Have you or a loved one just been hurt in a serious accident? Are you unsure what your legal options are or how you should best proceed to take action against those responsible? You're not alone. In fact, most injury victims are initially in the dark about what they can do to seek relief for their injury and their accumulating medical bills and lost wages.
Below, our knowledgeable Panama City personal injury attorneys have compiled some of the most common questions we hear from injury victims—and the answers they need to make informed decisions. Browse the questions below or request a free consultation with our experienced legal counselors today. With more than 65 years of legal experience, we know what it takes to navigate our clients to the best outcome possible.
We're ready to guide you during this difficult time. Call (850) 795-4979 to start the process.
WHO PAYS FOR MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
IF I WAS HURT AS A PASSENGER IN SOMEONE ELSE'S CAR, DO I HAVE TO NOTIFY MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
SHOULD I TAKE PICTURES OF MY CAR AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
SHOULD I TAKE PICTURE OF MY INJURY?
WHO PAYS TO FIX MY CAR?
AM I ENTITLED TO A RENTAL CAR?
If the wreck was partially your fault, then expect problems in this area. This is because the other driver’s insurance company will have a defense to your claim (your own negligence). If the other driver has insufficient coverage for all the damage they caused, then you can also expect problems. This is because the insurance company is they don’t have enough money to pay for the property damage itself and as a result, they may be unwilling to furnish you with a rental car. In either of these scenarios, you are still protected if you purchased rental car coverage on your own car insurance policy.
SHOULD I GIVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY A TAPED STATEMENT?
Whatever your issue is, remember the insurance company wants to pay the smallest amount possible. As a result, you need some basic information about how to protect yourself because your words can come back to haunt you. Not because you were not truthful or did not do your best, you simply were an amateur playing with the pros.
HOW LONG WILL MY CASE LAST?
Now the exceptions: my injury occurred, I had surgery two days after the crash and the other driver only has $10,000 in coverage. In this case, it may not be necessary to wait another 6 months because your injuries may already warrant the other driver’s policy limits. Again, each case is different and naturally, there are always going to exceptions—especially in the area of law.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
Two: Is your injury specific to a certain part of your body—broken arm, torn ligament in your knee—something that is readily identifiable? This is not always required, but it provides a better foundation for explaining your case to the insurance company.
Third: Did you seek medical attention soon after the accident? If the delay in seeking treatment was 10 days or greater, then do you have a very good reason why treatment was delayed?
Fourth: Does the other driver have the “right kind” of insurance and if not, do you have the “right kind” of insurance. The insurance questions are multiple and they are more than can be covered here. For more information on car insurance and what Florida requires and what the different types of coverage please download my book—The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance in Florida.
HOW MUCH IS MY CLAIM WORTH?
- How clear is it that the other person was at fault?
- How much do your medical bills total?
- How much do your lost wages total?
- How much will your future medical bills and future lost wages total?
- How has the injury affected your ability to work, play, sleep, run, dance, swim, ride, hunt, bowl, focus, study... this list is endless but what has changed in your life from before the wreck to after the wreck.
HOW DO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS GET PAID?
The Florida Bar limits the amounts attorneys may charge for personal injury contingency fees in Florida. For case values less than one million dollars, the fees are limited to 33.3% if no lawsuit is filed; 40% if a lawsuit is filed and the defendant files an answer, and potentially an additional 5% if the case has to go on appeal for one reason or another. As with everything, there are some variances to the fees charged and they can be less, but this is a general overview.
CAN I CANCEL MY CONTINGENCY FEE CONTACT AFTER I SIGN?
One of our goals is to educate our clients about the contingency fee contract, how the attorney’s fees and costs will be paid at the end of the case, and how long the process is expected to take. One of the main reasons for client dissatisfaction is they feel there is a lack of communication with their attorney. To improve client satisfaction, we start at the beginning by thoroughly discussing the case process and we also provide a written handout that gives our clients an overview of a typical personal injury case with a time frame for how their case will likely progress.
Have more questions? Ready to inquire about representation? Our firm is ready to assist you. Contact us today to request a free consultation.