Auto accidents in Florida destroy lives! In a blink of a moment, you or a loved one can suffer serious injuries with lifelong effects. Car accidents, particularly those resulting in severe injuries, often involve hospitalization, missed time at work, financial instability, permanent disability, and complex insurance issues such as Florida’s PIP (Personal Injury Protection) claim and underinsured/uninsured motorists claims (UMUIM).
It can be nerve-wracking to the victim and their loved ones as they may not where to turn for help. At Florida Lawyers 360, our Clearwater car accident lawyers are here to help; they will shoulder the legal nuances of your auto accident claim through this incredibly difficult time.
Our personal injury lawyers provide free no-obligation case reviews to help you understand your right to recovering compensation if you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car crash. Don’t wait – find out if you have a case – call now at (954) 448-7355.
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How Much Does A Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
If you’re struggling with medical bills and other finances after a car accident, it’s understandable that you would be worried about the cost of retaining an experienced lawyer. But don’t fret; the auto accident attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 work on a contingency fee or no-win-no-fee agreement. Meaning our law firm does not charge anything unless our lawyers obtain compensation for your damages.
Our law firm strives to help in every way we can; our contingency fee agreement allows our clients to access skilled and experienced car accident lawyers without out-of-pocket or upfront fees.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Protect your rights and help maximize your payout after a Clearwater, FL, car accident. Here is a list of 8 critical steps to take after an auto accident:
Get To Safety
After you have been hit by another vehicle or involved in any kind of car accident, your car will often still be in the roadway and inflow of traffic. It is imperative that when practicable, you move your car to a safe spot but do not leave the scene.
We cannot stress this enough. We have had clients who have been injured in an auto accident but never contacted the police. When they exchange info with the at-fault motorist, they find out too later that the person was lying. A police report can be handy in such situations.
Even if you or your passengers don’t feel hurt, you should call 911 and report the accident because your injuries may not be manifesting because of shock and adrenaline.
Check On Other Involved Parties
Next, before paramedics and the police arrive, check on your passengers and others involved. Do your very best to keep anyone who is hurt as comfortable as possible, but never move an injured person unless they are in immediate danger.
If possible, you or a passenger in your vehicle should try and get information from the other driver and any potential witnesses. Get their full contact and insurance information, so it’s easy to track them when you file your claim.
Record The Scene
Photographic evidence is crucial in any auto accident claim. There’s a detailed vantage into what happened, and the injuries and damages depicted in the pictures will be useful in evaluating your auto accident claim.
So, if you’re able to, take pictures of all vehicles involved (their model, color, license plate no., make, positions, and damage), your injuries, any other destruction, road conditions, and anything that could help paint a clear image of what happed.
Never Admit Fault
It will likely be hard but do your best to remain composed and polite in your interactions with the other driver and anyone else at the scene of the crash. Never admit fault; keep in mind that there a high chance that what you say at the crash scene may be used against you in subsequent litigation.
Seek Medical Attention
If paramedics arrive at the accident scene, let them check you out even if you suffered minor injuries. Never refuse treatment! Also, to make sure you’re on the safe side, get checked by your doctor within 48 hours of the accident.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
You will want to do this as soon as you’ve obtained clearance for your injuries from your doctor. Immediately after your car accident, you can contact us, and we can help guide you every step of the way. Let us protect your interests from the start.
Book your free initial consultation today.
How Much Is My Auto Accident Settlement Worth?
If you suffered an injury in an auto accident, and you’re considering lodging an injury and property damage claim, you may wonder, “how much or what is the average settlement for car accident cases?”
There’s no definitive or one-size-fits-all way to determine exactly how much you can recover in your car accident claim in NC. Still, in most car accident cases, the amount of settlement a claimant recovers as compensation depends on the injury or crash’s financial impact. Crucial factors that affect the amount a claimant can receive as settlement include:
- Amount of evidence supporting your auto accident claim
- Cost of treatment
- Severity of injuries sustained
- Permanent disfigurement and impairments arising from injuries
- Limits of the defendant’s insurance policy
- Phycological/emotional implications resulting from the injuries
Working with a skilled and experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer plus documenting your injuries are often key to determining the amount of settlement you can recover.
When Should I Get A Lawyer For My Auto Accident?
Suffering an injury in a car accident can be physically and psychologically overwhelming. As you recover from your injuries, insurance people will contact you to discuss your auto accident claim. If the crash happened in Clearwater, Florida, you may wonder if and when you should retain a lawyer or if you should deal with everything yourself.
After a car accident, without a lawyer, you’re all alone, and the insurance claims adjuster is not on your side—his or her priority to protect the insurance company’s bottom line.
You need someone to have your back and protect your interests as well. That’s why you should at least speak with a Clearwater car accident lawyer right after a crash and before you call your insurance company or lodge your claim.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
A qualified and experienced car accident lawyer can help support your claim with:
Thorough Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
Your right to recover the compensation you’re owed hinges on the establishment of negligence and fault on the part of the other party. Our Clearwater car accident lawyers work with expert investigators to gather crucial evidence to file your claim on time and with confidence.
When an auto accident survivor suffers severe injuries, they may face a lifetime of reduced earning capacity and even disability. A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to secure a settlement that takes full account of the car accident’s economic impacts.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Our lawyers are always prepared and confident when it is time for trial representation. If negotiations outside court don’t pan out, we will fight for the compensation you deserve in court.
Recoverable Damages In Florida Car Accident Cases
Florida auto accident victims may recover a number of damages, including compensatory (economic and non-economic) damages and punitive damages. Therefore, you could obtain compensation for the following, but not limited to:
- Damage to your car
- Medical costs (treatment, medication, medical devices, ongoing care, etc.)
- Lost income/benefits
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages
How Does Florida Prove Fault In Car Accident Cases?
While Florida follows the “no-fault” insurance law (in the event of a car crash, regardless of fault, both parties turn to their Personal Injury Protection insurance policies to make compensation claims), claimants lodging an auto accident claim must prove the four elements of negligence to be true:
- Duty: The other party owed a duty of care to the claimant;
- Breach: By acting reckless or careless (ailing to exercise reasonable care), the defendant put the claimant in harm’s way;
- Damage: The defendant’s actions/inaction directly caused the claimant harm or his or her property;
- Causation: The defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused the claimant harm that would otherwise have not happened if the defendant had exercised reasonable care.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
In conformance with Florida’s statutes of limitations, car crash victims have four years from the wreck date to initiate a lawsuit. This deadline also applies to actions for property damage.
While exceptions may exist, it is of significant importance that you ensure your claim is filed by the close of the four-year window. Failure to abide by the statutes of limitations could result in the court barring you from filing your claim and recovering compensation. Contact a Clearwater auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to file your claim in time.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
Florida complicates the insurance claims process of recovering compensation after a car accident. When you suffer injuries in an auto crash, the law requires that you turn to your own insurance company for help. A lawyer can take care of all the nuances of filing your insurance claim from start to end, including:
- Notifying your insurer
- Getting your car fixed/replaced
- Perform an independent investigation
- Calculate damages
- Send the demand letter
- File a complaint with Florida courts if your claim is denied
- Settlement negotiations
- Filing a lawsuit
What If The Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance Or Is Underinsured?
Any car crash that was the other driver’s fault can be devastating and life-altering if you sustain debilitating injuries or a loved one dies. The worries and stress about how to move on with your life can dramatically increase if you discover that the at-fault driver has little to no insurance to pay for your treatment and other damages.
But don’t despair. You may still be able to recover the compensation you are owed even if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. At Florida Lawyers 360, we explore every possible option for recovering compensation; we can help.
Sustaining injuries from a car crash can be a life-altering experience, but it doesn’t have to limit your future severely. At Florida Lawyers 360, our car accident lawyers offer a free initial legal consultation. Call (954) 448-7355 today to request your free consultation with our Clearwater injury firm.