When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you are injured in a car accident, your primary focus should be healing from your injuries. However, at some point, your focus may shift to obtaining compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages from the party who caused your crash.
The insurance company has likely been working on the claim since right after the accident. Claims adjusters and investigators will have gathered and reviewed evidence of who contributed to the car accident. Their goal is to minimize the insurance company’s liability for your damages.
Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of traffic crashes in Florida. Unfortunately, many car accidents result in injuries. You may wonder when you need to hire a car accident lawyer to handle your case.
It is always beneficial to consult with a car accident attorney soon after your accident. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose by talking with a lawyer. In addition, the insurance company for the other driver has a team of insurance lawyers working to protect its best interest. Don’t you deserve the same?
What Factors Make it Necessary to Hire an Attorney?
Deciding whether or not to hire a Gainesville car accident attorney depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. For example, if you have minor injuries that heal within a few weeks and minimum medical bills, you might not need to hire a personal injury lawyer for your car accident. However, you should still consult with a lawyer to ensure that you understand your rights to compensation.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state for car accidents. Therefore, most car accident claims are handled by one’s own PIP insurance provider. In fact, your injuries must be “serious” before you can file a lawsuit against the other driver.
The following situations generally indicate that hiring an experienced Florida car accident lawyer is in your best interest:
You Sustained Serious Injuries
Car accident injuries can change your life forever. You could face long-term health, emotional, physical, and financial consequences because of a car accident injury.
There are several types of damages in a car accident case, including:
- Medical bills
- Therapy costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of income and benefits
- Emotional and mental distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses
If another party caused the car accident, they should be liable for your damages. An accident attorney can help you prove your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
The Insurance Company is Blaming You for the Cause of the Crash
Florida’s modified comparative fault rules reduce or even eliminate entirely your damages if you are partially to blame for your accident. Insurance companies use this rule to shift blame to the victim and avoid paying the full value of the accident claim.
You must be careful what you say after a car accident. Your statements could be used against you. A car accident lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes that could lead to allegations of comparative fault.
The Car Crash Involved a Government Entity
There are special rules that apply when a car accident case involves a government entity. The deadlines for filing claims are tight. Failing to follow the rules could cost you your right to pursue a claim through the court.
If you believe that a government entity may be liable for your car accident damages, you should contact an accident attorney immediately. Your lawyer will understand the special laws governing claims against government entities.
The Insurance Company Denied Your Claim
An insurance company may deny a car accident claim for many reasons. It may claim:
- Your injuries are not serious enough to justify a lawsuit
- The policy does not cover the car accident
- You failed to demonstrate that you sustained injuries and damages caused by the car accident
- There is insufficient evidence that the policyholder caused the crash
- You caused the car crash
If the insurance company denies your claim, you can talk with a lawyer about your options for appealing the denial or filing a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, you may have a separate claim against the insurance company for acting in bad faith.
The Car Accident Involved Multiple Parties
Car accident cases that involve multiple parties can be incredibly complicated. Multiple insurance companies may argue over which driver caused the car accident. You could be caught in the middle. Multiple lawsuits might be necessary to protect your best interest.
Having an attorney sort out fault and liability is in your best interest. Your lawyer identifies all parties who might be responsible for your damages to increase the chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
The Filing Deadline for a Personal Injury Lawsuit Is About to Expire
The Sunshine State has strict deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases was recently changed in Florida. The default deadline is two years if your car crash took place on or after 3/24/2023, and it is four years if the accident happened before that date. However, there are exceptions in some cases. Hiring a car accident attorney early on can help you avoid errors in your case.
The Accident Involved a Fatality
If your car accident involved a death, it is wise to seek legal counsel immediately. Florida’s wrongful death laws permit family members to recover compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one.
However, wrongful death cases are complex. The rules for wrongful death claims are different from personal injury claims. A lawyer can guide your family through the process of filing a claim as you seek justice for the death of your loved one.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me With a Car Accident Claim?
There are many benefits to hiring a car accident lawyer. Some of the ways that a car accident attorney helps you with your case include:
- Provide you with legal advice and straightforward answers to your questions about injury claims
- Give you an honest assessment of your car accident claim and whether you need to hire a lawyer to handle your case
- Investigate the cause of your car crash to gather evidence proving fault
- Research and develop a strategy for maximizing your chance of recovery of damages
- Communicate with all other parties, including the insurance company, on your behalf
- Hire expert witnesses to assist with your car accident case
- Monitor deadlines for filing claims and lawsuits
- Calculate the correct value for your damages
- Negotiate a fair and just settlement with the insurance company
- Guide you through the Florida judicial system if filing a lawsuit is necessary
If you are unsure whether you need to hire a lawyer after a car accident, take advantage of the free consultation to obtain more information and ask questions.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Our Florida personal injury attorneys are here to help you after a car accident. We will identify and pursue all legal avenues to recover your damages. Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with one of our Gainesville car accident lawyers.