Frequently Asked Questions
Can I choose the doctor I see?
Under your PIP benefits you’re entitled to see the doctor of your choice; you’re not required to seek pre-approval nor is there a providers list. It is up to you and your family what doctor you go see.
What can I get paid for?
The damages recoverable from your injuries under Florida law include economic and non-economic. The economic damages are the out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, lost wages, those are the items that are easily calculated. What’s not easily calculated is the non-economic damages. A person whose been hurt is going to suffer pain and problems associated with it. The emotions and trauma related to an injury often are non-economic. It’s the non-economic part of your claim that is the most difficult to evaluate. In essence, as a result of your injury you look forward to the at-fault party paying you for your economic and non-economic losses.
What if the other driver has no insurance?
If you’re unfortunate enough to be hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t have the right kind of coverages, then it’s necessary that we look at your insurance and coverages. They key coverages we look for are uninsured motorist benefits and medical payment benefits. Those two pieces of coverages are something you should add to your policy today if you don’t already have them.
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
After an accident you should seek medical care, the next priority should be documenting your case and gathering evidence. The problem is at the time of the accident the adrenaline is flowing and it’s not really the most natural thing to think that you should start interviewing witnesses, but at the least you can take pictures with your phone, ask people at the scene for their information, and be sure to call a friend who can come to the scene and help gather evidence. Take aggressive action whenever you can, even if it’s after the fact and you go back to the scene and gather whatever evidence you can.
Will going back to work hurt my case?
Whether you work or don’t work, in my opinion isn’t going to make a difference on your case. A good defense attorney is going to use whatever he can to make his case, if you’re not working, he’s going to say you’re lazy, if you’re working, he’s going to say that you’re hurt. Deciding whether to work is something you should decide between you and your doctor.
Will my medical bills affect my credit?
The effect on your credit is a real issue for a lot of clients. At the Soud Law Firm we can help by contacting those to whom you owe money as a result of the treatment and losses, and we try to mitigate the collection efforts. One way we do this is asking the facility or the doctor’s office to hold any outstanding balances, based on a letter signed by your attorney.
How are my attorney fees paid?
Attorney fees are paid at the end of the case if there’s a successful recovery. A successful recovery is when your attorney has collected any money from the at-fault party’s insurance or your own insurance in some instances. As a result of the collection, the attorney fees are typically at 1/3rd. After deducting attorney fees, the balance belongs to the client, and from that balance you may reduce further for any outstanding cost that you would approve. Cost could include any outstanding medical bills as well as firm cost. Our no-fee guarantee means if there’s no recovery in your case, you will not have any attorney fee or costs. The hope and expectation is that you’re hiring an attorney that will collect an amount that will cover for your injuries but also an amount to pay his fees than had you done it by yourself.
What if I miss time from work?
If you miss anytime from work due to an automobile accident, you’re entitled to recover for your lost wages. In the state of Florida under PIP, that all motorists must carry, you would turn to your own insurance to collect those benefits, which should pay your lost wages at 60%. In order to collect your percentage, we need to submit a claim to your insurance company that includes a note from your doctor stating to take time off from work and a note from your employer that says how much you made. With those notes, the adjuster from the PIP department of your insurance company will issue a check for 60% of your lost wages.
What is the value of my case?
The value of your case is dependent upon several factors. To properly evaluate your case, we need to know what your doctors have to say is wrong with you. What you should consider is the factors that are involved in evaluating a case; your medical records, what your doctor states is wrong, what the accident reconstructionist do to recreate the accident, and of course your testimony. Taking into consideration all the variables helps your attorney put a value on the case, so in the future you can decide on settlement offers.
What will I drive while my car is fixed?
If your car has been damaged beyond drivability and is in the shop for repair, then you should be given a rental car at the expense of the at-fault party. Generally, this would be paid from their property damage coverage and their adjuster should set up an account for you at a rental car company. Our clients should not have to provide a debit or Visa card to secure that vehicle. This should be paid for by the at-fault party and billed directly to them. Do not give them your credit card information, expect that the at-fault should provide you the company and contact the Soud Law Firm so that we can make all these arrangements for you.
Will my insurance go up because of my accident?
When you must use your personal injury protection benefits, a lot of people’s concern is that their rates will go up. The reality is, an insurance company cannot retaliate or raise your rates over an accident that is not your fault. You’re required under Florida law to use your own insurance company for medical expenses and lost wages, that requirement cannot make your rates go up. Insurance companies will raise your rates based on your claims history and claims you have caused, or if your driving behavior indicates to the underwriters, an increase in rate is appropriate. Don’t be concerned of your rates raising over an accident that’s not your fault, it’s against Florida law.