Tampa, FL asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Florida

Q: Just got a letter from a car accident lawyer. What are my next steps?

I was involved in an accident where both parties were deemed at fault by the officer. We traded information through the officer, and I told the other party I would be filing with my insurance when I got home, and they would be hearing from them.

Today, I received a letter from a local law firm on behalf of the other party, demanding I provide my insurance policy information and coverage limits, as required by Florida state law. I believe it's called Policy Limits Demand, which necessitates a response within 30 days.

I thought this was weird, because they should already be in contact with my insurance, and have this information. Does this mean they may not have medical coverage at all?

At this point, should I seek the services of an attorney, or am I good with just responding with a copy of my declarations page for now? My car insurance does have coverage for my legal defense, as part of the Bodily Injury Liability section.

2 Lawyer Answers
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Simply turn the law firm's letter over to your insurance company and confirm they will respond to the law firm. If you are covered as you say, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to deal with the other driver's claim, and if necessary, retain an attorney to represent you at no cost to you. Bear in mind that this applies only to your DEFENSE. If you have a claim to make against the other driver for personal injury and/or property damage, you must set up a claim with their insurance. For any personal injury at all, you should promptly consult an attorney.

Regarding your question, "Does this mean they may not have medical coverage at all? - if they have insurance, they must carry PIP, which covers their medical bills up to a certain extent. Because a law firm is interested in representing that party, they will be looking for compensation (from your insurance) for pain and suffering, in addition to any medical bills that are over and above the PIP limits.

Tim Akpinar and Domenic J. Celeste agree with this answer

Domenic J. Celeste
PREMIUM
Domenic J. Celeste
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If you have car insurance, it should defend you against the claim being made against you. If you believe you may have a claim against the other party (say you have injuries, car damages, lost wages, etc), then, just as the other party has done, you'd hire your own attorney. Unless you plan on making a claim against the other party, it does not appear that you would need to hire your own attorney. I agree that you should provide your car insurance with the letter you received, even though it most likely was sent the same letter already. Just confirm that your insurance will be representing your interests in defending against the other party's claim.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.