FAQ Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
The following answers are provided as a general guide to questions often asked in automobile injury cases. These answers are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is different and should be evaluated separately. Please telephone or email Crary-Buchanan with questions about your injury case.
1. Who pays my medical bills?
If you have purchased no fault insurance coverage, you can expect to be reimbursed for eighty (80%) percent of your medical bills. However, if you have a deductible feature in your no fault insurance coverage, your insurance carrier does not become responsible until that deductible has been met. The remaining 20% can be recovered from the at-fault driver’s or owner’s insurance policy at the time of settlement, unless there is no at-fault bodily injury liability coverage.
2. Who pays my lost wages?
If you have purchased no fault insurance coverage with wage loss protection, you can expect to be reimbursed for sixty (60%) percent of your lost wages. However, if you have a deductible feature in your no fault insurance coverage, your insurance carrier does not become responsible until that deductible has been met. The remaining 40% can be recovered from the at-fault driver’s or owner’s insurance policy at the time of settlement, unless there is no at-fault bodily injury liability coverage.
3. Who pays to fix my car?
Florida Law requires all owner’s of automobiles to carry at least $10,000.00 in property damage coverage. If the cost to repair your car is less than $10,000.00 and the insurance company is satisfied the accident was not your fault, then it will pay to have your car repaired as long as there is enough insurance coverage to make the repair and and long as the cost of the repair does not exceed 70% of the fair market value of your car.
4. Who pays for my rental car?
If there is enough property damage insurance and your car is not a total loss, the at-fault insurance company should provide you with a rental car while your car is being repaired. There are exceptions to this general rule.
5. Which doctor can I go to?
You may treat with any licensed physician or health care provider as long as the care you are receiving is medically necessary, related to the injuries you suffered in the accident and the charges are reasonable. You should continue treating with your doctor or provider until your injury has resolved or the doctor or provider has released you from care.
It is important that you continue to go to a doctor as long as your injuries continue to bother you. You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and truthfully tell them about all your complaints.
You should cooperate with your doctor in every way and relate fully to him or her all symptoms that you have which have arisen from or been affected by the accident. You cannot expect the doctor to give effective testimony at trial if several months elapse between examinations. Moreover, insurance companies will often treat the failure to obtain medical treatment as evidence of no injury or of full recovery.
6. Do I get paid for pain and suffering?
The Florida No-Fault law allows your insurance to pay your medical bills, but the law severely limits the rights of injured people who are not at fault in the accident by permitting them to sue the people who were at fault and injured them, only if they have a “permanent” injury, or scarring, disfigurement, loss of a body function or were killed in the accident. You are allowed to recover damages for pain and suffering only if you suffer a “permanent injury.” It is up to your physician to decide if you have a permanent injury. Even if your physician states you have a permanent injury, the insurance company may dispute that opinion.
7. When can I settle my case?
Your case should not be settled until the nature of your medical condition has been determined and the liability investigation completed. It generally takes some time to obtain the necessary medical information because a doctor cannot answer many questions until your treatment has been completed. Typically, there is a wait of six to nine months from the date an accident occurs before there is a full medical report from the doctor about your residual medical condition. If your injury is severe or uncertain, additional delay is likely.
8 What is my case worth?
The value of a case depends upon many variables and cannot be determined until all the evidence is known. Once the investigation has been completed and all necessary personal and medical information has been obtained, we can evaluate your case for settlement. This evaluation is not cast in concrete, but represents a value range for settlement based upon our experience and handling of similar cases. In essence, the value of a personal injury case is closely related to the amount of the outstanding medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity and compensation for your pain and suffering.
9. Do I need a lawyer?
Any person who has been injured in an accident should get legal advice from a lawyer. Don’t rely on answers from the insurance company. At Crary-Buchanan we will answer your questions truthfully and completely. Don’t stand alone. Email or telephone Crary-Buchanan now!