Car Accident FAQ
If you were not at fault in the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will pay for the damage to the car. If you were at fault in the accident, your company’s insurance will pay for the damage to the car.
Are Punitive Damages Available in Florida Auto Accidents?
Punitive damages are available in Florida in all auto accident cases. The most common reason they are awarded is when the at-fault driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Are There Alternatives to Court in a Florida Auto Accident Case?
Actually, most cases, or a large percentage of the cases are resolved pre-suit, which means the cases never go to court. I work with the insurance companies before filing suit to try to find a fair resolution for the client, which save money on expenses, court costs and attorney’s fees.
Can I Be Found Liable in Florida If My Car was Rear-Ended?
There are many different circumstances where you can be found liable if your car is rear-ended. For example, if you pull out and cut someone off, you can be found liable. If you have witnesses stating that you are brake checking or you are purposely slamming on your brakes in front of people, then you could be found liable as well.
Do I Have to Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company After an Accident?
The at-fault party’s insurance company could ask you to give them a recorded statement. You do not have to give them a recorded statement. However, if your own insurance company asks you for a recorded statement please seek advice from your attorney so that they can assist you in giving that statement. But yes you do have to comply and you do have to give your insurance company a recorded statement.
Can I Be Treated by My Own Doctor if I Was Hurt in a Car Accident?
Our clients many times try to go to their primary doctors to get treated for their car accident cases. However, what we have found, is that many primary care doctors don’t want to be involved in car accident cases for numerous reasons. Many of them don’t know how to bill the P.I.P. benefits and they don’t get paid for treating car accident victims. Therefore, it is really important you get treated by a doctor who specializes in documenting and treating car accident cases.
How is Fault Determined in an Auto Accident?
Fault is determined by the evidence collected during the investigation. We look to many things to determine fault in the case: we look to the police report, we look to witness statements, we look to the property damage to the vehicles, skid marks, layout of the cars, etc. Sometimes we even have to refer to accident re-constructionists to do a professional examination of the all the evidence to do a recommendation for us, but that does not happen in very many cases.
Do I Have an Auto Case If I am Found to be Partially at Fault?
Car accident cases are not always black and white. Sometimes it’s clear 100% liability and sometimes its a percentage of liability. Someone is 50% at fault and the other person is 50% at fault. Sometimes it’s a 60/40 split. When there’s a comparative negligence case, for example, if you’re awarded a $100,000 settlement and the jury finds you 20% at fault, your settlement is reduced by the percentage you are found at fault. So, in this case, you would only get $80,000.
Does Florida Cap Non-Economic Damages in an Auto Accident?
Florida does not cap non-economic damages for pain and suffering in car accident cases. The sky is the limit at this point, unless the legislature decides to pass any other laws or regulations controlling that issue.
What Are the Types of Damages in a Florida Auto Accident Case?
The Florida statutes list the damages that are available to you in a Florida car accident case. Some of them include: the bodily injury to your person, your pain and suffering, your mental anguish, all your medical bills and expenses and future medical bills and expenses, inconvenience, disfigurement, scarring and a couple more.
If I Sue Someone for Damages in an Auto Accident Case, Will I Hurt the Person I Sue?
If the at-fault party has bodily injury coverage on their auto policy, their insurance company will hire an attorney to defend them. It will not cost them money out-of-pocket for their defense. However, the liability policy that they have will only cover up to the limits of their policy. Any of your damages that exceed those limits would be covered by your uninsured motorist coverage (if you have it) or it could be recovered from the individual personally.
If My Friend Borrows My Car and Gets in an Accident, Can I Be Sued?
If you loan your car to a friend, and the friend took your car with your consent, then the injured party of the non-at fault vehicle does have a right to go after the driver of the vehicle as well as the owner.
Can I file a Lawsuit If I Wasn’t Wearing My Seat Belt?
Yes, you are able to still sue the driver and the owner of the car, if you were injured in an accident while not wearing your seat belt. However, keep in mind, that because of comparative negligence, the jury could place a percentage of liability on you for your injuries and the verdict could be reduced by that percentage.
Will My Auto Accident Case Be Affected Because I Gave a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
Your auto accident case can be affected. The reason the other driver’s insurance company tries to get a recorded statement from you is because they want to pinpoint you on the answers to your questions. If you make statements about your injuries, if you make statements about your pain, they can use that against you at a later time.
Can a Passenger Recover Damages If the Injuries Were Caused By The Driver of the Same Car?
Yes you can. As long as you are not married to the driver of the vehicle. You can be a relative. You can be a friend. You can definitely recover damages if the accident is the result of the driver.
Can I Take Action Against Parties Other Than the At-Fault Driver?
Yes. Not only do you have an action against the driver of the vehicle, but you also have an action against the owner of the vehicle. It does not matter if the owner of the vehicle has a commercial policy or is an individual owner.
What are Subrogation Rights?
Subrogation rights are when someone pays benefits on your behalf as a result of a car accident case. It gives them the right to recover those benefits back from the at-fault driver. The most common subrogation rights we deal with are health insurance carriers. If they pay for some of your medical expenses, then they have a right to be reimbursed from the at-fault driver’s insurance, which is your settlement. You really should hire an attorney to make sure you comply with these subrogation rights, because we work with the health insurance companies to reduce the amount of money that you have to pay back to them.
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering in a Florida Auto Accident Case?
Here are some examples of what constitutes pain and suffering in a Florida auto accident case: physical pain, emotional trauma, limitations on daily activities, limitations on abilities at work, depression, scarring, disfigurement, and any kind of post-traumatic stress disorders.
What Documents Should I Bring to My Attorney?
We like you to bring the driver’s exchange of information that the police officer gives you at the scene. We also like you bring any photographs of damage at the scene. Also bring your health insurance cards and your auto insurance cards or declarations page, so we can review the coverage available to you.
What Is a Permanent Injury?
A permanent injury does not necessarily have to be a disabling injury. What it means is that you have an injury that will permanently affect you for the rest of your life. It can be a herniation in the neck or lower back. It can be paralysis. It can be traumatic brain injuries; there are many different examples of permanent brain injuries.
What is Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Coverage?
Bodily injury liability coverage is optional coverage in Florida. When you opt to purchase bodily injury liability coverage you are protecting yourself in case you or someone else is driving your vehicle and you permanently injure another person and you are at-fault for the accident.
What is Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage is coverage under your auto insurance policy which covers damage to your vehicle that are not related to car accidents. Examples of that kind of coverage would be fire, theft, windstorms and even vandalism.
What is Negligence?
Negligence involves harm caused to another person by carelessness and not intentional harm.
What Should I Do Immediately Following my Florida Car Accident?
First: Call 911. Once that happens, someone from the Sheriff’s Office or a Highway Patrol Officer can respond to the scene. It’s important that you get the accident documented in the form of a police report, so that you have that for your case.
Second: Call an attorney: An attorney can advise you on the steps to handle your property insurance claim, and resolve any injuries you may have sustained as a results of your accident. Insurance companies have attorneys working hard for them, and you need an attorney working just as hard for your rights.
Who Will Pay for My Defense if I Am Sued Regarding an Auto Accident?
There are many different insurance coverages that are available to you, when you sign up for an insurance policy. If you elected bodily injury coverage to protect you if you were in an accident that was your fault, your insurance company will pay for your defense and hire an attorney for you.
Who Will Pay for the Damage to My Vehicle in an Accident?
It depends on who was at fault for the accident. If you were at fault, your insurance company will pay for the damage to the vehicle. If you were not at fault, the at-fault driver’s or owner’s insurance policy will pay for the damage, and if they do not have enough coverage to cover the damage to your vehicle, your collision coverage (if purchased) would pay for the damage to your vehicle.
What is Non-Binding Arbitration?
For example, if you are stuck with a criminal record, it will follow you wherever you go. Every time you apply for a job or try to get a security clearance, it will show up. The Criminal Law Attorneys at Kemp, Ruge and Green Law Group will work hard for you, to lessen the burden you face for criminal charges and to make sure you are treated fairly.
This is especially true when it comes to DUI. Because the state of Florida is trying to discourage people from driving drunk, they will try to make your DUI an example. DUI convictions carry with them consequences that can be life-changing, including the loss of driving privileges for a time and, of course, your criminal record.
You may be placed on probation and forced to take substance abuse classes or complete a stint in rehab. In many cases, even for a first offense, a judge can sentence you to as much as six months in jail. In some cases, a conviction can cost you your career if you have a commercial drivers’ license (CDL) because a revocation for a DUI conviction is virtually automatic.
Our DUI and Criminal Law Attorneys have the skills and experience you need to make sure you are treated with justice and to limit the negative effect on your lifestyle.
Making Your Financial Road Smoother
We can also help when you and your family find yourself at a financial crossroads and you feel like you have nowhere to go. While many see bankruptcy as a bad thing, the real purpose of the bankruptcy process is to provide relief for those who find themselves with a level of debt that has a negative impact on their life.
There are several types of bankruptcy available and the Bankruptcy Attorneys at Kemp, Ruge and Green Law Group can guide you to the right one for you, whether as an individual or a business. Put simply, if you have more bills than income every month, with no end in sight, we can help.
Why We Are the Best Law Firm in the Tampa Bay Region
Every client who hires Kemp, Ruge and Green Law Group to represent them in any legal matter receives the best possible legal help, of course. However, our clients also see us as a very caring and supportive presence at a very difficult time when that is exactly what they need.
Hiring our firm means you get the best possible legal representation. Here’s why:
- We believe in helping people. Whether you face a personal injury because of someone else’s negligence, or you have an issue in the family courts, or you face criminal charges like a DUI or your debts are overwhelming, we will be there to help you through.
- We communicate with our clients at every step. One of the principle complaints people have about their attorney is about their lack of communication. That is why we established our 24 HR Call Back Guarantee. This is a very strict policy in which we promise to respond to all contact with our office as soon as possible. If a client has a question that needs to be answered, they deserve one, and the sooner we respond, the better their experience.
- We treat our clients the right way. Our commitment is to making sure that our clients only concentrate on getting well or living their lives. We will arrange for the best possible medical care and we will always keep you updated as to the progress of your case. You will always feel like you have a partner when you hire our attorneys.
- Our attorneys have the experience you need. Our firm has won numerous awards over the years, primarily due to our client-oriented focus, but also for our high level of legal skill. In addition to being named to elite groups of attorneys who are among the top 1% of attorneys nationwide, at least two prestigious lawyer directory services, Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell, have recognized our firm as one of the best in the country, based on testimonials from our clients.
- We are local and we love and support our community. As much national recognition as we receive, we are still a local firm serving our Tampa Bay area community to the best of our ability. Our firm has been recognized as one of the most prominent businesses in the Tampa Bay region. We love this community and we believe in giving back. That is why we donate to dozens of local non-profits, school sports’ teams and other charities in the area. It is also why, as we grow as a firm, our commitment to the community becomes stronger.
When you choose Kemp, Ruge and Green Law Group to help you through the legal process, you are being helped by a firm who is committed to you and the community in which we all live. When you choose us, you will not only get an attorney who is committed to getting you the best possible result, but you will have a partner in the process who won’t stop until they get you the best possible result in your case.
- “After being hit by a distracted driver, I found myself overwhelmed by doctor visits, insurance companies, and paperwork. That’s when I sought out the assistance of attorney Stacy Kemp and her team. It was obvious from the very beginning that they had my best interest in mind. I can whole-heartedly recommend attorney Stacy Kemp and her law group to anyone else in need of legal representation.” – Ereni Fotopoulos
- “After my car accident, I kept getting pressured by the other driver’s insurance company to sign a bunch of stuff and take a settlement. I thought they were trying to low-ball me, but I didn’t know what to do. A friend of mine told me about this firm, and hiring them was a major help. They got the insurance company off my back. This firm takes good care of its clients.” – Joel Hutson
- “This Law Group has truly changed my perception of seeking advice and assistance from an attorney. I was in a small fender bender that turned into a huge ordeal. When I contacted Kemp & Ruge they were so helpful, honest, and comforting. I will be referring them to everyone I know.” – Amy Lewellyn