Do I Really Need To Talk To An Attorney After An Accident?
Q. It was obvious the accident was the other driver’s fault. Do I still need a lawyer?
A. Yes. Just because it’s clear that the other party was to blame for your accident, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need the help of an attorney for your case. Insurance companies and legal teams will still try to fight against your best interests and prevent you from getting what you deserve. Your lawyer will make sure that you get what you are owed, no matter if the other side is fighting against you or not.
Q. I’m not even injured. Do I need to talk to a doctor or a lawyer?
A. Just because you initially don’t feel like you are injured doesn’t mean that this is the case. Injuries could arise later, even days later, and if you avoid going to a doctor you make it harder to link those injuries to your accident. And waiting too long to contact your lawyer means that it’s harder for your attorney to prove your case. Even if you feel like you’re not wounded, contacting an attorney is still important.
Q. I’m filing a claim with my PIP provider. Can a lawyer even do anything?
A. Absolutely. While it’s common to assume that since PIP coverage is your own policy that it will immediately pay out damages, this isn’t always the case. All insurance companies are in the business of making money, and that often means avoiding paying out any more than they have to. As such, you may need a lawyer to argue your case with the PIP provider. They could refuse payment, offer less than you deserve, and more. Your lawyer will ensure that you get the most from your claim. And, they could also help show that you deserve compensation from a lawsuit against the other party involved, too.
Q. My accident was partially my fault. Can a lawyer help?
A. Florida is a comparative negligence case. This means that even if you’re partially to blame for your accident, you could still receive a settlement. If you’re found to be 25% to blame, for instance, you may receive 75% of the total damages you would normally be owed. This can be very complex and confusing, and your lawyer will have to fight to prove what your percentage of fault is, and what you are owed as a result.
Q. How will my attorney prove fault?
A. A personal injury attorney proves fault through a variety of different steps. Some of the tools that will be used include the following:
• Security camera footage
• Witness statements
• Accident reports
• Mobile phone records
• Black box data recorder information
• Driver or property owner histories
Your lawyer will work with accident reconstruction experts, medical teams, and more to develop a clear picture of what happened during your accident. Without a lawyer, it could be difficult to prove that you deserve restitution because the other side’s legal teams will be fighting to stop it from happening. An attorney could be the only way to show that your accident was caused by someone else.
Q. I’m being offered a settlement already. Do I still need an attorney?
A. Yes. A settlement offer is often just a ploy used by the insurance companies to try to prevent you from getting what you are really owed. By offering a lowball settlement early on, they often trick injured people into accepting less than they deserve. By accepting these settlements, you essentially negate any additional opportunity to get more money for your injuries. Your lawyer will review your settlement offer and make a determination as to whether or not it is fair. We’ll look at each aspect of your case and then compare it to what you’re being offered by the insurance company. If it’s not fair, we’ll negotiate to get you what you really deserve and ensure you aren’t left struggling financially after an accident.