What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Crash?
The first step you should take if you have been injured in an auto crash is to report it to your insurance carrier. It’s important in Florida because you have no-fault coverage known as personal injury protection or PIP. Most of the time, it pays up to $10,000 in medical bills. It gets you in to see a doctor without having to pay out of pocket or charging it to your own medical insurance company regardless of whether you have private or group medical insurance. The next thing you should do is contact a Tampa Auto accident lawyer. Call the lawyer and tell him or her that you’ve been injured, that you are hurting, and need legal advice. After this step, the auto accident lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed. An experienced Tampa Auto accident lawyer will help you avoid common pitfalls or mistakes that may occur after the accident.
The next step is to be examined by a medical professional for any injuries or conditions caused by the crash. Even if the injuries are minor, they can still become a chronic pain source as they continue to develop. It is essential to have the medical professional document even the smallest injuries as they will be crucial in recovering the damages owed to you.
Do I Still Have A Case If I Was Personally At-Fault For The Auto Crash?
In Florida, you still have a “case” even if you were personally “at-fault” or “partially at-fault” for the auto crash. Florida is a comparative fault state. It also doesn’t make a difference as to who got the ticket. If the police officer didn’t see the crash, they only suppose who may be at-fault. It’s up to the jury in Florida if you try the case, or it can be between the lawyer, the adjuster, or the opposing counsel if the case is being settled. For example, if the case is worth $100,000, it’s determined that either by agreement or by a jury that the injured Plaintiff is 50% at-fault, they would then get half of the settlement or verdict amount. Of course, if you are entirely at fault, it doesn’t pay to go further on a case with a lawyer. If you are unsure who might be at fault, you should call a Tampa Auto accident lawyer and let them decide the best options for you. Florida has a complicated personal injury claims system, and it is almost impossible to navigate without a seasoned attorney. Since the Law Firm of Richard A. Bokor P.A. has a policy of no fees paid unless damages are recovered, there is no reason not to explore every option and possibility available to you. As a Tampa Auto accident lawyer, he will be able to examine your unique situation and shed light on the best path to move forward in your case.
Am I Required To Talk To The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company After An Accident?
After a car accident, you are not required to talk to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. There is nothing in the law that says that you have to speak to them. With that said, there may be some instances in which you can decide to talk to the other side’s insurance carrier. If a car accident was not serious, like a fender bender, you could speak to the other side’s insurance carrier in response to a claim. However, it would be best to be cautious when talking to the other party’s insurance company. Without realizing it, you may say something that minimizes or delays your claim to property damages.
In contrast, if you were involved in a serious or severe car accident that resulted in injury, you should not talk to the other side’s insurance company or attorney until you have consulted with an experienced Tampa Auto accident lawyer. Severe injuries derived from a car accident require a much more involved claims process.
It is important to remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money and not in the business of paying out large sums of money in damages. They will fight hard to devalue your claim by any means necessary. As such, anything you say to the at-fault party’s insurance company can be twisted or used against your claim, even if your intention was innocent. For instance, if the other party’s insurance company calls and asks you how you are doing, telling them that you are fine could be misconstrued to mean that you are not injured or as injured as you claim. Therefore, it is advised to avoid talking to the at-fault party’s insurance company until you have retained your own Tampa, FL, car accident attorney. They will advise you on what to avoid and how to communicate without admitting liability or damaging your case. It is vital to consult a knowledgeable Tampa Auto accident attorney before saying anything to the at-fault party’s insurance agency.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
After a serious car accident, it is understandable to wonder how much your case is worth. However, trying to determine the worth of your car accident case could be a challenging endeavor without the assistance of a Tampa Auto accident lawyer. A car accident attorney who has years of experience assisting victims in Tampa, Florida, can evaluate your specific case to determine its worth. Many factors come into play when determining your particular scenario’s value, and it is almost impossible to navigate that process on your own.
In general, a case’s worth will be based on the severity of the injury and damages sustained, medical expenses, fault, and the impact the injury will cause in the person’s life. However, other factors can also affect a claim’s worth. For instance, if a person loses the ability to use their hands due to a car accident, their case could be worth more if their profession or work revolves around using their hands, like a writer, surgeon, electrician, or hairstylist. The age and initial condition of a person can also become a factor. As a result, you should consult with a Tampa, Florida car accident attorney who can factor in all of the relevant elements to an injury and claim.
Once your Tampa Auto accident attorney has evaluated your case, you will gain a better understanding of the type of damages you may be entitled to collect for your injuries. If you sustained severe injuries, you could be entitled to the following damages:
- Medical Expenses
- Long-Term or Short-Term Medical Treatment
- Medical Devices
- Loss of Income
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Property Loss
- Wrongful Death
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is wise to contact an auto accident attorney representing clients in Tampa, FL. They will assist you in compiling a list stating all of the factors you can claim that will affect your case’s worth. There are aspects of the law only an experienced Tampa Auto accident lawyer will be knowledgeable of, and it is crucial to consult with one right away.
What Are The Time Limits For Bringing An Auto Crash Injury Lawsuit In Florida?
If the wrongdoer (the tortfeasor or the person at-fault) is a company or person in Florida, you have four years to bring a lawsuit. If you have uninsured motorist coverage in Florida, you have five years to bring that particular lawsuit. That’s when you have your own insurance company in the seat of the person at-fault who either has insufficient insurance or no insurance at all, and that’s a five-year time limit for filing a case against your own insurance company for the UM coverage. UM coverage avoids the situation in which you may have to pay out of pocket to cover the full extent of damages caused by the accident. To purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you first need to buy bodily injury coverage to access the benefits. Additionally, you will be limited in the amount of UM coverage corresponding to the BI coverage that you possess. A Tampa Auto accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and the undertaking of filing a claim against your own insurance agency.
What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use to Avoid Paying Out On Personal Injury Claims?
Insurance companies will often say that it is entirely the injured party’s fault to avoid paying out on personal injury claims. Simply because they say it doesn’t mean that it is true. That’s why you need a Tampa Auto accident lawyer. The other defense that they will use is that there is partial fault on the injured party. Again, one needn’t accept that. That is what your lawyer will help you navigate through. One of the key defenses is that you weren’t injured or had prior injuries. Again, because they say it doesn’t make it accurate. Often, insurance agencies are predatory and looking out for their best interest, meaning that they will try to tear down your case using every strategy they have at their disposal. Even if they appear helpful and try to convince you that they are there to help, they usually are not. They may even attempt to convince you to handle the case without a lawyer to save money. However, this is shortsighted since you will likely miss out on recovering a large part or all of what you are owed without the know-how of an experienced Tampa Auto accident lawyer.
Suppose you were injured or even saw a doctor for a back injury that day or prior week. In that case, you can recover from an exacerbation or worsening of symptoms caused by the crash in question.
Also, suppose you had an arthritic condition that didn’t give you pain before or one that you may not have even known about until after the crash. In that case, it is an activation of a previously non-active condition or a latent condition. They will try to say that the condition would happen regardless and that the crash didn’t cause it, but your Tampa Auto accident lawyer will help you navigate these defenses.
For more information on Auto Crash Personal Injury Claims In Florida, a no obligation consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (813) 251-1000 today.