Why do I need to hire a lawyer after a car wreck?
Florida's roads aren't getting any safer. Every day, we hear about the catastrophes caused by distracted driving, speeding and impaired driving. That's just the tip of the iceberg. People often sustain serious and life-changing injuries as a result of driver negligence. Families are devastated by the loss of a loved one. Catastrophes like this are preventable.
The 2019 crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been released. The good news is that the overall number of traffic fatalities across the U.S. has dropped by two percent from 2018 to 2019. The bad news is that the overall number of crashes and injuries has increased. In addition, traffic fatalities in Florida have increased by 1.5 percent. Here are Florida's figures for 2018-2019:
- Florida traffic fatalities were 3,135 in 2018 and 3,183 in 2019.
- Pedestrian deaths increased from 706 in 2018 to 713 in 2019.
- Bicyclist deaths have remained at 161 in 2018 and 2019.
- Motorcyclist deaths have increased from 575 in 2018 to 591 in 2019.
If you were involved in a car wreck, you have a good reason to call a lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may be stressed out and unsure about which course of action you should take. In addition, you may have sustained an injury and are being billed for your medical treatment. The last thing on your mind is dealing with the legal aspect of your claim. In all honesty, the legal aspect of your claim is crucial, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here is why it's important to discuss your crash with a car accident lawyer.
The value of your car accident case needs to be accurately determined
If you were involved in a wreck in Florida, the course of your claim will be determined by the damages you accrued. Florida is one of a dozen "no-fault" states that require drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If your medical bills and lost wages are no greater than $10,000, you may be able to pursue damages from your own insurance company. This is a no-fault system that allows you to pursue damages regardless of who was at fault.
If you sustained a more severe injury that required an operation, long-term rehabilitation, or months off from work, your damages will likely exceed the PIP limit. That's when you need to gather critical evidence to prove that another driver was at fault for your crash. This can be difficult and often requires the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. The other driver's insurance company is obligated to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Getting compensated for these damages isn't as easy as it sounds. Insurance companies (including your own) have an incentive to pay crash victims as little as possible, and they'll use a slew of dirty tricks to protect their bottom line. That includes:
- Getting a recorded statement from you that can later be used against your claim
- Offering a quick lowball settlement to make your case go away
- Shifting the blame onto you or away from the at-fault driver
- Telling you there is no need to hire a lawyer
An experienced car accident lawyer can deal directly with the insurance companies on your behalf. In fact, you don't even have to speak to them at all. Attorney David J. Glatthorn has more than 25 years of experience taking on insurance companies and getting results.
Evidence must be brought forward
Without solid evidence, your claim is only your word against the other driver's word. To build a strong case, an experienced lawyer can launch a thorough investigation and gather:
- Physical evidence from the crash scene
- A copy of the official accident report
- Statements from witnesses
- Videos from nearby surveillance cameras or witness dashcams (if possible)
- A copy of your medical records to link your injury to the crash
Contact a car accident lawyer for a free case review
When you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer, there is no pressure to hire them. Attorney David J. Glatthorn will simply sit down with you to discuss the challenges you may face with your claim and the course of action you might want to take moving forward. Your initial legal consultation is also free of charge, so you have nothing to lose by talking to an attorney. David J. Glatthorn, P.A. also works on a contingency fee basis. That means you will not be charged any upfront legal fees if you decide to hire us. We only take a percentage of the settlement or court verdict if we win your case. Our law firm serves injured motorists in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida. Contact us to find out how we can help you.