If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you should do the following to protect your rights:
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Get the other driver’s name, contact information, the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the collision.
- Get the automobile insurance information from the other driver.
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle.
- If possible, take pictures of any injuries you have suffered.
- Report the accident to your insurance company even if you are not at fault.
- Keep a log or notebook with all of the information related to your accident, including the name and badge numbers of the police, firemen, paramedics who respond to the accident, the name of the nurses or doctors you see at the hospital or at any medical appointments you make as a result of the accident, the name, and contact information, including the claim number, telephone number and e-mail of all insurance adjusters you speak with.
- Submit a claim to the other driver’s insurance company. However, do not give a recorded statement until you have consulted with an attorney;
- Submit a PIP claim. PIP is a shorthand for Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law, often called the no-fault statute. It is a separate, although related, claim for reimbursement for those who are injured in automobile accidents. PIP allows you seek reimbursement for 80% of reasonably necessary medical care up to a maximum of $10,000, and/or 60% of lost wages up to the total $10,000 maximum related injuries suffered during an automobile accident. PIP does not apply to most motorcycle accidents because the statute defines a vehicle as having four wheels. Also, Florida’s PIP statute was amended in January of 2014, and now requires that anyone making a PIP claim seek medical attention for the accident related injuries from a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician’s assistant of advanced registered nurse practitioner within 14 days of the accident. The January 2014 amendments to the PIP statute also divided PIP claims into two categories and two payment levels based on the type of injury sustained, that is, up to the full $10,000 for an “emergency medical condition,” which generally is an injury with symptoms that are serious enough that if not treated immediately, could reasonably be expected to seriously impair the patient’s health, seriously impair bodily functions or body organs, and up to $2,500 for other non-medical emergency injuries. It is critical that anyone involved in an automobile accident seek medical care and evaluation within 14 days of the accident if they want to make a PIP claim. Remember, PIP claims cover just the first $10,000 of any recovery, and those who are the victims of another person’s negligence in an automobile accident can seek recovery of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering well over this $10,000 PIP claim cap based on the extent and nature of their injuries and damages, and almost always do.
If you are injured in an automobile accident, or any other type of accident caused by the negligence of others, you should seek the advice of legal counsel as soon as possible. Attorney H. Manuel Hernández handles cases of individuals who have been the victims of the negligence of others in automobile accidents, negligent security cases, medical malpractice, products liability, cases with serious injuries, and is available to consult with the victims of the negligence of others 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year. If you have been the victim of the negligence of others and want to speak with him, just call 407-682-5553. There is no charge for the consultation, and there is no fee unless there is a recovery