If you've been injured in an accident, read our FAQs in order to understand your situation a little better. Once you've learned everything you can from these questions, call Bryan Caulfield with your specific questions. As a Clearwater personal injury attorney, he can give you the legal counsel you need in a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Call (727) 308-6060 and ask for Bryan when you're ready for answers.
In Florida the first $10,000 in medical bills and your lost wages are paid by your own auto insurance, even though you did not cause the auto accident. This Personal Injury Protection coverage, sometimes call PIP or no-fault coverage, pays typically 80% of medical bills and 60% of any lost wages. Your health insurance, your worker’s compensation if applicable, and other coverage will be coordinated to pay additional bill. Your doctor may wait for payment by take a Letter of Protection (LOP) or a promise to pay them when the case settles. In any case, an attorney can help you gain immediate access to medical care after an accident, while helping prepare your case so you are eventually reimbursed or found not liable for any of your medical costs.
Lost wages are payable by your mandatory PIP coverage referred to above. Your auto insurance typically pays 60% of your lost wages, or up to $10,000.00. You may also be entitled to lost wages from worker’s compensation if you were working, or you may have disability coverage to pay lost wages to you.
After an accident, you will need to determine who is at fault for the crash. All drivers are required by Florida Law to maintain a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. The at-fault driver thus should be able to pay for your damage to your vehicle.
If you have collision coverage on your own policy, you have the option of submitting the property damage claim to your own insurance company to resolve it. They will pay your damages minus the amount of your deductible, which the insurance company will work to get reimbursed to you later.
Civil torts, or civil law claims, hinge on a single legal principle called "duty of care." Essentially, every person, worker, and business is obligated to make sure they are not endangering or harming others with their actions or inaction. When they do not exercise their duty of care, they are what the law calls "negligent." This makes them liable for the costs for the damage they cause, whether those are physical injuries, mental traumas, lifelong illness, lost wages, or property damage.
In particularly heinous cases, like when a company knowingly releases a harmful product and causes a fatal injury, punitive damages may be applied. In all personal injury cases, the entire claim revolves around proving that the at-fault party was negligent. Without proof of negligence, there is no way to file an effective injury claim.
Most personal injury lawyers operate on a "contingency fee," which means clients only pay their lawyers a percentage of what they receive from the case. That means if the client wins nothing, then they do not pay a fee. It's a way of making justice and compensation affordable for anyone, as clients are responsible for none of the upfront costs of their case. All investigations, expert witnesses, and other legal work involved is paid for by the firm.
Have more questions? Call (727) 308-6060 and be sure to ask for Bryan for answers you can count on.