Hiring an Orlando car accident attorney can oftentimes help move your case in the right direction. This article discusses when you should consider hiring an attorney, and other auto crash details.

Injured parties often overlook the importance of legal representation after a traffic accident. Accident victims often want to maximize their compensation and believe paying legal fees reduces the settlement they take home. However, while it is okay to represent yourself in the claims process, there are instances where you might want to consider hiring an Orlando car accident attorney.

This article looks at traffic accidents in Orlando, Florida, the claims process, and when you should hire an Orlando car accident attorney. Contact VG Law Group for expert legal advice and representation if you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim. 

What Are the Common Causes of Car Collisions? 

The common factor in traffic accidents is driver error, and it manifests in several ways. We discuss the most common elements below. 

  • Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a common factor in accidents. In 2020, it contributed to 4,554 crashes in Florida, with 349 confirmed fatalities. A driver is legally drunk if they have a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. Also, alcohol affects cognitive function, making it hard to focus while driving and react in time to prevent a collision. 

  • Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is performing an activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. As a result, it increases the chances of a motor vehicle crash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people die daily in the U.S. in accidents involving a distracted driver. A typical example is using a cell phone to call or text. 

  • Drowsy Driving 

A drowsy driver falls asleep behind the wheel. It is closely linked with driver fatigue and is more common in truck accidents. Drivers can prevent drowsy driving by getting adequate rest before getting operating a car. 

  • Aggressive Driving 

Aggressive driving encompasses any unsafe driving behavior performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety. Examples include going over the speed limits in heavy traffic, tailgating, illegal lane change, etc. Aggressive driving is different from reckless driving in that the latter only requires engaging in unsafe behavior. 

Other known causes of motor vehicle accidents are mechanical failures, adverse weather conditions, bad roads, etc. 

Common Injuries in Automobile Accidents 

Auto accident victims sustain different types of injuries. This ranges from minor wounds to catastrophic injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries: This accident injury occurs when there's damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. It is often the result of a sudden blow or cut to the spine and might become a permanent injury. 
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: A traumatic brain injury is from a violent blow to the head and causes brain dysfunction. TBI is common in high-impact motor vehicle collisions, and people affected need emergency medical attention to avoid permanent damage. 
  • Broken Bones: The force of high-impact traffic collisions is usually too much for the body to handle. As a result, the bones may break and fracture. This sometimes leads to loss of limb if the bone gets shattered or the injury site gets infected. 
  • Internal Injuries: Not all severe injuries from auto accidents are visible. Internal wounds do not appear immediately and often become fatal. This is why you should get a proper medical checkup even if you feel fine. Also, do this after a minor accident. 

Other common injuries are knee damage, cuts, lacerations, bruises, whiplash, neck injuries, etc. 

What Should You Do After a Car Accident? 

Several factors contribute to the success of a personal injury case. What you do or don't do makes the difference between whether you'll get a fair settlement. Below, we outline the steps to take after a motor vehicle accident. 

Report the Accident

The first thing you need to do is make an accident report to the relevant authority. Do this before leaving the scene to avoid a hit-and-run charge. Filing a report means that the law enforcement agencies like the police have a record of what happened. 

A police report is a crucial piece of evidence and contains details of the accident, including:

  • The date and time of the collision
  • How the accident happened
  • The parties involved 
  • The severity of the accident injury (whether it is an injury or fatal accident)
  • The evidence collected at the accident scene
  • Witness statements 
  • The weather condition at the crash time
  • The report of accident reconstruction experts

An Orlando car accident attorney will use the above to identify the liable party to file a claim against them. 

Seek Medical Care 

Always prioritize your health after a traffic collision. Whether you suffered bodily injury or not, ensure you get medical care. It is better to rule out internal injuries than discover them when it is too late. If you don't have health insurance coverage, your personal injury protection (PIP) policy will cover the medical cost. 

Your medical record is essential to getting financial compensation. It shows the following:

  • The type of injury suffered
  • The severity and treatment
  • Cost of medical care, and
  • The need for future treatment or medical equipment

Gather Evidence 

Evidence determines the success of personal injury claims. These cases are civil actions, and they are decided on a preponderance of the evidence. The proof is placed on an imaginary scale, and whoever it tilts towards wins. 

So, it is not enough to say the negligent driver was driving drunk and caused the accident. You must produce evidence that backs the assertion. In addition to this, you must establish the four elements of negligence. That is:

  • The negligent driver owed you a duty of care
  • The motorist breached the duty 
  • The breach caused the crash, and
  • You suffered damages as a result.

Proving negligence is a complex process and requires legal experience. So get an experienced Orlando car accident attorney to help you if you want to secure maximum compensation.

When Should You Hire an Orlando Car Accident Attorney?

Typically, the best time to hire an Orlando car accident attorney is immediately after the occurrence. However, most people commence accident claims without legal help, as mentioned earlier. Then when things get complicated, they try to get a lawyer. 

Avoid starting accident lawsuits alone if you want fair compensation. Below, we discuss instances when you need to forgo self-representation and get an attorney. 

The Injuries Sustained Are Severe

Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, meaning each person relies on their personal injury insurance coverage in motor vehicle accident cases. Therefore, if you were in a minor car accident, you do not need to file a compensation claim. Instead, your PIP will cover your bodily injuries. 

However, there is an exception to this rule. Injury victims can commence a claim if they suffered:

  • Permanent injury 
  • Significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

The above are situations where the injured party would require lengthy medical treatment. As a result, they will be unable to file a legal action by themselves. Therefore, if any of the above applies to you, the best option is to hire an Orlando car accident attorney. 

If you lose a loved one in a fatal accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney. The lawyer will recover economic and non-economic damages, including funeral and burial costs. 

The Insurance Company Acted in Bad Faith

Your insurance provider or the defendant driver can act in bad faith when you file an insurance claim. This manifests as rejecting your settlement request without justifiable reasons or offering you less money than you deserve. When this happens, you need an Orlando car accident attorney's guidance. 

The attorney will write a letter requesting reasons for the denial or low offer. If the insurer fails to respond or provide a satisfactory explanation, the lawyer will commence a personal injury lawsuit. At this point, the jury or judge will either uphold the denied claim or grant you a fair settlement. 

Don't wait for the insurance company to act in bad faith before hiring an Orlando car accident attorney. Insurance providers are profit-oriented, so they never work in your best interest, even if they appear friendly. But on the other hand, an attorney is bound by professional ethics to give the best representation.

It also helps that personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. So their payment is contingent on you getting a settlement. As a result, they are 100% committed to securing the most favorable outcome.

The Case Requires Going to Court

Indeed, very few personal injury claims make it to trial as parties prefer to get their money quickly. However, there are instances when obtaining the maximum compensation requires a lawsuit. This is the case where:

  • An injury leaves the injured party disabled
  • The insurance company refuses to settle 
  • There is a contention on the liability of both parties 
  • There is evidence of gross negligence or malicious intent, and the victim wants punitive damages 

Court processes are pretty complex, and trial experience can help you win. Unfortunately, the latter is a skill only experienced lawyers possess. So, consult with a law firm if the facts of the case support a lawsuit. 

The Statute of Limitations is About to Elapse

There is something insurance carriers know that most injury victims are unaware of: personal injury cases are time-sensitive. Therefore, they are bound to a specific time limit provided under the Statute of Limitations. Under Florida law, you have four years to pursue compensation against the fault party or forfeit your right to it. 

Since insurance carriers know this, they sometimes stall negotiations. They know that once the Statute of Limitations elapses, your option of going to court is gone. Consequently, you may have no choice but to accept whatever compensatory amount they offer. 

Therefore, hire a legal team to file a lawsuit once you notice the delay tactics. Note that the Statute of Limitations starts running from the date of the accident. If it's a wrongful death case, the time limit is two years, and it starts counting from the day the victim died. 

What Compensation Will an Orlando Car Accident Attorney Get You? 

There are two types of compensation available to car accident victims: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses. They are easy to calculate, so you get every amount you lose. It covers the following:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of earning capacity 
  • Property damage 
  • Cost of medical equipment 
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, etc.

Non-Economic Damages 

It refers to losses that are not quantifiable, meaning they have no fixed dollar value. Non-economic damages are hard to calculate, but most lawyers and insurers use the multiplier method. They pick a number from one to five and use it to multiply the economic damages. 

This compensation covers: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

What Quality Should an Orlando Car Accident Attorney Posses? 

There are several personal injury law firms in Orlando, Florida. But not all of them have experienced lawyers with great qualities. So, what should you watch for when hiring an attorney? We discuss them below. 

  • Excellent Communication Skills: Communication is essential in personal injury cases. You need to understand your lawyer, vice-versa, for the claim to be successful. So, hire an attorney who will listen to your concerns and carry you along as the case progress. 
  • Successful Professional Record: An excellent lawyer has a successful professional record. This reflects in the number of cases they handled and won. Therefore, verify their success rate before securing their service. 
  • Availability: Law firms handle many cases, but that should not stop them from rendering personalized services. If your legal team has no time for you, it is best to take your case elsewhere.
  • Compassion: An excellent Orlando car accident attorney should be empathic. They should see you as more than a case number but a real person who underwent a traumatic event.
  • Extensive Knowledge of the Law: Personal injury lawyers handle different cases. From medical malpractice to bicycle accidents and premises liability. Therefore, hire one who specializes in car accidents and knows all the relevant laws. 
  • Excellent Client Feedback: What previous clients have to say about a lawyer is crucial. It confirms their expertise and success rate. So, check for reviews on search engines or by visiting the law firm's website. 

Getting compensatory damages after an auto accident puts you in the position you were in before the occurrence. At VG Law Group, we offer compassionate representation to accident victims. Our goal is to protect your rights and get you the justice you deserve. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis and will charge no upfront fees. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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