Personal Injury

When you have been injured, you need help.  Medical care, prescriptions, car repairs or replacement, lost wages, and just compensation for your damages are just a few of the challenges your must face.  With one phone call, we can help you understand what you are facing and how it can be handled.

There are many ways to get hurt – you were in an automobile accident, you fell in a store, you were attacked by a vicious dog.  These injuries and many others put you in a situation where you need help.  You need answers to your questions, payment for medical expenses, medications, and property damages; reimbursement for lost wages, locating sources of payment, and much more.  Too often, it is a hard fight to get those who are responsible for your injuries to pay you what you deserve.  We can help.  Call us now and we will do our best to provide you with answers.  Become our client and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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.