Orlando Auto Accident Attorney
Thousands of people get into automobile accidents every year in Orlando, and tens of thousands suffer injuries from car crashes in the Orlando area. If you are one of them, and you are staring down the medical and car-repair bills that just keep coming in the mail, you might well wonder, “How can I possibly pay for all of this?”
If you were injured in an Orlando auto accident due to the negligence of another driver or have lost a loved one, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins today. Read on for more information about the compensation you may be eligible to receive for your injuries and other damages.
Why Call Our Car Accident Lawyers?
After serving in the U.S. Army and graduating with distinction from Florida A&M Law School in 2008, Jerry Jenkins spent five years as an assistant state attorney in Orlando. While criminal prosecutions and civil car accident cases differ significantly, some important similarities exist. In both types of law, you learn to investigate and analyze the facts, look for guilt or fault, and press for appropriate reparations.
Since starting his law firm and working with Orlando car accident victims, Jerry has found that many of the people who come to him for help don’t understand the law. He does his best to help his clients to understand the decisions they have to make, then Jerry aggressively advocates for his injured clients to seek the compensation they deserve. Call today to see if the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins is a good fit for your Orlando car accident case.
Five Steps to Take if You Are in an Orlando Car Accident
Your safety is the number one priority. After an Orlando auto accident, the first thing you should do is make sure that you and your passengers are safe. If you can safely do so, this means moving your car out of the path of traffic. After you have ensured the safety of you and your passengers, take the following five steps:
- Check for injuries: Injuries are common after an accident, so call 911.
- Exchange information: Florida law requires drivers to exchange personal and insurance information following an accident. Be sure to get the other driver’s name, phone number, the name of his or her insurance carrier, the policy number, and a contact number for the insurance company.
- Gather evidence: Evidence is important in an Orlando car crash case. Much of the evidence will come from the scene of the accident. One of the best ways to document evidence is by taking pictures of any vehicle damage (on all cars in the accident), property damage (including skid marks, road signs, and sidewalks), the surroundings and sky to capture weather conditions, and the other driver’s license plates.
- Go to the doctor: Get checked out after any accident. Signs of an injury may not appear right away. This is especially true for traumatic brain injuries. A doctor can perform a full exam and check for any signs of injury.
- Contact an experienced car wreck attorney: Car accidents can result in complex cases. After an accident, take immediate steps to protect your right to recover compensation. Florida law allows accident victims four years to file a car accident lawsuit. However, the sooner you begin your claim, the sooner you can begin to focus on your recovery—and the better your chances for success.
Collecting Damages After a Car Accident
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that drivers must purchase a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy with a minimum limit of $10,000 to cover medical expenses and lost wages due to accident injuries regardless of who causes an accident. The plans must cover the insured, relatives living in the insured’s household, persons operating the insured’s motor vehicle, passengers of the motor vehicle, and people whom the insured’s motor vehicle struck.
PIP plans cover the following damages:
- 80 percent of all medically necessary expenses for medical, surgical, dental, X-ray, and rehabilitative services, up to $10,000, or more if the insured purchases higher coverage limits. Florida’s PIP requirement states that these medical expenses are to be covered as long as the insured seeks initial services and care within 14 days after the injury occurs. Massage and acupuncture are not covered by PIP.
- Funeral and burial expenses of up to $5,000.
- 60 percent of lost wages, up to $10,000. This limit includes expenses for services that you would normally do but cannot due to your injuries, such as house cleaning or mowing your lawn.
Options if You Max out Your PIP Policy
Unfortunately, many people find that the minimum required $10,000 policy isn’t enough to cover the full costs of their injuries. Because of this, it is important to establish who was at fault for the accident and whose insurance is responsible for paying for the damages. Florida allows for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering to be sought through personal injury lawsuits only in cases where the injury is permanent.
Permanent injuries include the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important body function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant scarring or disfigurement.
The amount of your recovery will depend on how serious your injuries are as well as the surrounding circumstances. Common damages awarded in Orlando car accident cases include:
- Medical bills: Medical bills will likely be your biggest cost after an accident. The goal of a car accident claim is to recover all of your medical costs, including past, current, and future medical expenses for injuries that occurred in the accident. This includes the cost of doctor visits, hospital care, long-term healthcare, and any rehabilitative services.
- Lost income: Injuries often lead to lost time at work. A car accident claim can help you recover income lost as a result of your injury, including loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Injuries are painful, both physically and emotionally. Pain and suffering damages are non-economic damages—they don’t come with a bill the way a doctor’s invoice will—and are one of the most variable components of your auto accident claim. The amount of your recovery will likely depend on how much your pain interferes with your quality of life.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages, which are used to punish the at-fault party in the event of aggravating circumstances, such as DUI.
- Property damage.
- Accessibility devices such as wheelchairs and lifts, and home renovations that are required for accessibility, such as ramps.
To prove your damages in your Orlando car accident personal injury case, you must show negligence on the part of the other driver. To show negligence, you must establish:
- The driver owed you a duty of care to operate his or her motor vehicle in a safe manner.
- The driver breached this duty of care.
- The breach in the duty of care caused your injuries, resulting in the damages you’re seeking to recover.
You can lose important details and evidence of the accident long before the four-year statute of limitations runs out, so after an accident, if you think you might have a claim, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek legal help from the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins.
Can More Than One Party Cause the Accident?
Florida permits car accident lawsuits to name more than one at-fault party. Here’s how multiple parties can cause a single accident:
- A distracted driver was on the job and driving a company vehicle at the time caused the accident. The employer may have hired someone with a history of driving infractions to drive that company vehicle.
- Another driver rear-ended you because they were following too closely. However, their brakes may have also failed, making the parts manufacturer partially liable.
- A driver who followed you too closely rear-ended you after they were rear-ended by vehicle behind them. You may show that both drivers followed too closely and were both partially responsible for injuring you.
- A driver impaired by alcohol was driving someone else’s vehicle when they caused the accident. In addition to the drunk driver’s negligence, you may show negligence on the part of the owner of the vehicle if they knew that the driver was intoxicated or had a history of alcohol abuse and they let this person operate their vehicle.
What if You Were Partially to Blame for the Accident?
You can still seek compensation for the accident due to Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule, even if your own negligence was partially to blame. An example of this would be if the other driver rear-ended your car due to following too closely, but you also had a brake light out that may have prevented the other driver from seeing that you were slowing down or coming to a stop.
Causes of Orlando Car Accidents
Why do so many accidents happen in Orlando? If you were to ask someone on the street, you’d likely get an answer about the weather or the aging population. But statistically, the majority of accidents happen on a clear, sunny day, and just under 13 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a driver 65 or older.
In actuality, the Florida Department of Transportation reported “Operated MV in Careless or Negligent Manner” as the number one contributing action leading up to an accident.
Forms of human error constitute all of the most common causes of Orlando car accidents:
- Distracted driving: Florida recently enacted laws that restrict the use of handheld devices while operating motor vehicles. Specifically, the law prohibits drivers from texting and driving or from using handheld devices in school zones or work zones. Distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,450 people and injured another 391,000 in just one year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Examples of driving distractions include texting and other cell phone use, eating, drinking, visiting with other passengers in the car, and external distractions such as watching a previous accident scene instead of the road and traffic ahead.
- Speeding: Speeding is involved in about 27 percent of the fatalities from car crashes in the United States, killing about 9,378 people per year. Speeding doesn’t just involve driving over the posted speed limit, it also includes going too fast for conditions. Drivers should lower their speed in rain, fog, or other times of low visibility or dangerous road conditions. Speeding increases the likelihood of an accident and being injured in an accident because it takes away some of the time that a driver needs to react to hazards in the road, increases the severity of the impact, and makes automobile protective devices such as seat belts and airbags less effective in a crash.
- Impaired driving: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can affect a driver’s ability to concentrate, react, and make decisions. The CDC states that 29 people die in the United States each day due to motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, meaning that impaired driving causes one death every 50 minutes. The cost of alcohol-related crashes to society is about $44 billion a year.
- Driver fatigue: As reported by the National Safety Council, driving drowsy produces the same effects as driving while impaired by alcohol. A driver who has gone more than 20 hours without sleep will drive as poorly as a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. As the driver’s reaction times, ability to sustain attention, and awareness of hazards on the roadway all worsen with drowsiness, fatigued drivers become three times more likely to cause a car crash than well-rested drivers.
- Tailgating: Tailgating is defined as a driver following the vehicle in front of him or her too closely. The law requires drivers to keep a safe distance between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them. If the lead vehicle suddenly stops or slows, the following car may rear-end it. Rear-end accidents, caused by following too closely, are some of the most common of all traffic accidents, accounting for between 23 and 30 percent of all crashes. Tailgating deprives the driver in the following vehicle of the time needed to react to the lead vehicle’s sudden stop.
- Failure to yield the right of way: In one recent year, failure to yield the right of was the primary cause of over 50,000 accidents in Florida, including 765 fatalities. Failure to yield the right of way most often happens at intersections when a driver runs a stop sign or red light or turns in front of another vehicle.
Common Injuries From Orlando Car Crashes
- Broken bones: One of the most common car accident injuries that a person can suffer is broken bones due to sudden impact or twisting. The most common parts of the body to suffer fractures in car accidents include the arms and legs.
- Traumatic brain injury: traumatic brain injury includes any injury that penetrates or fractures the skull, or that causes the brain to collide with the skull. More than half of all reported traumatic brain injuries are caused by car accidents.
- Spinal cord injury: Spinal cord injuries from car accidents tend to be very serious, leading to a loss of sensation and function of the body below the area where the damage occurred, or even death. Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the spinal column, spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments, or disc.
- Internal injuries including internal bleeding or damage to the organs caused by the force of the accident, broken ribs, or the body striking objects during the crash.
- Herniated disc: Also known as a “slipped disc,” a herniated disc occurs when the tough, outer fiber of the spinal discs becomes torn and allows the soft, jelly-like substance in the center of the disc to leak out.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that is caused by the forceful back and forth motion. Whiplash often presents with symptoms such as neck pain, stiffness, and headaches that typically start at the base of the skull. While most people find that their whiplash symptoms go away within a few weeks, the pain can linger for months or even years for some.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Car Accident
If you lost a loved one due to an accident, a representative of your family may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. Either the deceased’s will or the court can name that representative.
Family members eligible for compensation include:
- The deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents
- A blood relative or adoptive sibling who was solely or partially dependent on the decedent for support or services.
A child born to unmarried parents is eligible for damages if his or her mother dies, but can only recover damages in the death of his or her father if the father had formally recognized the child as his own and was responsible for contributing to the support of the child.
Family members may recover these damages through a wrongful death claim:
- The value of the support and services that the decedent provided to the family member.
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings from the deceased person, including lost wages that the deceased person would have earned if death had not occurred.
- The loss of companionship, guidance, and protection that the decedent provided.
- Mental and emotional pain due to the loss of a child.
- Any pre-death medical expenses or funeral expenses that the family member paid on behalf of the deceased person.
Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles
Florida is one of the country’s most populous states, with one of the nation’s largest economies. So naturally, thousands of commercial vehicles take to the road every day. Different regulations, laws, and insurance requirements govern these vehicles.
In one recent year, the Florida DOT reported more than 32,000 accidents involving large trucks. These accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries. Unlike traditional motor vehicle accidents, more than one party is often involved when it comes to commercial vehicles. They may include:
- The driver: In most cases, the driver will hold the majority of the liability in an accident. In such a case, the driver’s insurance will serve as the primary mode of payment.
- The employer: Employers are responsible for making sure that they hire qualified, licensed drivers. This includes training, supervision, and drug testing. If an employer puts an unqualified driver on the road, it may face financial responsibilities.
- A parts or truck manufacturer: Parts recalls happen all of the time. Tire blowouts, bad brakes, or transmission issues can lead to accidents. When this happens, the manufacturer may face some or all of the responsibility.
Because these accidents often involve different regulations and rules, talk to an attorney who has experience working with commercial vehicle accidents.
Things you should do right now to prevent injuries include:
- Seatbelts: Florida law requires all drivers to wear their seatbelts. However, 44 percent of occupants killed in fatal accidents did not wear seatbelts at the time of the accidents. Buckle up every time you get in the car, no matter how far you are driving.
- Car seats: In one recent year, 130,114 children were in motor vehicle accidents in Florida. Of these accidents, 1,427 children sustained serious injuries, and 155 died as a result of the crash. Florida law requires all children three and younger to ride in a car seat and children between the ages of four and five to sit in a booster.
- Airbags: Airbags save lives in accidents. All vehicles manufactured since 1999 must have airbags. If you have an older car without airbags, consider buying a newer model.
Car Accident Statistics
The Orlando Sentinel reported that a 32-year-old woman died in a two-vehicle crash on the Florida Turnpike not far from Orlando. The crash occurred when the vehicle that the woman was driving was allegedly rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by a 25-year-old man. The force of the collision reportedly caused the woman’s vehicle to roll over. She was transported to the hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
The story, while terribly sad, is unfortunately common in the region. In one recent year, the Florida Department of Transportation reported over 400,000 motor vehicle accidents. Over half of these accidents were injury crashes. Sadly, 3,174 fatalities took place the following year. Both the number of accidents and the number of fatalities have steadily increased over the past several years.
If you have lived in Orlando for any period of time, you’ve likely heard complaints about the state’s drivers. Realistically, you’ve probably complained yourself. And while all states have their own traffic problems, ours are bigger than most. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Florida ranked third among all states in the number of traffic fatalities. Only California and Texas had more fatalities. While population plays some role in these numbers, the state still ranks high when it comes to the rate of fatalities.
However, there is some good news. Although Florida ranked fourth when it comes to the states with the worst drivers, the state does have the eighth-lowest rate of DUIs in the country, with just 2.17 DUIs per 1,000 drivers. Out of 402,385 crashes in one recent year, only 5,125 had confirmed alcohol involvement.
Where, When, and How
To most of us, accidents seem to happen at random, but in reality, human error and inattention cause nearly all accidents. When you look at overall trends and statistics, it’s easy to see when and where these accidents are more likely to occur. This data can help determine when you should take extra precautions—and when other people are likely more negligent.
When it comes to total crashes, the Orlando area ranks relatively well overall. In one recent year, 31,004 crashes took place in the Orlando area. That’s less than half the number of accidents in Miami-Dade County, which had the most that year, with 65,986 accidents. Statewide, more accidents happened on a Friday than any other day of the week. On Fridays, the majority of accidents happened between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Statistically, you’re least likely to crash on Sundays.
The majority of accidents took place on local roads (218,205), followed by state roads (167,357). According to IIHS, only 23 percent of accidents took place on rural roads. This is far lower than the national average.
Of the 402,592 confirmed crashes in Florida in one recent year, 166,881 involved some sort of injury. That’s over 41 percent. Nationwide, injuries from motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of injuries in children under the age of 19.
Florida Auto Insurance Statistics
Car insurance exists to help you recover compensation after an accident, and it also protects you if you cause an accident. Florida law requires all drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage. This coverage helps drivers cover medical costs after an accident. However, the state does not require drivers to carry liability insurance.
Consequently, the state has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country. In one recent year, the year for which the most recent data is available, nearly 27 percent of drivers were uninsured. Not surprisingly, the state also has some of the worst insurance rates in the country.
Orlando Car Accident FAQ
Sunny beaches, world-class theme parks, and tropical play spaces draw motorists to Orlando from across the country. As commuters and local residents share the roads with tourists and sun-seekers, accidents become inevitable. Accidents are always unanticipated—but always avoidable. Read our car accident FAQ before the next accident takes you by surprise.
Why do auto crashes occur?
Accidents happen in Orlando every day. Each one has unique circumstances but many result from risky driving behaviors as classified by the National Highway Traffic Agency.
- Drunk driving. Florida law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is greater than 0.08 percent. Studies show that alcohol impairs judgment, vision, muscle control, and other critical motor functioning at much lower BAC levels. Still, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported 619 accidents involving drunk drivers in the Orlando area in one recent year; during the last 10 years between 32 and 77 people have died from alcohol-related crashes in the Orlando area. In just one year, drunk drivers were involved in 10,511 fatal accidents nationwide.
- Drug-impaired driving. During one recent year, the DHSMV confirmed 668 drug-related accidents, resulting in 589 injuries and 338 fatalities in the state. Drivers under the influence of drugs experience physical and cognitive impairments similar to drunk drivers. Drug-impaired driving is illegal whether the substance is prescribed or an illegal controlled substance such as recreational cannabis. (Effective March 2019, Florida Statute Title XXIX, §381.986 formally legalized medicinal marijuana in Florida. However, driving under the influence of medical marijuana is nonetheless a criminal act.)
- Distracted driving. NHTSA statistics for one recent year reveal that 3,166 people died in distracted driving-related accidents nationally. Recent studies point to smartphones and other digital devices as the primary driving hazard. Passenger conversations, eating, daydreaming, and other activities may also direct a driver’s attention away from driving. Authorities nationwide are undergoing training to detect and stop drivers using digital devices before an accident occurs. In Florida, law enforcement authorities are now required to document distracted driving in accident reports.
- Speeding. During just one recent year, the NHTSA documented 299 speed-related accident fatalities in our state. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report, Speed by the Numbers, suggests excessive speed contributed to 9,000 fatalities per year. Nationally, the fatalities accounted for 26 percent of all accident fatalities in one recent year. IIHS also found a correlation between increases in the posted speed limit increases and increases in accident fatalities.
- Drowsy driving. The NHTSA documented 795 drowsy-driving related deaths nationwide in a recent year. Medication, overwork, fatigue, and inadequate or poor-quality sleep often contribute to drowsy driving accidents. Because drowsy driving shows few verifiable signs after a crash, the National Transportation Safety Board believes accidents caused by fatigued driving are underreported.
Should I report my accident to the police?
Yes. Florida statutes establish accident reporting guidelines under Title XXIII, §316.065. You must contact law enforcement authorities at an accident scene under the following circumstances:
- An accident causing a death
- A person is injured
- A vehicle involved fled the scene
- An accident involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- A crash where the vehicles require tow truck removal
- A crash with a commercial motor vehicle
- Damage to a vehicle or other property over $500
If an accident involves any of the above circumstances in Orlando, you must report it to local authorities. If the accident occurred in the county, you must report it to the county sheriff or the closest Florida State Highway Patrol office.
If your collision caused any amount of property damage (even less than $500), you must still submit a report. When you’re in a minor damage accident, you can download the Driver Report of Traffic Crash form. Once you complete the report, you may either email it to SelfReportCrashes@flhsmv.gov or mail it to:
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
How do I obtain a copy of my crash report?
Police officers must file a written crash report within 10 days of an accident. If you were in the accident or meet the criteria described in the law, you may receive a copy immediately. You can download your crash report at the Florida Highways Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Portal. To obtain the report, you must pay $10 for the report plus a $2 convenience fee.
You may also request a report by mail. You should note that the Florida DHSMV does not release personally identifiable data until 60 days after an accident. To receive your report in advance, you must complete a Sworn Statement For Traffic Control Information verifying your right to receive a report. You must then mail the request and your $10 fee to the Crash Records address listed above.
Your car accident lawyer can complete and file the necessary paperwork for you.
What happens if the other driver leaves the scene?
When a driver causes an accident and leaves the scene, he commits a criminal act under Florida law. You must call a police officer at the scene of an accident when it involves a hit-and-run-driver. If the police catch the person who caused your accident, they will arrest and impose criminal charges. Criminal charges for hit-and-run vary depending on the severity of the accident and whether injuries or fatalities resulted. If convicted, penalties include fines, license revocation, and imprisonment.
You will not, however, recover compensation for your injuries as a direct result of criminal sanctions. For that, you’ll need to call an Orlando car accident lawyer.
If you sustain injuries in an accident with a hit and run driver, the driver may not carry insurance. In this case, you may be eligible to file an Uninsured Motorist claim with your insurance carrier. Our Orlando car accident lawyers can help you do that. If police cannot locate the hit-and-run driver, call us. We might find ways to help you get your own insurance company to pay for your damages.
What should I do while I wait for the police to arrive?
If you or another person sustained injuries, tell the emergency operator when you report the accident. They will dispatch the ambulance so you will not have to wait for an officer to call emergency medical responders. If you’re seriously injured and can’t move, do your best to wait calmly until assistance arrives. If you can physically leave your vehicle and move around the accident scene, gather information while it’s still available.
Accident scenes begin changing within minutes of a crash. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, valuable evidence may slip away. Drivers may leave the scene or move their cars off the road. Witnesses may blend into the crowd or walk away. Use your phone’s camera to capture any evidence you can.
Pictures and video from the accident scene may support your version of how the accident occurred.
Try to take photos and video of the scene before the vehicles move. It may help to capture:
- Close up and distant shots of the accident scene.
- Close-up shots of the vehicles, license plates, vehicle damage, and debris left in the roadway.
- The other person’s driver’s license, insurance card, and the driver (if you can do so discreetly).
- Street signs, traffic signals, and other landmarks.
Also, try to gather witness contact information. If you see bystanders after the accident, speak with them before they leave the area. Investigate whether any bystanders witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information. Sometimes witnesses feel reluctant to speak with police officers. However, they may feel more comfortable reporting their observations to you. You will have to ask to find out.
Must I report my accident to my insurance company?
Whether or not you believe you’re at fault, you must report your accident to your insurance company because:
- Auto insurance policies have a reporting requirement. Insurance carriers must know about your accident so they can determine responsibility for your losses—and pay your no-fault benefits.
- When you fail to report an accident or delay your report, you prevent your insurance company from conducting a timely investigation.
- Even if you don’t believe you’re at fault, your insurance company has a right to make that determination. If someone owes you damages, they may wish to settle those claims before an injured person files a lawsuit.
- If you’re injured, you are entitled to benefits for medical bills, wage losses, and expenses under your Personal Injury Protection coverage.
- You might not understand all of the liability issues or understand whether or not you’re at fault. If you’re not at fault, your insurance company wants the opportunity to gather enough information to defend you.
- If the other driver is uninsured or fled the scene, you will need to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.
Call us for help. We know how to deal with insurance companies and protect you from them—including yours.
How does my insurance company determine who is at fault?
When you file a claim, your insurance company investigates the accident to determine legal responsibility. If you suffered minimal damages or minor injuries, claim representatives sometimes rely on written accident reports for driver and witness accounts. When you sustain serious injuries are, they may conduct a more comprehensive investigation with recorded interviews, site investigations, and witness statements.
Call us before you file a claim. We will know what information you gathered immediately following the accident you should share and how to present it to the insurance company. Photographs and witness contact information can help strengthen your claim. An unbiased witness’s statement is more credible because they have nothing to gain by telling a false story. Any relevant information you provide could the decision-making process easier.
In determining negligence, the claims department will attempt to answer the following questions:
- Did someone owe a duty to care? (Did you owe the other driver a duty to stop, slow down, or yield the right of way? Did he owe you a duty?)
- Did someone breach that duty?
- Did someone sustain injuries or property damage?
- Did the failure to live up to that duty cause those losses?
Will the other driver’s insurance company pay my injury claim?
When a driver or passenger sustains injuries in an accident, their own Personal Injury Protection benefits pay for initial expenses. Any injured person must submit their medical bills, wage losses, and other costs to their own insurance carrier for payment.
The other driver’s insurance company may need to reimburse you for damages if its driver caused injuries that meet these elements of Florida statute 627.737:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
How does uninsured motorist coverage work?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is optional in Florida. Uninsured Motorist coverage and its companion, Underinsured Motorists coverage, covers injury-related damages when an uninsured driver or underinsured driver causes an accident. Auto insurance policies describe uninsured drivers as:
- A driver who doesn’t have bodily injury liability coverage;
- A person whose insurance company denies coverage or is insolvent;
- A hit-and-run driver who leaves the scene without identifying himself; or
- A driver with less coverage than required by Florida’s financial responsibility law.
If you have UM or UIM coverage, you will file a liability claim against your own insurance policy. Your injuries must meet the same tort threshold requirements as any other injured person making a liability claim. If your injuries meet the elements, you must negotiate a settlement with your own insurance company. Our Orlando car accident lawyers help people like you all the time with these claims, so call us to see if we can help.
If I’m injured, do I need a car wreck lawyer to handle my claim?
It’s never a good idea to handle claims without a lawyer. Auto accident claims are complicated and sometimes difficult to resolve. To negotiate successfully, you must know the pertinent legal issues and how state law relates to your case.
When you negotiate your own claim, you must know injury values so you can feel confident you will receive the compensation you deserve. You must also understand what to say and what not to say as you may easily jeopardize your own liability claim.
Car wreck attorneys provide legal guidance and moral support and they protect their clients’ legal interests. With an Orlando car accident attorney fighting for your legal rights, you can focus on your recovery. Our Orlando car accident attorneys use their experience, research legal issues, assess evidence, and evaluate injuries. We negotiate, mediate, and try cases in court if the parties cannot reach a reasonable agreement. A car accident lawyer will make sure you only accept a settlement you deserve—one that will cover your medical expenses.
What is a legal consultation?
A consultation is the first meeting with a personal injury lawyer. Legal consultations can occur by telephone, video chat, or in person. A legal consultation will allow a car accident attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best way for you to proceed.
When you consult a car accident attorney, there is no commitment required. It is simply a time for you to share your story and discuss your legal options in confidence. Any decision to move forward with legal action will be your decision. Most car accident lawyers—including ours—provide free initial consultations.
Need Help? Have Questions? Call The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins Now
Whether you need more information about filing an insurance claim, your claim was denied, or you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should have a car accident attorney with knowledge and experience in Orlando car wreck cases on your side.
Let the Orlando car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins help you understand your legal options.
For a free consultation and case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (407) 287-6757.
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“I live in GA and I was on vacation in Florida When I got hit. I needed a Florida lawyer to handle my case. Jerry was swift, he directed me and gave me good advice, hooked me up with great medical teams and followed my wishes for financial negotiation. Jerry has a wealth of knowledge and used all capacities to get the most I can get from my claim. Jerry will return your call in a timely manner, he will handle you correctly and accordingly. Don’t go nowhere else.”
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