Common Questions About Experiencing A Serious Injury or Wrongful Death of a Loved One
It is natural to have many questions and worries when faced with a legal issue or litigation. The experienced lawyers at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., ask many common legal questions and provide useful answers to help get you in making the best decisions for you and your family.
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What should I say to an insurance adjuster after an accident?
I recommend that victims never talk to an at-fault driver’s insurance company, no matter how much an adjuster calls you or attempts to contact you. However, it may be necessary to coordinate with your own insurance provider after a car accident to make repairs to your vehicle. Although your insurer should be working for you, you must still be careful what information you provide.
Keep This in Mind When Talking to Your Insurance Representative
Your insurance adjuster conducts a comprehensive review of the accident and works with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to settle any claims. It's still in your insurer’s best interest to pay as little as possible, and any mistakes you make after a crash can give it a reason to reduce your payment.
When it comes to dealing with your own insurance agent, you should:
- File a claim as soon as possible. Call your insurance company as soon as possible following a car accident. Most companies have a dedicated claims hotline where policyholders can report accidents day or night. Your insurance representative should explain your coverage and ask for a few basic details, such as the location of the accident and the name and insurance provider of the other driver.
- Discuss vehicle repairs only. Your own insurer handles the property damage portion of your claim. This can include towing your vehicle, finding a body shop nearby, providing you with a rental car, and making satisfactory repairs—or replacing the vehicle if it's a total loss.
- Don’t talk about your injuries. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, your auto insurance provider becomes liable for your injury damages if the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your medical costs.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put a car accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. If you have any questions, please fill out the form on this page, and a member of our injury team will get back to you immediately. And of course, you can always call our office at 727-777-6842.
Will my case go to trial?
Of the thousands of cases I've handled, a relatively small number have gone to a jury trial. In fact, only a few cases require us to actually file a lawsuit, and a lesser percentage of those will actually go to court. This is because we are able to negotiate good settlements for most of our clients before they get to court.
While the vast majority of personal injury cases never need to see the inside of a courtroom, it's critical that every single case be prepared as if you're going to trial.
Most Insurers Want to Avoid an Injury Trial
Most injury victims seek compensation from an at-fault person’s insurance company. Insurers stay in business by paying out as little as possible, and settlements are often much cheaper than jury verdicts.
Our thorough preparation is a key negotiating tool, giving insurers an extra incentive to pay a fair value on a claim.
Insurance companies will usually avoid trial if possible because:
- It’s expensive. A trial can require hiring experts, tracking down evidence, and costly court appearances, all for an unknown outcome. Insurers want to manage risk as well as costs, and will often choose to settle a demand quickly rather than go through an open-ended and unpredictable trial.
- They’re more likely to be seen as the “bad guys.” If the victim is a good witness, the jury may have a lot of sympathy, costing the insurance company more in damages—and potentially even more than that in pain and suffering.
- It can hurt business. Jury verdicts can be considered public records, meaning anyone can look up whether the insurance company has been named in a lawsuit and how much it was ordered to pay. Settlements have the potential to be secured privately, allowing the insurer to protect its reputation.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. If you have any questions, please fill out the form on this page, and a member from our injury team will get back to you immediately. And of course, you can always call our office at (727) 397-5571.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?
It's understandable that a wrongful death claim isn't at the forefront of your mind in the aftermath of a sudden loss. Family members may take weeks or even months to consider filing a lawsuit after the death of a relative simply because they're overwhelmed with grief and practical matters.
Fortunately, the law takes this into account by placing a reasonable time limit, called the statute of limitations, on the right of the family to sue for damages.
Florida Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
In Florida, the statute of limitations on injury cases is four years from the date of the car accident, fall, or other incident that resulted in injury. However, in cases where someone’s negligence results in death, close family members have only two years from the date of death to file a claim for compensation.
It's rare for the two-year time limit to be extended, but it may be possible in a few specific situations:
- Cases against the government. If a government entity is responsible for the death, the case follows a different process with special filing procedures. The notification requirements must be completed within three years, and the statute of limitations is extended to four years.
- Murder. If the death resulted from homicide, the statute of limitations may not begin on the date of death, but on the date that the person responsible is identified or arrested.
- Medical malpractice. If the death resulted from medical negligence, relatives have two years from the date when the cause of death is discovered to file a claim, rather than the date of death.
As you can see, it's better to get advice from an experienced Florida injury attorney sooner rather than later. At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
What should I do if I was hit by a car while riding a bicycle?
After a crash, your adrenaline and emotions are running high—especially if you were hurt. Most bike accident victims aren't in their right state of mind in the hours after an accident, and may not know what to do after a bike-car collision.
As an experienced Florida injury attorney, I offer a few tips to protect your health and your financial recovery after a bike accident.
Steps to Take After a Car-Bike Crash
If you’re still conscious and able to move after the accident, you should get off the roadway as soon as possible to prevent further injury. However, it's vital that you do not get back on your bike or leave the scene of the accident.
Once you're safely off the road, you should:
- Call 911. Always call the police after a bike-car accident. They'll file an accident report, collect contact information from the at-fault driver, and call for an ambulance to attend to your injuries. If the driver who struck you left the scene, law enforcement might also be able to track down the vehicle.
- Call a friend. You should always call someone you can trust after a crash to help you answer questions and get medical care. Choose someone who can contact the rest of your family to inform them of your condition and who knows vital information about you if you lose consciousness, such as medication allergies.
- Document the scene. Only if it's safe to do so, you should take photos of the accident scene, the car that struck you (including a picture of the license plate), your injuries, and damage to your bike for evidence. You should also collect contact information from the driver and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the crash occur.
- See a doctor immediately. If you're not taken to the hospital by ambulance, you should still go to the doctor to get checked out within the next 24 hours. It’s impossible to know the full extent of your injuries until you're evaluated by a medical professional.
- Speak with an attorney. Injuries in bike-car accidents can be severe, causing you to be out of work for months and unable to ride even longer. We carefully review all of the details of your case and fight diligently to recover all you are owed.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
Why is it important to hire an injury attorney who's willing to go to trial?
If you're looking for an attorney to handle your personal injury case, you should always ask whether they have experience going to trial. Surprisingly, many big-name law firms don't try their own cases—and the unwillingness to go to trial can have a big impact on the amount of compensation you receive.
How a Trial Attorney Benefits Your Personal Injury Case
Insurance companies know which lawyers try cases, and which ones don't. As a result, insurers are much more likely to negotiate a favorable settlement with an attorney who has the skills to take the case to court and won't hesitate to do so if that's the best option for the client.
Insurers know that trial attorneys are more likely to:
- Secure a jury verdict. Insurers want to keep cases out of court as often as possible because they could be ordered to pay vast amounts to injury victims. An attorney who's known for taking cases to court is a threat to the insurer’s interests, making the insurance company more flexible during settlement negotiations.
- Undergo a thorough preparation. A trial attorney prepares every injury case as if it will go to trial from the very beginning. This means comprehensive fact-checking, investigation, and examination of the details and how they interlock to prove a solid case. In this way, the case is constructed for the best chance of success even if it doesn't actually go to court.
- Stay the course. Lawyers who don't want to go to trial hope they can convince an insurer to settle favorably, but if the insurer offers too little, the lawyer may advise the client to accept the settlement rather than go to court. Trial attorneys aren’t simply waiting for the insurer to call their bluff, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., attorney Paul Cavonis carefully reviews all the details of your injury case to secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you. He provides one-on-one guidance—and doesn't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
What’s the difference between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim?
When a person is injured through someone else’s negligence, they have the right to pursue damages through a personal injury claim. However, if a victim suffers a fatal accident, the right to sue passes to their family members and is now called a wrongful death claim.
Types of Accidents and Injuries That May Lead to a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
Under Florida law, any injury caused by a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person” entitles a victim to recover damages.
A wrongful death claim may follow many different types of injury cases where someone has died, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents. These are common causes of wrongful death, especially for victims of drunk drivers, truck crashes, pedestrian injuries, and motorcycle accidents.
- Slips and falls. A dangerous slip or fall could give rise to a premises liability action, forcing a negligent property owner to pay for damages.
- Dog bites. A dog attack on a child or senior citizen may result in death, causing severe emotional trauma and pain and suffering to the family.
- Defective drugs. Parents and family members of victims who were killed by a fatal overdose, drug interaction, or defective medical device could sue the product manufacturer for wrongful death.
While no amount of money can replace a lost loved one, a wrongful death claim might offer closure and compensation for you and your family. Damages may include significant payments to the deceased person's estate, including lost wages, benefits, and medical and funeral expenses.
If someone in your family was fatally injured through negligence, attorney Paul Cavonis will listen to your story and explain your rights and options under the law. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
What should I do after a slip and fall on someone else’s property?
Nearly everyone will suffer a trip and fall accident at some point in their lives. While the effects of these accidents can range from bumps and bruises to lifelong complications, they all have one thing in common—the victim is usually not the one at fault.
By knowing what to do after a slip, trip, or fall, you can significantly increase your chances of getting fair payment for your injuries.
Property Owners Have Responsibilities Under Florida Law
Owners of commercial buildings, parking lots, and private homes have a legal duty to maintain their premises to ensure they're safe for visitors. If the owner of the property didn't warn you of the hazard that caused your fall or take steps to fix the problem, you may be able to make a claim against them for your injury costs.
However, your claim will only be successful if you take action in the minutes, hours, and days after the accident to protect your rights.
After you have slipped or fallen on someone else's property, you should:
- Stay at the scene. It might not be wise to get up immediately after a fall, as you may be lightheaded. If people come over to help you, be sure to record their names and contact information on your cellphone. If you can, it’s a good idea to take photos of the location where you fell, noting any stairs, spills, icy patches, or other conditions that contributed to your accident.
- Report the incident. If you fall in a public place, you may be asked to fill out an incident report with the manager, landlord, or owner. Keep your answers simple, avoid any language that suggests you're at fault, and be sure to request a copy before you leave.
- See a doctor. One of the biggest mistakes people make after an injury is failing to get immediate medical treatment. This places your health at risk, and it sends a signal to the at-fault party’s lawyer and insurance company that you weren't seriously hurt in the fall. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so never put off going to the doctor after a sudden injury.
- Call an attorney. The easiest way to protect your rights is to speak to our experienced car accident law firm as soon as possible. We can take over the legal aspects of the claim and prevent you from making mistakes—such as posting about the accident on social media or giving a statement to an insurance company.
If you suffered a serious accident, attorney Paul Cavonis will fight for you while you focus on healing. We answer all of your questions and advise you on your options, helping you get the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation.
Can I get payment for a slip or fall on a Florida sidewalk?
Sidewalks are supposed to be a safe place for pedestrians to travel, especially those set far away from speeding cars and busy alleys. However, even if there is nobody else on a walkway, you still have the potential for a serious injury through a fall. When this happens, a you can seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering from the person whose negligence caused the injury.
Common Conditions Leading to Sidewalk Falls
An unexpected hazard can cause a you to fall forward, breaking bones in your hands, knees, or face, while a backward fall can cause back pain, tailbone injuries, or even traumatic brain injury.
Some of the most common sidewalk dangers include:
- Cracked or crumbling pavement
- Curbs that have not been lowered at crosswalks or other entry points
- Uneven grading between pavement slabs or nearby surfaces (such as when a sidewalk intersects a driveway)
- Slippery walking surfaces (such as mud, moss, oil, or spilled sand and gravel)
- Debris (such as children’s bikes, electrical cords, tree limbs, or trashcans)
- Missing pavement slabs
- Cracked or hazardous walkways from tree roots pushing through the surface
Liability for Slips or Falls on Sidewalks
Under the theory of negligence, anyone who has the responsibility of installing or maintaining a sidewalk must take reasonable care to address common dangers before they cause injury. When these injuries occur, there may be a number of parties who could share liability, including:
- Municipalities. State and local government agencies must ensure that their sidewalks are properly designed for use. They must also rope off any broken slabs or areas under repair with caution tape until sidewalk maintenance can be performed.
- Businesses. If a business allowed an unsafe condition to continue on the sidewalk or path outside the building, the business may be held liable for negligence.
- HOAs. Condo or homeowners associations might share liability for a slip or fall inside a gated community, apartment complex, or housing development.
- Homeowners. Homeowners may be held partially responsible for the maintenance of city sidewalks that border their property. If you fell on a sidewalk in front of a residence, you may be able to bring a claim against the city, the homeowner’s insurance, or both.
Attorney Paul Cavonis will fight to get you all that you are owed when someone else’s negligence causes a fall, and we do not charge you anything unless we secure compensation for you. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to schedule a confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.
What’s the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death claim?
If your loved one was fatally injured in an accident, you and other surviving family members may be able to pursue a claim for damages under Florida law.
Depending on the circumstances, you could be eligible to file either a wrongful death claim or a survival action to recover compensation for an injured party’s death. Let's take a look at the differences between these two types of claims.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim involves a person killed as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Some examples include being struck by a drunk driver, falling from a height due to a lack of railings, or slipping on someone else’s property.
State laws give all accident victims the legal right to file injury claims in order to recover payment. Since a fatally-injured victim can't file a claim on their own behalf, the right to bring an injury claim falls to the next of kin. In most cases, only a surviving spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death claim.
Potential damages in a wrongful death case may include:
- Compensation for funeral expenses
- Loss of financial contribution
- Lost parental support
- Loss of household assistance
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
The amount awarded depends on the claimant’s relationship to the deceased person, the deceased person’s assets and income, and the value of the deceased person’s services to the family.
What Is a Survival Action?
A survival action is an extension of an existing legal claim filed by an injured party. For example, a victim may file an injury claim after being struck by a piece of falling construction equipment, but is killed in a car accident while the case is still pending. If this happens, the victim’s surviving family members may pursue a survival action to recover the compensation the individual would be owed had he or she survived.
Survival actions are different from wrongful death claims because they seek compensation for the pain and suffering the injured party endured before his or her death. The death doesn't have to be related to the injury for which damages are sought in order for a survival action to be successful.
Damages in survival claims may include compensation for loss of income, medical bills, and pain and suffering between the accident and the time of death. They vary depending on the duration of the suffering after the accident, the severity of pain, and the variety of symptoms the victim suffered prior to death.
The attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis can examine the details of your case and determine whether you may be eligible to file a wrongful death or survival action claim. Reach out to us using the information on this page to set up a consultation with a Florida wrongful death attorney.
Where do slip and falls commonly occur?
From your kitchen to city streets or even airplanes, any place a person can walk poses a risk of a slip, trip, or fall.
While slip and fall accidents can happen practically anywhere, there are a few locations where these injuries are more likely to take place.
Places Where Slip and Fall Injuries Often Occur
It's important to recognize where slips, trips, and falls are most likely to happen for several reasons.
- It can help you stay vigilant in these areas and prevent an injury from occurring.
- It's easier to identify which party may be liable if you choose to file a slip and fall lawsuit.
- There may be specific laws or policies that apply specifically to an accident caused by a particular peril, such as when children trespass onto a dangerous property.
Slip and fall accidents are most likely to happen in or on:
- Supermarkets and stores. Many falls in grocery stores result from spilled liquids or standing water (such as from leaking refrigeration units) not cleaned up promptly. Retail stores may be responsible for falls from tripping hazards, such as clutter in customer aisles.
- Elevators or escalators. Elevators may have broken tiles or torn carpeting, while escalators may be unsafe or slippery due to lack of maintenance.
- Steps and stairs. Uneven surfaces, lack of handrails, and poor lighting are common causes of falls in stairwells, front and back stoops, and exposed staircases.
- Parks and playgrounds. Children are often injured in poorly-designed play areas, while adults may slip on gravel, footpaths, or tiles surrounding public swimming pools.
- Sidewalks and parking lots. Municipalities have a duty to maintain city sidewalks, and can be accountable when uneven, broken, or slippery walkways cause injuries. Business and city governments are both responsible for repairing potholes or broken pavement in parking lots—and for placing cones around the hazard to warn visitors until repairs are made.
- Bars and restaurants. Businesses that serve food or alcohol have a responsibility to clean any spills as quickly as possible to prevent slips, and to ensure all areas have adequate lighting to prevent injury.
- Bathrooms. Bathrooms are common sites of slipping injuries due to the likelihood of water spilling onto tiles or slippery floors. The staff members of hotels, coffee shops, gyms, hospitals, and all other locations where guests may use the facilities should ensure they're adequately cleaned and lit.
Most of the time, these accidents are the result of someone else’s negligence. If you were hurt on someone else's property, contact us today so we can help determine who is responsible. When you work with us, we pay all initial costs necessary to pursue your claim—you're not responsible for any of our fees unless we secure a financial recovery. Contact DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis today to set up a consultation with a Florida premises liability attorney.
What do I need to prove to recover damages in an injury case?
If you suffered a serious injury, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and financial losses. While Florida law allows you to recover these costs from at-fault parties, you will have the burden of proving that the person who caused the injury—the defendant—was legally negligent.
Proving Negligence Is Key to Recovering Damages for an Injury
Injury cases such as slip-and-falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice are all based on the legal doctrine of negligence. Simply put, negligence is failure to ensure the proper degree of care necessary to prevent harm to another person. While there are many kinds of evidence that can be used to prove negligence, there are also specific tenets of negligence law that must be proved in order to recover damages.
Before you can be awarded damages for injuries, your attorney must prove:
- You were owed a duty of care. This means the defendant had a legal obligation to provide for your safety, also known as a duty of care. There are some cases when the defendant’s duty of care may be minimal, such as if you were trespassing at the time your slip and fall occurred.
- The defendant breached the duty of care. If you were owed a duty of care, there must be evidence the defendant was in violation of that duty. This may include different types of negligence, such as failing to fix a hazardous condition, acting carelessly or recklessly, or neglecting to warn you and others of the potential danger.
- The defendant’s breach caused damages. The attorney has to establish a clear link between the breached duty of care and your injuries. If the defendant's legal team can prove your medical condition resulted from something else, the defendant may not have to pay for your injuries—even if the judge agrees this individual or entity was otherwise negligent.
- The degree of your own negligence. In Florida, your own negligence for an injury doesn't prevent you from seeking damages. However, if you are partially to blame for an accident, the amount of your recovery is reduced by your percentage of fault. Legal counsel for the defense will try to make your percentage of fault as high as possible to reduce the amount of money owed to you, but our attorneys gather evidence to refute these claims.
If you suffered an injury, our personal injury attorney can outline your options and work to secure the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
How long will it take to resolve my personal injury case?
The length of time it takes to get compensation in an injury case can vary widely from client to client. While most personal injury cases can be resolved in about a year, the timeline will be longer or shorter depending on the specifics of your case.
The length of time it will take to resolve your injury case depends on:
- The severity of your injuries. The extent and complexity of your injuries can affect the timeline of your case. For instance, if you broke your arm in a Florida slip and fall accident, your case would likely be resolved more quickly than if you had suffered a traumatic brain injury or back injury that caused long-term losses.
- Whether you reach maximum medical improvement. The goal of a personal injury case is to recover as much of your lost wages and medical costs as possible. For this reason, many attorneys recommend that you wait to settle your claim until you have reached maximum physical recovery. Once your doctor agrees that your injuries are healed, or that your condition is unlikely to improve, your attorney can more accurately calculate your future losses.
- The investigation process. Your case hinges on evidence, and it can take a long time to gather the paperwork needed to prove your case. We work with many different parties to collect evidence, such as medical records, police reports, photographs, video recordings, and insurance communications. It can take agencies a long time to respond to these requests.
- The amount of damages. Cases that involve a large settlement typically take longer than demands for a lower amount of damages. Insurers may decide that it's better to pay out a reasonable settlement than spend money building a case and going to trial. However, if a victim suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in injury costs, the insurer is much more likely to attempt to defeat the claim in court.
- Whether or not you go to trial. Many personal injury cases reach a settlement without going to trial. While cases that settle may resolve more quickly, they often involve negotiations that result in lower damages. If you go to trial, you can potentially win more in damages, but you will be reliant on court dates, judges’ schedules, and other delays that can lengthen your case.
While there isn't a time limit for how long an injury case may last, there's a limited window of time that victims have to file their lawsuit in court. After this period, a victim loses his right to pursue compensation. Contact us today to have our legal team get started on your case.
How much is a personal injury attorney going to cost?
Many injury victims struggle to pay for the costs of their medical bills and do not have the funds to hire a lawyer for their cases. For this reason, attorneys are allowed to work on a contingency fee basis when taking on a Florida personal injury case.
A contingency fee agreement is an arrangement between a lawyer and an injury client where the lawyer agrees to foot the bill for case until it's won.
Simply put, contingency fees allow injury victims to get legal advice and representation without paying any costs up front.
Benefits of Contingency Fee Agreements in Florida Injury Cases
Contingency fees offer a number of benefits for both attorneys and clients. First, since the attorney won't be paid unless the case is won, he has a greater incentive to win your case. He'll also try to keep expenses as low as possible and recover as high a settlement for you as he can, since he's paid with a percentage of your damages.
Additional advantages of a contingency fee agreement include:
- A client pays no upfront costs of his or her case, including retainers, requests for medical records, obtaining police reports, hiring expert witnesses and investigators, taking depositions, creating trial exhibits, and postage and filing fees.
- The client doesn't pay legal fees until the case is settled, allowing the client to retain as much of his or her compensation as possible while the case is being decided.
- If the attorney does not win the case, the client doesn't pay any legal fees.
- The lawyer is limited as to the percentage of the client’s recovery he may take as his fee.
In order for a contingency fee agreement to be legal, the lawyer and client must sign a written fee agreement before litigation that states what portion of the recovery the lawyer will be paid. In Florida, the percentage depends on a number of factors, including the amount of damages, whether the attorney must file a lawsuit (versus settling without filing), whether a negligent party admits liability, and whether an appeal must be filed.
Our attorneys are proud to offer our assistance to all injury clients on a contingency-fee basis. Contact us today to speak to a member of our legal team about your case.
How do I pay my medical bills after a Florida car accident?
Not every injured driver needs to pursue a lawsuit to get injury coverage after a crash. There are several different options available to pay for your medical costs after a Florida car accident, including:
- No-fault car insurance. All Florida drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage from an auto insurance company.
Since Florida is a no fault car accident state, all drivers claim their injuries and losses on their own car’s insurance policy. If you're not insured under any auto policy and were injured as a passenger, you can request payment under the PIP medical coverage of the vehicle you were riding in. If you were injured as a pedestrian, you can seek medical coverage from any covered vehicle involved in the accident. PIP will generally cover up to $10,000 of your medical costs.
- MedPay. Medical Payment Insurance Coverage, or MedPay, is an optional benefit that helps cover Florida car accident costs. MedPay covers the co-pay that your PIP requires, which can be up to two thousand dollars. Depending on the coverage you've selected, you may be able to use MedPay for costs that PIP insurance doesn't reimburse.
- Health insurance. If your medical bills exceed the amount paid for through your auto insurance, you can submit claims to your personal health insurance providers. Your health insurance carrier usually wants you to exhaust as much as you can through your car insurance before accessing health care benefits.
- Medicare and Medicaid. If you rely on federal programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, these programs will pay for your medical bills related to a car accident. However, you may be asked for reimbursement for some or all of these costs.
- Workers’ compensation. If your car accident happened while you were performing job-related duties, your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage is required to pay all of your medical bills, including deductibles, co-pays, and transportation expenses incurred while going to and from your doctors’ appointments.
- Injury lawsuit. If your medical costs far exceed the amount of your insurance coverage, you may consider suing the at-fault driver. You still have to pay your bills as your case is being decided, but the settlement you receive should but calculated carefully to include any fees or financial hardship you have endured while waiting for the resolution of your case.
Our attorneys can help determine the best way for you to get medical coverage after your injury. Contact us today for a prompt response from a member of our legal team.
- No-fault car insurance. All Florida drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage from an auto insurance company.
What types of compensation can I collect in a Florida injury case?
Financial difficulties are the biggest reason injury victims consider filing a lawsuit. Victims are often unable to work as they go through long and painful recoveries, racking up medical bills with no way to pay for their losses. Pursuing an injury case allows victims to recover a large portion of the costs they have already paid, but also an amount for future losses their injuries may cause.
Different Types of Damages Awarded to Florida Injury Victims
Florida courts can award two types of monetary settlements, also called damages, to injury victims. Economic damages are the award for the costs a victim has already paid, and can be totaled and estimated easily. Non-economic damages are awarded on top of calculable losses, and include additional payments that may not be easily quantified, such as payment for unnecessary suffering.
Injury victims typically seek compensation for:
- Past medical treatment. Emergency room visits, hospital stays, prescription medicines, physical therapy, rehabilitative devices, and any medical bills related to the accident may be recovered. If you were forced to make modifications to your home or vehicle due to the injury, these may also be recompensed.
- Future medical costs. Injuries that have caused long-lasting health problems or permanent disabilities can cost a victim thousands of dollars each year. Courts may assign an additional amount to cover these costs.
- Property damages. Injuries that caused damage to your home, car, or other property may be included in your settlement, such as the replacement value of your vehicle.
- Lost wages. Injury victims may receive payment for the wages they lost while they were out of work. They can also be granted an amount to compensate them for the loss of income they'll suffer as a result of long-term injury or disability.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic compensation. It's awarded only in certain cases, such as if a victim has suffered severe physical and emotional pain, inconvenience, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life. Most Florida injury cases that qualify for pain and suffering damages involve permanent injuries or long-term suffering.
- Punitive damages. These are another form of non-economic damages that are meant to punish the wrongdoer for his or her negligence.
Our attorneys can help determine the proper amount for your economic and non-economic damages, giving you the best chance of recovery for your injury. Contact us today for a prompt response from a member of our legal team.