Auto Accident Attorney
A St Petersburg Auto Accident Attorney can provide you with some much-needed hope, reassurance and knowledge during the hugely stressful and testing period that follows an auto accident. Whether you’ve been in a minor crash or a more severe incident that may have caused damage, injuries or even death, then you’re faced with a mountain of stress and legal work to get through and understand.
This can be an extremely long process, during a time where you want to move on with your life and have closure. With insurance companies, the law, injuries and financial concerns all need to be dealt with. Many victims will often accept a far lower settlement. It’s understandable that victims want it over with but insurance companies exploit this, giving victims far less than they deserve, and less than they could have won had they hired an Auto Accident Attorney.
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas are St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys that have been working to recover financial compensation and helping victims for over 15 years. If you’re in need of an auto accident personal injury attorney, then you’ve found the helping hand that you’re likely crying out for and the experience to get you the maximum sum with the minimum amount of stress that you deserve.
It’s important to have some clarity on how to act and what to know during this time, so here is some crucial advice:
What to do after a car accident?
The immediate actions taken after a car accident are frequently overlooked. Emotions are often high, and a simple mistake or careless statement can prove hugely costly in fighting for the compensation you truly deserve. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind, should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation:
- Get to safety and seek medical assistance if needed. Your health is always the number one priority.
- Call law enforcement, if you don’t need medical attention first.
- Gather critical information, such as the other driver’s insurance details and take your photos.
- Collect witness reports yourself. (Often witnesses will inform the police of what they saw, but this can be left out of the Police report later)
- Do not agree on a handshake agreement.
- Do not admit fault. (You don’t need to determine who was at fault. The moment you admit fault, this can later be used against you. You might even be wrong in your assumption that it was your mistake. Unnoticed facts are often revealed later.)
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. This will be seen as a “hit-and-run,” which is a felony in Florida and can result in a severe penalty.
- Don’t refuse medical attention. Evidence of medical injuries can be crucial in your compensation claims.
Why hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
Legal matters for car accidents are almost always complex situations. You’ll be battling daunting insurance companies and their experienced lawyers. They can be extremely difficult to take on if you file a personal injury claim alone. Here’s why the assistance of an auto accident attorney is crucial for a successful outcome:
An attorney removes the pressure placed on you when you’ll need to be focusing on recovering and working or being with your family. You won’t receive any stressful phone calls from the insurance companies, and you can relax knowing that you’re in safe hands.
We know the damages you’ve suffered but may have missed. In most cases, the insurance companies and other parties will try to claim that your injuries are only temporary, when in fact they can cause further problems later. Missed wages, psychological distress future medical costs, damage to your plans, and more are all often overlooked. We know this and will thoroughly factor it into your claim.
- We ensure evidence is preserved correctly. The evidence tends to be lost in a matter of days or even hours; we will work to make sure it is secured.
- We know which evidence will support your case. Under Florida law, this is crucial, as recovering compensation is only possible if it is established that another person’s legal negligence caused the accident.
- Insurance companies will exploit the stress you’re going through and your lack of knowledge, often pushing you into admitting a mistake. They will do their best to ensure that they are paying you as little as possible. Our experience tackles this so we can get you the best results.
- An attorney can get to work straight away, without the huge mental distractions you’ll likely have following the incident. Acting soon will give you the upper hand.
- The longer you wait without an attorney, the more time the insurance companies gain to devalue your claim.
- Vastly greater compensation results can come from the work of an auto accident lawyer, than an individual claim.
- We’ll be your advocate throughout the entire process and effectively handle all the legal work and procedures for the optimal outcome.
Understanding Types of Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
In general auto accidents rarely go to a full civil trial, with a jury. This is because juries are unreliable and unpredictable. No matter how blameless you are, there is no guarantee a jury will see it as it is. This is why settlements are used. They allow both parties to come to a satisfactory agreement, with it being the final decision.
Demand Letters are a way of directly requesting compensation while avoiding litigation or court appearances. An auto accident attorney will create a “Demand Letter” that details the accident and your situation, with experienced, thorough knowledge. This is then sent to the insurance company with a settlement request.
Settlement Negotiations Explained
When the above hits stumbling blocks and disagreements between both sides, then negotiations typically begin. These are attempts to reach an agreement without the need for litigation, but if they still cannot be resolved, then the case will go to a civil suit trial. There are few reasons for this to occur, but typically they are:
Negligence is establishing that the other party was at fault for the incident. This is necessary and imperative for the prosecution to prove that there was wrongdoing and a lack of caution on the road. An auto accident attorney will thoroughly analyze and prepare the evidence that can support the claim, which the other party’s negligence caused the accident. This typically ranges from a lack of caution to intoxication or using a cell phone.
Loose asphalt, signage issues, traffic control and guardrails are just a few of the examples of why poor road design may have caused your accident.
In 2016, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. The insurance industry is well accustomed to taking advantage of victims who go along with their claims.
Don’t make the same mistake; have a Free Consultation with us today.
With Sean McQuaid & Jonathon Douglas, you have experienced personal injury attorneys with over 15 years worth of experience dealing with auto accidents and situations such as those explained above. We’ll not only give you a much-needed open hand during this tough time, but we’ll also give you the best financial result for going forward.
Call Us Today, We’re Here to Help
We represent clients throughout Southwest Florida