While the risk of getting into a life threatening car crash seems implausible for those who consider themselves safe and experienced drivers, it is a reality for thousands of St. Petersburg drivers. Florida has many freeways that weave through several major metropolitan areas – accidents can happen. Pinellas County saw 7,161 crashes this year alone, and over 38 fatalities caused by traffic collisions, according to recent state data.
A car accident can leave you with chronic physical and mental anguish and huge medical bills, while simultaneously making you unable to work and pay for them because of your injuries. In these situations, an experienced car accident attorney can help you by filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
Morgan & Morgan’s St. Petersburg office provides free consultations for all potential clients, and our knowledgeable car accident attorneys only charge you if they are able to bring you a favorable verdict. We believe that there should be nothing standing in the way of you and fighting for justice. Get started today by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.
Pursuing a Car Accident Claim
According to Florida law, all drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in what’s called “personal injury protection” if they want to use a car on the road. PIP usually covers up to 80 percent of the medical bills a person faces after an incident, and up to 60 percent of the loss of wages he or she faced because of injuries. PIP is also known as “no-fault” insurance, as it will provide you with compensation regardless of who is at fault.
However, many times the compensation provided isn’t enough. For example, PIP doesn’t cover property damage or emotional and mental health services. If you were gravely injured and require more money that your PIP insurance policy cannot provide, an attorney can help you pursue a lawsuit so that you have a chance of recovering compensation.
In order to successfully do so, your attorney must prove that you were not at fault for the accident and show that you require compensation to move past the incident.
Determining fault can be an exhaustive process for those who do not know the complex laws that govern liability in a negligence lawsuit. Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that the amount of compensation you stand to receive in a negligence lawsuit is directly dependant on how much at fault you were for the accident. For example, if it is determined that you are 20 percent at fault for the accident caused, you may only recover 80 percent of the compensation you require for damages.
Contacting an attorney is the first step in navigating the complex rules involved with filing a claim in Florida, whether with your own insurance company or with the insurance company of the offending party in the incident.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
Many insurance companies are hesitant to provide their policyholders the compensation they need after an incident. This is because thousands of policyholders often overstate their injuries or fail to provide accurate paperwork and proof of the incident.
A personal injury attorney can help you through the process of claiming compensation and even negotiate with the insurance company to acquire as much compensation as you can without violating the terms of your policy.
In order to do so, your attorney will collect proof through an initial investigation. While collecting proof can be a laborious task, legal professionals have the capability of navigating through the process efficiently and collecting information from a variety of sources. For example, your attorney can perform tasks such as:
- Interviewing medical staff and witnesses of the incident.
- Work alongside forensic experts to determine the cause of the crash.
- Confer with medical experts to fully determine the extent of your injuries.
- Collect video and photo footage, along with police reports of the incident.
- Collect past information about both parties of the incident, including convictions, DUIs, and traffic violations.
While all of this information may not be required when filing a claim with your own insurance company, it can be handy if you want to pursue a lawsuit against the offending party’s insurance company. Your attorney will be able to, through his or her investigation, estimate how great your chances are and how much you may be eligible to receive.
Contact Our St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorneys
If you suffered injuries in a car accident that you suspect wasn’t your fault, our attorneys may be able to help. With us, you do not need to worry about the extra, upfront financial burden of legal fees. We only charge you a fee if we win you a favorable settlement or award. Contact us today to sign up for one of our free, no-obligation consultations.