Florida Car Accident Questions and Answers
Our Orlando car accident lawyers compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about auto accidents. If your question was not answered here, please take advantage of our free consultation for car accidents by calling us now at (800)235-7060.
If you were involved in a car accident, you should immediately contact your insurance company and report it. Most of us, by law, have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage through our own insurance company, which provides coverage for a percentage of our medical treatment and lost wages. The standard PIP coverage amount is $10,000.00 and it covers 80 percent of your medical bills and 60 percent of your lost wages. Your insurance company will likely ask you to fill out a PIP application to begin using these benefits. You can then use the claim number provided to you when you make an appointment to see your doctor to avoid out of pocket expenses. You may also use your health insurance coverage as a secondary source of payment.
After contacting your insurance company, you should see a doctor immediately. The PIP will cover most of the charges. Oftentimes, after an auto accident, individuals feel a bit shaken and experience soreness throughout the body. The real pain and stiffness usually manifests days later, but it is very important to see your doctor right away because it provides documentation in your medical records as to your initial symptoms and injuries following the accident. When you see your doctor for the first time, it is very important that you provide information about the car crash.
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Assuming the other party is at fault for causing the accident, you are entitled to have the other party’s insurance pay for the damage and repair to your vehicle, as long as the other driver has sufficient property damage coverage. The advantage to taking this route is that you will not have to pay any applicable deductible under your policy. The insurance company will send a claim representative to inspect your vehicle and prepare an estimate of the damage and needed repairs. They may give you the option to have the repairs performed at a specific location they recommend OR they may give you a check and you can have the repairs performed at the body shop of your choice.
It is important to remember, however, that once you have accepted payment, any additional costs that may arise are your responsibility.
You should make sure that you receive proper compensation for the damage and needed repairs. One way to do this is to get your own independent estimate and compare it with the insurance company’s. If your car is declared a total loss, the insurance company is required to pay you the fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the loss.
You can also decide to have your own insurance company pay for the damage and repairs to your vehicle so long as you have sufficient property damage coverage to your vehicle. The advantage to using your own insurance company is that it will often be quicker. However, you will have to pay any applicable deductible. If the other party is at fault, your insurance company has a right of subrogation (that is the right to compensation by the at-fault party’s insurance).
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It depends on several factors and the specific circumstances and facts surrounding your auto accident. However, most individuals are entitled to recover the following:
- Compensation for the property damage to your vehicle
- PIP Coverage – for medical payments and lost wages (as described above)
- Payment for past medical expenses in excess of your PIP coverage
- Payment for lost wages in excess of your PIP coverage
If you are injured and a medical doctor can confirm that you have sustained a permanent injury as a direct result of the auto accident in question, you may be entitled to recover more than the items listed. This may include, among others:
- Future Medical Expenses
- Future Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earning Capacity
- Pain & Suffering in the Future
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Yes. Although you may be able to resolve the property damage claim on your own, it is best to seek legal advice if you feel you have been injured as a result of an auto accident. An attorney will be in the best position to properly advise you regarding the law and compensation that you may be entitled to. Furthermore, an Orlando car accident lawyer at our firm will protect your interest and handle your claim directly with the insurance company on your behalf. It is very important that you DO NOT sign a RELEASE without consulting with a car accident attorney first.
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DISCLAIMER : This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.
If you still have questions about what to do after a car accident, please take advantage of our free consultation for car accidents by calling us now at (800)235-7060. We help Orlando residents and international tourists injured in road traffic accidents.