Clearwater Florida Car Accident FAQs

These FAQs will help you better understand Florida's traffic laws, safety measures to take, common injuries car accident victims sustain, the most common car crashes and general questions on how the personal injury claims process works. Our FAQs are updated frequently by our team of local experts on behalf of Clearwater car accident attorney, Jim Dodson.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle collision as a result of someone’s carelessness on the road, we are here for you. Our personal injury law firm has over 25 years experience successfully representing car accident cases and wrongful death claims. You need to feel certain that you can turn your personal injury case over to a lawyer who cares about you. If you have immediate questions and want to speak to a car accident lawyer, call our office at 888-815-6398 to schedule a time to discuss your accident case. There is never a fee for a consultation.

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  • Who is Covered By Florida No-Fault Insurance?

    According to Florida’s no-fault insurance law, anyone with auto insurance is covered by no-fault insurance. Your auto insurer will compensate you for your injuries regardless of who was at fault for an accident.

    However, any property damage that was caused should be covered by the at-fault party. If you have questions about Florida’s no-fault insurance law, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

    According to Florida’s no-fault insurance law, all motorists must have a minimum of $10,000 personal injury (PIP) insurance coverage, and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage.

    Florida’s no-fault insurance law was developed to help reduce the number of car accident lawsuits. PIP coverage is meant to help pay for a victim’s medical expenses, as well as for a passengers’ expenses. PIP will provide coverage up to the limit amounts that are given by a policy.

    PIP will protect you while in your own vehicle, or while you are in someone else’s vehicle. PDL, on the other hand, covers certain property damages up to the limit of the policy.

    Apart from these two mandatory types of coverage, you may also purchase:

    • injury liability coverage;
    • collision coverage;
    • comprehensive coverage; and
    • uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

    Even if you have insurance coverage, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured. In cases where you need more compensation than your PIP policy limit will allow, an attorney can work to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What Type of Shoulder Injury is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

    A rotator cuff tear is a common source of shoulder pain. This is damage to the tendon attaching the muscle to the shoulder, frequently the supraspinatus tendon.

    What is a rotator cuff? The rotator cuff describes a group of four muscles which surround the ball of the shoulder joint. Beneath them is a bursa (sac) which allows the muscles to glide freely when moved. These muscles stabilize the shoulder joint, allow rotation, as well as, elevation of the arm.

    Tears are commonly caused by wear and tear of aging. They may become frayed as the tendon rubs across a small bone spur, which is a degenerative condition. The tendon may have a partial or complete tear. A torn rotator cuff may be caused by trauma from an accident. Many times accidents aggravate a previously degenerated tear which had not yet been damaged sufficiently to cause symptoms such as a pain or weakness until the accident occurred. A rotator cuff injury may cause pain, restricted range of motion and weakness.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What is Whiplash?

    Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe neck pain. Doctors often diagnose people with more specific injuries such as cervical sprain, cervical strain or hyper flexion injury, but all of these can be categorized as whiplash. Whiplash is an injury caused by the neck and head being thrown suddenly backward then forward upon impact, such as in a car crash. The impact forces the neck and head beyond their normal range of movement, causing tissue damage and persistent pain.

    Many people suffering from whiplash have other, more serious injuries from the impact as well. Brain injuries are often diagnosed with neck injuries because the rapid movement of the neck can injure the brain.

    For example, coup contrecoup brain injuries are caused by the same back and forth rocking of the spine that causes neck injuries. In those cases, the force of the impact pushes the brain into the skull where it bounces and hits the opposite side of the skull. The rigid, bony structure of the skull can bruise and tear the soft brain tissue, leaving permanent damage.

    Additionally, pain, tingling and numbness in the upper extremities (hands and arms) can be associated with whiplash. The nerves which send and receive signals from the brain to the hands are protected by the cervical spinal canal, or as we often call them, the neck bones. When any of these bones or the discs between them are damaged, they can put pressure on the nerves and cause pain to run through the arms. For more on how nerves and the spine are connected, click here.

    Whiplash may sound like a simple sore neck after an accident, but it could also be a sign of more extensive injury. Be sure to seek medical treatment immediately after any neck injury. We understand how stressful it can be to deal with mounting medical expenses, that’s why we don’t charge you to discuss your case. In fact, you only pay us a portion of the settlement or verdict we recover for you.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?

    Bodily Injury Liability coverage is your insurance in the event that you are responsible for a car crash in which another person was injured. Under this insurance, you and your assets are personally protected even when you are at fault.

    When you attain a Bodily Injury Liability insurance policy, you are signing a contract with your insurance company. This contract requires your insurance company to defend you and cover all damages and losses you have caused in a car accident.

    Exactly how many damages and losses your insurer will cover is determined by the limits of your liability coverage. When creating your policy, you can buy into however high or low a limit as you see fit; the lower your limit, the less coverage will be available to you when you need it.

    Bodily Injury Liability coverage is incredibly important when you are at fault in an accident, but it is even more important when you are not at fault. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, your settlement may hinge on whether that driver has Bodily Injury Liability coverage. Without it, compensation for your damages and medical expenses becomes uncertain.

    The importance of Bodily Injury Liability coverage cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, many careless drivers or those who are struggling to make ends meet may opt not to carry sufficient Bodily Injury Liability. Statistics show that too many people are recklessly taking to the road with minimal coverage limits, some without any coverage at all.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • How Should I Handle an Insurance Adjuster if They Should Try to Contact Me?

    When you file a claim with an insurance company you’ll be contacted by an adjuster working on behalf of the company. If you are filing a claim against more than one party or your accident included several vehicles, you may be dealing with several insurance adjusters. Before speaking to any insurance adjuster you should hire a personal injury lawyer to advise you.

    The statements you give to any insurance adjuster are almost always used against your claim. Even an insurance adjuster from your own insurance company is only looking out for their own company’s interests. They want to ensure that they pay out the smallest settlement possible and will even try to get your claim denied completely.

    An insurance adjuster is trained to get you to admit fault for your personal injury accident through careful questioning and prodding during phone interviews. Never allow an insurance adjuster to record a phone call, and instead tell the insurance adjuster that all communication will be handled through your attorney. That’s another advantage of hiring a personal injury lawyer to work on your case; your attorney can deal with the insurance adjusters for you, ensuring you don’t say anything that could harm your injury claim.

    How Can A Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Deal With Insurance Adjusters?

    An experienced  lawyer should be very accustomed to dealing with insurance adjusters and understand their attempts to damage the facts of your claim. Many clients who are deserving of compensation for their personal injury claims have found themselves out of luck after a recorded statement phone interview with a crafty insurance adjuster.

    Before speaking to an insurance adjuster, request a free copy of my consumer guide, The Five Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case or contact Jim Dodson Law to schedule a free consultation at 727-446-0840.

  • What Do I Need to Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida and ERISA When it Comes to an Accident?

    Uninsured motorist coverage in Florida will provide protection if you are involved in a car accident caused by a driver who does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance to pay the full value of your claim. Part of your bodily injury claim may include medical expenses not paid by your personal injury protection (PIP.) Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and the occupants of your vehicle by paying for required medical treatment.

    Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida and ERISA Laws

    If your insurance agent advised you to skip uninsured motorist coverage in Florida or to buy low limits because you have good employer sponsored health insurance, you may want to think twice. Many employer-sponsored health insurance plans which pay your required medical expenses resulting from a car accident would have the right to be fully reimbursed if you won a Florida personal injury claim. This could leave you empty-handed.

    The Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA laws) has made it easier for many employer-sponsored health insurers to get fully reimbursed from your settlement. ERISA laws override Florida laws which would prevent such full reimbursement.

    ERISA laws give the health insurer the right to include statements pertaining to full and complete reimbursement in policy documents. In addition, most all health insurance plans, even those not covered by ERISA laws, also have reimbursement rights including Medicare and Medicaid.

    The bottom line is that you will have to repay medical expenses paid by your health insurer if you win a settlement. Your only protection for full recovery is purchasing adequate uninsured motorist insurance coverage so that reimbursement of these liens doesn’t eat up all your settlement.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Can I Settle My Florida Personal Injury Case on My Own without an Attorney?

    By all means, if you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida and you want to settle your personal injury case on your own without an attorney, you can.

    It is your choice whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. Chances are, though, if you try to settle your case on your own, you’ll end up frustrated, overwhelmed, and worst of all, with an inadequate settlement that won’t cover the extent of your expenses.

    That’s because personal injury claims involve insurance adjusters, who are typically out to undervalue your claim, in order to keep their company’s budget in check. If you plan to go it alone , you’d better clear some space in your schedule, because there are numerous hurdles you’ll have to cross to even get to the part in your claim where you reach a settlement, if one is offered at all.

    Tasks a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You with After Your Accident

    • take over all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf;
    • analyze both your and other parties insurance policies to determine your legal options;
    • gather evidence and records to begin building your injury claim;
    • contact witnesses and get statements;
    • work with accident re-constructionists or other experts to help defend your claim;
    • negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement; and
    • if necessary, take your claim to court as a formal lawsuit.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.