Orlando Car Accident FAQs
Our Orlando car accident lawyers have proven experience and success handling personal injury claims on behalf of car accident victims throughout central Florida. After being injured in a car accident, you may not know how to properly proceed through Florida’s insurance system and/or civil court system—it can be complex, and if you sustained a serious injury, you’re likely concerned about obtaining fair compensation for the full extent of your losses. At Israoui Law, we are here to answer your questions, starting with these frequently asked questions about car accidents in Florida.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Mean?
For car accident cases only, Florida follows a no-fault insurance system. This means that after most car accidents, an injury victim’s own insurance policy—specifically, personal injury protection coverage or “PIP”—provides compensation for losses such as medical expenses and lost income, no matter who was responsible for the car accident.
What Constitutes a Serious Injury in a Car Accident Case?
For a car accident injury to qualify as a serious injury, you must have suffered a permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of a bodily function. These terms are open to interpretation, which is why it’s so important to speak with a Florida car accident lawyer to see if your injuries may qualify as serious injuries, and so that you get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
What you do immediately after a car accident can help or hurt your chances for financial recovery.
- Contact the Police – After an accident you should call the police and wait for a report to be made. A police report created at the time of the accident can be very important for your claim and Florida law requires the reporting of an accident. Don’t simply rely on exchanging information with the other driver.
- Gather Information – You should gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. For example, take pictures or videos of the scene or location of the accident and damage to the vehicles involved in the accident, obtain the name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle plate numbers, and insurance information from all the drivers involved, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Seek Prompt Medical Help – If you have been injured in the accident, it is important for you to seek medical care as soon as possible following the accident, no matter how minor you may believe your injuries are. Insurance companies will try to hold it against you if you don’t get prompt medical treatment for your injuries after the accident. Under Florida’s No-Fault law, the failure to obtain medical treatment within 14 days of the date of your accident could result in the loss of up to $10,000 in medical and/or wage loss expenses.
- Notify Your Insurance Company – You should notify your insurance company of the accident even if you were not at fault for the accident. However, you should seek the advise of an attorney before speaking to any insurance company. Insurance companies have a team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys whose goal is to minimize the amount of money they pay to accident victims. Within days or possibly even hours of the crash, you may be approached by a representative of the insurance company and asked to make a statement, sign papers, or offered money to accept a settlement offer. It is vital that you do not talk to any insurance representative, sign any papers, or accept a settlement before getting the advice of a lawyer with experience in accident claims in order to protect your right to fair compensation. Many injuries caused by accidents have long-term consequences they simply do not account for. Insurance companies sometimes seek quick settlements before the victim has had a chance to consult an attorney or fully appreciate the extent of their injuries.
- Get Follow-Up Treatment – It is important that you follow-up and receive continued care from a medical professional. Lapses or delays may be used against you by the insurance company and hurt your claim.
What if the insurance company wants me to give them a statement?
Your best approach is always to talk to an attorney before talking to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance companies are vastly more experienced than the average policyholder at dealing with claims, and the way they interview people after an accident often ends up negatively impacting the claim. It’s especially important not to accept any money, cash any checks or sign or fill out any forms before you have talked to an attorney, as these actions could severely limit your rights to a full recovery. You have to move quickly, though, because both Florida law and your insurance policy require you to notify your insurance company in a timely manner after an accident. At Israoui Law, we’ll report to the insurance company on your behalf to make sure everything is done right and in your best interests.
How Much Money Will I Get If I Make a Car Accident Injury Claim?
Because the circumstances of every car accident are unique, there isn’t an exact formula for determining the amount of compensation available to an injury victim. However, a car accident attorney can properly assess the value of your case based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the cost of necessary medical treatment, loss of past and future wages, the type of insurance coverage involved, and the amount of evidence you provide. Your lawyer’s experience and track record will also have a bearing on your case, so choose a reputable attorney with proven ability handling car accident claims.