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Auto Accidents FAQ

No-fault insurance, also known as PIP (Personal Injury Protection) means that your own automobile insurer will pay some or all of your medical bills and lost wages if you get into a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash.UM insurance stands for both Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist insurance. It's the MOST IMPORTANT INSURANCE you can buy. It protects you and your family if your or they are injured in a motor vehicle accident.
UM coverage is the only insurance that will pay you if someone with no insurance, or very little insurance, crashed into you.
Insurance companies will avoid selling you UM Coverage because it is the least profitable type of insurance they sell. They don't want to pay for the losses caused by uninsured motorists or hit-and-run collisions. Insurance companies keep track of tons of data - they know the odds of you getting in a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist is 50%. They would much rather save money by not having to pay on all of those claims. So they discourage their agents from selling you UM.
Personal injury statue of limitations sets the maximum amount of time you have to bring a personal injury claim. The laws differ from state to state. The term "bring an injury claim" means you either settled the injury claim by being paid or your filed the lawsuit in the time period allowed by the personal injury statute of limitations.
You have 4 years from the date the accident occurred to file a lawsuit. Once a suit is filed, the time limit is tolled. This means even though the accident may have happened 4 years ago, once the lawsuit is filed, you have an unlimited time to resolve the lawsuit. As long as it's actively moving forward.
If you have any doubt about how much time you have to bring an injury claim, speak with a personal injury lawyer right away. You need to seek out an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately because there are many exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations time limits.
It is important to note that if a death results from someone else's negligence, the personal injury statute of limitations time limits is only 2 years from the date of the death. For example, if there is a wrongful death claim stemming from a car accident, motorcycle crash, or defective product where the victim dies, then you only have 2 years to file suit or settle the claim, not 4 years.
There are many variables in determining whether or not your insurance rates will rise if someone hits you. If the accident was not your fault, there is a good chance your insurance premiums will not be raised. If the accident was your fault, your rates will probably increase unless you have accident forgiveness on your policy.There are three important factors that establish how much your claim is worth. 1. LIABILITY 2. DAMAGES 3. INSURANCE COVERAGE
1. Liability is just another fancy word for fault. In other words, whose fault was the accident? If you are involved in an accident that is 100% someone else's fault, the value of your injury claim is strong and increases. If the liability or fault is weak or, in other words, if the accident is 100% your fault, then your claim is likely worth nothing. However, even if you are partially at fault in an accident, you may still be able to make recovery. For example, if the accident is half your fault and half someone else's fault, then your case is worth 50% of the full value of damages because of your "comparative negligence". Florida is a pure "comparative negligence" state which, means the courts ask a jury to award you 100%, or the value of your damages. Then the jury is asked to determine your percentage of fault if any. So if you were partially at fault, the judge will reduce your recovery by your percentage of fault.
2. Damages is the second factor affecting the value of your personal injury claim. There are some accidents where no gets hurt. While there are other accidents where people are severely injured or killed. Either way, the law says if you are injured by someone else's negligence, then you have the right to be put back into the same place or condition you were in before the accident. So, no injuries means no added value to your claim. However, big injuries or damages means it will take a lot of money to fix what can be fixed. It will require a lot of money to help what can be helped. More money is the only way to make up for what can't be fixed or helped. This is why the extent of damages or injuries determines how much your personal injury case is worth.
Another big part of damages is what injuries were actually caused by the accident. Causation is, most often, the place where insurance companies really fight you instead of helping you. Insurance companies love when a person does not go to a hospital or see a doctor right away after an accident because any delay in treatment creates doubt as to what really caused your injuries.
You need to go to a doctor or seek medical treatment soon after your accident, then you will have documentation showing your injuries happened right after the accident. Every hour, every day, and every week you don't see a doctor will decrease the value of your case. This is because it makes it easier for insurance companies to suggest your injuries were not caused by the accident. They will claim something else happened to you after the accident and you are just blaming the accident for your injuries.
The last thing to consider when insurance companies are valuing your damages is whether or not you have a pre-existing injury or condition. Guess what? Everyone has some type of pre-existing condition and Florida law says you are entitled to more money not less.
3. Insurance coverage is the third factor when valuing how much your automobile accident case is worth. For example, if a large corporation owned the car that hit you or if the bad driver has adequate insurance, then there may be enough insurance to pay you for all of your losses, injuries, and damages. So long as the other driver has adequate insurance, the value of your claim is protected. However, in some cases, the bad driver may have no insurance at all. Or they may only have the minimum amount of insurance which is not enough to fully compensate for your losses. When this happens, you have make a recovery but not a full recovery. Your recovery might be limited to the bad driver's insurance policy limits.
So what happens if you accident was caused by an uninsured person? You may never recover a penny which is why UM or uninsured motorist insurance coverage is extremely important. It protects you if you are in an accident caused by someone who doesn't carry insurance or who doesn't have enough insurance coverage to pay your claim in full. If the insurance coverage in your claim is low, then the value of your claim is low -- even if there are severe injurie and clear liability.
1. Call the Police - They will do an investigation and retrieve any information you may need about the other driver.
2. Get Medical Attention Right Away - Adrenaline after a crash can mask pain and injuries, so you need to see a doctor immediately.
3. Seek Follow-up Medical Treatment - If you are injured, it is important to make sure your injuries heal properly by treating properly.
If you are involved in a crash with a semi-truck, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney. Since the size and weight of large trucks cause significantly more devastating damages than an ordinary car, it is crucial that the victoms seek sound legal advice. There are special laws that govern the operation of large trucks. For example, semi-trucks have limitations on the weight of their loads, on which roads they can travel and the amount of time the driver can spend on the road. Even if the crash was partially your fault, you may still have a significant recovery for your damages. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced injury attorney who knows the laws governing heavy trucks.You need to contact an attorney first and then, with the guidance of your attorney, contact your insurance company after the on-scene investigation has been completed, which is normally within 24 hours. You will need to call your insurance company and let them know about the accident and the extent of the damages to all cars, any other property damage and extent of any known injuries. If you do not report the accident promptly, your insurance company may not honor your policy and may try to deny the claim. Yes - do not wait to find a doctor, you should go right away. First, by going to a doctor immediately, you prevent the insurance company from saying, "Hey, if this person was jury so badly, why didn't they go to the emergency room or doctor right away?" Second, by waiting to see a doctor you may be making your injuries worse by failing to get proper treatment right away. Immediate care can make a big difference in your final outcome. Third, if you are in a car accident in Florida and you don't seek treatment in the first 14 days, then you may waive your PIP no-fault benefits. If you don't see a doctor in time, you will waive $10,000 in benefits to treat your injuries.

People are oftentimes concerned about not being able to afford a doctor, however there are some doctors who will treat you and if you have a good lawyer, the doctors will until the end of your insurance claim to be paid. This is called an Insurance Security Agreement (often times referred to as a Letter of Protection). This is basically a contract between you, your doctor and your lawyer where your lawyer agrees to hold back settlement money until the doctor's bill is paid.
Yes, however no matter what DO NOT ADMIT FAULT! Show the police officer your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. Remain calm and answer the questions the police officer asks. Explain how the accident occurred, who was there and what color the traffic lights were, etc. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT and if you believe that the other driver was drinking, let the officer know why you think alcohol was involved. You will probably be asked if you were wearing your seatbelt; therefore, make sure the police officer includes this information in his/her report. Do not forget to write down the police officer's name and ask for the crash report number.

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