There are two ways you get paid in a Florida auto accident.
#1, you get paid from your own insurance if you lose wages, and that’s cut under your PIP – your lost wages.
#2, you get paid when you settle your case or a jury verdict comes back.
#1, you’re going to have to process the claim, “I’m missing work. I’ve presented the little wage statement on what I was making”, your average weekly wage. 2, “I’ve got a doctor slip taking me off work.” And 3, “I’ve filled out the form from your insurance company” that has to be in the file.
They’ve got 30 days to pay.
We want it there yesterday. We’ll overnight it to them and include all three. I don’t like sending the PIP application from your insurance company, from your house, the wage and salary verification from your boss man, and then the doctor sends it.
We get it all in one place presented at once and make the phone call, “My guy’s a working guy. He needs the money. Can you move him up in the line? We don’t want to be paid on the 31st day.”
2, settlement of the claim. You don’t want to do it till you reach Maximum Medical Improvement and the doctor says, “I’m done with you. Come back in six months if you need me”.
Then we evaluate the claim and we engage in negotiations on the settlement. Is the case worth a million dollars, is the case worth $10,000, the client and I sit down and talk about it. We usually put a demand on them, and I say, “If you don’t pay me in 30 days, we’re going to file a lawsuit.”
Typically, two weeks out – and I overnight the demand as well. A lot of lawyers send it regular mail, it gets lost, State Farm has to go to Winter Haven to get it scanned. You need to push the accelerator on these cases.
When they do that, then they’ll get back to me. We usually get an offer in two weeks, over five to seven days negotiating with client, they’re at $600, and we’re at $500 or whatever.
We get it done; you get paid in ten days. The check comes to my office with my law firm’s name on it, your name on it, and your wife if you’re married. It sits in there and then you get paid ten days after it clears.
Secondly, you get paid as the jury tells you how much. They’ve got to pay within 30 days of appeal.
Again, it depends on a case-by-case analysis.