Personal Injury FAQ’s
What Evidence Do I Need For An Auto Accident Claim?
You, with the assistance of your lawyer, will want to gather documentary evidence, such as traffic accident reports, photographs of the scene and vehicles, vehicle repair estimates and bills, medical records, medical bills, diagnostic test results, photographs of bruises, scars or other visible injuries and such other evidence as may be needed to fully document your case. If liability is disputed, you will need witness statements from all independent witnesses to support your liability case. Evidence such as this is used to make your settlement proposal to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If your case is not settled out of court, you will need these types of evidence for the trial of your case. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney early in your case will ensure that such evidence is gathered and preserved for later use.
What to do when you are released from emergency room?
1. Obtain a copy of the police accident report
You should obtain a copy of the complete police accident report (not just the driver’s exchange information page) as soon as it is completed. Check the report for accuracy. If there are inaccuracies or discrepancies, contact the investigating officer and request a correction. If that is not successful, request a supplemental report form and submit it with your own corrections to be attached to the officer’s report.
2. Obtain appropriate follow-up medical treatment
If you continue to have pain or disability, you should follow-up with an appropriate health care provider. It is important to your recovery that you obtain appropriate treatment. In addition, the records of your treatment will become critical evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
3. Consult a qualified personal injury attorney
If you continue to have pain or disability, you should consult an experienced attorney whose primary area of practice is personal injury. Most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations and will provide representation on a contingent fee basis, so that you do not have to pay any attorneys fee upfront. The attorney can explain your legal options, and help you make informed decisions that are in your best interest. The at-fault party’s insurance adjuster and attorney look out for their insured’s interest. You need your own attorney to look out for your interest.
What Do I Need to Do To Obtain Florida No-Fault (PIP) Benefits?
1. Request a No-Fault Benefits Application Form if you are injured in a car accident
Ask your insurance adjuster to send you a no-fault benefits application form consisting of an Accident Report form, a Physician’s Report form and a Wage and Salary Verification form. These documents must be completed and returned to the insurer before any no-fault benefits can be paid. Medical benefits are paid directly to your health care provider(s) and lost wage benefits are paid to you.
2. Request the assistance of your physician and your employer
When you receive the forms, you will fill out the Accident Report form yourself and return it to the no-fault insurance adjuster. You will take the Physician’s Report form to your main treating physician who will fill out the form and forward it to your insurer. Your will take the Wage and Salary Verification form to your employer (if your injuries resulted in lost wages). Your employer will fill out the form and return it to your insurer.
Why do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Florida?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) is one of the most important coverages you can have.It pays you and anyone riding in your car in the event that you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Uninsured and underinsured motorists usually do not have significant assets from which any judgment against them can be paid. Having UM coverage under your own policy allows you to collect from your own insurance company and your insurance company can then go after the uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver to try to collect back any money paid to you as a result of the negligence of the uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage also applies to you and resident relatives of your household in the event that you are riding in someone else’s car and are injured as a result of an uninsured or underinsured motorist, including the driver of the car in which you are riding (if they are at-fault in the accident).Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage usually is relatively inexpensive compared to the other coverages that you have.You should consider adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your policy. You should get the “stacking” form of UM coverage so that your basic UM coverage stacks onto the UM coverage of any non-owned vehicles in which you or a member of your household may be riding. Stacking coverage is also multiplied by the total number of vehicles in the household.
1. Determine if you have uninsured motorist coverage
Review your automobile insurance declarations page to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to your bodily injury liability limits. If not, call your insurance agent and request the addition of uninsured motorist coverage.
2. Determine if your uninsured motorist coverage stacks
Uninsured motorist coverage comes in both stacking and non-stacking varieties. Review your policy declarations or call your agent to determine which type you have. If it is non-stacking, ask your agent to switch it to stacking. Non-stacking coverage pays only the face amount of the coverage. With stacking coverage, you get a multiple of the face amount equal to the total number of vehicles insured under the policy. If you are injured while riding in someone else’s vehicle, your stacking coverage adds on top of theirs so that you get the combined coverage.
What to do at the scene if you are in a car accident?
1. Reporting the accident
Call 911 and report the accident. If you are severely injured, ask someone at the scene to do so. Stay at the scene until a police officer arrives. Make a full report of the circumstances leading up to the accident to the officer. Follow-up in a couple of days to get a complete copy of the accident report and review it for accuracy. If any information is not correct, go to the police department and request to add a supplemental report correcting any inaccuracies. Call your own insurance agent and report the accident, including your injuries within 24 hours.
2. Gathering vital information
Be sure to get the name, contact information and the insurance carrier for the at-fault party. Identify any witnesses to the crash or its immediate aftermath and get their names and contact information. Give that information to the police officer to be included in the police report. Provide that information to your insurance agent as well.