Q. What should I do if I am involved in an automobile accident?
Do not leave the scene. Contact the police immediately if there is any injury or property damage. You should exchange name, address and insurance company/policy number with the other driver. Finally, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Q. What if I am involved in an automobile accident when the other party is at fault and has no insurance?
In the state of Florida, you are not required to but you should purchase what is called uninsured motorist coverage to be protected in such a case. Even if you receive a judgment against the at-fault party, it may not be collectable without the coverage.
Q. Will my automobile insurance cover property damage that occurs while I’m driving a rental car?
It depends. Review your rental contract, your insurance policy, or call your insurance agent.
Q. What is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers you and all family members residing in your home for medical bills and lost wages incurred as a result of an automobile accident, regardless of fault, up to a statutory limit of $10,000.
Q. What if I am involved in an automobile accident that results in serious damage to my car but I have no collision coverage?
If another driver is at fault for the collision, that driver’s property damage liability coverage should pay for the damages. Otherwise you would be responsible for the repairs to your car.
Q: Do I have to be physically incapacitated to make a claim for disability benefits?
No. Disability is defined in the insurance policy. Most policies relate disability to inability to perform the important duties of an occupation.
Q: Can I collect benefits immediately?
Generally speaking, disability policies have an elimination or waiting period before benefits are payable.
Q: What should I do if the elimination period has run and the disability insurer still is not paying my claim?
Florida law provides a statutory period for either payment or denial of a claim. If the insurer does not pay by the end of the elimination period, you should seek legal advice.
Q. Do I have to pay attorney’s fees if I sue my insurance company?
In most cases, if you purchased your insurance policy in Florida, the court may award you with attorney’s fees, which would be paid by your insurance company.
Q. Do I have a right to a jury trial?
Yes, but certain types of insurance disputes are resolved by a judge and not by a jury. For example, in Florida, a judge and not a jury decides the interpretation of an insurance policy.
Q. How long will it take to resolve my case once a lawsuit is filed?
Once a lawsuit is filed, we work toward a speedy resolution of each of our client’s cases. We take pride in our zealous representation of our clients, and we believe that justice delayed is justice denied. Nevertheless, the time it takes to resolve any case once a lawsuit is filed will, of course, depend on the particulars and facts of each case.
Q. Can I recover punitive damages against an insurance company?
An award of punitive damages is rare in most circumstances; however, if the conduct of the insurance company is deceptive, unfair and indicative of its general business practice, you may be eligible to recover such an award.
Q. Do I have to pay out-of-pocket costs if I want a lawsuit filed?
Yes, some of the out-of-pocket costs you may have to bear include filing fees, witness fees, deposition fees and copy charges. If your case is resolved in court, the insurance company may have to reimburse you for certain costs.
Q. Who will handle my case against the insurance company?
Every case in this office is handled by a team of professionals led by an attorney with a paralegal and secretarial support. Cases are constantly reviewed and discussed as a team. Feel free to call us at any time regarding the status of your case.
Q. Will my insurance rates increase if I sue my insurance company?
No, insurance rates should not be raised because you were forced to file suit against your insurance company. Should your insurance company attempt to increase your rates because of a suit you have filed, you must notify us immediately.
Q. What is my case worth?
We do not take a cookie cutter approach toward our clients or our cases. Every case is unique, and we evaluate each case as it develops based upon the facts and the applicable law. After all, it is our job to maximize each client’s recovery.
Q. Will I be kept advised of the status of my case?
Yes, all clients are kept up to date on their cases and you are free to contact us at any time to discuss the status of your case. If the lead attorney responsible for your case is not available, our trained paralegals are prepared to assist you in any way they can.
Health Insurance / Managed Care
Q: Can I convert my group health insurance through my employer to an individual plan?
Yes, you can. You must notify the insurance company and assume premium payments.
Q. Can my health insurance company refuse to renew my individual policy?
It depends on the language of the specific policy and the provisions of Florida statutes.
Q. My health insurance premium has increased by 30%. Can the insurance company do this?
Health insurance premium increases occur based on something called “actuarial projections.” If you think your premium has been increased unfairly, contact your insurer, the Florida Department of Insurance and seek legal advice.
Q. What is a PPO plan?
Preferred Providers of Service (healthcare professionals and hospitals) contract with insurance companies to offer medical services to their policyholders at pre-negotiated prices.
Q. How long can a company wait to pay a medical claim?
Under Florida statues, the company has 45 days to pay or deny payment unless more information is requested. If that is the case, the company has a maximum of 120 days to pay or deny the claim.
Q. What is an HMO?
An HMO is an alternative method of delivering health services. Primary care physicians are prepaid by the insurance company for each patient, and the physician manages the patient’s care. Visits to specialists require a pre-authorization from the primary care physician.
Q. What should I do if my home is damaged by a storm?
Notify your homeowner’s insurer as soon as possible. Obtain estimates for repair of any damage and collect documentation as to the identity and cost of any damaged personal items in order to provide as complete and accurate proof of loss to your insurer as possible.
Q. I have personal liability coverage with my homeowner’s insurance policy. What does this protect?
Personal liability coverage through your homeowner’s insurance policy protects you and all family members who reside in your home from claims of bodily injury or property damage to others for which you are liable.
Q. Is auto liability excluded because it is covered separately?
Q. Does homeowner’s insurance cover flood damage?
Generally, homeowner’s will have windstorm that does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program. Many mortgage companies require flood insurance, so you may already have it. If you do not have flood insurance you should contact the insurance agent who sold you your homeowner’s coverage
Q. How do I make a life insurance claim?
When a loved one passes away, you should obtain copies of the death certificate and contact the insurance company to acquire claim forms.
Q: Can I convert my group life insurance through my employer to an individual plan?
Yes, you can. You must notify the insurance company and assume premium payments.
Q: Can the insurance company contest the claim?
Depending on the circumstances, if the cause of death is excluded by the policy, the insurance company may contest the claim. Also, if the death occurs within a certain period of time (known as the contestability period) after the policy was purchased, the insurance company can investigate and potentially contest the claim.
Q. Will accidental circumstances surrounding a death affect recovery?
Many policies have an accidental death provision that will add to the benefit.
Personal Injury / Wrongful Death
Q: If I suffer a personal injury what should I do first?
Your health and safety are the primary concerns. Be sure you and your family are safe; obtain medical treatment as soon as possible and contact an attorney once your condition has been stabilized.
Q: Is there a statute of limitations on personal injury cases?
General negligence actions must be brought within four years of the injury. However, in the event of wrongful death, medical negligence or a claim against the government, shorter limitation periods may apply.