Car Accident Lawyer – Why You Need One After an Auto Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car, motorcycle or truck accident, your life can be transformed in the span of mere seconds.  We understand the difficulties of being injured, unable to work and even facing the loss of a loved one.  You need to get your car repaired, return to work, and recover money for your injuries.
To add insult to the injury, you pay for car insurance just to be shocked to learn that your claim has been denied or you are not compensated for what you are entitled to.  When it comes down to it, insurance companies are running a business.  It’s customary for them to just pay the bare minimum.  That is where we come in.  We understand the Insurance Claims Strategy.

A personal injury claim can serve as an effective option for getting the compensation you deserve following a crash, whether it’s via an out of court settlement or a Florida jury award after trial. But you need an experienced Florida automobile accident lawyer to oversee your case, ensuring that you get every penny that you’re entitled to receive for your past and future losses. Our car accident attorneys will work aggressively against the insurance company.

Based in Orlando, Florida, Orange County, the personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. take a “clients first” approach to law, which means that you will enjoy a more streamlined and less stressful experience. Our goal is to help accident victims like you as you pursue the at-fault driver for his or her negligence, while also recovering the funds that are rightfully yours per your insurance policy.

Read more below about common FAQs, what to do, and how a car accident lawyer can help you.

What Do I Do Immediately Following An Accident?

What’s the typical scenario? You are minding your own business, driving down Colonial Drive in Clermont and all of a sudden … CRASH… You’re in a car accident.  What do you do?  Whether it involves a car, truck or motorcycle, the following steps are essential:

  1. Call 911:  If you have been injured, call 911 and report the accident.  Write down the name of the officer taking the report and to make sure what law enforcement agency is involved. Whether a Lake County or Orange County agency taking the report can streamline the process for requesting documents.
  2. Exchange Information:  Get the other party’s information including their name, contact info, license plate number and insurance information.
  3. Take Photographs:  Take pictures of the accident scene (including debris) before the cars are moved.  Take pictures of damage to your car and the other car.  Take pictures of any injuries sustained.
  4. Witnesses:  Get the contact information for anyone driving, walking or working in the area who witnessed the accident.
  5. Seek Medical Treatment:  If you are injured it’s best to get immediate medical attention. Some very serious and even life-threatening injuries are not immediately apparent, so you must be examined promptly. This also provides you with an opportunity to formally document your injuries.
  6. Journal: You should make note of the symptoms you experience, along with pain levels, any expenditures, losses and any tasks that you are unable to perform due to the injuries.
  7. Call Us:  Call our lawyers for a free consultation on how you can maximize your claim.

How Much Money Will I Get?

The value of your case is determined by many variables:

  • The severity of your demonstrable injuries
  • The amount of your out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • The amount of your lost past and future wages
  • The amount of damage inflicted on your and the other parties’ car

Insurance companies settle claims for injuries based, in large part, on an analysis of what amount a jury would place on your case at trial.  That is why it is important to construct a claim as though you are taking every case to trial.

At trial, a jury is limited to giving you damages for:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Out-of-pocket expenses are generally a baseline settlement figure and, therefore, one of the most important figures when analyzing settlement value.  If your medical expenses are $50,000, your case should absolutely settle for more than $50,000. On top of that figure you should add any lost wages and lost future wages.  Expert testimony can often establish lost future wages. Finally, on top of that figure, a jury can award pain and suffering. There is little guidance as to what amount a jury will award for pain and suffering.  It is vital to impart on the jury, or adjuster when discussing settlement, how this injury has affected you both physically and emotionally.

Our attorneys are well versed in ensuring you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

What Do I Need to Know About Getting My Car Fixed?

red car damaged in a car accident

You live in Leesburg, but you work in Clermont.  A car is crucial to your livelihood. When involved in a car accident, compensation for the damage to your car will be determined by the type of property damage coverage you have.  In Florida, there are two types of property damage coverage.  One is Property Damage Liability Coverage.  The other is Collision Coverage.

Towing and Storage: The at-fault driver is required to pay for towing and storage costs if your car is not drivable.

  • Rental Car:  The at-fault driver is required to pay for a rental car if your car is not drivable.  Sometimes you will have to front the costs first and get reimbursed later.
  • Value of Car: The value of your car will be determined by the Fair Market Value, meaning similar cars, with the similar conditions prior to the accident.
  • Diminished Value Claim:  A Diminished Value Claim is a claim brought to recover lost value of your damaged car, even if it has been fully repaired.
  • Choosing the Repair Shop: You have the right to choose your own repair shop. So in the scenario described above, you can choose a repair shop in Leesburg, or a repair shop in Clermont.

Not all law firms will assist with recovering property damage. When you hire our lawyers, we assist in ensuring that you get that ride to work the next day.

Who is Going to Pay My Medical Bills?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage provided by your insurance company for:

  • 80% of medical bills
  • 60% of loss of wages
  • 80% of medical prescriptions

Once the insurance company has paid $10,000 in benefits, it will consider your PIP coverage to be “exhausted.”  You will then want to make a claim against the At-Fault driver for the balance of your medical costs.

If you are not covered on an insurance policy, there are other means in which you may be covered.  Our Orlando attorneys can tell you what you are entitled to.

If there is no PIP insurance available to pay your medical bills, and in order to pay any balances or amounts over $10,000, we will negotiate and pay any medical bills from any available bodily injury insurance.  We will contact any medical providers and negotiate your bill as low as possible, so that you recover more money in your pocket.

What is the Mandatory Insurance Coverage in the State of Florida?

Florida drivers are only required to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability Coverage. Your insurance company may have different coverage names which may allude to the fact that you are covered for a lot more when in fact you may only be covered the bare minimum.  Our lawyers can do a free comprehensive review or your insurance policy to help you understand what protections are in place.

What is Bodily Injury Coverage?

You’re driving with your family to go see the famous big aquarium with whales in Orlando. You get into a CRASH.  Are all the passengers covered by your insurance?
Unless you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence, Florida drivers are not required to purchase Bodily Injury Coverage.  Bodily Injury Coverage pays for all parties injured up to the limit of your policy.  Limits are set as per person and per accident and are usually as follows:

  • $10,000/$20,000
  • $25,000/$50,000
  • $100,000/$300,000
  • $300,000/$500,000

The first number indicates what the insurance company will pay for each injured person.  The second number indicates the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for all injured persons.
Remember that Bodily Injury Coverage is elective. Our lawyers can do a free comprehensive review or your insurance policy to help you understand what protections are in place.

What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?

black car rear ended by a red carSo you are driving along on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando heading towards the the place where all kids want to go. You are in a magical mood. All of a sudden … CRASH … a car accident.  To make things worse, the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage.  What happens?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is elective coverage that allows you to receive compensation if you were injured by an at-fault driver who is uninsured or even underinsured.  Generally, the UM covers for injuries, pain and suffering if you prove that the accident was due to the negligence of the other driver and that you have permanent injuries.

Remember that Uninsured Motorist Coverage is elective. Our lawyers can do a free comprehensive review or your insurance policy to help you understand what protections are in place.

What is Medical Payment Coverage or MedPay?

Everyone has pride in the city they live in.  Some may have more pride for Clermont while others claim Leesburg is the best. What may make your insurance coverage superior to another?

All Florida drivers are required to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage which pays for 80% of medical bills related to a car accident.  However, you can elect to have Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay), which will entitle you to full payment of your medical bills, up to the amount of coverage you elect – generally $5,000.   Medpay insurance generally covers then the 20% deductible not covered by PIP insurance.

Remember that Medical Payment Coverage is elective. Our lawyers can do a free comprehensive review or your insurance policy to help you understand what protections are in place.

What If I Am Hit By Someone Who is Driving a Rental Car?

You’re driving to work in Orlando and all of a sudden … CRASH… a tourist traveling to the world of Wizardry has hit you with his rental car.  What happens now?

If you are injured by the someone driving a rental car, the driver’s insurance company is primarily responsible. Florida law only requires rental companies to provide $10,000 of coverage to the renter and acts as secondary coverage.

When faced in this situation, our lawyers would file a claim with both the driver’s and rental company’s insurance company to maximize the coverage you are entitled to.

What if I Am Injured By An Out-Of-State Driver?

Florida is a tourist state, especially in the city of Orlando.  What happens if you are injured by an out of state traveler.

If you have been injured by an out-of-state driver, you can file a claim against the driver and their insurance company. So for example, if an out-of-state driver crashes into you while driving on Orange Blossom Trail heading towards Orlando’s famous “Kingdom”, they consent to appear in Florida courts in the event of a car accident.

Our lawyers are well versed in ensuring that out-of-state defendants are held responsible for injuries they cause to our Florida drivers and that our clients are able to be compensated just as if the at-fault driver resided here in Florida.
An added note …

If you were involved in a car accident driving while working … check out our Workers’ Compensation services.

If you require help from a top aggressive Orlando personal injury lawyer following a car accident, contact the experienced legal team at the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. to discuss your case in a confidential, free consultation session. We service Orlando, Clermont, Leesburg, Orange County, Lake County and all of Central Florida.  Offices coming soon to Clermont and Leesburg.