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Articles Tagged with auto accident

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The first thing you feel after being in a car accident where no one got injured is relief that the accident was not worse than it was. Only then do the worries about finances start. How much will it cost to fix your car? Will you be able to get to your job while your car is being repaired, and if so, how much will you have to pay for alternative transportation, such as rideshare rides or a rental car? Do you have the money to pay your insurance deductible? How much will your car insurance premiums increase as a result of the accident? If you have to go to court, how much time and money will that cost? Your options for the most cost-effective way to pay for property damage vary according to the circumstances of the accident. Freeman Injury Law can help you choose the best course of action.Florida personal injury lawsuit

Florida Car Insurance Basics

Everyone who registers a vehicle in Florida must have two kinds of insurance. The first is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical bills and injury-related lost income only; it does not pay for property damage. The other is property damage liability insurance, which pays for repairs to the other driver’s car if the accident is your fault. What do you do about repairing your own car, then? It depends.

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You probably have some kind of car insurance, since the law requires it. However, oftentimes you may not know what your car insurance actually pays until it’s too late. After a car accident, you call your insurance company, they might ask you follow-up questions by mail or phone, and then a month or more later, one of the people involved in the accident gets a check covering the some of their eleigible expenses. Just what are all those details that the insurance companies are working out before they decide how much to pay? Different types of car insurance pay for different things, and in some cases, they can even cancel each other out. If you are not sure if the amount that the insurance company offered you after your accident is correct, contact an attorneybefore you accept the settlement offer.

What is PIP Insurance?

All registered vehicle owners in Florida must carry PIP insurance, as well property damage liability insurance. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, which covers up to $10,000 of medical expenses and lost income when someone gets injured at an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In order to get PIP insurance to cover your accident-related expenses, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. If a driver collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist who does not own a car (and therefore does not have PIP insurance), the driver’s PIP insurance might also pay the medical expenses and lost income of the pedestrian or bicyclist. If the drivers involved in the accident have additional optional car insurance, such as bodily injury or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then the amount covered by PIP gets subtracted from what the other types of insurance must cover. This is called the PIP setoff.

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medical-check-up_BF9hd70rj-300x200Most Plaintiffs in personal injury cases that are in litigation are required to undergo a Compulsory or Independent medical examination also known as the CME. This is an examination that is requested by the opposing side and is done by a physician that is hired by the opposition.

The CME involves a review of records, a physical examination, face to face interview, review of test results, and conclusions. The goal of this examination is to confirm the initial injury diagnosis and determine whether such injury was due to the accident. The physician is also looking to verify that the current symptoms and findings are consistent with the diagnosis made. Lastly, they are looking to determine whether the individual is exaggerating or making up their complaints. This examining physician is not a treating physician and is also considered a hired expert for the opposition. Due to this, it is understood that there is always an element of bias involved in their conclusions.

It is important to keep in mind that by the time the plaintiff enters the examination room, the physician has already had the chance to review all treatment records and other records that were provided to him prior to the examination. The Plaintiff must be prepared for this examination and understand what could potentially be asked by the physician. Hired CME physicians are trained to look for and document potential indicators of fraud and deception during the interview portion of the examination and the availability of all these records prior to the appointment makes it easier for them to find. The physicians look for things such as verbal behavior indicators, omitting information such as prior injuries, too much information, overly specific answers, aggressive reactions to the questions, invocation of religion not to answer the questions and the use of qualifiers such as “honestly” and “truthfully”.

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A jury in Lake County has awarded $2.3 million in a Florida personal injury lawsuit filed by a woman whose car accident injuries occurred in two separate crashes: One in 2007 and another in 2014. West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers recognize that while it is unusual for such claims to take nearly 10 years to resolve, it’s not unheard of in a complex case where auto insurers fight tooth-and-nail. While successful settlement negotiation is often preferred, your attorney should not hesitate to press these claims to court if defendant’s settlement offers are too low. Florida personal injury lawsuit

According to a local news report of the injury case, the woman’s first Florida personal injury lawsuit was filed in 2010 (within the four-year statute of limitations for Florida injury lawsuits) after an uninsured driver crashed into her on State Road 50, resulting in damage to a disc in her vertebrae. At the time, plaintiff was living with her grandmother and was covered under her grandmother’s auto insurance policy (often such policies do cover resident relative drivers, though it’s important to check the exact language). That policy did provide protection for collisions involving uninsured motorists. The second crash occurred in 2013, which re-injured her back, requiring a spinal fusion surgery and installation of screws and other hardware. In the second crash, the insurer covering the at-fault driver only paid a small sum, leaving plaintiff again to compensation from her grandmother’s insurer for underinsured motorist coverage. The policy covered up to $300,000 in damages, but plaintiff’s medical bills alone were estimated at more than $550,000.

The insurer fought to discredit plaintiff’s claim for damages, arguing there was evidence of her doing things she would not be able to do were injuries as severe as she claimed, including kayaking, running, twisting and bending. Both sides in the Florida personal injury lawsuit hired expert witnesses to bolster their positions. In the end, jurors awarded compensation for past and future medical bills and past pain and suffering, as well as $1.3 million for future pain and suffering.  Continue reading →

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A recent decision by a California appellate court has held that a golf course does owe a duty to use reasonable care to those playing golf to protect them from wasp nests on site. Such cases fall under the umbrella of premises liability, and pertain to the expectation that those who welcome guests onto their property have a responsibility to make sure they are reasonably safe, and that they are warned about dangerous conditions about which the owner/ manager knows or should know.Orlando golf course injury lawyer

As our Orlando injury lawyers have seen, golf course injuries usually tend to involve golf cart accidents, fast-flying rogue golf balls and trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall hazards. However, here in Florida, we also have amazing – but potentially very dangerous – wildlife patrons may encounter on golf courses. These include alligators (the most common large animal on Florida greens, as noted by The Guardian), pythons, bears, bobcats and of course stinging or biting insects like bees, wasps and red ants.

In terms of liability, Florida golf course owners have a responsibility to take measures to protect their guests by addressing these issues or posting adequate warning so guests can be alert and use appropriate caution. Continue reading →

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Auto accident insurance companies will always fight to limit the benefits you receive following a crash. This is true whether you are a third-party or their customer. caraccident4

All auto insurance policies define certain limits based on how much they are willing to pay per-person and how much they will pay per-accident. If the amount from the at-fault driver’s insurance company is insufficient to cover all damages, victims may want to explore recovery through an underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage policy. This could be a policy the victim held directly or one that covered the non-fault driver in a car accident wherein they were a passenger.

In the recent case of Trotter v. Harleysville, plaintiffs argued that the UIM coverage should kick in when the at-fault driver’s insurer did not pay them the full per-person amount to which they were entitled. The UIM insurer, however, argued that the total per-accident limit had been paid by the at-fault driver’s insurer, and thus it was not required to pay any more. The case was weighed recently by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Continue reading →

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Auto insurance policies can contain complex legalese that can be difficult to sift through, particularly in the wake of a devastating auto accident. atv1

These policies are purchased not just because they are often required by law, but also because they offer necessary financial protections to to those who survive and also to those who survive them. However, establishing insurance liability when there are so many caveats to coverage can be a challenge.

In the recent case of Nodak Mutual Ins. Co. v. Koller, the guardian of a child whose mother perished in an all-terrain vehicle accident sought to establish maximum coverage from the insurer. The insurer, however, fought to establish that only the lesser “step-down” coverage was applicable. The outcome hinged on whether decedent driver was a household resident of the insured, his stepfather. Continue reading →

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