What should I do after an accident?
Stay at the scene of the accident and immediately call 911. When the police arrive, provide the information they request. If you or another occupant are able, take photos of the vehicles involved, and document as much information as you can about the circumstances surrounding the crash. If you are injured, request immediate medical attention. Many times, injuries are not felt immediately after a crash, but can often become painful in the following days and weeks. Regardless of when you first feel pain or discomfort, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
What if I don’t know who caused my accident?
Be truthful with the police and provide as much information as you can to assist their investigation. If there are witnesses to the crash, get their names and contact information, and request that they stay at the scene to provide a statement to the police.
What happens if the person that hit me does not have insurance?
How much time do I have after my accident to file a claim?
Can I still get my medical bills paid if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Yes. Florida is a comparative fault state, which means fault can be apportioned among all parties responsible for a crash. If a jury determines that you were partially at fault, then your damages (the amount of money you can recover in your case) will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
How long should I wait to seek medical care?
You should seek medical care as soon as possible. Any delay can be detrimental to your health and can adversely affect your claim. If your injuries are immediately apparent, you should request emergency treatment at the scene. However, not all injuries are immediately obvious. Often, pain does not set in until hours, days, and sometimes weeks later. Regardless of when the pain begins, it’s important to see a doctor right away, so you can address and treat any injuries you might have. Additionally, the longer you wait to see a doctor, the more likely the insurance company will deny or minimize your claim.
THE ATTORNEY HIRING PROCESS
I was recently hurt in an accident. Do I really need an attorney?
What are your fees?
How long does a personal injury case typically take?
How to choose a reputable accident attorney?
Do I have to go to court?
If your case can be resolved with litigation, then you may never have to go to court. You may still have to give a recorded statement, but this is an informal proceeding. If your case proceeds to litigation, then you may have to give a deposition, attend a mediation, and may have to attend court hearings or eventually testify at trial. We will discuss all possible options with you and will help you determine which is the best course to pursue in your particular case.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CASE
What damages can I seek in my case?
When you are harmed by the negligence (wrongdoing) of another, Florida law allows you to recover damages (restitution) from the party that caused you harm. Damages are classified into economic and non-economic. Economic damages are direct financial losses, including past and future medical expenses, past lost wages, future diminished earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages include physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, scarring and disfigurement, inconvenience, and diminished enjoyment of life. Your spouse may also be entitled to bring a claim for loss of consortium.
Will my case go to trial?
The person that caused my injury is claiming that it was my fault; what do I do?
What is my case worth?
If my health insurance company pays for my medical bills, do I have to pay them back?
Generally yes. If you have private health insurance coverage that pays your medical bills, then your health insurer will have a lien against your case, which means that you must reimburse your insurer from any money you recover. If you receive government benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid, then those programs will also have liens against your case, and you will have to reimburse them as well.