Car accidents have been on the rise in Pinellas County, according to news reports. For anyone who has navigated the dangerous roads and intersections in and around Dunedin, that probably comes as no surprise. The area’s general traffic congestion, its many visitors unfamiliar with our roads, and its population of older drivers who often struggle in complex driving conditions make for a dangerous cocktail of factors leading to collisions that often result in serious injuries and fatalities.
As a no fault insurance state, Florida tries to simplify the process of recovering compensation after an injury in a car accident. Unfortunately, “no fault” doesn’t necessarily mean “no problem.” The typical personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy only covers a fraction of the costs associated with a car accident resulting in severe injuries or a fatality. Victims of serious accidents often need help recovering compensation beyond what PIP insurance covers. Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA may be able to help.
If a Dunedin-area car accident leaves you injured or has taken the life of your loved one, you may have the right to recover significant money damages from the driver or other parties at fault. If you or a loved one are a car accident victim and think you need help recovering compensation, contact Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
About the Car Accident Attorneys at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
The attorneys at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have many years of experience representing severely-injured car accident victims and the families of those tragically killed in those accidents.
But, we take even more pride in having earned the trust and confidence of our clients, who praise us for our responsiveness and for making them feel like “family.” That’s because our goal at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is not just to deliver excellent legal services, but to do so with a personal touch that gives our clients—many of whom are suffering through a difficult time—peace of mind of knowing they can leave the legal complexities to us while they focus on the hard work of healing and moving forward with their lives.
Legal Services for Dunedin Car Accident Victims
When the lawyers at Sibley Dolman or Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA take on a car accident case, we take it very seriously. Each case is unique, but we ensure that we thoroughly investigate each case, negotiate from a position of strength, and take cases to trial when necessary.
We Out-Investigate and Out-Prepare the Opponents
Car accidents are so routine that a lot of lawyers fall into a pattern of treating them all the same. Not us. We:
- Collect evidence so that we can not only understand every detail of a car accident, but that we’re also confident we can prove those details in a court of law if necessary. We don’t just read the police report. We interview witnesses, track down video footage, and visit the accident scene. When the situation calls for it, we also work with accident reconstruction experts to break down the accident moment-by-moment so we can describe exactly how the accident happened. We are always thorough, because you never know what piece of information might turn a strong case into a bullet-proof one.
- Identify liable parties who can pay our clients the damages they owe. Being a car accident lawyers isn’t just about finding someone to “blame.” It’s about gathering up information about everyone physically involved in an accident, and everyone with a legal interest connected to the accident, to pinpoint the parties who (a) should have made decisions or taken actions that could have prevented the accident from happening, and (b) have the resources, either through insurance or their own assets, to pay the damages they owe our client. Some attorneys will stop looking for liable parties as soon as they find one with an insurance policy. We don’t stop until we’re sure we know about, and have investigated, every potentially-liable party out there.
- Justify our demands for damages suffered by our client. Any lawyer can walk into a negotiation saying “you owe my client a million dollars.” But it’s only the lawyers who do the hard work of investigating and collecting evidence to support the damages they demand who walk out of the negotiation with a million-dollar check in hand. At Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we take the time to understand and absorb the full measure of harm our clients have suffered in a car accident. We have deep experience representing clients with the most severe and debilitating injuries, such as spinal cord injuries that have left our clients paralyzed, traumatic brain injuries that cause long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits, and injuries to limbs and soft tissue that mean a lifetime of disability and chronic pain. These injuries cost money to treat, but that’s not all. They also impair a person’s ability to work. They require modifications to a person’s home and lifestyle. And they cause pain. We take all of those factors into account in coming up with an amount of damages we feel confident we can prove our clients have suffered.
We Negotiate From a Position of Strength
The reason the team at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA puts so much time and effort into preparing our cases is that our hard work gives us strength in negotiation with the liable party’s insurance companies and attorneys. In Florida, this is especially important because the law says you can only seek damages from the other driver in a car accident if you have suffered a “serious” injury. Auto insurance companies will push back against damages claims on this basis, and an experienced car accident lawyer knows you need to be prepared to back up your claims about the extent of your client’s injury and the amount of damages they deserve. Sometimes, however, it’s also possible to seek damages from other parties such as auto manufacturers or government agencies.
In most cases, after we prepare a solid case for damages, we make a “demand” of the party or parties who we believe owe our client compensation for injuries and losses. This usually leads to a negotiation, which is where we bring the full measure of our case preparation into play. Thus, we enter every negotiation in a position of strength, which helps our attorneys recover maximum damages in many cases.
We Go to Trial When Necessary
Of course, not every negotiation ends in a reasonable settlement. Sometimes the other side doesn’t see things our way, and we have to advise our client that the best option is to take the case to court. The lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA come to every representation with the “whole package” of negotiation and trial skills. When we say “we’ll see you in court,” we mean it, and we’re happy to go.
Going to trial involves a particular set of legal skills. A trial lawyer needs to be able to argue legal issues to a judge in a way that earns them respect and trust, and also to clearly communicate their legal case to the jury in language that’s clear and free of “legalese.” The lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have this combination of gifts. Sometimes when we make clear that we are ready to go to trial, the other side will “cave” and offer our clients a settlement rather than facing us in court. That’s ok with us. As much as we love going to trial, we love it more when our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Tips for the Aftermath of a Dunedin Car Accident
Having practiced personal injury law for as long as we have, the team at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA understands just how stressful, confusing, and upsetting the days and weeks after a car accident can be for victims and their families. Victims may have to deal with hospitalization, time off from work, medication, bills, and serious physical and emotional pain. They know they need help, but they’re not always sure what you should do, and in what order.
For any victim of a car accident, here’s what we suggest:
- First, make taking care of your own and your loved ones’ medical and mental health needs your top priority. It is much harder to make good decisions about what to do next if you aren’t in stable physical and emotional condition. We urge every one of our new car accident clients to get all of the care they have coverage to get. Not only does that help ensure they can absorb and understand our advice, it also helps their case by generating records of their care that we might use later on to show the costs they’ve incurred and what more they need to achieve a meaningful recovery. Also, keep in mind that if you carry PIP insurance (which, if you drive a car, you most likely do), then you must seek medical care within 14 days. If you don’t, then you will risk losing all of your insurance benefits.
- Second, treat insurance companies with extreme caution. Obviously, if you have PIP insurance you will need to report the accident to your carrier. You’ll also likely have to report it to your health insurer. But, beyond your initial interactions those two insurance companies, BE CAREFUL. Insurance companies aren’t in business to give money away. When they have a potential obligation to pay out benefits, they try hard to find a way to minimize their financial liability. This is ESPECIALLY true of insurance companies for other parties involved in your accident, who are looking for any way possible to get their policyholder (and themselves) off the hook. It is best to leave any negotiations with insurance companies to an attorney. If you want to be sure you are receiving the compensation you deserve, do not accept money or agree to anything with an insurance company without speaking with a lawyer first.
- Third, get a lawyer as soon as you can. It generally won’t cost you anything to have an initial consultation with a lawyer, including with the team at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. And most personal injury lawyers (including us) take cases mostly on a “contingent fee” basis in which the client pays no money up front, and the lawyer gets paid only if the client recovers money in the case. So don’t wait. The longer you wait to meet with an attorney, the harder it will be to gather evidence, to convince the other side to take you seriously, and to recover maximum damages. If you wait too long, you may risk losing your rights to compensation altogether.
Your Dunedin Car Accident Attorneys
Have you suffered serious injury or a tragic loss in a car accident in the Dunedin, Florida area? If so, then we want to help. Contact the fearless, compassionate lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA without delay. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH).