PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENTS
Whether major or minor, accidents happen. No matter the severity, personal injury accidents can potentially cause long-term or permanent injury to the vehicle of your life – your body. Every accident should be taken seriously.
We understand the struggle victims may face immediately after an accident. Not only will pain onset and debilitate your daily living, but you may be confused about who is responsible for helping you restore your life to its condition before the accident.
You may have heard the terms “personal injury law” or “personal injury case.” What this means to you is that if you are injured in an accident, you have the right to recover money damages from the person or business responsible for your injury. Every person and business has a legal duty to behave in a manner that avoids harm to others.
By bringing a claim or a lawsuit against the responsible person or business, we can help you recover for your expenses and suffering resulting from a personal injury accident. Working together with you, we can prove that the person or business who caused you harm acted in a way that was unsafe or irresponsible.
Especially in our South Florida community, car crashes and injuries happen too often. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 1,025 car crashes per day in the State of Florida in the year 2015. Of those, 34% occurred in South Florida. The State of Florida recorded 243,316 on-the-scene personal injuries that year.
Even in a minor car accident or slip and fall, it is common that some injury is suffered, although often unreported. Dr. Arthur C. Croft, one of the world’s leading doctors in the field of chiropractic medicine, has authored some of the most often-cited books on spinal injury and treatment. In a study of accident victims, Dr. Croft concluded that 92% of people who experienced a whiplash-type injury (a rapid movement of the head or neck which is typically experienced in falls or car accidents) will suffer from neck pain attributable to spinal injury in varying grades. Even a person suffering from the lowest grade of injury (Grade 1) is recommended to receive up to 21 treatment sessions in order to return to the pre-injury condition. Those suffering greater injury (up to Grade 5) require more frequent and prolonged therapy and potentially more invasive procedures such as surgical repair.
Based on our years of experience, we understand that besides common neck pain, victims of personal injury accidents may suffer head pain, shoulder pain, arm and wrist pain, middle and lower back pain, and even paid down into the hips, knees, and feet. Victims also report symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and sharp or shooting pain into the extremities, which may be a sign of nerve damage in the associated areas of the spine. There is also developing study in the area of brain injuries which can be attributed to a personal injury accident.
No matter the personal injury, our office is equipped and ready to help you on your case. We are available to help you with:
- Wrongful death
- Catastrophic injury
- Slip and falls in a home, business, or public place
- Negligent security
- Store/Retail accidents
- Public transportation accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle, moped, or bicycle accidents
- Car accidents, including:
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Negligent driving
- Rear-end collision
- Side-impact collision
- Multiple car accidents
- Uber, Lyft, taxi, or other ride sharing services, whether you’re a company driver, ride sharing passenger, or if you’re involved in an accident with a vehicle registered to one of these services.
- If your accident does not fall into one of these categories, let us know how you were injured so we can further assist you.
Victims of personal injury accidents are also often unaware of what types of damages Florida law allows them to recover. There are numerous losses you may suffer as a result of a personal injury accident. Beyond the traumatic experience of living with daily pain, your injuries may be preventing you from working or performing daily activities or hobbies. We can help you quantify your losses. Here are some of the losses you may have suffered:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) INSURANCE CLAIMS
It is routine practice for automobile insurance companies to underpay doctors for the services they provide to patients who were injured in automobile accidents. Sometimes the underpaid amount may seem nominal, but when stretched over a long period of time the lost earnings are significant. Our years of experience in the field of insurance, including the personal injury protection insurance field, allows us to recover these lost earnings for doctors’ offices. Whether a routine underpayment or denials for policy conditions such as missed EUO’s, material misrepresentation, or IME cut-offs, our attorneys will ensure that insurance companies are honoring the words of their contracts and paying your claims correctly.
If you are injured in an automobile accident, your automobile insurance will help pay for your medical expenses. However, Florida law requires that you present yourself for medical treatment within 14 days of the accident in order for your automobile insurance to help pay for your expense. If you’ve been in an automobile accident, seek medical treatment immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from understanding injuries and damages, here are some additional frequently asked questions we often receive from our clients:
What should I do immediately following an accident?
If you are injured in an automobile accident, the first thing you should do is call the police to the scene. Make sure you give the officer a detailed, accurate, and true statement of the events. Report any injuries or symptoms to the officer. Everything you say will be important to your case. Do not leave the scene without the other driver’s name and insurance information, whether from the officer’s report or directly from the other driver. Take photographs of the accident scene, particularly any apparent damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Get witnesses’ full names and telephone numbers, if possible. Receive professional medical help as soon as practically possible. There are legal ramifications of seeking immediate medical attention for your injuries if you are injured in a car accident – Florida Statute Section 627.736(1)(a) requires a person injured in a motor vehicle accident receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for PIP insurance benefits.
These same suggestions apply for other personal injury accidents. If you are injured in a business, get a detailed incident report, take photographs, and get full witness/employee names and telephone numbers. In our experience, victims injured in a slip and fall accident in public are often embarrassed and quick to deny injury. Take the incident seriously and ask for help!
Injuries occurring in other public places or homes require the same course of action, as applicable for the situation.
We always stress to our clients that if you feel any pain following an accident, seek treatment immediately! Medical records are critical to any personal injury case. Again, everything you tell your doctor will be critical to prove what you are feeling and suffering from. Prolonging this critical step can hurt the credibility of your case.
How long do I have to file my claim or lawsuit?
Time is of the essence when reporting injury claims. Furthermore, Florida law imposes deadlines for filing court lawsuits against responsible parties. For most personal injury accidents, Florida imposes a four-year time frame from the date of the accident. For cases of wrongful death, there is a two-year statute of limitations. Though it may seem you have plenty of time to make a decision, insurance companies ultimately responsible to pay you for your damages may not take your claim seriously unless you act on it with urgency.
Should I speak with any insurance company that contacts me?
Generally, the answer is no. Assuming you have retained the services of an attorney, all communications should go through the attorney’s office. The insurance company may request your statement through an examination under oath (question-answer session about the accident) or an independent medical examination (evaluation of your physical condition by the insurance company’s hired doctor). Allow us to handle this for you because your statements to any insurance company will affect your case.
Why do I need an attorney?
There are several reasons why it is better to have an attorney’s help rather than going through the process alone. To name just a few - we can make all necessary communications with the involved insurance companies, including demanding payment for your damages from the responsible party; we are on call 24/7 and available to answer any question about your case; we are experienced with how to best process and handle your claim in order to maximize the benefits you will receive; we will investigate all the facts of your injury, including some less obvious ones such as finding witnesses, cameras, or other evidence which is critical to any personal injury case. In short, the work required to process an injury claim requires time, labor, and experience. Let us handle your problems so you can go on living your life.
How much do you charge for your services and how/when do I pay you?
We do not charge any upfront costs or hourly rates. You do not owe us any payment until your case is resolved. Our legal fees and costs are paid from the recovery of your case, not out of your pocket. In other words, if we do not recover any money for you, we do not recover anything for our work either. Upon further consultation we will explain in greater detail exactly how this process works for you.
What will you do to help me with my case?
Our years of experience handling personal injury cases gives us the insight needed to maximize the value of your case. First, let us report all of your insurance claims (PIP, property damage, and bodily injury). We will then ensure that your entire claim process is handled quickly, efficiently, and professionally to immediately put insurance companies on notice of our intent to fight for your well-being. Then, if necessary, we will pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party and aggressively gather all witnesses, documents, and evidence needed to prevail at a trial on your case. Along the path from reporting the claim to trial on a lawsuit, there are numerous things we will do – obtain key documents from people or businesses with information on your case, take statements of the witnesses and responsible parties, attend hearings at court on your behalf, keep you up to date on the progress of your case, defend you at depositions, and more.
How much is my case worth?
This is a common question. However, every case is unique. Your recovery depends on numerous factors, such as the damages you’ve sustained and the insurance coverage available. Let us evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and we will better assist you with answering this question.
We are ready to help you as soon as you call, even from the scene of the accident! Let us walk you through this difficult time in your life. We are a boutique law firm with a selective caseload. This allows us to give personal, 24/7 care to our clients. We look forward to developing a personal relationship with you through our conversations and face-to-face meetings. We will teach you about the legal process and counsel you through each step, especially those requiring your direct involvement. Even after we have recovered on your case, we will continue to work for you and hopefully build a long-term professional relationship with you for whenever you need legal assistance.
Call or e-mail us with any questions, or set up an appointment for a free consultation. We welcome the opportunity to help you.