At St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, one of our specialties is representing people who have been injured in car accidents in Pinellas Park. Because we live and work so close to Pinellas Park, we have an intimate knowledge of how these claims function. We have dedicated our careers to helping people recover compensation after being injured due to no fault of their own. Car accidents are unexpected, create devastating consequences, and can be extremely stressful and confusing. Over our decades of experience in handling claims in Pinellas Park, we have helped countless people during their physical recovery and have then assisted with their financial recovery.
Because we handle so many cases in Pinellas Park, we receive many similar questions from case to case. Thus, we have put together this resource to assist our clients and potential clients during their time of need.
If I Am Involved in a Car Accident in Pinellas Park, What Is the First Thing I Should Do?
After an accident, you should always contact the police. Many people believe that if the other driver apologizes and provides insurance information, that is enough. But, people do not realize that insurance companies are not bound by what is said at the scene of the accident. Additionally, insurance companies are notorious for alleging comparative fault. That means that even if their insured is at fault, they can claim that you may share some of the blame as well. Thus, they can reduce the portion of your claim by some random percentage of fault. Therefore, having the police conduct an independent investigation is the best way to ensure that fault will be properly assigned.
When Should I Get Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
If you need emergency medical treatment, immediately go to the hospital. Northside Hospital on 49th St. N is probably the closest hospital to any accident in Pinellas Park. I recommend avoiding being transported by ambulance unless you have no other choice. A normal ride to the hospital will cost about $750 and Sunstar does not reduce their bill. So, if your vehicle is operable, use it, or try to get a ride with a family member or friend.
If your injuries do not rise to the level of an emergency room visit, then try to be seen at an urgent care center as soon as possible. What many people do not understand is that any delay in seeking medical care will cost your case value according to the insurance company. So, be safe and get checked out, not only for your own health but to prevent costing your claim value.
Do I Need to Set up a Claim Before Speaking to a Car Accident Lawyer?
No, neither step has anything to do with the other. I am often asked by new clients to assist them with setting up the claim because they don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to the insurance people. While this is no problem, there really isn’t an issue with setting up the claim on your own though. My word of caution, however, is to watch what you say to the other insurance company. The at-fault driver’s company will try to ask you questions about how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries. While there is often nothing to hide, understand that they will be using the information you give them to compare it to what their insured has told them and what the medical records ultimately say.
What Type of Doctor Do I Need for My Car Accident Injuries?
The only wrong answer to this question is going to your family doctor or general practitioner. First, family doctors will not usually handle car accident cases. So, by the time you contact the office, set up an appointment, and wind up getting turned away at the door, you have created a gap in treatment that could cost your claim value. My advice is to always start with a doctor who specializes in car accident injuries. This could be a chiropractor or orthopedic specialist. If you have trouble finding someone nearby to your home, you may want to contact your lawyer for a referral.
How Long Will My Pinellas Park Car Accident Case Take?
The length of your case depends on your medical treatment. If you receive only conservative treatment such as chiropractic care or physical therapy, your case should be ready for demand within 6 months. If you have received injections, any other invasive procedure, or surgery, then the case cannot be ready for demand until your therapy is over.
Once a demand is sent, the insurance company is given 30 days to respond. Most claims are resolved within a few days or weeks after the offer from the insurance company.
If no settlement can be reached at this point, then the case will head into litigation or a lawsuit. This process can delay the resolution of the claim for months or even years.
Contact a Pinellas Park Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents in Pinellas Park are unfortunately too common. If you have been injured, you will want to hire lawyers with experience and a proven track record of success on similar claims. Hiring a car accident lawyer can be tricky, but I encourage everyone to do your research before signing the paperwork. Read the lawyer’s biography, read about the firm, and read the lawyer’s reviews. Hiring the wrong lawyer can have devastating consequences for your case. At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we can handle any car accident claim in Pinellas Park and have done so before. We are confident that you will find us qualified, experienced, and that we truly care about our clients. If you have any questions about a claim, please contact us for a free consultation. If you do not have transportation, we can come to visit you.