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.
The common factor in traffic accidents is driver error, and it manifests in several ways. We discuss the most common elements below.
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 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.
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 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.
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:
Other common injuries are knee damage, cuts, lacerations, bruises, whiplash, neck injuries, etc.
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.
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:
An Orlando car accident attorney will use the above to identify the liable party to file a claim against them.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
There are two types of compensation available to car accident victims: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses. They are easy to calculate, so you get every amount you lose. It covers the following:
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:
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.
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.