Motor Vehicle Accident FAQs

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

This is called a "statute of limitations." In Florida, you generally have four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This means the case must be formally started, not finished, within this time.

"What do you mean, "There's no insurance?" They said I had "full coverage!" . . . What happened"?

"Full coverage" under Florida law is "bare bones": Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance (usually referred to as "No Fault") and $10,000 of Property Damage liability coverage, which protects you if you are at fault and damage someone's property. It does not protect you if you injure someone else or someone else injures you

What kind of Motor Vehicle insurance should I have?

Wood, Atter & Wolf recommends:

  1. PIP (Personal Injury Protection)... with NO Deductible;
  2. Property Damage Liability coverage, as required by law;
  3. Bodily Injury Liability coverage; AND
  4. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage ("U.M.")...all you can afford!
What is "PIP" Coverage?

"P.I.P." is "no fault" insurance. No matter who is at fault in a car accident, you must submit all medical bills to your own insurance company, which pays 80% on them and 60% of all wages lost due to injuries, if properly documented. This will continue up to the limits of coverage or until your insurance company cuts off benefits for proper cause. "At fault" driver's insurance does not normally pay your medical bills during the life of your case.

What if I don't own a car? Whose P.I.P. covers me?

The rules can get complicated. But, generally, you look first to the P.I.P. of any relative living in your household. If none, then you look to the P.I.P. of the owner or driver of the "at-fault" vehicle.

Why can't I save money by getting "cheap" PIP coverage with a deductible?

You may think you're saving money by getting a PIP deductible, but Wood, Atter & Wolf strongly recommends against it. If you have a standard $2,000 PIP deductible, which insurance companies love to sell you, you must pay the first $2,500.00 in medical bills/lost wages out of your own pocket! This is obviously very expensive, and many good doctors will not treat you under these circumstances. So you are paying for insurance coverage that really may not help you at all.

Why should I get "UM" Coverage?

"UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST" coverage pays for out of pocket economic losses, including "Pain & Suffering" damages for the rest of your life if the "at fault" driver has no insurance or too little insurance to pay for your injuries. Otherwise, no matter how badly you're hurt through no fault of your own, you'll be left holding the bag: and no compensation. U.M. coverage prevents that...so Wood, Atter & Wolf urges you to get as much U.M as you can afford. The good news is that it can be "tagged onto" your regular insurance coverage at very little additional cost.

Who pays my medical bills?

P.I.P. pays 80% of your accident-related medical bills.

Who covers the other 20%?

The other 20% is part of the damages Wood, Atter & Wolf claims or sues for from the "at-fault" parties' insurance company. Most doctors will wait until your case is resolved before collecting it, provided they know you are making a claim and will protect their interests.

If I pay for prescriptions, can I get my money back?

If you promptly submit your prescription bills to your P.I.P. carrier, you can be reimbursed for 80% of cost, if you have a standard P.I.P. policy with no deductible, provided you have not exhausted your P.I.P. benefits.

Who pays my lost wages?

P.I.P. pays 60% of your accident-related wage loss. Wage loss not covered by P.I.P. is part of the damages Wood, Atter & Wolf pursues on your behalf.

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