FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENTS


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1. The accident was not my fault, so why does my own car insurance have to pay for my own medical bills?

2. I lost time from my work because of this accident; doesn’t the at-fault driver have to pay for my Lost Wages?

3. This accident was not my fault, and now my car is damaged or totaled. Who is going to compensate me for the property damages to my vehicle?

4. Because of the damage to my vehicle, I need a rental car. How can I get a rental car?

5. I have Pain and Suffering, Inconvenience, and Mental Anguish due to the negligence of the at-fault driver. Doesn’t the at-fault driver have to pay for this?

6. I’ve been told that the driver who caused this accident did not have the type of car insurance to pay for my pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience. How is that possible?

7. The at-fault driver failed to carry BI coverage. Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering from my own insurance company?

8. The at-fault driver had BI insurance, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not pay enough. I want to sue. What are the pros and cons of bringing a formal lawsuit in front of a jury?

9. What is my case worth?





Q: 1. The accident was not my fault, so why does my own car insurance have to pay for my own medical bills?

The reason is that Florida’s law-makers say so:  PIP Insurance (“personal injury protection”) is required by Florida Law.  Every driver must purchase their own PIP insurance.  This is also known as no-faultinsurance.  Florida law doesn’t care who is at-fault in an accident when it comes to paying medical bills up to $10,000.00.  This means that you are required by law to submit your medical bills to your own PIP insurance, which will pay 80% of those bills, up to $10,000.00.  This is what is meant by Florida No-Fault Insurance  (NOTE:  As of January, 2013, Florida's PIP Law requires that an individual receive medical treatment within Fourteen [14] Days after an accident; otherwise, your own PIP Insurance may not pay your medical bills under the PIP portion of your Own Insurance Coverage).


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Q: 2. I lost time from my work because of this accident; doesn’t the at-fault driver have to pay for my Lost Wages?

Your own PIP insurance will pay 60% of your lost wages, so long as you provide it with a doctor’s disability slip, and proof (from your employer) of how much you lost in wages.  The remaining 40% should be claimed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company when you are released from treatment by your doctor.


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Q: 3. This accident was not my fault, and now my car is damaged or totaled. Who is going to compensate me for the property damages to my vehicle?

PROPERTY DAMAGE (PD) Coverage:

The at-fault driver’s insurance company should pay for your car repairs; however, if the at-fault driver failed to carry insurance, then your own COLLISION Coverage (on your own insurance policy) should pay for the repairs to your vehicle.  Sometimes, even if you were not at-fault in causing the accident, your own insurance will pay for your car repairs (under your collision coverage).  Then, your own insurance company will pursue reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company for payment for the car repairs.  However, you should be especially careful to have your vehicle removed from any storage yard because you will personally be charged for daily storage fees – these charges can be very costly.


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Q: 4. Because of the damage to my vehicle, I need a rental car. How can I get a rental car?

You should look at your own insurance policy, and see whether you have rental-car coverage on your own insurance.  The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not required to provide you with a rental car, even though you were not the one who caused the accident.  However, oftentimes, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will go ahead, and provide you with a rental car (even though it’s not required to do so).  If you have no rental car benefits on your own policy, you should ask your lawyer to phone the other insurance company, and inquire about their providing a rental vehicle.


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Q: 5. I have Pain and Suffering, Inconvenience, and Mental Anguish due to the negligence of the at-fault driver. Doesn’t the at-fault driver have to pay for this?

In order to receive compensation for Pain, Suffering, Inconvenience, and Mental Anguish, you must have suffered an injury that your doctor considers a “permanent injury.  If your injury is not considered “permanent,” then Florida Law says that you cannot receive compensation for pain and Suffering.  That being said, there is much more to know about Florida’s permanency requirement, and I will be happy to discuss this issue in more detail with you.


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Q: 6. I’ve been told that the driver who caused this accident did not have the type of car insurance to pay for my pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience. How is that possible?

BI (Bodily-Injury) insurance coverage is optional and not required by Florida Law.  If you are in a car accident, then it is the BI portion of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy that will pay for any medical bills not paid by your own PIP coverage; BI is also the portion of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage that may pay you money for pain and suffering due to bodily injuries.  Because BI coverage is not required by law, the driver that caused the crash might not have purchased this coverage on their insurance policy.  In situations like this, your only option against the at-fault driver is to directly sue (the at-fault driver) personally.  Unfortunately, most people

do not have assets against which to collect --- that means that, even if a jury awarded you money, you would most likely not be able to collect that money from the at-fault driver.  Afterall, if the at-fault driver has money/assets, then the at-fault driver would most likely have purchased BI on their insurance policy.


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Q: 7. The at-fault driver failed to carry BI coverage. Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering from my own insurance company?

UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST (UM) Coverage:

UM coverage is optional and not required by Florida Law.  This situation arises when:  (1) the at-fault driver did not have BI coverage on his insurance, or (2) the at-fault driver had no insurance at all, or (3) the at-fault driver had a small BI policy that failed to fully compensate you.  In this situation, your own UM insurance, if you purchased that coverage, basically “steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver.”  UM coverage will generally pay for that portion of your medical bills not paid by PIP.  UM coverage may pay you additional money for pain and suffering due to bodily injuries.


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Q: 8. The at-fault driver had BI insurance, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not pay enough. I want to sue. What are the pros and cons of bringing a formal lawsuit in front of a jury?

Most times, personal-injury claims are settled out of court; however, sometimes proceeding into formal litigation is the best course of action.  I will be happy to discuss the many factors that must be considered when determining whether or not to proceed with a formal lawsuit.


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Q: 9. What is my case worth?

This is a common question, and there are many factors affecting the value of any claim.  Of course, an individual who has suffered injuries that require surgery will be entitled to more compensation that an individual who has suffered a less-serious injury (one not requiring any surgery).  The value of your claim rests upon the final diagnoses by your treating physician and diagnostic test results.  Also affecting the value of your claim will be how much the at-fault driver carried under their BI coverage.  You should discuss the many factors affecting personal-injury claims with your lawyer.  However, if your case is accepted by the Law Office of Jacqueline Wehrly, then it is because we believe you have a legitimate claim, and that is the reason your case would be accepted.


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The Law Office Of Jacqueline Wehrly assists clients with Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Divorce in Florida area including Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.


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