David J. Chesnut, P.A.
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Personal Injury

Auto, Car, and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Serving Clients Throughout the State of Florida

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S. More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.

Florida has close to 250,000 vehicle crashes every year and most common cause is careless driving, which means the driver was not driving taking into account curves, width of road, traffic, corners, the grade of the road (steepness), and other conditions that effect driving.

Answers to Your Personal Injury Questions

What to do Immediately After a Motor Vehicle Accident
  • Do not leave the scene. Your license may be revoked if this happens
  • Turn on the vehicle's hazard lights and use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety
  • Don't block traffic. If the accident is minor, move cars to a safe place, out of traffic.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your glove compartment (cell phone, pen & paper, disposable camera)
  • Report the traffic accident to law enforcement - Any car accident that involves injuries or property damage over $500 must be reported.
  • Document who was impacted by the car accident (i.e. passengers, another driver)
  • Photograph and document the accident
  • Provide the other driver with your car insurance carrier's name and your driver's license number
  • If you hit an unattended vehicle that is parked with no one inside, you must inform the owner. Leave a note with your name, address, and license plate and report the accident to local authorities.
  • Do not sign any document unless it's for the police or your insurance agent
If the accident was minor, you and the other drivers may decide to handle the damages yourselves without the involvement of an insurance company. This is not always the best idea, for several reasons. While the other driver may agree to pay for the damages to your car on the day of the accident, he may see the repair bills and decide it's too high. At this point, time has passed and your insurance company will have more difficulty piecing together the evidence if you file a claim.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to an auto, car or motor vehicle crash, you may be entitled compensation to help deal with your personal and financial loss. Contact David J. Chesnut P.A. for a free consultation.

Automobile Question & Answer

When do I Need a Lawyer?
Seek the services of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if your injuries are significant or if you lose time from work. They will help start the process of evaluating your potential claim. It will also help ensure that all relevant evidence is preserved and that important deadlines and statutes of limitations are met.

The Person Who Hit me Has no Insurance Coverage. What do I do?
Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. You can take the at-fault party to court and obtain a judgment against the owner of the car. If he/she fails to pay, report it to the Bureau of Financial Responsibility at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, so it can deal with the owner of the car. If you purchased Uninsured motorist coverage, you will have a claim for those benefits to compensate for your losses.

How Does David J. Chestnut P.A Get Paid?
David J. Chesnut P.A. handles personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. If you do not receive any compensation, then you do not pay any fees or costs. If there is recovery, the legal fee is a percentage of the amount recovered, and there are no fees due until money is collected for you.

Should I Talk to the Other Driver's Insurance Company?
Never give an oral statement to the opposing insurance company. If you are contacted, be polite but decline to talk. Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators with extensive experience in using every psychological technique to maneuver you into giving information which can hurt your claim, including discouraging you from using the professional services of a lawyer.

Should I go to the Doctor to be Checked For Injuries?
The initial medical treatment must be obtained within fourteen (14) days from the accident. So, if you don't see a medical provider within 2 weeks of the accident, you do not have access to your PIP benefits.

What is PIP And What is The New "Personal Injury Protection" (PIP) Law?
Current Florida Law requires that everyone purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance. PIP coverage pays for 80% of any medical bills, and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000, and also provides a death benefit

New Law in Effect January 1, 2013
1. The initial medical treatment must be obtained within fourteen (14) days from the accident. So, if you don't see a medical provider within 2 weeks of the accident, no PIP benefits.

2 .The initial medical treatment must be lawfully provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed by a licensed physician (M.D.), D.O. (Doctor of Osteopath), Dentist or Chiropractic Physician, or provided in a hospital or in a facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital.

3. Follow up treatment: PIP will only pay for follow up services if there was initial medical treatment within fourteen (14) days and the following occurs:
  • the follow up services are on the referral from an M.D., D.O., D.C and;
  • the follow up services are consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis rendered on the initial visit.
4. This follow up treatment must be supervised, ordered, or prescribed by a medical doctor, chiropractor physician, doctor of osteopath, a dentist, physician assistant or ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner).

5. If the above referenced criteria are met, there are two (2) levels of PIP medical benefits:
  1. $10,000 for an emergency medical condition and
  2. $2,500.00 for treatment that is not for any initially diagnosed emergency medical condition.
6. The Statute defines "emergency medical condition" as: medical conditions manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention would be reasonably expected to result in any of the following:
  1. Serious jeopardy to the patient health
  2. Serious impairment to bodily functions
  3. Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
Swift action on your injury claim can greatly increase your chances of success. Contact David J. Chesnut P.A , When Experience Matters. There is never a fee for a consultation.

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David J. Chesnut, P.A.
215 SW. Federal Hwy., #101
Stuart, FL 34994