An auto accident is one of the more traumatic events we encounter in our lives. Even if no one was hurt, the shock of these experiences can often leave us disoriented and confused, and not sure what to do next. Should we call the police, file a report, or call an attorney?
Although you may be tempted to go it alone after a car accident, there are many reasons why you should call an experienced law firm for help. Here are just a few reasons why the handling of your auto accident shouldn’t be treated as a DIY project.
Why Do I Need An Attorney After my Auto Accident?
- To Gather Needed Evidence: It’s hard to know what to do immediately after a car accident. You may not realize what types of evidence you may need in order to get the best settlement from your insurance company, or should you decide to pursue a lawsuit. The greater the amount of time which transpires after the accident, the less likely you are to collect the needed evidence. An attorney can make sure that you have the police reports, medical records, photographs and witness statements you may need in order to get the results you are hoping for.
- To Know Your Rights: Florida is a no fault state, which means that regardless of who was at fault in the auto accident, that your insurance company is responsible for your medical bills and car replacement. But do you have further recourse should your injuries persist, or your ability to work is permanently compromised? You do have the right to sue the other party in certain circumstances, and it is important to understand exactly what those situations are.
- To Expedite the Paperwork: Whether an insurance claim or a lawsuit, there are extensive paperwork requirements. Should you fill out the paperwork wrong, it could delay your claim being processed or even derail your efforts. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to get all the paperwork right the first time, so that you don’t waste time, effort, or money.
- To Get the Maximum Settlement: Your insurance company may be great, but the truth is this – they are not motivated to give you the maximum settlement. In fact, their job is to get you to accept the lowest possible dollar amount for your trouble. Having a legal advocate on your side guarantees that you have someone fighting for the maximum settlement allowable, taking into account not only your current medical bills and lost wages, but the financial impact you are likely to experience in the future.
- To Get the Timing Right: Every state has a statute of limitations in regards to the amount of time which you have to file a lawsuit for negligence on the part of another driver. If you miss this window, you lose the right to pursue your case. In Florida, this time period is four years, but don’t be fooled – in order to present the best possible case which takes into account the long term effects of the accident, you should get started as soon as possible after the auto accident.
- To Make Sure You Win: If course, no one can give you a 100% guarantee that you will win your case. However, personal injury attorneys with experience in auto accidents can give you expert advice as to your chances in the court system. Most cases end up in settlement, and your attorney should be proficient in negotiating your best deal. Remember, if you don’t file in time, or if you do not present your case correctly, you generally cannot file again – so your opportunity may be lost.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t treat your auto accident as a DIY project because there is no need to. A personal injury attorney is the advocate you need to guide you through the confusing first few days, or to walk with you through a protracted case. We know you have questions, so give Probinsky, Chavez & Cole a call.