As lawyers, we find that there are certain questions about car accident injuries that we get asked all the time. Here are some of those common questions and their answers.
- How long does the process take?
Some cases resolve in 6 months to one year. However, this is dependent on many factors. The most important factor is how long your medical recovery takes. Once you have achieved maximum medical improvement, it often takes another 3 to 6 months to resolve your case, presuming that the insurance company is acting fairly. However, if the insurance company is not cooperative, it can take another year or several years to get your case resolved.
- Can I recover damages from someone who has no insurance?
Probably not. Generally, if someone does not have insurance, they do not have the money to pay damages; therefore, it is not a wise use of your time or an attorney’s resources to pursue an uncollectible judgment. However, if you have your own uninsured motorist coverage, then your own insurance company will “stand in the shoes” of the person who caused the accident and pay you for your damages.
- Why did someone else I know get more for his settlement even though we have similar injuries?
This is impossible to answer. Each case is very different, and there are so many factors.
- The other person has “full coverage,” so why is there no insurance to claim a settlement from?
“Full coverage” is actually code for “minimal coverage.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, when someone says they have “full coverage,” this turns out to mean that they purchased the cheapest policy that would allow them to legally operate an automobile. Florida law only requires people to carry Property Damage Liability (which pays to fix the victim’s car) and Personal Injury Protection (which only pays for medical bills directly).
- How long do I have to bring an action for recovery?
The Statute of Limitations in Florida for negligence is four years from the date of the accident. For medical malpractice, it is only two years.
- What happens with my medical bills?
- If you can afford it, you should pay them; those out-of-pocket costs to you are part of what we recover for you in any settlement. If you cannot afford to pay your medical bills, then you may end up in collections, resulting in harm to your credit. However, some medical providers will wait until a case is resolved so that they can be paid out of the settlement.Yes, it can. Insurance companies always take advantage of the pre-existing injury argument in order to devalue your claim. However, if the prior injury is from a very long time ago, or if we develop medical evidence showing that your condition was made worse by the accident, then we can fight this.
- I previously injured the same or a similar part of my body in the past. Will this hurt my case? Yes, it can. Insurance companies always take advantage of the pre-existing injury argument in order to devalue your claim. However, if the prior injury is from a very long time ago, or if we develop medical evidence showing that your condition was made worse by the accident, then we can fight this.