Auto Insurance Coverage - What You Should Know
Honest advice from an experienced Florida car accident law firm focused on results
If you're in a car wreck through no fault of your own in Florida, you have a right to pursue compensation to pay for car repair or replacement and your injuries. The law requires motorists who are at fault to carry insurance coverage that includes minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person; $20,000 per crash; $10,000 property damage liability per crash and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.
A car accident claim, however, can become difficult when dealing with another driver's insurance company. Disputes can arise over who's at fault and how much compensation victims should receive. That's why it's important to have a knowledgeable lawyer you can trust to help you navigate through the legal system to help you with your car accident claim.
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage Explained
- Who Compensates Me if the Driver is Uninsured/Underinsured?
- What to Do if a Driver Hits and Runs
Florida politicians recently changed the state laws involving personal injury protection benefits (PIP). Lawmakers said they made such changes to benefit consumers and cut down on fraud. But the reality is big insurance companies will likely benefit the most from the changes in PIP benefits. We believe the state had taken away rights of injury victims to get the compensation they deserve.
Under Florida's new PIP law, accident victims must seek medical treatment within 14 days. In addition, PIP benefits in Florida have been capped at $2,500, unless a medical care provider verifies that the person has an "emergency medical condition." If your injuries are diagnosed as an emergency medical condition, you may qualify for $10,000. The new law excludes coverage for massage therapists and acupuncturists. If you are looking for a less intrusive type of treatment for your injuries, you cannot be covered, under the new PIP law.
The changes to the law make it even harder for people injured in accidents to get justice. That's why it's wise to arrange a consultation with the Law Office of Scott M. Miller. Let us put experience and resources to work for you to fight for the financial compensation and medical treatment you rightfully deserve after your accident.
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Who Compensates Me if the Driver is Uninsured/Underinsured?
In Florida, all drivers are required to purchase auto insurance. Unfortunately, some drivers ignore the law and don't get insurance. In addition, other drivers do not purchase enough insurance to cover the cost of most car accidents. These motorists are known as Uninsured (UM) or Underinsured Motorists (UIM)
If you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver in Florida or a driver without enough insurance, you may be able to pursue a claim against your own insurance company. Under Florida law, all insurance companies must offer uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
Such benefits can cover a wide range of expenses, including medical bills, lost income, lost future income, pain and suffering and other bills associated with your accident. However, the process of obtaining such benefits can spiral into a complex dispute with your own insurer. Scott M. Miller knows how to negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of clients. An experienced trial attorney, he is prepared to bring a case before a judge and jury if necessary.
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What to Do if a Driver Hits and Runs
Hit-and-run car accidents happen more than you might imagine in Florida, and continue to creep up each year. In 2012, nearly 70,000 hit-and-runs were reported, which is 500 more than the previous year, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Across the state, an average of 3.2 people die each week because of a hit-and-run driver.
If you're a victim of a hit and run accident, we strongly advise you to take the following steps as soon as possible after your accident:
- Don't chase - Even if you think you can catch the hit-and-run driver, don't go after him. The other driver could be armed and dangerous or engaged in illegal activity. Don't put yourself at risk.
- Contact the police - Make sure the police investigate your accident. Hit and run accidents are very serious crimes. And insurance companies routinely rely on these reports to determine how much to compensate accident victims.
- Write down details of the car - Record the driver's license plate number as well as the make, model and color of the vehicle. Try to get a description of the driver.
- Talk to witnesses - Statements from witnesses at the scene of an accident can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. In case anyone needs to contact them later, get the witnesses'
- Full name
- Phone number
- Take photographs - Photos of your accident can serve as importance evidence. Make sure to take photos of
- Damage to vehicles
- Injuries to yourself
- Traffic signals (especially if they're not working)
- Skid marks (or absence of skid marks)
- Gather evidence - Once you have taken photographs of your accident, continue to write down important information about your accident. This can include:
- Exact time and location of accident
- Weather conditions
- Short narrative of your accident (describe what happened in your own words)
- Anything else important you noticed
- Seek medical treatment - Even if you feel fine, make sure you seek immediate medical treatment.
- Contact your insurance company - Tell them you've been involved in an accident with a hit-and run driver. But stick to the basic facts and don't discuss fault. In a hit-and-run accident, you may need to file a claim against your own insurance company, using your Uninsured Motorist coverage.
- Get in touch with an attorney- We can work with you and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us for a free consultation. Attorney Miller has been representing accident victims for nearly 20 years and has a proven track record of getting results.