- Are There Alternatives To Going To Court In A Florida Auto Accident Case ?
Most Florida auto accident cases will resolve without having to go to court. Statistics say that over 90% of cases will resolve without having to file a lawsuit. The cases that are more likely to resolve than not are cases where this is clear, uncontested liability such a rear end auto accident or when someone is the victim of a drunk driver.
- Are There Parties Other Than The At Fault Driver Against Whom I Can Take Legal Action In A Florida Auto Accident Case ?
Absolutely. A lot of times, that’s overlooked. For example, the owner of the vehicle that you’re in is responsible for whom they let drive their vehicle. If someone else is driving someone else’s car, then you may be able to get the owner as well. You may be able to go after your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorists or under-insured motorists. Many people don’t even take that into account.
Other than that, there may be an employer who lends someone their car, and you may be able to go after a business. There may be a host of other possible defendants or parties to go after. Best to discuss the situation with counsel so that you know that you’re including everyone that you can.
- Does An Accident Report Have To Be Filled Out At The Time Of The Fall ?
It is beneficial in the state of Florida to have documentation of a trip and fall. Most of the time, that is done by a store manager, or a store employee, but it’s important to actually get memorialized what happened in the trip and fall. What kind of clothing someone was wearing, what kind of shoes someone is wearing, and the accident victim should always try to get a copy of the incident report, because it’s very often hard to get that at a later date.
- Do I Have To Give A Recorded Statement To The Insurance Company In A Florida Auto Accident Case ?
Typically, you do. You do have to give a recorded statement to your own insurance company. It’s by contract. You have to cooperate with their efforts in investigating your claim; however, the same thing does not necessarily apply if you get called from the other person’s insurance company. In either situation, you should have counsel approach either insurance company, accompany you to the statement, so that you could be sure that what you’re answering is appropriate and right for the situation.
- Do I Have To Go To Court If I Want To Recover Monetary Damages In My Florida Auto Accident Case ?
Typically not. Statistics are that around 90% of cases actually settle. The insurance company as a business understands that it’s going to cost them money. It’s going to cost then time to fight a case. For that reason, most of them deal each claim as if it was a business decision. They’ll evaluate the claim, come up with a range of value and if that value is reasonable, typically a settlement can be had. In 10% of the cases, those cases may need to go court, but in either case you should have a professional evaluate your claim to decide which route is better.
- Do I Have To Take The First Settlement That The Insurance Company Offers Me In My Florida Motorcycle Accident Case ?
Insurance adjusters are trained professionals. When they receive a demand package or a demand from settlement from an attorney’s office, they will typically throw out a [feeler 00:00:15] offer out there. The first offer of settlement is very, very rarely the last offer of settlement. Therefore, we advise someone to retain an attorney early on from the beginning of their case so that it can properly be packaged and presented to an insurance company to begin with.
- Do I Need An Attorney For My Florida Auto Accident Case If The Insurance Company Seems To Be Cooperating ?
Insurance companies have a staff of trained professionals. If they can resolve the case with you without having to get an attorney, they’re going to look to do that each and every time. They may be very nice and kind with you and resolve fixing your car, getting your car repaired, but when it comes to the injury aspect of your case, if someone is truly injured, you really don’t want to resolve it without the assistance of an attorney before you even know what your injuries are and for less than the true value of the case.
- Do I Need To Call The Police If I Have A Car Accident In Florida ?
It’s absolutely essential that every time that there is a car collision in Florida that you call the police to get documentation of the accident. In Florida, it’s called a crash report rather than a police report, but it will simply memorialize exactly what happened in the accident case. This is really the first step that we take when we present the case to an insurance company. A crash report will often assess fault at the scene, and will also discuss damage to the car and even potentially injuries.
- Do I Need To Contact My Insurance Company About My Florida Car Accident ?
Typically by contract you do need to cooperate with your insurance company and in doing so there is a time period where you need to reasonably contact your insurance company and report the accident to them even if the accident’s not your fault so they can have it documented when you do make a claim, for example going to the doctor. Your own company under Florida law with no fault would have to pay for that and in order to do that you do need to report that to your company.
- How Do Attorneys Charge For Florida Auto Accident Cases ?
Similar to a realtor, an attorney charges what’s called a contingency fee. A contingency fee is a percentage of the gross amount that is collected on an injury claim. That amount will not vary from office to office, whether there’s an office in Tallahassee, or whether there’s one in Key West. Separate and apart from a contingency fee, attorneys will front, or will pay upfront costs on a case, from beginning to end. Typically, they would be entitled to get those costs back, separate and apart from the contingency fee.
- How Long Does It Take To Settle A Florida Auto Accident Case ?
The settlement of a case really depends on how well its packaged to the insurance company. Typically as an attorney we have to wait until someone’s medical treatment is actually done before we present a demand package to an insurance company, but if everything is complete and a decent demand package is presented, typically that will be met with an initial offer of settlement from an insurance company and then there will be some negotiation back and forth until ultimately the case resolves.
- Is The Clothing That I Was Wearing When I Was Injured Important In My Florida Trip And Fall Case ?
Absolutely. Most people don’t even understand that. The first thing that people ask when there is a trip-and-fall is what were you wearing as far as your shoes go? Usually, if you’re wearing flip-flops or sandals that don’t have any support or a slick on the bottom, the blame tries to be shifted to you rather than the actual occurrence and the situation or the circumstances there.
For example, there was a case where paint was spilt, and someone fell and slipped in the paint and their clothing covered in paint. It was paramount as evidence to preserve that clothing that she was wearing that day so that the paint, which was all over her clothing, could be shown to a jury or to a prospective insurance company.
- I Was Invited To A Neighbors House For A Party And Was Injured While I Was There Can I Recover For My Injuries In Florida ?
Homeowners’ cases against neighbors happen all the time in Florida. It could be a birthday party, it could be the special occasion, it could be just a friend inviting someone over. Now, if you trip and fall over your own shoe laces at someone’s house, there’s not going to be a case there where you can recover. On the other hand, if there is a condition left there like a banana peel at the top of the staircase or unruly guests throwing someone into a swimming pool dislocating their shoulder or dislocating their arm, there very well might be a Florida homeowner’s case there.
- Should I Go To The Doctor After My Florida Car Accident ?
Absolutely. In fact, Florida law requires that you go within 14 days to see either a DO or an MD. If you don’t, you lose 75% of your PIP or no fault benefits. That means a difference of $2,500 to pay for your bills versus $10,000 to pay for your bills. It’s paramount that you go to a doctor within that first 14 days. Not being a physician myself, most clients not being physicians, it’s hard to say or diagnose yourself, so let the professional do it for you.
- What Are Some Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries ?
When someone is involved in a motorcycle accident because there’s no seat belts, airbags, or protective compartment around the motorcycle driver, a motorcycle victim will typically make contact with the road or be thrown from the motorcycle itself. These can involve mild injuries like road rash, contusions, lacerations, scrapes, bumps, bruises, but more often than not, we see traumatic head injuries. These can be concussions, post-concussive syndrome, we’ve had clients who’ve lost eye sight, who’ve lost the sense of smell and who have even lost the sense of hearing from direct trauma with the road.
- What Are The Common Causes Of Trip And Fall Accidents ?
There are several. There could be transient circumstances such as a wet floor, a dangerous condition that was caused that should have been cleaned up., even placing a display item in the middle of an isle with no way to go around but bumping into it. There could be a structural defect such as a broken walkway. It could also be a crack in the road that caught your foot. There are other examples such as a leaky skylight that has caused water to fall down and made a marble floor in a mall slippery. There are many more but you should always consult with your counsel so that a proper investigation is done as quickly as possible.
- What Can I Expect The Police Officer To Do At The Scene Of My Florida Car Accident ?
A sheriff or a trooper investigating a Florida car accident will typically take statements from each of the drivers that are involved in an accident. If someone is badly hurt and they’re taken to the hospital, they will often follow up and take a statement at the hospital even later that same day. They will also take measurements of the scene, they will assess the damage to each of the cars, and they will typically ask if someone is injured if they would require emergency assistance at the scene.
- What Documents Or Evidence Should I Bring With Me The First Time I Meet My Attorney Following My Florida Car Accident ?
It’s important if you have it to bring photos of your vehicle, photos of the other vehicle, photos of the scene of where the accident occurred. Bring with you a copy of your police report if you have it or a driver exchange of information. Try to give me as much information or any attorney information as far as insurance companies. Have you been contacted by the other person’s insurance company? Have you been contacted by your own? Have you given a statement? All that information is important, have it ready so when you do some in you’re prepared.
- What Happens If I Am Injured In Florida By An At Fault Driver Who Doesn’t Have Auto Insurance ?
There are a lot of avenues that an attorney can go over with this particular type of situation. It’s not just the driver, it’s also the actual owner of the car. Typically, the owner of the car will be identified on the crash report, and the owner or the owner’s insurance would be someone that we would contact to determine insurance information. Additionally, if you carry coverage called Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, that would cover if the person who is at fault in the accident does not have bodily injury coverage, or does not have enough bodily injury coverage. You would be protected if you had those types of coverages.
- What If The Driver Who Hit Me In Florida Was Drinking ?
Any accident is an awful thing to go through, but if someone was drinking it actually helps you because the liability on an alcohol consumption case or any drug use case becomes quite simple. The other person was under the influence and caused the accident. The next stage is how badly hurt are you. How bad are your damages? For that reason, most insurance companies don’t want to defend a drunk driver case that caused damage, and are more apt to settle the case and settle it perhaps even for higher amounts.
- What Is The Likelihood That I Will Have To Go To Court For My Florida Auto Accident Case ?
Any case, and many people believe case means court, is a misunderstanding. Most cases actually settle. The great majority of cases and people, I have estimates between 80 and 90 percent of cases actually settle. That means that once you’re done with your medical treatment and a demand is prepared by council and sent to the insurance company, after evaluation, negotiation, a settlement can be had, and that is the majority, the vast majority of times.
- What Should I Bring To The Initial Consultation With My Attorney In A Florida Trip And Fall Case ?
It’s important if you received it … was to get actually the store report or the incident report. Often, it’s difficult, or the store or the place where you had the fall doesn’t want to give it up. It’s important for you to ask for it immediately after the accident, after reporting it. Bring with you the clothing that you were wearing at the time, the shoes that you had on your feet. Bring with you any photos that you may have taken after the fact, and bring with you any information from any insurance company that may have contacted you in the interim to try to obtain a statement from you.
- What Should I Tell The Doctor ?
After a car accident in Florida, it is essential that someone gets immediate treatment, whether that’s through an emergency room or an urgent care center, primary care physician, or trauma center, something that deals with urgent care. If someone does not treat with a medical doctor within 14 days after a car accident, they could be waiving valuable rights under their PIP coverage.When someone attends an initial visit with an urgent care center or an emergency room, they should be very complete in telling the doctor from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet every single thing that is bothering them, so the doctor will have a complete medical chart from the initial visit.
- What Sort Of Situations Might Merit A Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit ?
Wrongful death lawsuits arise from an accident where someone dies. How does that accident happen? Well, it could be a car accident where someone actually dies from their injuries. It could be a medical malpractice case where someone dies from the surgery that they obtain. It could also be from exposure to asbestos where someone has a slow death over a long period of time. All those involve the ultimate death of an individual and those times actually have to be acted upon immediately. The statute of limitations is about half the time of a normal negligence case, so if you know that someone has died you need to speak with an attorney immediately.
- Why Am I Being Blamed For My Fall ?
Insurance companies and defense attorneys often try to blame the victim in an accident. Specifically with a trip and fall, an insurance company or defense attorney will look to see what type of footwear that someone was wearing. Were they wearing flip-flops? Were they wearing older sneakers? Were they wearing sandals? Were they wearing high heels? They will also try to blame the clothing that you were wearing. Perhaps if pants were too long and got snagged on a person’s foot and then it caused them to fall. Insurance companies and defense attorneys are trained to minimize a person’s claim or to deny a person’s claim. With that in mind, it’s very important to retain a qualified attorney to begin with, from the beginning.