Excellent Lawyers Understanding Massive Accidents
The 6 Most Frustrating Aspects of Being an Auto Accident Attorney
One of the more frustrating aspects of being a accident attorney is explaining to new clients how the insurance system works. Just because you have been injured in a car wreck does not always mean you are going to receive compensation from the party who hit you. Your injuries may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars however, if there was no insurance coverage at the time of the accident the case may not be worth anything. Also you actually have to be injured to have a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company. Some people have a difficult time understanding this. This is why Florida’s PIP kind of sucks. If you have minor scrapes and bruises you are eligible for 10K. If you are completely paralyzed from the neck down and need assistance for the rest of your life, you are eligible for 10k. You can only access more money if the other driver had Bodily Injury Insurance or you had Uninsured Motorist protection.
After our client has reached maximum medical improvement, we gather up their bills and evidence to create a demand letter to send the insurance company. In the letter we state that their insured client was responsible for our client’s accident and their company owes our client (X) amount of dollars for medical bills, lost wages, and pain/suffering. Although there is no state required time for them to respond, we usually request they respond within 30 days. If there is no response after that allocated time we will file a lawsuit against them. NORMALLY the insurance company will have a response and an offer within 20 days of sending the demand letter, but sometime they wait until day 30. This can be frustrating because it drags out the time it takes for our client to get paid.
Believe it or not it is not all that exciting going to court. It costs time and money to file a lawsuit. Occasionally we will have a good case with clear liability, obvious injuries, but the insurance company will refuse to make a settlement offer that we feel is reasonable. In this case we take them to court and they will hire a lawyer who will be paid to drag the case out for as long as possible. Some cases can go unresolved for over to 2 years until a verdict is reached. It is much easier for both parties to settle prior to court and that is usually what happens.
This is rare but it does happen. Our clients are not bound by contract to keep us as their attorneys until the case settles. Sometimes we will put in hours upon hours of work preparing a case for our client and they will decide not to pursue a claim. Many firms work by contingency fee meaning when the case settles the firm will receive a percentage of the total settlement (usually 33%). If a client drops the firm they will have done all that work for nothing.
When a potential client comes to use saying they were recently in a car accident we make sure they get to the right doctors quickly. Florida has a 14 day limitation for utilizing PIP insurance. This means if you are in a car accident, you must attempt to see a medical provider within 14 days of the accident or you will lose your PIP benefits ($10,000). Since it usually takes a day or two for us to find out the type of insurance coverage both drivers had, we assume they had insurance and send them to get checked out. There have been a few cases where we have sent clients to a medical provider only to find out they were not insured at the time of the accident. This means the medical provider we sent them to will have to wait until the case settles to get paid. To makes things worse sometimes the at fault driver was not insured at the time of the accident either so there is no money available. When this is the case the client will be responsible for the bills. There is also the 4 other things that influence car accident cases can be found at the Orlando Car Accident Lawyer’s website (Note: Go to their “Auto Accident Knowledge Base” section to find the article.)
The absolute most frustrating cases we see are when a client suffers a life debilitating injury like the loss of a limb and we are unable to help. If there is not insurance coverage this is an injury that will affect the rest of their life. There was a case in Florida where a motorcyclist hit a car that pulled out in front of him. The rider was left crippled from the waist down and was told by doctors he would never walk again. This is a case that would potentially be worth millions of dollars. The problem was, the lady who caused the accident was carrying the state minimum requirement for insurance. This means no Bodily Injury coverage. The rider didn’t have uninsured motorist coverage so we had to drop the case because there was not money available from either parties.
Attorney Franklin from The Law Offices of Franklin & Stites
This is where Flordia’s lawyers and attorney’s come to rant. Does something bother you about our current legal system? Write to us about it! Your rant may just be posted. We mostly post interesting articles about automobile accidents. You can expect new posts about once a month.
Central Florida Car Accident Injury Law Firms
I have tried reaching out to the following law firms to try and get some of their opinions on some of my posts. It would be great to land a guest post on one of their websites.
Morgan & Morgan -
Franklin & Stites -
Dan Newlin -
Mark Nation -