Auto / Motorcycle FAQ
The staff at Moody Law finds that many of our clients have similar questions regarding personal injury claims and auto accident cases, including which parties can be considered liable in an auto accident and what kind of compensation the plaintiff is entitled. If you would like to learn more about auto accident cases, please feel free to reference this list of frequently asked questions. A personal injury lawyer from our firm, serving Lakeland, Bartow, and Winter Haven, would be pleased to answer any additional questions you may have or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case in person. Please contact our law firm today.
- Can I file a personal injury claim?
- Can I afford to hire a personal injury lawyer?
- Who can be held liable in an auto accident?
- What compensation am I eligible for?
- What are the different types of insurance and what do they do?
- Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Can I file a personal injury claim?
If you have been injured in an auto accident or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties. A personal injury lawyer from Moody Law, serving Central Florida and Polk County, including Lakeland, Bartow, Winter Haven, and Haines City, can review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. You can rest assured that our staff will work diligently to ensure your claims and rights are fully protected, and we will treat your case with the care and attention it deserves. At Moody Law, we are committed to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own to ensure maximum recovery for the client.
Can I afford to hire a personal injury lawyer?
At Moody Law, we believe that individuals who have been harmed as a result of another party's negligent and reckless actions deserve the very best legal representation, regardless of their financial standing. We handle our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis to meet the needs of our clients. This means that you do not have to pay anything when you sign up. If you do not receive a recovery on your case, you will not be obligated to pay attorneys’ fees. Therefore, you, as the client, obtain free legal representation until we obtain a recovery for you. At Moody Law, our consultations on injury cases are done free of charge.
Who can be held liable in an auto accident case?
In a multi-vehicle collision, the at-fault driver is liable for any damages that occur. In motor vehicle accidents with special circumstances, such as those involving product liability or more than one at-fault driver, it may also be possible to file a lawsuit against a third party. Punitive damages may be available in cases involving a motorist who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you may have uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist benefits available. An auto accident attorney or lawyer at Moody Law can review your case and identify the liable parties or insurance companies. If you are seeking legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer in the Lakeland, Bartow, and Winter Haven area, we have the knowledge and experience to handle your case, no matter how complex.
What compensation am I eligible for?
It may be possible to obtain financial compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage if you have been in an auto accident. Please note that you can still obtain these damages if your injury is an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. In the event that a member of your family was catastrophically injured (a spinal injury, for example), you may be able to recover compensation for long-term care or, if you lost a loved one, funerary costs.
What are the different types of insurance and what do they do?
In Florida, there are different types of insurance that will apply to your automobile accident case. These different types of insurance all have different roles in your treatment as well as making a financial recovery for your injuries. We recommend that you speak to an attorney immediately about the different types of coverages available to you so that your best interests can be protected. Please see the outline below for further details.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – PIP is your own no-fault insurance that is required by law in Florida. This coverage comes from your own insurance policy and not the other person involved in the accident. Out of state drivers may or may not have no-fault coverage available to them. PIP coverage provides $10,000 of medical and disability coverage regardless of fault. This means that you can receive PIP benefits in an accident that was your fault. You do not have to pay back any PIP benefits if you make a financial recovery. PIP coverage pays 80% of your medical payments directly to your health care providers. PIP coverage is primary by law in Florida and must be billed before health insurance or other coverage. PIP also pays mileage and 60% of your lost wages every two weeks upon submission. This means that if you can obtain payment for mileage to your doctor’s office as well as partial payment for time that you take off from work to go to your doctor. After an accident, you must fill out an application for PIP benefits with your own insurance company if you intend to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Finally, you are permitted to apportion your PIP coverage between medical payments and disability (lost wages). Please let us know immediately if you intend to apportion your PIP coverage after an accident. No attorney fee is taken from PIP benefits.
PIP Deductible – You may or may not have purchased an insurance policy with a PIP deductible. Unfortunately, if you have purchased a policy with a PIP deductible, you will be responsible for paying the amount of your deductible on your medical bills before your PIP coverage begins. We recommend that you never purchase a policy with a PIP deductible.
Medical Payments (MedPay) – Medical Payments coverage is additional no-fault coverage that you purchase for yourself. It pays 100% of medical bills and makes up for any uncovered portions of PIP coverage as well as any health insurance deductible that you may have. If you have medical payment coverage, you can apportion your PIP coverage for lost wages while paying your medical bills with MedPay. Again, please inform us immediately if you intend to apportion your no-fault coverages. You do not have to repay MedPay benefits to the insurance company if you make a financial recovery. No attorney fee is taken from MedPay benefits.
Health Insurance – Your health insurance is secondary to your no-fault coverages. After your no-fault coverages are exhausted, all of your accident related medical bills should be submitted to health insurance. You will be subject to deductibles and other qualifications required by your health insurer.
Bodily Injury (BI) – Bodily injury liability coverage is the other person’s insurance. BI coverage is insurance that the other person has purchased to pay for your physical injuries including pain and suffering. This coverage is based on the other driver being at fault or on comparative negligence between the parties. Many lawsuits are filed over BI coverage. Making a claim for the other person’s BI coverage can be very complex and we recommend that you speak to an attorney regarding these claims.
Property Damage (PD) – Property damage liability coverage pays for physical damage to vehicles. If you were not at-fault for the accident, this coverage may pay for the collision deductible that you have on your own policy. Many property damage carriers will allow you a limited time to rent a vehicle at their expense. However, if you obtain a rental vehicle on your own, make sure that the PD carrier authorizes your rental in advance and agrees to pay for the rental. If your vehicle has been damaged by someone else, we can help you make a claim for property loss damages.
Collision – Collision coverage is insurance that you purchase for your own car in case it is damaged by someone else or in the event that the at-fault driver does not have enough PD coverage to repair or replace your vehicle. Collision coverage very often comes with a deductible that you must pay in order to have your vehicle repaired.
Rental Coverage – Rental car coverage is insurance that you purchase so that you are guaranteed a rental vehicle if your vehicle is damaged. Failure to purchase this coverage means that you must have the other person’s PD carrier approve your rental car.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) – UM coverage is insurance that you purchase for physical injuries, including pain and suffering, which pays over and above PIP, MedPay, and the other person’s BI coverage. To make a claim for UM benefits, you must not be at-fault for the accident and you must have your UM carrier approve of any settlements made with other persons. Failure to do so may result in prejudice to your UM case. This is why you need to speak to an attorney if you are injured in an accident. If you have UM coverage, there are things that you must do to preserve your UM coverage. If an attorney makes a UM claim for you, you may be able to obtain damages in excess of your UM coverage in the event that the insurance company has violated the insurance code.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
The filing of a lawsuit is a highly complex process. In order to maximize your chances of obtaining the full compensation to which you are entitled, it is best to seek the services of a qualified attorney or lawyer. A Moody Law personal injury lawyer serving Lakeland, Bartow, Winter Haven and Central Florida can provide professional legal counsel and aggressive representation. Contact a personal injury attorney from Moody Law today to schedule a free consultation.