Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accidents
September 29, 2020
After you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you may have some or all of the following questions about your legal rights and options following the crash:
Do I Need a Lawyer?
For some car accidents (usually involving no personal injury and minimal vehicle damage), it may not be necessary to hire an attorney. Fortunately, most car accident lawyers offer free consultations and can advise you whether or not they can offer anything to your case or whether you are likely to get all the compensation you need and deserve on your own from the insurance company.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
In addition to offering free initial consultations, most car accident attorneys handle claims on a contingency basis. This means that the client does not pay anything up front to hire the attorney. The attorney only gets paid if and when the attorney recovers financial compensation for the client; the attorney’s fee is usually a previously agreed-upon percentage of the total recovery the attorney wins for the client.
What Kind of Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Depending on the injuries and damages you have suffered, you may be entitled to compensation following a car accident for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages/income and earning capacity, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and costs to repair or replace damaged vehicles or other personal property.
How Much Money Should I Expect to Receive?
Because every car accident is different, it is difficult to estimate what an injured party may be entitled to receive from a car accident claim without a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of the accident. The amount of money you might receive in your claim will depend on the extent of your injuries and property damage and whether you bear any fault for the accident.
What Happens If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are partially at fault for your car accident, you are still entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and damages; however, your financial recovery will likely be reduced in proportion to any share of fault assigned to you by the insurance company or at trial.
Should I Sign the Documents Given to Me by the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are looking for any opportunity to deny your claim or pay you as little money as possible. You should avoid signing any documents or giving any statement to an insurance adjuster or representative without first speaking to an attorney; an attorney can make sure that you aren’t signing away important rights or giving the insurance company evidence they can use against your claim.
Should I Settle with the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies often try to get insured parties to settle quickly by leaning on the fact that an injured accident victim may be out of work and have medical bills piling up, while the insurance company is making its best offer. However, an insurer’s first settlement offer rarely represents the maximum amount of money it is willing to pay to settle your claim, or the fair and full compensation you are entitled to for your damages. An attorney representing you can advise you as to whether a settlement offer is fair and, if necessary, continue negotiations with the insurance company to secure a better settlement offer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, a lawsuit for compensation following a car accident in Florida must be filed within four years of the date of the accident; if seeking compensation for a family member killed in the accident, a lawsuit must be filed within two years.
What If I Wasn’t Injured in the Crash?
Although you might not feel any pain following a crash, once the adrenaline and excitement of the crash wears off in the hours and days following your accident, you may begin to feel symptoms of pain from injuries. Even though this initial pain may be easily ignored, it can over time develop into chronic, debilitating pain. You should always get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible following your crash to diagnose any injuries you may have suffered.
What Evidence Do I Need for My Case?
Car accident claims are often based on a wide variety of evidence, including accident scene photos and video, surveillance camera or dashcam footage, witness statements, police accident reports, vehicle repair reports, and your medical reports from your treatment.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.