Accidents are almost always the result of the negligence of at least one person.
In most Tampa Bay car accidents there is at least one insurance company that gets involved by assigning an adjuster to the case.
These adjusters may seem friendly and eager to help, but make no mistake about it, their loyalty is to the insurance company. That’s why it’s important to get an experienced attorney involved in your case. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you “level the playing field” with the insurance company and insure that your rights and interests are protected.
If you are injured in an auto accident in Florida you need to act immediately to address your injury, protect your rights, and preserve your evidence.
What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
1. CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT
Immediately contact law enforcement and ask to have an Officer come to the scene and make a report.
This report can be crucial to your case because it will memorialize the facts of your accident.
Additionally, the other driver might get a ticket which also helps your case.
2. CALL AN ATTORNEY
Contact a lawyer, like me, who handles car accident cases.
Speaking to me before the police arrive will greatly assist you in explaining the situation to Law Enforcement.
The Police respond to countless accidents and as a result the only thing they will remember about your case is what they wrote in the report.
I know what needs to be in the report to make your case solid.You can reach me, Michael Herron, for a free consultation at 813.258.4878.
I am not a giant law firm and I represent every one of my clients personally. Additionally, I have over 23 years of experience handling accident cases. Please read my google reviews when you have a chance.
3. TAKE PHOTOS
Take pictures of all vehicles involved and if possible get a picture of the other drivers insurance card.
4. SEEK MEDICAL CARE
Everyone in Florida has a free $10,000 medical bill benefit called PIP. In order to receive the full $10,000 you must seek medical care at a Hospital or Walk in Clinic within 14 days of the accident or the $10,000 will automatically be reduced to $2,500.
Many accident related injuries do not actually cause pain right away. This includes very dangerous vertebrae fractures and disc herniations, which if undetected could lead to chronic pain or even paralysis.If you call me right away,
I can give you more information on where to seek care and how to get your medical bills paid by insurance.
5. REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO YOUR INSURANCE
Most people don’t realize that insurance policies typically require you to report the accident within 15 – 30 days or you will lose the benefits that you have been paying for.
I like to speak with my clients before they do this because insurance companies always look for a way out of paying for anything. I can help you with what to say when they ask you for the details of the accident.
6. REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO THE AT FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE
Most at fault drivers wait to report the accident to their own insurance. Additionally, if they report it before you do they are more likely to lie about what happened because the insurance adjuster knows nothing about the claim.
We can call their insurance company from my office and I will help you with what to say.
7. IF YOUR CAR IS NOT DRIVABLE…
You can check to see if your insurance company or the at fault insurance company will provide a rental car.
Hint: they often say no or ignore your request hoping you will go away. I can help you with what to say in order to give you the best chance of getting a rental car.
8. IF YOUR CAR IS FIXABLE…
It is OK to take it to the body shop recommended by the Insurance company. They will not use a disreputable shop because they don’t want to pay for the repair twice.
When the car is done don’t take it until you have inspected it and are fully satisfied. Don’t take a check for the repair unless you do not intend to fix the car. Almost always the damage is more than the initial estimate and it is a nightmare to get a second check.
9. IF YOUR CAR IS A TOTAL LOSS…
Do your own research as to the fair market value.
Additionally, you can claim any personal property that was damaged in the accident such as sunglasses, glasses, clothing, cell phones, jewelry, watches, computers and other valuables that were in your car. Try to find a receipt or other proof of value for these items.
10. DON’T TAKE A CHECK FROM AN INSURANCE UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN WITH A LAWYER
I have been the recipient of countless phone calls from people who were injured in an accident an unknowingly settled their case that was worth thousands of dollars for $500.
The insurance adjuster is not your friend and they get bonuses based on underpaying claims. Once you deposit the check or sign a release your case could be over on the spot…even if it turns out you are permanently injured as a result of the accident.
11. BE PREPARED FOR A FIGHT
The at fault driver will not want to accept full responsibility for the accident even if they say they will at the scene.The reason for this is that their insurance company will talk them into trying to shift some or all of the blame to you.
They will even tell the at fault driver what to say. A majority of the companies that sell auto insurance are huge corporations who only care about money. They don’t care if you are hurt or even killed.
You have nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to lose by hiring your own lawyer to help you through this. I don’t charge a fee or costs unless you win.
Michael Herron is a top rated and highly experienced accident lawyer who will personally handle your case from start to finish.
Michael is a decorated combat veteran, a former criminal prosecutor and an experienced trial lawyer and you only have to pay his fee and costs if you win. If you don’t win you walk away owing him nothing.
What If I Am Not Sure If I Am Injured Or Not?
Remember that injuries from an auto accident cases often don’t manifest themselves until the day after the accident.
This is due to the adrenaline rush that you receive during traumatic moments.
If you believe you are injured, you should seek medical attention at once. You can use your Florida no-fault or PIP insurance to pay up to 80% of your initial medical bills.
Accident injuries can include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Torn or Ruptured Ligaments
- Injuries in result of an air bag
- Shoulder Injuries
- Permanent Scarring
These injuries all require medical attention which can include: physical therapy, pain medicines, antibiotics, pain management injections and even surgery.
The cost of your medical treatment can rise very quickly.
Before you can even begin the healing process you will find yourself under assault from medical bill collections agencies, insurance injury adjusters who want you to accept pennies on the dollar and property damage adjusters who don’t want to give you fair value for the damage to your vehicle.
We can and will represent you in every aspect of your accident case.
We will help you recover a sum that will cover your property damage, past, present and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and any other damages you may have suffered.
Call us any time – 813-258-4878
Micheal Herron was my attorney throughout a motor vehicle case. He was very helpful and worked well with my case. Julie, his Paralegal was also extremely helpful when it came to anything and everything that was going on. They both made sure you understood everything and anything that involved your case. They communicated very well with me when I needed anything. I would highly recommend this law office to anyone. They were wonderful to work with and I am very happy to had chosen them for my case.
I hired Michael in late June of 2016. At the time I was facing a very serious legal situation which I was very stressed about. I talked with multiple lawyers before I came across Michael who did not help my concerns. Michael was calm, reassuring and very personable from the moment I walked into his office. Michael helped me get this legal issues resolved in a very timely manner. I would highly recommend Mr. Herron for help with legal issues and I am very thankful he helped me.
Michael has handled 2 cases for us. He was very personal and professional from start to finish and the results exceeded our expectations. The personal attention we received was outstanding. We highly recommend his services to anyone in need of an attorney.
How Can You Find The Right Attorney For Your Accident Case?
Apart from the trauma and damages to your vehicle, an auto accident can cause severe injuries.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 2.3 million people are injured in traffic-related accidents every year.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, you probably know you need to get in touch with an injury lawyer as soon as possible. He or she could help you recover some of the costs of your medical bills plus any other compensation that’s owed to you.
Although it is important to act swiftly if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, don’t call the first law firm that pops up in a Google search.
Do some research first because with a skilled lawyer on your side, you can avoid the hassle of a court appearance.
Under 5% of personal injury cases ever see a jury. That’s right – the majority are settled satisfactorily out of court.
Hiring a top car accident injury attorney will ensure you emerge the winner at the end of these negotiations.
Tips For Finding The Best Auto Accident Attorney Near You
Look For A Solid Referral
Look for personal referrals. Speak to people who have been through the process before and ask them to recommend a suitable attorney.
An online search can reveal many honest reviews about attorneys in your vicinity. You also want to find someone who keeps their clients updated, returns phone calls and sticks to arrangements.
Take your time finding someone who is passionate about getting the best results for their clients.
Get a Specialist
Be sure to find an attorney who knows about your type of case. Obviously, a criminal attorney is not the best choice for an automobile injury case, nor is a divorce lawyer. And, not all personal injury attorneys handle car accident cases on a regular basis.
- Choose an attorney who specializes in cases like yours. Since you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, you need an auto accident attorney.
- Research their credentials.
- Check out their track record by looking through their online reviews.
Experience Is Key
Although negotiating skills are a key characteristic of a great lawyer, courtroom experience is a must if your case ends up in front of a jury.
It’s guaranteed that you will be up against a top defense attorney in these cases. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
It is vital that your counsel has the experience and skill to get the jury on your side.
First Impressions Count
Arrange to visit a few attorneys and interview them.
What is your first impression? Their offices should look maintained and well-run. This shows that they are organized and are more likely to handle their cases in an organized manner.
In the case of personal injury lawsuits, you shouldn’t have to pay anything upfront. The lawyer’s fees should come out of the settlement that he or she gets for you. There should be no charge if you lose.
When you first meet with your attorney, do you feel you can talk to him or her? Don’t hire an attorney that you can’t get along with. You’ll need to discuss matters openly with them.
Questions About Finding A Highly Rated Tampa Attorney?
Reach out to us with any questions you have about personal injury law, or read our blog for more information.
We will be happy to review your case at no cost and advise you about the best course of action.