If you are in need of a car accident lawyer or injury attorney in Bradenton, please consider contacting us for a free consultation. We have handled countless injury claims in the area and are familiar with the court system, the way insurance claims works, and the medical providers. We always put your best interests first. Our goals are to provide you with the resources to be able to obtain the best medical care possible and then maximize your recovery on the claim.
Bradenton has become a much more dangerous place for accidents over the years. The area has become much more developed and the roads are extremely congested. There are also many people from around the country moving to the area who may not be familiar with the roads and traffic patterns. When you add visitors and elderly drivers to the mix, the roads can be extremely dangerous.
If you have been injured in an accident and are looking for a lawyer, we hope that you will consider contacting us. Our consultations are always free of charge and there is never any pressure to hire us. We hope that you are not in an accident, but they, unfortunately, do happen. If you find yourself in that position, we would be happy to help.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Bradenton
We have prepared the following list to help you after an auto accident:
Step 1: Contact Law Enforcement
After an auto accident, it is imperative to contact law enforcement regardless of how serious the damage to your vehicle is. Having an officer investigate the accident, determine fault, and then write an accident report is essential to a claim.
It helps the insurance company determine fault and moves the claim along faster. Most importantly, it eliminates the chance for the at fault driver to deny that he or she was responsible. Even if you feel badly for the other driver, protect yourself and make the call to the police.
Step 2: Take Photographs of the Accident
In an auto accident, a picture is worth a thousand words. We advise that you take photographs of the vehicles at the scene. If you can also take pictures of the drivers and any passengers, that can be helpful.
Once you have left the scene and get to a safe, well lit area, take better pictures of the damage. Finally, if you have any visible injuries, take pictures of them. All of these photographs will demonstrate to the insurance company and perhaps a jury what the accident was truly like.
Step 3: Get Witness Information
A mistake that people make is to rely on the police to gather all of the contact information for the witnesses. Unfortunately, the police are notorious for omitting information or getting it wrong. Thus, protect yourself and get names and phone numbers for anyone that witnessed the accident. If that person leaves the scene before the police arrive, they are gone forever.
Step 4: Seek Medical Attention
Perhaps the most important part of an auto accident claim is the medical treatment. If you wait days before being seen or have gaps in your treatment, your case will be negatively valued by the insurance company. Therefore, try to avoid giving the insurance company an excuse not to pay you.
If you need emergency medical treatment, go to a hospital or urgent care center. If your injuries do not rise to that level, then find a specialist in auto accident injuries and get an appointment immediately. Immediately means the next day. Then, follow your doctor’s treatment plan until the conclusion of the claim.
Step 5: Report the Incident to Insurance
You are required to report the accident to your own insurance company within a reasonable amount of time and to cooperate with their investigation. You have no obligation to speak to the insurance company for the at fault driver. If you report the claim, there is no need to go into details about your injuries. And, never give a recorded statement without a lawyer being present.
Steps to Take after an Accident at a Business
Accidents at businesses in Bradenton are common. These accidents are called premises liability. They can be slip and falls, trip and falls, or incidents involving employees or security. When you have been injured, the following steps should be taken:
Step 1: Make an Incident Report with the Manager
It is imperative that you report the incident to the store manager. If you have left the store without doing so, immediately go back and file a report. An incident report is critical to the case because it puts the store on notice of the claim.
It allows them to investigate the incident and to preserve any video, pictures, or other evidence. If you wait to report the incident, not only does it create a suspicion over your claim, but the evidence necessary to prove your claim may be lost forever. Therefore, always err on the side of caution and report it.
Step 2: Document the Scene
While you are still at the scene, document what happened. This means taking pictures of the cause of your incident or the people who were involved. For example, if you slipped on water, take pictures of the employee mopping it up.
Take pictures to show that there was no wet floor sign. If you got wet, take pictures of the stains on your clothing. Whatever you can do to strengthen your case, you should be doing before the evidence is lost. Many people forget to do this step because they are in pain or in shock, but it can be the difference between a successful claim and one that is denied.
Step 3: Obtain Witness Information
While you are still at the scene, do your best to get the contact information from anyone who witnessed the incident. Do not rely on the store to do the investigation for you. Once those people leave the store, they are gone forever, so try and protect yourself.
These witnesses can be very important down the road if the store/business or an employee changes their story or conveniently can’t remember what happened.
Step 4: Seek Medical Treatment
If you have been involved in an accident and feel pain, get yourself checked out. If you have health insurance, you will be covered. Most stores carry medical payment insurance which will pay for any bills regardless of the cause of the accident. Therefore, your initial bills will be covered, so go get checked out.
If you need to go to a hospital or urgent care center, then go immediately. If you don’t require emergency medical care, then get an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. The worst thing that you can do is to wait to see if you get better on your own. If you wait days, your claim will become suspicious and will lose value.
How Can an Attorney Help?
A personal injury attorney in Bradenton serves many roles throughout the course of the claim. From the outset, we will investigate the accident and set up the claim. We then take over the lines of communication with the insurance companies. We understand how pushy and relentless insurance adjusters can be and we like to control the flow of information to them.
The next step that we handle is your medical treatment. We will recommend trustworthy doctors who are convenient to you. We then monitor your medical treatment and watch your medical bills. We make sure that the medical bills stay in line with your injuries and the amount of insurance available.
Lastly, upon conclusion of your treatment, we send a demand to the insurance company for damages. We list the cause of the accident, the medical bills, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. We then attempt to settle your claim. Most cases resolve at this point. If the case cannot be settled, we then will discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
All personal injury cases are charged on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer is paid a percentage out of the money that the client recovers. If no money is recovered, then you don’t owe the lawyer anything. This arrangement makes it very easy to hire a lawyer. You never have to put any money down, make payments, or pay a retainer.
All personal injury lawyers also charge the same percentages. For most claims, the fee is 33% and if the claim is against a state or government agency, the fee is 25%.
Are There Any Risks to Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
No. Because all of the fee agreements are based on a percentage, there is no risk to the client. If no money is recovered, the client does not owe the lawyer anything. The lawyers understand the arrangement and if they are willing to take the case, then that usually means that they believe there is a chance at recovering money.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Bradenton
We understand how difficult an accident can be on you and your family. Our law firm has been representing injured people like you in Bradenton for over 60 years. You can trust that we will look out for your best interest. If you have any questions about opening up a claim, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.