FAQ – After a car accident
Gonzalez Law Firm, Orlando – Car Accident Attorney / Lawyer
- After a car accident should I call the police?
If any vehicle has visible damage, if someone is injured or if there’s any doubt, it is always best to call the police and make a report. Usually the police report doesn’t count as evidence on how the accident happened, since the police officer wasn’t there to witness the collision. The report is in fact essential to use as reference for the officer’s perception and point of view, after getting all the details of the people involved, such as witness statements.
- In a car accident is it important who receives the citation?
Under the Florida evidentiary rules, a citation cannot be used in court to determine who was at fault or negligent in an auto accident. The person who receives the citation is many times the one at fault but not always. In many cases, the fault is shared between two or more drivers. However, insurance companies initially make decisions about who will pay for damages and prejudices according to the person who received a citation.
- Who pays for damages to my car in a car accident at Orlando, Florida?
That depends on you insurance and who was at fault. If you cause the accident, your only option is your insurance. If the accident was your fault and you don’t have collision insurance, no one pays for your car or to fix any damages. If the other driver was at fault, you may use the insurance of that person. If you have collision coverage and the other driver is at fault, you may use your own insurance or the insurance of the other driver.
- Who pays for medical expenses?
This depends on several things. If you own a car, you are required by law to have personal injury protection coverage (PIP). This coverage under your car insurance pays 80% of your medical expenses up to the limit on your PIP, which is usually $10,000. This coverage is paid regardless of who was at fault. This is known as the “No-Fault” coverage. If your expenses exceed the PIP coverage, there are other available insurances that you may use. These include medical bills insurance, worker’s compensation and medical insurance. These insurances pay regardless of who was at fault. When your medical expenses exceed the available insurance, then who was at fault is an important factor. If the accident was your fault, these expenses need to come out of your own pocket. If the other driver was at fault of the car accident, then you have the right to file a claim against the other driver to cover all your medical expenses.
- Which protection does the insurance provide regarding personal injury of PIP coverage?
They cover 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to the coverage limit. There are exceptions, especially if the person willingly excluded lost wages coverage from their insurance policy. The PIP may also cover certain expenses related to the car accident, such as: domestic services and travel expenses to medical appointments. The average protection limit against personal injury is $10,000.00.
- Do I have a claim for personal injury?
If the accident was your fault, no. If the other driver was at fault then probably so. A personal injury lawsuit entails a claim for suffered injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. In the state of Florida, one can only start a personal injury claim if the injury attained is permanent. Permanent injuries include severe fractures, an injury that requires surgery, a bad scar and soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries such as sprained neck and back are more difficult to prove than a fracture or a scar, but they can still qualify as a permanent injury.
- What is an uninsured motorist claim?
This is exactly the same thing as a bodily injury lawsuit, but it is towards your own insurance company under your Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
- What is the value of a bodily injury lawsuit?
The value of a bodily injury lawsuit is usually determined by three main factors: who is at fault or negligent, the damage and the coverage. Without someone at fault, a bodily injury lawsuit has no value, even though you were horribly injured. If there is limited coverage, the value of your claim can be limited to the available coverage, even though the damages may be more extensive. Generally, the clearer the fact of who is at fault and the more severe the bodily injury, the greater the
value of your case.
- If I was at work when the car accident occurred, can this affect my claim?
Yes. If your employer has workers’ compensation, you may obtain a workers’ compensation claim plus the car accident claim.
- If I hire an attorney, does that mean that I will get more money?
This is a bit complex. If the person who was injured hires an attorney without experience, the value of your case may be adversely affected. Hiring a good lawyer will impact the value of your claim, but all depends on the severity of the suffered injury. If you suffered a minor injury, your claim has very little value regardless of the lawyer you may hire. If you have a severe injury, the quality of your lawyer makes a considerable difference in the amount you may receive. A lawyer without experience is one whom has little or none experience in managing bodily injuries claims.
Contact Francisco J. Gonzalez, Attorney at Law today at 1 (855) 333-0070 or use our online submission form to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your Car Accidents legal matter.