December 3, 2013

Protect Yourself From Uninsured Drivers In Florida Car Accidents

One of the most important pieces of advice that Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky gives to everyone he meets is, make sure to add uninsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy. For a number of reasons, many drivers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches choose not to have any liability insurance. As Florida does not require drivers to have liability insurance, when those drivers cause an accident and badly injure someone, having uninsured motorist coverage is the only way to insure that there is a source of money to pay medical bills, lost wages and compensate injured victims for their pain and suffering.

A recent study by the Insurance Research Institute confirms Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky’s advice, as the study found that approximately 14% of drivers are not insured. In addition to being unable to pay for the damages they cause to others, those uninsured motorist cause drivers who actually have insurance, to pay significantly higher premiums.

While some states are trying to enforce mandatory insurance requirements, by means such as authorizing police officers to remove license plates from accident involved cars which are uninsured, many drivers still disregard their state’s laws. Other states are now penalizing uninsured drivers by prohibiting them from brining a claim for their own pain and suffering, even if they are injured due to someone else’s fault. As a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience, Joseph Lipsky does not believe a state has a right to restrict an innocent accident victim from pursuing compensation if they are hurt by someone else’s negligence, regardless of whether they themselves have insurance.

While studies indicate that such aggressive enforcement of insurance requirements may result in more drivers complying with their states’ laws, we issue the same advice; protect yourself by buying uninsured motorist coverage. While you may pay more money now, if you are ever the victim of an accident, you will know you have a source of recovery to pursue for your damages.

In Florida, the legislature recognizes how valuable uninsured motorist coverage is, which is why insurance companies are required to have drivers sign a form specifically rejecting uninsured motorist coverage if they decide not to buy it. Remember, while signing the form and rejecting uninsured motorist coverage may save you some money in the short term, it leaves you susceptible to being on the hook for all of your damages if you are hurt in an accident.

November 1, 2013

Florida Car Accident Victims: Be Aware of New PIP Law

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals just overturned a challenge to Florida’s new personal injury protection, or PIP, law. Because the new PIP law is now unchallenged, there are numerous restrictions of which Florida car accident victims need to be aware. Fort Lauderdale based car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds all Florida car accident injured victims of the new law’s limitations which apply to all Florida car insurance policies as of January 1, 2013.

First, you need to be evaluated by a doctor, or at a hospital/urgent care center, within 14 days of your car accident. If you delay seeking initial medical care by more than 14 days, hoping that your pain subsides, your car insurance company will NOT pay any future accident related medical bills.

Secondly, you must complain about all of your injuries, no matter how minor you think they are, at your first evaluation. If you fail to mention some injury at your initial visit, and then bring it up to your doctor later, that “new” complaint will not be covered by your car insurance company.

Thirdly, unless a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, or LPN makes a diagnosis of your suffering an Emergency Medical Condition, your car insurance company will only be responsible for the first $2,500.00 of your medical bills. With an appropriate diagnosis of an Emergency Medical Condition, you are still entitled to $10,000.00 of medical coverage. However, understand that a chiropractor is not permitted to render the Emergency Medical Condition diagnosis. Therefore, if you are only examined by a chiropractor, your car insurance company will only be responsible for $2,500.00 of your accident related medical treatment.

The law defines an Emergency Medical Condition as one which shows itself through immediately sever symptoms, including pain, that in the absence of immediate medical attention you would be expected to suffer from your health being in serious jeopardy, a serious impairment of your bodily function, or a serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or body part.

Finally, the new law allows your car insurance company to not pay for any massage therapy or acupuncture care.

Because of the stringent limitations placed on Florida car accident victims, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky strongly recommends everyone injured in a car accident consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after their crash. Making sure you understand your rights and how to best protect them is more important than ever.

September 13, 2011

Uninsured Drivers Causing Many Car Accidents

As personal injury lawyers representing victims of car accidents throughout the State of Florida, we strongly urge our clients and friends to buy uninsured motorist coverage. Our comments are buoyed by a recent study release by the Insurance Research Council which confirms that one out of every seven drivers have no car insurance.

The study, not surprisingly, found that the financial hardship of the current economy is the primary reason why many drivers have not renewed their car insurance. The study confirmed a correlation between unemployment and the number of drivers with no insurance.

Drivers who comply with their state's law, by having insurance, cover the losses caused by uninsured driver, to the annual tune of almost 11 billion dollars. However, as attorneys representing accident victims for more than 20 years, we have seen too many clients who are unable to recover for their medical bills, lost wages and permanent injuries because they did not have uninsured motorist coverage.

Contrary to the statements of many insurance agents, who tell their customers that they do not need uninsured motorist coverage if they have health and disability insurance, our experience shows that having uninsured motorist coverage is the only way to guarantee a source of recovery should you be the victim of an accident.

April 29, 2011

Florida Legislature Helps Insurance Companies, Hurts Homeowners. Again.

The Florida Legislature, acting upon the wishes of the insurance industry, one of their biggest contributors, passed a bill which will allow those insurance companies to remove sinkhole coverage from their policies. The bill then permits the insurance companies to re-sell the coverage back to home and business owners at a much higher premiums.

This bill, along with many others working their way through the Florida Legislature, place insurance companies' rights and profits ahead of the interests of homeowners. Even some Republican Senators agree that this bill will allow insurance companies to make a financial killing at the expense of homeowners.

Too often, homeowners fail to notify their state representatives and senators of their displeasure with pending legislation; that is, until after a bill, such as this one, becomes law. We urge all homeowners, especially those who are also registered voters, to immediately contact their representative and senator and let them know that their jobs as legislators are in jeopardy, should they continue to pass laws which place insurance company profits above the rights of the individuals who voted them into office.