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Collectability: Can You Collect?

In this, our fourth and last article in our series, Personal Injury Cases, we are going to look at the third and possibly most important, question that has to be answered in every personal injury case. Is there any way to collect the damages that you are due, if you prove your case?

Sad as it may be to say, even if you prove someone has been negligent and is liable for an incident and can establish reasonable damages that you should be due, it may or may not ever be possible to receive any or all of your judgment. As the old saying goes “You can’t get blood from a turnip” and the majority of people and many companies, by virtue of structuring, don’t have any assets that you can force them to draw from, in a personal injury case. That is why, in the majority of cases, it comes down to what insurance is available. It is their insurance company that will ultimately pay your claim.

First Things First

Even though, we are discussing collectability last, it will be one of the first items that we will establish when analyzing a case, to see if we should move forward with it. As stated above, in most cases, it will not be possible to recover damages, unless there is sufficient insurance coverage.

This means that as soon as we can determine what all parties may bear a portion of the liability for an accident, I as your attorney will begin an investigation into what types of insurance coverage might be available and how it can be made to be applicable to your particular case.

This will normally be restricted to one particular party’s insurance, but not always as at times more than one person or company may be found to share a portion of the responsibility for an accident or possible seeking a settlement from your own insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

This last point brings up what I consider to be the very best piece of advice that I can give, particularly to my bike riding brothers out there. You should always have Uninsured Motorist Insurance. It is not very expensive; to add to your current policy and the peace of mind it can provide as well as the financial security it can offer is priceless.

Why should you add this rider to your current insurance policy? Because, it is an unfortunate fact that Florida law does not require drivers to carry bodily injury insurance. This means if you are in an accident, even at no fault of your own, like a driver swapping lanes on you and you are injured you still may be on your own.