Were You Injured In An Auto Accident And Need A Lawyer?
We’ve asked clients many times what was their motivation for hiring a car accident attorney. They offered different responses, but here’s one of their top replies:
“I’m in pain, and I don’t want to deal with the insurance companies.”
That’s how many accident victims feel. Bear in mind, while you’re trying to recover from these injuries and let go of the anger and hurt, insurance carriers will do whatever is necessary to ignore your claim. They hope you won’t hire an attorney, but, if you do, they’re fully prepared to offer pennies on the dollar.
Like most accident victims, you might consider talking to the defendant’s insurance company yourself, which would definitely save on legal costs. The Shiner Law Group hopes this post will answer whether you need an attorney because some cases do not call for legal services:
#1. Your doctors have noted serious injuries from the crash.
While some claims are settled with a few phone calls to the insurance company, other claims take years to finalize. Typically, we take cases with considerable injuries because they demand our special expertise.
Here are some examples of injuries that can produce viable claims:
- broken bones
- herniated discs
- head injuries
- spinal complaints
- paralysis/loss of movement/nerve damage
- intellectual or functional impairment
- loss of one or more of the five senses
#2. It is unclear who was the at-fault party.
Your accident must involve at least one other entity, such as another vehicle driver/owner, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a vehicle manufacturer. The reason that you got hurt is arguable, which requires the services of an attorney who diligently researches all details of the accident scene. Don’t risk the other driver’s insurance carrier asserting that you caused this crash. Talking to a lawyer is free. With a competent attorney representing you, it’s easier to pursue a claim and feel you’re adequately protected against counter-claims.
#3. The insurance carrier ignores this claim.
What started out as a simple claim became more complex because the insurer refused your phone calls or rejected your written request for monetary damages. You may not ever get a detailed explanation of your rejected claim from the insurance adjuster.
#4. There are two or more parties who suffered permanent injuries.
You might need a lawyer to investigate the crash if multiple victims got hurt. A common example occurs when a negligent driver in a commercial vehicle collides with pedestrians or another vehicle with several passengers. Another example is when riding in a vehicle-for-hire, such as a party limo or a private bus, and there’s a crash. A lawyer quickly investigates the defendant’s insurance coverage and negotiates aggressively for a client. There may be a limit to how much any insurance policy pays out per claimant.
How Do You Prove Your Case?
It takes a licensed physician’s medical records (and sometimes sworn testimony) to prove these accident-related injuries impacted your life. Under Florida law, you can recover these types of damages:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- mileage for medical transportation
- emotional pain and suffering
- loss of consortium
- the cost of future care
It’s important to sit down at your earliest convenience and discuss the details of your car accident with a licensed attorney.
What Experience Is Needed?
While you might consult attorneys from big law firms (and smaller ones) who claim to have accident experience, the most aggressive ones only handle car crashes. They regularly attend mediations and jury trials, staying up late at night pondering how to win the case. They want to outsmart the other side by making a better argument. They are deliberate in their approach to compiling evidence. They handle all communications with insurers and medical providers. Most importantly, they develop an injury claim in the way the insurance company will notice. After reviewing your potential claim, a civil trial attorney may propose filing a lawsuit.
Florida has a no-fault legal system, which means every claimant goes to his/her own insurance company for their bills. Your PIP coverage should cover most or all provider costs, lost wages, and mileage. If your bills exceed these PIP benefits, you want to select an attorney who knows the inside and out of Florida’s tort system.
The at-fault’s insurance carrier and your own company have competent adjusters and lawyers reviewing your claim as soon as it hits their radar.
There are various scenarios common to Florida’s roads that indicate the need for legal services. Keep on reading to find out if your situation is serious.
The Facts on Florida’s Roads
At Shiner Law Group, we’ve handled personal injury claims for years. We know it’s easy for you or your loved one to get seriously hurt even though you were wearing a seatbelt and following traffic safety rules.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, these were the most common types of accidents in 2018:
- 403,626 crashes
- 3,135 total fatalities
- 255,353 injuries
- 160 fatalities from bike crashes
- 531 fatalities from motorcycle crashes
These numbers should give you pause when leaving home and operating a motorcycle, vehicle, or bicycle on our roadways. Each time you use the highway or local streets, please pay attention to traffic conditions. You never know when a severe rainstorm or a tire in your path will make driving more dangerous.
Common Reasons for Accidents
If you or your loved one got hurt in a crash, consulting an attorney will help you determine your next move. Statistically, children, people with disabilities, and seniors are the most vulnerable targets for accidents and other injuries such as slip-and-falls. They get hurt daily by drivers who don’t pay attention to the road.
Here are some reasons why needless accidents occur in South Florida:
- Making an illegal U-turn
- Veering onto the sidewalk
- Moving into the bike lane
- Not watching for people in the crosswalk
- Changing lanes without using a signal
- Moving around another vehicle before the other driver knows your intent
- Driving with unsafe tires or brakes
- Impaired driving
- Construction zones
What Can a Lawyer Do for You?
If you were hurt due to the negligence of one person or a private organization, having a qualified attorney who is committed to resolving your claim is crucial. You can try to settle this claim, but you won’t be taken seriously by insurers. With legal counsel, you can expect to negotiate for higher damages. Working alone, you might receive a low-ball offer, which is the insurance adjuster’s strategy for making you go away, so you’ll stop asking for money.
You don’t want to let the insurance company dismiss your claim or settle for less than what your injuries merit. Without your own attorney, the insurance company has little incentive to offer decent compensation. Adjusters and defense lawyers know most individual claimants don’t have the financial resources to take them to court. They aren’t worried as much about one instance of negative publicity if you decide to alert the media or a watchdog group.
We have an expert legal team that passionately represents injured clients throughout South Florida. These individuals had complex circumstances in their accident, and they couldn’t negotiate the claim alone. We proudly use a meticulous process to prepare each claimant’s demand letter and send it to the insurance company. This is a legal argument for why you deserve money for injuries, pain, and suffering. Without the right lawyer on the case, you might not get a favorable outcome.
How Does an Attorney Get Paid?
If you get hurt in an accident, there will be tons of medical bills. Generally, most attorneys take our approach to working on personal injury claims. Ethically, we are not allowed to promise you any outcome in this matter, but we can do our best to fight for your rights under the law. We review every case on its own merits.
We work new cases on a contingency basis, which means a claimant pays no fees or costs unless they win. If we are able to win a settlement or verdict for a claimant’s injuries, we take a percentage of any award. Working without an attorney, on the other hand, a claimant gets to keep all settlement monies from insurance companies.
Take time to research each lawyer’s background and past achievements before deciding whether to negotiate directly with the insurer or choose representation.
In the end, choose a law firm with substantial financial resources because insurance companies aren’t in the habit of showing mercy to car crash victims like you. If you don’t hire a lawyer, the defendant in your potential case will walk away without any accountability for his/her negligence.
Hiring An Auto Accident Attorney To Help You After An Accident
Finding and hiring an auto accident lawyer after a car accident can seem difficult and maybe even scary. However, to get the most compensation and to help with the insurance low-ball negotiations you need someone on your side who has the experience to handle these situations on your behalf. An accident lawyer will be able to take a lot of the stresses of dealing with the insurance company negotiations or low-ball offers off your hands. If you find yourself, or a loved one, in this type of a situation contact Shiner Law Group and speak with a lawyer immediately to discuss your case and how we can help. Our team of attorneys have been handling cases just like yours and we look forward to the opportunity in helping you seek justice and get compensated fairly. Call us at (561) 777-7700 or fill out our free online case evaluation request to speak with a lawyer at your convenience today.