At our injury law firm, your family is our family. Our personal injury specialists are available anytime to answer your specific questions and review your unique case. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:
What Do I Do After an Accident?
After a car accident, you might be in shock. Stay calm and take mental stock of your condition.
For the strongest case, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Call the police
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information
- Get insurance info from the other party involved in the accident
- Do not admit fault or apologize to anyone involved
- Set up a consultation with a personal injury attorney
If you have been injured, the most important thing is to make sure that you get medical attention. If you were not taken to the ER, it is still important to seek medical care, even if you don’t feel any pain yet. In Florida, you have 14 days to seek medical care after an accident.
How Long Do I Have to File A Personal Injury Case?
Every state carries its own statute of limitations laws, but in Florida, the limitation period varies from two to four years depending on the type of personal injury case and type of personal injury.
Under Florida’s statutes of limitations, if you have been involved in a basic automobile accident, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil court. If you do not file within this time frame, the court might say that you have waived your right to pursue a claim. It is important to act quickly in the case of personal injury, so it is wise to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What If I Was the At-fault Party in an Accident?
While many states are considered at-fault states, Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means in the event of a car accident, both parties involved should contact their auto insurers to make claims regardless of who was at fault. To cover any personal injury damages, Florida drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection ( PIP) insurance in their insurance policy.
- Medical bills and other treatment costs
- Prescription medications
- Vehicle damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering damages
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim?
Since every accident or personal injury claim is different, it is almost impossible to know how long your claim will take. Receiving a settlement can take anywhere from two weeks up to a couple of years.
In the event of an accident, it is always smart to contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can get to work on your case.
How Do I Pay My Medical Bills Until I Receive My Settlement?
It can be challenging to pay for medical bills while you are waiting for a settlement.
In Florida, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with their car insurance which provides payment for medical expenses after an accident regardless of who was at fault. You can file the claim under your policy up to the limits described in your policy.
If you have exhausted your PIP coverage, one of the first resources that you might be able to turn to in the event of an accident or injury is your health insurance. Most car insurance companies do not pay your medical bills directly, but will instead reimburse you and your insurance company for any expenses that you have paid due to the accident. After an accident, be sure to give the ER, doctor, or hospital your insurance information.
If you have exhausted all other options, you might be able to sign an authorization and assignment with your medical provider which essentially is a contract between the healthcare provider, you, and your attorney that states that you agree to pay for the medical expenses out of your settlement.
What Happens If I Have an Accident on the Job?
If you were injured in an accident at work, you are probably entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Your employer is required by state law to provide worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.
To protect your legal rights, keep the following in mind if you are injured in a work-related accident:
- File an accident report. You should report any accident that you are involved with on the job, even if you don’t think you are hurt.
- Lawsuits are generally barred under worker’s compensation laws. (You can’t sue your employer over workplace injuries.) One major exception to this is asbestos exposure and associated illnesses from asbestos exposure.
- Your injury will not be covered if drugs or alcohol were involved. Some employers may require a drug test following a workplace accident.
- Consult a doctor as soon as possible after a workplace accident.
- Report injuries as soon as possible.
- Follow up to make sure that your worker’s comp claim was filed. (You are entitled to a copy of the claim that was filed, and you should keep this for your records.)
- Consult a worker’s compensation attorney to help you determine what benefits you might be entitled to receive.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Personal Injury Case?
While not all situations require an attorney, if you were injured in an accident, it is wise to consult with someone who is well versed in the legal system. The insurance companies that you will be working with throughout an accident claim will have a team of lawyers on their side, so it’s best to have one working for you too!
Here are some reasons you might want to consult with an attorney:
- Were you injured in an accident or acquired a serious illness?
- Are you unsure of who was at fault or if negligence was involved?
- Were multiple parties involved?
- Is the insurance company denying your claim?
How Do I Pay For A Lawyer In My Personal Injury Case?
Generally, a personal injury lawyer gets paid when you receive a settlement or win a personal injury case in court. For most personal injury cases, your personal injury lawyer will charge you a contingency fee. In a contingency fee arrangement, the fee is contingent on the outcome. It is only paid if the case is successful.
If the claim is unsuccessful you do not owe the personal injury attorney any fees.
I Was Hit by an Uninsured Motorist. What Happens Next?
If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, there are two options.
- If you have under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage included in your auto policy, your insurance will pay for any damages.
- If you don’t carry this coverage, you might be able to sue the driver, but if they don’t carry insurance, they might not have any assets to sue for.
Since Florida is a “no-fault” state you insurance will cover part of the damages even if the other driver didn’t carry coverage. Keep in mind that states like Florida that have “no-fault” laws will restrict lawsuits associated with uninsured motorists, so you can’t sue the other driver unless there were severe damages or medical bills.
The laws regarding accidents can be confusing, so it’s best to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to weigh your options.
I Was Involved in an Accident in an Uber Or Lyft. What Should I Do?
When you get into an Uber or Lyft, the last thing you want to deal with is an accident. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and it is good to know what to do if an accident does occur in a rideshare vehicle. Here’s what you should do:
- Seek medical treatment regardless of the severity of your injuries. Call 911 if necessary.
- Call the police
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Collect insurance info from everyone involved and get statements from witnesses
- Inform the rideshare company. This is important! Go back to the app and report the accident
- Speak to an attorney
What Is A Construction Accident?
Many construction accidents can result in serious personal injury. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help if you have been hurt because of a negligent owner, contractor, or subcontractor.
Common construction accidents can include:
- A business that stayed open during construction, but did not ensure safety
- A construction site that did not adhere to safety protocols
- Trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- The construction site that was not properly marked and resulted in injury to a pedestrian
- Crane accidents
If you are injured at a construction site, it is important to work with a construction accident law firm in Tampa who has your best interests at heart. At Mickey Keenan P.A., we can help you get back on your feet.
I Was Bit by a Neighborhood Dog. What Should I Do Next?
Being bit or attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience and can cause lasting injuries. Unless there was a “beware of dog” sign posted, you should be able to file a claim, even if the dog has never bitten anyone. After a dog attack/ bite, be sure to take photos of the dog if possible, the injuries sustained, and where the attack/bite occurred. Get documented medical treatment as soon as possible.
Dog bites and attacks can cause:
- Muscle damage
- Tissue damage
If you have experienced any of these injuries due to a dog bite, call Mickey Keenan P.A. for a legal consultation.
Was the Driver Who Hit Me Negligent?
Many behaviors constitute driver negligence. The most common include:
- Texting and driving
- Talking on a cell phone
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Overestimating the time available to make a turn
Whether you were rear-ended by a distracted driver, hit by someone who ran a red light, or merged onto by a negligent driver on the highway, we have the resources to build a strong case in your favor.
We work with accident reconstruction experts and others who can clearly explain what happened in your crash and why the other driver is at fault. These experts can help us build the case to pursue getting you the settlement you deserve.
What Can I Claim for Damages in A Personal Injury Case?
Compensation for personal injury comes in two forms:
- Settlement after negotiation of an insurance claim
- Court award after winning a lawsuit
The losses that you might have suffered are known as compensatory damages. There are two main categories of compensatory damages:
- Special damages
- General damages
We take legal action for a personal injury case to return you to the financial position that you were in before you got injured. This is intended to make you, the victim, “whole.”
Generally, most personal injury claims involved car accidents, slip and falls, and sometimes work injuries, dog attacks, defective products, and even medical malpractice.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is the type of case that we focus on at Mickey Keenan P.A. Generally speaking, “personal injury” refers to any kind of accident that resulted from the negligence or wrongdoing of others that lead to bodily injury and associated suffering.
Here are some types of personal injury:
- Brain injury
- Vehicle accidents
- Wrongful death
- Dog attacks
- Slip and falls
- Product liability
- Back injuries
- Broken bones