FAQ

FAQS
 Questions and Answers to all our cases.

VEHICLE ACCIDENTS


I have no vehicle, how will I get to work?
    If you are left without a vehicle as a result from the accident, check your insurance policy. There may be a clause that entitles you to arental car. Make sure to track your expenses as this will directly relate to the amount you are able to recover.

Can I choose my own repair shop?
    As long as the insurance company chooses to repair your vehicle, you have the right to decide who will repair your vehicle, provided that it is a licensed repair shop.

If the accident was my fault, can I still recover compensation?
    Some states, like Florida, have no-fault insurance laws. This means that you may be able to make some kind of recovery of damages from your insurance company. In other states, it is more difficult to recover compensation if your fault is over a certain level. South Florida Personal Injury Center can advise you on your local area’s rules. Call us for a free consult today!

How much is my case worth?
    The value of a Personal Injury case depends on several different factors including:
-Pain and suffering
-Long-term financial troubles caused by the accident
-Amount of money lost from past and future wages
-Expected cost or physical therapy and rehabilitation or physical therapy
-Medical Expenses
-How severe the injuries are

What if the other driver has no insurance?
    Florida law demands drivers to have insurance. However, most of them disregard the law and drive their vehicles uninsured. Insurance companies now offer uninsured/underinsured motorist policies to cover wage loss, phyisical injury, damage to property and the mental agony one goes through in a vehicle accident involving an insured/underinsured motorist.

My car has been totaled, who is going to pay for it?
    There are two ways to recover money for your property damage. The first way is to go to your insurance company if you have collision coverage. The second is to make a recovery through the other driver’s insurance company if he/she is liable.

How soon do I have to bring my claim to the other driver?
    You need not notify the people you think are responsible for your injuries withing a set number of days after an accident. But that doesn’t mean you should drag your feet. Infact, acting right away – within a few days, if possible – will increases your chances of receiving a fair and quick resolution to your vehicle accident claim.

How long do I have to file a claim?
    In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally four years. The exception to this includes cases of medical malpractice and wrongful death which impose a two-year liability limit. Therefore, if you were injured in a car wreck in Florida, you would have four years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you were the victim of medical malpractice, you would have two years from the discovery of the injury to file your case.

How long does it take to settle a claim?
    From the time your insurance company receives notice of the loss, they are allowed 30 calendar days to settle your first party claim. The time may be extended if you fail to cooperate with them or they need to conduct additional investigation, but the company must provide you with written notice explaining the reason if the claim settlement process takes longer than 30 days.

What if the deceased never held a job?
    They may have contributed to the family in some other way. A housewife is a good example as she contributed services, guidance, and nurturing to her family. These are known as “pecuniary losses” in a wrongful death action.

The insurance adjuster came to my home and offered me a check. What should I do? The adjuster was saying, why talk with a lawyer? I am here offering you money, once you speak with a lawyer you will have to pay one third of your settlement to the lawyer.
    GUESS WHAT? You may not need an attorney to represent you in your accident case! BUT NO ONE SHOULD SETTLE A CASE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING “THE SYSTEM.” The insurance company doesn’t care about you. They care about keeping their money in their pocket (in their bank, earning interest). That adjuster wants to pay you the least amount of money possible for YOUR CLAIM get you to sign a release of all claims and close the file. Let’s talk straight. There are many claims that do not need a lawyer-for example, small fender-bender type claims. These claims can usually be handled by the claimant himself. But remember, if you try to settle your claim yourself, the insurance adjuster is still not your friend. He or she is trained to pay you the least amount of money possible. Understanding the claims process will help you settle your claim yourself. You need to be aware of your legal rights before you accept anything! If you accept a check or sign a release it may release all of your claims in the future as well as the past. Too often injuries that seem to be minor at first are much worse as time goes by. Many times injuries from a car accident can lead to months and months of doctor’s care and therapy.
Who pays for my rental car?
    Most policies do not provide coverage for a rental vehicle if you caused the accident, unless you buy this additional coverage. If another party was responsible for the accident, the insurance company for the person who caused the wreck is required to provide you with a rental car. If the other driver is at fault, we will demand that the insurance company for the person who caused the accident provide you with a rental car for the time needed to repair your vehicle. Sometimes, you must pay the rental car bill first, with reimbursement coming from the insurance company later.

What is PIP?
    PIP insurance, or personal injury protection, is what you would purchase in so-called “no-fault states,” of which there are currently twelve, plus the Dirstrict of Columbia. “No-fault” generally means that drivers are required to have car insurance coverage, and it puts limitations on the other driver’s right to sue you. Under “no fault”, your car insurance company will pay your medical expenses under your PIP policy, and the other driver’s policy will pay this.

What is BI?
    Bodily Injury Liability (BI) compensates injured parties for serious and permanent injury or death caused by the insured. It is important to note that BI coverage is an optional coverage in the State of Florida, which the insured may purchase in different coverage amounts. The insurance policy contains important information about Bodily Injury Coverage, including any applicable policy exclusions.

What is UM (Uninsured Motorist)? 
    Uninsured Motorist coverage is an optional automobile insurance coverage that pays for the injuries sustained by the policyholder but caused by another motorist. Bodily Injury coverage is an optional coverage in the State of Florida. Therefore, many drivers in Florida operate vehicles without carrying any bodily injury coverage to protect others in the event that they cause an accident. UM coverage is very important because it allows the insured to file a claim with their own insurance in the event that the negligent driver does not have any coverage. Without UM coverage, the injured party cannot make any claim for injuries if the negligent driver does not have BI coverage.

What if the other driver has no insurance?
    Florida law demands drivers to have insurance. However, most of them disregard the law and drive their vehicles uninsured. Insurance companies now offer uninsured/underinsured motorist policies to cover wage loss, phyisical injury, damage to property and the mental agony one goes through in a vehicle accident involving an insured/underinsured motorist.

I was involved in a car accident and my injuries are minor do I really need a lawyer?
    Probably not. Minor accidents with little or no property damage can be handled by the injured victim. Before talking with the insurance company and especially before signing any forms with the insurance company order a copy of my Free Book “One Fatal Mistake Could Destroy your Accident Case” You will be very happy you did.
I was just in an accident should I go to the doctors?
    Yes. Get a check up even if you don’t believe you were seriously injured. When giving injury information on forms and to the physician remember to start from your head and go down to your toes and describe the pain resulting from the accident. Your body can not be replaced not even with money. Get checked out from head to toe. Going to the doctor’s office and telling them all of your injuries will help them in deciding what medical care is necessary and will document your injuries for any future insurance claims.

Do I have to go to Court?
    Every case is different. If you have a minor case with little or no property damage you may be able to be handled the case yourself. Cases with moderate property damage with moderate injuries such as neck and back injuries are usually settled before trial. Some cases with serious injuries go to court due to settlement negotiations breaking down. Some cases go to trial because insurance companies are acting in bad faith. Remember your case is unique due to it being you and your medical history is probably different from everyone else. Don’t rely on what other people have told you as they are not you. Again, every case is different and to answer the question generally would not be fair to the individual client. I don’t think any attorney can answer that question accurately without knowing the relevant circumstances of your case. If you want more information you can order a copy of our Free Book “One Fatal Mistake Could Destroy your Accident Case.” Just go to the order form that is posted on our website.
What will be my lawyer's fee?
    In Florida almost all personal injury claims, including car accident claims, are handled by lawyers working on a contingency fee basis. That means you only pay a fee if there is a recovery. The lawyer’s fees will be determined by a signed, written agreement between the client and the lawyer. You can expect a lawyer’s fee to be between 33.33% for claims settled before the case is filed and answered in a litigious setting and 40% for cases that are in suit. There may be cases where a government entity is the defendant in the claim and the attorney’s fee is 25%.

What will it take to win my personal injury case?
   In the state of Florida, just because you were hurt doesn’t mean you are entitled to money. You must prove that the person or entity that injured you was negligent or careless and that it was their negligence or carelessness that caused your injury. In a car accident case you must also prove that your injury is permanent. If you cannot prove this, you will lose. You have a certain number of years to file your injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to sue, you will lose your right to sue. If you had an injury BEFORE the accident, your injury may be considered an aggravation of a pre-existing injury. In that case, you would only be entitled to be compensated to the extent your injury is now worse. Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means if the other person was partially at fault for the accident the insurance company will only compensate you for their insured’s portion of fault. For example, you were speeding down the street and the other guy blew the stop sign. The insurance company will consider the fact that you were speeding and the fact that their insured blew the stop sign and will apportion the fault between you and their insured. You will only be compensated for their insured’s portion of fault.

Who is going to pay my medical bills?
   The No Fault Insurance on the vehicle you own will pay your medical bills up to $10,000.00 Lets talks about Florida No Fault Insurance and what it really covers. Florida is a No Fault State what that means is that it doesn’t matter who was at fault for the accident the “No Fault/PIP” insurance on your car will pay your medical bills up to $10,000.00 and the other persons insurance will pay their medical bills up to $10,000.00. It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident your insurance on your vehicle is liable for your medical bills up to $10,000.00, that’s why they call it No Fault Insurance. But many of you will say wait a minute, I was a passenger in my friend’s car, and my car was not involved in the crash. Why does my car insurance have to pay? Well the answer to that is your car insurance will follow your body. That means the “No Fault/PIP” insurance that you should have on your car, even if it is sitting in the driveway, will be liable to pay your medical bills up to $10,000 if you were involved in an accident. You could have been a passenger in your friend’s car, your brother’s car or you could have been a pedestrian on the street. Your “No Fault/PIP” insurance will follow your body. This is what they mean by No Fault. It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident your insurance will follow your body and pay your medical bills that were a result of the accident. This is just a brief summary of Florida “No Fault/PIP” Law. If you want more information on insurance coverage order our FREE Book “Insurance Company Secrets What Your Insurance Company Forgot to Tell You!”

What is the Statute of Limitations for filing a Florida wrongful death action?
     According to Florida laws, you have two years from the date of death to file an action on behalf of the deceased person.

What Is A Guardianship?
    This is a legal process in which an individual, guardian, is appointed by the court to make legal decisions on behalf of a person who is incapacitated or deceased.

How much will it cost?
    Nothing at all! A consult at South Florida Personal Injury Center to evaluate your case is free of charge. You will not have to pay fees or other costs until we recover money for you.

Who can file a Wrongful Death claim?    It is specified exactly in Florida Statutes who is eligible to file a Florida wrongful death claim. According to State law, only a “personal representative” may file a wrongful death claim. In some cases Probate Court will appoint a representative and that person may file a claim against the responsible party or parties on behalf of the deceased estate and survivors.

What sort of damages should I expect to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?
    The amount of damages can be a very complicated question. Survivors can usually sue for medical expenses of the person who was injured and cared for, as well as the funerary expenses. The idea is that survivors are injured by the absence of the person who died, determining the amount of damages needs consideration of what probably coud have occured in the future. Damages may include: -Punitive damages to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from inflicting further harm to others. -Loss of support -An estimate of the deceased person’s future earining capacity -Benefits lost from the death, such as insurance, pensions, or inheritance

How long could a wrongful death case last?
    However long it takes to settle a wrongful death case depends on the circumstances surrounding the case and whether the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company is willing to settle. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. These types of cases may take anywhere from 3 to 20 months to settle or to bring to trial, depending on several factors. Due to the volume of cases in the court system, siginificantly more time is usually required to take a case to trial in court.

WRONGFUL DEATH


What is the Statute of Limitations for filing a Florida wrongful death action?
    According to Florida laws, you have two years from the date of death to file an action on behalf of the deceased person.

What sort of damages should I expect to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?
    The amount of damages can be a very complicated question. Survivors can usually sue for medical expenses of the person who was injured and cared for, as well as the funerary expenses. The idea is that survivors are injured by the absence of the person who died, determining the amount of damages needs consideration of what probably coud have occured in the future. Damages may include: -Punitive damages to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from inflicting further harm to others. -Loss of support -An estimate of the deceased person’s future earining capacity -Benefits lost from the death, such as insurance, pensions, or inheritance
Who can file a Wrongful Death claim?    It is specified exactly in Florida Statutes who is eligible to file a Florida wrongful death claim. According to State law, only a “personal representative” may file a wrongful death claim. In some cases Probate Court will appoint a representative and that person may file a claim against the responsible party or parties on behalf of the deceased estate and survivors.

What if the deceased never held a job?
    A: They may have contributed to the family in some other way. A housewife is a good example as she contributed services, guidance, and nurturing to her family. These are known as “pecuniary losses” in a wrongful death action.

What Is A Guardianship?
  This is a legal process in which an individual, guardian, is appointed by the court to make legal decisions on behalf of a person who is incapacitated or deceased.
How long could a wrongful death case last?
    However long it takes to settle a wrongful death case depends on the circumstances surrounding the case and whether the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company is willing to settle. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. These types of cases may take anywhere from 3 to 20 months to settle or to bring to trial, depending on several factors. Due to the volume of cases in the court system, siginificantly more time is usually required to take a case to trial in court.

How much will it cost?
    Nothing at all! A consult at South Florida Personal Injury Center to evaluate your case is free of charge. You will not have to pay fees or other costs until we recover money for you.

BRAIN INJURY


What are causes of brain injury?
    Brain injuries can be divided into three major categories: Mild, moderate, or severe. Head injuries which can obviously cause brain injuries can either be closed head injuries or open head injuries. In a closed head injury there is trauma to the skull which results in the brain coming into contact with the inside of the cranium. This can result in bruising, swelling, and internal bleeding within the skull. In an open head injury the skull is fractured or pierced in any way, and foreign material or bone matter contacts the brain directly and increases the potential for bacterial infection.

What are symptoms of brain injury?
    Although each injury is different, “mild” brain injuries can result in vomiting, nausea, severe headaches, seizures and convulsions, drowsiness, slurred speech, blurred vision, weakness, and numbness in the hands and feet.
Can I file a claim on behalf of a loved one?
    It may be possible to file a claim on behalf of a loved one if he or she was catastrophically injured and is no longer able to care for him or herself. In instances like these, you may be eligible to file for financial compensation covering living expenses, a lifetime of medical costs, and loss of future wages and pain and suffering.

Are doctors able to say how much brain damage a patient has suffered?
   Particaular tests like the CT scan, EEG, and BSER (Brain stem evoked response) can help provide some information about whether or not there is extensive damage to the brain. However, because the function of the brain can continue to improve for months and even years after a head injury, measurments must be repeated several times as progress continues on a person’s recovery.
How long will it take to know how serious the injury is?
    Recovery from a severe head injury is often slower than the family and friends expect. Doctors are really providing the most accurate answer when they we have to wait and see and are NOT inconsiderate. Generally, the longer a person remains in a coma, the less likely it is that person will recover completely.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE


What is Medical Malpractice?
    A: Medical Malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, as defined by Florida Statutes to include doctors, hospitals, HMO’s nurses, chiropractors, and therapists – fails to provide given standard of care, resulting in injury or death.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?
    Florida states that the Statute of Limititations is two years. Which means that a lawsuit must be brought no later than two years after a patient knows or should have known with reasonable diligence that the injury was caused by medical malpractice.

Who can be sued for Medical Malpractice?
    As defined by Florida Statutes, any person who provides medical care to you is a “health care provider”.
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