Auto Accident Attorney Seminole
If you have been injured in an accident and are looking for a auto accident lawyer in Seminole, we can help. We have handled countless claims in Seminole and can provide valuable assistance for you and your family. Our goal in every claim is to provide you the resources to receive the medical treatment that you need and then recover the maximum compensation available.
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas are experienced personal injury attorneys handling Seminole accident claims. As partners of one of Tampa Bay’s oldest and most prestigious law firms, we have the resources, skill, reputation and track record to help you.
Steps After an Auto Accident in Seminole
We understand that the moments after an auto accident can be difficult. When you are dealing with damage to your vehicle, lost work, pain from injuries, as well as a barrage of calls from the insurance companies, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we have handled every type of injury claim that exists in Seminole. Our office is close by and we have found over the years that Seminole accidents claims are one of the most common types of clients for our firm.
Step 1 – Contact Law Enforcement
After every auto accident in Seminole, you should report the incident to law enforcement. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office or Florida Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over those calls. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is entering into a handshake agreement with the other driver. Not only is that agreement not binding on the insurance company, it does not go far enough to prove fault. If a law enforcement officer reports and properly documents fault, that accident report will go a long way to expedite the handling of your claim. While contacting law enforcement may mean a ticket for the other driver, that should not be a concern of yours. Never feel guilty about protecting yourself after an accident.
Step 2 – Document the Scene and the Damage
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words and that could not be more true after an auto accident. We advise our clients to take as many pictures as possible of the vehicles and witnesses at the scene. Then, once the vehicle is in a safe and well-lit spot, take more pictures of the damage. Do not rely on the auto body shop or the insurance company to take pictures for you. Finally, if you have visible injuries, take pictures of them. If you are in a neck brace, a cast, have a sling or a bandage on, have someone take pictures of you in that condition. Pictures describe to the insurance company and a potential jury what all you went through as a result of the negligence of the other party.
Step 3 – Collect Contact Information
A mistake that many people make after an auto accident is to rely on law enforcement to get contact information. Often, witnesses will stop, make sure that no one is critically injured and then drive off. By the time that the police arrive, that witness is gone forever. Thus, we advise to always get a name and phone number if you can. Additionally, we regularly see law enforcement officers leave off witness information or make mistakes with that information. As a result, we advise our clients to obtain as much contact information as possible for protection in case a record keeping mistake is made that is out of their control.
Step 4 – Seek Medical Treatment
Getting timely medical treatment is one of the most important elements of every injury claim. Some people mistakenly believe that they have 14 days to get medical treatment because they have heard that in a lawyer commercial or saw it on a billboard. The 14 day rule only applies to your own no fault or PIP benefits, it has nothing to do with your ability to recover money from the person who hit you. Therefore, if you need emergency medical treatment, we advise to go to a hospital or an urgent care center immediately. If your injuries do not rise to that level, then we encourage you to see a specialist as soon as possible. Remember, that every day that goes by after an accident and before you see a doctor, the insurance company will argue that you could not have been injured that badly. Don’t let them use that excuse.
Step 5 – Report the Car Accident to Insurance
You are required to report the accident to your own insurance company within a reasonable time and to cooperate with their investigation. You have no such duty to cooperate with the other driver’s company. We advise our clients to report the accident and get a claim number, but not to discuss the injuries. We do not recommend that you speak to the other insurance company before you speak to your injury attorney. In no circumstance should you ever give a recorded statement to anyone without speaking to a lawyer first.
Why Hire a Accident Attorney in Seminole?
The first few days and weeks after an auto accident are the most important for every injury claim. As injury attorneys, it is our job to ensure that both your treatment and your claim are set up for success.
Getting a plan for your medical treatment is perhaps the most important part of the process. The sad reality is regardless how injured you are, if you have gaps in treatment, your claim will be valued less by the insurance companies. Our philosophy is to not give anyone an excuse to devalue your claim. That means we expedite medical appointments, ensure that you follow your doctor’s advice, and make sure that you do not miss treatment.
While we are handling the medical management of the claim, we also deal with the insurance companies. We investigate the claim, get coverage information and set up the claims with the appropriate entities. This is a complicated process that may take some time. Our clients like that the communication with the insurance company shifts to our office so they no longer have to deal with the phone calls and paperwork.
At the conclusion of the medical treatment, our team prepares a demand to the insurance company. This demand includes a statement about the facts of the case, the injuries, the bills, any lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred. Once the insurance company reviews the demand, we attempt to negotiate a settlement. If a settlement cannot be achieved at that time, we discuss other options such as filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits are rare, but are sometimes necessary. We never file a lawsuit without our client’s approval.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney in Seminole Charge?
All personal injury lawyers in Seminole charge the same amount. The fee arrangement is called a contingency. This means that the lawyer charges a percentage of the money that he or she recovers for you. In this type of arrangement, you never have to put any money down. You never have to pay a flat fee, a retainer, or make payments. If the injury attorney does not recover any money for you, you do not owe any money. This fee arrangement is unique and usually only used in injury claims. Because of the fact that you don’t owe money unless you win, there is no risk to hiring an attorney to pursue the claim for you.
The standard fees charged for injury claims are 33% if the claim settles without a lawsuit and 25% if the claim is against a state or government agency.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney in Seminole 727-381-2300
If you have been injured and are looking for a auto accident attorney in Seminole, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas are experienced and honest attorneys who will put your best interests first. Our office is only minutes from Seminole, which makes us an obvious choice. Call Us Now 727-381-2300.