The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that as of April 30, 2016, there were 122,399 auto collisions in the state of Florida involving 79,467 injuries and 852 fatalities. In Pinellas County alone there were 5,836 accidents involving 3,399 injuries and 28 fatalities during that same time period.
What Should You Do After a Pinellas County Auto Accident?
Even though the other driver may have caused the auto accident, you usually will not be dealing directly with that driver in attempting to settle your claim for damages. Typically, you will work directly with the other driver’s insurance company. It is, therefore, important to gather certain information while you are still at the scene of the accident, including the name and contact information for the following:
- the other driver
- the other driver’s insurance company
- any witnesses to the accident, and
- any law enforcement officers the come to the scene.
It is also a good idea to take photographs while you are still at the accident scene. Take pictures of the following:
- the locations of the vehicles
- areas of physical damage on each vehicle, and
- the license plates of each vehicle.
What Types of Damages Can a St. Petersburg Resident Collect?
If you are making a claim only for property damage, some of the different types of damages you may be entitled to collect are:
- vehicle damage
- personal property damage including compensation for items such as a computer that may have been in the car, or a bike on a carrier, if those were damaged in the accident
- car rental that you needed while your vehicle was being repaired
- out-of-pocket expenses such as a taxi to get home from the accident scene or police station.
The insurance company will extend a settlement offer to you based only on the information and documentation you provide. If you do not provide proof of an out-of-pocket expense, the insurance company will take the position that you are not entitled to be compensated for that part of your loss. The insurance company will enter a settlement agreement only if it is in the company’s best interests to do so. However, the insurance company knows that settling a claim can be in its best interests because litigation is expensive. It is more efficient and less expensive to pay fair compensation to you for your loss rather than pay attorney fees to lawyers to fight against you, especially when the outcome of a trial would be unpredictable.
Injuries from a Pinellas County Collision
If you suffer injuries in a car accident, the legal issues involved become much more complicated. In addition to compensation for personal property damage, you may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses or lost wages. You may also claim compensation for your mental and physical pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
It is important to speak to an experienced St. Petersburg auto collision attorney prior to finalizing the terms of a settlement with the insurance company. Only a skilled attorney can determine the exact compensation to which you are entitled based upon the unique circumstances of your case. To further complicate the situation, you may not be fully aware of the extent of your injuries for weeks or even months after the accident. If you enter into a settlement too quickly with the insurance company, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for additional compensation if you later find that you need additional medical treatment for your injuries.
Call a St. Petersburg Vehicle Crash Attorney
If you were involved in an auto collision, it is necessary to speak to a St. Petersburg auto accident attorney as soon as possible regardless of the extent of your injuries. The attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are experienced St. Petersburg auto collision lawyers who are prepared to review your case today and to assist you with that process to make certain that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Please call our office at (727) 222-6922.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712