Q. Will the insurance company spy on me with video surveillance?
A. Yes. Insurance companies will sometimes use video surveillance in order to discredit people who claim to be injured in an accident. Video surveillance happens much more often than we think. If the insurance company thinks the claim is suspect or if the person is claiming significant injuries, the insurance company will hire a private investigator to follow the person around and take video of their activities of daily living. Sometimes the investigator will be hired for a day or two. Other times, the investigator will be hired for weeks to follow the person around and take video. Thinking about somebody following you around after an accident sounds creepy. If you think that somebody is following you around, you should contact the police.
There are a couple of other things that an injured person needs to know about video surveillance. First, the insurance company will not tell you about the surveillance, and even you are represented by an attorney, you will not be able to see the video until after your deposition, and only if the insurance defense attorney is going to use the video at trial. Second, if the video surveillance shows an inconsistency between your activities of daily living and what the injured person reports to their doctor(s), lawyer or during the litigation process, the person’s credibility is destroyed and their case will be undercut.
If you have any questions about a Florida accident case or video surveillance, contact our office today for help.
Q. Can I settle my property damage claim before my personal injury claim?
A. Yes. Car accident claims have two components: (1) property damage; and (2) personal or bodily injury. You can go ahead and settle your property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company before you settle your injury claim. If the insurance company requires you to sign a release, make sure that the release is only for the property damage claim.
If you have any questions about a Florida car accident claim, contact our office today for help.
Q. What is Medical Payments Insurance?
A. Medical payments coverage or “med-pay” for short is a type of car insurance that you can purchase. In Florida, personal injury protection or PIP, pays 80% of the doctor’s charges leaving a 20% balance. Med-Pay picks up the 20% balance. Also, if you run out of your PIP benefit, which is currently $10,000, med-pay will pay your doctors up the amount of insurance that you purchased. Insurance companies offer medical payments coverage from $1,000 to $25,000.
You need to know that If you receive recovery from the other driver’s insurance company because of the accident, your insurance company may require you to pay back all or part of the med-pay benefit. This is not the case with PIP Your insurance company has no right of reimbursement with PIP.
We all know that the cost of medical care is quite high. If you do not have health insurance getting medical payments coverage on your automobile insurance policy can help you pay for your medical expenses if you’re injured in a Florida car accident whether the accident is or is not your fault.
If you have any questions about a Central Florida car accident, contact our office for help with your case.
Q. Can I still make an accident claim if I don’t have insurance?
A. Yes you can still make a claim. If you are uninsured, you do not qualify for personal injury protection (no-fault benefits). Because you don’t have PIP, the other driver’s insurance company will get a $10,000 credit or set-off for the PIP insurance that you should have had, so you are starting the case at -$10,000.
If you have minimal injuries, you probably will not recoup enough money to pay your medical expenses. If you have moderate or severe injuries, you should be able to make a claim. Your lack of insurance will not stop you from making a claim, but you have to understand the risks associated with being uninsured.
Q. I was injured in a car accident, and the accident report is on my side, can I use the accident report to prove the other driver is at fault?
A. The simple answer is no. But I want to be more complete. You cannot use the police (accident) report as evidence at trial to help prove your case. This is because Florida has an accident report privilege, which makes any statements that are said at the accident scene privileged.
The reason for the privilege is that the legislature wants drivers in accidents to be truthful with law enforcement investigating the crash without the hammer sitting over their heads that any statements can be used against them in a civil lawsuit. You will be able to use the police report when negotiating with the insurance adjuster and the insurance adjuster will look at the statements when making a determination of fault.
So there you have it. You can use the police report before a lawsuit to negotiate your claim, but you cannot use it in a lawsuit.
Q. I was recently involved in a car accident on 441 by the Lakesquare Mall in Leesburg. After the accident, I went to a local hospital emergency room. I was in a lot of pain. The emergency room doctor looked at me, took a few x-rays, told me I was okay and released me. I’ve been getting worse, why did the emergency room doctor tell me I was okay?
A. In order to understand what went on at the emergency room, you have to understand where the emergency room fits into the healthcare system. When you go to an emergency room after an accident, the healthcare providers job is to make sure that you are stable and do not have a life-threatening condition. Typically in car accident case, the emergency room staff is looking for fractures or broken bones, internal injuries, and other life-threatening issues like bleeding or a hematoma in the brain. If you didn’t have these problems, you are OKAY.
This doesn’t mean that you were not injured in the car accident, it only means that you did not have life-threatening injuries. You should go to a doctor who works with car accident victims to get checked out if you are still having problems. Sometimes your family doctor will not want to deal with accident and injury claims so you should tell the doctor’s office that you are making an appointment because you were injured in a car accident.