Do you still have a good case if you have been in an accident before?

I heard recently that up to 77% of people have been in prior car accidents. I believe that number may actually be higher for people who live in South Florida.

If having a prior accident or claim on your record prevented you from having a good case, I would be out of business.

I believe that having prior accidents and even prior injury claims and lawsuits on your record might actually help your case in many scenarios.

Here’s why:

If you have had a prior accident and injury you may have gotten MRI scans which can be used to contrast new from old injuries. For example, let’s say you were in an accident four years ago in 2016. You suffered neck pain as a result. You treated with a chiropractor for a month or two and you had an MRI scan of your cervical spine. The MRI scan showed some disc bulging but nothing too serious.

Now, you are rear-ended in 2021 and you are suffering from a resurgence of neck pain and discomfort. Perhaps you even have numbness and tingling in your hands. You go back to see a doctor to get checked out. That doctor ultimately recommends you get another MRI scan of the cervical spine. The radiologist can now review the 2016 MRI images side by side with the 2021 images to see what damage the 2021 accident may have caused.

Accident and Injury Attorney from Royal Palm Beach and Wellington Area

I grew up in the Royal Palm Beach and Wellington area of Florida. La Mancha to be exact. Back in the day (circa 2000), the population of Royal Palm Beach and Wellington was half what is today but that is probably also true for most of Florida. A larger population in Royal Palm Beach and Wellington also means more congestion and more cars on the road which in turn leads to more car accidents. That’s an unfortunate side of a growing population. Regardless, Royal Palm Beach and Wellington are still a great places to live.

Growing up in Royal Palm Beach and Wellington (in the days before Royal Palm Beach High School and the Wellington Mall), you could play paintball in just about any patch of trees you could find. The bass fishing was also excellent. The land on which they built the Wellington Mall used to be miles of mountain bike and bmx tracks. Car accidents and crime were relatively rare.

I ended up going to college in Jacksonville and then went to the University of Florida in Gainesville for law school. I moved back down to South Florida to cut my teeth as a new attorney in one of Florida’s largest insurance defense trial law firms. I defended insurance companies for years. I eventually flipped sides and began representing people who had been injured in accidents. I was recruited by one of South Florida’s largest personal injury law firms but eventually decided to be my own boss. Thus, Waring Law, PLLC was born.

My office is in Boca Raton but I visit all my clients at or near their homes or jobs. After someone has been injured in a car accident, the last thing they want to do is book an appointment with a law firm, drive downtown, sit with a paralegal or case manager (no offense to either), and then sit in a lobby and wait to speak with a lawyer for possibly the first and only time in their case. At Waring Law, we do things differently. We don’t sit in an Ivory Tower and look down at our clients. We go to our clients and look them eye to eye.

Parting advice to my fellow Royal Palm Beach and Wellington kin, after a car accident, don’t try to handle your own claims with either your own or the at-fault driver’s insurance companies. Call a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.

If you have been injured in the Royal Palm Beach or Wellington area, whether it be a car accident, slip and fall, or you simply want a free consult with a lawyer you can trust, I am only a call or text away.Remember, at Waring Law, you know who you’re getting on your case. You won’t ring through to a call center and you won’t have to drive downtown.

You can get Matthew Waring involved today by clicking here to fill out a contact form. If you are at the scene of an accident, in a hospital or doctor’s office, or would like to get Matthew Waring involved right now, you can call or text to 954-388-0646.

Matthew Waring is a personal injury attorney located in Boca Raton, Florida. After graduating from Florida’s top law school, he joined a large insurance defense law firm where he became an insurance industry insider. Matthew later joined a large personal injury firm where he handled hundreds of cases. Matthew founded Waring Law, PLLC to provide his clients with more one-on-one attention. Matthew has recovered millions for injury victims in South Florida and he focuses on making things happen sooner on his clients’ cases.

Before you hire a personal injury attorney, read these articles:

 5 Secrets of Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case

How Long Will My personal Injury Case Take

Is Your Lawyer too Slow?

The Full Coverage Myth

Matthew Waring is the local personal injury attorney who appreciates your time.

Matthew Waring understands the sense of urgency many of his clients feel when waiting for a case to settle. For many accident victims with a personal injury claim, their settlement is literally their financial lifeline. 

If you feel like your personal injury case in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Palm Beach or Miami is not resolving fast enough, contact Matthew Waring today for 100% free consultation. 

Is your lawyer too slow?

South Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Matthew Waring explains what could be slowing down your case.  

So you’ve got a personal injury case. You’ve done the right thing and hired a lawyer. Now what?

I recently wrote an article titled How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take? But I wanted to touch on some more reasons why your case might not be moving as fast as you expected.

In my opinion, the single biggest factor in how fast your case resolves is your attorney. Sure, there are some factors outside of the lawyer’s control which may be slowing down your case such as contested liability, healthcare liens, hospital records and bills, and insurer bad faith. But good personal injury attorneys will work as quickly as possible to overcome obstacles in order to keep cases moving along. If your lawyer is reactive versus proactive, he or she may be slowing down your case.

If you suspect that your lawyer might be slowing down your case, review these common signs:

  1. Not available on a daily basis?
  2. Not returning your calls or text messages?
  3. Not giving you enough guidance?
  4. Too busy/too many cases?
  5. Not staying current on obtaining medical records and bills?
  6. Not informing you of the case status at least once a week?
  7. Not having a clear plan for resolving your case?

If you said yes to any of the questions listed above, then you might not be getting the representation that you deserve. Simple as that.

Matthew Waring is a Personal Injury Attorney based in Deerfield Beach, FL. He knows insurance companies because he used to work for them.

Matthew Waring understands the sense of urgency many of his clients feel when waiting for a case to settle. For many accident victims with a personal injury claim, their settlement is literally their financial lifeline. 

“We’re not just fighting to recover money for our clients. We’re fighting against delay.”

– Matthew Waring

5 Tips to Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case in 2021

How do you find a good personal injury lawyer?What are some good questions to ask while deciding which personal injury lawyer to retain? 

Searching for lawyers online is like taking a stroll down a cereal aisle of a grocery store. A ton of shiny labels, a lot of bold claims, and a lot of variety. Especially in 2021 as personal injury lawyers everywhere have taken to the internet in droves. 

Down where I live in South Florida, there are at least 339 personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach492 personal injury lawyers in Broward, and at least 560 injury attorneys in Miami-Dade. There are actually probably triple that many that do not list “personal injury” as one of their practice areas with the Florida Bar. 

Those are huge numbers to choose from.

When someone does get in a car accident or slips and falls and is injured, finding the right injury attorney is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

So, how do you find the best personal injury attorney for case? 

NOTE: Time is critical to the outcome of a personal injury case. While you can never be certain you made the best choice of personal injury lawyers, injury victims should avoid analysis paralysis and make the decision to speak with several lawyers as soon as possible since the delay caused by lawyer shopping can end up hurting your case more than hiring the “best personal injury lawyer”. 

Here are my five tips to hiring a personal injury lawyer: 

1. Begin by identifying what you want out of your personal injury attorney.

What’s most important to you? Past results? Convenient location? Big staff? 

For many injury victims in search of a personal injury attorney, communication is key. 

It’s not a surprise that poor communication is the most frequent complaint about personal injury attorneys.

If good and frequent communication is important to you, look for an attorney who will give you his or her cell phone number so you can send text messages.

Texting has made everyone’s life easier.

Especially when it comes to talking with your lawyer.

Texting allows you to send and receive photos of property damage, keep your lawyer in the loop about bills you receive in the mail, and send your attorney screenshots of important claim documents, etc.

Gone is the day when you only communicate with your attorney only by email or through assistants and paralegals.

If good communication is important to you, insist on speaking with the managing partner of the law firm directly before signing a contract. If you get any pushback by the law firm or its staff about speaking with the partner or owner, you may not get the level of access to a lawyer you are looking for. 

Caseload is Important

Another concern is the number of cases your attorney is handling, i.e. “caseload.”

While it is possible for personal injury attorneys to handle hundreds of cases at a time with the help of a large staff, are you interested in more personal service?

Not every personal injury attorney handles hundreds of cases at a time.

Consider speaking with an attorney from a smaller firm or boutique practice which prioritizes quality over quantity. 

Lawyer Pedigree

When you hire a personal injury attorney, you are hiring a professional who has gone to at least seven years of college and graduate school.

Ideally, you will be assigned an attorney who has a variety of experience handling an array of cases.

To some people, education, experience, and background are important.

You should choose the lawyer who you believe has the right qualifications for the job. That includes assessing the quality of the law school they attended. 

Why do you think the Supreme Court of the United States only hires law clerks from the top 12 law schools in the country? 

Because they can rely on their work to make tough decisions. 

Feel Confident About Your Choice

When you hire a lawyer for your personal injury case, you should feel confident about your decision.

While you can switch attorneys any time in your case, many times, the work done early on in the case is critical to the outcome. 

2. Know the specific type of personal injury attorney you need.

Not all personal injury cases are the same and not every personal injury attorney may be equally suited to handle your case.

For example, some lawyers have more experience handling trucking accidents versus motorcycle accidents.

Some lawyers are great at slip and fall cases and others are better with rear-end collision car accident cases.

If you are injured in a slip and fall at a grocery store, try searching for lawyers who have experience litigating slip and fall cases against that specific grocery store chain. 

Or, if you were injured in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, or in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, try searching for an attorney who has specific knowledge about ride-share car accidents. 

Hit by an amazon delivery van? Consider searching for lawyers who have a plan to handle those cases. 

Were you a pedestrian in Miami-Dade? What about a pedestrian or bicycle accident in Broward County? Maybe you are looking for an attorney who has experience handling trucking accidents? 

Once you have found an attorney online, read their blog articles and biography pages and choose the lawyer whose message speaks to you. 

3. Interview several personal injury lawyers: ask them these questions…

I have never seen a personal injury attorney in South Florida who does not offer free consultations.

There is no rule saying that you cannot get as many consultations as you want before hiring an attorney.

While I doubt anyone actually has the time or patience to consult with dozens of attorneys, most people have the time and energy to speak with at least three.

You should be asking these questions:

– Are you speaking with an attorney or a paralegal, investigator, or case manager?

– If you hire the lawyer, will you get their cell phone number?

– How many cases does the lawyer have?

– Will the lawyer be handling the case or a staff-member?

– Where is the lawyer actually located (not just where they advertise their location)?

– Will the lawyer meet with you in person? If so, how often?

– Will the lawyer come to you or does he or she want you to come in to their office?

– What is the lawyer’s plan for your case?

– How long will your case take? 

– Can you meet and speak with an attorney before signing a fee agreement? 

NOTE: The most important question anyone should ask a potential personal injury lawyer is: what is their average case settlement value? It doesn’t matter what their biggest verdict or settlement is or how much money an entire firm has made over the past twenty-five years. The vast majority of cases are average and the lawyer’s average settlement value across all settled cases is the best way of taking the temperature of a lawyer’s skill. That said, good luck getting a lawyer to commit to telling you their true average settlement number. 

4. Discuss fee percentages before you sign up.

The Florida Bar caps personal injury fees at 33.33% of any recovery before filing a lawsuit and 40% of any recovery after a lawsuit is filed.

Although the Bar caps the fees, there is no rule whatsoever that says attorneys can’t charge you less than 33.33%.

For many lawyers, the fee percentage may be negotiable. 

While I don’t recommend low balling every lawyer until you find one to take your case for the lowest percentage, I do recommend that you ask for a reduction in the fee percentage before you sign the fee agreement.

If your case is relatively simple, like a rear-end car accident, then you are justified in requesting a small reduction because there are likely few issues regarding liability.

However, if your case is more complex, you are less justified in requesting a fee reduction.

It never hurts to ask. 

5. Remember: you have the right to a lawyer of your choice.

You may cancel any fee agreement you sign within the first three days of signing up.

After the first three days, you can still change your lawyer.

However, your lawyer may want to get paid for some of the work he or she has done.

You pay for their services, no matter how brief, when your case settles.

You will still need to pay your new attorney too.

However, most lawyers who you hire will pay the fees incurred by your previous lawyer out of his or her percentage share of the recovery.

It is important to ask a new lawyer that you hire how he or she plans on splitting the bill.

If you are unhappy with your current South Florida personal injury attorney, call and interview several other accident attorneys in South Florida and ask them if they will pay the other lawyers lien out of their share of the fees.

If you are unhappy with your attorney, you should consider hiring a new one as early in the case as possible.

Those are my 5 tips to hiring a personal injury attorney. In sum, before you hire a personal injury lawyer in South Florida, do some research and narrow a few candidates down. Call and ask for free consultations and ask to the speak with the lawyer directly versus a staff-member. Interview several lawyers and choose the one you feel most confident in hiring. Finally, remember that your personal injury lawyer is working for you and not the other way around. 

Full Coverage Myth: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage Explained

The “Full Coverage” Car Insurance Myth: Why You Need Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage

Many car insurance companies in Florida sell customers “full coverage” auto insurance. The phrase “full coverage” is misleading. Most times, “full coverage” doesn’t include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage which is one of the most important coverages any car insurance customer should own. The phrase “full coverage” generally refers to the minimum coverages required by law in the State of Florida which typically does not include bodily injury coverage or UM/UIM coverage. Thus, “full coverage” simply means legal coverage but it certainly does not mean that you are covered if you are involved in an accident.

What coverages apply when you are in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, and it was not your fault, there are two coverages you need to pay for medical expenses and compensate you for injuries, lost wages, and other damages that occur as a result. First, if you have purchased valid or legal car insurance, you will be guaranteed $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. PIP will cover a majority of your medical expenses up to $10,000.00. However, if you went to the hospital and had several CT scans, the bulk of the benefits might be spent. If you purchased UM/UIM coverage, your only concern will be getting checked out for injuries and recovering physically and not about the cost of medical care.

What is Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage?

UM/UIM is an optional, add-on car insurance coverage that protects you when you are hurt by someone without enough insurance.

 Florida law does not require bodily injury insurance coverage. That means that many people are driving around the State with no insurance. For example, if you are rear-ended in traffic by someone who has “full coverage” auto insurance but does not have the optional bodily injury insurance coverage, the person that hit you will not have any insurance money to compensate you for your injuries. These people are called underinsured motorists or “UIM”. Moreover, there are many people in Florida who drive around without any insurance at all. These people are called uninsured motorists or “UM”.

When you purchase the optional UM/UIM coverage your own insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for your injuries If you are hit by someone that is either uninsured or underinsured. 

How does uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage work?

 It kicks in when someone else’s coverage drops out.  

 If you are in a car accident anywhere in Florida, there is a good chance that the person that hit you did not have bodily injury liability coverage. If you were injured in the accident and you have medical bills or lost wages or deserve compensation, your only option will be to sue the person that hit you.

 Recovering any money from an at-fault driver who did not carry insurance or who bought cut-rate insurance policy without bodily injury coverage is a long and difficult journey. It is best to hedge your bets by purchasing UM/UIM coverage. By purchasing UM/UIM coverage, you are protecting yourself in the event that you are hit by someone without good insurance. Typically, the extra monthly costs for UM/UIM coverage are minor and the benefits of having the coverage well outweigh the risks of driving in Florida without it.

How much uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage should you buy?

 As much as you can.

Most insurance companies will only sell you UM/UIM coverage in the same amount as your bodily injury insurance coverage. Remember that bodily injury insurance coverage is the amount of insurance money you are buying to protect your assets against someone who you hit and might sue you for their injuries. These coverages are usually sold in increments of $10,000/$20,000, $25,000/$50,000, $100,000/$300,000, $250,000/$500,000, and $1,000,000.

 For example, if you buy $10,000/$20,000 bodily injury coverage, your insurance company will pay someone up to $10,000 for their injuries in an accident you cause in order to make the person go away and agree not to sue you for your personal assets, retirement funds, or to garner your wages. The more bodily injury coverage you buy, the safer you are from being personally and financially responsible for accidents you cause. The more bodily injury coverage you buy, the more the insurance company will charge you each month.

 If you have $10,000/$20,000 bodily injury coverage, you are allowed to buy up to $10,000 in non-stacked UM/UIM benefits. You may be able to buy less than $10,000 in UM/UIM coverage if it’s offered by your insurance company, but you can’t buy more than $10,000 if you own one vehicle. If you own more than one vehicle, you may buy stacked UM/UIM coverage which is discussed below. Long story short, if you want to buy at least $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage, you will also need to buy at least $100,000 in bodily injury coverage.

To answer the question of “how much UM/UIM coverage should you buy?” The answer is always: as much as you can afford. While insurance agents generally say that you only need to purchase enough bodily injury coverage to protect you up to the value of your net worth (I disagree with this by the way), you should buy a lot of UM/UIM coverage. If you are hit by a drunk driver at a high rate of speed who has the minimum insurance required by the State of Florida, and you are severely injured and you do not have UM/UIM benefits, there will not be any money to compensate you for your injuries. If you don’t think this happens often, check again. I have personally handled many cases in which victims are taken to the ambulance form a high speed impact collision either by ambulance on a stretcher or by helicopter with life altering injuries only to find out there is no insurance coverage to help them put their lives back together.

It is terrible, but we live in a world in which we cannot depend on others to purchase enough insurance to right their wrongs. While we shouldn’t have to spend the extra money for insurance coverage to protect ourselves from careless and uninsured drivers, it is a reality of life that you are at high risk of a car accident and also at a significant risk that the accident is caused by someone without insurance.

How do you make a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits?

 To make a claim for UM/UIM benefits, you should notify your insurance company of the accident within thirty days of the accident. That means you must talk to your insurance company which is a general no-no. Read why you should not speak with your insurance company without a lawyer.

The 30-day rule is not a law. It is usually a condition for bringing a claim in your insurance policy contract. Some car insurance companies say that you will waive your benefits if you do not notify the company within 30 days. If you have not notified your insurance company of a claim within 30 days, you may still have a claim for UM/UIM benefits. You will want to speak with an attorney about your options to pursue a claim in that instance.

One of the first things I do after one of my clients is involved in a car accident is send out demands to their insurance companies notifying them of the claim and requesting copies for copies of their insurance policies, so I can be apprised of the terms and conditions for making UM/UIM claims.

After you or your lawyer has notified your car insurance company of a potential UM/UIM claim, it is important to determine whether the person that hit you had insurance. After the accident, a police officer or community safety aide should give you a copy of the driver information exchange report. To read why you should always call the police after any car accident, regardless of how minor, click here

The driver exchange report should include the name and address of the at-fault driver and disclose their insurance company and include their policy number. You will provide this information to your lawyer or – if you want to proceed without a lawyer – you can search the web for the insurance companies claim reporting telephone number and give them a call. You will most likely get an answering service which should direct you to an extension where you can “report a new claim”.

As always, I strongly advise that you hire a lawyer before making this call, however, you will provide the claims representative with the at-fault driver’s name, insurance policy number, and the date and location of the accident. Most claims representatives will ask you a series of questions about the accident and your injuries. Many of these calls are recorded and the insurance company will be fishing for statements they can later use against you if you make an injury claim. Know that you are not required to give them any statements or tell them about your injuries or your medical treatment. You should only give them enough information to open a new claim and give you a claim number.

Once you have the claim number from the at-fault driver, you can formally request a copy of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy disclosures. Under Florida law, insurance companies are required to provide you with these disclosures within 30 days of receiving a request pursuant to Fla. Stat. Section 627.4137.

Note that the letter should be mailed registered mail with return receipt requested for it to have any teeth. I like to send a copy via fax immediately after I get a case so I can call the adjuster and find out the amount of bodily insurance coverage as quickly as possible. As you know, I hate delay. Once you receive the bodily injury insurance disclosures, you will be able to see how much bodily injury coverage the at-fault driver purchased. It may be $0, $10,000, $25,000, or more. 

If the person that hit you had adequate bodily injury insurance coverage, then you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries without having to make a claim against your own insurance policy for UM/UIM benefits. However, as discussed above, if there is no insurance or low coverage limits relative to the severity of your injuries, you will certainly be interested in pursuing a UM/UIM claim.

Should you wait until after settling with the at-fault driver’s insurance company before making a UM/UIM claim?

The short answer is no. Let’s look at an example. Say that you were rear-ended at a stoplight and you sustained a whiplash injury to your neck. This resulted in nerve cord impingement requiring surgical intervention.

In this example, you find out that the at-fault driver was insured for only $10,000.00. The medical treatment you have had in the several weeks since the accident costs $25,000.00 and future care costs are estimated to be another $50,000.00.

 It is clear that the at-fault driver’s $10,000.00 is going to be insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries. In this scenario, you can demand the bodily injury coverage policy limits from both the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the UM/UIM policy limits from your own insurance company. That said, in most instances, your insurance company will not pay you the UM/UIM policy limits until they see evidence that the at-fault driver has already paid out the bodily injury coverage limits. But at least you’ve got the ball rolling on your financial recovery from both insurance companies.

A word of caution in making your own claim without a lawyer

have heard several insurance companies say that it doesn’t matter whether or not you hire a lawyer, that the insurance company will make the same offer based on the medical records and bills presented to them. My experience representing hundreds and hundreds of people injured in car accidents leads me to believe otherwise.

I strongly advise against making your own personal injury claim either against the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own insurance. There are many nuances and strategies that can be employed by lawyers to get you what you deserve.  

Matthew Waring is the Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney who appreciates your time.

Matthew Waring understands the sense of urgency many of his clients feel when waiting for a case to settle. For many accident victims with a personal injury claim, their settlement is literally their financial lifeline. 

If you feel like your personal injury case in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Palm Beach or Miami is not resolving fast enough, contact Matthew Waring today for 100% free consultation. 

How long will my personal injury case take?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Florida through no fault of your own, you deserve justice and compensation for your pain and suffering. And frankly, you probably need the money as soon as possible. You’ve likely had to miss work for recovery, doctors appointments, car shop repairs and more. An accident can not only be physically devastating, but also financially devastating. 

If you feel like your personal injury case is not settling fast enough, or you wonder if your lawyer is taking too long, consider the factors below. 

If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, whether it be a car accident, slip and fall, or even nursing home abuse, there are 6 critical factors to consider that affect the time it takes to settle your personal injury case. 

1. Does everyone agree on who was at fault for the accident?

When all of the parties agree on who caused the accident, the lifespan of a case is generally much shorter than when there is a disagreement over responsibility. For example, if you were rear-ended, most times everyone will agree that the person who hit you is at fault. However, in a slip and fall case for example, it is unusual for property owners to agree that they created a dangerous condition which caused someone to fall. In sum, when someone is clearly at fault for an accident, the case tends to resolve sooner.

2. What is the amount of insurance coverage on the case?

Typically, the less money there is in insurance coverage, the faster the case tends to resolve. For example, if you are injured in a car accident in South Florida and the person at fault only has $10,000.00 of insurance coverage, it is more likely that your case will conclude sooner than if the person at fault had $1,000,000.00 in insurance coverage. However, this is not always true.

3. How bad are you hurt? 

Cases with more severe injuries tend to resolve faster. Oftentimes, the cases with the most severe injuries are the easier cases for personal injury lawyers to work. It is much harder to prove that you are entitled to $1,000,000.00 for a broken pinky finger than for a traumatic brain injury.

4. Is it clear that you were injured by the accident?

Insurance companies will often point to other causes for your injuries when it is not 100% clear that your injuries were in fact a result of the accident. The more clearly related your injuries are to the accident, the better your chances that your case resolves quickly. For example, if you are driving and a steel bar bounces out of the back of a dump truck in front of you, crashes through your windshield and causes deep cuts to your arms, there will be little to argue over. The cuts on your arm were clearly caused by the steel bar.  However, there will likely be much debate over whether the steel bar caused you to suffer from high blood pressure. 

5. Is your Florida Personal Injury Lawyer giving your case enough attention?

If your lawyer isn’t staying current with gathering evidence, records, or not returning your calls, there is a chance that your lawyer may be delaying your case. There are many things your lawyer can be and should be doing to try and resolve your case quickly. If you are concerned that your case is not settling fast enough, contact Waring Law for a free no risk consultation

6. Is the insurance company acting in bad faith?

Finally, sometimes the insurance company will choose to disregard all of the evidence and delay your case until you are forced to file a lawsuit. While it sounds shocking that large insurance companies would engage in this sort of behavior, it is quite common. When an insurance company does not act in good faith to resolve your case, you might be able to sue the insurance company for an amount above the policy limits. However, lawsuits and bad faith actions can take years to resolve and there is no guarantee you will win. Matthew Waring knows the tactics employed by insurance companies because he used to work for them. 

Matthew Waring is the South Florida Personal Injury Attorney who appreciates your time.

Matthew Waring understands the sense of urgency many of his clients feel when waiting for a case to settle. For many accident victims with a personal injury claim, their settlement is literally their financial lifeline. 

Matthew believes that he is not just fighting to recover compensation for his clients but that he is also fighting against delay

What is with all of the personal injury lawyer billboards in South Florida?

South Florida can be a profitable place to practice personal injury law. As a result, a lot of personal injury lawyers have been attracted to South Florida and competition among lawyers for personal injury cases is fierce. Most personal injury cases involve car accidents so its logical that billboards – which target drivers and passengers of motor vehicles – are widely considered a good way to optimize ad spend. 

The Florida Bar regulates lawyer advertising. Generally, lawyers are allowed to run advertisements such as billboards that include the following information: a plain photo of the lawyer, office location, practice area, phone number, website, name of the lawyer or firm, and a common greeting [Rules 4-7.20(a) and 4-1.6(b)]. As a result, many of the billboards in South Florida are iterations of very similar information.

How to Know if You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Florida?

I’ve also heard the question asked, “should I seek the help of a personal injury lawyer or settle on my own?”

If someone is involved in an accident in Florida, it may be in their best interest to retain a lawyer simply to protect one’s rights even if they do not presently intend on pursuing a full-fledged lawsuit against the person or business that caused the accident. 

Before being elected President, Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and he once said that lawyers should “discourage litigation” and “persuade neighbors to compromise whenever [they] can.” I believe that Lincoln was right and, if you’re reading this, you probably do too. 

The problem is that, when it comes to accident cases, there is often insurance involved and insurance companies have a vested interest in not reaching a fair compromise. 

Most accident lawyers in Florida provide free consultations and most will handle a case for free up front and only collect a fee if they recover money on the case. 

Now, if someone is on the fence about going through the motions and pursuing a claim, they should know that knowledge is empowering. Even if someone doesn’t want to make a big deal of an accident, it is an opportunity to speak with a lawyer who will take the time to educate them about their rights. Sometimes, people who were involved in an accident don’t want the hassle of hiring a lawyer and pursuing a claim and later realize, after strict time limitations have passed, that they should have at least spoke with a lawyer about it. 

Many people also sleep on their rights after an accident because they don’t want to sign a contract with a lawyer who will then pursue their case without their input. Some clients are surprised to find out that their lawyer filed a lawsuit on their case after they signed up with them. While the authority to file a lawsuit might be in the attorney-fee agreement, these clients didn’t appreciate what they were signing and they never felt like they consented to being a party in a lawsuit against someone else in their community. 

Here are some circumstances when hiring a lawyer after a car accident in Florida may be the right thing to do: 

(1) You were not at fault for the car accident

(2) The insurance company is calling you asking questions about the accident

(3) You are confused on how to get your car fixed and not sure if you should pay your deductible

(4) You are feeling any symptoms as a result of the accident

(5) Pre-existing symptoms were worsened by the accident

(6) You have medical bills and aren’t sure how to get them covered

(7) You were in a hit and run accident and do not have any information about the vehicle that you

This list is not exclusive and there are other reasons why it might be best for someone to lawyer up after a car accident. 

Accident Caused by an Out-of-State Driver in Florida: What it Means for You

What if you were hit by a car in Florida driven by someone from out-of-state?

What if you were in an accident in Florida caused by a car with out-of-state tags?

It may mean that there is more insurance coverage available to you to cover medical bills and compensate you for pain and suffering. 

Stick with me here. 

Florida is one of a few States that does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury insurance coverage.

Bodily injury insurance coverage is the amount of insurance money available to you to cover your injuries and compensate you for pain and suffering after you have been injured in a vehicle accident that was not your fault. So, if you were in a car accident in Florida and the person who caused the accident bought insurance in Florida, there is a chance that there is no bodily injury insurance coverage to cover your injuries!

It is perfectly legal in Florida to drive a car registered in Florida without the additional bodily injury coverage. There is no minimum bodily injury coverage in the State of Florida. I can’t be more clear about that risks of driving in Florida and have advised multiple times why it is critical to buy uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage if you live and drive in Florida. 

That said, there are a lot of folks from out-of-state who drive in Florida – especially South Florida – during the winter or on vacation and I have had many people ask me how much coverage may be available to injury victims if they are hit by someone who doesn’t live in Florida. 

Generally, the amount of bodily injury coverage that may be available to car accident victims depends on the state where the driver bought the insurance coverage.

For example, if you were hit by someone with Texas plates on their car, it is probable that there will be at least $30,000.00 in bodily injury coverage available to cover the medical bills and compensate victims for their pain and suffering. 

I have compiled this list from data originally posted in a great article from The Balance which you can read here

Alabama – $25,000.00

Georgia – $25,000.00

Michigan – $20,000.00

New Jersey – $15,000.00

New York – $25,000.00

Pennsylvania – $15,000.00

Texas – $30,000.00

If you have been in a car accident in Florida and the person who caused the accident was from out-of-state, there might actually be more insurance coverage available to compensate you for injuries.

Many times it will be obvious by the plates on the car. However, if you called the police after the accident and got a driver’s information exchange report (1-page document that the cops give you after they scope out the scene of an accident) then you can see where the at-fault driver lives permanently. If the at-fault driver has an out-of-state address, consult this list to get a good idea of what minimum amount of insurance coverage may be available to help you out in your time of need. 

All this said, just because you were in an accident and there is insurance coverage available to cover any injuries, it doesn’t mean that the insurance companies will do what is right and compensate you fairly.

That’s where we come in. If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida that was caused by an out-of-state vehicle or driver, give us a call at (954) 388-0646 for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about your rights against out-of-state negligent drivers. 

Deerfield Beach: From Seminole War Battlefield to Bustling Multicultural city of 2021

Interesting History of Deerfield Beach, FL

It’s always interesting to explore the unique history of our local cities. I believe that our history is what makes us so unique. So even though I am a present-day Personal Injury Lawyer in Deerfield Beach, I thought it would be fun to learn more about the city’s roots. I’ve learned a lot while writing this article and I hope that you will too. Join me as we take a stroll though our city’s past.

Before Deerfield Beach was home to settlers, it belonged to the Seminoles. In fact, what is today Sullivan Park, was once a traditional Seminole hunting camp. In 1838, during the Second Seminole War, Lieutenant Robert Anderson (who would later become famous as a Union Commander at Fort Sumter during the Civil War) took this camp as well as 46 Seminole Prisoners, including Chief Tuskegee

Deerfield Beach was officially founded in 1877 when the first non-native laid down roots amongst the resplendent, lush and wild tropical vegetation growing along the Hillsboro River, which empties into the Atlantic. As stated before, up until this then, the Seminole Indians were the only inhabitants in the Deerfield Beach area, but they lived more inland. To the south, Key West and Miami were already teeming villages. And to the north, Palm Beach was becoming a popular winter getaway for wealthy northerners. (source: https://www.deerfield-beach.com/548/History)

Some surprising history linking Deerfield beach back to the British is that the Hillsboro River was named after the Earl of Hillsborough, who was given the land by King George the III of England in the late 1700s.  By the 1890s, a few homes dotted the winding coastline of the Hillsboro River. And in the spring of 1896, Henry M. Flagler had extended his Florida East Coast Railroad down the coastline into Miami, making Deerfield Beach more accessible.

 In 1898, Deerfield opened its first post office to serve the population of 20 settlers. According to Britannica, the name “Deerfield” was chosen for the deer that roamed the coastlines of the Hillsboro River. A narrow wooden bridge built west of the railroad led to another growing settlement: Boca Raton. (Source: https://www.deerfield-beach.com/548/History)

By 1910, the intersection of what is today Hillsboro Blvd and Dixie highway was the original downtown Deerfield (not too different from today!) At the time, the road was made of shells and dirt and about nine-feet wide. There were a couple of stores, a lodge and the Australian and Pioneer Hotels. (Side note: Australian Hotel, built in 1907, would burn down in 1937 after a kitchen fire.) However, the real economic engine of Deerfield during this time was agriculture. It was said that the tomatoes from Deerfield were among the best in the state. (Source: https://www.deerfield-beach.com/548/History) .

The village of Deerfield experienced more population growth after the construction of the Hillsboro Canal, which linked to Lake Okeechobee, in 1911.  And even more growth when the bridge linking across the Intracoastal Waterway to the beach was completed in 1917.  In 1939, Deerfield was renamed what we know it as today – Deerfield Beach. By this point, it was a city fueled by tourism and farming with a population of about 1800. (Source: https://www.deerfield-beach.com/548/History).

In 1942, WWII soldiers traveling via train to basic training camp at the Boca Raton Club witnessed a devastating train accident. The now ultra-luxurious Boca Raton Resort & Club was being used as temporary housing for thousands of troops.  The train had just stopped at the Seaboard Station in Deerfield Beach. The soldiers were stretching their legs on the platform when they witnessed another train slam full-speed into the train they had just gotten off. One person was killed and four were injured – who could have really benefited from a present-day personal injury attorney in Deerfield Beach.

After WWII, the tourism industry in Deerfield Beach really blossomed. The soldiers who had trained in Boca Raton, just north of Deerfield Beach, remembered its tropical beauty and they came back for vacation with their families. Hotels and motels shot up around the shore line. The economy drifted more and more away from its agricultural roots and became more reliant on tourism.

South Florida (specifically, Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach) had more involvement in World War II then simply housing a base for the training of U.S. troops during World War II. Nazi submarines were spotted off of the coast of Florida, including Deerfield Beach and other places in South Florida. Today, many believe that some German sailors did make it onto our shores and were quickly caught.

From the Seminole wars, to farming community, to WW2 covert ops, there are so many fascinating topics in Deerfield Beach’s history.

If you are looking for a personal injury attorney who truly values our community and history, contact Waring Law today at (954) 388-0646.