Q: I was in an accident, what should I do?
A: It is important to document the accident at the time. If possible, take photographs of your damages, the accident scene, and your injuries and take steps to preserve any evidence that might prove crucial to your case. Also, do not discuss the circumstances of the accident with the other party, any witness, or any insurance companies.
Q: How should I communicate with my insurance company after an accident?
A: While it is important to contact your insurance company after an accident, do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company or investigator without first consulting your attorney. Many victims make this mistake, without realizing that they may give damaging information on their case, even if it is given to their own insurance company.
Q: I did not require emergency treatment at the scene of the accident, should I see a doctor?
A: If you believe you are injured, make sure you see a doctor or go to the hospital immediately, and tell your doctor all of your complaints, whether or not you think they are serious.
Q: The insurance company sent me a check, what should I do with it?
A: Do not sign or cash any checks sent to you by an insurance company without consulting with an attorney first.
Q: What factors should I consider when selecting an attorney to represent me?
A: Check the credentials, experience, track record, and reputation of your prospective attorney before making a decision — make sure you hire a Florida Board-Certified Civil Trial lawyer. Any lawyer that claims to be a specialist but is not Board-Certified is not a specialist according to Florida Bar rules.
Q: What is a disk herniation?
A: The intervertebral discs in your spinal cord act as shock absorbers between each level of your spine in your lower back (lumbar region), mid-back (thoracic region), and neck (cervical region). When one of these disks herniate, they are forced out of place or rupture, causing the gelatanous material inside to ooze out, similar to a jelly donut being squeezed. This injury can be extremely painful and debilitating. When the disk additionally pinches on a nerve or on the spinal cord, it can cause other symptoms such as radiating pain to the arms or legs, as well as numbness, tingling, and weakness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately.
Q: What damages can I claim for my accident?
A: Typically where applicable, the damages you can claim are past and future medical bills, past lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering in the past and future.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: There is no simple answer to your question. Every case has a different value. Often times, similar cases resolve for different amounts depending on the insurance company defending the case, the liability insurance coverage, the presence of pre-existing medical conditions, and most importantly, the strength or weakness of liability.
Q: What is personal injury protection?
A: Personal Injury Protection is also referred to as PIP. In Florida, which is a no-fault state, this typically comes from the injured's own automobile insurance company and will usually pay up to $10,000.00 in medical bills (at 80% of the bill) and lost wages (at 60% of the income), regardless of who caused the accident.
Q: What is bodily injury coverage?
A: Bodily injury coverage is also referred to as BI or liability coverage. This type of insurance is what will cover an at-fault party for their monetary liability in an accident. It is very important that you, as a consumer, have BI coverage on your car and home, to protect yourselves when an accident happens.
Q: What is uninsured/underinsured motorist’s coverage?
A: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage is also referred to as UM/UIM coverage. This type of automobile insurance comes from the injured accident victim's own insurance company or from the insurance company that covered the vehicle the victim was riding. Because liability (BI) coverage is not mandatory in Florida, many people are driving their cars without any liability coverage to compensate the victim if they cause an automobile accident. Be sure to ask your insurance agent to add UM/UIM coverage to your policy so you will be fully protected.
Q: Are all personal injury lawyers board certified?
A: No. A very small percentage of lawyers (less than 5% in the State of Florida) hold the board certification distinction. Becoming a board certified lawyer is similar to board certifications obtained by medical doctors and is considered to be the highest distinction in the practice of law. Only a board certified civil trial lawyer can refer to themselves as a specialist under Florida Bar Rules. Any lawyer claiming to be a specialist in personal injury who is not board certified in civil trial is not a specialist and may not refer to themselves as a specialist. Don't be fooled by pretenders.