Q: My wife in a car accident in Orlando last month. She was rear-ended while sitting at a stop sign. After exchanging insurance information we found the driver at fault happens to have one of the larger insurance companies. We were happy because we did not have uninsured motorist coverage. Now she seemed to be ok after the wreck but has been complaining of soreness and saw our family doctor yesterday. The others driver’s insurance adjuster made arrangements to set up an estimate for our car which was crunched up pretty bad. They agreed to put her in a rental car while her car is being fixed then told us that our own insurance company would pay the medical bills and lost wages if she misses work. They also offered an additional three thousand dollars to take care of the medical bills. (We have not accepted it yet.) We just received the first bill from her doctor and it’s almost the amount they are offering us. After speaking to them over the phone, we were told that it was the most money they were able to offer even if we did hire a attorney (which we do not think we can afford to do anyways.) What should we do?
A: To answer your question I will break it down into two parts.
Yes your auto insurance should pay for some of the medical bills and lost wages. Technically under the Florida No-Fault all licensed drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 dollars in personal injury protection aka PIP. This insurance will take care of 80% your medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to $10,000 even if the other driver is at fault. The advantage of this is you can immediately access this money without having to wait and fight the other driver’s insurance company. Your doctor initially gets paid and will continue the required treatment to help your wife get better.The problem with this is $10,000 will evaporate quickly with a simple trip to the emergency room. So what about the rest of the bills?
This is where the other driver’s property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage comes into play. Watch them change their tune, when faced with the threat of a lawsuit, and especially if there are any objective findings on x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
Touching upon the issue of of if you can afford a personal injury attorney:
Our firm receives compensation for our work only if we can recover money specifically for pain and suffering, and no, $3,000.00 is not going to get it done. In fact, I’d be willing to waive my fee on the first $3,000 recovered and take a fee only on money recovered above and beyond that, and you can bet it would be considerably more. It is always beneficial to speak with an attorney. There is no fee for an initial case evaluation so it never hurts to call.
407-924-4566; We look forward to hearing from you!