Florida Personal Injury Guide

Florida Personal Injury Guide

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If you are in a dispute with an insurance company over a claim or settlement, procuring excellent legal assistance can be of great value to you. Contact our East Central Florida insurance claims lawyers today to find out more.

Are you being unfairly treated by an insurance company?

Unfortunately, many of us will have to be in dialogue or negotiation with an insurance company at some point in our life. This is never a pleasant or gratifying experience. As insurance companies are in the business of making profit, they will many times go out of their way to pay out as little as possible on a claim or even deny coverage on a perfectly legitimate claim. It is sad that we cannot count on insurance companies to always be fair and just in meeting their obligations, but it is a reality in life – and a reality that is becoming more and more prevalent.

Sometimes if you are involved in some sort of accident or personal injury lawsuit due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, you will be dealing with an insurance company that is not your own. This can be even more frustrating and difficult as you are not even their customer, so the incentive to pay out a claim is even lower. Insurance companies must maintain the highest cash reserves possible, as they make money off interest and the investing of those reserves. When they must pay out, they lose money.

Finding a knowledgeable, dedicated law firm who can fight for your interests and deal directly with stubborn insurance companies can be invaluable. At Layman Law Firm, we pride ourselves in excellent legal representation and have been providing personal and intimate service to our clients for nearly 10 years. Our attorneys are highly skilled and will fight for your interests after an insurance company has given you the run around.

Why go through another round of difficult dealings with an insurer? Contact our East Central Florida insurance claims lawyers for immediate relief to your frustration.

Frequently Asked Car Insurance Questions

Am I required to buy auto insurance in Florida if I own or lease a car Am I required to buy auto insurance in Florida if I own or lease a car?

If you own a motor vehicle in the state of Florida, the only insurance coverage that the state requires you to carry are property damage liability and PIP. Property damage liability covers you if you crash into somebody and cause damage to their property, and PIP or no-fault benefits covers you if you were injured and required medical care and treatment as a result of that accident. Our firm always recommend purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, but you are not required to carry that coverage by law.

What is the purpose of obtaining uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is probably the single most important type of coverage you can have on your automobile policy. If you were involved in a car accident, and the person who caused the car accident is either uninsured for bodily injury liability coverage or underinsured for that type of coverage, then you can present your injury claim directly against your uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier.

What if I am involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver?

Unfortunately, this is something that we see from time to time: accidents caused by drivers who are uninsured. This is why it’s very important to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy. This way, if someone hits you that is uninsured, then you can present your injury claim under the uninsured/underinsured portion of your auto policy.

What is collision coverage?

Collision coverage is a type of coverage on your policy which will provide for the payment to repair your motor vehicle if it’s been involved in an accident. The difference between collision coverage and property damage coverage is if you run your property damage claim through your own collision policy, it is subject to your deductible. If you run your property damage claim through the other person’s property damage liability coverage, then there is no deductible to satisfy.

Do I need to contact my insurance company about my car accident?

You need to let your insurance company know that you’ve been involved in an accident so that a claim can be set up. This way, if there’s a collision type of claim that’s being presented or a PIP no-fault claim that’s being presented, your bills can be processed, your property damage claim can be presented and paid, and you can get the ball rolling to get you down the road.

Can I file a car accident claim if I do not have insurance coverage?

If you are injured in a car accident in the state of Florida and don’t have your own auto insurance coverage, that’s no prohibition against you making a claim against the person who actually caused the accident. That being said, if you don’t have insurance coverage, then you wouldn’t have PIP benefits available to you or any uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage, for that matter. You would still be able to present an injury claim against the at-fault party and their bodily injury coverage, however, if they had that coverage.

What is the most important type of coverage I should have on my automobile policy?

The most important coverage you can have on your own auto policy of insurance is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, also known as UM coverage. This is because, in Florida, people aren’t required to carry bodily injury liability coverage. As a result, any number of individuals without liability coverage could run into you and cause you an injury. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then you can make your claim for injury directly against your insurance company, even though the person that caused the accident was uninsured for bodily injury coverage.

What is no-fault insurance What is no-fault insurance?

No-fault insurance, also known as PIP or P.I.P. insurance coverage, is required in the state of Florida. Everybody that has a car out there on the road has PIP coverage. Essentially, under this coverage, if you were injured arising out of the use, operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle, your medical bills would be paid for by your own auto insurance company without regard to fault. PIP typically pays 80% of medical bills, up to $10,000. You may also have purchased what they call a MedPay policy that will cover the other 20%, but standard PIP pays 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000.

Will I be compensated if the driver who hit me said they had full coverage?

That’s a tricky question because many people think that because they have their vehicle insured that they have full coverage. There are many misconceptions about full coverage in our state because Florida only requires drivers to carry property damage liability and PIP; there’s no requirement whatsoever to carry bodily injury coverage. Just because someone who hit you says they have full coverage, does not mean it is going to be the type of coverage that we would look for to compensate you for your injuries. This is all the more reason to purchase uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself.

What happens if the other driver involved in the accident has minimal coverage?

Sometimes, people that have caused accidents don’t have any insurance whatsoever or inadequate insurance. This is why we advise clients to make sure they are protected by purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on their automobile policies. This way, if you are hit by someone that is either completely uninsured or underinsured, as you can still present your injury claim to your uninsured motorist carrier.

What does property damage liability cover, and under what circumstances?

Everybody in the state of Florida is required to carry property damage liability coverage. Essentially what that means is, if someone crashes into you, their property damage liability coverage will pay for the repair of your vehicle. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss, damage liability coverage would cover that as well. Additionally, it can provide you with a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Essentially, liability coverage from a property damage standpoint pays for the repair or the replacement of your vehicle, as well as loss of use damages.

Should I release my medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster after a car crash?

It is never a good idea to give your medical records or give an authorization for those medical records to the at-fault party’s insurance company. What the insurance company will try to do is pour through those records and make you a lowball offer to resolve the case. When a claim is presented by an attorney, the medical records are part of the demand package that is sent in, but they are presented in such a fashion that the value of your case is maximized.

What is the difference between stacked and non-stacked uninsured motorist coverage What is the difference between stacked and non-stacked uninsured motorist coverage?

If you’ve elected to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you have to make an election to select either stacked uninsured motorist coverage or non-stacked. The difference is essentially this – if you select non-stacked uninsured motorist coverage in an amount of, say, $50,000, and you have a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, then your maximum recovery would be $50,000. If you elected stacked coverage and you have multiple vehicles on your policy with $50,000 in coverage, then you can stack the coverages on each of those car policies so that your maximum recovery, in this hypothetical, would be $150,000. It’s essentially a way for you to, at a very reasonable price, have additional uninsured motorist coverage available if you’re struck by an uninsured motorist or an underinsured motorist in Florida.

What is uninsured motorist coverage used for?

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is an optional coverage you can add to your auto insurance policy. Essentially, its purpose is to serve as a substitute if the person that causes a crash or runs into you is either uninsured for bodily injury liability or underinsured for bodily injury liability. In those situations, you can present your injury claim directly against your auto insurance company under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, just as if that was the insurance company for the at-fault party.