The Florida Car Accident Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in a car accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
Tips for a Successful Claim
There are three vital pieces of information that you need to know if you want to have a successful car accident claim. The first thing is that there is a ton of evidence on the scene after a car accident and collecting it is extraordinarily valuable for the success of your claim. Now ,you might be swept away on an ambulance to an emergency room, which would leave you unable to collect any evidence most likely. If that is the case, you can certainly call on a friend or family member to come to the scene to collect evidence for you. In some instances, you can get Jacksonville car accident lawyer to come to the scene to collect evidence on your behalf. The evidence that is good to collect would be photos and videos of the scene in general, including both vehicles involved in the accident, a general shot of the whole scene, and any injuries that you sustained. You also want to get the contact information from any witnesses so your lawyer can collect testimony from them down the line. There will likely be police on the scene making a report, so be sure to get a copy from them at some point.
If you were able to stay on the scene to collect evidence and you were not swept away to an emergency room, the next thing that you need to do immediately after you’re finished up at the car accident scene is get medical attention. Injuries from a car accident can range from minor fractures and broken bones to paralysis. You need to get everything checked that could possibly have been affected in this car accident. Ignored injuries can lead to permanent damage. Delaying and seeking medical attention is not only bad for your well-being it is also bad for your case.
When you’re involved in a car accident, the liable party is going to be represented by an insurance company who is responsible for your damages. The insurance company wants nothing more than to save themselves money, which means trying to undermine the value of your claim. If they look at your medical records and see that you delayed seeking medical attention, they will try to say that you either lied about how badly you were hurt or lied about how you got the injuries in the first place. With that reasoning, they can try to reduce the value of your claim or throw it out altogether. Your Jacksonville car accident lawyer don’t want that for you.
Getting the Justice You Deserve
Act as soon as you can. In Florida, the state law says that you have four years in which to file your car accident claim. That means you are going to be barred from receiving any sort of justice if you wait more than four years from the date of your car accident. Ideally, you make the call to our Jacksonville car accident lawyer as soon as you possibly can after being involved in the accident. With a case that moves urgently, you reduce the risk of the evidence disappearing, witnesses forgetting what happened, and the insurance company having any room to undermine your case.
You may have preconceived notions about hiring a lawyer, such as how expensive they are and how you could handle a case by yourself without them. You are indeed allowed to represent yourself in a car accident claim but the chances of you getting the justice that you deserve in the fullest and fairest amount are slim. Our Jacksonville car accident lawyer are so successful because of their extensive knowledge in local and federal law regarding personal injury. Odds are you’re focused on your physical well-being, and caring for yourself and your family and trying to become an expert litigator while dealing with an injury is not a realistic possibility for you. Also, our lawyer work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay a penny unless we win your case.
Choosing The Right Car Accident Attorney
People often ask how to go about picking a personal injury lawyer when they’ve been hurt in a car accident. If you have someone who has referred you to a lawyer, great. Go to that lawyer. More to the point, however, you want a lawyer who’s done this before. Our practice is almost exclusively engaged in personal injury work. It’s been that way since day one, since 1982. You want someone who knows their way around the personal injury law. It has become complex. It has become controlled by the legislature in Tallahassee with the passage of many laws and statures. If you are not in it on a regular basis, you may not know what’s going on.
When shopping around for a lawyer, sit down with them and ask, “What’s your experience? How long have you been in practice? What percentage of your work is personal injury work? What percentage of your personal injury work is the kind of case I have?” Now, automobile accidents are, in the grand scheme of personal injury work, fairly common, particularly here in Nassau County. We have an east-west road, state road 200, which stretches from I95 into Amelia Island where we have two paper mills. We have hundreds of logging trucks that go in and out. It’s very dangerous. The road has been under construction for several years and will likely be under construction for several years after that. We have a whole host of automobile accidents on a daily basis. You need to know that your lawyer has the experience to handle those cases. If you’ve been hurt on state road 200 in Nassau County or any other roadways in Nassau County or Duval County, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you with your case and see where it goes.
Car Accident Case Value
Even though many clients ask this in their first conference with us, we typically don’t answer it then because a lot of things go into determining the value of your case. The nature and extent of your injury, the amount of your medical bills and, if you have been working outside the home, the amount of lost wages. We don’t know a lot of these factors on day one of your case. There is a lot of what goes into valuing your case. We always advise clients to let us get the things done that we need to do. You get back to getting back on your feet as best you can. We’ll come to a time later on in your case where we get to value your case after all of these things have occurred and developed. If you’ve been hurt in Nassau County or in the Duval County area, give us a call. We’ll sit down and talk about your case and figure out how best to approach it.
Lost Wage Reimbursement in a Car Accident Case
Clients who come to see us typically have not been involved in automobile accidents before. They don’t know how it works. They’ve had automobile insurance for years and years, have never had to use it. They get hurt. They can’t work. They want to know what to do about that. In Florida, if you drive on the streets of Nassau County and Duval County, you know you have to have what is called PIP insurance. It’s Personal Injury Protection insurance. It’s also called no fault insurance. It will pay 60% of your lost wages.
When you get hurt, one of the early things you should do is call your insurance company. They, either online or through the US mail, will send you a bunch of paperwork. Several of those documents have to do with documenting your lost wages. You or they will send a form to your employer. They will fill out a lost wage verification form where they’re able to go back 13 weeks prior to your accident. They will take an average of that and pay you 60% of your wages. Now, additionally, if you work for a company that provides different kinds of insurance, some of the insurance might be short-term disability or wage continuation plans. You should contact your HR department or the representative for your health insurance, your short-term disability, and they will do the same thing. There will be a coordination so that your wages are protected as much as they can be. At a minimum if you have insurance, it will pay 60% of your wages.
If you’ve been hurt in Nassau County, Duval County, or anywhere in northeast Florida, give us a call and we can help you walk through those issues that are mysteries to you. They’re not mysteries to us. We can help you through these issues, as well as other aspects of your case.
Car Accident Case Timeline
One of the first questions clients ask is how long a case will last. That answer varies. A good rule of thumb is 9 to 14 months. It could go longer, however, if your case gets into litigation and it gets complex. If we can resolve your case without filing the lawsuit, then it would be at the front end of that timeframe, maybe a little less, maybe a little bit more. It depends on several factors. One thing is certain. It will not be over in a couple of weeks. It’s not a matter of calling up an insurance company and asking them to pay us your money. It doesn’t work that way.
First of all, there’s analysis of your medical records, both pre-accident and after your accident, so that we have a good fix of your injuries. Collection of medical records and medical bills takes time. That stretches out the duration of your case a lot of times. Know that you have to be prepared to be in it for a while. When you come to a lawyer with the legal problem, leave the legal problem here. Let us do the work we excel at. You get back on your feet and do what you do in terms of getting back to as much of a normal lifestyle as you can. If you have those questions or any other questions, call us. If you’ve been hurt in Nassau County, Duval County, the Amelia Island area, or western Nassau, call us. We’ll sit down with your case and figure out what’s best for you.
Car Accident Insurance Investigation
Many times, we get asked whether clients should talk to the insurance company. The insurance company can be several different companies. In Florida, you have a responsibility to talk to your own insurance company. That’s in your contract whether you know it or not. You have a duty to cooperate. That means talking to them, giving a statement if they ask for it, writing statements of what happened, and signing authorizations, etc. You have a duty of cooperation to your own insurance company.
You do not have that duty to the insurance company covering the other automobile that was involved in your collision. We recommend that people do not talk to the other insurance company. There are companies that are very professional. There are insurance companies that are not. You don’t know one from the other. It’s best to have all information channeled through the office of your attorney, who know the ins and outs so that things can stay organized while you concentrate on getting better. Again, don’t talk to the insurance company from the other side. Let your lawyer do it. Talk to your own insurance company because you’re supposed to. If you have a case like that, call us. We’d be happy to help you in any aspect of it, whether it happens in Nassau County, Duval County, Jacksonville, or Fernandina Beach.
Common Mistakes in a Car Accident Case
Clients sometimes do not do the best things that will help their case. One of the common things that we see is, after a car collision, they don’t go to the doctor because they don’t think they’ve been hurt. Many times, people get hurt in what is known as a soft tissue injury where their muscles been damaged or their discs between their backbone have been hurt. Those types of injuries sometimes don’t come up for several days. When you’re in a collision, many times your adrenaline just goes off the chart and you don’t feel the injury. Whether you do or whether you don’t, go get checked out. In Florida, if you don’t get checked out and see a doctor for treatment within 14 days, you lose your right to have your own PIP or no-fault insurance pay for those bills. That could be a kick in the stomach to your situation.
Another mistake we see is people don’t get a hold of a lawyer. A lawyer can do many things in preservation of evidence, particularly here in Nassau County. State road 200 is the east-west main artery, only artery from I95 onto Amelia Island. It is under construction. It’s been under construction for several years. It will be under construction for many years to come. The makeup of the lanes change, sometimes on a daily basis. If you get a hold of a lawyer, a lawyer knows to go preserve the evidence, go out and take photographs of the accident scene because it’s going to change, particularly up here.
Cars get repaired. Another mistake we see is clients don’t get pictures of the damage to their car. Without it, although it’s not fatal, it weakens your case. You’ve heard the phrase a picture is worth 1,000 words. That is particularly true in courtrooms. Jurors love to see pictures. With it, we can extrapolate your damages and your injuries. If we have it, it’s a great tool. If we don’t have it, it’s one less tool in our toolbox.
Those two things are the primary mistakes that we see. That clients don’t get treated and they don’t preserve their evidence by taking pictures of the scene and pictures of the car. If you contact us early on, we can navigate you through those mine fields. We can preserve the evidence so that we can maximize the value of your case. If you’ve been hurt in Nassau County, Duval County, or northeast Florida, give us a call. We’ll be happy to sit down with you, go over things, and see how best we could help you.
Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
Many times, people get involved in auto collisions and the at-fault driver does not have any insurance. Even though they are required to carry certain levels of insurance, there are many people who don’t buy the kind of insurance that will pay you for your injuries. Some people are on the road not driving with insurance at all. You can protect yourself. What do you do if someone doesn’t have insurance? If you’re concerned about protecting yourself fully, we always recommend that you obtain uninsured, under insured motorist coverage so that in the event that you’re involved in a collision and the other side who is at fault has no coverage, you are protected. If you’re hurt on state road 200 in Nassau County or any artery or roadway in Nassau County or the Jacksonville area in Duval County, give us a call. We’ll be happy to go over that with you and all other aspects of your case.
After a Car Accident Injury
What should you do after you’ve been involved in an automobile accident? One of the first things you should do is get treated. That is far and away more important than any other aspect of a case. Even if you don’t think you are hurt, go to your primary care doctor or to the emergency room and do it right away because many times you can be hurt and not know it. The sooner you get treated and the sooner you can get to see a doctor, the sooner the therapies can be implemented and the more effectively and the quicker you can get well. That is the very first thing that you should do.
Next, call a lawyer who can help you navigate through the complexities of insurance questions, including who should pay what, how it should be paid, and preservation of the evidence, such as the damage to your vehicle and the collision scene. Those types of things go away if you don’t get it done immediately. Your attorney can help you with these items while you are recuperating and getting your medical care. He can be that aid in the event that your case turns into a claim against a responsible party. If you’ve been hurt in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Yulee, Callahan, Hilliard, Nassau County or the Jacksonville area in Duval County, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you in any way that we can.
Liability in a Car Accident Case
When people come to see us, they have a lot of questions. Typically, they’ve been in an accident. This is their first one. They don’t know what to do. The question that comes up is who’s going to pay the bills. Ironically, even though the accident was not your fault, you will pay the initial round. In Florida, you are required to have no fault insurance, also goes by Personal Injury Protection, PIP. That insurance will pay 80% of your medical bills. If you purchase additional insurance with your automobile insurance called medical payment insurance, you have to pay extra for it, but it will pick up the other 20%. Your auto insurance will pay potentially 100% of your bills.
That may sound backwards if someone else is responsible for the accident, but in Florida, that’s what pays first. After that, your health insurance, if you have it, will pick up these bills. At the end, if we resolve your case, either by settling before going to court or obtaining a verdict, the liable party will pay for your medical bills. At the end of the day, the at fault driver’s insurance company will pay, but at the beginning of the case, you have to take care of it. For answers to these and other insurance related questions connected with auto accidents, give us a call.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
No one deserves to have to go through a car accident claim by themselves. You have enough to worry about already. Let us handle the hard parts. Call our Jacksonville car accident lawyer today to set up your free initial consultation to go over the details of your case and get guidance that could lead to your full and fair compensation.
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