Here, we provide general responses to some of the most common questions we receive from clients about auto accidents. To get more specific information about your auto accident in Florida, you can also contact Stillman Injury Law to schedule a FREE Consultation. You can do so by filling out our online form or calling 561-626-6007.
What Types of Auto Accidents Are There in Florida?
The types of auto accidents are the same pretty much anywhere, and they include single car accidents or collisions between other vehicles, people, property, or animals.
- Single auto accident
- Multi-car accident
- DUI Injury Accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Public transit accidents
- Wildlife-vehicle collisions
- Car accidents involving pets
- Car accidents involving children
How Do I Get Compensation for an Auto Accident in Florida?
One of the main things that accident victims have to worry about is being fairly compensated for their injuries. There are two main ways that this will generally happen, and each has its own pros and cons.
In an auto accident, resolving a case in a settlement means accepting the amount of money that an insurance company offers. One of the main benefits of handling a case this way is that it will typically end a case much quicker than going through the court system. In addition, a client and their attorney have a good deal of power during this process–they can negotiate until they get the amount they want and reject any settlement that isn't acceptable. This negotiation process is done between Mr. Stillman and the insurance company's attorney or claims adjuster. Once the insurance company or their legal representative make an offer, Mr. Stillman will notify you to see if you agree with it or not. It is a negotiation, so you do not have to take the offer, but Mr. Stillman will advise you of the pros and cons of taking the offer or not.
Going to Court
If a victim doesn't receive a fair settlement offer, they may need to file a lawsuit to get their compensation. Lawsuits may result in a higher payout, but they typically take much longer, and there is no guarantee that a court will side with you. Going to court or trial has its' own risks and costs. For example, there are no guarantees what a jury will decide, if you lose you may have to pay the insurance companies' legal fees and our fees will be higher due to having to pay expert fees, court fees etc.
After a Car Collision in Florida, Who Do I Sue?
There are many parties who might be liable for your injuries, and ultimately it will depend on the facts of your specific case. An experienced lawyer will be able to help determine who the best person or people are to seek compensation from.
If the other driver was driving under the influence or failing to obey the rules of the road, they could potentially be held liable. Additionally, a car manufacturer could be held liable if their car malfunctioned, a corporation could be held liable if the accident involved a company vehicle and in some cases, a government entity could even be held liable if the conditions on the road are what causes a crash.
Most importantly, On March 24,2023, Governor Ron Desantis signed a new bill into a law which lowered the time limit to file suit in a personal injury case. Before the law, people had 4 years to bring a suit but now, any accidents after March 24,2023 only have 2 years to file suit. As a Florida personal injury law firm we are well aware of this recent law change and many others.
Should I Release Medical Records to Another Driver's Insurance Adjuster?
Generally, it is important to remember that the other insurance adjuster involved in the case wants to pay you as little as possible. While they may ultimately need to see your records, they only need to see specific records pertaining to your accident. If records are not necessary, but the insurance company receives them, they could use any health information against you. An attorney can help edit this request to ensure that only records needed are released.
Further, it is always important to have an attorney with you when you speak to your own insurance company. You want to give only the facts. Your own insurer has its own company as its priority, too, and so it also wants to prevent a payout. This is especially true when you need to file a first-party claim with your own insurance.
If I Don't Feel Hurt after an Auto Accident, Do I Have to See a Doctor?
Certain injuries might not present symptoms immediately after an accident, and getting to a medical professional can catch those injuries. In addition, an opposing attorney or insurance adjuster might try to argue that a delay in seeking medical treatment means that a victim's injuries were not actually from the accident. Going to the doctor after an accident can cut against these kinds of arguments. Furthermore there was a change in the statutes a few years ago that if you do not see a doctor or medical professional within the first 14 days of a car accident , then your automobile insurance does not have to pay your medical bills. So that is another reason why we suggest you do not wait past the 14 days.
What Should I Do after an Auto Accident in Florida?
First and foremost, check out our website www.carcrashapp.com or download the app at www.carcrashapp.com/getapp this will give you a step by step guide to get through this difficult time. Otherwise follow the steps below:
- Dial 911 and call the authorities. If people ask you not to call the police, please consider that they may have something to hide.
- Exchange information with the other parties to the accident, which includes names, insurance, driver's license, phone numbers.
- Gather evidence, like pictures and video of the scene, the surrounding location, the vehicles, property damage, injuries (if any).
- Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as a brief recorded statement, if you are able to do so because their recollection will be best on the scene and preservation of it will be best if recorded either in writing or by video.
- Consult with an attorney so that you can obtain a good understanding of whether you have a compensable case and how to go about pursuing what you are legally owed.
- If your injuries are Not Life Threatening, you should consider going to an urgent care clinic since they are considerably cheaper than the hospital. And hospitals are known for overcharging for ED visits and diagnostic imaging like CT scans and MRIs.
What Should I Not Do After an Auto Accident in Florida?
Here is what you should not do.
- You should never leave the scene of an accident. If you leave a scene, especially when someone is injured, it is a hit and run, a criminal offense. You must stay with your vehicle and contact emergency personnel if someone is injured.
- You should not leave your vehicle where it can pose a risk to others. If you can, move the vehicle to a safe location. If you cannot move it on your own, contact someone who can.
- You should not ignore calling 911. Even when no one is injured, you should still contact 911. The police will investigate and write a report that can later be used to help identify liability.
- Do not forget to exchange information. Try not to let fear or anxiety get the best of you. You really need to obtain contact and insurance information from the other party involved in the collision. Insurance will be critical to recovery of compensation.
- Do not underestimate your injuries. Some injuries are delayed (like whiplash) while other injuries may not seem serious (like bruising as there may be internal bleeding). You should get checked out by a doctor before the 14 days after an accident expire.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think or know you are at fault, do not admit it. The other party may have contributed in some way, too. In comparative negligence states, you can still recover in most situations if both parties contributed to the accident.
- Do not contact or give a statement or documents to the other party's insurance company. You must speak to your own insurance company, but you are not obligated to do the same with any other insurance company. To do so could jeopardize your case. Either your attorney or your own insurance company can communicate with the other party's auto insurer.
- Do Not speak with anyone unless your attorney says it is OK.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Florida Today
If you've been in an auto accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Stillman Injury Law today for a FREE Consultation. We can answer your questions, put together a strong case, and fight for the compensation you deserve.