How many times have you driven down the road and seen a car accident on the side of the highway? It happens every day. People get in accidents and people die. There are almost 400,000 car accidents in Florida every year. Even though people are aware of the risk of a car accident, the number of car accidents in Florida goes up every year. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to contact a St Petersburg car accident attorney at the law offices of Winters & Yonkers.
There are a few mistakes people make when they’re in a car accident. It’s important that you don’t do this as it makes your lawyer’s job harder later on. The most common mistakes are:
They don’t call the police
Often times, especially when the damage to the vehicles is minor, people agree to not call the police. They exchange insurance information and part ways. Don’t do this. You need a police report. The report includes vital information that your St Petersburg car accident attorney is going to need. The police report contains:
- Description of the scene
- Names and contact information for witnesses
- Insurance information for both parties
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Statements made by all involved parties
- Road conditions summary
They refuse medical treatment
Regardless of whether you think you’re injured or not, go to the hospital. You could have injuries that aren’t visible to the naked eye. You could also have sustained injuries that aren’t evident until a few hours after the accident.
They make statements that can come back to haunt them
Sometimes, just to be friendly, people tell the other driver that they aren’t hurt. Or, they admit that the accident was their fault. Some people are just afraid of confrontation. These statements can be used later to hurt your case.
If you don’t do these things, you are going to make your car accident attorney’s job much harder later on. He needs your medical records to prove you were hurt. He needs the police report so he can track down eyewitnesses. Also, he may need to hire experts to recreate the accident scene. In order to do that, he will need a police report.
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A St Petersburg Car Accident Attorney Will Handle the Insurance Company
When you’re in a car accident, you’re going to have to file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company. If the claim is paid, great. You can get your car fixed and pay your medical bills. But what if the claim is denied? Regardless if it is a major related truck accident requiring a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, or a minor car accident, you should find an attorney with the related experience car accident experience.
Insurance companies deny claims for all sorts of reasons. Some of the more common reasons include:
- The policy wasn’t valid. It may have lapsed or canceled for non-payment.
- You didn’t file your claim properly.
- The insurance company believes you were the party at fault.
- They don’t believe you were injured. Or, they may believe your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.
Your car accident attorney can defeat some of these reasons. For example, he can explain why the defendant is at fault. Or, he can send them proof of your injuries. However, there are some things even the best car accident attorney can’t overcome. If the policy wasn’t valid, there is no way to get the claim paid. Or, if you didn’t file your claim properly, there may not be time to fix the filing issues. Regardless of the reason, your attorney will still try to get your claim paid. He will try to settle the matter so you can avoid any legal action. The insurance company wants to settle the claim as much as you do. Nobody likes a trial. They are expensive and time-consuming. The money spent on a trial can be as much or even more than the value of the claim itself.
Car Accident Lawyers Handle All Types of Cases
Most car accidents are minor. They involve some vehicle damage and bumps and bruises. However, some accidents are a lot more serious. They can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and even paralysis. When this happens, you are going to need the services of an experienced car accident attorney.
Most car accident fatalities in Florida involve speeding. Aside from speeding, the other most dangerous type of accident is drunk or impaired driving. Despite the public service announcements about drunk driving, people still do it. Even with the advent of ride-sharing, people still drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel.
The troubling thing is that both of these types of accidents are 100% preventable. Our St Petersburg car accident attorney handles all types of car accident cases. They have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and defendants for damages related to car accidents. They will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Some of the most common types of accidents include:
Accidents caused by speeding are the most dangerous kind. Because of the speed involved, the impact when the cars hit is tremendous. Depending on how fast they are going, the passengers can be crushed or thrown from the car. Some of the injuries caused by speeding are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
Despite stories on the news about deaths caused by drunk driving, it still happens all the time. People drink and get behind the wheel of their car with no regard for innocent people on the road. With today’s opioid epidemic, there are even more accidents due to impaired driving than ever before. People are selfish. There is simply no excuse for impaired driving in this day and age of ride-sharing. If the other driver is convicted of either drunk or impaired driving for your accident, your lawyer will use this in your civil case.
When one drives slams into another car head-on, the consequences can be deadly. Usually, this type of accident involves one car swerving into oncoming traffic at a high rate of speed. The victim has no idea the car is coming so they are taken totally by surprise. There is no way to prepare for a head-on collision. The injuries associated with a head-on collision may include:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial disfigurement
This type of accident is the most common. Thankfully, most rear-end accidents don’t result in major injuries. However, they do still cause property damage and minor injuries. Whiplash is a very common injury from rear-end accidents. Whiplash is almost impossible to prove. The only way to convince a jury of whiplash is to have a doctor testify to your injuries. This is why it’s always important to seek medical treatment following a rear-end car accident.
What Kind of Damages Will an Experienced St Petersburg Car Accident Attorney Get You?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages. In order to get compensation for your damages, you need to prove them. This will require documentation and proof. Your lawyer will need you to help him put together the evidence of your damages. Keep in mind, minor injuries typically don’t result in significant damages. It is the more serious accidents that warrant our attention here.
Some of the damages your St Petersburg accident attorney will demand include:
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably have missed time from work. You can produce timesheets and pay stubs to show how much time you have missed. You may never be able to work again. It depends on how serious your injuries are. If you end up on permanent disability as a result of the accident, your attorney will demand that you be compensated. He will look at the difference between the money you would have made had you never been hurt versus the amount you’ll make on disability. You are entitled to this money, accounting for inflation.
Your car accident attorney is going to demand that you be compensated for any medical bills you incurred. This includes bills that you have received prior to the accident. It also includes any future medical bills you may have to pay. Your doctor can testify to the extent of future medical treatment you will need.
You probably sustained damage to your car as a result of the accident. You may have needed repairs or you may even need to replace your car. Make sure you give your St Petersburg car accident attorney copies of these bills so he can demand that you be reimbursed.
Pain and suffering
Florida is one of the states where you can claim pain and suffering from your accident. The amount you will receive for pain and suffering depends on the following:
- How much pain were you in following the accident?
- Have you experienced depression or anxiety as a result of the accident?
- Are you expected to be in pain going forward?
- How serious were your injuries?
Ideally, your car accident attorney will be able to settle your claim. You do not want to drag things out with an expensive lawsuit. Your lawyer will discuss any settlement with you before he accepts it. He will explain how the money breaks down. He’ll go over how much will go toward medical bills. He will explain how much of that money he takes as his fee. After these things are paid, you will see how much you will be left with. If it is enough, agree to the settlement. If it’s not, tell your car accident attorney you want to hold out for more. Just keep in mind, you are taking the risk that you will lose your case. Nothing is a guarantee.
A lot of people think that if they sue someone, they’re going to get millions of dollars. Car accident lawyers can count on one hand (if they’re lucky) the number of cases they’ve settled for millions of dollars. It just doesn’t happen. Most cases are only worth thousands of dollars. You need to be realistic with your expectations. It is your car accident lawyer’s job to make you whole. It is not his job to make you rich.
Contact a St Petersburg Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you should call a St Petersburg car accident attorney. Your experienced St Petersburg car accident attorney can deal with the case from beginning to end. He can deal with the insurance company. He can negotiate with the defendant’s lawyer to settle your case. Also, he can even bring in multiple defendants to try to maximize your compensation.
The first thing you need to do is schedule your free consultation. The consultation is free. It gives you a chance to talk about your case with an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer. It also lets you see how much your case may be worth.
For your initial consultation, bring the following information with you:
- a copy of the police or accident report
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Medical records related to your injuries
- Contact information for the other driver’s insurance company
- Any correspondence you have received from the other driver’s lawyer or insurance company
The insurance company and the defendant will have lawyers working for them. You do not want to try to handle them by yourself. You want to trust someone who knows the law to help you make decisions along the way. The insurance company won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a lawyer. It is that simple. They will try to take advantage of you. They will offer you a low-ball settlement and hope you’re desperate enough to take it. Make sure you show your St Petersburg car accident attorney any settlement they may offer you before you sign anything. Take advantage of the free initial consultation. It gives you a chance to see how your case will play out in court. It also lets you ask any questions or concerns you may have. And remember – you pay nothing until you win your case!