On a daily basis, people are bombarded with advertisements on billboards, television, radio, and elsewhere by personal injury attorneys. While there are some additional regulations on attorneys advertising than other businesses, attorneys and law firms have the right to advertise. One may think by these advertisements that personal injury law firms would take just about every case that comes their way and pursue the case to its conclusion with big results just about every time. Just like television law dramas like Law & Order and CSI do not and cannot tell the whole story of a criminal investigation and trial within the confines of one hour of time – a personal injury case cannot and should not be defined or directed by the simplicity of a billboard or 30 second commercial on TV. There is much more to the handling of a personal injury case. As such, it is important for an injury victim to speak to directly to an attorney about the legal rights and sensible courses of action in the aftermath of an automobile, trucking, bicycle, pedestrian, or motorcycle accident. With David Alan Wolf – Personal Injury Attorney, you get a Free Consultation from David Wolf personally rather than an answering service, call center, case manager, or legal assistant. That’s right . . . David Wolf screens all of his cases so that the injury victim gets advice and guidance from an attorney. This does not mean that David Wolf accepts every case that calls in but he will provide on the spot legal advice and take the cases that he believes have merit and a reasonable opportunity to obtain fair compensation for the injury victim and family.
This brings us to one of the most important factors at the beginning of an automobile accident with personal injuries – automobile insurance. In the State of Florida, an owner of a motor vehicle has the duty to maintain two forms of insurance to comply with Florida law:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This form of insurance will cover up to $10,000 of medical bills for the owner of the vehicle. In addition, passengers / resident relatives of the owner of the vehicle may also be covered for medical bills depending on the availability of other automobile insurance coverage and other factors. Under some policies, the PIP coverage can also go to reimburse an injury victim for lost wages and mileage.
Property Damage. This form of insurance will provide payment to the owner of the other vehicle if the insured driver is at fault for the automobile accident. As such, Property Damage coverage will not pay any funds towards the repairs or total loss of the insured owner’s vehicle. It only provides payment to the other side if the insured owner is at fault.
The required forms of insurance as outlined above (Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage coverage) only pay for limited damages / expenses. Namely, the PIP can cover medical bills, wage loss (on some policies), and mileage. Property Damage will pay for the damages of the other owner. Keep in mind that Property Damage and Personal Injury Protection do not provide any compensation for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or mental anguish. As such, it is important to have other coverage available to pursue a claim for these damages. Namely, it is important for the at fault driver / owner to carry Bodily Injury insurance coverage or for there to be some form of Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage in place to pursue a claim on behalf of the injury victim.
Bodily Injury Coverage. This form of insurance is optional. In other words, a driver / owner can get this form of coverage if the driver / owner is willing to pay higher premiums for such coverage. Bodily Injury coverage can be as low as $10,000 and go as high as $1,000,000 or more. Keep in mind that the coverage is optional. As such, not all drivers / owners have such coverage. If the injury victim carried Bodily Injury insurance coverage, the injury victim cannot put a claim on his or her owner Bodily Injury Insurance coverage. The claim for Bodily Injury insurance coverage can only be pursued against another person’s automobile insurance policy. Furthermore, a Bodily Injury insurance adjuster will only make an offer on a case in which it can be established that its insured driver was at fault for the crash. If there is Bodily Injury insurance coverage to go after, the case most likely will be accepted and pursued on behalf of a personal injury attorney.
Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist Coverage. If there is no Bodily Injury insurance coverage to go after, there may also be a case to pursue from a practical standpoint if there happens to be Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage to go after. If the injury victim qualifies as an insured person per the language of the Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist insurance policy, then a case most likely will be accepted and pursued on behalf of the personal injury victim. There are various scenarios in which an injury victim can quality for Uninsured / Uninsured Motorist coverage as follows:
Injury Victim (Driver) – Own Policy. If the injury victim is the driver and the other driver is at fault, the injury victim can pursue a claim for Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage if there is not any Bodily Injury coverage OR if the Bodily Injury coverage is insufficient to fully compensate the injury victim.
Injury Victim (Passenger of Vehicle with UM / UIM Coverage). If the injury victim is the passenger of a vehicle that has Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage, the injury victim may qualify as an insured person under the policy if there is not any Bodily Injury coverage OR if the Bodily Injury coverage is insufficient to fully compensate the injury victim.
Injury Victim (Resident Relative of Vehicle with UM / UIM Coverage). If the injury victim is the resident relative of a person who carried UM / UIM coverage on a vehicle, there may be coverage for this injury victim depending on the language of the insurance policy.
There are other circumstances in which an injury victim may qualify for UM / UIM coverage. For instance, a bicyclist or pedestrian who is injured as a result of the fault of a driver may quality for UM / UIM as the named insured under the policy OR a resident relative of the named insured person.
In summary, if there is Bodily Injury insurance and / or Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage to go after, a personal injury attorney will likely pursue the injury claim / case. Keep in mind that there are other factors to consider including the extent of the injuries, type of treatment obtained, severity of the injuries sustained, duration of the medical treatment, and many other factors.
David Alan Wolf is a personal injury attorney with 30 years of experience. He is the author of 12 books that focus on personal injury matters including the book titled – Florida Automobile Accidents – Personal Injuries – Keys to Protecting and Enforcing Your Legal Rights. Contact David Wolf today for a Free Consultation. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injury Victims and Their Families.