We asked thirteen attorneys “When do you need to hire a car accident lawyer?”. See their responses below:
Individuals who are involved in a motor vehicle accident should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Car accidents have the potential to leave victims with serious injuries and tremendous damage to their property. Florida law allows people to recover financial compensation for these and other types of losses, but only if they are able to establish that their accident was caused by someone else’s legal negligence. Two of the most important reasons that car accident victims should retain an attorney immediately include:
• Sometimes, establishing negligence can be difficult – When liability after a car accident is contested, investigation may become necessary to establish negligence. A car accident lawyer will know where and how to look for evidence that supports your case.
• You may inadvertently admit fault – Insurance companies are in the business of making money
and train their adjusters to minimize the amount they pay out, even on completely valid claims.
In some cases, an insurance company may try and obtain a statement from you or ask certain questions hoping that you inadvertently admit full or partial liability for an accident, which could have a significant impact on your ability to recover. When you retain an attorney, he or she will deal with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Matthew Dolman – Dolman Law Group
After sustaining seemingly minor injuries in a car accident in Florida, many drivers believe they don’t need a lawyer. This line of thinking can be a dangerous and costly mistake—oftentimes, car accident injuries don’t appear for weeks or even months after the initial accident.If you’ve been in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, it’s highly advisable to consult with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible, even if you think that you’re totally fine. A car accident lawyer can help you understand your options, and assist you in obtaining fair compensation for any medical and rehabilitation costs that may arise in the future, as well as repair fees, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.
Florida’s no-fault laws can make it difficult to secure adequate compensation, but an attorney can help you push for the settlement you need to ensure your long-term recovery.
John K. Lawlor – Lawlor, White, and Murphy
After sustaining an injury in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, hiring a Florida auto accident attorney becomes necessary to ensure your rights are protected. Even if you feel you’ve suffered minimal physical harm, car accident injuries often take weeks or even months to fully materialize. Don’t wait for medical problems to become aggravated before seeking medical and legal assistance—the sooner you begin working on your case with an attorney, the better.A seasoned car crash attorney can help you fully understand your options, and assist you in obtaining fair compensation for future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and overall pain and suffering. They will assist you in your negotiations with insurance companies, know how to anticipate and avoid obstacles in the settlement process, and can defend you in court if a lawsuit becomes necessary to ensure fair reparation. If you are being low-balled by insurance companies or other drivers, a knowledgeable auto accident attorney gives you the best chance at getting a positive outcome.
Steven Slootsky – The Law Offices of Slootsky, Perez, and Braxton
After enduring a traumatic car crash, many Florida accident victims are too shaken to even think about hiring an attorney. But hiring a car accident lawyer is essential after sustaining even a seemingly minor injury in an auto accident if you want to protect your right to fair compensation.Navigating Florida’s no-fault insurance system and accident laws can be complex, and a seasoned attorney can help you understand your options, pursue your claim, and defend you against unfair settlement offers from insurance companies.It’s important to remember that insurance companies are first and foremost a business, so insurers will often try to pay the minimum amount of compensation possible to secure maximum profit for their company. Frequently, their settlement will not be enough to cover the cost of medical treatment and basic repairs.
An auto accident attorney can fight vigorously on your behalf, ensuring that you receive adequate compensation not only for medical and repair costs, but also for lost wages and overall pain and suffering.
Andrew Winston – The Law Office of Andrew Winston
You need to consult with an auto accident attorney immediately. The only thing that takes priority is visiting your doctor or hospital because prompt medical treatment is also essential.The good news is that you are never obligated to hire an accident attorney. But you can still benefit from hearing a thorough explanation regarding how a personal injury attorney might help you recover more money.
There are numerous critical problems with waiting to call a lawyer, including the destruction or disappearance of needed evidence or witnesses. Also, accident victims without lawyers usually do not deal with medical providers in the best way, nor visit all medical providers that they need quickly enough. Good lawyers will spend the time to educate their clients regarding how to navigate their medical situation, which is essential because medical records are probably the most important evidence presented during any accident lawsuit.
Additionally, accident victims without lawyers often make big mistakes when talking with insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters pretend that they want to help, while trying to convince the injured victims to take often far less than they deserve after any car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, or bicycle accident. Make no mistake: the insurance company only cares about paying you as little as they can. So adjusters often do not mention legally available damages when an injured victim contacts them without an attorney. For example, the adjuster may not explain that you are entitled to future medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, as well as any lost wages.
Potential clients should also make sure they are not dealing with a settlement mill law firm, where case managers or paralegals dealing with hundreds of cases each have little incentive to help individual clients maximize their recovery.
Tina Willis – Tina Willis Law
There is no exact science as to when you should and when you should not hire a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case. As a general rule, if at any time you do not feel comfortable handling your claim on your own, for any reason, you should consult with and hire a car accident lawyer. Beyond that there are no hard and fast rules. We have come up with a few of our own that we advise potential clients on to help them make a decision whether to hire us or not. Below are a few of those.If you were not injured in the accident and therefore only have a property damage claim, you likely do not need to hire a lawyer. This is because insurance companies typically do not play games with the value of the property damage.
If you were injured in the accident then it is more likely that you will want to hire a car accident lawyer. Still there may be instances where you can handle the claim on your own. For example, if you have relatively minor injuries that do not require or did not require more than a few weeks of conservative treatment (i.e. no surgery etc.), then you may be able to handle that claim on your own. Much like the property damage claim, insurance companies tend not to play games with the value of minor injury claims. We typically tell potential clients that if your medical expenses are less than $10,000.00 then it is something you may be able to settle on your own without the need for a lawyer’s help.
If you were severely injured and/or your treatment has lasted well beyond just a couple of weeks, it is probably time to hire a lawyer. As your claim increases in value, so does the chances that the insurance company is going to dig in and fight to minimize your claim as much as possible. So if you have bills over $10,000.00 or found out you have a major injury like a herniated disc or broken bone, it is probably time to hire a lawyer.
In conclusion, remember the first rule that if at any point in the claims process, regardless of your injuries or the amount of your medical expenses, you feel uncomfortable handling your claim on your own, it is time to seek legal representation.
Ted Spaulding – Boling Rice, LLC
The world we live in has evolved into a technology based creature with evidence which may be favorable to both the prosecution and defense of your claim being collected all around you. Likewise the answer to question has also evolved over the past decades. We live in a world of street cameras, cell phones and event recorders located within our vehicles. If you are involved in a car accident it is likely that the electronic evidence contained on one or more of these devices may become a factor in your claim.Immediately following the car accident it is likely that police will be called to scene to investigate. You will likely be asked questions regarding what occurred or asked to complete a written statement. The officer may ask you if you were speeding. Talking on a cell phone? Texting? How you answer these questions could aversely impact your situation. You will have to make a decision on the spot whether you choose to answer these questions or complete a written statement.
It is always good sound advice to seek out an experienced car accident attorney. Regardless of the extent of your damages and the value of your claim you can learn a wealth of information about how to move forward and protect yourself from exposure in a disputed case. Most firms will offer a FREE consultation to individuals injured in a car accident regardless of situation. Therefore, you should strongly consider seeking out an experienced car accident attorney.
Clay Burgess – The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess
When you’ve been in a car accident, you suddenly have a lot to deal with that you hadn’t planned for. You are now injured, your vehicle is damaged and you have to navigate a claims process that is unfamiliar to you. Lawyers can reduce your stress of going through this process. Hiring a auto accident attorney to represent you means you will have a professional working for you.Often after a car accident, an insurance adjuster representing the other driver will contact you and offer money to settle your claim. But are they offering you fair value for your claim? Chances are they are not. You need an attorney who understands how much your case is really worth. An attorney who knows how and when to negotiate with the insurance company in order to get the full value of your claim.
Many attorneys will give you a free consultation, so contact an experienced one and see what they can do for you and your case.
Anthony Bruning Jr. – Bruning Legal
When you are involved in an automobile crash the first thing that comes to mind is what do I do now?You must do the following:
1) If you are injured get treatment at the scene or go to the hospital;
2) Obtain the other driver’s personal and insurance information;
3) Take pictures of the property damage and accident scene;
5) Give a statement to the police;
6) Do not talk to anyone other than the police.
Our firm believes the most important part of a personal injury claim is your health. If you are injured you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Hiring a personal injury attorney is important when you are injured. I know most people believe the insurance companies will take care of them in an automobile crash. However, most insurance companies are more concerned about the bottom line than the inured party. This is not in your best interest.
Your attorney will help you get a recovery that is equal to your damages.
Robert Clements – Clements & Clements
If you or your passengers have been injured in a car accident, or if you have sustained significant property damage, it is always a good idea to consider hiring a car accident lawyer. A good car accident attorney can help make sure that you get the medical care for your injuries, often without the co-payments or deductibles you face when using your health insurance. Often times, people don’t realize they are injured until the day after a car accident. By then, they may have spoken to an insurance adjuster and already said something to jeopardize their right to a full recovery. This is why we recommend anyone who may have sustained an injury or major damage to their vehicle consult a lawyer before calling the insurance company. Even if you are unsure if you need representation, most reputable car accident attorneys will offer a free, no obligation consultation in order to help assess your rights.
Stewart Guss – Stewart Guss, Attorney at Law
Contacting a car accident lawyer before you make your initial puts you in the best position possible. Auto accident claims are like spider legs, lots of moving parts and without coordination you can fall. Insurance coverage is hard to understand and coordinating your coverages for uninsured motorist, medical payments, liability and collision is difficult enough before you add a third party being liable, or health insurer wanting to get or your being told that your car is worth less than what you owe. Obviously there’s more to a car accident claim than a personal injury settlement.Good people think there is no harm in giving a statement to either insurance company because once they tell the truth the insurance company will do the right thing and pay what you are asking for. However, insurance companies are motivated by (1) taking in more money than they pay, and, (2) adhering to the terms of your policy. Therefore, what you and the insurance company see as the right thing may differ. Speaking with an attorney before providing a statement follows the old saying that “it’s not what you say but how you say it”. A responsible attorney can educate you on what the insurer is trying to find out and so you can give the adjuster the information in a way that does not jeopardize your claim. It’s not about lying – it’s about giving the correct information that allows maximum coverage.
Here’s a little known secret! Medical providers who have not been fully paid can be forced by Missouri Law to settle for pennies on the dollar if you are working with an attorney. If you deal directly with the insurance company you lose this privilege under Missouri Law. The best time to contact an attorney is when you decide that you and your family want the maximum coverage possible with the least amount of stress. Statistically speaking victim net more with the help of an attorney than going at it on their own.
Kenneth P. Carp – Law Office of Kenneth P. Carp
Anytime you are injured in a car accident you should consult a car accident attorney. Doing so will ensure you get the best advice possible on how to proceed with your claim.Most of the time an attorney will be needed in order to get you the compensation you deserve. This is because insurance companies will attempt to pressure you into settling for much less than you deserve. They will use various tactics to convince you that what they are offering is a fair settlement, but what you must remember is they are looking out for their own best interests, not yours. That is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is imperative in these situations. Doing so will not only alleviate the stress involved with trying to settle a claim on your own, it will also ensure that you are adequately compensated. Pursuing a claim for serious injuries requires extensive resources that only an attorney will be able to provide.
In some cases where the injuries are so minimal that hiring an attorney would be against your best interest and an experience personal injury attorney will recognize that right away and instruct you to either settle with your insurance company on your own or file suit in a small claims court. Most small claims courts have specific instructions on how to handle your own claim and a personal injury lawyer can point you in the right direction.
Regardless, if you are involved in a car accident you should reach out to a car accident lawyer, most if not all offer free consultations and will steer you in the right direction.
William W. Hurst – Law Office of William W. Hurst
When do you need to hire a car accident lawyer? Before you have a wreck. Think backwards… think about those videos that move in slow motion backwards, the car in the video goes from crinkled to straight, the girls in the video go from scared to laughing, the shattered glass goes from shattered to smooth. The wreck happens, but backwards…In that backwards scenario, you need to have a lawyer. Not one you’ve written a check to and said “hey, if I’m ever in a wreck, here’s your check, represent me.” That’s not about what I am talking. What I am talking about is hire a lawyer in your mind, way before you need him or her. Read up on what you do if you are in an accident. Look at lawyer’s websites. Good lawyer, not the clowns. Look at the good lawyer sites and know that you shouldn’t talk to an insurance adjuster, know ahead of time that you shouldn’t take blame for the accident, and know that you should go to the hospital to get checked out for your injuries. Know that you should have a maximum amount of UM coverage.
Know what to do. Hire a lawyer in your mind. Have knowledge before the glass breaks. Learn about the best accident attorneys in your state today. Be ready. Don’t send in the joker lawyers, send in the best to represent. Hire them today in your mind, but hire them immediately after you have your injuries checked out after an accident.
Charlotte Christian – Charlotte Christian Law