If Involved in A Car Accident What Should I Do?
When involved in a car accident, the following actions can be helpful for you and your case.
If injured, get immediate medical attention.
Notify the police about the accident and file a report.
Get the names and contact information of all people involved in the accident and any witnesses.
Exchange insurance information with those who were in the accident.
Take photographs of vehicle damage and the accident scene.
Talk only to the police. Do not engage the other drivers in the accident in discussions about who is at fault.
Do not give recorded statements to any insurance company.
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Consult a Lawyer for My Automobile Accident?
The answer is simple: The insurance companies have lawyers and claims professionals who are hired to save the insurance company money.
A personal injury lawyer is your protection against the money-saving tactics of the insurance company.
Remember, consultations are free. You should take advantage of the people who have been trained to maximize your recovery and advise you of your rights. You have nothing to lose and, more likely than not, everything to gain.
Who Will Pay for My Medical Bills After an Automobile Accident?
In Florida, every person that owns a motor vehicle is required to insure that vehicle with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This coverage is the first insurance coverage to pay for medical expenses if you are hurt in a car accident. This coverage pays before your job’s Group Health Insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
PIP pays 80% of all medical expenses up to a limit. That limit can vary depending on the type of policy you buy. There are other types of coverage that can be purchased in addition to PIP to help offset expenses.
Managing the payment of medical bills is a tremendous burden after an accident. Part of the job we perform as lawyers, and part of the reason we get paid our fee, is to ensure that the bills are being paid as required by law. Our lawyers take the burden off of you.
Many clients do not have any insurance but need expensive medical care. The lawyers at Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. may be able to arrange medical care and treatment without an initial expenditure of your money. If you are hurt and have no insurance, please call to discuss your options.
How Am I Going to Get My Car Fixed?
If you have a policy that provides comprehensive and collision coverage you may want to have your insurance company evaluate the damage to your car. If you choose this option you may get stuck paying the deductible. On the other hand, your vehicle will likely get repaired in a timely fashion.
If you choose to process your property damage claim through the adverse driver's carrier you will not owe the deductible, but there may be a delay in getting the other insurance company to authorize the repairs.
Insurance companies have one goal: save money. This may result in substandard repairs. You need to know your rights. Our attorneys can help you navigate this process to ensure that your vehicle is at a reputable repair shop and that the appropriate repairs have been performed.
How Soon Should I File a Lawsuit?
You should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Injury victims only have a short period of time to file a claim. Failure to file within this time period, known as the statute of limitations, can bar the victim from ever recovering compensation for their injuries.
What Is a Statute of Limitation?
A statute of limitation is a time limit for filing a particular claim. Various personal injury claims, by law, are subject to different statutes of limitation.
Generally speaking, in Florida:
You have four (4) years to file a claim for injuries stemming from an auto accident.*
You have two (2) years to file a claim for wrongful death.*
You have two (2) years to file a claim for nursing home abuse.*
You have two (2) years to file a claim for medical malpractice.*
*These time limitations may not apply to the particular facts of your claim. You should consult a lawyer to discuss specifics. For example, in addition to the two (2) year limitation for the medical malpractice claim, there are very strict pre-suit requirements that must be complied with. Call a lawyer to help.
What Qualifies as Neglect?
To have a viable personal injury claim, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the essential health and safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages. If unsure, you should contact a personal injury attorney.
What Should I Do if An Insurance Adjuster Wants to Discuss My Accident?
An insurance adjuster’s job is not just to help you with your claim. They are trained to serve the best interests of the insurance company. You should let an insurance adjuster know that you do not want to make any statements until you have spoken with your attorney. We can help coordinate the statement and advise you on what questions you can expect. We are also happy to attend the statement with you.
If Someone in My Family Has Died, Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Florida, there is a very specific and limiting statute relating to claims for wrongful death. Most claims must be filed by a Personal Representative or Executor of an Estate. The Personal Representative has an obligation to bring all claims for all “survivors.” Unfortunately, due to the limiting Florida Law, not all family members are survivors under the statute. If you have lost a loved one based on someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, our attorneys will explain your rights as a survivor, determine if you can be appointed the Personal Representative, and further discuss your options during a free consultation.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a term describing any conduct that deviates from the standard of care owed by medical professionals to their patients. The standard of care requires medical professionals – typically doctors, nurses, or hospitals – to exercise the same degree of knowledge, skill, or care that other reasonably careful medical professionals would use in a similar situation. Medical malpractice can be both an act that causes an injury or a failure to act in a way that would treat or prevent an injury. A few common examples of medical malpractice include:
Delayed or inappropriate treatment
Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
Errors in prescribing
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Case?
Every case is different. Some cases can be resolved quickly. Others will be settled before a lawsuit but not after sufficient time has passed in order for doctors to treat the injuries. Our lawyers strive to make quick and meaningful resolutions, but history tells us that it is sometimes necessary to take your case to trial in order to secure the compensation you deserve. Cases that go to trial take longer to resolve and there are no guarantees, but trials are often necessary in the face of small insurance company offers.