Tampa Car Accident Lawyers Work Diligently to Help Crash Victims
People tend to think of car accidents as unlikely occurrences. However, according to data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, an average of 933 crashes happened daily across Florida in 2020. These accidents led to more than 196,000 injuries that year alone. Every injury represents a challenging and painful time for a victim.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, our experienced legal team at RTRLAW is here to help you recover the maximum possible compensation for your losses. We know that every car accident case is unique, so we take the time to understand your situation and provide you with the tailored legal advice you need. Call RTRLAW today in Tampa at (813) 370-0229 or toll free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (833-447-3787) to take advantage of your free initial consultation.
How Can Your Actions After a Car Accident Affect Your Claim?
Car accident scenes are often chaotic, and victims may be injured, upset or in shock. Ultimately, the most important thing after an accident is ensuring everyone involved, including yourself, gets the medical care they need. Call 911 if anyone is hurt and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. If you don’t require immediate medical treatment, stay at the location until the police have arrived, interviewed you, and given you permission to leave. Adrenaline can kick in after an accident and can mask pain, so you may not recognize that you are severely hurt. Even if you’re not transported by an ambulance following the accident, be sure to seek a prompt medical examination to identify potential injuries. If you do not know where to seek the proper medical attention to document your injuries, our team can assist in steering you in the right direction.
Some individuals panic and try to flee the scene after a crash, but that can lead to significant consequences. Under Florida law, a hit-and-run accident resulting in injuries or fatalities is a felony, and the offender can face up to 30 years in prison. Even leaving the scene of an accident that only involves property damage is a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to 60 days in prison and a fine. Unless you are being transported for medical care, you should remain at the accident site until the police arrive to avoid the possibility of these serious charges.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are not severely injured, the following steps can help your insurance claim, including:
- Collecting contact and insurance information from the drivers involved.
- Getting contact information from witnesses.
- Taking photos and videos of the accident scene from different angles.
- Finding out how to get a copy of the police accident report once it is finished.
- Calling a trusted car accident lawyer like the ones at RTRLAW who can help you determine your next actions.
Remember that your statements after the crash may be used as evidence later, so you should be mindful of what you say. Never discuss fault or apologize for your actions. An insurance adjuster may contact you after the crash to request a recorded statement or offer you a settlement. You should not agree to either of these things without consulting with a car accident attorney FIRST because you could harm your ability to recover full compensation for your damages.
What Are the After-Effects of a Car Crash?
Car accidents often leave vehicle occupants with injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic. An injury is considered catastrophic if it involves a loss of a body part or bodily function that is likely to be permanent and prevents the victim from maintaining employment. While these injuries represent some of the worst-case outcomes from an auto accident, even relatively minor injuries can be devastating for victims and their families . The financial burden of medical treatment, and lost time and productivity at work can cause economic and emotional struggles for victims. Common injuries seen as a result of motor vehicle accidents are:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Lacerations and bruises
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Spinal damage, possibly leading to paralysis
- Severed or crushed limbs
These injuries can also cause secondary problems for victims, such as blood clots, vision or hearing loss, chronic pain, strokes, brain bleeds, nerve damage, painful scarring, mobility issues, and more. These issues can cause a decrease in the victim’s quality of life, and some may even prove fatal if not treated properly.
An often-ignored fact about car accidents is that they can be very traumatic events for many victims. Car crash survivors may find themselves battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, phobias, nightmares, and other mental health issues for months or years after the accident. The experienced personal injury lawyers at RTRLAW will take into account all of these damages when determining a fair settlement for your case.
How Do PIP Benefits Work?
Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance. In a no-fault state, those involved in an accident must file a claim with their own insurers for their losses. As part of this system, every driver must carry at least $10,000.00 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage along with their auto insurance. While your auto insurance covers property and vehicle damage experienced in a crash, your PIP coverage can provide payment for losses due to injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages.
PIP coverage makes the claims process more straightforward in some ways, especially for minor car accidents, because it will pay out without victims needing to prove who was at fault for the crash. However, it does have some downsides:
- You can only collect benefits up to your coverage limits: The required minimum PIP coverage is $10,000.00, but if you have severe injuries, your medical bills can rapidly surpass this amount.
- You must have a doctor evaluate your injuries within 14 days of the accident: If you don’t recognize that you have an injury until after the first two weeks, you will be unable to utilize your PIP benefits.
- PIP coverage only pays a percentage of your costs: Typically, your PIP coverage will pay around 80% of your medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000.00, which may still leave you with substantial unpaid medical expenses.
What Damages Could You Recover With a Car Accident Claim?
Recovering from an auto accident can be expensive. You may need ongoing medical treatment or require in-home services, such as house cleaning or child care while you are incapacitated. In cases where you have losses your PIP benefits don’t cover, a car accident lawyer from RTRLAW can help you seek damages from the ones responsible for your accident. Your damages can fall into three different categories:
- Economic damages: Many financial costs may be related to car accidents, from emergency room visits to surgeries to lost wages. Economic damages compensate victims for their monetary losses from the injury. They can even extend to future medical care and the loss of earning capacity if your injuries will impact you over the long term.
- Non-economic damages: Injuries also take an emotional toll on victims. You can seek compensation for the mental anguish that your pain and suffering has caused. If you have significant scarring or disfigurement from your injuries that has changed the way you look and function, that can also be factored into your non-economic damages.
- Punitive damages: Sometimes, an individual’s actions are so reckless and harmful that the court opts to punish them by awarding punitive damages to the victim. These additional damages are relatively uncommon and are only available if the case goes to trial. However, if the at-fault party believes these damages may come into play, it can provide a strong incentive to settle out of court.
How Can Our Law Firm Assist You?
Car accident claims can be complicated. Knowing where to file, compiling the necessary documentation, and meeting all deadlines can be a lot to keep track of, especially when you are spending most of your energy trying to recover from your injuries. RTRLAW can handle every aspect of your case, from investigating the crash to negotiating a settlement with the insurance company to taking your lawsuit to court, if needed. With our trusted car accident attorneys on your side, you can feel at ease knowing that we will be working tirelessly in your best interests.
Since 1988, RTRLAW has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We can come to you to take care of all necessary paperwork or it can be handled quickly and easily electronically by phone, text or email.
If you prefer, you can visit our Tampa office or one of our other convenient locations in Florida to meet with a skilled car accident lawyer. Or feel free to give us a call to schedule a FREE, no-obligation case review at (813) 370-0229 or toll free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (833-447-3787).