After a car accident in Tampa, you may be left wondering if your damages are bad enough to go through the hassle of hiring an attorney. You have enough stress on your plate as it is, and the last thing you want is to deal with complicated legal language and potential costs.
Has the Insurance Company Offered You a Settlement?
If the insurance company has already offered you a price for your injuries and damages, it can be awfully tempting to sign the dotted line for their initial offer and focus on moving forward. While this might seem like a good idea in the moment, you may be missing out on the compensation you deserve.
When Should I Hire an Attorney for a Tampa Accident?
It’s always recommended to at least consult with an accident attorney when deciding on what to do after a Tampa car accident. However, some factors increase the importance of finding legal representation.
The Severity of Your Injuries
If you were badly hurt in your Florida car accident, your medical expenses will be significantly higher. You may also have a lengthy recovery period ahead of you, and the added burden of dealing with insurance is something better left to a skilled Tampa car accident attorney.
If you had to take an ambulance from the scene of the accident or had to stay overnight in the hospital, these are good indications that your injuries are more serious than seen in the average fender bender. If you aren’t taken to the hospital, you should still immediately see a doctor after your accident and have them determine the severity of your injuries.
Receiving a full diagnosis is critical to not only treating your injuries quickly but claiming compensation from insurers.
Insurance Disputing Your Claim
Generally, the opposing insurance company is more likely to dispute your claim if it’s a high-value case. They are ultimately only interested in their own financial wellbeing, despite how nice they may sound over the phone or in their settlement letter.
If your claim is disputed by the insurance company, you can expect a long process while the back-and-forth with their claims department carries on.
It may be difficult for an individual without legal representation to adequately defend their claim, so in these instances seasoned legal assistance is highly recommended.
Your Settlement is Smaller Than It Should Be
Receiving the first settlement offer from an insurance company can be disappointing in a lot of car accident cases.
Their low-ball tactics are intended to get you to settle for far less than your damages are worth. Unless you’re sure your injuries are superficial (based on your doctor’s diagnosis) and there are no impending medical or mechanic bills coming down the line, you should always consult with a car accident lawyer.
A skilled lawyer can point out which legal avenues to explore when looking for compensation.
Fault is Complicated or Under Dispute
In Florida, you’re required to first go through your own Personal Injury Insurance before seeking damages from other parties. You are able to file a typical fault-based third-party liability claim only if your damages exceed $10,000 or meet the “serious injury” threshold that Florida law requires.
If either of these limits are reached, the details of fault become far more relevant, and you can expect the other driver’s insurance or legal team to fight you when determining who is to blame for the accident.
Florida operates under comparative negligence, which means that a court will assign a portion of blame to each of the drivers involved in an accident. If your car accident case is serious enough for this process to go into effect, you will probably not want to go it alone, even if you believe your case is clear-cut.
The defendant’s legal team might be able to point to as many minor details as possible to prove you are responsible for blame. Since compensation is directly impacted by the percentage of fault each party is assigned, hiring a skilled car accident lawyer can help you cover your legal bases.
You’re Being Sued
If you’re being blamed for an accident in Florida and the other driver’s Personal Injury Insurance threshold has been surpassed, they have the right to sue you for damages. If this is the case, legal representation can help make sure you are fairly defended in court.
You may believe that the evidence is in your favor and that there’s no chance the opposing team will be able to prove you were at fault. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Be sure to have an experienced lawyer review your case, especially if you feel that the other side is at fault, not you.
A Tampa car accident attorney is far more likely to adequately gather evidence and present it to a court in such a way to prove you are not responsible for the accident. A good attorney will also be able to return fire and ensure you recover all your medical damages, property damages, and applicable legal fees if the other driver is at fault.
Get Help from Experienced Tampa Car Accident Attorneys
Car accident cases are rarely straightforward, and Florida’s no-fault rules add complexity. You must clear certain legal hurdles to pursue financial compensation from another driver.
If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident in the Tampa area, you may be hurt and concerned about your future financial wellbeing.
Hiring a lawyer might seem like overkill to you, but skilled legal representation boosts your chances of recovering monetary losses that an expensive car accident can bring.