Tag Archives: personal injury settlements

What is personal injury protection?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage on Florida car insurance policies that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The original purpose of PIP coverage was to make sure that anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. In Florida, all drivers are obligated to obtain a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage for medical bills and lost wages following an auto accident.

Due to rampant fraud and misappropriation of PIP coverage in Florida, insurance companies have lobbied to pass PIP insurance reform to limit the types of treatment available to crash victims covered by PIP, and limit the amount of coverage in order to avoid abuse and fraud.

The new PIP law, which took effect January 1, 2013, requires that persons injured in an accident must begin medical services and care within 14-days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits. The law also requires that injured persons obtain their initial medical treatment from specific medical entities. The initial treatment must be administered by the following:

  • Emergency medical services personnel
  • Hospital
  • Facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital
  • Medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor or osteopath.

Additionally, the new law bans the use of PIP dollars to pay for massage or acupuncture treatments and will limit the payout for non-emergency treatment of accident-related injuries to $2,500.00. A widespread concern is that accident victims with serious injuries won’t be able to get the care they need if they sustain an injury such as a whiplash or herniated disc because these injuries may not qualify as an emergency.

Nonetheless, supporters of the new law insist that the reform will contribute to overall lower insurance premiums and provide much needed relief to Florida drivers.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!

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Personal Injury litigation

A common question asked by personal injury clients is:  “Will I have to go to court?”  While Blick Law Firm will diligently prepare your case, there is no guarantee that the client will be exempt from going to trial for a personal injury matter.

Though most personal injury cases are settled between parties during pre-trial settlement negotiations, some cases will go to court if the parties fail to settle on an amount suitable for both parties. If a court date is set, the two parties could still negotiate and reach a settlement, even as late as the day of the hearing.

It is important that you know that only you have the authority to agree on a settlement on your claim.  Tampa Lawyers can only advise you on a settlement figure and have no authority to settle your case without your express permission to do so.

If you have a personal injury issue and need help, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840. Make an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with Attorney Michael Blickensderfer to assess your legal claim.

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How much should I expect from a personal injury settlement?

When it comes to a personal injury case, there are many factors involved that affect the outcome of your settlement, but the two major parts of your case are: 1) liability, and 2) causation which include damages.

In terms of liability, if someone else is 100% liable for your injuries, you have passed the first hurdle; but the value of your case can be less if you are partially responsible for your injuries, and Florida statutes allow apportionment of damages based upon the comparative negligence of the parties.  For example, if the at fault party is 80% at fault, but you were judged 20% at fault, typically your damages or value would be reduced by 20%.  You can have very serious injuries but have very weak liability in your case; or you can have great liability, but have very minor injuries as a result.

The second major part is causation, or do the injuries you are complaining of stem from the accident you were involved in??  This is primarily developed from a medical opinion from one or more of your treating doctors.  Proper follow through and treatment with your doctors will allow them to give a final opinion as to the nature of your injuries and link them causally with the accident, i.e., your injuries were caused by and are a direct result of the accident.

Injuries resulting in an auto accident are generally split into two major categories: soft tissue injuries, and really everything else.  Roughly 90% of personal injury cases involve some sort of soft tissue injury or whiplash, which is a ripping and damaging of the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the neck and back area of your body.  Soft tissue injuries can cause bulges or herniation to the disc material between the spinal vertebrae.

Other types of injuries include injuries to knees, shoulders and extremities, broken bones, concussions, cuts, bruises and the like. These types of injuries typically receive a higher personal injury settlement because these injuries are easily documented and can be proven in court more objectively than soft tissue injuries, even though the chronic pain of permanent soft tissue injuries can be severe and debilitating to an individual.

A severe wound may also cause a psychological damage or financial loss. For example, a scar resulting from an incident on a professional model can hurt her ability to earn future income and as a result be a great financial loss. And if the scar is permanent, this would further increase a personal injury settlement. Some cases may even lead to plastic surgery which greatly weighs into the benefit of the plaintiff’s case.

Many injuries may result from a personal injury incident so it is important to know your legal rights to receive fair compensation for pain and suffering due to someone else’s negligence.

Seek a Tampa personal injury attorney today for further consultation if you have been severely hurt from an accident. Attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer of Blick Law Firm has over 25 year’s legal experience in personal injury cases and will aggressively pursue your case to the best outcome possible. Call us today for your free consultation at 813-931-0840.

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