A SKILLED, EXPERIENCED, AND DEDICATED LAWYER YOU CAN TRUST TO WORK HARD FOR YOU.
A Message from Duke Fagan
Hello. My name is Duke Fagan. I am a trial lawyer and I am honored to be a one. I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I have had the privilege of representing many people during my career. For me, being a lawyer means standing up for the rights of people when their government is against them. It means fighting for the rights of people who have been hurt or taken advantage of by someone else. It means helping my clients who are injured find compensation. Criminal cases and personal injury cases not resolved before a trial end up in the courtroom to be decided by a jury.
My practice concentrates on criminal and injury cases because the other side, whether it is an insurance company, a State or Federal Prosecutor, or a large corporation knows that when my client can fight them in the courtroom, you are a person to be reckoned with and respected. I have spent more than a decade preparing, resolving and trying criminal and injury cases. It is an honor to fight for my clients.
When you need a fighter…call Duke Fagan.
ALL PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Your personal injury case has similarities with other personal injury cases but it is your case and that is where the similarities end. Your case has significant, permanent, and life changing effects on YOU. Your lawyer should understand and appreciate that your case affects you in ways that are individual to you.
If we take your case, we will listen to you, get to know you, and understand how your case affects your life. A lawyer who listens to you can understand you and your case because listening to you is the best way to know and understand you, the client. We will explain the law of personal injury to you, how it applies in your case, and what we can do to obtain the best result for your case and your particular life circumstances.
Call Duke Fagan to talk to a lawyer who is committed to understanding you and your case and to obtaining the best result for you.
Many personal injury cases involve motor vehicle crashes. Let me start to help you now by offering you some general information about automobile insurance and personal injury cases.
Helpful Information About Florida Automobile Insurance
The law requires that a motor vehicle operated on the streets and highways of Florida must have a valid license tag. It is a crime to drive (operate) a motor vehicle in Florida without a valid license tag. To obtain a valid license tag for a motor vehicle, the owner must register it with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The law also requires that the owner of a motor vehicle (except a motorcycle) must carry insurance on the vehicle to register the vehicle and obtain a license tag.
There are five common categories of motor vehicle insurance coverage in Florida:
1.Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
2.Property Damage Liability Coverage
3.Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
4.Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
5.Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The law only requires that the owner of a motor vehicle obtain the first two. We’ll talk more about that below.
So what are these categories of coverage and what do they cover?
Personal Injury Protection is the “No Fault” portion of motor vehicle insurance. It pays the first $10,000 (less any deductible) of the driver’s and occupant’s medical expenses resulting from a motor vehicle crash no matter who caused the crash. This is why it’s called “No Fault”. PIP covers the driver and the occupants even when the other driver is at fault. The public policy behind this coverage is to ensure that those injured in a motor vehicle crash would be able to get medical care on an emergency basis. But remember, it only covers the first $10,000 of medical expenses. It is very common for the injuries resulting from a crash that most people would consider to be minor to require much more than $10,000 in medical care.
Property Damage Liability Coverage covers just what it’s name says, damage to property. But that coverage is limited to the damage done to property belonging to another party. Property damage coverage does not cover the damage done to the property belonging to the person who caused the crash. The amount of coverage is determined by the dollar amount of property damage liability coverage purchased by the policy holder. Common amounts of coverage, referred to as the “policy limits”, in Florida are from $25,000 to $100,000. Higher limits can be purchased but they are usually found on commercial vehicles. The scope of Property Damage Liability coverage is an important fact that we uncover very quickly for our personal injury motor vehicle crash cases. It determines the amount of money available to repair or replace the our client’s vehicle. It is noteworthy here to know that many times, the at fault driver’s insurance company will try to short-change our client on the property damage amount. Duke Fagan knows how to fight back to get you the fair value of your property damage and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage covers the injuries the at fault driver does to another person. This includes medical expenses over and above PIP coverage, present and future, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Like the Property Damage Liability Coverage discussed above, the amount of coverage is determined by the dollar amount of bodily injury liability coverage purchased by the policy holder. Common amounts of coverage, referred to as the “policy limits”, in Florida are from $25,000 to $100,000. Higher limits can be purchased but they are usually found on commercial vehicles. The scope of Bodily Injury Liability coverage is an important fact that we uncover very quickly for our personal injury motor vehicle crash cases. It determines the amount of money available to pay your excess medical expense and to compensate you for all other losses except for property damage.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverage covers the damages to your vehicle if you are the “at fault” driver in a motor vehicle crash or if you suffer property damage to your own vehicle from other sources such as fire, theft or vandalism. Like the other coverages, the amount of this coverage is limited to the dollar amount purchased by the policy holder. This coverage does not apply to damages an “at fault” driver does to another’s person or property. This is one of the coverages that is not required by law in Florida but virtually all banks and finance companies will require the purchaser of a vehicle they finance to purchase this coverage to protect their collateral (the motor vehicle) in case the purchaser of the motor vehicle is the “at fault” driver in a crash.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. If you are not the “at fault” driver in a motor vehicle accident, his type of coverage provides additional protection for the injured driver/occupant for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash. This is very important coverage for your to obtain. Many times, our clients who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident will have injuries that far exceed the amount of coverage of the “at fault” driver. When this happens, if our client has Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (called UM in Florida), we can turn to that policy to recover more of their damages. Tragically, there are many cases where the “at fault” driver has no motor vehicle insurance at all or has only the the minimum coverage required by law (PIP and Property Damage). In this case, if our client does not have UM there is usually no source of payment for our client’s injuries. Please do not let this happen to you. In Florida, as many as 25% of the cars and drivers on the road do not have the types of coverage or enough coverage to compensate the people they injure. Many people believe they have “full coverage” because they have Comprehensive and Collision Coverage. They do not. In Florida, there is a one-in-four chance that if they are injured in a motor vehicle crash, the “at fault” driver will have not insurance at all! There is an even greater chance that the “at fault” driver will not have enough coverage to fairly compensate you for all of your damages and injuries. Please ask your insurance agent to be sure you have Unisured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
The information above is far from a complete explanation of Florida Motor Vehicle Insurance. It is intended to give you a basic explanation of common coverages and how they apply. If you have any questions about Florida Motor Vehicle Insurance and how it applies to a personal injury case, please call our office. We will do our best to answer your question.
When you need a fighter…call Duke Fagan.
ALL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
“YOU ARE UNDER ARREST”. These four words are some of the most terrifying, disrupting, and life-changing words a person can ever hear. I hope they are never spoken to you. If they are, you will be frightened, but do not despair. First, DO NOT FORGET you have constitutional rights. Remember you ancestors gave precious blood to secure them. DO NOT GIVE THEM AWAY. They are yours, the police want you to forget you have them, they want you to talk to them. They know you are afraid and they will try to make you more afraid. This is the law in Florida: no policeman, sheriff or any other category of law enforcement officer can charge you with a crime. They can arrest you on probable cause but they cannot charge you, try you, or convict you. Only a State Attorney or a Grand Jury can charge you with a crime in Florida. If you are arrested the only thing you have to say is your name, your date of birth, and your address. Be polite but say only one thing more “I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER”. Do not believe they want to help you – they don’t. If they wanted to help you, you would not be handcuffed and under arrest. No matter how nice they seem, no matter what they say, just politely tell them your name, your address, and your date birth. Every time they ask you a question or ask you to explain yourself, just politely say “I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER”. You will then be taken to jail (and anything you said other than your name, your address, and your date of birth will make it very difficult to get you out). You will be booked, and given access to a telephone. As soon as you get to a telephone, call your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, call 904-733-1234. You can call collect, we will accept the charges.
The police cannot take away your precious constitutional rights but you can give them away. The police will do everything they can, including tell you outrageous lies (unfortunately, it is legal for the police to lie to you) to get you to give your constitutional rights away. Once you give them away, YOU CANNOT GET THEM BACK. When you are under arrest, they are all you have left. Do not give them away. Your constitutional rights are not a “technicality”. They are basic, fundamental rights that you are entitled to such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment (your Constitutional right to remain silent) is there to protect the innocent. This principle has been affirmed for more than 100 years. Here is what Justice Field of the United States Supreme Court had to say about your right to remain silent:
It is not everyone who can safely venture on the witness stand though entirely innoncent of the charge against him. Nervousness when facing others and attempting to explain offenses charged against him will often confuse and embarass him to such a degree as to increase rather than remove prejudices against him. It is not everyone, however honest, who would therefore, willingly be placed in the witness stand.
Wilson v. United States, 149 U.S. 60, 66 (1893)
Justice Field was not only Supreme Court Justice to speak clearly and unequivocally about the Fifth Amendment’s protections for the innocent. Justice Robet Jackson, who was the Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials at the end of World War II said:
[A]ny lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances.”
Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49, 59 (1949)
The right to remain silent is just one of several very important Constitutional rights that apply in a criminal case. If you are charged with a crime, call our office to find out how we can use your Constitutional rights can help you.
When you need a fighter…call Duke Fagan.