Four Steps To Take After An Auto Accident
When we get into a car to drive somewhere, having an accident is the last thing on our mind. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 17,250 auto accidents daily nationwide. If you have been the victim of an auto accident, you may have many questions, especially if you have property damage or worse, are injured bodily.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer
After seeing medical attention, and doing all the is required of you at the scene of the accident, you may wonder, “ Who is going to pay the tab for this?” Can you sue the driver or their insurance company? Who you choose to sue depends on a number of factors which is why you require a competent personal injury attorney. Here are some things that are taken into consideration:
The first step in any accident is to determine who is at fault for the accident. If you are 100 percent at fault, then a lawsuit will not be successful. The state of Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that if you are partially at fault in the accident, say it is determined you are 25% at fault, then your damages are reduced by 25%. That does not however, prevent you from recovering damage.
• Negotiating With The Insurance Company:
Anytime a driver is at fault, you will be contacted by the insurance company. You must keep one thing in mind. Insurance companies have stockholders, attorneys on staff full time and their main priority is to have their agents give you as little as possible to keep stakeholders happy. So the best option is to immediately hire a personal injury attorney and refer the insurance company to them. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance companies, and if they fail to compensate you adequately, file a lawsuit. Florida is a no-fault state, so many people do not realize that dependent on the injuries, losses and other aspects, you can sue for damages. Your attorney can advise you of your options.
• Suing At Fault Driver:
If you have made a claim to the insurance company, but they have not compensated you for all your injuries and expenses, your personal injury attorney will then file a negligence lawsuit against the driver. While you cannot sue the insurance company, you can sue the driver at fault for the injuries caused by the crash. This also includes aggravation of a pre-existing injury.
• At Fault Driver Is Uninsured:
While the state of Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection there are still many Florida drivers who have no insurance. If the driver who hit you is uninsured you have two options. First option is to file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist insurance, but this cannot exceed the amount of your policy, so if you have $100,00 in insurance that is the maximum you can be compensated. Your second option is to sue the uninsured driver. But keep in mind, a driver who has no insurance probably does not have assets to compensate you and while you may win the lawsuit, you may not receive anything.
f you have been in an accident in South Florida, contact the team at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, & Walsh. With locations from St. Petersburg to Ft. Myers, we have recovered over $500 million dollars for our south Florida clients. Contact us or go online for a free case review.