Personal Injury FAQs
The Boca Raton accident attorneys understand that getting into an accident can be frustrating, worrisome, and devastating. In order to help you work through your claim, here are some answers to many clients’ FAQs after an accident.
If your questions are more specific to your case, then give us a call for FREE today at 561-361-8677.
5 Things To Do After a Car Accident in Boca Raton
Verify InjuriesIn addition to ensuring you receive proper medical care after an accident, be sure to also check on the other drivers or individuals involved in the accident and assess their injuries. Then, contact the police right away. If there are life-threatening injuries, call 911. Even if there are serious injuries present, you should still call the police. Filing a police report is your best chance for receiving a proper settlement and clearing up any issues of who is at fault. No matter what, do not admit fault or try to place blame at the scene of the accident. The police report will detail who was at fault and your car accident lawyers investigators can help prove who was at fault. If the other party admits it, however, write it down. Remember to stay calm. It is easy to get worked up and completely normal for emotions to be elevated after an accident. But, it is important to remain calm and focus on yourself as well as any passengers in your vehicle. Acting irrationally or lashing out at the other driver, even if they were at fault, could be used later in court when you file your claim.
Record DetailsWriting down as many accident details as possible is incredibly important. It is easy to forget minor, yet important details later on. So, if you can, document the details of the accident as soon as possible. Be sure to record when and how the accident happened, what you remember seeing and hearing, and all parties involved. A few other details you will want to include in your notes are:
- The names, phone numbers, and license plates of those involved.
- Names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- The weather, time of day, and road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Injuries and damages at the scene.
- Insurance information from all parties involved.
- A diagram of the accident.
Seek Medical AttentionEven if you do not feel like you were injured, you should see a doctor. Soft tissue and nerve damage could take several hours to several weeks to manifest. But, a simple x-ray or MRI may notice these injuries long before they cause pain or discomfort. It is also important to see a physician and have any injuries documented as insurance companies may ask for your medical records when determining a settlement.
Make a FileEvery piece of paper and receipt you receive related to your accident should be kept safe in a file. This includes any out-of-pocket expenses, correspondence between you and the insurance company, and medical records.
Call a Boca Raton Car Accident AttorneyEven if you do not plan to sue the other party, having an experienced Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer on your side is important. An attorney can help represent your claim against insurance companies, calculate a settlement and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, don’t hesitate or wait. Contact the team at Glotzer & Kobren today for a free consultation by dialing 561-408-7146. [embed]https://youtu.be/didGLOk9TQI[/embed]
Can Pre-Existing Injuries Aggravate Injury Claims?
Disclosing Prior Injuries Will HelpWhen you meet with a personal injury attorney in Boca Raton, it is imperative that you disclose pre-existing injuries right away. This is especially true for those injuries that affect the same part of the body as your personal injury claim. Not reporting those could eliminate any chances of a claim. Also, if you do not disclose your injury, the adjuster or jury may start to question the validity of your claim. This means they could assume that if you lied about pre-existing conditions, you could be lying about the entire injury case. Disclosing can also help your case. Because if you can prove through medical records that you have not received any treatments for years and had to receive treatments again after the accident, you can also prove that the accident worsened an injury that was otherwise healed.
Pre-Existing Injuries Make You Prone to Worse InjuriesWhen you have a pre-existing injury, your body is already weakened. Therefore, you may be more susceptible to injuries or your existing injury could be aggravated by the accident. This is referred to a soft shell situation, because the defendant must take you as you are, whether or not you were injured beforehand. When it comes to awarding damages for pre-existing conditions and injuries, the jury will be instructed to assess how much pain and suffering, additional medical costs, etc. are associated with worsening your injury as well as any additional injuries.
Medical Records Will be ComparedA pre-existing injury could actually work in your favor, because you will have medical records proving the old injury exists. Attorneys can then examine those records to see how much your injury has worsened after the accident—provided the injury did in fact worsen your pre-existing injury. Attorneys will compare x-rays, MRIs or doctors notes regarding your new and old injury. They will see how the accident affected the pre-existing injuries and how it worsened. A medical expert will testify on your behalf as well as the other party’s.
Contact the Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren for Your Free ConsultationDo not assume that a pre-existing condition lessens your chances for a fair settlement. Just because you were injured in the past doesn’t mean you are not entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren today for a free consultation by dialing 561-408-7146. [embed]https://youtu.be/SZlgLKRsaWQ[/embed]
Do I have a case?
Determining if You Have a CaseIf you or a loved one has been injured or you lost a family member due to someone’s negligence, you are wondering if you have a claim. You may need compensation for medical costs, funeral costs or even time lost from work. For disability or wrongful death, you may need to make up for your loss of future earnings, too. All of these things weigh heavily on your mind and could cause you significant stress. In most cases, if a loved one was lost due to someone’s negligence, then you have a personal injury claim. Deciding if you have a case comes down to a few key things: Did someone act negligently or carelessly? You must ask yourself if the responsible party was acting negligently or carelessly at the time of the injury. For example, a semi-truck driver crashed into your vehicle because he fell asleep at the wheel; therefore, he was acting carelessly by not only falling asleep, but getting behind the wheel fatigued. Did that negligent or careless act cause your injuries? You must sustain injuries from the accident or actions of the negligent person to have a valid personal injury claim. For example, if the vehicle the truck driver crashed into was empty and you were not injured, then you would not have a claim. But, if you were in the vehicle at the time of the accident and sustained injuries as a result, then you most likely have a personal injury case. Did the injury cause harm and losses? If you have losses associated with your injury, such as medical bills, time lost from work, pain and suffering or even long-term disability, you have a personal injury case. A case must have some form of damages in order to be valid.
What About Definable Duty?Another factor that will be considered in your case is definable duty. This means the person that injured you must have some sort of duty they owed to you or the public. Using the example of the fatigued truck driver, the driver had a duty to only get behind the wheel when he was physically and mentally capable of doing so. Knowingly getting behind the wheel while exhausted put you and others in harm’s way; therefore, he ignored his duty to drive safely. But, if the other drive that caused the accident was being cautious, followed the rules of the road, and lost control due to hazardous or treacherous weather conditions, then he or she may not be liable for damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Boca RatonTo determine if you have a valid personal injury case, you need to schedule a personal injury consultation with the attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren. Call now for your free consultation with our attorneys at 561-408-7146.
How long do you have to report an auto accident?
Immediately After the AccidentIn Florida, you must report the auto accident if there are any injuries, deaths or there is vehicle damage that seems to be over $500. Therefore, after an accident, it’s important to contact the police right away. But, even before you call the police, you need to make sure your vehicle is stopped and moved to a place where it doesn’t place others in danger or block traffic. If the vehicle is not running, contact a tow company or the police to make sure that they know your vehicle is obstructing other vehicles. After everything is moved, you will need to check on other drivers and passengers to make sure no one was injured. If there are serious injuries, call 911 right away. Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene of an accident as you could be charged with a hit and run. Florida law does require, however, that you report an accident to the authorities in the quickest way possible.
What Happens if You Don’t File a Report?If you don’t report a car accident, then you could be charged with a non-criminal traffic violation and possibly pay a fine.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Car Accident?Florida has strict limitations as to how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident. You have four years from the time the accident occurred to officially file your claim, but that doesn’t mean you should wait four years to do so. Prolonging the process could reduce your compensation or make the other party assume you are filing a claim for injuries you didn’t really get from the accident. In some cases, there are injuries that do not show up for a few months. There are also cases where a person has no intention of filing a personal injury lawsuit only to find they cannot keep up with medical bills or the lost wages they have endured because of their injury. In those cases, a person may wait a few months or a year to file their lawsuit.
Have an Auto Accident Injury? Hire a Personal Injury AttorneyIf you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident, then contact a personal injury attorney right away. An attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine if you have a valid claim. It is important to start your lawsuit process as soon as possible to ensure you receive maximum settlement. The attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren, P.A. understand how difficult it can be dealing with an accident. Not only will you have physical trauma, but you could have emotional trauma as well. Our attorneys work hard for the settlement you deserve and we offer free consultations. Contact us today to discuss your case at 561-408-7146 now.
I’m in a “no-fault” state. What does this mean if I have an accident?
Filing No Fault Insurance ClaimsUnder Florida law, you are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance on your auto insurance policy. You will have to first file a no-fault insurance claim through that policy. Meaning you will request compensation for medical bills and lost wages from your auto insurance carrier first, regardless if you caused the accident. Your insurance company will then pay the medical bills and reimburse you for some or all of the wages you lost. But, you will only receive up to the amount of your claim or the Florida state limit (depending on which is lower). If you have health insurance in addition to PIP, then your PIP would only pay out a small portion, while health insurance picks up the rest. Once your medical costs and lost wages exceed the limitation, you are then responsible for picking up the remaining costs. Health insurance may cover your medical bills from there on out.
Meeting the ThresholdIn order to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver—or the person who caused the accident—you must wait until your injuries and costs exceed a threshold. You can then sue for the amount of costs and losses that exceed what your PIP insurance covers. You cannot sue for any costs paid by PIP insurance. Your injuries must be severe enough to meet the threshold in Florida, since you are entitled up to $10,000 in costs. But, for serious injuries that is not difficult to meet. A trip to the emergency room after an accident can easily deplete your $10,000 long before you go home.
Hire an Attorney for Florida No Fault Insurance ClaimsNo fault claims and personal injury cases are not easy. You need to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney for these specialized cases. An attorney can advise you about your PIP insurance claims, but also help you determine if you have a viable lawsuit after PIP insurance is gone. Your attorney can also assess other damages not covered by your PIP insurance once your no fault insurance is used up, such as:
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
Understanding Florida PIP Insurance
What Does “No Fault” Mean?No fault insurance does not necessarily mean that no one is to blame or found responsible for an accident. But, this type of insurance means that your insurance provider will cover the damages you encounter regardless of whether you or another party was found at fault. This eliminates the hassle of having to deal with the other party’s insurance company. PIP no-fault insurance typically covers:
- Bodily Injury
- Medical Bills
- Personal Losses
How PIP Insurance Works in FloridaPIP insurance gives you $10,000 of coverage. These benefits are paid out to you by your insurance company regardless of whether you or the other individual was found at fault. The insurance also pays 80 percent of your medical costs and 60 percent of any lost wages, but only up to $10,000. After that, all additional expenses you incur must be paid out of pocket.
The Problem with PIP InsuranceThe theory behind PIP insurance was to eliminate the hassles of tracking down other insurance companies and dealing with their adjusters. But, PIP insurance is hardly enough to cover a person’s losses. After all, if you’re seriously injured and ride in an ambulance to the hospital, your visit to the hospital (even if you don’t stay overnight) could easily use up $10,000.
PIP is Not Your Only OptionAuto accident attorneys can help you recover your losses even after PIP insurance has been used up. While your insurance company may not be willing to pay for the rest of your losses, you still have options for recovery, and you may even be entitled to additional compensation from the negligent party.
Injured in an Accident? Contact the Auto Accident Attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren NowThe car accident attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren understand how frustrating Florida PIP insurance can be. It is not enough to cover your losses, nor does it even cover your medical costs for long-term injuries. And, if you are permanently disabled, you will likely need additional compensation for your lost wages and even long-term medical care. Let our auto accident legal team help you get the funds you need to pay your bills, receive medical care, and cover any lost wages. We offer aggressive representation for our clients and we have a proven track record for remarkably high settlements. Furthermore, we would be more than happy to sit down with you, discuss the details of your situation, listen to your side of the story, and work together to strategize a compelling case. We want to help you receive a fair and just settlement that will be enough to cover any and all long-term medical care needs and losses. And, remember, we don’t get paid unless we win your case. We also offer free consultations. So, you have nothing to lose by calling us. To learn more about how we can help you with your auto accident case, call us today at 561-408-7146. [embed]https://youtu.be/X_9ySUXc3iQ[/embed]
What is Negligence?
The Four Elements of NegligenceTo win your case, your attorney must prove that the defendant acted in a negligent way. There are four elements that comprise negligence, though a person does not necessarily have to meet all four elements to be negligent. These four elements include: Duty – The defendant had a specific duty to you and ignored that duty, resulting in your injuries. Breach – The defendant had a legal duty to act and failed to act, thereby causing your injuries. Cause – The defendant’s actions (whether directly or indirectly) caused your injury. Damage – You were harmed, injured, or someone was killed because of the defendant’s actions. If a person was acting negligently, whether intentionally or not, they are liable for your injuries. But, you will need an injury attorney to help prove your case and collect damages. An attorney will represent your case in court, prove the other party was fully negligent and responsible for your injuries, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contributory and Comparative NegligenceIn some injury cases, the actions of a person could be considered contributory. The amount each party is held accountable for the accident if called comparative negligence. It is important to understand these two types of negligence, because they both can affect the outcome of your claim.
Contributory NegligenceThis is a type of behavior that poses unreasonable amounts of risk to an individual. A person, in theory, has a duty to behave in a certain way. When they do not act in that way, and cause injuries, that person can be partially or entirely responsible for the injuries that occur. For example, let’s say a pedestrian jumps in front of a vehicle without looking for another vehicle or without paying attention to the “do not cross” signs. The pedestrian is then struck by a vehicle. Although the vehicle caused the pedestrian’s injuries, the pedestrian also contributed to their injuries by not heeding traffic signals. Therefore, the driver may only be partially responsible for injuries and damages from the accident.
Comparative NegligenceComparative negligence refers to the percentage each party is at fault. This is used to collect damages when both parties are technically negligent and caused harm. The amount that each party is determined to be at fault will greatly affect your claim.
Injured? Call an Injury Attorney Right AwayIf you were injured in an accident, even if you were partially at fault, you may have the right to compensation. The attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren can assist you with your claim. We will assess your case and our in-house investigative team can help determine who was at fault and how much compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses. Never assume that you do not have the right to compensation. Instead, hire a professional to assess your case and help determine how much compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, and you don’t have to pay until we win your case. Call us today at 561-408-7146 to schedule your initial consultation. [embed]https://youtu.be/aDjMbZSihSM[/embed]
When will I get compensation for my auto accident injuries?
Common Delays with Accident CasesPersonal injury cases can take a while to settle, mostly because:
- There are legal or factual issues with the case.
- The settlement requested is a large amount of money.
- You have medical issues holding you back from attending your deposition.
Once the Case is SettledAfter the case is settled, there may be a few delays between settlement and the issuing of your check. If you settled outside of court, you are likely to get paid faster than if you won a case at trial. That is because after a trial, the other party has a chance to appeal, which could delay settlement and the outcome of your case for one to two years. Once you settle a lawsuit, however, the lawyers report to the courts that the case was settled. This is when the courts will issue an Order of Settlement, which then requires the other party to complete their settlement paperwork. The settlement paperwork is also referred to as the Release.
ReleaseA Release is a document prepared by the other party’s attorney that discusses the terms of the settlement. This document is typically short and sweet, but sometimes insurance companies will insist that the document be much longer. Your attorney will review the Release to make sure the settlement terms are acceptable. This process may take several days as both attorneys will need to negotiate and settle on a document that works for both parties. Once accepted, you will receive the Release to sign and a notary will be present. Then, the Release is returned to the defense.
Post-Settlement TasksThere are a few post-settlement tasks that must be completed to issue the final check. First, your lawyer will have to wait for the check from the other party’s insurance or private accounts, which can take up to several weeks. Then, your attorney will need to remove their portion of the settlement from the check and issue a new check to you with the contingency fee removed. Before they can do that, however, they must make sure there are no liens against your lawsuit – such as a lien from the hospital for unpaid medical bills. If there are liens, then your attorney is legally obligated to pay those with settlement funds first before the final check may be issued to you. This process can take several days up to several weeks, depending if there is a lien.
Want a Faster Settlement? Get a Skilled AttorneyThe best car accident attorneys know how to negotiate and speed up the settlement process. The lawyers at Glotzer & Kobren can help you get the compensation you deserve as fast as possible so that you can get on with your life. Call today for a free consultation.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For YouAn attorney works as your advocate against insurance companies and negligent parties. When you hire an attorney after your injury, you will get: Someone Experienced in the Claims Process – Your insurance company may be reluctant to give you an adequate settlement, but a personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. He or she will ensure your insurance or the other party’s insurance company doesn’t shortchange your settlement. No Fees Unless You Receive Compensation – A personal injury attorney works hard for you, and you do not have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your attorney only is paid when you are paid. An Advocate that Cuts through Red Tape – Insurance companies, police officers, and even medical professionals will throw confusing terms your way. You will have mounds of paperwork to complete –without really being told or fully understanding what you are signing. An attorney handles all of the complicated steps and maneuvers through the paperwork so that you can focus on your life. Higher Settlements – Hiring an attorney notoriously delivers higher settlements for accident victims. Whether you were injured because of a driver’s negligence, faulty equipment at work, or even a truck driver, an attorney secures a higher settlement for your pain and suffering.
Compensation You Are Entitled ToWhen you work with an attorney, you have access to the compensation you deserve. While insurance companies try to give you the lowest amount possible, the attorneys at Glotzer & Kobren know what costs you are facing today as well as in the future. We ensure you get the necessary settlement needed to pay for:
- Current and Future Medical Bills
- Lost Wages (whether due to permanent disability or time taken away from work while you recover)
- Repairs to Your Vehicle
- Loss of Personal Property
- Loss of Companionship
- Nursing Home or In-Home Care
- Pain and Suffering