At the Law Office of Daniel L. Hightower, P.A., we are here to help. Some of our frequently asked questions are below, and we invite you to call our office at 352-629-7777 or Contact Us HERE.
If I am in an automobile accident, what should I do?
Florida law requires that you remain at the scene of an accident until the police arrives to help in the preparation of an accident report. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you get home from the scene, or as soon as possible. In order to prove your case, you have the burden of presenting evidence to establish your claim, therefore, preservation of evidence is crucial. Such evidence may consist of documentation of the physical evidence at the accident site, of the vehicles involved in the accident and of your medical injuries. You may not know the legal requirements necessary to prove your case and therefore, we recommend that you contact an attorney immediately to be advised of your legal rights.
Who will pay to fix the damage to my vehicle?
That depends on what type of insurance coverage you have or the insurance coverage of the person that caused the accident. Call the other driver’s insurance company and request that your car be fixed. Only discuss property damage issues with them. Do not give any statements or discuss how the accident happened or your injuries. Check your policy to see whether you have rental car coverage, towing and what deductibles apply. It may be in your best interest to retain the services of a lawyer with experience in handling auto accident claims as they are familiar with the terms of different insurance policies and regularly negotiate the resolution of property damage claims with many different insurance companies.
Who will pay my medical bills and lost wages?
There may be many sources from which to get your medical bills paid and, depending on the types of insurance, they each take different priority. For instance, in Florida, you are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is generally in the amount of $10,000 and may have different deductible amounts. This money is available to pay for medical bills and/or lost wages. However, unless you instruct your insurance carrier to reserve your PIP for your lost wages, they will pay it to the first medical bills they receive. There may also be other insurance available to pay for your medical bills including medical payments coverage, health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or disability insurance. If you are in an automobile accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss how the relevant state laws and policies of insurance apply to recover damages for your injuries.
What if the person that caused the accident does not have insurance?
Unfortunately, nearly 20% of Florida’s drivers do not have any form of automobile insurance. If you purchased Uninsured Motorist Coverage from your insurance carrier, you may look to your own insurance company to pay you for the damages caused by the negligence of the uninsured motorist carrier. We caution you, however, in negotiating your claim with your insurance company yourself as, even though they are your insurance company, (to pay the least amount of money out on claims) their interest is directly opposite to what is in your best interest, (to obtain a just settlement to compensate you fairly for all of your damages). We recommend you obtain legal counsel before attempting to negotiate your claims directly with your own insurance company.
The insurance company wants to take my recorded statement. What is that?
We do not recommend that you give a recorded statement to anyone, other than your own insurance carrier. Many insurance policies require the insured (you) to “cooperate” with their investigation of the accident. This recording can and will be used as evidence against you if you pursue a claim regarding your accident, therefore, we would advise you obtain legal counsel before giving any such statement.
Since 1976 Daniel L. Hightower in Ocala, FL has been standing up for the rights of people injured in car, work, and other accidents. Our personal injury lawyers, workers’ compensation lawyers, social security disability lawyers, and bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience in successfully representing the interests of their clients and obtaining recoveries on their behalf.