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10 Most Frequently Asked Questions by Personal Injury Clients
Should I go to the hospital?
It actually depends. Under the new law in Florida concerning PIP coverage, an injury victim must seek medical care within 14 days of the accident. However, that does not mean it has to be the hospital. If you seek medical care from a doctor within 14 days your coverage will be preserved. We recommend that clients go to the hospital if they are in a great deal of pain or if they are bleeding, possibly have a fracture, or hit their head in the impact.
Why do I have to involve my insurance company?
Under our Florida No Fault law, your company pays your medical bills regardless of fault. The final recovery will come from the at-fault driver’s carrier in most cases.
What is my case worth?
We never give a client a value of their case at the beginning, simply because it's impossible to determine that early. There are many factors including the amount of insurance coverage, the determination of fault for the collision, and most importantly the degree of injuries to the client. Once we have that information we can tell you approximately the value of your case.
How long will it take to settle my case?
That depends on the nature of the injuries and the length of medical treatment, as well as whether or not surgery is indicated. Most minor injury cases take approximately 6 months from start to finish. However, if the insurance company won’t pay what we feel the case is worth, we may have to file a lawsuit for our client. That process could take a lot longer.
Will I have to go to court?
Very few cases ever see the inside of a courtroom. A lawsuit may need to be filed in order to show the insurance company we are serious but most of those cases settle before or at court-ordered mediation. The large majority of our cases settle without filing suit. We make sure the case is well-documented medically, and because of our reputation, we are able to settle most cases quickly and at or near the value we believe the case is worth.
Should I go to work while the case is going on?
The short answer is this: do you have to pay bills? The determining factor for whether to work is the degree of your injuries and pain. If, for example, you work construction and are in too much pain then you should not; but if your injuries are more minor and you have a desk job then yes, you should continue to work. The doctors will usually help you make that decision. We would never tell a client to NOT work just to increase the value of a case. An insurance claim is not always a given. Your current job is a sure thing. Don’t lose it.
I already had a bad back, can I still make a claim?
Absolutely. The truth is that most people 30 and older have had a prior accident or injury of some sort. They are still entitled to compensation for any new injuries or aggravation of an old injury.
Will the insurance company have someone follow me?
This does happen in many cases. We don’t tell our clients to totally put their lives on hold. If you walk for exercise and can still do it, then go for it. You should refrain from doing strenuous or risky activities - not because you may be under surveillance but because it could aggravate your condition and prolong the healing process. It can also definitely devalue your case.
Will my insurance rates go up?
They shouldn’t because you were not at fault. However, insurance companies today are raising rates for filing pip claims. We believe it is an attempt to scare people into not filing claims. You pay good money to properly insure yourself, but when you need it, the insurance company wants to penalize you. The money most clients recover for their injuries will more than pay for any premium increase down the road.
What if I need more treatment later or even surgery?
When we make a recovery for you at the end of your case, those factors are taken into consideration: past medicals, future medicals, past and future lost wages, and of course, pain and suffering. If you do need surgery or further care later you can also use your health insurance coverage.