What does your firm do? How do you handle my case?
Robert Rubenstein is in charge of your case, but we work as a team. The team includes attorneys in the office, legal assistants, and investigators. We will:
- Communicate with all the parties and insurance companies to find out what the insurance policy limits are and whether any additional policies are available
- Request copies of medical records to review and send to the insurance company or defendant
- Send a demand letter to the insurance company or defendant
- Negotiate with the insurance company or defendant until they make an offer that you approve
- Attempt to negotiate any medical bills that had not been paid already
- In cases where you do not approve a settlement, we may file suit against the defendant
How much money will I get?
No one can promise you a certain amount of money, but we can promise you that at Rubenstein Law it is our priority to provide our clients with the best legal representation and win you the most money possible to compensate you and your family for your injuries. There is no way to know how much money you will get for your case, and you should be wary of anyone who claims they can guarantee a certain amount. Many factors affect how much you will receive, such as:
- How badly you are injured
- How long you receive medical treatment
- The amount of your bills
- Whether your earning capacity is reduced
- How much insurance the party who is at fault has
- Whether there is any extra insurance (such as an umbrella policy or uninsured motorist coverage)
- Whether the employer of the party who is at fault is also liable
- Whether the party who is at fault has any large assets
- Whether the party who is at fault has any defenses
How long will my case take?
Every case is different, and some cases take longer than others. On average a case takes twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months from beginning to end. Although most cases do not go to court, if your case does go to trial, it is possible that the timetable will be much longer. The timeline also depends on the duration of your medical treatment. Total medical expenses for reimbursement can’t be determined until medical treatments are completed and patients are released from care. Since a case can not be closed while medical expenses are still accruing this will directly impact how long your case is open. Other things can also delay a case, including insurance companies not cooperating, large hospital bills or medical liens that need to be negotiated, and/or clients moving without providing us their new addresses and phone numbers. Our firm will do everything we can to make sure your case is handled as quickly and carefully as possible.
Will my case go to court?
Most of the cases our firm handles settle without needing to file a lawsuit. If there is a reason your case needs to go to court, we will explain all the options to you, and you will decide which option is best for you and your family. Your Rubenstein Law attorney will recommend which option we think is best, but the final decision is yours.
How will my case affect my government benefits (Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, Food Stamps)
Our clients are often concerned about how their case will affect their government benefits. For certain benefits such as Medicaid, SSI, Food Stamps, and Public Housing, there are steps that must be taken to make sure your settlement does not disqualify you for aid. There are a variety of ways to protect your benefits, and we will be happy to help you choose the one that is right for you when your case settles. Your settlement will not interfere with Medicare or SSDI benefits.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance that goes toward your medical bills and lost wages if you have a car accident or are hit by a car. If you own a car in Florida, by law you must purchase and your insurance company must provide you with PIP benefits. PIP is also known as “No-Fault Insurance” because you get to benefit from your PIP no matter whose fault the accident was.
How much of my medical expenses and lost wages will PIP pay?
PIP insurance in Florida pays up to a total of $10,000 for the following expenses:
- 80% of each medically necessary medical bill (see B-1 for more information)
- 60% of lost wages (see D-1 for more information)
- 100% of replacement services such as childcare, housekeeping, and yard work
- up to $5,000 of death benefits
- 80% of prescription expenses
- Mileage Reimbursement
Please remember that, unless you bought extra PIP insurance, it will never pay more than a total of $10,000 in Florida. You may also have a deductible to pay before PIP benefits begin.
What happens if I lose my case? Will I owe money to my doctors?
If your case is not successful, your health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or PIP, may still pay some or all of your bills. Although we can make no guarantee, we have been very successful in favorably resolving our client’s unpaid medical bills.
My claim is against my landlord. Will he evict me?
If you have a lease for a certain period of time, your landlord is not permitted to end your lease early, except under the lease terms. However, if your lease does not have a time period left on it, your landlord may require you to move out. The landlord must give you the correct amount of advance notice under Florida law.
What is the document called Statement of Client’s Rights that you gave me?
This is a disclosure that The Florida Bar requires all attorneys give to their clients in personal injury contingent fee cases so that clients may better understand their rights. If you do not understand answers to any of the above questions or have additional questions that are not addressed above, you can always call our office at 1-800-FL-LEGAL (800-355-3425) and speak to an attorney. Or you can make an appointment to meet with an attorney in our office. The investigator is not an attorney and cannot answer your legal questions or explain any documents to you. He or she is simply delivering these documents to your home.
How will my case affect my health insurance?
If your health insurance company has paid any medical expenses that are related to your claim, they will usually have a right to be reimbursed from your settlement based upon your contract with them. Although there are no guarantees, our firm has been successful in negotiating reductions of health care liens for our clients. Your health insurance should not be affected otherwise.
Who will pay for the wages I lost when I was too hurt to go to work?
If you were in a car accident, PIP insurance will pay 60% of your lost wages, up to the $10,000 limit (in Florida) reduced by payments for other expenses such as medical bills (see section C for more information). Make sure to get a letter from your doctor specifying how long you must wait before returning to work, and a letter from employer stating that you have not been working due to your injuries. For the remaining unpaid portion, and for cases where there is no PIP insurance, the amount of your lost wages will be a factor when negotiating with the at fault party.
Will my or my family member’s insurance rates go up if I receive PIP benefits?
- If you were not at fault for the accident your insurance rates should not go up from the accident.
- The use of PIP benefits should not cause you or your family member’s insurance rates to go up.
Why do I have to use my own PIP insurance?
The law in Florida as to how PIP insurance works is very specific, and there are only certain circumstances where you can use other people’s PIP insurance. Here is generally how it works:
- If you owned a car at the time of your accident, you can only use your own PIP insurance, no matter what car you are in or whose fault the accident is.
- If you did not have a car, but you lived with a family member who did have car insurance at the time of the accident, then you can use your live-in family member’s PIP insurance, subject to policy exclusions.
- If you did not have a car and your live-in family members did not have insurance, but the car you were in during the accident has insurance, you can use the PIP insurance of the car you were in during the accident.
- If you did not have a car and your live-in family members did not have insurance, and you were a pedestrian, you can use the PIP insurance of the car that hit you.
- However, if you owned a car in Florida that was operable at the time of the accident and you did not have insurance, you cannot use anyone’s PIP.
Who pays for my doctors? Will I owe money to my doctors at the end of my case?
Your health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid may pay for some or all of your medical bills. If you were in a car accident, PIP insurance may also pay some of your bills (see section C for additional information). If you have any bills left over, Rubenstein Law will do our best to negotiate a reduced percentage of the remaining bills so that they can be paid with a part of your settlement. If we accomplish that, you will not owe your doctors money. Although we can make no guarantee, we have been very successful in favorably resolving our client’s unpaid medical bills.
Who pays for the costs in my case? Are they included in the percentage fee?
There are certain costs that our firm pays on your behalf during the course of your case. These might include charges for:
- Copies of records & reports
- Mail expenses
- Investigation expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Various other costs
Similar to most personal injury firms, Rubenstein Law requires that these costs be paid back out of your settlement, separate from our percentage fee. If you do not receive any settlement or judgment, our firm will not require that you pay us back for the costs we paid on your behalf.
How much will you charge me for handling my case?
Like most personal injury firms, Rubenstein Law charges a percentage of the settlement or judgment you get for your case. The percentage can vary on the type of case, whether we file a lawsuit or if your case goes to trial.
- Please review your document called Authority to Represent. This document explains our fees in detail and the specifics for your case.
- If you receive a settlement that is over $1 million dollars, the amount over the first $1 million may be charged a smaller percentage fee not to exceed 25%.
- If it is determined that the proper defendant is a federal, state or local government entity, then the fee is capped at 20%.
- If you do not receive any settlement or judgment, Rubenstein Law will cover all fees and expenses and you will pay nothing.
Should I use an attorney or handle the case myself?
In making this decision, you may want to consider the following:
- ABC news reported that Allstate Insurance Company circulated internal documents that stated that an injured person, represented by an attorney, received, on average, three times as much money as the personal injury victim who did not use an attorney.
- Of course, recoveries in individual cases are based on individual facts and circumstances of the case, and are subject to reduction by attorney’s fees and costs.
- Additionally, an attorney will find all of the different types of insurance available for your claim, such as bodily injury, uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, PIP insurance, excess insurance, and employer insurance.