Car Accident and Personal Injury Claims for Military Members and Families
We understand the unique challenges faced by injured service members
A car accident or other personal injury accident can be incredibly disruptive for anyone, but those challenges are only compounded for members of the military. Because of the importance of physical readiness for service members, an injury can significantly affect your military career. That’s why having an experienced injury attorney on your side is critical.
As a Marine Veteran, attorney Armando Edmiston knows firsthand the challenges service members and their families face. We are proud to help members of the military stationed at MacDill Air Force Base and throughout the Tampa Bay Area navigate car accident and personal injury claims, and we will take a holistic approach to protect your future. Schedule your free consultation today.
What to do if you’re involved in a car accident while serving in the military
It’s important to take appropriate steps to protect your legal rights in response to an accident. Members of the military injured in car accidents should take the following steps:
- Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive. Depending on the location, either the local municipal police, military police, or the Florida Highway Patrol may respond. Either way, you need the police to secure the scene and conduct an initial investigation. The police report will become a key piece of evidence.
- Get immediate medical attention. Even if you feel okay, getting checked out by a doctor is important. Some injuries have hidden or delayed symptoms, so a full medical examination is critical to protect your health. It also creates documentation of your injuries in support of a potential claim.
- Notify your commander, if necessary. If your injuries are significant enough to cause you to miss work, you must inform your commanding officer. In this situation, you should be placed on hospitalization or convalescent leave status, which does not affect your regular leave.
- Notify your insurance company. Most car insurance policies require prompt notification if you are involved in an accident. Keep your comments brief and stick to the facts of what happened. Don’t go into detail about your injuries.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney with experience representing service members in car accidents and personal injury cases can protect your rights, explain your options, and move your case forward.
Does TRICARE cover car accident injuries?
Yes, TRICARE covers treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident or another personal injury accident.
However, if you file a personal injury claim and are compensated for medical expenses, TRICARE can and likely will ask to be reimbursed for what they paid. This is called a medical lien, and it can significantly affect the compensation you receive for your injury. As your attorney, we can negotiate with TRICARE to maximize the amount of money in your pocket.
Am I free to choose my own doctor if I’m injured while serving in the military?
In general, yes, you are free to choose your own doctor if you’re injured in a car accident. However, seeing a doctor on base may be in your interest if it allows you to be diagnosed and treated faster. On the other hand, seeing a doctor off base avoids the risk that your physician will be transferred elsewhere while you are in the middle of pursuing a claim. We can help you navigate this situation and advocate for your rights during treatment.
How car insurance works if you are injured while stationed out of state
Members of the military are generally allowed to keep their vehicles registered and insured in their home states while stationed in another state. This can make the insurance coverage question more complicated than it is for civilian drivers. Our military car accident attorneys can review your insurance policy, explain your available coverage, and advocate for maximum compensation for your injuries.
How an experienced military car accident lawyer can help
There are numerous unique challenges that service members face after a car accident. Some of the ways an attorney experienced in these situations can help include:
- Obtaining medical records from military doctors and accident reports from military police, as appropriate.
- Handling legal proceedings, depositions, etc., remotely to account for transfers and deployments.
- Helping to navigate medical treatment that may take place in multiple locations if you are transferred or deployed.
- Interpreting military pay structures to assess the effects of an injury on your future income.
- Dealing with jurisdictional questions if your injury happened on a military base.
- Retaining military experts, if necessary, to explain the effects a permanent injury could have on your career.
- Navigating reimbursement for medical services the military provides under the Medical Care Recovery Act (MCRA).
We understand your concerns about how an injury could affect your career and your family’s future. That’s why we’re here to help. If you’ve been injured in an accident while serving in the military, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands what you’re going through. Contact us today to speak with attorney Armando Edmiston about your case. Our consultation is confidential, and there is no obligation to hire us, just answers about your rights and options.