Florida Car Accident Questions
After helping seriously injured victims of car accidents throughout South Florida, including those in injured in crashes in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Weston and Homestead collect tens of millions of dollars in compensation over twenty five years, Attorney Joseph Lipsky has heard, and answered, many car accident and car insurance related questions. Here are some other frequently asked Florida car accident questions, and some brief answers.
Why does my insurance company pay my medical bills if someone else caused the car accident?
Because Florida is a so-called No Fault State, each driver’s own insurance company is responsible for paying 80% of all car accident related medical expenses. Often, insurance companies challenge what they believe are unreasonable charges, by claiming they exceed what is considered to be necessary or customary. Recent amendments to Florida Law tie in the amount doctors may charge, and what your insurance company must pay, to so-called fee schedules, usually associated with Medicare reimbursement rates. Additionally, recent changes now require anyone injured in a Florida car accident to have been diagnosed as suffered an emergency medical condition by a doctor or ARNP. Chiropractors are not qualified to issue the EMC diagnoses. Without such an EMC diagnoses, your own insurance company may limit your medical benefits to $2,500.00.
Unfortunately, many Florida car insurance companies fail to pay all accident related medical bills; this is another reason why Florida car accident victims need to retain Joseph Lipsky, an experienced personal injury lawyer attorney.
How will the insurance company evaluate my car accident injury claim?
Insurance companies, including your own, will look at your personal injury claim from their point of view. Most major insurance companies use computer programs to evaluate your case. If your claim has an unusual angle, such as significant property damage, or the other driver being drunk, then the insurance company will add value beyond what their faceless computers indicate. When it comes to an insurance company’s evaluation of a car accident claim, only one thing is true, they will not look at the claim from your perspective. When an insurance company refuses to fairly evaluate a car accident personal injury claim, Joseph Lipsky, an experienced personal injury attorney will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and take the insurance company to trial, so that a jury, not the insurance company, has the final say on the value of a claim.
How can I help my lawyer increase the value of my Florida car accident case?
Be sure to provide your attorney with all of your car insurance and health insurance information, including providing copies of the front and back of those insurance cards. When your lawyer has this information at the beginning of a case, it alleviates concerns in making sure the correct parties receive the information needed to process your claim.
If you know of any witnesses to your accident, it is critical that you provide those individual’s information to your attorney as soon as possible after the crash. As insurance companies will be actively seeking out those same witnesses; hiring an attorney immediately after a car accident will help make sure your rights are also protected.
During the first few months after your accident, either your car insurance company, your health insurance company, or both, will be sending you forms called Explanations of Benefits (EOBs). These documents list all payments made for your medical care. These documents help to your attorney make sure that your medical bills are properly paid. Be sure to provide these EOB forms to your lawyer every time you receive one.
What else should I do to protect my case?
In this age of social media, it is a certainty that during the claims process that all insurance companies will use the internet to research accident victims. Many times a simple name search will lead an insurance adjuster to a Facebook or Twitter account which provides them with information that directly contradicts with what your treating doctor says you can and cannot do. While it may be difficult, not only should you not only refrain from posting anything about your accident or injuries, but you should shut down all social media sites until the conclusion of your claim.
What type of insurance are car owners and drivers required to have?
Pursuant to Florida Law, specifically statutes 324.021 through 324.022 and 324.023, drivers are only required to have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage (PD). Currently, Florida does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury liability coverage; which is why we recommend all car owners buy uninsured motorist coverage. As a large number of drivers do not have bodily injury liability insurance, in the event you are seriously injured by such a driver, you will have no way to seek any damages for your injuries; that is, unless you purchased uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy.
Are there laws to protect injured car accident victims from an insurance company behaving badly?
Florida Statute section 626.9541 prohibits insurance companies and agents from inappropriate behavior including:
- False advertising;
- Unfair claim practices;
- Unfair discrimination;
- Refusing to insure;
- Cancellations and non-renewals; and
- Premium surcharges.
Who is covered under my Florida car insurance policy?
Your personal car insurance policy provides coverage for the named insureds, a spouse, and your relatives who live with you, if you are the named insured. There is a significant caveat, which is you must notify your insurance company of every licensed driver who lives with you. If you fail to inform your insurance company of a licensed driver living in your home, they may later deny a claim for what is known as a material misrepresentation.
If you loan your car to someone, under most circumstances, you are also allowing that person to be a temporary insured under your policy. But if the person you loan your car to lives with you, or regularly uses your car, you must add them to your policy, or the insurance company will likely cancel your coverage for a material misrepresentation.
What is car accident medpay coverage?
When you purchase car insurance you have an opportunity to include medical payments coverage to your policy. Medpay covers reasonable expenses you incur for medical care caused due to injuries suffered in a car accident. Because your mandatory PIP coverage only pays for 80% of your accident related medical bills, buying optional medpay coverage will pick up the uncovered 20%, for which you are ultimately responsible.
What happens if I’m hurt and the person who caused the accident has no insurance?
Florida Statute section 627.727 requires insurance companies to offer you, when your policy has bodily injury coverage, the right to purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage pays you for injuries you suffer if you are involved in a car accident caused by someone that either does not have bodily injury insurance, or has an inadequate amount of bodily injury insurance to pay for all of your damages. Given the number of uninsured, or inadequately insured, drivers in Florida, purchasing UM coverage is one of the most important types of insurance Florida drivers should buy.
When you buy UM coverage, your insurance company is also obligated to offer you what is known as stacked coverage. Stacked UM coverage will help you if you have more than 1 car on your policy. As an example, if you have 2 cars, each with UM coverage of $50,000, then in the event of a serious accident, you will have the right to pursue $100,000 of UM insurance from your company.
Because UM coverage is so valuable, Florida Law requires insurance companies to get their insured’s signed rejection if they decide not to purchase UM coverage. If an insurance company fails to have you sign the specific rejection form, then you are entitled to UM coverage equal to the amount of the bodily injury liability limits on your policy.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, the Palm Beaches, the Florida Keys, or any city in between, call personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky to discuss all of your Florida car accident questions:
(888) FLA-LAW8 - Toll Free
(954) 693-0073 - Fort Lauderdale
(305) 821-7333 - Miami-Dade
(561) 514-3535 - Palm Beaches
(305) 296-6300 - Florida Keys
and to arrange for your FREE NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION. Since the call and car accident consultation are FREE, you should not delay in calling to find out about how to protect all of your legal rights.