Auto Accidents

GIVING YOU OPTIONS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

Unfortunately, car accidents occur daily in Florida.  After a car accident, you may face many difficult physical, personal, and financial hardships due to the negligence of the at-fault driver.  Some car accidents occur as a result of faulty or defective car parts, hazardous road conditions, or environmental factors. However, most car accidents occur as a result of negligence by the at-fault driver.  Negligent behavior that contributes to car accidents include speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving while drowsy, or distracted driving such as texting while driving, and eating while driving.  Florida law requires that drivers keep their attention on the road.   Contact the Atherley Law Firm to help you explore your options after you are injured in a car accident.

WHAT TO DO AT THE CAR ACCIDENT SCENE

Car accidents are usually sudden and unexpected.  Florida law requires drivers involved in car accident to remain at the scene of the accident until all responsibilities associated with the accident have been satisfied.  Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime that can result in arrest and jail time.  When involved in a car accident, you should try to take as many of the following steps as possible to assist in the success of your case:

  1. IF INJURED, SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION
  2. IF POSSIBLE, CHECK ON OTHERS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT
  3. CONTACT POLICE
  4. INSIST ON A POLICE REPORT
  5. GET OTHER DRIVER’S CONTACT & INSURANCE INFORMATION
  6. GET CONTACT INFORMATION OF ANY WITNESS ON THE SCENE
  7. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ACCIDENT SCENE, DAMAGES, & INJURIES
  8. CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
  9. CONSIDER HIRING AN ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

STEPS AFTER YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT

After you are involved in an auto accident, it is critical to handle the matter as soon as possible.  In some cases, only a certain amount of time is available to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.  Delays in getting medical treatment or pursuing an insurance claim can prove costly. Our firm will help you navigate the process after you have been injured in an accident.  Here are steps you should consider taking after you are involved in an auto accident:

  1. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
  2. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR ONGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT
  3. OBTAIN A PROPERTY DAMAGE VALUATION
  4. UNDERSTAND YOUR INSURANCE POLICY COVERAGE
  5. KEEP A FILE OF ALL ACCIDENT RELATED INFORMATION & DOCUMENTS
  6. LIMIT CONVERSATIONS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT ONLY TO YOUR

YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AFTER YOUR CAR ACCIDENT

Traffic accidents can have unexpected consequences that negatively impact your life including medical bills, doctor visits, prescription and medication costs, lost wages, and a reduction quality time you are able to spend with your family.  Some insurance companies attempt to avoid or prolong policy payments, especially if they know that you do not have an attorney to represent you.  Our team investigates the causes of your accident and injuries, determining who was at fault. Then, we provide you with sound representation, seeking monetary damages from those responsible and their insurance agencies to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, the Atherley Law Firm may be able to assist you in recovering some or all of the following damages:

  • PAIN & SUFFERING
  • MEDICAL EXPENSES
  • FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES
  • THERAPY EXPENSES
  • LOST WAGES
  • REDUCED EARNING CAPACITY
  • FUTURE PROFITS
  • PROPERTY DAMAGE

HOW AN AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN HELP

The decision to hire a Florida automobile accident attorney may be easy, but the process of finding the right attorney to handle your unique accident case may be difficult. At the Atherley Law Firm, we are at your side throughout the entire insurance claims process, managing the details of your case, and answering any questions you may have along the way.  Insurance adjusters have a job to do, and they usually want to award to smallest amount of compensation they can, if possible.  Speak to an auto accident attorney before accepting any settlement an insurance company may offer.  If you accept a settlement offer prior to speaking to an attorney, you increase your chances of missing out on receiving the compensation available to you from all possible sources.

Atherley Law Firm can assist you:

  • INVESTIGATE THE CAUSE OF YOUR ACCIDENT
  • COLLECT ANY AVAILABLE EVIDENCE
  • INTERVIEW WITNESSES
  • HANDLE THE INSURANCE CLAIM PROCESS
  • COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES & ADJUSTERS
  • NEGOTIATE COMPENSATION WITH INSURANCE ADJUSTERS

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CAR INSURANCE COVERAGE

Accidents happen in Florida everyday.  Unfortunately, many people injured in car accidents suffer physically and financially because the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to fully compensate them, or even worse – no insurance coverage at all.  Florida drivers have the opportunity to protect themselves based on the type of coverage they select, but many Florida drivers simply do not understand their car insurance policy and have no clue what their insurance policy covers or doesn’t cover. Under Florida law, certain insurance coverage is mandatory, while other insurance coverage is optional.   The right type and amount of insurance can ultimately protect you in the long run.

MANDATORY COVERAGE

  • PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP): Personal Injury Protection coverage is required in Florida at a minimum of $10,000 in coverage.  This covers any medical bills and lost wages incurred up to the policy limit regardless of whether you caused the accident or not.  This also is the policy that will be used in the case of a hit and run. A deductible of up to $1,000 is permitted. PIP covers 80% of reasonable medical expenses resulting from the accident and up to 60% of lost wages resulting from the accident.
  • PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY (PDL):  Property Damage Liability coverage is required in Florida, also at a minimum of $10,000 in coverage.  This covers any property damage you caused to another person’s property while driving up to the policy limit.  A deductible of up to $500 is permitted.

OPTIONAL COVERAGE

  • BODILY INJURY LIABILITY (BIL):  This coverage is optional in Florida but strongly recommended.  While most insurance coverage is to protect you, Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others. This policy coverage also covers your incurred legal expenses.  BIL coverage applies when the PIP benefits have been exhausted.
  • UNINSURED & UNDERINSURED MOTORIST (UM/UIM):  This coverage protects you and your passengers against losses when involved with a motorist that does not have insurance coverage or whose policy coverage is not enough to cover your losses.  If the at-fault driver has insufficient liability insurance to cover the total damages sustained by you, your UM/UIM policy will cover medical expenses, lost wages, bodily injury, or sickness resulting from the accident. UM/UIM coverage is also used in cases of hit and run.  You cannot carry more UM/UIM coverage than you carry for Bodily Injury Liability (BIL).
  • COLLISION COVERAGE: A collision policy covers the repair cost associated with the damage to your vehicle caused by the accident regardless of who caused the accident. However, collision coverage does not cover damage to property of others or injuries sustained.
  • EXTENDED PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION:  Extended Personal Injury Protection coverage is not mandatory in Florida. While PIP covers 80% of reasonable medical expenses and up to 60% of lost wages resulting from the accident, Extended PIP covers increase the benefits paid to 100% of reasonable medical expenses and 80% of lost wages resulting from the accident.
  • COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE: A comprehensive policy covers the damage to your vehicle that is not caused by an accident such as vandalism, fire, high winds, hail, flood damage, or collision with an animal. If your front windshield glass is damaged, your insurance carrier will replace it at a $0 deducible even if you have an existing deductible.
  • MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE: Medical payments coverage covers medical expenses beyond what is covered by PIP. Medical payments coverage supplements Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits and ensures that the medical expenses are paid up to the policy limits of the insured.  A medical payment policy may also provide coverage for certain injuries that are not included in the basic PIP policy whether the injury occurs in your car, the car of someone else, or as a pedestrian.
  • GAP INSURANCE COVERAGE: If your vehicle is totaled and you owe more than your vehicle is worth, gap coverage will pay off the loan amount.
  • ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: Most insurance companies offer additional coverage for various situations. For example, coverage is usually offered for reimbursement for towing expenses and car rental expenses.

SPEAK WITH AN ORLANDO CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

After an auto accident impacts your family, call on a skilled Orlando car accident attorney at Atherley Law Firm to discuss your options and ensure you are fairly and fully compensated for your losses.  You may be entitled to financial coverage through your insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Our office is located in downtown Orlando, and we are proud to serve injury victims in Orange County, Osceola County and the surrounding areas. Contact us for a free initial consultation today at (407) 459-7046, contact us online, or schedule your own consultation.

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