bodily injury insurance?
- Do you have uninsured motorist insurance?
- What was the amount of property damage?
Can I Sue the Other Driver for Injuries?
You can sue the other driver for your damages both economic damages and non-economic damages. Examples would include unpaid medical bills, unpaid wage loss and things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, disability or impairment and loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures.
What Should I Do if I’m in an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
There will be a claim for compensatory damages, medical bills, wage loss, and non-economic damages. I advise clients as a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer that the other claim will be for punitive damages, which will punish the drunk driver.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt, Can I Still File a Claim?
Under these circumstances, you may still have a very serious claim. Due to your injuries, you may be limited in recovery.
What is Recoverable in a Car Accident?
If you are injured in an automobile accident, there are basically two types of damages that you can receive. One, to repair your vehicle and the other for the injuries that you suffer in the accident under the damages available to repair your vehicle. If your damage to your vehicle amounts to over 80% of the fair market value of your vehicle, your vehicle will not be repaired. The company will provide you with a fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident, plus applicable sales tax so you can go out and buy another vehicle. In terms of your damages for your bodily injuries, you have two types of damages, you have economic damages which are unpaid medical bills, those that are not paid by your PIP and unpaid wage loss that’s not paid by your PIP. In addition there are non-economic damages to include pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, disability or impairment and also loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures. These non-economic damages are very subjective in nature and in order to be eligible for those you basically need to have suffered a permanent injury as a result of the accident, something that your doctor will render his opinion on in his reports and his records.
What Happens During the Discovery Phase?
At Morgenstern & Herd, after we complete a discovery phase and evaluation when we take your case – we’ll give the insurance company and the defendant an opportunity to resolve the case without filing suit. Once formal suit is filed, formal questions are served, and you provide answers. We help you formulate the answers. We provide those to the other side. Once that paper discovery is exchanged, then depositions are taken where you’re sworn in as a witness and you provide sworn testimony.
Contact Our Tampa Office Today
We offer free initial consultations to clients who want to figure out the next step for them. If you are at all concerned about your finances after your car accident, please call our Tampa car accident lawyers today. You don’t need to be hassled by the insurance companies who will come calling to get a statement from you. Let that be our job. We will keep them from turning the fault on you. We will prevent them from withholding the compensation that you deserve. Please call our office today!