Insurance carriers are well aware of which attorneys and law firms are known for taking cases to trial as opposed to the lawyers and firms that settle easy while leaving money on the table.
Hiring a Florida car accident law firm with significant trial experience levels the playing field between you and the insurance companies’ substantial financial resources and skilled attorneys. It is essential you retain a lawyer that handles only personal injury law and deals with car accident claims on a daily basis.
Deciding whether or not you should hire a car accident lawyer is based on your own case. If you have simple injuries that required a simple fix, then hiring an attorney is probably not necessary. But you should still consult one. Attorneys offer free consultations for a reason: so that nobody’s time is wasted and prospective clients are aware of all available options.
Once you decide that hiring a lawyer for your car wreck is necessary, use caution in which attorney you hire. Do your research and apply diligence. Some firms make their money through volume. They take in a lot of small cases and settle them as quick as possible. They are known as settlement mills. These mills are often spotted by flashy advertising. So instead of being persuaded by something that is literally meant to persuade you, get on your computer, read some reviews, check results, and call around. It’s the best way to find the best car accident lawyer.
Once you have made it through the process of hiring a personal injury attorney, you will be well on your way to getting the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can then sit down with you and explain how Florida’s PIP system works and how they will approach your own insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Your accident lawyer will lay out how the entire process works.
The best thing you can do is be informed about the process of filing a car accident claim in Florida. To get you started, we have created an in-depth guide to the personal injury process, which can be found here: Timeline of a Personal Injury Case. By reading this article, you will be well on your way to getting the fair compensation you are owed
Bottom line: It is never too soon after a crash to hire an experienced car accident injury attorney.
There are practical limitations to that advice, of course. Most people do not have a car accident lawyer on speed-dial. They probably will not think to call an attorney while they are still at the accident scene, dealing with sudden injuries or being loaded into the back of an ambulance. Seeking medical should, in any event, always be that person’s first priority. But, as soon as the dust has settled on an accident, calling an experienced car accident lawyer will almost always reap benefits.
Here’s why. A car accident injury attorney acts as an advocate for clients injured in car accidents. What do we mean by “advocate”? To start, the lawyer is a protector of the injured client’s legal interests. The lawyer shields the client from individuals and entities who might try to impair or limit the client’s rights after an accident; people like aggressive insurance adjusters and defense attorneys hoping to pin “fault” on the accident victim instead of on their own, blameworthy clients.
An attorney also serves as an objective voice of reason for the victim and the victim’s family during a stressful, chaotic time. Crash victims often find it difficult to think clearly about potentially important, financially significant decisions in the hours, days, and weeks after a car accident injury. Lawyers support their clients by giving clear, level-headed advice. Finally, an experienced car accident attorney acts as the client’s representative in pursuing the client’s legal rights; the client’s strong, clear “voice,” if you will, in making sure the client sees justice and accountability done.
In our experience, Florida car accident victims and their families need that kind of advocate right away. Whether or not they realize it, from the moment a crash occurs, injured crash victims land smack-dab in the eye of a potentially massive legal storm. Immediately, individuals and companies the victims may know nothing about begin positioning themselves to avoid holding financial liability for the victim’s injuries. Most victims have no idea how to act in response. As we said, most are not even aware of the flurry of law-related activity that spins-up almost instantly after someone’s bad decisions or dangerous conduct causes a car accident that injures an innocent victim.
Lawyers, however, know all about the brewing legal storm and how it can affect car accident victims. The sooner you contact one of them for help after an accident, the sooner they can begin taking steps to protect you, your family, and your rights to receive compensation.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
Yes, particularly so following an automobile collision resulting in injury. Such injuries include fractured bone(s), significant disfigurement, limited use of a body part or organ, limited use of a body function or system, or injuries causing disability. Such injuries are compensable and may be maximized using a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will handle an oftentimes unclear claims process to ensure that the compensation for your claim is commensurate with the injuries you have suffered.
What lawyer deals with car accidents?
Though any licensed attorney in your state can handle your car accident claim, a personal injury attorney specializes in cases involving injuries suffered as a result of an auto accidents. An experienced personal injury attorney is familiar with the nuances involved in obtaining the greatest possible compensation for your injuries. Through experience, these attorneys are inherently familiar with the medical condition(s) associated with your claim and are best served in providing you with the guidance necessary in obtaining the greatest compensation for your injuries. Additionally, these attorneys understand the treatment necessary in getting you back to full health.
How much is a car accident settlement?
Car accident victims receive varying settlement offers depending on the severity of the injury, past and future medical expenses, witness testimony, suggested fault, age of the injured party, the effects the injury has your everyday life, etc. Insurance companies use an algorithm to compute their suggested case value and settlement amount. Based upon this number, the insurance company, through an adjuster or attorney, will offer your attorney a certain sum to settle your case.
Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?
Absolutely. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney following an auto accident resulting in personal injury is imperative in receiving the greatest possible compensation for your untimely injuries. When a third party is at fault for your accident, you will like to seek compensation through a third-party insurer (the at-fault party’s insurer). Without an attorney, a third-party insurer may attempt to settle your claim by offering you a sum of money far less than the actual value of your case. By hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, you provide legitimacy to your claim and force the third-party insurer to properly evaluate your claim and fairly compensate you for your injuries.
How long does a car accident lawsuit take?
Each auto accident lawsuit is factually different and therefore varies in length depending on a variety of factors. Such factors include the insurance carrier(s), the insurance adjustor(s) involved, past and future medical treatment, witnesses involved, whether fault is determined or admitted, among other things. Depending on factors above, you may see that your lawsuit takes anywhere from several months to one or two years.
How much does a lawyer charge for a car accident?
Personal injury attorneys typically work on what is called a “contingency fee basis,” meaning you will not pay your attorney until and unless you are compensated for your loss. Guidelines regarding Contingency fee agreements are typically outlined by the State Bar Association in the state of which you make your personal injury claim. Such contingency fee agreements are discussed at length with your personal injury attorney before you ever commit to the prospective attorney’s representation.
How long do you have to get a lawyer after a car accident?
Unique to personal injury cases, time is of the essence when hiring a personal injury attorney as doing so is imperative to maximizing the value of your case. Much of your case comes down to the nature of the treatment you have received when such treatment was rendered, and the ability to identify witnesses to the accident. By quickly hiring your personal injury attorney after your accident, you provide your attorney with the greatest opportunity to achieve the best possible compensation for your personal injury claim.
What do you do in a minor car accident?
It is important that you document all things related to the car accident while that information is still fresh in your mind. Additionally, you should see a doctor as soon as reasonably possible, even if you do not feel or see the immediate injury. Your adrenaline rises during an accident and thus you may not feel pain until that excitement has died down. A doctor will be able to properly assess any injuries and render a professional opinion, which may be vital if you are to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. Lastly, once you are physically and emotionally able, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as you are physically and emotionally able to do so as doing so is a contractual prerequisite for obtaining coverage under your policy.
How can I maximize my car accident settlement?
You can maximize your personal injury claim by finding witnesses, documenting your injuries in great detail, keeping all documents (medical records, insurance information, police reports, witness information, etc.), and documenting the limitations your injury imposes on your daily life. It is equally important that you follow your medical providers treatment plan and that you never miss scheduled appointments, as doing so decreases the legitimacy of your claim to the adjuster evaluating the same.
Why should you hire a car accident lawyer?
Car accidents wreak havoc in the lives of Floridians. Every year, around 400,000 crashes occur on Florida roads. Those accidents caused more than 3,000 fatalities and more than a quarter of a million injuries in one recent year, according to official data. In some of those collisions, drivers and passengers were lucky enough to “walk away” without serious injury. Many accident victims, however, did not get off so easily. Their injuries left them in immense physical, emotional, and financial pain.
Sunshine State car accident victims usually have a sense that they might need an attorney to help them recover compensation to help pay for their recovery from crash injuries.
There Are No Routine or Typical Car Accidents
Car accidents happen so often in Florida (on average, over 1,000 per day) that it is easy to think of them as routine and ordinary. Experienced car accident injury lawyers, however, know that there is no such thing as a “routine” car crash. Every one of them represents a unique story with its own particular causes and outcomes.
We say this because we believe it is important for car accident victims to understand and believe that they deserve personalized attention. Too often, virtually everyone a Florida car accident encounters in connection with an accident—police officers and first responders at the scene, emergency room doctors, insurance representatives—treats it as “just another crash” to process and move on from. However, for many Florida accident victims, particularly those who sustained severe injuries or lost a loved one in a crash, there is nothing ordinary or forgettable about what happened. The accident and its impacts dominate their lives.
And so, they deserve to have someone listen to them, understand the difficulty the crash has caused them, and fight on their behalf to sue at-fault parties held accountable. In short, they need an experienced, committed car accident injury attorney.
What Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorneys Do
You may be thinking: Okay, so I get that I need an attorney right away… but what will the attorney actually do for me? Well, remember how we said that no accident is “routine”? By the same token, how an attorney serves a client’s interests will vary from accident to accident. As a general proposition, however, a lawyer for a car accident victim will try to take steps to ensure that the victim receives the maximum compensation possible for the harm the accident caused. This often includes any or all of the following steps.
Careful Investigation of How, Who, and How Much.
Because all car accidents are unique, advocates for accident victims usually start by investigating three key questions:
- How did the accident happen? That is, what chain of events, obvious or not, ended in a crash that caused a client’s injuries?
- Who has legal responsibility for the crash? In other words, what do the facts of how the accident happened say about who had a legal duty not to act in a way that might harm others, violated in that duty, and caused the crash?
- How much has the injury impacted the client’s life? Specifically, what is the appropriate amount of money that a victim should receive to compensate for all of the ways the injury has caused harm?
The answers to these questions provide a road map, of sorts, for the attorney and the injured client to help them decide on a strategy for seeking the compensation the client deserves. Armed with this information, for example, the lawyer and client can decide who to pursue for payment, and can have a sense of how much money it is realistic to obtain from each one. The information can also help them decide whether to pursue negotiation right away, or to take legal action, or to hold their fire and collect more information before making a decision.
Negotiation Conducted From a Position of Strength
One option for seeking accountability and compensation that is almost always open to car accident victims and their lawyers is negotiating with the parties who have legal liability for the crash (which usually also includes those parties’ insurance carriers). Lawyers frequently give careful thought to how to enter into these negotiations to give a client the best chance of recovering the most money possible. Perhaps the most significant consideration in that regard is the lawyer’s assessment of when the client’s case has reached peak strength, since that is usually the most advantageous moment to press the “other side” for the maximum payment.
Of course, lawyers and their clients cannot always dictate the terms of negotiations. Insurance companies, for example, have a bag of tricks they often deploy in hopes of minimizing the amount of money they need to spend to escape liability for an accident. One such tactic involves insurance companies trying to negotiate directly with accident victims, before they have had a chance to hire a lawyer. This represents a calculated bet on the part of insurance companies. They hope to catch accident victims at a vulnerable moment, and to convince them to jump at what is almost always a “lowball” settlement offer.
Underhanded tactics like this illustrate why we believe it is so important for accident victims to retain experienced car accident injury counsel right away. Dealing with aggressive insurance adjusters gets a whole lot easier when all you have to say is “talk to my lawyer.” Letting a lawyer take over discussions with an insurer levels the playing field, and gives you the power to decide when your case is strong enough to press your advantage.
Skilled Trial Advocacy
Another option car accident victims and their lawyers virtually always have is to take legal action in the courts against the parties with the legal liability for causing an accident. Depending upon the facts and circumstances of the crash, the lawyer and client may decide to file an action right away, or to give negotiations a chance to play out before suing, or that they need to collect more evidence before deciding on a course of action.
Whatever the decision, the most important factor in taking legal action can often end up being the skill, experience, and reputation of the lawyer the accident victim hires to prepare the case. We are going to clue you in on an open secret of the legal profession: not all attorneys who advertise for car accident cases have what it takes to take a case to trial and win. However—and this is the important part—an injured car accident victim cannot hope to recover the maximum compensation they deserve without a true, honest-to-goodness “trial lawyer” by his or her side.
Here’s why. Most car accident cases in Florida and throughout the United States “settle” before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. However, unless the “other side” knows that the accident victim’s lawyer has the chops to take a case to trial and win, the other side’s lawyers and insurance representatives will never “pay” to avoid going to court. Lawyers can “win” a higher-value settlement for their clients simply by having a reputation as a trial lawyer to be feared.
Of course, some cases do not settle. In those instances, a car accident victim always benefits from having an attorney who wasn’t bluffing in telling the other side “we’ll see you in court.” To be sure, no lawyer can guarantee the outcome of a trial (or negotiation, for that matter). But accident victims give themselves the best chance of winning when they retain legal counsel who—from Day One—looks at a case with an eye toward how to win it in front of a judge and jury.
Waiting Costs Money
We would be remiss not to mention one other consideration in deciding when to get an attorney after a car accident: Waiting costs money, potentially lots of money. The older a case is when an attorney takes it, the less “fresh” the evidence and the more difficult the investigation into the how, who, and how much. Witness memories fade. First responders move on. Accident scenes get cleaned up. In short, the passage of time steadily eats away at the top-end of the amount of money an accident victim might hope to recover.
Then there is the “statute of limitations,” a law that sets the deadline by which an accident victim can take legal action in Florida courts. Missing this deadline means losing your legal rights to compensation altogether. In Florida, most car accident lawsuits must begin no later than four years after the accident, and just two years if the victim died in the crash. In other words, if you wait too long to get a lawyer after a car accident, your claim will be worth zero.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
Do not wait to retain the services of an experienced car accident lawyer after a crash. The sooner you act, the better off you and your case are likely to turn out. A skilled car accident injury attorney can help you understand your options.
Accident Lawyer Near Me – Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Deciding on Which Florida Car Accident Attorney to Hire
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, picking a car accident lawyer can be an added stress to the situation. Though the process of selecting an auto accident lawyer should not necessarily be difficult, it is an important decision. Some car accident lawyers use an assembly line system to get one client in, get them settled, and get them out the door. This settlement mill process almost always ends up leaving money on the table and a bad taste in the client’s mouth.
So when it comes to choosing an automobile accident lawyer, be sure that the firm you choose has the dedication, drive, and resources to pursue your case to the lengths necessary to ensure that your case’s fullest value is realized.