Answers to Common Questions About Filing a Florida Accident Claim

November 11, 2009

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, many questions come up for consideration. Should you file a claim? What if you can’t afford a lawyer? Having an accident can be traumatic enough without having to search for answers about the legal issues involved. The following list of questions and answers can help you decide on the next step.

  1. I can file a claim without a lawyer, right? Technically, yes, you can file a Florida accident claim without going to a lawyer, but talking to an attorney first is usually the best thing to do. Experienced lawyers can help you navigate through the often-complicated laws involving auto accidents and injuries. Attorneys can also help your case by consulting with expert witnesses and researching other important information about your case. Remember that you will be negotiating your claim with an insurance company that employs thousands of attorneys to defend  it against claims like yours, and will spend thousands of dollars investigating your claim.  Insurance companies can access public records to learn information about any accident you have ever been involved in, or when you have sought medical treatment from an accident.  You should speak to a Florida accident lawyer that will fight to maximize your recovery
  2. But, I can’t afford to hire a lawyer! Generally, most lawyers will offer your initial consultation free of charge to you. This consultation helps you and your lawyer discuss your accident claim and whether or not you may even have a case. If you do have a case, you stand to get more compensation if you are represented by an attorney. If you hire an attorney who only charges if they win your case, you haven’t lost anything by pursuing it through legal counsel.
  3. I need money now, what if I don’t have time to wait for a case to be settled? If you have bills to pay and you are out of work due to the accident or if you have medical bills due to your injuries, it can be tempting to take a settlement offer and move on with your life. But, working with your attorney to get the best possible compensation is worth the wait. Depending on the circumstances involved with the Florida accident claim, some cases can be settled in a few weeks, while some cases need to go to court. Your attorney can help you choose the best option so you can get the most compensation.
  4. What if I just talk to the other party and settle out of court? Don’t try it on your own! Insurance companies have become very sophisticated businesses that work to minimize your claim by any means possible.  This includes investigating any prior claims you have made, and evaluating your prior medical records and diagnostic scans such as MRI’s.  It could also include having private investigators take witness statements, and possibly even conducting surveillance video on you.  An experienced Florida accident attorney can also obtain witness statements, take photographs of the property damage and accident scene, and prepare your claim so you can maximize your recovery for new injuries, and even aggravations of pre-existing injuries. Experienced accident attorneys can also find out how other similar claims were resolved in the past. They are skilled in the art of negotiation. They are your best option for getting the amount of compensation you deserve.
  5. I think I may have been at fault, what do I do? These days, auto accidents are complicated by many different factors. You might think you were at fault, but maybe the other driver was on their cell phone or texting while driving. Maybe they were driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. You don’t really know that it was your fault and a good Florida accident claim attorney can help you sort things out so you aren’t left vulnerable if the case goes to court and to a jury.

In the event you are involved in a car accident, take advantage of the free initial consultations that many Florida accident claim lawyers offer. Ask the attorney questions to see how many cases like yours they have handled which will give you a good idea of their exerience. Ask about the results of their cases to see if they have been handled successfully. Ask about the attorney’s payment structure so you know what pursuing the case will cost you. Ask if the lawyer has a Martin-Hubble "AV" rating which rates the attorney’s level of professional excellence. And, keep in mind, you should never feel pressured to hire the attorney during the initial interview.

For more information about filing a Florida accident claim, contact the Florida auto accident lawyers at Joseph M. Maus, P.A.at 1-866-556-5529, visit them online at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email them today.

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