Auto Accident Lawyer in St. Petersburg
Car, truck, motorcycle, scooter, bus, bicycle, boat and watercraft accidents encompass a wide range of personal injury claims which generally fall under the umbrella of “Motor Vehicle Liability”. The primary basis for these claims is the legal theory of negligence. If someone is negligent in the operation or use of a motor vehicle, and that negligence results in injuries to another person, then the injured person will most likely have the right to make a claim, and if necessary, file a lawsuit against the negligent person.
The process and procedure for initiating a motor vehicle accident claim typically involves dealing with multiple insurance companies, adjusters, and lawyers. It also involves obtaining information from various law enforcement agencies, and questioning witnesses and doctors. Additionally, a large majority of these claims have a property damages component, where there is a need for legal assistance to get your damaged vehicle repaired quickly, or your total loss paid out, and get you into a rental car if available. You can be sure the insurance companies have entire legal departments advising them on every claim. That’s why it is so important that you have the knowledge and experience of a qualified auto accident lawyer on your side. Having the right auto accident personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in making a successful claim.
Navigating the PIP laws can be a minefield for a claimant, but a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer can help you through it so your medical expenses and lost wages get paid.
Accidents involving most cars, trucks, and even some bicycles, can be particularly complicated by the Florida No Fault (PIP) insurance laws. This basically requires that, no matter who is at fault in causing the accident, the injured person’s own car insurance must pay a large portion of their medical bills and lost wages. If the injured person does not own an automobile, their PIP coverage would typically be provided through a relative that they live with. Navigating the PIP laws can be a minefield for a claimant, but a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer can help you through it so your medical expenses and lost wages get paid.
Motorcycle accidents are usually very serious and often require extensive medical care and even expensive surgeries. There is usually no way to recover PIP benefits for the motorcycle rider. Insurance policies are often insufficient to cover all of the medical expenses and other damages incurred by the injured biker. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney’s negotiation skills will really come into play when medical bills must be reduced to allow a claim to be resolved. The right motorcycle accident lawyer helps to maximize settlements, which ultimately helps you to receive more of the settlement money.
Impairment from things like drugs, or even distracted driving, such as texting, can be involved in a claim.
There are sometimes unusual legal obstacles which can arise with any of these motor vehicle crashes. There may also be situations where factors such as DUI or other alcohol related personal injuries must be addressed. Impairment from things like drugs, or even distracted driving, such as texting, can be involved in a claim. An experienced auto accident personal injury lawyer will know how to best address these and seek out the top settlements under those circumstances.
Settlements Include Different Types of Damages
In preparing your auto accident injury claim, an auto accident injury lawyer will attempt to use all evidence at their disposal to obtain maximum settlement value. The value of your case is based upon your “damages”. Damages can be things that are “out of pocket”, like medical and prescription bills, lost wages, property damages, and the like, as well as “speculative”, like pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life, future lost wages, future medical bills, etc. So, whether you are seeking a “whiplash” or other back injury settlement, or wind up in a lawsuit for brain trauma, the types of damages are usually very similar, it’s just that the amounts may differ greatly depending upon the seriousness of the personal injury, as well as a host of other accident related circumstances. An experienced car accident attorney will understand how to best identify and present these damages to an insurance adjuster or jury on your behalf.
If there is not enough bodily injury insurance to resolve your entire claim, another claim may be made against your own Uninsured Motorist insurance carrier.
Typically, a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages will be paid by your own PIP insurance under the No Fault law. The remainder of your claim will be presented to the "at-fault" insurance company (also called the “bodily injury carrier”). If there is not enough bodily injury insurance to resolve your entire claim, another claim may be made against your own Uninsured Motorist insurance carrier. Florida law does not require motorists to purchase very much insurance. Many drivers only have minimum coverage. This is why it is very important for you to have Uninsured Motorist coverage on your insurance policy. The rules for presenting an Uninsured Motorist claim are quite strict, and your claim can be waived if not done properly. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know what to do to protect your Uninsured Motorist claim.
Fortunately, for most people, motor vehicle accidents are not a common occurrence. If you are really lucky, you may never be involved in one. For most people it will probably happen only once in a lifetime, and they may not even be injured. However, for those that are injured in a crash, the pressures and stresses can be overwhelming. Adding pushy insurance adjusters, a damaged or totaled car, emergency room bills, doctor appointments, lost wages, and injuries and pain to an already busy and stressful life, is not likely to be good for anyone. At David P. Folkenflik, P.A., we want to make the claims process as easy and painless for you as possible. We will be available to answer all of your questions, and assist with all of the insurance and medical issues. We will help you make your lost wages claim, get your car fixed, and get your medical expenses paid. We want to take away as much of the added stress from you as is possible, to allow you to get the medical care you need to get better, and get you the fair compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. We always offer a free consultation for any personal injury claim, and you will pay no attorney fees to us unless you win a settlement or verdict in your claim. Click this link to schedule your free consultation today.
The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice as that can only be given by a direct consultation with the attorney after having reviewed your entire matter and relevant documentation. Actual terms and conditions of representation will be contained in the Representation Agreement.