What To Do After A Personal Injury Accident in Tampa
Take steps to protect your health and your legal rights
Personal injury accidents happen all the time, in Wellswood, Hyde Park, Rainbow Heights, Palmetto Beach and throughout the Tampa area. People are injured and left to deal with the consequences.
An accident can cause a wide range of injuries. People can suffer broken bones, burns, knee injuries, hearing loss, strains and sprains, and injuries to the head, neck or back. They need treatment at Tampa General Hospital or another area medical center. Lives can be disrupted and plans put on hold all because of an accident that happened in seconds.
If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you may have a lot of questions as you think about what to do next. Whether your injuries are from a car crash, slip and fall accident, dog bite, defective product or another type of accident, it’s important to know your rights.
What should I do after being hurt in an accident?
There are steps you can take soon after your accident that can help protect your health and your legal rights.
Get medical attention.
After an accident, you may feel that your injuries are minor and that you don’t really need a doctor. Mostly, you may feel shaken up. Going to a doctor may not seem worth the trouble; you may think that getting an exam would take up too much time. But it is in your own best interest to get medical attention as soon as possible, for several reasons.
Some injuries have delayed symptoms that don’t appear for days. Some examples are concussion and damage to internal organs. A doctor can determine if you have injuries and begin immediate treatment. The doctor will also document your injuries. This documentation will help you if you try to recover financial compensation after the accident.
In a personal injury claim, you must be able to provide proof that you were injured in an accident. Take photos of the accident scene and any visible injuries that you have. If police responded to the accident, get a copy of the police report. Keep copies of all of your medical records related to your injuries.
Get copies of any other documentation that can help your case, such as estimates to repair any property damage. If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information. Write down your account of the accident while your memory of it is still fresh. Include all the details you can remember.
Contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer.
In the days following the accident, you may think about whether you should talk to a lawyer. You may wonder if it’s worth your time to talk to an attorney. You may not be sure if you even have a case. But it’s important to understand your rights after you’ve suffered an injury and know where you stand.
It will also cost you nothing. Personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. We can review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options. You can also get answers to the questions you likely have. At the very least, you can get all the information you need to help you decide what to do next.
How can a lawyer help my personal injury claim?
An experienced attorney can:
Investigate your accident.
We have the resources to investigate what happened and gather additional evidence. For example, there may have been a traffic or security camera that captured your accident. A lawyer can take legal action to preserve evidence controlled by the negligent party, such as maintenance records and safety inspection reports.
Carefully review documentation.
Accident reports, medical records and other documentation can be very confusing. We know how to read them to get necessary information, such as the seriousness of your injuries and the role that a negligent party played in causing the accident.
Get an experienced attorney who knows what questions to ask witnesses in order to gather as much information as possible about the accident.
Deal directly with the insurance company.
Insurance companies use many tactics to try to minimize compensation when someone has been hurt in an accident. They may question the extent of the victim’s injuries and insist on an independent medical exam. They may seek copies of the victim’s medical records to look for evidence that injuries were pre-existing. Sometimes, they’ll blame the victim for what happened. If they do make a settlement offer, it will fall far short of covering actual damages.
We know how to deal with these tactics and build a strong case that the insurance company has to take seriously. A lawyer can then negotiate a settlement that is fair.
Take legal action.
If the insurance company won’t agree to a settlement that meets your needs, we can file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue your case through the judicial system.
How much financial compensation can I get after an accident?
Every case is different, and the amount of compensation you can recover after being injured in an accident caused by another will depend on many factors. Some of these factors include the seriousness of your injuries, the strength of your case and insurance policy limits. But in general, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses – These include all current and future expenses related to the treatment of your injury. Expenses can include the cost of an ambulance, diagnostic tests, imaging tests such as X-rays, surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, follow-up doctor appointments and any needed home health care services.
- Lost wages – If your injury forced you to miss time from your job, you can seek compensation for the income that was lost.
- Non-economic damages – These are damages which don’t have a specific monetary value. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement or disability and loss of enjoyment of life.
An attorney can help you determine the total damages you suffered and guide you through the legal process to help you recover compensation.
There is a lot to think about after you’ve been hurt in an accident. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured, contact us to schedule a free consultation today.
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