Top Auto Accident Lawyers in Largo
Largo, Florida is a city with a high amount of car and auto accidents. Over the years, we have handled countless accident injury claims taking place in Largo. Sadly, even though the city runs far West into Pinellas County, it is geographically large and has a lot of busy roads running through it.
We see numerous accidents on US 19, 66th St N, East/West Bay Dr, Ulmerton Rd, Seminole Blvd, Indian Rocks Rd., Starkey Rd. and Belcher Rd just to name a few. The city is densely populated and the roads are used by many commuters. Because of its western location on the way to the beaches, it is a popular tourist thoroughfare. There is also a large elderly population in Largo. All of these factors increase the likelihood of serious auto and car accidents occurring in Largo.
We are experienced accident attorneys and are familiar with how the accidents are investigated, the local medical providers, and the local insurance adjusters. When we handle a claim, the insurance company knows who we are and respects what we can do. Most importantly, however, is our dedication to our clients. We know how stressful it can be to be injured in an accident and work very hard to answer your questions, refer you for the best medical treatment, and maximize the amount of money that can be recovered on the claim.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Largo
If followed, these steps can greatly improve the chances at recovering compensation after a Largo auto accident injury.
Always Contact Law Enforcement
If you don’t have an independent witness, making a hand shake deal or feeling sorry for the other driver is the number one way to sabotage your claim. People are notorious for not accepting blame after an accident because it is not human nature to accept 100% responsibility. For example, if they rear-ended you, they may claim that you stopped short. If they t-boned you, they might claim that you were driving too fast. Whatever the situation is, if there is no independent witness, then it becomes very difficult to prove your claim if the police are not called. Therefore, even if the other person is elderly or nice, get the accident documented by law enforcement to protect yourself.
Document the Damage to the Vehicles and Injuries
Taking pictures is crucial to every accident claim. If you can capture the damage to the vehicles while at the scene, this is ideal. Otherwise, make sure that you take good pictures once you get home. This damage tells the story of the impact and is important information for the insurance adjuster or the jury. Further, if you can take pictures of the people who were involved in the accident, that can be helpful down the road.
If you have any visible injuries, those need to be documented as well. Airbag burns, seatbelt abrasions, or even surgical wounds all need to be documented and preserved. Again, each visible injury equates to value for your claim.
Obtain Witness Contact Information
An issue after many accidents is that witnesses that stop and help often leave without providing contact information. Once a witness leaves, that person is lost forever. Therefore, it is extremely important that you take down contact information even if you think the police are doing it. You cannot trust the police to always get the correct contact information. We have seen countless instances when law enforcement leaves off important information or even writes it incorrectly.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
One of the most important steps that you can take after an accident is to immediately get medical treatment. If you need to go to a hospital, we advise you err on the side of caution and go. If your injuries do not rise to that level, then try to go to an Urgent Care. But, you should never wait days or even weeks to seek treatment. While you might have 14 days to seek medical treatment under your PIP insurance benefits, that does not mean that waiting that long will help your injury case. Simply put, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the less your case is worth. Therefore, don’t give the insurance company a chance to devalue your claim-get treatment immediately and follow your doctor’s advice. If you don’t know where to go, ask your lawyer for a referral.
Report the Claim to Insurance But Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
Many people are confused after an accident about how to deal with the insurance companies. There is nothing wrong with reporting the accident to insurance to set up a claim. But, that should be the extent of your involvement without consulting an attorney. Insurance companies are not your friends and will try to obtain information to use against you at a later point. Something as simple as using an old address might disqualify you from coverage. The insurance company for the other driver will certainly want to take a recorded statement from you. This serves no other purpose than to set you up in case you say anything differently in the future. You can imagine how hard it might be to remember every detail months or even years into the future, but they will attempt to use the recorded statement against you. Therefore, you can start the claim in order to trigger the investigation by the insurance company and advance the repairs to your vehicle, but do not give an insurance company anything else. An experienced injury attorney will be able to advise you what to from there on.
What Can a Largo Accident Attorney do for Me?
Not all auto accident claims are the same. The path that a claim takes often depends on the extent of the injuries and the insurance that is available to either pay damages or provide medical care. But, the common steps are listed as follows:
First, we investigate the accident to determine liability. We make sure that the damage to the vehicles are properly documented, research the witnesses, and pull the accident report. Second, we set up the claims with the appropriate insurance companies. Third, we strategically manage your medical treatment. Most clients do not know specialists close to where they live that handle auto accident injury cases. We can provide referrals upon request. We also make sure that you are regularly reporting your
treatment and symptoms. This helps us understand the severity of the injury and avoids gaps in treatment. Finally, at the conclusion of the treatment, we put together a detailed demand to the insurance company. This demand outlines all of your damages and demands a sum certain. If we are able to settle your claim at this point, then the case is over. If we cannot, we will discuss the filing of a lawsuit. Lawsuits are very rare and only done with your permission.
When Should I First Contact a Largo Accident Attorney?
While there is no set time frame on when you should first contact an accident attorney, the general rule of thumb is to do it as soon as possible. The first days and weeks after an accident are the most important for the entire case. During this time period, the accident must be investigated, insurance coverage must be researched, insurance paperwork must be filed, and your medical treatment must be established. If any of these important steps are overlooked or not done because you have delayed in getting a lawyer, you risk losing money or incurring expenses that you may be personally responsible for. Therefore, my advice is to contact an attorney immediately for guidance. All consultations are free, so there is no risk in calling or emailing a lawyer for advice. Perhaps the advice that you get during an immediate consultation will save you from disaster. At a minimum, you will learn if what you are presently doing is the right path to take.
How Much Will a Largo Accident Attorney Charge Me?
All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This is a different way for lawyers to charge than any other area of law. This means that the lawyer charges a percentage of the overall money that is recovered. The client is never asked to pay anything out of pocket. This means that there is no flat fee or retainer ever charged. If no money is recovered, then nothing is owed to the lawyer. This fee arrangement makes it risk free for a client to hire an attorney. The arrangement also allows the client to hire the best attorney that he or she can find because the amount of the fee charged is the same regardless of the lawyer. The standard fee that is charged by injury attorneys is 33.3% or 25% if the claim is against a state or government agency.
Contact a Largo Auto Accident Attorney
Auto accidents causing injury or death or an unfortunate reality in Largo. We have seen some of the most tragic incidents and how they affect families over our careers. We also know that all accidents are unexpected and can cause stress and chaos in your life. In every auto accident case, our priority is to make sure that we provide you the resources to obtain the proper medical treatment and then maximize the compensation for you. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Largo, please contact immediately for a free consultation.
What to do after a Largo Auto Accident?
The actions taken immediately after a car accident can prove pivotal in the outcome of a case. Here are some important tips to keep in mind, if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation:
- Move to safety and get medical assistance if needed. Nothing is more important than your health.
- Contact law enforcement.
- Obtain essential information, such as the other driver’s insurance details and take your own photos of the scene.
- Gather contact information for witnesses. (Police often leave witnesses of their reports or don’t get the correct contact information)
- Do NOT make a handshake agreement with the driver of the other car.
- Do NOT admit any fault. (Now is not the time to determine who was at fault. Admitting any fault can be used against you later. Your understanding of the accident might even be wrong.)
- Do NOT leave the scene of the incident. Even if you were not at fault for the accident, leaving the scene could qualify as a “hit-and-run,” which is a crime in Largo and could damage your claim for compensation.
- Never refuse to mention injuries to the police or paramedics. Any evidence of medical injuries can be vital in your compensation claim.