Every day in Naples far too many drivers find themselves involved in an auto accident on our increasingly crowded roadways. Even more unfortunately, many of these motor vehicle accidents result in a serious injury or worse the death of a loved one. Given the complexity of tort and insurance law combined with the fact that valuable evidence can and often does get lost in the midst of an auto accident; you need to act quickly to preserve evidence and get your claim moving in right direction to have your Naples car accident taken seriously by the insurance companies. On this page our experienced and trial tested Naples car accident attorneys will lay out some important information and time limitations to both follow and to be aware of in deciding the next step to take in maximizing the value of your car crash claim.What to Do If You Are Involved in a Naples Car Accident (Expert Advice)
Request medical attention for your injuries immediately. Taking an ambulance ensures that you receive the fastest care possible as soon as you arrive at the hospital; your health and the value of human life is priceless, this is not the time to be cheap or trust and uber or lyft.
If you do not have an attorney present (in person or on the phone) and acting in your best interests, do not give any statements about your car accident to anyone other than law enforcement. -Over the last 40 years we have been confronted with far too many recorded statements which ultimately hurt our clients auto insurance claim.
Get photographs taken of the scene, the vehicles involved, other drivers and anything else out of the ordinary. You never know where your vehicle will be towed and you cant be guaranteed that you will ever see it again. Also the scene of the crash changes and it will never look the same after the roadways have been cleared.
Have a family member take pictures of all injuries sustained and, to the extent possible, the medical treatment you receive. Please photograph everything especially blood, red-marks, bruises, stitches etc. We all know that wounds heal but the emotional scaring does not and this can be difficult to value without evidence. Remember that in a car accident claim it is the injured party that has the burden of proving each and every element of their car crash case.
Do not sign any documents giving possession of your vehicle to any insurance companies without the approval of your attorney.
Keep a record of all expenses, medical or otherwise related to your injuries. Once liability (fault) is established you are entitled to have your past and future medical bills paid by the person who was at fault for causing the crash.
Document your lost wages along with a daily journal. This can be super helpful in the event that your case proceeds to a jury trial in Collier county.
After your medical situation is stabilized and your injuries are determined to be non-life threatening it could be wise to contact an experienced car accident attorney in Naples, Florida. We will talk more about this below but a local lawyer with an office in Collier County can be invaluable as your case progresses further, this can be for something as simple as being able to meet with you do discuss evidence or a familiarity with local rules and customs of particular judges who many be assigned to your case should litigation become necessary.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Naples, FL, please read on and then contact us today for a free case review and discuss your individual claim and whether or not it makes sense to hire a local attorney to help prosecute your car accident case.Florida’s No Fault Law: How It Applies to Your Naples Car Accident
When the Florida legislated a no-fault insurance system, its intended effect was to lower statewide auto insurance premiums. Unfortunately premiums have been steadily rising since the law was enacted in 1972. The tradeoff for the claimed premium reductions was limitations on the right to sue for injuries received in an automobile accident.
In order to file a lawsuit that includes a claim for pain and suffering, the injured party must show proof that one of the following is present.
- Significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Injury that is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical certainty
- Significant and permanent scaring or disfigurement
First and foremost, Florida’s current PIP law limits even further the amount of lost wage and/or medical expenses that will be covered if your initial treatment does not occur within 14 days of the motor vehicle accident.
Florida Statue 627.736 discusses some of the limitations on the coverage; for additional information feel free to contact our office.
Florida law also specifies for a four (4) year statute of limitations in auto accident cases, with the time period starting on the date of the accident. If you wish to further pursue your claim with the assistance of a Naples car accident attorney, do not delay because it could jeopardize your legal rights. If an action is not filed within the appropriate time frame, you will forfeit your right to do so.
Furthermore, in the event that the car accident resulted in a death, the deceased person’s representative has only two (2) years from the date of the death within which to pursue a claim.Florida Automobile Insurance
Here are the five (5) basic types of automobile insurance coverage that may apply to an auto accident in Naples, FL:
Liability (aka. Bodily Injury Coverage or BI) – Insures you in the event that somebody else is injured as a result of your negligence.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Protects you in the event that you are injured by someone who is either uninsured or underinsured.
Property Damage Insurance – Insures you if you should cause damage to the property of others.
Comprehensive Insurance – Covers you for damage to your vehicle, theft, and loss of use of your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection – Provides you with a total of up to $10,000.00 in insurance coverage that can be used to pay up to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages, along with death benefits in the amount of $5,000.00. PIP insurance is part of Florida’s no-fault insurance system. Under this system, an injured party is permitted to receive up to $10,000.00 from their own insurance company for injuries or damages, regardless of who was at fault.
Medical Payment Insurance (aka. Med Pay) – Can be purchased if a driver wishes to raise the amount of insurance available for necessary medical treatment. Like PIP (mentioned above), this insurance should be paid regardless of fault.
Umbrella (aka. Excess Coverage) – Often individuals with collectible assets or corporations will purchase additional coverage for liabilities that exceed standard auto liability policies.
Contact our Naples office by phone at 239.267.5657 or online today for a free consultation. We will help you with making sense of complicated insurance laws, and dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident. With over 30 years of handling car accidents in Florida, you can trust Garvin Injury Law to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.