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Hiring an Attorney Following a Car Accident

After seeking medical assistance for any injuries you may have, the next important step following an accident is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you begin the process of filing your claim. Not every personal injury case is the same, and each has their own set of obstacles and challenges, so it is always helpful to have the expertise of a qualified attorney to help navigate you through the process.

What NOT to Do

Becoming involved in a car accident can be a serious issue, and it can ruin your entire day. However, in addition to the inconvenience of the situation, you may find that there is also damage to the car, liability issues, and even citations that you have to deal with as well.

In the event of an accident, you never want to leave the scene. You always want to safely pull the vehicle out of traffic and assess the damages. If you leave before exchanging insurance information with the other driver or fail to report the accident, then you may be committing a crime.

Don’t neglect to call the police to come out and file a report. It is never wise to strictly go on the word of the other driver. They could have warrants or may not even carry car insurance. Always call the police to come and file the report so that you have proof of what has happened.

How Much Can You Get in a Settlement?

The higher the amount of damage, then the likelihood of receiving more in the way of compensation is increased. Even the most average settlement for a car accident with minor injuries can range between the $10,000 and $25,000 mark. However, if the injuries were more severe and resulted in surgery, ongoing care, or physical therapy, then this number can become exponentially more significant.

Negotiating the Settlement

When you begin negotiating the settlement for your personal injury case, you will be calculating a reasonable amount of money that you would accept during a settlement. Take into consideration your medical expenses, property damage, and lost earnings.

Also, if applicable, you will want to consider future lost earnings, future medical expenses for ongoing care, and other general damages such as pain and suffering. General damages, however, are harder to determine and calculate because it is hard to put a dollar value on pain and suffering and it is much harder to prove than physical injuries and property damage.

How Long Will the Settlement Take?

During your claims process you may find that the medical bills and other expenses will begin to add up very quickly and, in this case, you will want to receive your settlement money as soon as possible. However, the time in which you receive your settlement depends on the circumstances surrounding your personal injury claim.

For example, has all the evidence been collected and have you and your attorney already negotiated with the insurance company? This entire process can take weeks, if not months, to complete and it can take even longer if other more complicated issues surface.

Even after the settlement amount has been set in stone, it could still take weeks for you to receive compensation. But your attorney will be able to walk you through the process and will make sure you understand the complexities that may be involved with your particular case, so you can plan ahead if need be.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Hiring an Attorney Following a Car Accident

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