Auto Accidents

While car accidents comprise a significant portion of personal injury and wrongful death claims, it would be wrong to think that they are always simple to resolve.

Auto Accidents FAQ’s: 1-12 | 13-21

Auto Accidents FAQ’s Cont.


13. What is the limitation on lawsuit threshold?
This feature restricts your right to sue for pain and suffering. If your policy has this threshold, in order to sue successfully for pain and suffering, your injury must fit within one of the categories of injury: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) significant disfigurement or scarring; or (4) "Permanent Injury", which is defined to mean that the body organ or part has not healed to normal function and will not heal to normal function with further medical care. A certification by a doctor as to permanency is usually required.

14. The adjuster for the other driver keeps calling me at home? What should I do?
Don=t talk to an adjuster until you speak to us. Keep in mind the adjuster works for the other driver=s insurance company. Their job is to pay you no money at all or as little as possible.

15. I have auto insurance so why won’t the insurance company take care of all of the expenditures?
If you are a Florida resident, you should have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) or no fault coverage. This insurance should cover expenditures whether or not the person seeking benefits is at fault. You may have a deductible associated with your PIP coverage, but after that, you can expect the insurance company to pay at least 80% of your accident related bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000.

In the case of a catastrophic accident with a large amount of expenses, uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage is critical. Oftentimes, when purchasing insurance, consumers are not aware of the importance of this part of the coverage. If you are involved in an accident with an individual who does not have any or insufficient insurance coverage, the uninsured/underinsured coverage would step in to help make up the difference.

16. How much will I receive for my case?
There are many factors in determining the worth of your case including: past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, loss of earning capacity in the future, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and others. This must all be considered against factors such as who was at fault and whether or not the doctors will testify your injuries suffered are specifically related to the accident versus a reoccurrence of an earlier injury. It is difficult to give an exact dollar figure to your case until all of the facts are reviewed and considered. However, an initial review could provide an estimate based on what you tell us about your case.

17. What will it cost me to pursue my case?
If the case settles before filing a suit and receipt of an answer, our firm would receive a fee of 33 1/3%. If the case should proceed from pre suit to suit and you recover, then our firm would receive a fee of 40%. If you are unable to recover any financial award, we do not collect a fee.

18. Why does a case go to trial?
Insurance companies are very aggressive when it comes to protecting their assets. These companies are in business for a profit, and their responsibility is to their shareholders, not you. Therefore, they will make it more difficult for an individual to receive payouts by litigating the case. Litigation can result in going to court, although often, the insurer will wind up settling the case before getting to court. It is a method of dragging out the process and making things more difficult for the plaintiff.

19. What is maximum medical improvement (MMI) and a permanent impairment rating?
Maximum Medical Improvement is defined as the point in your treatment where the doctor determines that further recovery is not anticipated. Essentially, at that time your treatment shifts from rehabilitative treatment to palliative care. In the case where a permanent injury has occurred, the insurance company wants to know, after receiving maximum medical improvement, what is the permanent impairment rating as determined by your physician? When determining this rating, the physician is required to use guidelines established by the American Medical Association. Essentially, the impairment rating is a basis for evaluation by the insurance company.

20. How do I pay for my treatments while awaiting any financial recovery?
In the event the insurance coverage is fully exhausted, a physician may accept a "letter of protection." Given the medical facility or treating physician accepts it, this allows you to continue receiving treatment until you receive a recovery for your case. Their bills will then be paid out of the amount you receive upon resolving your case.

21. How long will my case take?
While every case is different, a typical auto accident case can take from four to eight months to resolve. A case may take longer where ongoing medical treatment is needed to determine the full extent of the client's injuries and needs for recovery. Obviously, it is important to know the full extent of the damages before a demand for damages is made. This process allows us to ensure an adequate demand for damages is made.

These statement are intended as a general statement of the law and do not constitute the furnishing of legal advice or the formation of an attorney client relationship. For a FREE consultation, call Michael Winer Injury Attorney (813) 224-0000.

Next List of Auto Accidents FAQ’s: 1-12 | 13-21

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