Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do after an accident?
If you have been hurt in an accident, the most important thing to do first is to get medical attention immediately. If you are not taken to the emergency room immediately after an accident, you should take pictures or video of the accident scene. Next, you should obtain the contact information of the other driver (or driver exchange report from police) and any witnesses or bystanders that saw the accident. Do not admit fault to anyone else who was involved, even if it seems like a nice thing to do. Anything you say after an accident may be used against you if you pursue a claim or lawsuit later on. If you suspect that someone else may have been at fault, you should set up a consultation with us immediately to discuss your options. Our consultations are free!
Do I have a case if I do not feel hurt?
You may have a case even if you do not feel hurt at the scene of the accident. Many times, the body's response to an injury may not respond with pain because of the adrenaline running through the body. Pain is frequently felt well after an accident, when the stressful impact of the accident has dwindled down. You may start feeling significant pain or other symptoms later on. It is wise to consult a doctor even if you do not feel immediate or severe pain. We can help guide you through the process of recovery to ensure you get the medical treatment you need, and the financial compensation you are entitled to.
What do I do if an insurance agent calls me?
If you are contacted by an insurance agent or adjuster, you should immediately advise them that you have a lawyer representing you. Insurance personnel may seem friendly and sympathetic, but their job is to obtain statements from you that would reduce the liability of their client and lower the amount of compensation to you. Tell the insurance adjuster to contact your attorney for any information related to your case. The same applies if an attorney for someone else contacts you about your case.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Very few personal injury cases end up in a trial. The overwhelming majority end in a settlement with the defendant or an insurance company. The time it takes to reach a settlement is hard to predict and can vary from case to case. A claim that involves substantial injuries and a significant amount of money will take longer to settle because the insurer will fight harder over it. If the case is complex or liability is unclear, a settlement also may take longer to reach. Hiring an attorney sometimes can motivate an insurer to make a fair offer earlier in the process, since they know that they are less likely to take advantage of you.
Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury case?
The upfront answer to this question is no. However, it would be in your best interest to hire a professional to handle your personal injury case who knows how to maximize your recovery. Studies show that hiring an attorney to represent you for your personal injury case would significantly increase your chances at getting compensated more for your injuries. If your health or a lot of money is at stake, you should not take the chance on going without an attorney. Additionally, a lawyer is almost always needed in cases that require expert testimony, such as most medical malpractice and product liability cases.
How do I pay for a lawyer in a personal injury case?
You should not be worried that you do not have the money to pay for a lawyer. Almost all personal injury attorneys take cases at no up-front charge, collecting their fee as a percentage of any settlement or judgment that they obtain for you. This type of fee arrangement is called a contingency fee basis. If you get nothing from the case, neither does the attorney. The standard percentage that an attorney takes from a settlement varies, but it is often around 33.3% percent. It may be higher if you go to trial. A general rule of thumb is 1/3 of the total settlement amount.
What do I say to law enforcement after getting pulled over?
Be polite! If asked for your drivers license, registration and insurance, you comply. However, you are under no obligation to give more information than you need to. You have the right to remain silent. Exercise your right to keep your mouth shut!
What if the police want to search my car?
Don't try to be a nice person by allowing law enforcement to search your vehicle. Politely decline a search of your vehicle if asked by law enforcement. A warrant is required for a search.
What if the police knock on my door to search my home?
Ask for a warrant and make sure you read the scope of the search. Law enforcement can only search your home as per the specifics of the warrant, and nothing further. Law enforcement can not exceed the scope of what is written in the search warrant.
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*The above answers are not to be considered as legal advice. This is merely for informational purposes only. For specific legal advice and representation, please contact a qualified attorney in your state to specifically discuss your case, or call our office at 813-320-7500 if you are in Florida.