CLASS ACTION LAW FIRMCar accident lawyer FAQs

If you have recently experienced a car accident, you probably have many questions, which is not surprising. Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic and often overwhelming experience. Aside from dealing with any physical trauma, you also have legal and financial issues to think of. You need the advice of someone who has not only the legal knowledge but the experience to set your mind at ease and tell exactly what you need to do to resolve all the issues that arise from a car accident. We put together a list of the questions we receive most often from our clients, together with definitive answers. Here is what you need to know in the event of an auto accident.

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Car accident lawyer FAQs

What do I do immediately after a car accident?

You can’t be expected to think straight after an accident has taken place. Assuming it isn’t too serious an accident and you are still conscious and mobile, your system will be full of adrenaline, and you may be in a dazed state. It’s best to be prepared for this by knowing a simple procedure that you can go through immediately after the impact. These steps will help keep you safe and begin your preparations to claim from insurance or for any legal proceedings that may arise.

– Step 1: Get yourself and your passengers to a safe place. If your car is still on the road, pull over right away in a safe, secure location. If your vehicle can’t be moved, put your emergency lights on and get everyone out of the car and safely off the road.

– Step 2: Call the police: In any accident situation, you need a law enforcement officer to assess the matter. You will need to file a police report for insurance and legal purposes.

– Step 3: Take photographs of the scene: Using your phone camera, take pictures of the damage, as well as of the other party’s license plate.

– Step 4: Exchange contact and insurance details with the other party: Assuming the other driver is still on the scene, be sure to get all information and details from them. It is essential that, during your communication with them, you do not apologize or say anything that might be construed as you admitting fault for the collision.

– Step 5: Seek medical attention: After leaving the scene, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel any pain, there is still a chance that you have sustained an injury. The symptoms of injuries suffered in car accidents can often sneak up on you. It is best to seek preemptive care just in case.

– Step 6: Call an experienced auto injury lawyer: If the case requires further legal action, you will need the help of an attorney. Get one on your side as soon as possible.

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How much can I expect from a car accident settlement?

There is no straightforward answer for this one. Each case is different, and the value of the settlement will be determined by the specific circumstances and damages involved. The total value of your settlement is made up of several factors including:

  • Your total medical expenses
  • Projected future medical expenses
  • Each party’s share of responsibility for the accident, expressed as a percentage of the total damage, and can be tricky and time-consuming to calculate
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Effects of the injury on your quality of life going forward

Depending on the case, there will be other factors involved as well. On being informed of all the particulars of your case, your personal injury attorney will be able to tell what factors can be taken into account and how they will contribute to the final settlement.

How long after a car accident can you claim injury?

Car accident claims are subject to a statute of limitations. However, you will have more than enough time to file your claim and/or pursue legal action. State law gives accident victims four years to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault party. After four years, a Florida court will be very unlikely to hear your case unless you can present very good reasons for having waited so long. If you believe you have a strong case, it is best to press your claim as soon as possible. Consulting a Florida car accident attorney is the best way to determine the strength of your claim.

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Do you need a lawyer for pain and suffering?

It is possible to pursue a personal injury claim without the help of a lawyer, but it is not advisable. Consulting a lawyer will save you time and money in the long run, and is the best way to ensure that you get what you deserve from the at-fault party or their insurance company. If your injuries are serious enough to merit a claim for pain and suffering, it is likely that it is sufficiently complex to merit assessment by a car accident lawyer. The more serious your injuries, the more likely an insurance company will be to offer you an undervalued settlement. In turn, you may accept the settlement, not knowing that you can get more. By consulting an attorney at the start, you can get a thorough assessment of your case and know exactly what it is worth. You will not be tempted to settle for less and will have the legal back-up to fight for the full settlement.

When should I get an attorney for my car accident?

When you are in a car accident and need to claim for personal injury and other damages, you are up against insurance companies who can afford to hire whole teams of lawyers, and who will do their best to pay you the minimum amount possible. They start assessing your case immediately, knowing that they will likely have to pay you some kind of settlement, but looking for ways to lessen their liability or even get out of it altogether. It makes sense to get a car accident lawyer on your side immediately, to defend your rights against the insurance companies and their attorneys. Go to a car accident lawyer for a free consultation as soon as you can.

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What should I look for in a car accident lawyer?

There are plenty of lawyers out there offering their services, so make sure you choose the right one. Look out for these five things:

– Clear communication: A good lawyer will leave you in absolutely no doubt about any part of the process. From the beginning, you will know what to expect and what is expected from you. The procedure, the value of the case, their fees, and all related matters should be communicated to you clearly and precisely. If they are vague or uncertain, or spring anything on you that should have been laid out earlier on, rather keep looking.

– Commitment and rapport: Your lawyer should demonstrate real engagement and interest in your case from the start. You want a lawyer who will fight for you as if the case were their own, not someone who will put in the minimum effort. You also need to relate well to your lawyer. The two of you should strike a rapport and understanding in your first meeting.

– A good track record: Ask your lawyer about their track record and look them up yourself as well. You want a lawyer with a history of winning cases, and one that is regarded with respect – and even a little trepidation – among insurance companies and other legal professionals.

– A well-organized operation: When you go for a consultation, take note of the office space. Is it well organized? Does the lawyer seem well in control of their work and environment or is their desk covered with miscellaneous paperwork? Is the staff professional and organized? These first impressions will tell you what to expect from their services.

– References: Any lawyer who is proud of their track record and reputation will be happy to provide references that can attest to past successes. Even if you don’t call any of the references they provide, the fact that they are willing to provide them is an excellent sign.

How do I find a car accident lawyer?

There are many ways to find a car accident lawyer. One of the best ways might be through word of mouth. Speak to friends or family members who have had successful auto injury cases and ask them who represented them. Online research will also help you secure the right attorney. Always check references and speak to lawyers upfront about your questions and concerns. The ones with the best track records and a willingness to answer your questions openly will always be the best candidates.

Start by writing down a list of criteria, such as experience, fees, and so on. Then do some online research and put together a list of the five most promising firms. Set up meetings with each of them and come prepared with questions and all the documentation pertaining to your case. Finally, select the one that fits all your criteria and trust your gut.

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How do I choose a car accident lawyer for judicial proceedings?

Many lawyers dealing with personal injury cases hardly ever see the inside of a courtroom. They may take your case, only to persuade you to accept a low settlement rather than going to court. Insurance companies and their lawyers are aggressive, and they’re not afraid to fight in court. If they know that your lawyer would rather not go to court, or has a poor record for taking cases to court, they will push for a low offer. It is, therefore, essential that you select a lawyer who is comfortable with judicial proceedings. Again, the best thing to do is to check the lawyer’s track record. How often has the lawyer taken a car accident case to trial, and what is their success rate? What is their reputation in the industry? If they are known as strong trial attorneys, the other party may even make a decent offer to settle the matter out of court.

Shamis and Gentile has the experience, resources and staff to represent successful car accident cases. If you have an auto injury claim you would like to pursue, book a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.