How Soon Should I Contact An Attorney After An Auto-Accident?
I always recommend that you contact me immediately after an accident, before you call anyone else, just so I can find out what to do and where we need to call first. I have had clients that I have represented in the past that have gotten into subsequent accidents or have had family members that have been involved in wrecks who have called me because of that advice. It’s a very sound advice to get information from somebody who does this day in and day out before speaking to an insurance professional about your case.
Is it Mandatory to call the Police Even for a Minor Accident in Florida?
You are not legally required to notify a police agency; however, for the purpose of the claim and reporting and processing the claim, it is almost essential that you have the claim documented by a government agency.
Should I Notify My Insurance Company of the Accident?
Hire an attorney to notify your insurance company on your behalf. We get involved right away, we are the ones that call the insurance carrier on behalf of the client. If the insurance carrier needs to speak to our client regarding their wreck, then we have that arranged through our firm and a representative of our firm will be present for that. We would always advise any new client or any prospective client for that matter to first speak to their attorney before speaking to any insurance professional.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Liability?
Typically on automobile wreck claims we allow the carrier an opportunity to try and settle in good faith with our client. By doing so, we present the full demand for settlement with the client’s medical specials and all the economic as well as the non-economic damages that our client has sustained as a result of the accident. We allow the carrier to analyze the information and, hopefully, make us a settlement offer that we can negotiate on behalf of our client without the need to bring the client’s case to the courthouse.
However, that doesn’t always work, so each case is different but it’s very important that the client be made aware of the process and I think that we try and do it at our firm from the very beginning.
What Elements of a Collision Constitute a Viable Auto-Accident Claim?
Generally, for there to be a viable case, there need to be three elements. The first element, obviously, is that you were not at fault or at least not 100% at fault for the injuries that we are alleging happened to you. The second is that you sustained injuries as a result of this accident and that the injuries are serious enough that they required you to obtain medical care for a period of time long enough that the client has now been determined by a medical professional to have sustained some type of injury that is notable.
Lastly, and the most difficult, is the insurance coverage available under the facts of the case. There is really no way for us to know or predict what that’s going to be. I would hope that all my clients were T-boned by Coca-Cola trucks, but that’s just not the case. So, it depends on the insurances that are available from the person who is at fault as well as the insurances available from our own client.
Those are usually the three elements that are necessary; if those three are a thumbs up, then we have a very good case and we will be able to hopefully, with a high degree of probability, resolve in a positive manner.
How Long Do Auto Accident Cases Typically Take To Resolve?
Our firm is very expeditious about trying to get the cases resolved as quickly as possible. If you have an injury that is not something that is going to be with you for years to come, then it makes no offense to prolong the case since you’re just going to get better and better as the case persists. I try to get those types of cases resolved within a year and that’s from the moment of the accident to getting the case resolved with a settlement.
With a more serious injury case, sometimes we have to bring those cases before a jury or at the very least, litigate those cases in the courthouse to try and maximize what our client’s recovery is going to be. Those cases that are litigated are usually settled or tried within two years. Both those estimations are on the long end. On the short end, the pre-suit cases that don’t go to court and the client finishes their required treatment and the case is brought before the insurance carriers, those can get resolved under six months.
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