Your Claim for Personal Injuries

In addition to the information below, see our client do's and don'ts for helpful tips and advice about personal injury claims.

Personal Injuries

Unfortunately, you have been injured in an automobile accident as a result of another person's negligence or carelessness. Under the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, which came into effect in 1972, you can bring a personal injury claim against the person who caused your injuries only if those injuries are permanent. If your physicians find that your injuries are permanent, I will pursue your claim against the person who caused the accident, the potential defendant.

If the potential defendant had bodily injury coverage under his or her automobile insurance policy on the date of the accident, I will attempt to collect money for your damages under that coverage. However, if the potential defendant did not have bodily injury coverage or the coverage is too low, I will pursue your claim for personal injuries under the uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage included in your own automobile insurance policy, if such coverage is available.

Your Personal Injury Protection Benefits

The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law requires all vehicle owners to purchase specific automobile insurance coverage called personal injury protection (PIP) benefits coverage. The minimum amount of PIP benefits coverage is $10,000 without a deductible. These benefits cover medical expenses and/or lost wages resulting from a motor vehicle accident and are provided to the insured regardless of whose fault the accident was, which is why they are often called no-fault benefits.

At least 80 percent of each medical bill and 60 percent of each lost wage claim will be paid from your personal injury benefits coverage.

Extended PIP, optional coverage offered by most automobile insurance companies, usually increases the percentage of medical bills and lost wages paid under your PIP benefits. Because the benefits vary from policy to policy, I will need to review your policy to determine exactly what is available to you.

If you have any problem getting your claims paid, our office will be glad to assist you.

Your Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage is optional coverage offered by most automobile insurance companies. The coverage amounts most commonly purchased are $5,000, $2,000 or $1,000. If you had medical payments coverage at the time of the accident, the remaining 20 percent of each medical expense incurred as a result of your accident will be paid, until your medical payments coverage is exhausted.

But medical payments coverage often only applies for a certain amount of time. For example, if your medical payments coverage has a time limitation of one year, medical expenses incurred any time after one year from the date of the accident will not be paid under the coverage. I recommend that you check your automobile insurance policy to determine whether you have a time limitation for your medical payments coverage.

Handling Your Claims Under PIP and Medical Payments Coverage

You can take the following steps to ensure that your medical bills and lost wage claims are paid within a reasonable period of time:

1. Complete the application for personal injury protection benefits, which will be provided by your insurance company, and return it to your company. Your automobile insurance company will not pay your claims until it has received a properly completed application.

2. Give the attending physician form, which your insurance company will provide, to your primary physician. Ask your physician to complete this form as soon as possible and return it to your insurance company.

3. Take the wage and salary verification form, which your insurance company will provide, to your employer. Ask him or her to complete it as soon as possible and return it to your insurance company.

4. Please send us copies of all your medical bills.

5. Please advise us of all dates and times you have been unable to work due to your accident.

6. Document your mileage to and from health care providers' offices. Forward this documentation to your insurance company to get reimbursed for your gas expenses.

7. If you do not have medical payments coverage, I recommend that you pay off the balance due your health care providers by making scheduled payments. If you have health insurance, you can submit copies of your medical bills to the health insurance company for payment. However, the health insurance company may be entitled to be reimbursed by you from your personal injury settlement.