If you have been in a car accident that has resulted in a fatality or a personal injury, one of the first calls you should make after your accident is to a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. Many patients and car accident victims hesitate to make this call, incorrectly assuming that attorneys are expensive or unnecessary. In fact, attorneys offer many invaluable services, including:
1) Investigations. Most attorneys work with accident reconstruction experts as well as private investigators. They can examine all the possible contributing factors that lead to an accident. This is often the only accurate way to determine what has caused an accident. Determining accident cause is crucial, as some insurance providers may deny claims in some accidents, alleging that an accident victim caused a collision. If this is inaccurate, an attorney can find evidence to prove the true cause of the accident.
2) Evaluation of injuries. After an accident, filing an insurance claim involves placing a dollar value on the medical costs and income loss of any injury caused by an accident. This process, however, can be very challenging and often involves projecting or estimating reasonable expected costs. For example, a patient who has suffered a burn injury may need to file an insurance claim while still in the hospital. This means that the patient will need to predict the total costs of the medical care, rehabilitation, time away from work, and related costs of the injury. Good Florida personal injury attorneys have extensive experience evaluating injuries and their costs and can help you determine the value of your injuries fairly and accurately.
3) Negotiations. Personal injury attorneys can negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf. This is vital, because without attorney negotiations, insurance providers may try to offer a settlement amount which is well below what your medical costs and recovery costs will be. This can put you in debt or make it difficult for you to get the medical care you need to recover. With an attorney’s help, you will have a much better chance of getting a fair sum promptly.
4) Making safety changes. Even if you have never been in a car accident, you have likely felt the impact personal injury attorneys have on the car industry. When patients driving the same car are injured due to tire defects or other mechanical failures, attorneys pursue the manufacturers and retailers responsible and ensure that changes are made to the safety of the products. Often, legal actions started by attorneys result in unsafe cars being recalled or fixed by manufacturers who are pressured to make changes to improve safety.
5) Protecting your rights. It is easy to lose some of your rights after a car accident. Insurance companies may pressure you to sign agreements stating that an accident was your fault or agreements that lock you into low-ball settlement offers that do not cover your medical expenses. As well, many states have statutes of limitations, requiring you to file certain documents and claims by specific dates. Attorneys can advise you of your rights and options and can ensure that you do not sign away any rights.
6) Offering advice. Good Florida personal injury attorneys have dealt with many people who have sustained serious injuries in car accidents. They can often provide advice about specialists, hospitals, and resources that you can use on your road to recovery. Attorneys can also provide legal advice, of course, but they provide other types of advice. If you do secure a settlement, attorneys can tell you where you can visit for financial advice to protect your settlement money. If you are waiting for a settlement, attorneys can often provide advice about how to keep your finances current while you wait.