Auto Accident FAQ

Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
A: Your immediate course of action following an auto accident should be to ensure your health and wellness. See a physician as soon as possible after the accident. Dr. Huffman is available 24/7 through a simple text link anywhere in the state of Florida. Call him immediately after your injuries. Injuries such as whiplash and herniated discs may be present but not instantly felt, especially as your body is experiencing a rush of adrenaline following the accident. After an auto accident, refrain from giving a statement to the insurance company of the at-fault individual. They could use your words against you.

auto accident injury faq

Q: DO I NEED TO CALL THE POLICE AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
A: Florida law dictates that all accidents must be reported to the police. Police presence is incredibly useful following a crash, as they will come to the scene and obtain insurance information from yourself and the other driver by writing a report known as a “Driver’s Exchange of Information.” This report is crucial in recovering information needed to for your attorney to defend your personal injury case.

Q: IF I DON’T FEEL INJURED AFTER THE AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT, DO I HAVE TO SEE A DOCTOR?
A: YES! Often patients don’t experience pain immediately after the accident, but if you don’t see a doctor in the state of Florida within 14 days you claim will be closed and even if you experience pain on the 15 day the insurer will not pay for your medical care. Both you and your passengers should see a doctor immediately after an accident. Dr. Huffman with over 30 years of experience in injury care knows what questions to ask and how to document your injuries so that you can access medical care if you need it. The charges for a doctor visit and medical treatment is covered by your insurance. It’s not recommended that you settle claims from an auto accident until a doctor has seen you and advised you about the extent of your injuries.

Q: IF I WAS THE PERSON THAT CAUSED THE AUTO ACCIDENT, SHOULD I STILL SEE A PHYSICIAN?
A. YES! Often those who are at fault fail to report their injuries which is a big mistake. You purchases auto insurance to take care of your health after a collision, don’t deny yourself access to that insurance. Occasionally patients attempt to get treated by their private medical insurance only to find that they will deny payment leaving them with large outstanding medical bills.
If your concern is that your insurance rates will increase if you report injuries well it’s true after a collision your rates may go up, but that is not because of your injuries its because of the collision itself so call Dr. Huffman immediately after your collision. He’ll see you from the comfort and privacy of your own home from your cell phone, document your injuries, call in medications if you need them and you and he can discuss if you need anything other this one -time office visit. Remember you only have 14 days to report your injuries to a physician in Florida. Dr. Huffman is available 24/7 anywhere in the state of Florida.

Q: WHAT IS MEANT BY A “NO-FAULT” STATE?
A: The fact that there is no requirement to prove fault to receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits is what makes Florida a “no-fault” state. This means that a driver’s own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, sometimes referred to as “no-fault coverage,” is responsible for paying their own medical bills and rehabilitative costs when they’ve been injured in an auto accident, regardless of which driver was at-fault. In the state of Florida, this amount is at least $10,000 of coverage.

Q: WHAT IS PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE?
A: Personal Injury Protection, often abbreviated as PIP, is a result of Florida being a “no-fault” state. By Florida law, every vehicle owner and driver is required to have $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage. In the case of an accident, PIP benefits are paid by the individual’s respective insurance company. PIP insurance is also applicable during instances in which you’re a passenger in someone else’s car, or if you’re hit by a car as a pedestrian or cyclist. A PIP insurance plan will cover 80% of a victim’s medical bills and 60% of a victim’s lost wages. Whatever fees or damages are leftover after PIP coverage will need to be recovered through the at-fault party in a personal injury claim.

Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO IF AN ADJUSTER FROM THE “AT-FAULT” INDIVIDUAL’S INSURANCE COMPANY CALLS ME?
A: Always refer opposing insurance calls to your insurance company or attorney. In most scenarios, the insurance company of the at-fault individual is looking to have you agree to a settlement. Oftentimes, they attempt to do this before you’ve even calculated your damages.

Q: WHAT IF THE AT-FAULT DRIVER DOES NOT HAVE INSURANCE, OR LEAVES THE SCENE BEFORE I RECEIVE THEIR INFORMATION?
A: Often the individual who caused the crash has no insurance. This is why your auto insurance policy should come with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. In a situation where the at-fault driver has no insurance, you’ll file your claim under your UM coverage with your own insurance company. Your insurance company will process your claim through the same process as it would for an opposing insurance company, except your claim will be against your UM coverage as opposed to another driver. Likewise, if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, in which the individual flees the scene before exchanging any information, you will seek compensation from your UM coverage.

Q: WHO PAYS MY MEDICAL EXPENSES WHILE MY CASE IS PENDING?
A: When you’re injured in a car accident, your PIP coverage will cover the initial $10,000 of medical expenses, or more, if you had chosen to purchase an auto insurance policy with more coverage. Once your PIP coverage is exhausted, typically your health insurance will be the next line of payment for expenses. Your personal injury lawyer will work to make sure both you and your health insurance company receive reimbursement for the medical costs associated with the accident.

Q: WHAT IS VICARIOUS LIABILITY?
A: In the state of Florida, vicarious liability means that even if the owner of the car was not the individual responsible for the car accident, he or she can still be held liable for the damages caused by the individual who was driving. According to Florida law, a vehicle owner should only be lending their vehicle to responsible drivers. If the individual they lent the vehicle to proves to be negligent, the owner then also becomes negligent by default. This is important to note when pursuing a Personal Injury claim, as you can also pursue a case against the individual or company who lent the at-fault driver the vehicle as well as the driver themselves.

Q: WHAT IF THE VEHICLE THAT CAUSED MY ACCIDENT INJURIES WAS AN UBER OR LYFT?
A: The driver will most likely have been driving his or her own vehicle. This is important because Uber or Lyft drivers have to carry their own auto insurance for their vehicles. If the Uber or Lyft app was turned off, and the driver was simply getting from point A to point B, then a claim can only be filed against the driver’s personal insurance. Since the driver was not technically on the job, their employer cannot be held responsible for damages they caused. This is not the case if the Uber or Lyft app was turned on at the time of the accident. If the driver was marked as available and was waiting to pick up passengers, this would classify the driver as acting in their scope of employment at the time of the accident. In this case, both the driver’s personal insurance and Uber/Lyft’s contingent liability coverage can be accessed in the case of a crash. This includes up to $50,000 to $100,000 for injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. When the Uber or Lyft app is turned on and the driver is transporting passengers, the company’s commercial insurance coverage is provided. This coverage includes up to $1 million in third-party liability and $1 million in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Q: WHAT IF THE AUTO ACCIDENT WAS PARTLY MY FAULT?
A: There are cases in which a client was not the individual who struck another vehicle, but they weren’t being 100% responsible either. For instance, a victim could have been driving 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit, which in turn limited their reaction time, and borders on the victim being considered negligent. If this is the case for your accident, this certainly does not mean you don’t deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. The state of Florida follows a “pure comparative fault” system, which means that your level of negligence will not deter you from receiving compensation for your injuries. In the pure comparative fault system, a jury will decide your percentage of negligence in relation to the accident. In this case, if a jury finds that you were 70% at fault, then you will still be able to recover 30% of your damages from the other party.

Q: WHAT IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE INJURED PEOPLE IN MY ACCIDENT?
A: Your Bodily Injury (BI) Policy displays two numbers, which are respective of the amounts that can be recovered following an auto accident – the first being the amount of damages that can be claimed per person, the second being the total paid per accident if more than one injured party is making a claim. For example, if your bodily injury policy is $25,000/$50,000, then one injured party can recover up to $25,000, while all of the people injured in the accident can recover up to $50,000 collectively. If there are four injured people in the crash, they will be required to divide the $50,000 provided by your insurance.

Q: SHOULD I CALL AN ATTORNEY FIRST?
A: Before you call a lawyer, call a doctor. The law only gives you 14 days to document your injuries and attorneys cannot document your injuries. Seek medical help first, you have plenty of time to find an attorney if you need one, but you only have 14 days to have your injuries documented by a healthcare provider. A free phone call to Dr. Huffman 866-402-4250 anywhere in the state of Florida anytime day or night, should be the first call you make following a car accident. Together you and Dr. Huffman will determine the next step in you medical and legal injury process.

Q: MY CHILD WAS IN THE ACCIDENT BUT IS NOT COMPLAINING OF PAIN. SHOULD THEY BE SEEN BY A MEDICAL DOCTOR?
A: Yes, children are not always good a verbalizing their symptoms, so we highly recommend that your child and you speak to a physician before you close the case on their injury care. A FREE phone call to Dr. Huffman 386-420-4250 is recommended to determine if you children may or may not warrant further medical examination or care. Dr. Huffman is board certified in family medicine has over 30 years of experience diagnosing and treating child.

Q: DOES THE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVER MY TELEMEDICINE VISIT WITH DR. HUFFMAN?
A. Yes, your auto insurance covers our telemedicine injury visits. If you are injured in an accident, the medical benefits you are entitled to from your insurer should cover most if not all of your medical care, referrals and diagnostic studies.

Q: CAN I SUSTAIN INJURIES IN A LOW-SPEED AUTOMOBILE CRASH?
A. Yes, Low speed accidents can lead to the same soft tissue (muscle, ligaments, tendons and disc) that a high speed accidents cause. A study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine analyzed over 100 U.S. minor rear aligned crashes between passenger vehicles where the change in speed was less than 10 miles per hour.
What the study found was that 113 occupants of the vehicles struck in the rear-end low-speed collisions were diagnosed within five weeks post-crash with 427 injuries resulting from being struck from the rear at less than 10 miles per hour.

The majority of the injuries diagnosed were to the cervical spine area at 29.7% of diagnosed injuries. The lumbar region accounted for 23.2% of injuries with the 3rd largest area being the thoracic region at 14.3% of diagnosed injuries.

It’s important that you speak with a physician following a car accident regardless of the speed of the collision. Call Dr. Huffman 866-402-4250 anywhere in the state of Florida 24/7 to discuss your injury case. The phone call is FREE and may help you access medical care should you need it days and even weeks after the car accident.