Neufeld Law Firm
Dade: 305-931-6666 | Broward: 954-523-8292
Toll Free: 800-379-TEAM (8326)

What types of clients do you represent?
What types of claims do you handle?
What if I have been injured and think I have a case?
How much is my case worth?
What are your fees and do I have to pay anything up front?
Who from your law firm will work on my case?
Will I have to attend court hearings?
What is a deposition?
What are compensatory damages?
What are punitive damages?
Will you speak with me before settling my case?
If my case settles, how long will it take before I receive money?
What is an impairment rating?
How do you begin to investigate a medical malpractice case?
What is a brachial-plexus injury?
How is a trucking accident different than a car accident?
When can you sue homeowner’s insurance?
What is the difference between EMG and NCV test?
What is a physiatrist?
Do I have to pay back health insurance?
When can I sue my landlord or property manager?
What is a biomechanical engineer?
How do I interpret my hospital records?
What is a letter of protection?
What is an offer of judgment or demand for judgment?
What goes into a settlement demand package?
Are there different rules when bringing an injury claim against the government in Florida?
What is a pre-settlement loan?
What is workers compensation?
What is the statute of limitations?
What is a traumatic brain injury?
What is the difference between an MRI, CT Scan and X-Ray?
What is the difference between an orthopedic doctor, physical therapist and chiropractor?
What is uninsured-motorist coverage?
Do I need a personal injury attorney if I am in a minor car accident?
What is my case worth?

 

What types of clients do you represent?

The Law Offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert are Florida’s front runner in personal injury cases. With nearly 90 years of combined experience, we serve the interests of injured people by taking on those accused of causing our clients’ pain.

What types of claims do you handle?

We have had positive results against many of the area’s insurance companies, medical manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, automobile manufacturers, land and business owners, as well as a wide array of other negligent defendants.

What if I have been injured and think I have a case?

Please call us with any of your legal questions, including inquiries about whether or not your case is valid. We will discuss your case in a manner that you understand and put your mind at ease. We are here to listen and advise, free of charge.

How much is my case worth?

The value of each case is different and must be evaluated separately. We take a great deal of time to come to a proper evaluation of your case. However, you must know that there is never a guarantee of any recovery.

What are your fees and do I have to pay anything up front?

NK&P opens its doors and offers you a no-charge-upfront promise. We work on a standard Florida Bar approved contingency fee contract, which means if we do not recover money for you, you owe us no attorney’s fees. If we win your case, and recover money on your behalf, our fees will be deducted from your settlement or award.

Who from your law firm will work on my case?

NK&P’s staff of lawyers and legal assistants will work with you directly. We also have investigators, forensic specialists, psychologists, law clerks and word processors all working on your behalf, although some of them you may never communicate with or see.

Will I have to attend court hearings?

Not always. As your case is developed and prosecuted, there will be various court hearings on legal matters. These hearings normally involve discovery issues such as the court determining what documents must be produced when one side has objected. These type of hearings do not require your attendance or participation. If any court hearing does require you to attend, you will be notified.

What is a deposition?

During the course of your case you will most likely have to give a deposition. A deposition is a statement that is given under oath before a certified court reporter. When your deposition is taken one of the lawyers in this office will be there to represent you. Before you attend a deposition, you will be thoroughly prepared days beforehand.

What are compensatory damages?

Compensatory damages “compensate” the injured person for various kinds of losses or damages. These may also be referred to as “actual damages.” Compensatory damages include “economic damages” such as medical bills and lost wages, or “non economic damages” such as pain and suffering, mental anguish or inability to lead a normal life.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages exist to punish or make an example of the wrongdoer for conduct that is intentional, or when the wrongdoer acts in a reckless manner in disregard for the rights of others. The actual payment of punitive damages is rare, and appellate courts frequently cut punitive damage awards down, or simply throw them out. However, the threat of punitive damages can often induce the defense to make an increased settlement.

Will you speak with me before settling my case?

Yes, no case is ever settled without your expressed consent. Whenever settlement negotiations are initiated by either party you will be informed, and it is only with your full participation, advice, and consent that your case will be settled.

If my case settles, how long will it take before I receive money?

Typically, once a case is settled, documents must be exchanged between both parties of the lawsuit. This process usually takes 30 – 45 days, but can take longer if your case involves special circumstances such as settlement of a minor or incompetent, which requires court approval.

What is an Examination Under Oath (EUO)?

Gives an opportunity for a representative of insurance carrier to question their insured, under oath, in the presence of a court reporter. As a policy holder, you are required to comply as part of the insurance company’s claims investigation process. It is a contractual obligation. The insurance company has no duty to perform its major responsibility (to cover your losses) unless you comply with the terms of the contract.

The purpose of an EUO is to determine:

1.      Was their coverage at the time of the accident? (any misrepresentations on the PIP application)

2.      Was there a legitimate accident?

3.      Was there a resulting injury?

4.      Is/was the medical treatment being received reasonable and necessary?

The obligation of the insured to submit to an EUO goes back over a century. There is a US Supreme Court case called Claflin v. Commonwealth Ins. Co. from 1884 that explains how the insurance company has a right to obtain all information with regard to facts material to their rights so that they may determine the extent of their obligation and to “protect them against false claims.” That last part is essentially the real purpose of an EUO — your auto carrier is looking for a reason to deny coverage.

If you fail to appear for an EUO – it will be deemed “willful noncompliance” of the terms in your insurance policy. You are certainly able to reschedule, within reason, but you cannot unnecessarily delay the examination. Normal scheduling conflicts are normal and no insurance company can deem you in breach of their insurance contract for trying to reschedule at another reasonable time and date (i.e. can’t only be available on Saturday at 5:00am, two years from now).

What an EUO is not

An Examination Under Oath is not a recorded statement (a verbal statement, usually over the phone, made by the insured and recorded by the insurer’s representative). Just because you gave a recorded statement, does not mean you can opt out of the EUO. They are not the same thing and both may be required.

An EUO is not a deposition. While their structure is similar (right to an attorney, court reporter present and swearing in, etc…) EUO is part of the claims investigation process and is requested prior to the filing of a lawsuit. It provides the carrier with information that will contribute to its decision to provide, limit or outright deny coverage.

Click here to read about what EUO questions are allowed.

 What EUO questions are allowed?

The insurance policy sets the guidelines. But all questions relevant to the claim/loss or the policy must be answered. Any subject relevant to the insurer’s investigation is relevant. Refusal to answer may result in legitimate denial of a claim. Even irrelevant questions that MAY lead to relevant information is allowed.

Good/valid EUO questions will be related to: scope of the loss, events leading up to the loss, where were you coming from/going…what you did right after the accident; opinion as to who was at fault and why? What type of treatments received at the doctor?

You may refuse to respond to wholly impertinent, improper or intrusive questions into the insured’s personal life (such as unrelated criminal history) which obviously has nothing to do with the merits of the claim. This notion was specifically upheld in De Leon v. Great American Assur. Co., 78 So. 3d 585 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011).

How to Prepare for an Examination Under Oath

Adjuster may be there and they may use information from recorded statements and further investigation may direct the line of questioning. So review the recorded statement. Take a look at initial medical documents. Tell the truth. If they catch you in a lie re: any material item related to the policy may lead to your insurance company voiding the policy or denying coverage.

Find and review, with your personal injury attorney, your auto-insurance application. The adjuster will look at your driver’s license to make sure the address listed matches the one on your policy. A common “gotcha” area is where they ask about how many drivers, cars and people living are in your household. They will compare these answers to your original auto-insurance application. If there are differences, the carrier may claim you made a material misrepresentation in your application for insurance – another common reason why coverage may be denied.

Common EUO Questions

-          How are you doing? (don’t say “great, good or fine…” if you are, in fact, injured and in pain)

-          What did you say to the police?

-          Was the other car drivable?

-          What was the color of the other car?

-          How many people in that other car?

-          Did you see the other car before the accident?

-          Did your lawyer advise you to go to that particular doctor/clinic?

-          How did you hear about the doctor? i.e. what brought you to the center.

-          Has the clinic/medical provider asked you to pay anything (20% or deductible).

-          Have you had alcohol in the last 24 hours?

-          How long have you lived at your current address?

-          Describe what happened in the accident?

-          What part of your car sustained damage?

-          What lane were you in?

-          How many lanes on the road you were travelling on?

-          What road were you travelling on, in what direction?

-          How fast were you going?

-          Describe what your doctor looks like.

-          Describe what the doctor’s assistants look like.

-          Describe the building? On what floor is the therapy center located?

-          How many times have you been for therapy?

-          How many times have you seen the doctor, specifically (not an assistant)?

-          Describe your first encounter with the doctor (initial exam).

-          How long did the initial exam take?

-          Did the doctor conduct ROM tests, make you stand up, sit down or lie down?

-          What other treatments or modalities do you typically receive?

-          Does the doctor perform any treatments, or all conducted by assistants?

-          Does the doctor or receptionist make you sign in?

-          Does the doctor or receptionist make you sign off on the treatments provided each time you go in for therapy?

-          Do you think the treatments are working?

-          Do you have any prior related medical conditions?