Car accidents are one of the leading causes of hospital visits every year. Even minor bumper bashing can result in whiplash and other injuries. The more serious the car accident, the more severe the injuries. The question is, who is going to pay for the medical expenses and other losses that you suffer after being in a car accident?
You can recover your losses by filing a personal injury claim against the person who caused the car accident. At Winters & Yonker, our Safety Harbor car accident lawyers are here to help ensure you receive fair and adequate compensation. We have the know-how to negotiate a settlement with insurance companies or represent you in court if needed.
Call our personal injury lawyers in Safety Harbor today for a free consultation.
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What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
After you have been in a car accident, your adrenaline is pumping and you may not be thinking clearly. Plus you may be injured which can also affect your ability to think straight. However, it is very important to take the following steps in order to provide support for your personal injury claim in the future:
Seek Medical Attention
If emergency services have not arrived at the scene of the accident, call 911 or visit an emergency room immediately. If your injuries are less serious, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. Be aware that injuries are not always noticeable directly after an accident and that you should visit a doctor to get medically assessed in case you have a hidden injury that may arise later.
Report the Accident
It is a legal requirement to report any accident that resulted in injuries to the police as soon as possible. If the car accident was serious, you should call police to the scene. You will still need to report the accident and make a statement at a police station even if the police were at the scene of the accident.
Don’t Say Anything that Could Implicate You as Being at Fault
Only answer basic questions such as your name, contact details, address, and insurance information. If the police question you, you can politely tell them that you prefer to answer with your lawyer present. Never apologize to the other driver as this can be inferred as admitting fault.
Document the Scene and Speak to Witnesses
Get the name, contact, and insurance information of the other driver/s involved in the accident and any witnesses. Take photos of the scene of the accident and any factors that may have led up to the accident. Take photos of your injuries and keep all medical bills, records, doctor’s notes, treatments, etc. related to your injury.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer at Winters & Yonker!
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should call a lawyer to find out whether you have a claim. We handle the following auto accident cases:
- Distracted driving accident
- Texting while driving accident
- Drunk driving accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Truck accident
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
The lawyers at Winters & Yonker work on a contingency basis. This means that getting paid our legal fees is contingent or dependent on winning your case. We only charge a small percentage of the total compensation that you receive either through a settlement or in court once your claim has been successful.
When Should I Get a Lawyer For My Auto Accident?
If you were injured in a car accident, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible. Remember, personal injury lawyers, work on a contingency basis so they will provide you with the best legal advice at no charge. You have nothing to lose.
If your property was damaged in the car accident (damage to your vehicles or other belongings) and the insurance refuses to pay, it is also recommended to call a lawyer. Even if your civil case is minor and will be heard in small claims court, it is always good to have legal advice before going to court.
You should also call a lawyer before you sign a settlement agreement. The lawyers or insurance provider for the other driver may offer you a settlement out of court. However, this settlement agreement may fall well short of what you actually deserve as compensation for your injuries. Let a lawyer look at the settlement agreement before you sign.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
A lawyer is going to provide you with the benefit of their experience and expertise and will be there for you through every step of the process. They will provide you with the following services:
- Investigate the car accident to determine who is at fault and how the car accident happened.
- Prepare your case to determine who is liable, the type of damages that should be included in your claim, and the amount of your claim.
- File your claim or lawsuit.
- Negotiate a settlement with the liable party, their lawyers, or insurance representative.
- Prepare your case to go to trial should the settlement fail and provide you with the best legal representation in court.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement to be represented by a lawyer in civil cases, it is definitely beneficial to have legal representation.
What Type Of Damages Can I Recover In Safety Harbor, Florida?
There are three categories for the types of damages or losses that you can claim for in the state of Florida. These include:
Losses to which an exact monetary value can be attributed are economic damages such as medical expenses, loss of wages, and damage to property. It is important to take into account future costs for medical treatments and care as well as proposed future loss of income that may result in the long-term or permanent inability to work as a result of the injury.
These are losses to which no exact money can be attributed. For example, pain and suffering, trauma or emotional/mental distress, loss of consortium or companionship, and decreased quality of life. The court will assign a value to these types of damages and they can also be included in a settlement.
Punitive damages are awarded by a court in cases where the liable party’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct caused the car accident and therefore the injury. The damages are aimed at punishing the person who caused the accident in the hopes of preventing them from entering into the same behavior in the future.
How Is Fault Determined In Safety Harbor, Florida?
It is also important to be aware that the state of Florida employs the comparative negligence rule. This assigns a degree of fault to each driver or party involved in the car accident. If the injured party is found to have contributed towards causing the accident and therefore their own injuries, the amount of compensation that they receive will be reduced accordingly.
For example, if you are found to be 30% to blame for causing the car accident, then the liable party will only need to pay you 70% of the compensation that has been awarded to you. You can speak to a lawyer to find out whether a personal injury lawsuit is worth your while should you be partially at fault for causing the accident.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim In Safety Harbor, Florida?
The statute of limitation for personal injury lawsuits in the state of Florida is 4 years. This means that you have exactly 4 years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Contact an Experienced Safety Harbor Car Accident Lawyer
Accidents happen and there is no telling when or where you may become a victim. You can demand compensation for injuries you sustained in a car accident caused by someone else through a personal injury lawsuit.
A lawyer will help assess your case to determine who is liable, what damages you can claim for, and what your case may be worth. They will file your personal injury claim and either negotiate a settlement or present your case in court.