Personal Injury Lawyers
Tampa, Florida

Get Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accidents

Tampa personal injury attorney Armando Edmiston is here to help

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. That’s why Armando Personal Injury Law and founding attorney Armando Edmiston have provided answers to some questions we frequently get asked regarding car accidents and the law in Florida.

Read the answers to these FAQs – and be sure to browse through the rest of the Armando Personal Injury Law website for more information, such as how to read your Florida car accident reportwhat to do after a car accident, and how a car accident lawyer can help you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, learn how our law firm can help you. Contact us today for your free case evaluation. We serve clients in Tampa and all throughout Florida.

How do I know if I have a car accident claim?

If you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be able to pursue a claim for damages and hold the at fault party accountable. Generally speaking, you probably have a car accident claim if your crash happened due to the negligent actions of others, such as someone texting while driving, speeding, drunk driving, etc.

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What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

As of March 24, 2023, Florida is a modified comparative negligence state with a 50 percent bar. This means you cannot recover compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault. If you are partially at fault but less than 50 percent, you can still recover, but your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. An attorney can investigate and find evidence that helps to protect your rights if fault is disputed.

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How do you get your accident report?

In Florida, crash reports are confidential for 60 days. Only certain eligible parties, including the people involved in the crash, their insurance companies, and their legal representatives, as well as certain journalists and government agencies, have access to crash reports during that period. After 60 days, the report becomes public record and anyone can request a copy.

At the scene of the crash, the officer who responded should have given you an accident report number. You can use this number to look up your accident report through the Florida Crash Portal. If you don’t have the report number, you can also look up the report using the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a vehicle involved in the crash, or the last name of a person involved in the crash. It may take up to 10 days for the report to become available, and there is a fee.

You can also request your accident report from the records department of the law enforcement agency that investigated your crash. For example, if your accident was in Tampa, you can request a crash report from the Tampa Police. As your attorney, we can also handle the request for the accident report on your behalf.

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Do I need a car accident lawyer to handle my car accident claim?

While you are not legally required to hire an attorney to handle your car accident claim, you should strongly consider at least speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer to go over your rights and discuss your legal options. Tampa car accident lawyer Armando Edmiston has the knowledge and experience to maximize the value of your claim and help you get the highest amount of compensation possible – all while treating you with dignity and respect. Our law firm also offers a free case evaluation and will represent you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if we win.

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What types of car accident cases does your law firm handle?

Armando Personal Injury Law handles a wide range of cases, including those involving:

Whether you got rear-ended and sustained whiplash or you were involved in a head-on collision and need help getting compensation for a concussion or traumatic brain injury, Tampa car accident lawyer Armando Edmiston will fight for you.

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How much is the average settlement for a car accident?

The amount of compensation you get from a negotiated settlement or jury verdict will depend on the specific details of your case, including the extent of your injuries and the impact your crash has had on your life. Your case could be worth hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions. It really all depends. In general, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Replacement Services
  • Pain and Suffering/Punitive Damages

One of the most effective ways to see if you have a case and how much it might be worth is to schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. Tampa car accident lawyer Armando Edmiston can meet with you, listen to what happened to you, talk about your legal options, answer your questions, and help you figure out the best way to move forward.

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How do insurance companies calculate injury claims?

The insurance company is in business to make money, so the less they have to pay you in compensation the more they can maximize profits. Keep that in mind when considering any settlement offer from the insurance company.

Insurance adjusters are notorious for offering minimal compensation to personal injury victims disguised as quick cash. They do this because they know the faster that they can get you to settle, the less likely it is that you’ll uncover the true cost of your accident-related expenses and ask for compensation that’s fair.

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

Before you accept a payout from any insurance company, you should strongly consider talking to an experienced car accident lawyer to make sure you’re not missing out on the compensation you deserve.

Tampa car accident attorney Armando Edmiston has the knowledge and experience to calculate what your claim should be worth and then negotiate with the insurance company to get you fair compensation. If that doesn’t work, we are more than willing to put in the extra effort and advocate for your best interests in front of a judge and jury.

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Should you call the police?

Yes. You should always contact the police after a car accident. The police officer that arrives at the scene of your accident will secure the area, make sure anyone who needs medical attention gets it, and assist in exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver. The investigating officer will also prepare an official police accident report. This report is evidence that can support your case.

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Why should you seek medical attention after a car accident?

Even if you aren’t visibly injured and don’t have any noticeable symptoms, it is crucial for you to seek medical attention from a licensed medical professional within 24 hours of your crash.

First, you may have serious and potentially fatal injuries and not even realize it. Remember, adrenaline may mask pain and other symptoms, which sometimes happens with people who have sustained whiplash or a traumatic brain injury.

Second, waiting too long to get checked out by a doctor can have a negative impact on your claim, as the insurance company may question how bad you’ve been injured if you didn’t seek medical attention right away. Keep in mind that for PIP claims in Florida, you are required to see a doctor within 14 days of your crash.

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What is examination under oath?

Examination Under Oath (EUO) is a right that the insurance company has to hold an official proceeding where you, the insured, are questioned about your accident under oath and in the presence of a court reporter. If you refuse to be examined under oath, you may be violating the terms of your insurance contract and automatically lose out on any benefits you’re entitled to. Before submitting to an Examination Under Oath, make sure you talk to an experienced car accident lawyer first so that you know your rights and don’t inadvertently sabotage your claim.

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How much can someone sue for after a car accident?

There is no average amount that someone can sue for after a car accident. It depends on the overall financial impact of the accident, including your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and other costs. That may be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.

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How long after a car accident can I sue in Florida?

If you’ve been injured due to the negligent actions of another party, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. This is officially called the statute of limitations. In most cases, your lawsuit will be automatically dismissed if you miss this important deadline.

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How long does a car accident settlement take?

The time it takes to settle a car accident case depends on the details of the case, the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, and how difficult the insurance company decides to be. It can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more. Our job is to keep you informed throughout the process and keep fighting for the best possible outcome.

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How much does a car accident lawyer cost?

At Armando Personal Injury Law, we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay if we win. We also offer a free case evaluation to all potential clients, meaning you don’t have to pay any upfront costs for us to work on your case.

We charge 33.3 percent of any financial recovery we make for you prior to filing a lawsuit, and 40 percent after a lawsuit is filed – up to $1 million. We charge 30 percent for any financial recovery between $1-2 million and 20 percent for any financial recovery in excess of $2 million.

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Will dashcam footage help my case?

Dashcam footage could help your case, but it could also possibly hurt it.

There are two main types of dashcams: single-lens and dual-lens. While a single-lens camera only records the front of the car, a dual-lens dashcam also records the inside. Either way, dashcam footage taken during an accident could help prove you were obeying the rules of the road, or that another driver was reckless. But depending on the circumstances of your accident, it could also indicate that you were distracted or ignored a traffic sign or signal.

On balance, it’s always best to have a dashcam because it’s the only witness you need. Dashcam footage gets to the truth of what happened, no matter who is at fault. It’s the best $100 you can spend.

If you were involved in an accident, it’s important to consult an attorney to discuss your options and get answers to any questions you have. Is dashcam footage admissible in court? Do I have to turn over dashcam footage? Can dashcam footage be used against me? Only a lawyer can assess how dashcam footage could affect your individual case, so contact us as soon as possible.

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