SOUTH FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents occur every day and are more often than not unavoidable. These accidents can be caused for many different reasons, such as driving while distracted or driving irresponsibly. Being involved in an automobile accident can lead to serious injuries with permanent consequences and significant financial loss.
If you have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation. To find an attorney who will fight for your rights, contact the Hurtig Law Group today for your free consultation, by calling 954-376-4810 or by completing a contact form.
As with every personal injury case we handle at Hurtig Law Group, no fee will be charged to you unless we secure a verdict or settlement on your behalf.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND OTHER THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
THE TOP 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. Call 911. If you leave the scene without contacting the police, it may be more difficult to prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Cooperate fully with the police, explain the situation to the officer completely and ask that they prepare a report. We will be able to obtain a copy of that report for you and it may be critical to proving your case.
2. Get medical attention immediately if you have any reason to believe that you might need it. We know from experience that many people don’t feel the effects of an accident for days, weeks or months after it has occurred. If your head or other parts of your body suffered an impact, you should be examined by a doctor immediately. A doctor will be able to determine the extent of your injuries, document those injuries and advise you on the need for follow-up care.
3. Do not speak to the insurance company or any investigator who works for the person at fault – These people, and in some cases even your own insurance company, are NOT looking out for your best interests. Avoid discussing anything with them, because you are not required to do so and, in most cases, it won’t help your case.
4. Gather as much information as you can about the accident – names, places, dates, times and photos are all good things to collect right away. Pictures of the accident including the vehicles and the scene are important and pictures of any visible injuries or bruising are also helpful.
5. Call a lawyer to assess your case and give you details on what you can do right away to preserve your rights – this step is critical. To learn more about your case and determine if it is one that we are able to help you with, please contact Hurtig Law Group by phone at 954-376-4810, or online so that we can help you understand the law and evaluate your claim. If you respond using our online contact form, a lawyer will call you right away, typically within an hour.
Do I have to report the accident to my insurance company if it wasn’t my fault?
Yes. Regardless of whose fault it was, the accident should be reported to your insurance company as soon as possible. We do, however, prefer that you talk with us before discussing the details with anyone. Also, remember that you have no obligation to talk with the other party’s insurance company. If they call you, the best thing to do is take their information and then contact us before doing anything else. It is perfectly proper to tell them that you are seeking the advice of a lawyer and that you prefer not to speak about the accident until you talk to your lawyer.
What does insurance cover?
Insurance may cover a lot more than you think. Below is a list of the items that we can try to recover on your behalf and a brief explanation of each one.
1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage – In Georgia, every driver with an automobile must have PIP coverage. In most cases, PIP covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to $10,000 regardless of who was at fault. Because Georgia is a no-fault state, Georgia Law requires that you carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP if you own a vehicle in Georgia. In some cases, the driver who hit you may not have enough insurance coverage to properly compensate you for your injuries. In those cases, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may pay additional amounts to cover those injures.
2. Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM) Coverage – Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage protects drivers when the other driver either doesn’t have enough auto insurance or none at all. UM insurance is especially good to have in Georgia as the state does not require motorists to carry bodily injury coverage. Many people in South Georgia travel with no bodily injury protection or only $10,000 in coverage. If one of those people causes an accident, it may be difficult or impossible to recover more than the $10,000 no matter how severe your injuries are. In such case, you can rely on a UM policy to pay for the damages that exceed to policy of the party at fault.
3. Medical Payments Coverage – Aside from PIP, which can pay all or a portion of your medical bills, you may also have separate coverage for medical bills (Med Pay). If so, that part of your policy will cover related medical expenses with no deductible.
4. Health Insurance – If you have health insurance, it may be useful in covering the parts of your medical care that PIP doesn’t cover. Your health insurance should cover the 20% of your medical bills that PIP doesn’t cover and it should pay for any care over the $10,000 PIP limit once the PIP coverage is used up.
5. Lost Wages – Your PIP coverage will pay up to 60% of your lost wages if you have that particular coverage. Most people have it, but if you don’t know to ask for it, the insurance company may not tell you.
6. Property Damage Claims – If you have been in an accident that was severe enough to cause injuries, there is a good possibility that you have some damage to your property (most likely your vehicle). If you go through your own insurance to get it fixed, you will have to pay a deductible and you may not have coverage for a rental car. For those reasons, it is important that you look to the policy of the driver at fault to repair your vehicle and get you one to drive while those repairs are being done.
7. Prescriptions –100% reimbursement.
How do I select a doctor that has familiarity with accident cases?
There is no specific type of doctor or specialty that focuses on accident cases, but there are a lot of doctors that regularly treat accident victims. You are free to select a doctor of your choice, but we can provide you with some recommendations if you don’t already have someone to treat with. If we make a recommendation and you chose one or more of those doctors that does not mean that we have any control over your medical treatment. We do not make suggestions about your treatment to any doctors nor do we recommend any doctor based on the type of care he or she is likely to suggest. If we take your case, there is no requirement that you must use a certain doctor and we only recommend one if you ask us to. One of the things that you can ask us about is whether or not we can recommend a doctor that will work on a Letter of Protection (LOP). An LOP is our promise to the doctor that in exchange for providing your care while the case is pending with us, we will make sure that they get paid from the proceeds of a settlement, if there is one at the conclusion of the case.