Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

After a Car Accident, What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!

severe car accident
Survivors of car accidents often recount that the seconds just before impact seemed to pass like a slow-motion movie scene of flashing lights, squealing brakes, shattering glass, and crunching metal. For those who are fortunate enough to walk away unharmed, the entire experience becomes a reminder of how quickly life can change. Unfortunately, some survivors aren’t lucky enough to walkaway unharmed, these car accident victims must face a life that will never be the same as it was before.

And then reality hits you—what do you do now?

Regardless of the cause and circumstances of your auto accident, Armando Personal Injury Law Firm can help. Our practice is committed to helping accident victims get the compensation they need and deserve. We have handled hundreds of car injury cases and have the expertise you need to get insurance companies to the negotiating table.

We work on a contingency basis, so you’ll never pay a cent unless we win your case. If you were hurt or suffered serious injuries because of someone else’s negligence, call to request your free consultation or to file a car crash lawsuit today.

What type of automobile accident cases do you handle?

We have more than a decade of experience fighting for clients who have been victims in a variety of auto accident scenarios. From head-on and rear-end collisions, to side-swipes, hit-and-run, and rollover accidents, we know how to navigate through the red tape to get the best possible outcome for your case. Follow the links below to learn more about the types of car crash cases we handle.

Do I Really Need An Attorney After My Accident?

Some claims and accidents do not need the assistance of an attorney. The problem arises when you are in an accident and your claim starts to become complex. You may not realize that your claim is complex, but there are a number of variables that can occur without you knowing. And this is exactly what the insurance companies want to happen. The less you know what is happening, the better it is for the insurance companies.

Insurance companies have several tactics to lower the value of claims in their favor. This is why it is important to always have a car accident attorney with you when dealing with insurance companies.Especially true if you are giving a recorded statement. The insurance company may be trying to get more information, or they may be trying to find a flaw in your story. You should also be aware that adjusters may accept liability, or fault, for your accident. While this may sound like a win for you, there are some things you should be skeptical of. Adjusters saying they are accepting liability just means that they are willing to pay a certain amount of damage of your claim, not necessarily to total amount of damage or injury that you have sustained. Insurance companies, and adjusters, also know what your claim is worth. They will have several analyses done to say what your claim is worth. After this is done, the insurance companies will then offer you a lower amount, hoping you will accept this. It is important to know that while you are in an insurance dispute, you have to pay your medical bills as you receive them. Your insurance company will not advance the costs for you. This is another tactic to pressure you into accepting their offer. The insurance company knows that you need money to pay your bills, and you will be more likely to settle for a lower amount.

Another thing that you should take note of is that if you settle your claim, without first speaking or getting permission from your insurance, it is likely that you will no longer be able to have a claim against your own insurance company later on. This normally occurs when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. When the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, your insurance will normally pay for the damages that you have sustained. However, if you have already settled the claim, it is likely that they will not offer any help with your claim. With all of these things going on, it is important to have an attorney at your disposal. At Armando Personal Injury Law, we are willing to help you fight the insurance companies. 

Car Accident FAQ

I was just involved in an auto accident. What should I do now?

Even though you may be emotionally or physically rattled after a car crash, remaining calm and focused on the following steps will help protect you as a victim of someone else’s negligence.

  1. Check on everyone involved in the accident. If injuries are minor, ensure that everyone involved is safely away from any oncoming traffic or other road hazards.
  2. Call 911. If you or anyone else has sustained serious injuries, call for an ambulance immediately.
  3. Contact the police. They’ll help secure the accident scene and create an official accident report. This is an important step, as the police report can often show if negligence played a part in the accident. This will be a key piece of evidence that the car accident lawyer will need if you end up pursuing compensation.
  4. Get information from the other driver. Include contact details, license number, and insurance information, and his account of what happened. If the other vehicle was a commercial truck, also get the name and contact info for the trucking company.
  5. Do not admit fault. Avoid making any statements that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault in the accident.
  6. Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine after the accident, that doesn’t mean that you weren’t injured. Obtain a professional health evaluation from your doctor as soon as possible to rule out any injuries that might not have been apparent at the time of the accident.
  7. Get a copy of the police report. Be sure to write down the name of the officers handling the accident.
  8. Inform your insurance provider.
  9. Begin collecting evidence by taking pictures of all vehicles involved. This is one of the most important steps! The more evidence you have, the easier it will be for your attorney to reconstruct the accident. If you end up pursuing compensation for injuries and property damage, this evidence will prove invaluable.
  10. Consult with an auto accident attorney. An experienced auto accident attorney can work to protect your legal rights, guide you through the complexities of filing a car accident claim or lawsuit, and start the investigation process quickly to ensure that you will not be taken advantage of by insurance companies.

 

How do I receive medical treatment if I was involved in a car accident?

Florida is a no-fault state, which means that regardless of whose fault the accident was, you have the right to seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident as long as you carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on your car insurance. Florida law requires everyone who owns a vehicle to carry PIP (Florida Statute 627.736).
This statute also outlines that if you are involved in an accident and are seen by a physician within 14 days who certifies that you have an emergency medical condition, you are entitled to receive up to $10,000 of medical benefits to help pay for your treatment and care.
We can help you find a doctor to treat you for your injuries as well as guide you through the exhaustive process of filing a property damage claim.

SEE OUR GUIDE: Getting Medical Treatment with PIP Benefits After an Automobile Accident

When do I need to contact a car accident attorney after an accident?

The quick answer is as soon as possible! However, some scenarios will affect how an attorney will best help you in your case. Below are recommendations for what you can do based on different accident circumstances:

  1. No Injuries | Other Driver’s Fault
    • Take pictures of the accident.
    • Secure a driver’s exchange form from the other driver.
      • Information should include the following: The other driver’s name, driver’s license information, address, phone number, and the name, policy number, and contact phone number of their insurance company, also called the adverse concerned insurer.
    • Take names and contact info of any witnesses.
    • Report only to the adverse concerned insurance company using the other driver’s policy number.
    • Ask the officer on-scene to complete a police report. The copy of the police report should be ready for pick-up at the police department in 10-12 days.
    • Mark your calendar during the process to keep track of all calls, appointments, and progress.
    • Call adverse insurer. Ask adverse insurer if they are going to accept liability.
      • Call every day until you receive a response. Keep track of calls.
      • If they accept liability, they should give you a rental car while your car is being repaired.
  2. No Injuries | My Fault
    • Hire an automobile accident lawyer to fight the ticket to keep points off your license and to prevent an insurance rate increase
    • Contact your insurance company to provide details and obtain a claim number.
      • It’s the insurance company’s duty to defend you and their duty to pay for damages.
      • However, if you don’t have enough coverage to pay for damages, you may want to consult a auto injury & accident lawyer in order to protect your assets.
  3. Injuries Sustained | Other Driver’s Fault
    • Hire a car accident attorney first to help with filing a claim report with your insurance company.
    • Your insurance company will request a copy of the police report.
    • Your insurance company will issue a claim number that will be necessary for obtaining PIP insurance coverage of any medical bills up to $10,000.
    • Find a board-certified doctor who accepts PIP insurance to receive treatment for your injuries.
    • Secure all pictures and any additional evidence collected at the accident scene.
    • Try to call witnesses to get written statement of what you saw – do it quickly!

As you can see, the process can be overwhelming. If you’ve sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contacting our Law firm would be the first step to ensure that these details will be taken care of by an experienced car accident attorney. The sooner that you have our team working for you, the faster that you will have peace of mind during your recovery.

Should I Accept The Insurance Companies Settlement Offer?

Insurance companies have teams of experts who value your car accident and injuries.  The job of these adjusters is to decrease the worth of your car accident claim. The larger insurance companies employee their own adjusters, and the smaller insurance companies may have to hire an independent adjuster to do the valuing. However, the overall result is the same. This is why it is important to have an attorney who is experienced in car accident claims and has dealt with insurance companies adjusters in the past.

Without legal counsel you would be bringing a knife to a gunfight. Although an attorney is not required, you are proceeding at your own risk, especially if you were injured or your vehicle sustained extensive damage. If you represent yourself in a car accident case, you are playing a serious game, which has rules that you may not know, so losing could be a life-changing mistake.

It’s important to remember most car accident lawsuits do not involve suing the negligent party personally. In most cases, you will need to get compensation from an insurance company, and they want to get away as cheaply as possible. They spend thousands of dollars on training their insurance adjusters and attorneys to find ways to deny and or minimize the amount you can recover. Don’t help them. Hire your own attorney and investigator to help you.

How do Insurance Companies Value My Car Accident Claim?

If you have never dealt with an insurance company be grateful. There are a number of ways that the insurance companies will approach you in an attempt to lower the value of your accident claim. There are two main tactics that insurance companies will use. First, the insurance companies will approach you and question you on a number of occasions. The insurance companies will tell you that there is a dispute in the stories, or they are trying to gather more information. In reality, the insurance companies are trying to get you to change your story. The more the insurance companies talk to you and question you, the more likely the will find a problem with what has happened. By doing this, they are able to lower the value of your claim. The second tactic that insurance companies use is using software to value your claim. A common software that is used is known as the Colossus program. This program will take the injuries that have occurred and give a set dollar amount in return, based on the injury. For example, a broken arm may be worthy a certain amount of money, where a broken toe would be worth less. All insurance companies use some form of these two tactics, as well as variations and other tactics, to get your injury claim valued as low as possible. That is why it is important to have an attorney present with you while you are speaking and dealing with an insurance company. If you have been in a car accident or have been injured, do not hesitate, call Armando Personal Injury Law

Should I accept a check from the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will pressure the victim of a car accident into settling for an amount far less than what they deserve. For example, if you were to accept a $200,000 check from the insurance company without realizing that your future medical needs might eventually cost $500,000, you are putting yourself at risk. It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to resort to intimidation in order to negotiate a settlement that suits their interests. Don’t fall victim to these tactics, or you’ll be the one who continues to pay the price.

Our experienced car accident lawyers will protect your rights by communicating directly with the insurance company on your behalf. In fact, all insurance providers will back off when they find out you’ve hired a car accident lawyer from Armando Personal Injury Law to represent you. They know that going to court may end badly for them, so they’re more likely to settle for an appropriate amount.

Tips on how to deal with the following insurance companies.

  • 21st Century Insurance Company/Farmer’s/ Bristol West/ Security National
  • Allstate Insurance Claims
  • GEICO
  • The General Insurance Company
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
  • Progressive Auto Insurance Claims
  • State Farm Insurance Claims
  • USAA (United Services Automobile Association)

 

How do I know if I have a case?

Proving negligence is the primary goal in any auto (car, motorcycle, and truck) accident that results in serious injuries. To do so, attorneys must take an in-depth look at the events leading up to the wreck. This is often a difficult process that involves an extensive investigation. However, our experienced lawyers will know how to spot an instance of negligence and what evidence to gather to prove it. Give us a call or schedule a free consultation so that we can review the details of your case.

What types of negligence cause car accidents?

NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis: Police-Reported Motor Vehicle Crashes 2016Negligence, or failing to act with care, consists of the following:

  • Speeding
  • Swerving
  • Improper lane changes
  • Texting while driving
  • Talking on the phone while driving
  • Failing to yield
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Distracted driving
  • Disobeying posted traffic rules
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
  • Other unlawful and careless acts

When you hire Armando, we’ll examine the circumstances of the accident to determine if negligence on the part of the other driver caused the crash. If we find that negligence played a part in the accident, we’ll seek compensation from the liable party and their insurance company to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. It’s our job to navigate you through the legal process and either negotiate an appropriate settlement or fight for your rights in court through a trial.

What types of damages can I recover?

Compensation after a car accident may consist of a financial award following a verdict, lawsuit settlement, insurance claim, or a combination of these. There are two main types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages can be used to reimburse you for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded as an additional punishment for the defendant’s especially negligent or illegal behavior that would compensate the plaintiff for pain and suffering, lost consortium, etc.

Determining the amount of compensation is a complex process. It requires an attorney skilled in handling auto accidents and experienced in trial and out of court to properly evaluate the case. We evaluate a number of factors surrounding the wreck and the condition your injuries have left you in. Some of the things we’ll look at in order to calculate compensation include:

  • Current ongoing medical bills and past medical bills related to the accident
  • Medical records and a diagnosis from your doctor
  • The effect the accident has had on your lifestyle
  • The accident report
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of income or the inability to continue working

If a family member died in a fatal automobile accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim to pay for funeral costs, loss of future income paid to the deceased family members, and loss of enjoyment in life for the survivors. Proving negligence is the most important step to take in order to receive compensation.

Why is it important for me to seek medical treatment?

When you’re injured in a car accident, it’s crucial you receive medical treatment right away. Failing to see a doctor immediately can have a huge impact on your ability to recover damages. Many times, symptoms of certain injuries won’t appear for weeks, even months. Even if you feel fine, it’s better to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Some of the most common injuries victims of car accidents suffer include:

  • Whiplash, which is often caused by rear-end collisions
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal injuries such as a herniated or bulging disks
  • Knee and leg injuries
  • Chest trauma due to impact with the steering wheel
  • Chemical burns caused by the deployment of an airbag

It’s important to continue receiving medical treatment for your injuries. This could include ongoing physical therapy or follow-up appointments with your doctor. A good rule of thumb is to adhere to your doctor’s recommendations and keep detailed records of your medical treatment. These records, along with your medical bills, will help your attorney prove to a judge and jury that you need proper compensation to get your life back on track.

What evidence should I collect after a car accident that will help me with my case?

  • Pictures. Take pictures of the vehicles to show the location of the wreck. Try to take photos of the entire scene, including any tire marks and damage caused to things like road signs or light posts. Make sure you take photos of all the vehicles involve not just yours.
  • Witnesses’ Names and Contact Information. Write down all the witnesses’ names and phone numbers. Ask them if they’d be willing to make a statement regarding the accident. Their statements will help confirm how the wreck occurred and who was negligent.
  • Notes. Take note of any and all statements the other driver makes such as “I’m sorry, I was on my phone,” or “I didn’t see you.” These are admissions of negligence that will be helpful in establishing fault during the trial.

What should I NOT do after a car accident?

  • DO NOT call any insurance companies or give any recorded statements until you’ve spoken to a lawyer. Armando is available 24/7 to speak and meet with clients. We are here to help you and you can text us through the website for an immediate response.
  • DO NOT admit fault. Avoid saying things like “I’m so sorry,” or “My fault.” Admissions of guilt, even in a passing statement of apology, can be used against you later in court.
  • DO NOT sign anything other than an official statement for a police report. In an exchange of information with the other driver, do not agree to sign any type of statement.
  • DO NOT offer the other driver cash to pay for damages on the scene. Do not accept the same cash offer from the other driver, either.

I was injured extensively and cannot travel to your office—can you still help me?

Of course! We’ll come to your home to work with you on your case. We understand the difficulties in trying to manage transportation during your recovery period, so we are happy to help alleviate the burden in order to help fight for you.

We don’t back down when it comes to protecting our client’s rights and helping to secure a better future for you. Contact us at (813) 440-3213 or schedule a free consultation through our website today!

SEE OUR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Need help? get in touch