Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
Answers from Our Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney
If this is the first time you have suffered a serious injury in an accident, you may not know how to deal with the legal and insurance issues ahead of you. That inexperience can be costly. Medical care, lost wages, and other costs from an accident can add up to a devastating financial blow.
At Michael L. Morgan Law Group in Sarasota, we offer free initial consultations to answer your questions about Florida no-fault insurance and other legal and financial issues. If the accident was caused by someone else, we'll explain your legal options.
What If I Am Injured on Vacation?
The southwest Florida coast attracts visitors from all over the world. Unfortunately, some people suffer serious injuries in car crashes, slip-and-falls, boating collisions, and other types of accidents. Dealing with issues like medical care can be complicated when you are far from home. You may also be unaware of your legal rights, which is why you need legal advice straight away.
Here are some things you should know about:
- Medical care: Seek medical attention from the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility. If you need follow-up care, you can receive treatment here or from your doctor at home. Do not wait to receive medical attention. Your injuries may be more serious than you think and delaying treatment could have permanent health consequences. You will also need medical documentation of your injuries to file a claim for compensation from the insurance company of the party that caused your injury.
- If you are unable to travel: An injury may cause a delay in your ability to return home. You can seek compensation for all losses caused by the injury, including hotel bills, lost wages, and additional transportation costs. An injury can cause major inconveniences in your life.
- Legal advice: You may have a lawyer at home who advises you on legal matters. However, only a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Florida can advise you about Florida law and represent you in a Florida court.
How Long Will My Case Take?
The answer depends on your injuries. It's important not to settle your case until you know how the injury will affect you in the future. You won't know that until you complete your medical treatment.
The insurance companies may offer to write an immediate check to settle your case. The check may seem appealing at a time when you are incurring expenses for medical treatment and lost wages; however, accepting an early settlement is usually a costly mistake.
- Once you settle your case and sign a release form, you give up the right to file a claim in the future if your injuries turn out to be more serious than you thought. As a result, you may not receive enough money to cover your future needs.
- The amount offered is likely to be a lowball offer that the insurance company hopes you are desperate enough to accept.
- Nobody, not even your lawyer, knows what your case is worth until you complete your medical treatment. Only then will we know what your future medical and other needs are likely to be. For example, you may need surgery later and the injury may affect your ability to work. You have the right to seek compensation for future medical care, surgery, physical therapy, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, until your case is resolved, you will need to find another way to pay your medical bills.
How Do I Pay for Medical Care?
The most important thing you can do after an accident is to obtain needed medical care and follow your doctor's treatment plan. This is important not only to recover your health but also to document your injuries for your personal injury case.
In Florida, you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as a part of your no-fault insurance. This coverage provides up to $10,000 for medical care regardless of who was at fault. If you have expenses beyond what PIP will pay for, you can use your personal health insurance or group coverage from your employer. If you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you can use your coverage to pay bills.
Florida PIP pays 80 percent of your medical expenses as long as you obtain treatment within 14 days of the accident. Follow-up care is also covered.
What If the Accident Was Someone Else's Fault?
You would still use PIP for the first $10,000 in medical expenses. If you have suffered a serious injury, you may have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company for medical expenses beyond what is covered by PIP, as well as for lost wages and pain and suffering.
The insurance company of the other driver will not pay for medical expenses as you incur them. Instead, it will write a single check for all damages when your case is resolved by settlement or jury verdict. If your medical insurance company pays your bills, it will expect reimbursement from the other driver's insurance when your claim is resolved. An experienced lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company that paid your bills so you can keep as much of your personal injury award as possible.
What If I Have to Miss Work Because Of An Accident?
An accident that results in personal injury can result in missed time at work. Even after you are well enough to return to work, you may have medical appointments or physical therapy that requires time off from work.
While missing work is inconvenient both for you and your employer, it's important to continue your medical treatment until you recover as fully as possible.
Here are some problems that can happen if you stop your treatment:
- You may not recover full mobility or health.
- You will not have medical documentation of your injuries for your personal injury claim.
- The insurance company will assume that you are no longer injured and pay you less as a result.
An experienced lawyer can help you recover compensation for all damages, including lost wages for the times you miss work for medical treatment and therapy.
What Can an Attorney Do for Me?
If you have suffered a serious injury caused by someone else's carelessness, you are entitled to recover money damages for your losses. At Michael L. Morgan Law Group in Sarasota, we dedicate our service to recovering money to compensate you for your losses and other damages. We will aggressively pursue those who caused your injury and hold them responsible for their actions.
Call our office immediately and speak to our accident lawyer. You should not be talking with anyone, answering any questions, giving any recorded statements or otherwise discussing your accident injury case without first speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. So many common mistakes made in the days following an auto accident can be avoided by simply working with an attorney right away.
Ascertain what your injuries are through experienced medical doctors and specialists expertly trained in neurology, orthopedics, spine, neck and back, and all types of trauma injuries. We will then let those responsible for the accident know the true extent of your injury and the damage and suffering they have caused. Next, Michael L. Morgan Law Group will demand immediate compensation for your injuries and losses, including, in some cases, lost work, salary and wages, and pain and suffering.
Michael L. Morgan Law Group accident lawyers will not stop or compromise until we have obtained the best possible result in your case. If results matter to you, do not leave your auto accident case to someone who lacks the trial experience and proven results necessary to handle your case properly. Call Michael L. Morgan Law Group today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation meeting to discuss your case. Even if you do not hire us, be sure to order our free book. There is no obligation or cost; we will send you the book for free as our gift. It contains many useful tips about personal injury cases and mistakes you should avoid at all costs to keep from ruining your personal injury claim.