In Florida, recovery for injuries as a result of an automobile accident are generally dictated by the No-Fault law. All Florida residents owning a car are required to insure their cars with $10,000.00 Personal injury Protection benefits and $10,000.00 for property damage. The minimum state requirements for PIP are for a $10,000.00 policy (a $1,000.00 deductible is permitted) that pays 80% of medical and 60% of lost wages. Of course, you can and should insure yourself with better coverage and many people do. The driver causing the accident is then theoretically responsible to pay the remaining 20% of medical and 40% lost wages, but I use the word theoretically because Florida law imposes no responsibility on drivers to secure bodily injury insurance coverage to pay these unpaid amounts. You can purchase Uninsured Motorist insurance to cover these amounts on your own policy.
Because your own No-Fault company pays some of the medical bills, our state legislature has enacted a law that requires you to sustain a permanent injury, within reasonable medical probability, in order to get a recovery from the at fault driver beyond medical and wage loss benefits. It is this permanency requirement that make Florida law difficult at times. Unless there is an injury like a broken bone or obvious scarring that anyone should consider permanent, the insurance companies seem to have a never ending list of doctors willing to examine an injured person (e.g. with a neck or back injury) and say that their injury is not permanent - even though your doctor may say that your injuries are permanent. It then becomes up to a jury to decide whether an injury is or is not permanent. It is because of this disagreement in the medical community over what exactly constitutes a permanent injury that makes it important to choose your medical providers from the beginning. An experienced attorney can be of assistance in this matter by letting you know which doctors seem to give you the benefit of the doubt and which ones always seem to side with the insurance companies.
As Florida gets more and more transient workers and people who can only afford the minimum coverage required by law, it is important when buying insurance to purchase uninsured motorist insurance to cover you and your family in an auto accident. This type of insurance will step into the shoes of either an uninsured or an under insured driver to help you recover money you deserve for your damages.
You have four years to perfect your claim in Florida for an automobile accident but it is important to get your claim started promptly and properly. Give us a call to help.
Motor Cycle Accidents
Daytona is the motorcycle capital of the world. This means lots and lots of motorcycles. No-fault laws, however, do not apply to motorcycles in Florida, and while you will probably have a permanent injury if you are involved in a crash, that is not a requirement to get a recovery beyond your medical bills and lost wages. You can recover your wage loss, medical bills and recover for pain and suffering - but no money is generally available until the case is settled, many times months or even years later. You can, of course, insure yourself with a major medical policy or an HMO specifically pay for a disability policy, but there is no legal requirement to do so.
Because of the seriousness of many motorcycle accidents, medical bills and lost wages can be substantial. Unless the person causing the crash has good insurance, many of these claims do not result in a large recovery. An attorney can help by investigating the accident promptly and by helping to discover insurance that may not be easily recognized. One example would be the situation where a business sends an employee on an errand - and the employer becomes responsible and must pay if his employee causes injury. Most businesses have insurance to pay these types of claims. When there is limited insurance, an attorney can also help by trying to get hospitals and other medical providers to compromise their bills under a theory that everyone gets something or nobody gets anything.
Florida has a four (4) year statute of limitations on these types of injuries. However, please do not wait that long to make a claim. Call us now.
A commercial truck or tractor-trailer accident can be devastating. What to do next can be confusing.
James W. Ledford, P.A. represent clients who have been seriously injured in accidents involving large trucks.
There can be many causes and types of trucking accidents, including:
•Truck Driver Fatigue
•Shifting and Falling Cargo
•Faulty Inspection, Maintenance and Repair
•Catastrophic Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death from Trucking Accidents
Prompt investigation of truck accidents is essential to the successful prosecution of a truck accident case. The sooner you engage an attorney to represent you, the sooner evidence can be secured while it is still fresh. For example, weather conditions can cause the disappearance of the physical evidence like skid marks, yaw marks, accident debris, and other critical evidence involving the truck itself can be lost or destroyed.
Preservation of important data like driver’s logs and alcohol and drug testing along with data recorders and eyewitness testimony may also be vital to your case.
It takes accident reconstruction experts, health care providers, and engineering experts to investigate, develop and prosecute truck accident cases.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a truck, contact Jim Ledford today.
If you are involved in a boating accident in Florida waters, you must report that accident to the Division of Law Enforcement for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sheriff's Department where the accident occurred or the police department must be notified immediately. This duty to report accidents includes accidents for collisions with other boats or objects, capsizing, personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, death and disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of injury or death, and the damage to any vessel or other property in excess of $500.00. (F.S. 327.20)
All vessels of whatever classification shall be considered dangerous instrumentalities in this state, and any operator of a vessel shall exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injury to others. Liability for reckless or careless operation of a vessel shall be confined to the operator in immediate charge of the vessel and not imposed upon the owner of the vessel unless the owner is the operator of the vessel or is present in the vessel when any injury or damage occurs. (F.S. 327.32)
Injuries occurring aboard cruise ships, which are generally not within Florida waters, are usually covered by the terms of your contract with the cruise ship, usually contained in language on the ticket itself, or information included with your ticket when it is purchased. These tickets usually contain the trap that they limit the time for filing suit to one year from the date of injury, a shorter than normal time period for bringing claims.
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Fatal Car Accident
When a loved one dies as the result of an automobile accident, your first thoughts may not be of hiring an attorney or filing a wrongful death lawsuit. When the funeral and medical bills start to pile up, there will be questions that start to come to mind — not only about what caused the accident or why was your loved one taken — but also about how funeral and medical expenses as well as other costs will be paid or how the family will go on without the physical, emotional and financial support of the deceased victim.
While we recognize that money cannot change the result of a fatal car accident, it will provide crucial support for the family members left behind.
We serve families of fatal car accident victims. You should not have to carry the financial burden that comes from a lost loved one alone.
Contact Jim Ledford for a free consultation on your legal rights.
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38 Years of Accumulated Practice
If you have an Injury Claim, do NOT delay
If you've been in a car, slip and fall or other accident and intend to make a claim, there are several reasons why you must consult an attorney as soon as possible. One reason is there are time limits (called "statutes of limitations") for making claims.
If you wait too long and the statute of limitations passes, you will be prevented from bringing your claim. Courts strictly follow statutes of limitations. Recently, a woman hurt in a car accident made a claim one day after the statute of limitations passed. Even though this was a minor violation, a court dismissed her claim and she could not recover money for her injuries.
Another reason why you should seek legal help immediately is that delay can hurt your case. As time passes, it becomes harder to gather evidence and to find and interview witnesses, who may move or forget the details of your accident. Since waiting can cause your claim to be dismissed or hurt your chances of getting the maximum recovery, seek legal help as soon after an accident as possible.