Injured in an Automobile Accident — Now What?
You have been injured in an automobile accident … now what? The Fort Lauderdale accident and injury attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. have the experience to answer all questions related to your automobile accident.
After seeking prompt medical attention (especially for medical emergencies such as: head injuries, symptoms of numbing/tingling/loss of feeling in extremities, or potentially broken bones) and contacting the police to securing a police report, you should immediately contact a law firm specializing in personal injury litigation.
Even in cases where you only incurred “seemingly minor injuries” you should seek a free consultation from an accident and injury attorney. Oftentimes, auto accident injures may not be apparent to you right away (especially lower/middle back injuries and other soft tissue injuries) due to the adrenaline rush that takes over your body after an accident. An experienced accident attorney can help you secure the proper medical provider (i.e. neurologist, chiropractor, orthopedic surgeon) based on your injury / accident and medical insurance (or lack of medical insurance). Time is of the essence – insurance companies routinely limit and/or deny claims for individuals who do not promptly seek medical treatment.
Speaking of insurance companies, it is important to remember not to give a statement to the insurance company’s representative about the car accident without first speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. The information you provide to an insurance company can potentially cripple your case and limit your financial recovery. An auto accident attorney familiar with insurance companies (and their deceptive questioning) can help you navigate through their questions when reporting a claim and sitting for an independent medical examination (IME).
When retaining an accident attorney to represent your best interests and obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries, it is important to seek out an attorney with the highest level of credentials, reviews, trial experience, and someone you will trust will investigate all sources of recovery (i.e. “pockets”) to make you financially whole. Do not simply settle for a “volume mill” you heard in a radio jingle that burns through thousands of clients per year. Commonly, an experienced personal injury attorney will seek monies from numerous sources including — all owners of the vehicle, employers, and possible your own insurance company via uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
In Florida, your automobile insurance policy will be the first to pay for your medical bills and lost wages via your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Your insurance will be responsible for 80% of your reasonable medical expenses related to the accident and 60% of your lost earnings subject to the limits of the coverage and any applicable deductible (or up to the specified policy limit). It is important to note, however, that only the first $10,000 of medical bills and/or lost wages will be paid from your insurance company. Any amount after the first $10,000.00 will have to obtained from the at fault driver or your uninsured/underinsured carrier, if applicable. This further underscores the importance of immediately contacting an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Finally, be aware that a large majority of accident and injury attorneys accept cases via (almost identical) contingency agreements – meaning the attorney is paid a percentage of the proceeds only after settlement or trial. As a result of not “coming out of pocket to pay for legal representation” you can hire any personal injury attorney you feel will provide you with the highest possible representation. Accordingly, hiring the correct accident and injury attorney could be the difference between a minor financial settlement and a major, life-altering financial settlement.