FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's)
What should I do if I am injured in an auto accident?
- See your physician right away. If you are injured in any manner, it is imperative that you see a physician as soon as possible. When at the physician, advise him of all of your symptoms. If you omit any, an insurance company will be less likely to compensate you in the future for that injury.
- Take Photographs. Make sure that photos are taken of your damaged vehicle prior to its repair. A mangled vehicle is oftentimes the best evidence as to the severity of your injuries. You should also take photos of any bruising or other physically visible injuries you may incur.
- Do not talk to anyone or sign anything until you see your attorney. Insurance companies have trained professionals who will take sworn statements of injured parties directly after an accident. Be aware that sworn statements may be used against you in court.
What Must We Prove to Win Our Case?
As with all types of negligence claims, a Plaintiff must prove four elements to win his or her case: 1) The Defendant had a duty towards the Plaintiff, 2) The Defendant breached that duty, 3) The breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injuries suffered by the Plaintiff, and 4) Damages. In practical terms, the first step of establishing liability is to show which driver was primarily responsible for causing the accident. Once a Plaintiff establishes that the incident was the fault of the Defendant, in order to recover pain and suffering in Florida, a Plaintiff must establish that he or she has sustained a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability.
What are my Attorneys Fees Going to Cost on an auto negligence case?
Samole Law Firm, P.A. works on automobile negligence cases on a contingency basis. The firm receives an agreed upon percentage of any recovery from a defendant, and advances all costs of litigation. If no recovery is obtained, the client is not responsible to the firm for any incurred expenses or fees.
What Insurance will Cover My Bills?
Florida Laws concerning Automobile Insurance can be very confusing at times. To help sort out what coverages cover what damages, as well as what coverages you should have with your automobile Insurance Company, we have provided below some helpful information.
Mandatory Automobile Insurance Coverage:
- Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P.) Personal Injury Protection or No Fault Insurance is required under Florida law for every owner of a motor vehicle. No fault insurance always provides $10,000.00 of coverage except in cases of fatality, in which cases there is a $5,000.00 death benefit.
Your own no fault insurance covers 80% of your reasonable and medically necessary medical bills incurred from an automobile collision no matter who is at fault in the accident as long as the treatment is related to an automobile collision. Your P.I.P. carrier is also responsible for 60% of your lost wages. You may select a $0.00, $250.00, $500.00, or $1,000.00 deductible for which you will be personally responsible. There are several important things one must do in order to properly receive this coverage. First, always inform your attorney of all cars owned in your family or your household to insure that you are billing the correct insurance carrier. Second, you are required to submit a PIP application within a reasonable time after your accident. Please stay in close contact with your attorney so that these forms may be promptly submitted to the insurance company.
We are often asked why the medical bills from an accident should be processed under PIP insurance as opposed to the Plaintiff’’s health insurance. Very simply, under Florida Law, your PIP carrier does not have the right to be reimbursed the moneys it pays for your care at the time of settlement of your case. A heath insurer, however, does have a right to be reimbursed all moneys it pays out, which at time of settlement, lowers the recovery to the Plaintiff.
- Property Damage is insurance that pays for damage inflicted on another’s automobile or property in a collision in which you were at fault. The minimum amount of this coverage is $10,000. This is also mandatory insurance for all owners of automobiles in the State of Florida.
Recommended Additional Insurance Coverage:
- Uninsured Motorist coverage is the most valuable coverage you can purchase. Uninsured motorist insurance covers you and your family for losses, including those for pain and suffering, resulting from injuries sustained in an accident when the driver who is at fault does not have any or sufficient coverage. Over 60% of the drivers in Miami-Dade county do not have bodily injury liability insurance. If you or a family member are in an automobile collision, you may not be able to collect for your pain and suffering and other losses if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to your bodily injury limits. Always purchase this coverage.
- Bodily Injury Liability insurance covers you for any claims that are made by parties injured in an accident that is your fault. In other words, if you cause an accident, this insurance will pay for the damages, as opposed to you paying personally.
What should I do if I am injured as a result of a slip and fall?
Take Photographs. Make sure that photos are taken of the area and condition upon which you fell. The most important piece of evidence in a slip and fall case is the dangerous condition that caused the fall. Take pictures of the condition and then immediately report the dangerous condition to the persons in charge of the area.
Do I really need a Lawyer?
This is the first question you should ask yourself. In some cases you can handle the problem without hiring a lawyer. However, if the situation involves an automobile accident with injuries, a major problem like being slapped with a lawsuit or if your business is having a contractual dispute, you probably need a lawyer.
What kind of Lawyer do I need?
Many lawyers specialize in one area of the law. General practitioners, however, handle a broad range of matters.The firm of Samole Law Firm, P.A., is diversified and the handles a wide variety of matters. If you are dealing with a general matter, then a general practice lawyer should be able to help you. Make sure to ask your attorney whether he or she specializes or concentrates in an area of law before you decide to hire them.
How much do lawyers charge?
Attorney fees can cost a pretty penny depending on what type of case you have and how much time an attorney will spend on your case. There are several different types of fee arrangements including hourly, flat fees and contingent fees. Hourly fees are calculated by multiplying the amount of hours an attorney works on your case by the attorney's hourly rate. Contingent fees are fees that allow the attorney to receive a certain agreed upon percentage of any judgment amounts received by you. A fixed rate places a set price for the services an attorney will provide to you. Attorney fees are usually calculated without including court costs and filing fees that are usually paid up front by the client. Always ask potential attorneys to explain their fees and billing practices prior to engaging their services.
For additional information, call the Samole Law Firm