Motor Vehicle Accident Investigator in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, and all of Broward
The Motor Vehicle Accident
In a perfect world, we’d all be millionaires and motor vehicle accidents would not occur. As we all know, that doesn’t represent reality. Some members of our society choose to ignore the laws of our state and drive in a careless and negligent manner. In the State of Florida, if you own a vehicle, you are required by law to carry “No Fault” or “P.I.P.” insurance in the amount of $10,000 to cover your injuries and lost wages that result from auto accidents, regardless of who was deemed at fault in causing the accident. On most occasions, when a motorist is involved in a motor vehicle accident involving minor injuries, a police officer with little or no accident or general investigations experience completes the crash report.
The Police Officer’s Job
(1) Quickly secure the accident scene.
(2) Render aid to the injured.
(3) Request fire rescue for any injured parties.
(4) Ensure that no other motorists collide with any distraught or injured parties on the scene.
(5) Interview the participants and witnesses on the scene.
(6) Compare the collected testimony with the damage to the vehicles involved.
(7) If possible, determine who is at fault and issue a moving citation.
(8) Collect the information on the drivers, passengers, all associated injuries, and all vehicles involved in the accident.
(9) Collect the responding fire rescue unit’s information, determine if any of the injured participants require medical transportation for treatment of their injuries.
(10) Accurately document all the findings on a Florida Traffic Crash Report in a timely manner.
The Florida Traffic Crash Report
The Florida Traffic Crash Report is the standardized reporting format that all governmental reporting agencies and civilians alike use to document motor vehicle accidents in the state of Florida .The Florida Crash Report is designed to be the police officers unbiased account of the accident. The content of the Florida Traffic Crash Report is either uncontested or contested by the parties involved. If any of the parties contest the validity of the police officer’s account, the contesting party has the right to conduct an independent private investigation into the event. If the private investigation produces information that contradicts the police officers crash report, the findings are heard by either a judge or a mediator, who after reviewing the evidence issues a ruling. The courts ruling then becomes the base for future litigation.
The Objective After The Accident
*To Negotiate A Fair Settlement With The Insurer*
Ideally, you will enter into a fair settlement agreement with the insurer. In the event you don’t, you will find yourself heading towards a civil trial for remedy. If you do, and you are counting on the police officers report & testimony to support your claim, think again. In most instances, the officer’s testimony and the Florida Crash Report written are considered “hearsay” and “inadmissible“ in court. In other words, the officer cannot testify to what someone else witnessed. The only way the officer would be able to testify on your behalf would be if he witnessed the accident first hand. This is when the accident private investigation becomes of value to you.
What You Will Have to Decide
Shortly after contacting your insurance carrier and informing them that you have ben involved in an accident, you will more than likely find yourself deciding on one of the three below listed courses of actions.
(1) Do nothing further.
(2) File an insurance claim, communicate with the assigned adjusters, calculate your losses (medical treatments, loss of wages, any other losses attributed to the accident), inform the adjuster via a demand letter what amount of money would make you whole, negotiate with the adjuster for a reasonable settlement.
(3) Retain a personal injury attorney, sign a contingency agreement with the attorney, give the attorney the authority to negotiate a fair settlement for you.
What We Believe
At Saffron Investigations, LLC, we believe that every motorist involved in a motor vehicle accident deserves to have their accident handled by a trained motor vehicle accident private investigator. Its no secret, motor vehicle accidents can impact participants physically, financially, and emotionally for years. At Saffron Investigations, we believe that each accident case warrants a detailed investigation into all the events that led up to and caused the accident. What does this mean ?, it means that we conduct a thorough motor vehicle accident private investigation, which upon completion can be used by the claimant (our client) during the negotiation process with the adjusters. In the event the claimant (our client) would prefer to entrust a personal injury attorney to represent them through the claims process, we can provide our clients with the contact information of a qualified motor vehicle accident personal injury attorney to represent them. Either way, the motor vehicle accident private investigation findings can be used as leverage or evidence in a civil trial. “REMEMBER”, the private investigators motor vehicle accident investigation report, “IS ADMISSIBLE” in a civil court setting. Our goal is simple, to provide our clients with the information they need to make an educated decision regarding the way in which to handle their personal claim.
Florida- Definition of Practicing Law
State ex rel. The Florida Bar v. Sperry, 140 So.2d 587, 591 (1962)
Many courts have attempted to set forth a broad definition of the practice of law. Being of the view that such is nigh onto impossible and may injuriously affect the rights of others not here involved, we will not attempt to do so here. Rather we will do so only to the extent required to settle the issues of this case.
It is generally understood that the performance of services in representing another before the courts is the practice of law. But the practice of law also includes the giving of legal advice and counsel to others as to their rights and obligations under the law and the preparation of legal instruments, including contracts, by which legal rights are either obtained, secured or given away, although such matters may not then or ever be the subject of proceedings in a court.
We think that in determining whether the giving of advice and counsel and the performance of services in legal matters for compensation constitute the practice of law it is safe to follow the rule that if the giving of such advice and performance of such services affect important rights of a person under the law, and if the reasonable protection of the rights and property of those advised and served requires that the persons giving such advice possess legal skill and a knowledge of the law greater than that possessed by the average citizen, then the giving of such advice and the performance of such services by one for another as a course of conduct constitute the practice of law.
*Accident Investigative Services We Provide*
We investigate all aspects of the accident.
We present our investigative findings to our clients in a comprehensive report format.
We translate our investigative findings and assist with any requested claims management.
*Services We Do Not Provide*
We never give legal advice, or counsel our client’s as to their legal rights and obligations.
We do not create legal instruments, documents, or contracts that transfer ownership interests.
*We Are Not Licensed To Practice Law*
*We Are Licensed To Investigate And Report Our Findings To Our Clients*
The Private Investigators Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation Report
We provide our client’s with a detailed, unbiased, independent motor vehicle accident investigation. Our reports and sworn written affidavits are designed to be utilized by our clients during their settlement negotiating procedures with the claims adjusters, as well as trial evidence in the event a reasonable settlement is not reached.
Our motor vehicle accident private investigator starts by revisiting the scene of the accident. While on the scene, an array of photographs are taken of the roads condition, the surrounding area, and the perspective of each of the vehicles that were involved in the accident. A detailed canvass of the scene is then conducted in order to find additional undocumented witnesses, surveillance video, as well as determining if any contributing factors may have been responsible for initiating the accident. A few examples of contributing factors might be potholes in the road, debris on the road, an oil spill, gravel, road signs or traffic control devices not functioning properly or improperly posted, cell phone usage, an animal or pedestrian darting in front of the vehicles.
The accident investigator then reviews the crash report with the claimant (our client) to insure the information on the crash report is accurate. In the event discrepancies on the crash report are noticed, a sworn affidavit is generated noting the changes to the report (a supplemental crash report may be generated to reflect the changes). All visible injuries are photographed then placed within each of the listed passengers file. The claimant and all the passengers that were in the vehicle during the accident are interviewed. The testimony of each of the occupants of the claimant’s vehicle is documented in a formatted sworn and notarized written affidavit. The affidavits include detailed events of the accident, all medical treatment & expenses, any loss of wages, and any other loss caused by the injuries received. All witnesses are contacted and requested to assist with the investigation by completing a sworn written affidavit. Copies of the occupant’s medical treatment records are collected and added to each of their files. The accident investigator provides each of the passengers with their own individualized report, which summarizes each of the passenger’s account of the accident, any medical treatment, loss of wages, and any other expenses associated or attributed to the accident. The motor vehicle accident investigation is not to be confused with an “Accident Reconstruction”. In the event a client is in need of an “Accident Reconstruction” to be conducted, we outsource this work request to a certified sub-contractor.
The private investigators accident investigation report would include, a detailed account of the accident documented within individualized sworn written affidavits by the driver as well as all the passengers. Each individual affidavit would reflect the medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses incurred as the result of the accident (maid services, cook, chauffeur, living assistance, etc.). Each affidavit package would contain a copy of the Florida Crash Report, photographs of the accident scene, photographs of any visible injuries, and photographs of all participating vehicles made available to the investigator. All evidence and reports generated by the accident private investigator may be used by the claimant (client) during settlement negotiating procedures with the adjuster. All evidence and reports generated by the accident private investigator may be introduced as evidence in civil trial.
Accidents involving an injury or death, a hit-and-run or intoxicated driver, or property damage that appears to be over $500 need to be reported immediately to law enforcement. The investigating officer will make a written report on all accidents involving a death or injury.
If an officer completes a report, you won’t need to file a crash report, However, if a crash report hasn’t been filed by law enforcement, then you’ll need to do so within 10 days of the accident. You may access the two page printable drivers report of accident at the below listed state of Florida link.
Mail the completed signed report to:
▪ Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
▪ Traffic Crash Records Section
▪ Tallahassee, FL 32399
What if you’re hurt and unable to contact police following the accident, or file a report later? If there was a passenger in your vehicle, that person can call police or complete the report instead.
Or, if you aren’t the owner of the vehicle you were driving, the owner may file the report for you.
Accidents with Unoccupied Vehicles
You’re backing out of a parking space. You swear you have enough room to safely maneuver your vehicle and be on your way. But that annoying astigmatism of yours gets in the way, and you end up putting a dent into the front fender of some poor soul’s vehicle.
What should you do?
For this and all other accidents involving an unoccupied vehicle or property other than a vehicle, you’re required to notify the owner. If you cannot find the owner, then attach a note to the damaged vehicle or property which contains your name, address, and license plate number. Be sure to write legibly. Also, report the accident to law enforcement right away.
The state is serious about your behavior following an accident. Failing to follow the proper procedures could result in license revocation, criminal charges, and other penalties.
Why Motor Vehicle Accident Investigations are Important
Often times when a person is injured in a car accident, the question of who is ultimately liable will be a factor. Even if there is clear evidence of fault from one driver, there are other factors to consider. Who holds the title for the car, who is covered under its insurance policy and whether or not the car was being used in the scope of the offending drivers employment. The answers to these questions will help your car accident investigator decide the best course of action to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
Determining Who is Liable
In most cases, the owner of a car is the person whose name appears on its registration and insurance. If they choose to lend their vehicle to someone and that person causes a car accident they could be held liable for the damages, especially if it can be proven that they knew the driver was reckless, or that their car had dangerous defects. The vehicle owner could then be sued for negligent entrustment of their car. If the driver is a minor child of the car owner, then the parents may be found at fault under the Family Purpose Act.
When the Driver is an Employee
Another factor that a car accident investigator will investigate is whether or not the car was being used as part of the drivers’ employment. Regardless of who owns the vehicle, if an employer assigns a task to an employee that involves traveling, and that employee is involved in an accident, the employer could possibly be held liable. Cases like this are often difficult as the employer will try and argue that the driver was not acting on their behalf at the time of the accident. Intense investigation may be necessary to prove otherwise.
There was an interesting case a few years ago, where an employee was driving home from work with two other workers in his own, personal vehicle, when he crossed the centerline and struck another car head on. The driver of that car was left paralyzed, and his passenger lost his life. Normally an employer is not responsible for an accident that occurs while the worker is commuting to or from the job, except in special circumstances. In this instance he was transporting other employees home. In order to avoid a potential lawsuit from their injured employees, the business owner allowed their workers comp insurance to pay for their injuries, while denying liability for the car accident. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that they could not accept fault in one case and deny it for the other. The court agreed and the matter was settled for 4 million dollars before the completion of trial.
Exercise Your Rights
In order to help an injured party receive the full compensation they deserve, their investigator and Legal council must be willing to explore all possibilities for fault and do a complete investigation of the events surrounding the accident.
If you have recently been injured in a car accident, contact Saffron Investigations L.L.C. right away. We can assist you with your private investigative needs. Upon your request, we can refer you to a qualified personal injury attorney who can assist you with all your legal needs
Call a private investigator at Saffron Investigations, LLC now 786-521-6280 to schedule a free consultation
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or property damage because of a car crash in Florida, our private detectives can help you.
If you or a family member was the victim of a car crash due to someone else’s negligence, contact, SAFFRON INVESTIGATIONS, LLC today for a FREE consultation about your injury accident and our investigative services.
Steps To Follow If You Are Involved In An Automobile Accident
Remain at the Scene
Always remain at the scene immediately following an accident. This is something you should do regardless of whether the car accident was your fault. You will have the opportunity to explain to authorities what happened and can seek medical attention if necessary. In addition, in the instance that the accident was your fault, you will want to stay at the scene to avoid criminal charges, especially if there are any injuries or deaths.
Check on Everyone
Immediately following an accident, you should always check on all the passengers in your car and on all the drivers and passengers of the other vehicle or vehicles involved. If it is necessary, call for medical attention as well. If anyone is badly injured, don’t move them until an ambulance or EMTs arrive at the scene. However, you should move someone if they are laying in spilled gasoline that you worry might ignite. If this is the case, be very careful when moving the person and do so slowly and support his or her neck.
Exchange information with the other driver. there should be an exchange of names, phone numbers, home addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and car insurance. This will make it easier to settle things if the damage to either vehicle or injuries to anyone involved is severe enough.
Call the Police
Call the police as soon as possible. It is even more important to do this if anyone has suffered injury or vehicles have been badly damaged. You will be able to tell the police what happened and file a report. Also, get the names of the officers and their badge numbers.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your car insurance company and inform them of the accident. Tell the truth about the incident and about any injuries you or your passengers suffered and the damage your vehicle took. The insurance company will also examine the police report, so telling the truth about what happened in the accident will best enable you to protect your rights.
Remember that it is extremely important to remain calm after a car accident. You will be able to handle everything you have to in a more organized manner. If you are injured in any way, do not hesitate to contact Saffron Investigations, LLc for assistance 786-521-6280, upon your request, we can recommend a qualified personal injury lawyer. Help will be on the way and remember that you are not alone.
Florida’s New No-Fault Insurance Law: 2013 Changes
Changes took effect to the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, 627.730, Florida Statutes, in January, 2013 which severely limit your rights to obtain medical and wage-loss benefits under your own no-fault insurance, also known as PIP insurance. These recent changes passed by the Florida Legislature are far more favorable to auto insurance companies than to consumers injured in auto accidents. Fortunately, a Florida judge has issued a temporary injunction regarding further implementation of several limits on available PIP benefits
and the exclusion of some medical professionals from the list of approved healthcare providers.
Florida No-Fault Law
Florida’s No-Fault insurance law first went in to effect in 1972. Since then, the law has undergone several reforms, but the basic idea remains the same: if a driver is involved in a car accident, his or her own auto insurance will cover certain expenses regardless of who was at fault. Current Florida law requires drivers purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in the amount of at least $10,000. Among other benefits, PIP coverage pays for 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to the coverage limits of $10,000.
Additional No-Fault Insurance Changes Made Effective In 2013 That You Need Too Know
1. You must seek initial medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.
2. The initial diagnosis must be made by the following: a licensed medical doctor (M.D.) a Doctor of Osteopath (D.O.), Dentist (DMD), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), or provided in a hospital or in a medical facility owned by a hospital. 3. In order to be eligible for your entire $10,000 of PIP benefits, you must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, which means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health;
(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions; or
(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
4. If you are not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, you are limited to only $2,500 in PIP benefits.
5. Your follow-up medical treatment is limited to care consistent with the initial medical diagnosis and must be provided, supervised, or ordered by a licensed medical doctor (M.D.) a Doctor of Osteopath (D.O.), Dentist (DMD), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), physician assistant (PA) or ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner).
6. Your PIP medical benefits no longer include massage therapy or acupuncture. These forms of treatment will have to be paid out-of-pocket or by health insurance.
7. Your PIP insurance company may require you to undergo an “Examination Under Oath” (EUO).The scope of questioning during the examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. This has the potential to be a lengthy and invasive questioning by the insurance companies adjuster or lawyer about your entire medical history.
The 2013 changes to Florida’s No-Fault Law are hailed as a victory for the auto insurance companies. And as expected, representatives of the insurance companies have vowed take any necessary action to overturn the pending temporary injunction.
We want you to be an informed consumer about your auto insurance coverage. Visit us at www.safffroninvestigations.com for more information about Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law or call us toll free at 786-521-6280 with your auto accident questions.
Bodily Injury Liability: Pays for bodily injury and death to others when you are at fault in an accident.
Property Damage Liability: Pays if your vehicle causes damage to another person’s property – a building, a vehicle, a telephone pole, etc.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage: This coverage protects you if injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver. (Note: This coverage varies from state to state.)
Comprehensive: Pays damages if your vehicle is stolen or accidentally damaged by such things as fire, broken glass, falling objects or contact with an animal. This coverage is subject to deductibles and coverage limits.
Collision: Pays when your vehicle is damaged by colliding with another vehicle or object. This coverage is subject to deductibles and coverage limits.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): A coverage available in no-fault states that provides benefits for medical expenses and other accident-related expenses.
Additional Coverages Available: Towing, rental reimbursement, additional equipment, medical payments, income disability and guest passenger liability. Ask your agent which additional coverages are available in your state.
Med Pay- covers medical bills to anyone in your vehicle up to the purchased limit, many times the limit is set at $25,000, not to be confused with P.I.P.
Note: These explanations are intended to generally describe the coverages available and should not be construed to modify or expand the terms of your policy. Only those coverages noted on your declarations page apply. Coverages very by state.
THE NEW FLORIDA P.I.P. LAW SIMPLIFIED
IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT AND YOU WISH TO FILE A CLAIM:
1. You must seek medical care for injuries resulting from an auto accident within 14 days of the accident, or no PIP benefits will be paid.
2. You must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition or EMC (See definition below) in order to receive the $10,000.00 of PIP benefits that you are required to carry.
3. If you are not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, your PIP benefits are reduced to $2,500.00
4. Only a medical doctor (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), dentist (DDS) or advanced registered nurse practitioner, are allowed to make the emergency medical condition (EMC) diagnosis.
5. Massage therapy and acupuncture are no longer covered under the new law.
What is an EMC?
“Emergency medical condition” means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health.
(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions.
(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
Follow Up Care
After the initial visit to a medical provider within 14 days, the law provides for follow up care. Follow up services and care consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis which may be provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed only by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, a chiropractic physician licensed under chapter 460, a dentist licensed under chapter 466, or, to the extent permitted by applicable law and under the supervision of such physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or dentist, by a physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464.
What should you do?
If you have been injured in a accident now more than ever it is essential to contact a auto accident lawyer to protect your rights. An experienced personal injury law firm will be able to pursue your case and if need be take the case to court where a jury of your peers will decide on compensation – not the insurance company. For more information or for a free consultation, contact Saffron Investigations, LLc. At 786-521-6280 for a free case consultation.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Nor does any information on any of the pages associated with this website, blogs, or posts constitute an attorney- client relationship, or a Florida private investigator – client relationship. As Florida private investigators, we recommend that you seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Saffron Investigations, LLC is a licensed Florida based Private Investigations agency. We do not provide our clients with legal advise, we provide our clients with an unbiased investigative product.
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