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PIALawCenter
Car crash

5499 N. Federal Highway, Suite K
Boca Raton, Florida 33487

+1 (561) 372-3800

SOUTH FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
Handling Auto Accidents, Slip & Falls, and Negligence by Property Owners
We provide free transportation throughout South Florida to our clients.

Personal Injury FAQs

Dealing with your car insurance company after a crash can be a time-consuming hassle. Now imagine what it’s like to deal with the insurance company of a person you don’t know who crashed into your car.

Here are some tips to ensure you maintain your cool — and your sanity — when making a claim with someone else’s insurer, known as a third-party claim.

Gather necessary information

The driver who crashes into your car is responsible for reporting the accident to his or her car insurance company. However, make sure you contact their insurer as well. Motorists who cause accidents are often reluctant to report them.

It’s vital to get complete information on the other party at the accident scene. Collect the following:

• Other driver’s name and address
• Other driver’s insurance company name and policy information
• Statements and contact information from witnesses
• Take pictures of the accident scene — most smartphone cameras are suitable.

This way, you’ll have evidence gathered at the scene to bolster your position on the cause of the accident. Check to see if your car insurance company has a mobile app that can help you document the accident while at the scene. Some of the best car insurance companies have apps that come with an accident checklist and tell you how to best gather information so you can make a claim with it or the other party’s insurer.

The insurance industry doesn’t have an exact formula for calculating the average car accident settlement amount. If you only sustained damage to your car, you’ll typically be reimbursed based on the policy limits.

Pain and suffering compensation is only given when you have been injured. Therefore, it’s important to be examined by a doctor immediately even if you don’t think that you’ve been hurt.

Some automobile crash injuries, such as whiplash, don’t become evident until a few days after the crash. If you’ve already negotiated your settlement or waited too long to get medical care, you might not be compensated for the injury.

If you want to get a rough estimate of how much to expect from a car accident settlement, add up your expenses for medical bills, car repairs and lost wages. Multiply that sum by three.

For example, let’s say that you injured your back in a car accident and paid $5,000 in doctor’s bills. You were out of work for a week, which made you lose $2,000 in income.

Your average car accident settlement might be approximately $21,000. It is likely to fall somewhere between $14,000 and $28,000.
The settlement is generally higher for more severe or permanent injuries. You’ll also get paid more if the other driver was found to be driving under the influence.

When you’re filing an injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you’re limited by their policy maximum.

For example, if you sustained $30,000 in damages but their insurance limit is $20,000, you might need to sue the individual separately to reclaim the additional $10,000. You might be able to file with your own insurance company if you have under-insured motorist coverage.

10 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident

Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them involve only property damage – damage to the vehicle as opposed to the occupants. But one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. The following is a list of the top ten things you should do if you are in an automobile accident:

1. STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

2. PROTECT THE SCENE. You can prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your lights don’t work, you should have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.

3. CALL THE POLICE. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.

4. MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.

5. TAKE PICTURES. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.

6. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.

7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. You pay extra for that type of coverage – known as “medpay” – so you should use it. In fact, if you have medpay coverage, you are required to submit your accident-related medical bills to your insurance company. Medpay coverage is primary for accident-related medical bills. Once medpay benefits are exhausted, private health insurance becomes your primary insurer. Medpay benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle. Your insurance rates should not increase as a result of submitting claims for medpay coverage.

8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.

9. KEEP A FILE. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.

This 7-step guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful — and the claims process a whole lot smoother.

  1. Move to a safe area (if you can) …
  2. Stop your vehicle and get out. …
  3. Check on others involved. …
  4. Call the police to the scene. …
  5. Gather info. …
  6. Document the scene. …
  7. File your insurance claim.

Dealing with your car insurance company after a crash can be a time-consuming hassle. Now imagine what it’s like to deal with the insurance company of a person you don’t know who crashed into your car.

Here are some tips to ensure you maintain your cool — and your sanity — when making a claim with someone else’s insurer, known as a third-party claim.

Gather necessary information

The driver who crashes into your car is responsible for reporting the accident to his or her car insurance company. However, make sure you contact their insurer as well. Motorists who cause accidents are often reluctant to report them.

It’s vital to get complete information on the other party at the accident scene. Collect the following:

• Other driver’s name and address
• Other driver’s insurance company name and policy information
• Statements and contact information from witnesses
• Take pictures of the accident scene — most smartphone cameras are suitable.

This way, you’ll have evidence gathered at the scene to bolster your position on the cause of the accident. Check to see if your car insurance company has a mobile app that can help you document the accident while at the scene. Some of the the best car insurance companies have apps that come with an accident checklist and tell you how to best gather information so you can make a claim with it or the other party’s insurer.

In addition, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free smartphone WreckCheck App can help you collect and exchange the right information.

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Notify the right people

You should then inform the other person’s insurer that you have been involved in a crash with one of its policyholders. Relay only the facts of the accident, even if you believe the other driver to be at fault.
The police will determine who is at fault for ticketing purposes. Independently, the insurer will make its own determination of fault, which may or may not match law enforcement’s assessment of fault. The insurer will take into account items such as the police report, driver and witness statements and physical evidence. (Here’s more on what to do after a car accident.)

Although you may feel that you have not caused the accident, you should contact your insurance company anyway. This establishes your good-faith accident-reporting effort and can aid you if the other party’s insurer denies responsibility for the accident and you need to make a collision claim.

Theoretically, you should only have to notify the other party’s insurer of your damages and injuries, take your car to a body shop, visit a doctor and expect the insurer to pay your bills.

But theories don’t always reflect reality. Car insurance companies may demand that you obtain their authorization before proceeding with vehicle repairs and injury treatments. If the insurance adjuster doesn’t authorize a repair before you take it to the auto shop, it can create a problem. At minimum, make certain that the insurance company has accepted liability before going ahead with repairs. Get that authorization in writing. Ask the insurer to email it to you.

Remember that an insurance company can’t force you to take your vehicle to a specific repair facility. Most states allow auto insurers to recommend auto body shops but they aren’t allowed to demand you use a certain repair facility. The choice is yours.

Pick your battles wisely

The at-fault driver’s insurer may tell you to seek payment from your own insurer because it has no evidence of its policyholder’s fault. Although most states have made it illegal for an insurer to deny claims without reasonably investigating the facts, or to deny claims when its liability is reasonably clear, you may not want to fight the other person’s insurance company.

If you make a claim with your insurer, it might choose to fight the other insurance company for compensation if it finds other driver is at fault.

If you decide to fight the at-fault driver’s insurer on your own you’ll need a lawyer — especially if you’ve been seriously injured. An attorney can help you navigate the sometimes-murky laws that govern insurance. But keep in mind that if you hire an attorney, he will take a cut of any settlement he helps you get.

You may have evidence of the other driver’s fault — maybe he even admitted it at the scene — yet you find your claim denied by his auto insurance company. Why? Because he probably told a version of how the accident happened that doesn’t square with yours. His insurer may stand behind that story in order to avoid paying your claim.

Sometimes the insurance company will take its policyholder’s position, even if it contradicts the police report.
It not unusual for companies to take their policyholder’s side in cases where no police accident report was made and fault isn’t obvious. In many states, if an officer at an accident scene determines the damage is minimal (usually less than $500), he or she will not file an accident report. Body shop estimates for that same accident, however, might run into the thousands of dollars. Take your car to a repair shop so you can determine the extent of the damage.

If it’s a small claim, you can take the other driver to small claims court. Otherwise, you may need a lawyer. Insurance companies know that unless you’ve hired an attorney, the longer the matter drags on, the more likely you are to compromise or simply go away.

If all else fails, look to your insurer

Even if you’re not at fault, you can make a claim with your insurance company for payment of damages and injuries — if you have the right coverages.

If you have collision insurance, file a claim with your own carrier. It will pay for the cost of repairs or total loss of your vehicle. If you take this approach, you will have to pay your collision deductible toward repairs. However, you may get that money back if your insurer is able to settle with the other driver’s insurance company.

If it turns out the other driver is uninsured and you have uninsured motorist coverage property damage (UMPD), you can make a claim for your vehicle’s damage. There is no deductible for UMPD claims.

Your Your car insurance rates aren’t necessarily going to increase at renewal time if you make a claim under your own insurance policy for an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Most state laws prohibit insurers from surcharging policyholders or raising their premium rates for accidents in which they weren’t at fault. However, those laws do not preclude your insurer from dumping your policy at renewal time if you’ve made a few recent claims of any type.

Understand your injury coverage

In most states you would make a claim for your injuries through the at-fault person’s auto insurer. If they are uninsured, you could make a claim through your own uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, if you have it, or through your health insurance.

There are some states that require you to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and have slightly different rules for collecting for your injuries after an accident. For example, your PIP coverage pays for your medical expenses and lost wages, even if you are not to blame for the crash. Receiving your PIP benefits requires you to make a claim under your own insurance policy. A deductible and/or copayment may be due when you use your PIP coverages.

Rent reasonably

Insurance companies are always looking for ways to shave a few dollars from the cost of a claim, and reimbursements for rental-car costs often are the first to meet the blade.

Insurance companies often tell accident victims that they pay only a certain amount per day for rental cars. As a victim of another person’s negligence, you have the right to recoup the costs associated with fixing the disruption you experience, including all of the costs of renting a vehicle while your own vehicle is being repaired.

To avoid having to pay for part of a rental, rent reasonably. And don’t purchase a collision damage waiver from the rental company if your own insurance policy extends coverage for damage to rental cars.
If you rent reasonably and the insurer wants to short-change you on rental reimbursement, ask the insurer to put its reason in writing. Insurers must inform you in writing of their decisions to deny or reduce payments.

Know what you deserve

Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, PA.

Step 1: Seek Medical Treatment

No matter how minor or severe your accident is, it is important that you seek medical treatment immediately after your collision. While it is best to get medical help at the scene of the accident, you can also visit the emergency room or schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible after your accident.

Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, symptoms might not appear for hours or days, even weeks. It is best to go to a doctor as early as possible to begin treatment.

And because soft tissue injuries will not show up on an x-ray or other typical imaging scans, your doctor will need to perform other types of tests. However, if you go to the doctor and explain that you were just involved in a rear-end collision, he should know to check for injuries such as whiplash. This will inform him of the type of tests he should be performing.

Your physician can diagnose your injuries and come up with a plan to treat your whiplash symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder, neck, back, arm, or jaw pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Tinnitus (i.e., ringing in the ears)
  • Psychological issues (e.g., depression, anger, stress)

Step 2: Administer Home Care

If your symptoms are mild, your doctor may advise you to treat the symptoms at home. The doctor may advise you to rest, take over-the-counter pain medication (e.g., acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen), and wear a soft cervical neck collar for a few weeks to prevent additional injuries.

Your doctor may also suggest that you ice the injury to reduce inflammation in the first couple of days after the accident, and follow it with heat to relieve the pain.

Step 3: Do Range of Motion Exercises and Physical Therapy

Your doctor might also advise that you engage in range of motion exercises (rotational exercises) early in the treatment process, in addition to resting.

Some patients with whiplash symptoms may also benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles and reduce pain. Patients who took some time off after an accident to recover may benefit from occupational therapy to help them return to work.

Step 4: Seek Chiropractic Care, Soft Tissue Rehabilitation, and Surgical Treatment

Whiplash can cause serious conditions such as:

  • Joint dysfunction
  • Disc herniations
  • Nerve damage
  • Sleep disorders

To treat these conditions effectively or prevent them from occurring in the first place, your physician may recommend the following:

  • Chiropractic Care: Massage therapy, manual manipulation of the spine, trigger point therapy, electronic nerve stimulation, epidural spinal injections, and other treatments can help your neck and spine to move more normally and without pain after an accident.
  • Soft Tissue Rehabilitation: Car accident victims may require soft tissue rehabilitation to treat their muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, and internal organs. Massage therapy, electro-stimulation, trigger point therapy, and strength-training exercises and stretches can help your muscles heal properly.
  • Surgical treatment: Some accident victims who suffer from whiplash will suffer herniated discs and spinal fractures and may require surgery to readjust their spine and restore joint movement.

Step 5: Consult with a Mental Health Professional

In addition to treating the physical symptoms of whiplash, your physician may recommend that you seek treatment for any psychological symptoms you develop.

A doctor may recommend counseling and medication to deal with depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional conditions that can result from whiplash. This can help prevent long-term problems and increase the likelihood of a full recovery.

Contact the Law Firm of Personal Injury and Accident Law Center To Discuss Compensation Today

Whiplash injuries can be severe and require extensive treatment over the weeks and months following your accident. These treatments can get expensive, especially if your whiplash makes it difficult or impossible to work.

However, you may be able to recover medical damages from your insurer and the at-fault party’s insurer if you file a claim after your accident.

To give yourself the best chance at recovering damages, make sure you seek treatment as soon as possible after the accident and keep track of your injuries and treatments you receive. We will use that information to prove that you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses.

To discuss the specifics of your case, call the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. Levine at 561-372-3800.

Step 1: Check yourself for injuries.

If you’re injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. If you’re seriously injured, try not to move, and wait for emergency personnel.

Step 2: Check on the well-being of your passengers.

If you’re not too hurt to move, check on the other passengers in your car. If anyone’s injured, get on the phone with emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help.

Step 3: Get to safety.

If you’re able to, move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. If your car is safe to drive and is causing a hazard where it is, pull it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.

Step 4: Call 911.

Whether an accident is considered a minor fender-bender or a major collision, calling the police is important — and in some states, it’s legally required. The responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene. If the police can’t come to the scene of the accident, you can go to the nearest police station and complete a report yourself, according to the III.

Step 5: Wait for help.

Turn off your engine, turn on your hazard lights and use road flares to warn other vehicles to slow down.

Step 6: Exchange information.

After making sure you and any passengers are uninjured, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. According to the III, the most important information includes:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver’s license and license plate number
  • Type, color and model of vehicle
  • Location of accident

Step 7: Document the accident.

In order to help protect yourself, the III recommends taking the following steps:

  • Identify the officers.
    Once the police arrive, get the name and badge number of all responding officers.
  • Get a copy.
    Ask the police officers present where you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
  • Take pictures.
    Document the accident thoroughly by taking pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. It might also be a good idea to take pictures of the other car’s license plate.
  • Take down names.
    Write down the names and addresses of all parties involved, including any passengers in the other vehicle.
  • Talk to witnesses.
    If there were any witnesses to the accident, take down their names and their contact information, as well.

Step 8: Notify your insurer, and Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center To Discuss Compensation Today. 561-372- 3800

Contingency Fees & Personal Injury Lawyers

By far, most personal injury attorneys charge their clients a contingency fee. With a contingency fee, you only pay the lawyer if he or she is able to negotiate a monetary settlement or win a judgment on your behalf. If you receive no money from the party responsible for your accident, then the lawyer collects no fee. If you win, you’ll also be responsible for any expenses the attorney incurred in preparing your case. Many personal injury lawyers will waive the expenses if the case is lost.

Typically, contingency fees are charged as a percentage of any money you are awarded. The exact percentage will vary from region to region, but you may find that every personal injury lawyer you meet charges the same percentage. You can try to negotiate a lower percentage, but do this before hiring the lawyer.

There are two advantages to contingency fees: A contingency fee costs you nothing if you win no money, and your attorney is motivated to get the biggest award possible because he or she also stands to benefit.

The primary disadvantage to contingency fees is that you may not feel as if your lawyer has earned his or her fee if your lawyer is quickly able to secure a large settlement on your behalf.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800

 

Personal Injury lawyer fee

Most personal injury attorneys do not require accident victims to pay attorneys’ fees out of their own pockets. Instead, these cases are generally paid through a contingent fee agreement, by which a lawyer will be paid an agreed-upon portion of the total settlement. This gives the lawyer even more incentive to secure as much compensation as possible for her client. This also helps a client share the risk of loss with the attorney. If there is no award through settlement or after a trial judgment, the attorney will receive no payment.

Contingent fee agreements are also subject to litigation costs and court fees. These can include the fee to file a lawsuit, expert witness fees, copying costs for medical records, and other such expenses. It is important to know whether your attorney’s contingent fee will be calculated before or after such expenses are deducted from the total settlement amount.

Settlements can also be subject to medical liens. While many providers will accept private health insurance, some will secure their fee by filing a lien against the personal injury award. This obligates the attorney to pay the lien before distributing the settlement proceeds to the injury victim. Check with your attorney and medical providers to be sure you understand how they will be paid, what claims exist against your settlement, and if there are any other financial issues that must be addressed.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800

Personal injury attorneys wear many hats – and you’ll be glad they do if you find yourself in need of an accident lawyer. Lawyers generally show up on the worst day of a person’s life. A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800.

It’s very likely that you will be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. If you’re lucky, you will walk away from the car accident without any injuries, but it doesn’t always turn out this way. If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you will need legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney.

But, how do you know when you should seek legal representation? And when should you make the first call to an attorney? Here’s what you need to know:

When Will You Need An Attorney?

It’s not legally required that you work with a personal injury attorney if you have sustained injuries in a car accident, but it’s in your best interests to do so. This is especially true if you have sustained long-term or permanently disabling injuries in the accident.

Long-term injuries are those that will affect you for at least a year, while permanent injuries are those that will leave you partially or completely disabled for the remainder of your life. Some of the most common long-term or permanent injuries are traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Victims may not be able to stay employed after sustaining one of these injuries. In addition, they may require extensive medical treatment including surgeries, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. Some victims may not be able to live on their own anymore and may require at-home care from a nursing professional. For these reasons, it is imperative that you work with an attorney who can help you recover compensation for these expenses.

It’s also important that you work with an attorney if liability has not been established in the car accident. If the other driver’s insurance company has made it clear that they do not believe their policyholder is at-fault, this means they have no intention of paying you the compensation that you deserve. In this case, you should reach out to an attorney who can help you prove liability. Attorneys can gather evidence needed to prove liability by interviewing witnesses, reviewing photos taken at the scene of the car accident, obtaining a copy of the accident report, and consulting with car accident reconstruction specialists.

If you believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, which means it is not fulfilling its obligations, you will need to seek legal representation. Insurance companies can act in bad faith when they deny a claim without a valid reason, fail to provide you with information on why a claim was denied, fail to pay a claim, or don’t pay a claim in a timely manner. If this happens to you, an attorney can immediately step in and make sure that the insurance company knows they cannot get away with this illegal behavior.

If you are involved in a car accident case involving long-term or permanent injuries, liability issues, or an insurance company acting in bad faith, it’s imperative that you work with an attorney. But even if your case does not involve these things, it is still in your best interests to seek legal representation from an attorney if you have been injured in a car accident.

Call An Attorney As Soon As Possible

Your first priority after a car accident should be your safety, which is why you should seek medical attention and have your injuries treated immediately after an accident. After you have received treatment, your next priority should be seeking legal representation for your case.

Why is it so important to get in touch with an attorney right away? First, the at-fault driver will most likely notify his insurance company of the accident right after it happens. The insurance company will then assign an insurance adjuster to the case, who is responsible for gathering as much evidence as possible, calculating the value of the claim, and negotiating a settlement. The insurance adjuster will attempt to get in contact with you soon after he is assigned to your case. He may ask you to make a statement about the events leading up to the accident and the injuries you sustained as a result. It’s very important that you don’t make this statement or speak to an insurance adjuster about the accident at all until you have consulted with an attorney.

Remember, the insurance company is not looking out for you in this situation. The insurance adjuster does not care about the injuries you have sustained or how these injuries will affect your quality of life. The only thing an insurance company is worried about is their bottom line, so they will attempt to settle with you for as little as possible so they can protect their profits.

An attorney will be able to handle the negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. This way, you won’t accidentally say the wrong thing or accept a settlement that is far too low to cover the expenses you have incurred.

Another reason why you need to contact an attorney right away is because of the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Most states only give you two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. Two years may seem like a long time, but it can fly by if you are recovering from serious injuries. If you don’t file a lawsuit within two years after the accident, you miss your chance to recover the compensation that you deserve. That’s why it’s recommended that you get started right away by contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the car accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case.

A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who provides legal services to those who claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, as a result of the negligence of another person, company, government agency or any entity. Personal injury lawyers tend to practice primarily in the area of law known as tort law. Examples of common personal injury claims include injuries from slip and fall accidents, traffic collisions, defective products, workplace injuries and professional malpractice.

The term “trial lawyers” is sometimes used to refer to personal injury lawyers, even though many other types of lawyers, including defense lawyers and criminal prosecutors also appear in trials and even though most personal injury claims are settled without going to trial.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800

Here are 10 steps that you should take after suffering an injury in a fall:

  1. Seek medical help. If you need emergency medical assistance for your injuries after a slip-and-fall accident, have someone call 911. When emergency responders arrive, cooperate with them. Go to the hospital if directed to do so. If you do not go to the hospital right away, visit a doctor within 48 hours. There are injuries such as a head injury that may not be immediately obvious to you. You will need a doctor’s record of examining and treating you for injuries to file a claim.
  2. Report your accident. Find out who is in charge of the property where you fell — the owner or property manager — and let them know that you fell and were injured. Ask to file a formal report. Some businesses will have policies and notification procedures to follow and forms to complete, but many do not. Try to file a report and request a copy of the report. If there are no procedures, get an email or postal mail address and, as soon as possible, write and send a description of what caused the accident, the date and time it happened, and a description of your injuries. If the police or the business’s security personnel responded to your accident, request in writing a copy of their report and keep a copy of your letter.
  3. Start a file. Keep a copy of your accident report and all other correspondence between you and the property owner or manager, or anyone who represents them, such as an insurance company. Keep all bills and receipts connected to your medical treatment, absences from work, or any changes in your life caused by your fall and injury. If you damaged personal property (clothing, jewelry, phone, camera, etc.) in your fall, save it.
  4. Gather witness information. Did others see you fall? Ask them to help by giving you their contact information including name, address, telephone number, email address. Write down this information for any friends who were with you, too. Ask if you can record a statement from them on your phone or another device. Suggest that it will be easier to record a statement sooner while their memory is fresh rather than to have to remember and write it down later.
  5. Take photos. Photograph anything that can help show how the accident occurred. Photos of a property hazard can provide useful evidence in making a claim. Get photos of what made you fall, such as a puddle, loose stair tread, hole or torn carpet. Photograph the general location and surroundings. Document your injuries and any bandages, cast or neck brace, as well as damage to your personal property, such as your clothing. Photograph a slippery floor from an angle that shows reflections in the shiny wet or waxed surface.
  6. Make notes about your experience. Write down what happened during the day leading up to your accident. For example, if you were out shopping, then write down where you had been and how you happened to fall. Keep notes about your recovery, including medical treatment, pain, setbacks, effects on your mobility, work missed, and activities or special occasions you missed because of your injuries.
  7. Look out for yourself. The compensation you pursue for medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering after a slip-and-fall accident would come from an insurance policy such as a business liability or homeowner’s insurance policy. A slip-and-fall accident lawsuit seeks money from the insurance provider, not from the business owner or homeowner. Don’t let a small business responsible for your injuries plead that you will ruin them. Don’t feel bad about legal action that is only technically against a friend or acquaintance. Insurance is there to cover homeowners and businesses if someone is injured on their premises.
  8. Don’t publicize your impending case. Do not talk about potential legal action in a slip-and-fall case. Stay away from social media. Do not say or do anything that downplays your injuries or suggests that you were in any way at fault. Don’t cast blame or make negative statements about anyone else involved in the case. All discussion of your fall and injuries should be between you and your attorneys or your doctors.
  9. Be wary of insurance company representatives. You may hear from an insurance adjuster after being injured in a fall. Their job is to figure out how to pay you as little as possible. Be careful about what you say. Do not accept blame for your accident and do not minimize your injuries. Do not sign a release allowing the insurance company to review your medical file without consulting a lawyer. If you have engaged a lawyer, refer all questions to your attorney. Never sign anything presented by an insurance representative after an accident unless your attorney has reviewed it and advised you to sign.
  10. Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800

If a fall has been caused by another person or business, a lawsuit may be the only way you can recover medical expenses, lost wages, or money to compensate for pain and suffering. There are a few easy but important points to keep in mind in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall that will go a long way towards proving the property owner was at fault.

Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident Occurs

Your actions in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident, both at the scene and shortly after you have received medical attention, can have a significant impact on an insurance claim or lawsuit. The following points are a helpful checklist to work through after a slip and fall accident:

  • Get medical attention: While many slip and fall accidents are relatively minor, broken bones, head trauma or internal injuries are not uncommon. It is important that a medical professional treat you as soon as possible after a fall. The reason is twofold: first, to keep you out of immediate peril, and second, it’s important to procure medical attention and obtain, in writing, a professional diagnosis of any injuries initially caused by the fall. There are some conditions that take longer to manifest, but if you have a broken arm, cuts, bruises or some other type of wound that was caused by the slip and fall, it is important to document when and how the injury happened while the incident is still fresh.
  • Inspect the area where you fell: Slip and fall accidents often happen for a reason. Look around for the potential cause of a fall such as snow, ice, loose carpet, spilled food, and uneven concrete. You should write down your version of the fall as soon as possible because a present impression of what occurred may be valuable evidence in court, and at the very least it will be valuable in helping an attorney decide how the potential lawsuit should be handled.
  • Identify witnesses: Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone in the vicinity where the incident occurred – both those who saw you fall, and others who were there after the incident – since you may need them as witnesses on your behalf if the landowner disputes your claim. Even if someone did not see you fall, he or she could, if necessary, describe your pain and the conditions of the floor, lighting, etc. immediately after you fell.
  • Follow necessary procedure: If the incident occurred in a store or place of business, then you may need to fill out a slip and fall accident report or notify a manager. While you should not make an effort to resolve the issue in the store, make sure the store is aware of your accident immediately. If anyone (especially an employee, supervisor or manager) makes a comment suggesting that this has occurred before, or that they were aware of the condition before your fall, make a mental note. If possible, get the name of the person who make the comment. As soon as you are out of the store, write down the name and what exactly the person said, and who else heard him make the statement.
  • Take photos as soon as possible: You should attempt to take pictures of the scene immediately after the accident or before conditions change. If you do not get photos, it is a safe bet that the premises owner will, and you never want to be at the mercy of a property owner’s version of how a slip and fall accident happened. Even if the condition that caused your fall is permanent, or semi-permanent (like ice on a sidewalk in Duluth in winter), have someone take photographs of the area as soon as possible so a record is made. Buying a tiny throwaway camera for $5 to $10 may be a good investment. Even “permanent conditions” have a way of changing if the landowner thinks that you might file a claim for injuries.

Shortly After the Slip and Fall Accident

In the period of time shortly after your slip and fall claim you may be approached by insurance adjusters and attorneys from the property owner or responsible party. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these professionals do not work for you – they work for the opposing party or the insurance company and it is their job to pay you as little as possible. While you do not need to be combative, uncooperative, or rude you do need to be very careful about what you say. If you are questioned about the incident, keep in mind that detouring or recitations of the facts by having casual conversations and downplaying the effect of your slip and fall could be fatal to the success of your future claim, so don’t make simple mistakes by saying too much.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800.

Popular FAQs

Dealing with your car insurance company after a crash can be a time-consuming hassle. Now imagine what it’s like to deal with the insurance company of a person you don’t know who crashed into your car.

Here are some tips to ensure you maintain your cool — and your sanity — when making a claim with someone else’s insurer, known as a third-party claim.

Gather necessary information

The driver who crashes into your car is responsible for reporting the accident to his or her car insurance company. However, make sure you contact their insurer as well. Motorists who cause accidents are often reluctant to report them.

It’s vital to get complete information on the other party at the accident scene. Collect the following:

• Other driver’s name and address
• Other driver’s insurance company name and policy information
• Statements and contact information from witnesses
• Take pictures of the accident scene — most smartphone cameras are suitable.

This way, you’ll have evidence gathered at the scene to bolster your position on the cause of the accident. Check to see if your car insurance company has a mobile app that can help you document the accident while at the scene. Some of the best car insurance companies have apps that come with an accident checklist and tell you how to best gather information so you can make a claim with it or the other party’s insurer.

The insurance industry doesn’t have an exact formula for calculating the average car accident settlement amount. If you only sustained damage to your car, you’ll typically be reimbursed based on the policy limits.

Pain and suffering compensation is only given when you have been injured. Therefore, it’s important to be examined by a doctor immediately even if you don’t think that you’ve been hurt.

Some automobile crash injuries, such as whiplash, don’t become evident until a few days after the crash. If you’ve already negotiated your settlement or waited too long to get medical care, you might not be compensated for the injury.

If you want to get a rough estimate of how much to expect from a car accident settlement, add up your expenses for medical bills, car repairs and lost wages. Multiply that sum by three.

For example, let’s say that you injured your back in a car accident and paid $5,000 in doctor’s bills. You were out of work for a week, which made you lose $2,000 in income.

Your average car accident settlement might be approximately $21,000. It is likely to fall somewhere between $14,000 and $28,000.
The settlement is generally higher for more severe or permanent injuries. You’ll also get paid more if the other driver was found to be driving under the influence.

When you’re filing an injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you’re limited by their policy maximum.

For example, if you sustained $30,000 in damages but their insurance limit is $20,000, you might need to sue the individual separately to reclaim the additional $10,000. You might be able to file with your own insurance company if you have under-insured motorist coverage.

10 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident

Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them involve only property damage – damage to the vehicle as opposed to the occupants. But one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. The following is a list of the top ten things you should do if you are in an automobile accident:

1. STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

2. PROTECT THE SCENE. You can prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your lights don’t work, you should have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.

3. CALL THE POLICE. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.

4. MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.

5. TAKE PICTURES. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.

6. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.

7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. You pay extra for that type of coverage – known as “medpay” – so you should use it. In fact, if you have medpay coverage, you are required to submit your accident-related medical bills to your insurance company. Medpay coverage is primary for accident-related medical bills. Once medpay benefits are exhausted, private health insurance becomes your primary insurer. Medpay benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle. Your insurance rates should not increase as a result of submitting claims for medpay coverage.

8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.

9. KEEP A FILE. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.

If a fall has been caused by another person or business, a lawsuit may be the only way you can recover medical expenses, lost wages, or money to compensate for pain and suffering. There are a few easy but important points to keep in mind in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall that will go a long way towards proving the property owner was at fault.

Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident Occurs

Your actions in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident, both at the scene and shortly after you have received medical attention, can have a significant impact on an insurance claim or lawsuit. The following points are a helpful checklist to work through after a slip and fall accident:

  • Get medical attention: While many slip and fall accidents are relatively minor, broken bones, head trauma or internal injuries are not uncommon. It is important that a medical professional treat you as soon as possible after a fall. The reason is twofold: first, to keep you out of immediate peril, and second, it’s important to procure medical attention and obtain, in writing, a professional diagnosis of any injuries initially caused by the fall. There are some conditions that take longer to manifest, but if you have a broken arm, cuts, bruises or some other type of wound that was caused by the slip and fall, it is important to document when and how the injury happened while the incident is still fresh.
  • Inspect the area where you fell: Slip and fall accidents often happen for a reason. Look around for the potential cause of a fall such as snow, ice, loose carpet, spilled food, and uneven concrete. You should write down your version of the fall as soon as possible because a present impression of what occurred may be valuable evidence in court, and at the very least it will be valuable in helping an attorney decide how the potential lawsuit should be handled.
  • Identify witnesses: Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone in the vicinity where the incident occurred – both those who saw you fall, and others who were there after the incident – since you may need them as witnesses on your behalf if the landowner disputes your claim. Even if someone did not see you fall, he or she could, if necessary, describe your pain and the conditions of the floor, lighting, etc. immediately after you fell.
  • Follow necessary procedure: If the incident occurred in a store or place of business, then you may need to fill out a slip and fall accident report or notify a manager. While you should not make an effort to resolve the issue in the store, make sure the store is aware of your accident immediately. If anyone (especially an employee, supervisor or manager) makes a comment suggesting that this has occurred before, or that they were aware of the condition before your fall, make a mental note. If possible, get the name of the person who make the comment. As soon as you are out of the store, write down the name and what exactly the person said, and who else heard him make the statement.
  • Take photos as soon as possible: You should attempt to take pictures of the scene immediately after the accident or before conditions change. If you do not get photos, it is a safe bet that the premises owner will, and you never want to be at the mercy of a property owner’s version of how a slip and fall accident happened. Even if the condition that caused your fall is permanent, or semi-permanent (like ice on a sidewalk in Duluth in winter), have someone take photographs of the area as soon as possible so a record is made. Buying a tiny throwaway camera for $5 to $10 may be a good investment. Even “permanent conditions” have a way of changing if the landowner thinks that you might file a claim for injuries.

Shortly After the Slip and Fall Accident

In the period of time shortly after your slip and fall claim you may be approached by insurance adjusters and attorneys from the property owner or responsible party. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these professionals do not work for you – they work for the opposing party or the insurance company and it is their job to pay you as little as possible. While you do not need to be combative, uncooperative, or rude you do need to be very careful about what you say. If you are questioned about the incident, keep in mind that detouring or recitations of the facts by having casual conversations and downplaying the effect of your slip and fall could be fatal to the success of your future claim, so don’t make simple mistakes by saying too much.

Understand Your Legal Options. Contact the Personal Injury and Accident Law Center, P.A. 561-373-3800.

This 7-step guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful — and the claims process a whole lot smoother.

  1. Move to a safe area (if you can) …
  2. Stop your vehicle and get out. …
  3. Check on others involved. …
  4. Call the police to the scene. …
  5. Gather info. …
  6. Document the scene. …
  7. File your insurance claim.
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