What does it mean when the lawyer says no fee if no recovery?
If you do not receive a settlement or jury verdict, the attorney will not charge you for costs nor his time.
What kinds of cases does this lawyer handle on a daily basis?
All personal injury cases, mainly automobile accidents.
How long has this lawyer been handling personal injury cases
Over 30 years.
Does this lawyer actually try lawsuits in court and how many has he/she tried before a jury in the last five years?
Yes, several trials in the last few years.
Is this lawyer a “Board Certified” civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar for the National Board of Trial Advocacy?
Absolutely. Yes, Board Certified by both the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Who will pay the medical bills if I am injured in an accident?
Absolutely. Your PIP will pay up to the amount of the contract. After that, it will have to be made through either a settlement or jury verdict.
In an automobile accident case, why does my insurance pay for my medical bills?
We are a “no fault” state in which medical bills are paid in part by each person’s insurance company.
Will all of my bills be paid, or will I be left with balances after insurance pays whatever it pays toward my medical bills?
Normally, PIP does not pay for all bills. Usually, there is a 20 percent balance on those bills that are paid. The remaining balance has to be paid out of a settlement or jury verdict.
Will my health insurance pay for any portion of my medical bills, and, if so, will I have to repay them, and why?
Your health insurance may pay for some of your medical bills if your treaters are within their network, but they do have a right of subrogation, meaning you have to repay them a portion of what they paid.
Who will pay for my property damage if I am involved in an automobile accident?
The at-fault driver should pay for your property damage, which will not require you to pay a deductible under your policy.
Should I use my insurance or go through the other person’s insurance for my property damage, if the other driver is at fault?
It is better to go through the at-fault driver’s policy, because that way you do not have to pay a deductible.
Am I entitled to receive a rental vehicle if my car is forced to undergo repairs due to an automobile accident, whether I am at fault or the other person is at fault?
This is a matter of contract, and unless there is a provision in the policy for this, you will not receive a rental vehicle.
Are there any risks to brining a lawsuit or personal injury claim?
If you bring a personal injury claim and receive nothing, there is no risk. If you bring a lawsuit and lose, you are responsible for paying the opposing party’s costs of litigation and sometimes their attorneys’ fees.
What is the purpose of uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage?
This coverage protects you in case the person who injures you has no insurance coverage. Florida is one of only two States which do not require bodily injury coverage to be maintained, so UM/UIM is an absolute necessity.
Why would I bring a claim against my insurance company for uninsured or under-insured motorist benefits if the other person was at fault?
If the opposing party does not have sufficient insurance or any insurance, you have already paid for the right to pursue your UM/UIM, and it is the only way you can be made whole depending on the coverage available to you.
What are the limits of liability coverages, if any, available to the person who was at fault in my accident or who owned the premises where I was injured by their negligence?
This is something your attorney will discover immediately which will dictate who should be pursued in the claim.
What are the costs of pursuing a lawsuit, and will I be responsible for those costs?
Normally the costs are depositions, records (such as hospital and doctor records), and sometimes expert costs. They vary depending on each case, and you will not be responsible to pay them if there is no settlement or verdict in your favor.
If I am out of work after an automobile accident, is there any way to get wage loss payments from my insurance company?
You can freeze a portion of your PIP, for payment of wage loss, which will then reimburse you at 60 percent of whatever wages you lose. This is not a great deal of money, however, normally no more than $3,000.00.
What does it mean under Florida law to have a “permanent injury”?
This means that within a reasonable degree of medical probability, you will live with your injury until the day you die.
If I am going to have life-long medical problems, how will I make sure I get justly compensated for them?
This has to be handled through either a settlement or a jury verdict.
What kind of financial settlement or judgment can I realistically expect to receive?
This is dependent upon the nature of your injuries and economic losses you have suffered and will suffer.
What factors work in my favor in this case, and what factors could work against me?
If there is significant impact between the vehicles in your accident, and you have not been in any prior accidents, this works in your favor. The converse works against you.
Is it likely we will have to go to trial?
There is normally about a ten percent chance you will go to trial.
Is mediation an option, and if so, what is mediation?
Yes, all cases in our judicial circuit get mediated. This is a settlement conference in which you meet with the opposing party and counsel, along with your lawyer, and a mediator, who relays offers between the parties until the case settles, hopefully.
How long do you expect it would take to complete my case?
This depends on how long you are expected to treat with your doctors. Once you have finished your treatment, or your diagnose is clear, it can take as little as a few weeks or as much as 12-18 months to resolve your case.
Will I be working just with this lawyer, or will I also work with other lawyers and legal staff?
I work alone, and do not have paralegals to handle the case.
Who will be my day to day contact this case?
I will be.
What is the best way to reach you and how quickly do you typically respond?
Call the office and I will either answer the phone or respond immediately once I return.
Can you estimate the total expenses I may have to pay in this case if it goes through to trial?
This depends on whether experts will have to be hired in your case. If so, the costs could be in excess of $20,000.00. If not, normally costs of depositions and general expenditures do not exceed $2,000.00.
What should I do if I have just been in an accident?
Immediately call 911 and ask for an investigating office to come to the scene.
Should I move my car to the side of the road or leave it where it was hit?
Leave your car exactly where it was and immediately take photographs of the position of each vehicle.
What information should I get from the other driver?
The investigating officer will get the other driver’s insurance information and vehicle ownership information.
Can I ask to see the other driver’s car registration?
This is not something you need to do personally since the investigating officer will do it.
If the accident was minor, should I still call the police?
Yes, because if not, there may not be a way for you to recover from the other driver’s insurance company.
Do I have to file a report of the accident with the Department of Motor Vehicles or will the investigating officer do that?
The investigating officer will file the report.
What should I do if the other driver says he will pay for the damages to my car and not to call the insurance company, because he/she doesn’t want his insurance rates to go up?
You should call the police, because if the other driver changes his or her story thereafter, you will not have the documentation to prove what happened.
Is there anything I should not do at the scene of an accident?
Do not speak to anyone at the scene about the fact that you are not hurt or that you may have been doing something which took your attention off the road. Answer only those questions of the officer which are asked of you.
If I am injured in an automobile accident and it was partly my fault, does this mean that I can’t sue the other driver for my injuries and damages?
You may still pursue a claim since Florida is a comparative negligence state.
If I was a passenger in a friend’s car and was involved in an accident caused by my friend, what rights do I have?
You have the same rights as if you were the driver of your own car. You can pursue the at-fault driver, either your friend or the other vehicle, or both.
How long after an accident will it take for me to know how many injuries I have from that accident?
Normally, you will know within a matter of hours or a day or two. Some injuries take longer for you to appreciate, such as TMJ pain, which may mask as pain in your ear, or numbness or tingling in your extremities.
After being in an accident, if I start to get afraid of driving or even being a passenger in an automobile, is this something that is normal?
This is normal and many people who are involved in accidents do suffer some form of PTSD for some time afterward.
The other driver’s insurance company has told me not to hire a lawyer, because I will do better without one, could they be right?
No, they are not right. You will do significantly better with an attorney and your bottom line will be much better than if you try to do it on your own.
How soon after I have been injured in a car accident should I get legal representation?
You should hire a lawyer as soon as it is clear to you that you will have continuing physical problems or losses from the accident.
Can I choose my own doctors after I have been injured in an automobile accident or premises liability case?
Yes, of course. It is your case to pursue, and you should be comfortable with the doctors you are seeing.
If I have been previously injured in an accident, and am injured in another one, should I go back to the doctors I saw before?
That is preferable since the doctors you saw before will be able to diagnose, accurately, what new injuries you may have.
If a doctor recommends surgery following an accident, do I have to have surgery?
No, you should only have surgery at a point where you can no longer live with the pain or loss of function.
If the police officer cites the other person in the accident with having been at fault, is this determinant of their fault?
No, this is inadmissible as evidence at trial, which is all the more reason you should document the position of the vehicles at the accident scene.
Do I have to be concerned about investigators following me around and taking pictures or videotape of me for the other person’s insurance company?
This does occur on occasion; however, not all the time. If your case is in litigation and going to trial, this is something you should keep in mind.