Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer your questions.  We do not have case managers nor a call center.  Instead, you will usually talk to a lawyer when you call Howell & Thornhill, P.A.  Below are a few questions answered to help you.  The FAQ tab above has other topics as well.  We offer a free consultation, so please read and call for any questions you have.  The lawyers at Howell & Thornhill, P.A., meet our clients face to face.

Voice mail is frustrating.  Howell & Thornhill, P.A., does not have voice mail.  Insurance companies often, in our experience, stall and refuse to promise they will pay for your vehicle and your injuries.  One of the favorite excuses is they need to “talk to their driver.”  We suggest obtaining a copy of the crash report to show the insurance company that their driver was in the wrong.  If you have trouble with the insurance company or getting a copy of the crash report, call us.

The insurance companies often want to stall paying money, in our experience, so they may tell you to call your insurance instead.  It is true that your insurance will pay up to $10,000 in medical bills without raising your rates when you did not cause the crash, so you should call your insurance to report the crash.  However, your insurance may have a deductible on property damage.  So for your vehicle, you want to insist that the other driver’s insurance pay for the damage to the vehicle and the rental car.  So, report the claim to your insurance, but insist that the insurance for the driver at fault pay for your vehicle and your rental.  Howell & Thornhill, we got this!

Everyone in the State of Florida has personal injury protection on their automobile insurance.  These benefits pay up to $10,000.00 for medical care without raising your rates when you did not cause the crash.  Hospital charges often are more than $10,000.00.  Your health insurance can help cover any charges over $10,000.00.  In addition, health insurance also has a list of allowable charges, called a fee schedule, and it can help make the hospital write off any charges that are not paid by personal injury protection.  So, we suggest giving your health insurance information to the hospital to bill after billing your car insurance.

We suggest you contact an attorney to know your rights before giving any statements. Many times, the insurance company has no legal right to insist on a statement, even though they tell you that you must give one. A recorded statement can be held against you, especially if you forget important information. For instance, if the insurance company asks you what hurts, and you mention your broken arm and forget to mention your swollen knee, the insurance company may later try to deny payment for the knee surgery by claiming your knee was never hurt because you failed to mention it. Please call Howell & Thornhill, P.A., to find out if you must give a recorded statement and the important things to remember when giving a recorded statement.

Our firm has board certified lawyers and frequently files lawsuits.  We do not have case managers so each client has a lawyer working for them.  The insurance companies, in our opinion, recognize which law firms are too big to have a lawyer instead of case manager, actively working on each case.  If the insurance company thinks your lawyer will not or cannot go to court, then in our opinion, they are going to offer less.  We file lawsuits often.  Because of this track record, we often settle cases with negotiations without a lawsuit.  In a sense, we are your “bluff” to avoid a lawsuit.  Negotiate from a position of power is our belief.  Howell & Thornhill, P.A., we got this!

An insurance company may want you to sign a release of all claims. Is this in your best interest? Are they reimbursing all your losses, or just promising to do it later even though the release does not hold them to that promise in writing? Before signing a release, we suggest you call Howell & Thornhill to find out your rights.

When you are injured or suffer the death of a loved one, insurance companies frequently call. They tell you they want to help you. However, an insurance company is a business, and businesses want to make money.  Many nice people work with insurance companies, but their job is to make money for the company. If the insurance company does not pay out money, even though it is fair and right, the insurance company makes money. So if the insurance company says you need to sign papers and give recorded statements, then maybe you should ask if they are really trying to help themselves at your expense.  If they say an offer is fair, is it fair to them or you?  Insurance companies are often billion dollar companies.  They are good at keeping their money.  Consider whether you want an expert on your side just like they have.  In our experience, people with a lawyer receive more money in their pocket than if they go it alone.


If there is a factual error, like the wrong car, or the wrong people listed, for example, you can probably get it changed, or amended, or a supplemental report be issued if you have documentation and submit it to the officer or the agency right after the incident.  Please remember that the crash report is not admissible for any purpose in a trial about the injury claim so our firm is able to help people even if the crash report has errors.

A medical authorization gives the insurance company the right to call your doctor and harass your doctor about giving you medical treatment. To find out if the insurance company has a right to a medical authorization, give our firm a call to find out your rights.

Yes.  Sadly, many drivers in Florida have cut-rate insurance with no coverage for the injuries they cause to other people.  The only way to protect yourself from these drivers with terrible insurance is uninsured motorist coverage.  The best type of uninsured motorist coverage is “stacked” uninsured motorist coverage.  It increases in the amount of coverage if you have more than one vehicle.  Insurance companies may tell you that you do not need uninsured motorist coverage or stacked uninsured motorist coverage.  In our opinion, they give this advice because the premiums are not that high and they are more worried about someone hurting you than you causing a crash.  If an insurance company says you do not need stacked uninsured motorist coverage, ask if you need that insurance company!