I would like to take this opportunity to personally wish you, my present and former clients, as well as friends of the firm and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season. I realize this may not be the usual happy holiday season for some of my existing clients because we are fighting to recover benefits you are entitled to by law and which have not been paid or provided yet, but I assure you that we are actively doing everything within our power to recover the full value of the benefits as quickly as possible.
I would also like to take thank all of our clients for placing their trust and confidence in me and my firm. I take my responsibilities to you very seriously. I truly appreciate the opportunity to handle your legal needs and am grateful for your referrals of family and friends. As the holiday season approaches and the year draws to a close, it gives me great pleasure to look back on “36” years of practicing law and fighting for accident victim justice.
Wishing you good health, happiness and prosperity throughout the new year!
Daniel L. Hightower, Lawyer
“Our mission is to represent deserving injured people and to fight whatever battles are necessary to help them recover all the benefits they are entitled to by law, no more, no less, in a timely manner.”
Have a Safe Holiday
Traveling during the holiday season is the busiest time of the year and statistics show an increase in automobile accidents, as well as citations issued for driving under the influence. While traveling to spend time with your friends and family, be on the look out for other drivers who may be driving under the influence or in a hurry to get to their destinations. The key to safety while traveling and avoiding a car accident or truck accident is to drive defensively and to obey all traffic laws. Other ways to stay safe, include:
- Maintain appropriate speed
- Do not tailgate
- Avoid distracted driving such as using your cell phone, texting while driving, eating in the car, talking with passengers, using head phones, and listening to loud music
- Look beyond the car in front of you
- Avoid unnecessary lane changing
- Avoid aggressive drivers
- Use your turn signals
- Plan ahead and use your mirrors
- Buckle up
- Know the recommended air pressure for your tires and check them frequently
- Know your personal limitations and pull over before you are too tired to drive
Social media has changed the way people communicate and share information. Because so many of our friends and clients use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin, our firm has Profiles on each of those social media outlets. We try to share important information about our areas of practice, driving safety, insurance issues, law changes, etc.
Stay connected to us for all of the latest updates:
New PIP Laws as of Jan 1st, 2013 – They Affect You!
***IMPORTANT LAW CHANGE THAT AFFECTS ALL PERSONS***
Personal Injury Protection coverage (also known as PIP) is mandatory coverage in the State of Florida for every vehicle owner because Florida is a “no fault state.” This means that your own insurance company pays for the majority of your medical bills and wage loss, in some instances, (in accordance with your policy limits), regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
As of 01/01/2013, in order to receive PIP benefits accident victims MUST get medical treatment within 14 days from the accident and only from certain type of health care providers: A licensed physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, licensed dentist, physician’s assistant or must be rendered in a hospital, a facility that owns or is owned by a hospital, or a licensed emergency transportation and treatment provider. IF MEDICAL TREATMENT IS NOT RECEIVED FROM AN ACCEPTABLE PROVIDER WITHIN 14 DAYS, THERE IS NO COVERAGE UNDER PIP.
In order to receive follow-up treatment, the attending provider must diagnose that the injured person has an EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITION. Additionally a LONG FORM POLICE REPORT must be completed by the investigating agency in most instances.
There are several other steps that must be followed in order to be eligible for follow-up care and to be eligible for the entire amount of PIP benefits. If you are injured in an automobile accident, I urge you to seek immediate medical attention at the closest emergency room or medical clinic. If the emergency medical technicians at the scene recommend that you travel in the ambulance to the hospital, do it. Don’t guess about how badly you’re injured in an automobile collision; let the medical experts check you and let you know for sure.
DO YOU CARRY UNINSURED/UNDER-INSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE (important but not legally required) ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICY?
This is insurance coverage that you buy as part of your own automobile insurance to insure yourself and others riding with you against injuries and damages caused by careless drivers with no insurance or no insurance that benefits you. (In Florida, you have a 3 out of 4 chance 4 chance that the careless driver that hits you will have no insurance or only the required, minimal insurance). Ask your insurance agent about it. Insist on it. Shop it. You will be surprised how little this additional coverage costs you and how much peace of mind it will give you. The higher the coverage limits, the higher the premium. Buy what you can afford. I recommend at least $100,000/$300,000 in Uninsured Motorist coverage, more if you can afford it.
I don’t like paying insurance premiums any more than the next guy, but some insurance coverages are important…and this is one of them. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for your family (or encourage them to if they’re old enough to have their own vehicle). Given the percentages mentioned above, it’s a good bet. For additional information on UNINSURED/UNDER-INSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE, visit the Blog on my website.
Our Community Involvement in 2012
We take great pride in supporting community organizations and activities that make Ocala, The Villages, Gainesville and surrounding areas of north central Florida such a pleasant place to live. A more detailed list of the programs and organizations that we proudly support are listed on our website and I personally invite you to look over the list (and links to each) to learn more about those programs and organizations. Of special mention, this year we were honored to sponsor March for Babies/March of Dimes “Spirit Station Sponsor”, Empower Ocala, Marion County Fraternal Order of Police, Interfaith Dove Shoot, Abate of Florida, Boy Scout Fund Raiser at HT Ranch, and Bunco Babes of Ocala’s 4th Annual Fund Raiser for Breast Cancer.
We are Your Personal Lawyers and Help Clients Statewide
We want you to think of Daniel L. Hightower, P.A. as your law firm. If you have any legal matters, please feel free to contact us. If we cannot handle the matter, we will refer you to a competent law firm that can. Please feel free to recommend us to your family, friends, and neighbors for their legal needs. Daniel L. Hightower, P.A. has five attorneys and makes extensive use of paralegals and other support personnel to provide qualified legal services to our clients. We regularly serve Alachua (Gainesville and surrounding cities), Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion (Ocala and surrounding cities), Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter (The Villages, Lady Lake and surrounding cities), Suwannee, Union, Volusia and other surrounding counties. In fact, we help clients STATEWIDE!. As I like to say, “Have Briefcase, Will Travel.”
We Don’t Get Paid Unless You Get Paid
We recognize that many people, especially those that have suffered severe injury or harm are unable to recover the high costs of an hourly attorney. Our personal injury and workers compensation cases are based on a contingency fee agreement – meaning we don’t charge you fees or costs unless we make a recovery for you.