Legal FAQ’s

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be coping with significant pain and facing substantial medical bills as well as time away from your job. People often do not know the steps that they should take to protect their rights. Here are some brief answers to frequently asked questions in this area. However, each person’s situation is different. For a more in depth review of your specific case please contact our office today at 407-900-2344 or fill out our online consultation form.

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How long do I have to file a personal injury case?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts (this law can be found at Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11(3)). There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are very narrow, so you should not assume that an exception applies. As a practical matter, moreover, you should try to pursue a claim as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh. This will help you prove liability and the scope of your damages.
How much is my personal injury case worth?

This will depend on the specific nature of your injuries and cannot be ascertained until your case has been thoroughly investigated. Contact us today to schedule a no cost evaluation of your case.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

You can still get damages from someone else who was at fault for the accident. The damages may be reduced to account for the pre-existing condition, but you can hold another person or entity accountable for aggravating the condition. Someone who interacts with you takes you as they find you, so the question of whether someone without your condition would have been injured is irrelevant. That said, these cases tend to be more complex and may require the assistance of experts, so hiring an attorney may be especially important.

How long will it take to settle my claim?
Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial. The overwhelming majority end in a settlement with the defendant or an insurance company. Unfortunately, the time that it takes to reach a settlement is hard to predict and can vary dramatically. As a general rule, a claim that involves substantial injuries and a significant amount of money will take longer to settle because the insurer will fight harder over it. If the case is complex or liability is unclear, a settlement also may take longer to reach. Hiring an attorney sometimes can motivate an insurer to make a fair offer earlier in the process, since they know that they are less likely to take advantage of you.
WHAT IS NO FAULT (PIP) INSURANCE?

Many people have heard the term “no fault insurance” but are unclear about what it means. When a driver has been in an accident, no-fault auto insurance allows the driver to collect from his or her insurance company…no matter who was at fault.

Part of the confusion occurs because the term “no-fault “is sometimes used about any auto insurance system where each driver’s own insurance company pays for certain losses, regardless of fault. The term “no-fault” actually applies only to states where insurance companies pay “first-party” benefits and there are restrictions on the right to sue.

You should also know that if you have a no-fault insurance policy, it is probably called a personal injury protection (PIP) package. PIP insurance pays for the medical expenses of the insured driver and the passengers who were injured in an auto accident. PIP insurance typically covers things like medical bills, wage loss and funeral expenses, but not pain and suffering or vehicle damage. This varies by state and particular insurance policy. The PIP packages have limits on what they will pay.

How you handle the situation after a motor vehicle accident can make a significant difference in your monetary recovery. Dealing with auto insurance companies can be especially complicated. Since the no-fault and fault insurance systems vary widely by state. Speaking with an attorney from Overchuck Law Firm can clear up the confusion that these various systems can cause. Contact Overchuck Law Firm for a confidential and realistic assessment of your case.

How do I pay my medical bills until I get my settlement?
Since the insurance for the defendant will not pay bills until liability is established, you will need to cover these expenses initially. You may be able to use Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage after a motor vehicle accident. Medical Payments coverage or health insurance coverage can apply after any type of accident. If you were injured on the job, you can use your workers’ compensation benefits. Any insurers likely have a right to be reimbursed from the proceeds of any eventual settlement that you receive. If you have no insurance, you should be able to find a doctor or hospital that will treat you under an agreement that they will be paid from your eventual settlement.
How do I make up for my lost wages until I get my settlement?
The insurance for the at-fault party will not pay for your lost wages in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You can use PIP coverage if you were injured in a car crash or another motor vehicle accident, or you may be able to get short-term or long-term disability benefits through your employer. These insurers usually will need to be reimbursed when and if you get a settlement. If you have vacation time, sick time, paid time off, or other forms of “comp” time through your employer, you can use these as well.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM IN AN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT?

If you or a loved one is injured in a vehicle accident:

  • Call 911 even if your accident seems minor
  • Seek medical attention for any injured drivers or passengers
  • Unless necessary, do not move the vehicles until the police arrive
  • Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved, including any witnesses
  • Make sure you write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers that are investigating the accident
  • Photograph the vehicles and any injuries sustained by you or your passengers
  • Do not admit fault
  • Immediately notify your own insurance company of the car accident
  • Call Overchuck Law Firm 24/7 at 407-900-2344.

Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police or your own insurance agent or representative; you are not required to give a statement to anyone but the police and your insurance company. Contact your personal injury attorney immediately. This is important for protecting your rights to accident damage compensation. Damages can include the obvious medical expenses, but also can include property damage, pain and suffering, loss of income, therapy fees, special equipment costs and a raft of future expenses. Future expense calculations may need to be figured up by an expert witness, who is provided by your personal injury lawyer. Future damages include loss of potential income, loss of companionship and guidance, loss of future inheritance and future medical/dental bills.

THE PERSON WHO HIT ME HAS NO INSURANCE. WHAT CAN I DO?

In Florida, insurance companies offer what is call uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage provides protection for personal injuries that are caused by the negligence of a person with insufficient insurance to cover the costs. In order to be protected by this type of insurance, you have to carry it on your own policy. In the very small number of situations where a negligent driver is uninsured, your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy holder will be liable for the damages you incur. These claims often operate in exactly the same way as a normal personal injury case, with the difference being that you are recovering from your own insurance carrier. It is very important to remember in these situations that the representatives from your own insurance carrier are not out for your best interests. Just like every insurance adjuster, they will be looking to minimize the insurance company’s loss. Contacting our experienced personal injury attorneys to represent you in these situations is the best way to ensure that you are protected.

What types of things can I get reimbursed for after a vehicle accident?

In addition to medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle, you may get reimbursed for:

  • emotional distress
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment  (if you can no longer enjoy or participate in activities, hobbies, sports, etc.)
  • loss of property in your vehicle or on your person at the time of the accident
How much will I have to pay a lawyer for help after an accident?

At Overchuck Law Firm, we represent all of our clients on a contingency fee. That means we don’t get paid unless you win. The consultation is absolutely free, and after you hire us there are no out-of-pocket expenses.

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2016-08-15T10:41:29-04:00

George P.

I can't say enough good things about John Overchuck and his law firm. He is a genuinely nice man and is not only an attorney with an excellent reputation, he and his firm give back to the community in so many ways. He has given me great advice over the years and he Is always accessible.

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2016-08-15T21:47:41-04:00

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2016-08-15T10:45:30-04:00

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2016-08-15T21:40:26-04:00

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Any type of personal injury does more than cause an injury. It can change your life. Not just your life but the lives of your family members. We are here to help.

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