What should I do if I am hurt in a car accident?
The most important thing to do after a car accident is to seek treatment immediately in order to avoid the “gap in treatment” defense that the insurance company will inevitably use against you. Most insurance companies believe that if you do not seek treatment immediately, you probably were not seriously injured. Therefore, a lower settlement value will be assigned to your case. If you were stopped at a red light and hit from behind, the other driver is always 100% at fault and should be sued, if he has auto insurance. Some people in Florida drive without auto insurance even though it is against the law. To protect yourself against uninsured motorists, you must have uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy.
What is PIP?
PIP is an abbreviation for personal injury protection. In 2013, legislation was passed in Florida that allowed insurance companies to collect higher rates while providing fewer benefits to policyholders. Florida requires each driver to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, which allows a Florida motorist to receive medical benefits if involved in an accident, even if the accident is his fault. Patients need certification by a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner corroborating that the injury required immediate medical attention. Unless you are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, do not leave the scene until the police come and fill out an accident report.
Individuals injured in car accidents will have only 14 days to seek initial treatment. If treatment is sought after two weeks, nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company! In addition, massage therapists and acupuncturists are not allowed to treat patients under PIP. Acceptable treatment providers include emergency services determined by a physician, osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant or registered nurse practitioner. Chiropractor visits are limited to $2,500 and can only be sought after a referral from an acceptable health care provider.
Not seeking medical attention immediately is the biggest mistake that a claimant can make. Sometimes the swelling that accident victims feel directly after the accident masks the pain that they will feel later. Once the initial swelling goes down, it stops masking the soreness. This is when many people begin to feel numbness, tingling, or stabbing pain. Waiting to see a doctor will put your PIP claim in jeopardy and will give the auto insurance companies an excuse to demand a discount on your claim.
How will my lawyer win my personal injury case?
In most personal injury claims, the injured party must be able to show that the person causing the harm was careless or negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the victim has sustained a permanent injury.
How much is my accident case worth?
The factors that determine how much your case is worth include the other driver’s insurance policy limits, the severity of the injuries, medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Your ability to work, your age, and your future medical prognosis are also important factors.