At Fine, Farkash, and Parlapiano, we’ve handled many cases involving auto accidents and their resulting injuries.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and concerns, by victims of auto accidents in northern Florida. If you have suffered an injury as the result of an auto accident in Alachua, Marion, Levy, Gilchrist, Dixie, Bradford, Columbia, Union, Putnum, Citrus or Duval counties, you may well be entitled to compensation.
Can a passenger recover damages for injuries caused by the other driver in a Florida auto accident case?
Jack J. Fine: Absolutely. A passenger in a car who’s injured due to the negligence of the driver of the car that he’s in, or another driver, can recover against either driver as long as that driver is negligent.
How much is my Florida auto accident case worth?
Jack J. Fine: That’s a good question, and it’s hard to answer. Any personal injury case depends on a variety of factors. These include liability, which means fault, the amount of insurance coverage on the part of the wrongdoer, or your own uninsured motorist coverage, and the objective nature of the injuries. Sometimes the objective nature of the injuries or the extent of the injuries are not predictable. You have to treat for a while to evaluate your injuries.
How long does it take to settle a Florida auto accident case?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: In general terms, I’d say six months to a year is what you should expect, but it depends completely on the facts of the case. First, there has to be maximum medical recovery, and then there has to be the process of litigation or negotiation.
Do I need an attorney for my Florida auto accident case if the insurance company seems to be cooperating with me?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: The insurance company may seem to be cooperating initially, but their job is to settle the case as quickly and as cheaply as possible. If you want to maximize your recovery, you need to discuss the actual facts of the case with an experienced attorney.
What constitutes pain and suffering in a Florida auto accident case?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: It’s not just the actual physical pain. That is a reality in permanent injuries, but the suffering aspect of it has to do with how that pain impacts you mentally as well as physically, how your life is actually subdued, and how much energy it takes to get through the day, the week, and the years to come.
Should I contest an accident-related citation in my Florida auto accident case?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: Maybe. It depends upon the specific facts in your case. An experienced trial lawyer will help you look not only at the personal injury aspects of the situation, but also at any possible criminal or civil litigation issues. Then, you can decide together.
If I get injured in a Florida auto accident case, but do not have insurance, can I still sue…
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: If the other driver was negligent, then that driver’s insurance may compensate you for injuries. You don’t have to have insurance if you were injured and it was the other person’s fault.
The auto insurance company’s attorney says my injury was pre-existing. How do I prove it was not?
Honorable Martha Ann Lott: That’s a very common response from the defense attorneys. What you need is a trial lawyer who’s experienced in developing and investigating cases, so that your doctors and your previous doctors are brought into play and give the proper testimony.
What happens if I am injured in Florida by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have auto insurance?
Jack J. Fine: If a person is injured by a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance, a couple things happen. First of all, their auto insurance pays 80% of the medical bills and 60% of lost wages under Florida’s no-fault scheme. What you would then do is talk to an attorney. The attorney would explore your insurance policy because you may have what’s called uninsured motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company would step in the shoes of the wrongdoer’s position, even if he didn’t have an insurance.
What happens if I suffer a back injury in Florida by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have auto insurance?
Cherie Hoch Fine: That’s unfortunate, of course. Hopefully, your own insurance policy carries what’s called uninsured motorist coverage, in which case you’ll be able to bring a claim against your own policy for the damages that are actually the responsibility of the uninsured driver.