Car Accident FAQ

Florida Car Accident FAQ

Below you will find video answers to frequently asked questions by Florida car accident victims and their families. If you have other questions, not answered below, you can get further assistance by calling our offices toll free at (866) 802-8182 , sending our attorneys an email or scheduling an appointment at one of our law offices in Sarasota, Bradenton, Punta Gorda or Tallahassee.

Are there parties other than the at fault driver against whom I can take legal action in a Florida auto accident case?

Video Transcript

Are there parties other than the at fault driver against whom I can take legal action in a Florida auto accident case?

It’s possible the manufacturer of the road or the person who services the road may have responsibility. An adjoining property owner who allowed bushes to grow and obscure the view may have responsibility. A person who waved a car through and assumed a duty saying it’s all clear may have responsibility. Of course, you might have a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or a manufacturer of a component of the vehicle. There are multiple parties that can be at fault in a Florida car accident claim.

Do I have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company in a Florida auto accident case?

Video Transcript

Do I have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company in a Florida auto accident case?

The answer is it depends. If it’s your insurance company, yes you are obligated to give a recorded statement. If it’s the other side’s insurance company, the defendant that caused your injuries, you’re not obligated to give a statement.

In any event and in any case I would recommend that you have a lawyer beside you when you give a statement, if the lawyer gives his advice and consent to that statement.

Do I have to see a doctor if I do not feel injured after a Florida car accident?

Video Transcript

Do I have to see a doctor if I do not feel injured after a Florida car accident?

My advice is that you do so. Why? Unfortunately, Florida has created a law that says that if you don’t go see a physician within fourteen days, you may waive valuable insurance rights. Those rights are called PIP, Personal Injury Protection, and if you don’t go see a physician within fourteen days, and later an injury manifests, you may have waived those rights to that PIP insurance.

Do I need to call the police if I have a car accident in Florida?

Video Transcript

Do I need to call the police if I have a car accident in Florida?

In my opinion absolutely you should. Your insurance policy requires you to call the police when you’re involved in an accident. Sometimes people think we’ve got minor damages or minor injuries as result of an accident and later it turns out that there are significant injuries. You want the police to document that accident if you’re involved in it, and you want to make sure that they get everybody’s story at the scene so those stories can’t be changed later.

Do I still have a claim against another driver for my injuries sustained in a Florida car accident if I received a ticket?

Video Transcript

Do I still have a claim against another driver for my injuries sustained in a Florida car accident if I received a ticket?

The short answer is you might. Florida’s what we call a comparative fault state, so even if you are involved in an accident and you received a ticket, if the other driver bears some responsibility for the accident, they can be pursued. Yes, you still may have a claim, even if you received a ticket for the accident.

How can injuries sustained in a car accident be the fault of the auto manufacturer?

Video Transcript

How can injuries sustained in a car accident be the fault of the auto manufacturer?

Let’s be fair, most of the time cars in the United States are pretty safe. But, there are times where because of the fault of the manufacturer, there’s a seat-belt defect, an airbag defect or a tire defect, or other component parts of the car fail and cause the accident. In those circumstances the manufacturer of the vehicle is at fault and should be held responsible.

How long do you have to seek medical treatment to be able to qualify for PIP benefits?

Video Transcript

How long do you have to seek medical treatment to be able to qualify for PIP benefits?

Fourteen days after your accident, PIP benefits is personal injury protection available under your policy. It pays up to 80% of your medical bills, and it pays up to 60% of your lost wages, but if you’re involved in an accident and you don’t seek treatment within 14 days, you risk waiving your PIP benefits that are available.

How should I deal with the other motorists insurance company?

Video Transcript

How should I deal with the other motorists insurance company?

You should deal with them through your lawyer. You should never talk to them without a lawyer. Let’s face facts here. They’re here to get information from you that hurts you. They’re not here to help you. They’re not here to make you well. They’re here to get information that hurts you and you shouldn’t speak with them without having counsel’s advice.

I did not feel pain at the accident scene and refused medical treatment. Now a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?

Video Transcript

I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment. Now a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?

You should seek immediate medical treatment and you should probably, once you have done so, seek counsel. The reality is a lot of people are injured in accidents and don’t feel the pain or have the magnitude of the symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident. I’ve had several occasions where people have gone for a year or two and then discovered that they’re surgical candidates. If you feel pain a few days after the accident, absolutely you should seek treatment and then go seek a lawyer.

If I sue for damages in a Florida auto accident case, will I hurt the person who I sue?

Video Transcript

If I sue for damages in a Florida auto accident case, will I hurt the person who I sue?

Right, wrong or indifferent the reality is that most of the time in Florida people are judgement proof. What does that mean? If you sue them you can get a judgement against them but it’s a paper judgement. It’s never going to hurt them because they have no assets to collect. The reality is you’re pursuing their auto insurance and that does not harm them. That’s what they pay for, they obtained that insurance for this very event so no, you’re not going to hurt them if you sue them in an auto accident claim.

If I was hit by a commercial vehicle in a Florida car accident, is the employer of the other driver also responsible?

Video Transcript

If I was hit by a commercial vehicle in a Florida car accident, is the employer of the other driver also responsible?

Most likely, yes, if the employee was driving the employer’s vehicle, the employer is responsible. If the employee was engaged in a mission or activity for the employer, then yes, the employer is responsible. Most of the time, yes, the employer is responsible for the employee’s negligence in an auto accident claim.

Should I provide statements to my insurance company and the insurance company of the driver who hit me?

Video Transcript

Should I provide statements to my insurance company and the insurance company of the driver who hit me?

Yes and no. You probably are obligated in your insurance policy to provide a statement to your carrier. You’re not, positively not obligated to provide a statement to the other driver’s carrier. Before you ever give any statement to either carrier, I recommend that you seek the advice and consent of a lawyer.

Should I speak with a lawyer before cooperating with the other party’s insurance company after a Florida auto accident?

Video Transcript

Should I speak with a lawyer before cooperating with the other party’s insurance company after a Florida auto accident?

Absolutely. The other party’s insurance carrier is simply trying to get information that will harm you down the road in my opinion and experience. You should always have a lawyer by your side before you give a statement to any insurance carrier, including your own, but in particular, if you’re thinking about giving one to the other side, or cooperating with the insurance carrier for the other side, you should always do so only after you receive the advice of a lawyer.

Should I take photographs of my injuries and the accident scene?

Video Transcript

Should I take photographs of my injuries and the accident scene?

Yes, you should. Photographs of your injuries are important because your injuries are going to heal and look differently, even sometimes from day to day. Those should be preserved for use later, for a demand or for a jury trial. The photographs of the accident scene are important. If you are not able to do so, have a loved on or have a lawyer go and take photographs of that scene for you. Often times when somebody trips and falls in a location, a business owner will change it after the fact because someone just tripped and fell there and if that change occurs, we may lose the evidence we need to prove our case.

The insurance adjuster asked me to record a statement. Should I do that?

Video Transcript

The insurance adjuster asked me to record a statement. Should I do that?

My advice is not to do so without the advice of counsel. You may have a duty to your insurance carrier to give them a statement, but I would only do it with counsel by your side. You have no duty to give a statement to the opposing insurance carrier, that is the people who cause the accident. If you do give them a statement, chances are the things that you say in that statement will be used against you down the road. I would highly recommend that you not give a statement without advice and consent of counsel.

What are PIP benefits and what does it pay for?

Video Transcript

What are PIP benefits and what does it pay for?

PIP benefits are policy benefits that are available under your insurance policy. They are personal injury protection benefits. They are no fault, meaning even if you are totally at fault in an auto accident you’re pip benefits will kick in. You have to treat within 14 days to obtain your PIP benefits otherwise you might waive them. But they apply to pay for your medical bills up to 80 percent and your lost wages up to 60 percents. They are very valuable benefits to have under your insurance policy.

What documents or evidence should I bring with me the first time I meet my attorney following my Florida car accident?

Video Transcript

What documents or evidence should I bring with me the first time I meet my attorney following my Florida car accident?

You should bring anything and everything related to the accident. You should bring any photographs that you have of the scene of the accident, any photographs that you have of your injuries. You should bring the accident report, which hopefully you have, if the police were called at the scene, which they should have been. Also, bring any medical bills or records you have, related to the accident. The short answer is, bring everything you’ve got, related to the accident.

What if more than one driver was at-fault for my Florida car accident?

Video Transcript

What if more than one driver was at-fault for my Florida car accident?

That’s often the case here in Florida. There’s multiple drivers that are at fault. Fortunately Florida is what’s called a comparative fault state, and that means that each driver that is at fault is responsible for their percentage of negligence in causing the accident.

What is uninsured motorist coverage used for?

Video Transcript

What is uninsured motorist coverage used for?

Uninsured motorist coverage is available to you under your auto policy. This is coverage that’s available if you purchase it when the other driver doesn’t have sufficient bodily injury liability coverage to cover all of your injuries sustained in an accident. I strongly recommend that you buy as much UM or underinsured motorist coverage as you can reasonably afford.

What must I prove in order to win my Florida auto accident case?

Video Transcript

What must I prove in order to win my Florida auto accident case?

In legal jargon, duty, breech, causation and damages. What does that really mean? You’ve got to prove that the other party was at fault, that what they did, their fault, caused injury to you, and you’ve got to prove the scope and extent of your damages as a result of the accident.

What should I bring to the initial consultation with my attorney in a Florida auto accident case?

Video Transcript

What should I bring to the initial consultation with my attorney in a Florida auto accident case?

Anything and everything that’s related to the accident itself. That would include: The accident report, photographs of the vehicles that were involved in the accident, witness statements, photographs of your injuries, any medical bills or records that you have, and any claims you may have relating to lost wages. All of those things, and anything else that you can think of that’s related should be brought to that initial consultation.

What should I do if I cannot afford an attorney for my Florida auto accident case?

Video Transcript

What should I do if I cannot afford an attorney for my Florida auto accident case?

My firm and most firms in my experience handle auto accident claims on a contingency basis. That means if you’re in an auto accident, you don’t have to pay any attorney’s fees until/unless we get a recovery for you.

What types of compensation can be pursued after a Florida car accident?

Video Transcript

What types of compensation can be pursued after a Florida car accident?

The same types of damages, really, that are available in any personal injury accident claim, and those include your pain and suffering damages. Your medical bills. Your lost wages. Those are the primary damages that can be pursued in any personal injury case, including a car accident claim.

When should I contact an attorney following a car accident?

Video Transcript

When should I contact an attorney following a car accident?

Really as soon as reasonably possibly, the first thing that you should obviously do is get medical care and treatment that you require. That’s always the first thing you should do, but then, as soon as reasonably possible you should contact a lawyer. Why? Because they need to preserve the evidence at the scene. They may need to preserve the vehicles that were involved in the accident. There’s a lot of things that the lawyers need to do to make sure that your case goes as smoothly as possible. I would recommend that you contact a lawyer as soon as reasonably possible after an accident.

FREE CASE REVIEW

FREE CASE REVIEW - SIDEBAR - ONE THIRD

Sarasota Office:

2 N. Tamiami Trail, 5th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 951-1800
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Tallahassee Office:

2155 Delta Blvd, Suite 210-B
Tallahassee, Florida 32303

Toll Free: (877) 521-0890
Local: (850) 521-0890
Fax: (850) 521-0891

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Bradenton Office:

2401 Manatee Ave W.
Bradenton, FL 34205

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 748-8778
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Punta Gorda Office:

122 Nesbit Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 655-6910
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed