At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., we have decades of experience representing the victims of car accidents in northern Florida.
Below is a list of car accident FAQs and concerns, by victims just like you. If you have suffered an injury as the result of a car accident or negligent driver in Alachua, Marion, Levy, Gilchrist, Dixie, Bradford, Columbia, Union, Putnum, Citrus or Duval counties, you may well be entitled to compensation.
Jack J. Fine: That’s always an unfortunate situation, but it happens quite often. The key in that situation is to talk to an attorney because if the individual at fault in the accident does have insurance, your attorney can recover medical bill money or medical bill compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance policy.
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: Yes, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s kind of like doing surgery on yourself. If you’re really, really good, you may come out okay. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to be very hurt.
Should I release my medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster after a Florida car accident?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: No. Any experienced trial lawyer will tell you that you have privacy rights in regard to your medical records. Releasing them will only open up possibilities of them being used against you. You should talk to a lawyer first.
Jack J. Fine: If there is something wrong, you should absolutely see a doctor after your car accident. Florida law requires that you see a doctor within 14 days, or your personal injury protection benefits, these are your insurance benefits that pay for your medical care after an accident, they can be terminated. If there is something wrong, if you have a problem, see a doctor promptly.
My physician determined that my neck injuries from my Florida car accident are permanent. How can I afford treatment?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: If you were permanently injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, then the compensation you receive will help protect your future. One of the things that an experienced attorney can do is to help you set up financial planning, so that your future earnings are protected by the compensation you’ve received from the accident.
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: The answer is yes, but the time limit that applies to your particular case depends upon the facts of your case and depends upon the state where the accident occurred. It’s very important that you talk to a lawyer early that can go through the facts and look at the statute of limitations in your particular case.
If my seatbelt was not buckled when the driver of the car I was riding in caused an accident, can I still sue?
Cherie Hoch Fine: Yes. Even if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, if the other person who is driving the car you were in was responsible for your injuries, you could bring a claim against them. It’s possible that they could defend and say that you were hurt more because of the fact you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, but that’s really their requirement to prove. If you weren’t hurt more just because you were wearing a seatbelt, that doesn’t even mitigate your damages.
I was jaywalking and was hit by a car. The driver saw me and could have avoided me. Can I still sue?
Cherie Hoch Fine: Yes, you could still sue, even if you were partly at fault, because we have comparative negligence in Florida. The driver who hit you, if they were at fault, would be held responsible for their part in the accident.
Cherie Hoch Fine: If someone else was at fault for your accident, then their insurance company could be responsible for your lost wages in that situation.
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: If you talk to an experienced lawyer right away, they can help you determine whether or not your insurance will cover rental car, or whether or not the other driver’s insurance may cover a rental car for you.
Jack J. Fine: No. You are not legally required to contact an attorney after a car accident. However, if you receive a citation that is in question, if you are injured, or if you have any questions, contacting an attorney is a really good idea. Most attorneys, including our law firm, will talk to clients who’ve been involved in an accident at no charge. Pick up the phone. Call an attorney if you have questions.
Jack J. Fine: Yes. You can absolutely sue or make a claim against a negligent driver in a Florida car accident. We frequently see back and neck injuries as a result of these accidents, and we’ve handled hundreds of these types of cases.
Jack J. Fine: The answer to that question is yes, you can choose your own repair shop following an accident. However, some insurance companies have preferred shops. When you go to one of the preferred shops, you can take your car back without question if there’s a problem.