If you have been involved in an auto accident in Florida, it is important to hire a Tarpon Springs car accident attorney to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. Depending on the actions taken following the car accident, an insurance company may try to deny liability based on a technicality, or minimize your injuries, potentially going so far as to not even acknowledge that you were injured.
The insurance company is looking out for their own business, just as the at-fault driver is looking out for their own interests. Therefore to ensure your best interests are taken into account, you should consult with an injury attorney in Tarpon Springs immediately.
First Steps Following a Car Accident
The very first thing a person should do after being involved in a car accident is seek medical attention to treat any injuries that may have occurred. In Florida, claimants only have 14 days to seek medical treatment if they want to secure the personal injury protection benefits that they pay for with insurance. Treating injuries immediately is of the utmost importance because it is important for an individual to identify and treat any injuries as soon as possible and because when an individual seeks medical attention can have an impact on an injury claim.
One medical attention has been administered, the next thing a person involved in an accident should do is call a Tarpon Springs personal car accident lawyer to ensure that their interests are represented and that nothing is used against them by the insurance company or the at-fault driver.
Statue of Limitations of Filing a Claim
In Florida, a person has four years to file a complaint for negligence in a motor vehicle accident, but only 14 days to seek initial medical treatment after the collision if they want their personal injury protection benefits to attach. So, while time is of the essence for seeking treatment and hiring a car accident attorney in Tarpon Springs, an individual has four years to file the technical lawsuit in court.
A person is entitled to recover anything that returns them to the position they were in prior to the accident. Things like medical bills and lost wages are covered in an auto accident case, as are complications that may not be as clear-cut, but fall under emotional distress or pain and suffering. For example, if a driver starts having panic attacks or cannot drive anymore and must see a psychologist or psychiatrist, those medical bills can be covered under an auto accident case.
Length of an Auto Accident Case
An auto accident case can range from two months to 10 years. The average for most cases in Florida is six to 18 months. If the injury is not severe enough to require surgery, and treatment will be completed within six to eight weeks, a demand package is sent and the case is settled rather quickly, within a six month period.
If an individual is forced to file a lawsuit, because the insurance company is not offering what their case and injuries deserve, then the average case in Florida will take about 18 months.
Benefits of Having an Attorney
Even though paying for an insurance policy means an individual is the paying customer of an insurance company, the company still has its own interest at heart. The company will always look out for itself before they look out for the client, but have to take the client seriously when they know that their rights are being protected by an attorney. The attorney will deal with the insurance company if they try to reject the claim, argue against the cause of the injury, or claim that the injury is not as severe as medical records show. When a person is equipped with an experienced Tarpon Springs car accident lawyer, the insurance company will not try to make them an offer to settle the claim before seeking medical treatment and not knowing the extent of their injuries.
An attorney working as a middle man is a great benefit to anyone injured in a car accident because the insurance company knows they are not going to be able to take advantage of the client.