Receive help from an experienced car attorney in Tampa, FL, from The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron, P.A. Call today at (813) 258-4878!
Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic and frustrating event. Following the incident, you may be confused about what to do next.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney should be one of your first steps.
You might believe the incident wasn’t your fault so you don’t need an attorney’s assistance. However, by consulting with The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron, P.A., you can receive knowledgeable help filing your claim or lawsuit against a negligent party.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
A lawyer at your side ensures your case goes as smoothly and optimally as possible. Even if your accident was minor, a car accident lawyer oversees the submission of the correct paperwork. For more extensive cases, a lawyer provides focused legal counsel.
Furthermore, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the liable party, especially after a severe car accident. It’s true that many insurance companies try to settle before someone files a lawsuit. However, the amount an insurer offers you may not cover your immediate and future expenses.
A lawyer can help prove your suffering due to the other party’s wrongdoing. To that end, some actions your lawyer might take include:
- Obtaining a police report of the accident
- Gathering evidence such as speaking with witnesses, collecting testimonies, or obtaining CCTV footage
- Consulting with accident reconstruction specialists to gain their understanding and insight into the accident
- Talking to your medical professional and obtaining your latest medical records
How a Lawyer Can Prove Negligence
Your lawyer can help prove your innocence and the other party’s negligence. By doing so, they make the strong case that the other party owes you financial compensation.
There are four elements of negligence in a car accident:
- Duty of care: It’s a driver’s duty of care to other drivers to make sure they are following the rules of the road and driving safely.
- Breach of duty of care: The other motorist violated their duty of care by engaging in negligent behavior.
- Causation: The violation of the driver’s duty of care resulted in injury to another party.
- Damages: As the plaintiff, you withstood damages or losses that financial award(s) can cover.
Ultimately, negligence in a car accident means that you suffered from an accident the other party could have prevented.
Financial Awards You Qualify For
There are two types of compensation that you qualify for immediately after a car accident: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to expenses one can easily calculate. Non-economic damages refer to expenses that are harder to calculate.
Some examples of economic damages include compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Property damage (such as repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle)
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
While economic damages are countable, non-economic damages are harder to assess numerically. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of one’s reputation
- Loss or reduction in quality of life
- Temporary or permanent disfigurements
- The development of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Although far rarer, your case may also qualify for punitive damages. While economic and non-economic damages help the victim feel whole again, punitive damages punish the defendant. These measures also strive to deter the defendant from committing any future actions.
Punitive damages occur more often with a corporation, company, or another large entity. For example, if a company knowingly sells a defective product to make a profit, it may have to pay punitive damages.
In certain car accidents, an individual may have to pay punitive damages such as losing their driver’s license. Other examples of such car accidents include distracted driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Financial Compensation?
Many people who were victims of a car accident wrongfully assume that they will receive the proper financial compensation. They may believe the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay them all the damages they need.
Although insurance companies usually offer a settlement early on, they will also try to lowball the victim. Even when a settlement seems attractive on paper, it likely won’t cover all your current and future expenses.
Your car attorney knows how insurance companies operate and when they’re offering you a low value. Your attorney can then negotiate with the insurance provider and apply legal pressure when needed.
Will My Case Go to Court?
When people hire a lawyer, they may imagine being inside a courtroom. Although some car accident cases end up in court, most cases settle before reaching the courtroom.
The reason for this statistic is that a car accident case requires a lot of time and money. Therefore, the other party’s insurance company will often try to settle the case before proceeding to court.
How Long Will It Take My Case to Resolve?
Every case is different and the following conditions may affect the total time frame:
● The severity of the damages sustained
● The other party’s willingness to negotiate/cooperate
● The gathering of crucial evidence such as testimonies, medical records, CCTV footage, etc.
● A judge or court’s general availability
The severity of damages often dictates the length of the court proceedings. For minor damages, a case may take a couple of months or less. For cases with major damages such as traumatic brain injuries, the total time frame could take a year or more.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help expedite the process.
A Local and Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Tampa
You’re entitled to financial compensation following a car accident you did not cause. Call the Law Offices of Michael Herron in Tampa, FL, at (813) 258-4878 for a free case review today.