Car accidents have the potential to inflict various forms of personal injuries and property damage on the individuals involved. As a result, victims may be able to seek compensation from the liable party for the accident. This is their legal right, especially if an accident resulted in a bodily function being lost, was irreversible, or produced significant scarring or disfigurement.
It’s never simple to pursue a compensation claim. It is more than simply bringing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and receiving an immediate settlement offer in Florida, where the no-fault vehicle accident system exists.
Car accident victims may choose to file a claim on their own or they can choose to hire an experienced later. Wavering between these two choices may delay their claim, especially if they wait too long and surpass the 4-year time limit within which they have to take action.
This article will provide insight on when car accident victims in Port Charlotte should seek legal assistance, as well as what qualities an excellent lawyer should possess.
Do Accident Victims Need a Port Charlotte Auto Accident Attorney?
It is not impossible for car accident victims to represent themselves in court, but this very rarely leads to the best possible outcome. Insurance adjusters and insurance defense lawyers are skilled and those who do not have experience can end up accepting lower settlements when they actually deserved more.
Adjusters and lawyers are also skilled at laying traps for the victim to fall into a lie or attempt to misinterpret statements. If this occurs, they employ distortion to outrightly deny the claim or bring in comparative negligence doctrine to minimize how much compensation is given. The claimant becomes a co-participant in the occurrence that led to his or her injuries rather than simply being a victim of the accident. Another danger with self-representation is a lack of legal expertise. When seeking compensation, legal knowledge and experience are crucial.
Since non-lawyers are unaware of the claims process, documents to file, and the Statute of Limitations, at-fault party’s insurance carriers often take advantage of this by employing delay tactics. If the victim does not take action within the set time frame (the Statute of Limitations), they will lose their right to sue forever.
What can an attorney do for an accident victim that they couldn’t do on their own? Below is a list of services provided by a competent auto accident attorney:
- Provide straightforward answers to legal questions and explain any jargon the victim cannot understand.
- Provide trustworthy and unbiased legal advice. This includes whether the case is likely to succeed and an estimate of how much the victim may be awarded in compensatory damages.
- Investigates the case and puts together the evidence needed to prove the victim’s claim. In addition, they contact expert witnesses and bring them to testify, if needed.
- Communicates with the at-fault party’s legal team and insurance provider on the victim’s behalf.
- Devises a legal strategy for the case and conducts extensive research on disputed points of law or fact.
- Examines the facts of the auto accident case to ensure you are not partly to blame. They also identify all the at-fault parties if there is more than one.
- Provides an in-depth overview of the case and lays out the legal options for the accident victim.
- Sits in on negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.
- Files a lawsuit and represents the victim in court.
Always remember that the service provided by an auto accident lawyer is based on the facts of each individual case. This means that what works for one person, may not work for another.
When Should A Port Charlotte Car Accident Victim Hire An Attorney?
When do accident victims need to hire a car accident lawyer? Let’s explore different situations where it would be beneficial.
Florida is a no-fault car accident state, which means that parties to an accident are generally responsible for paying their own losses unless they have suffered life-altering injuries. A life-altering injury (also known as traumatic or catastrophic injury) is an wound that causes some type of long-term disability, health issues, or a loss in a person’s lifetime expectancy.
An auto accident victim who sustains a catastrophic injury should consider speaking with a lawyer to explore their legal options. In some cases, victims may be able to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Denied Insurance Claim
The bottom line is that insurance companies aim to profit. As a result, they are more inclined to reject claims. While there are valid reasons for denials, there are times when denials are wrongfully made. An attorney can distinguish between a true insurance claim denial and a claim that is wrongfully denied in order to help accident victims assert their rights and seek the justice they rightfully deserve.
The Expiration Date of Statute of Limitations Is Close
Car accident victims should consider hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit if the expiration date is close assuming they haven’t already settled with the insurance company. According to Florida law, personal injury victims have four years within which to file a lawsuit after their car accident case qualifies as a personal injury action.
What Qualities Should A Car Accident Lawyer Possess?
When you are looking for legal representation following a car accident, there are some qualities that you should keep an eye out for. Here are a few of those qualities:
- Experience: research past reviews and ask if the lawyer has successfully helped victims in similar scenarios as yourself.
- Communication skills: a lawyer should explain matters in the clearest way and without excessive jargon.
- Sound judgment: a lawyer needs to make decisions as the case progresses, so they must have good judgment.
- Legal knowledge: as an accident victim, avoid working with a lawyer who isn’t familiar with Florida auto accident laws.
- Specialization: the right lawyer should be one whose practice area is personal injury law. Note that personal injury law is broad, so work with an attorney that has experience with auto accident cases.
Contact Us Today
Have you or a loved one sustained personal injuries in a car or truck accident? The Port Charlotte and Englewood car accident lawyers at FGB Law Firm can assist victims of vehicle accidents in obtaining the compensation they deserve for their losses. Call 941-979-9010 or complete our online consultation form today.