Auto Accident lawyer Tampa, FL
An auto accident lawyer in Tampa, FL from Jeff Murphy Law know just how severe and potentially life-threatening injuries due to car crashes can be. Drivers and their passengers are both at risk. If you do get involved in an accident where someone else was negligent or at fault, it’s also useful to know that you can consult with a personal injury attorney and may have a case against the offending driver.
Since injuries from motor vehicle accidents are so common, it can be helpful to understand more about how they occur to better protect yourself. Here are some of the most common types of collisions that a FL auto accident lawyer in Tampa from Jeff Murphy Law has represented in the past:
► Rear-End Collisions
Car accidents claim the lives of thousands of people each year and cause severe injuries for many, many others. Rear-end collisions are a common type of motor vehicle accident that tends to happen in high-traffic situations. They also are often a result of tailgating or speeding.
You can strive to avoid these types of accidents and reduce your risk by taking your time and leaving plenty of room on the road between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. If you were involved in a car accident recently, then we encourage you to speak with a Florida auto accident lawyer during a free, no-obligation consultation.
► Side-Impact Crashes
These are often called t-bone crashes, as the other car hits the side of your vehicle at a right angle, forming a “T.” They commonly occur in intersections and often result from running stop signs or red lights. Depending on the force of the impact, such a car collision can cause severe injury for drivers and passengers alike. The speed at which a motor vehicle operator is traveling at the time of impact increases the risk of severe or fatal injuries.
To protect yourself, be alert and cautious when approaching intersections, and don’t assume other drivers will heed the traffic sign or signal and stop. It can also help to avoid running yellow lights.
► Sideswipe Accidents
A sideswipe happens when one vehicle brushes too closely against the side of another. These are common when passing or when one driver is hidden in another’s blind spot. These types of collisions happen more often on multi-lane roads or major highways. They can be dangerous, as they can cause one or both drivers to lose control of their cars. Many times, aggressive drivers who speed, pass in no-pass zones, and fail to yield are to blame for these accidents.
To be safe, be careful when driving alongside other vehicles, particularly trucks. Furthermore, when you pass, be sure to use your signals and allow yourself plenty of space when you change lanes.
► Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are quite dangerous and potentially deadly types of accidents. They frequently happen on major highways, freeway exits, entrance ramps, and one-way streets. They are more common at night when drowsy driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications are contributing factors. If you believe that the other driver could have been under the influence of a substance and/or had fallen asleep at the wheel, then you must notify an auto accident lawyer in Tampa from Jeff Murphy Law right away.
► Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents have a higher rate of casualties than other types of crashes. They are more common among SUVs, vans, trucks, and other high profile vehicles, but they can impact any driver. Going too fast for conditions making tight turns or around curves contributes to rollovers.
Taking Legal Action
When you decide that you want to file a personal injury claim with help from an Auto Accident lawyer in Tampa, FL from Jeff Murphy Law, assume that everyone is watching and listening to everything you do and say. Even before you file, insurance companies will send adjusters out to talk with you. Know that your decisions and words have consequences for your potential settlement and case. If you are going to file or even considering filing a personal injury suit, you need to be acutely aware of the things you do that can have detrimental effects on your claim.
A car accident can be very disorienting. Whether you saw it coming and couldn’t avoid it or it came out of the blue, it can leave you reeling. But there are a few things you must remember to do reasonably and quickly to protect yourself.
What to Do After an Accident
First and foremost, you must make sure that you and anyone else that needs medical attention are taken care of. After that, it’s time to consult a Tampa auto accident lawyer in FL from Jeff Murphy Law. There are also a few things to do immediately before vacating the scene of the crash:
- Call the police
- Get the driver’s license and insurance information from other involved drivers
- Take pictures
- Get witness names and numbers
- Call your insurance company
Unless your state does not require police on a non-injury accident, the police will take statements, survey the scene, take witness statements and produce a report. They will tell you at the scene how long it will be before the report is ready. Once that time has elapsed, you’ll want to obtain a copy of the report. The documented account is particularly important if you were not at fault, as it may contain information that you can use to support your claim.
How Long to File a Case After a Car Accident
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to get your claims paid through the normal process, it just doesn’t work out. There could be many reasons:
- Denial of legitimate medical claims
- Not offering enough to replace your car
- Insurance company claims that accident was avoidable
- Insurance claims there was no mention of injury at the scene
When your insurer or another driver’s insurance company denies your claims, it is time to get some professional help from a FL Auto Accident lawyer at Jeff Murphy Law. But how do you know if it’s been too long to file suit? The answer depends on your state’s statute of limitations.
In the example where the injury claim was denied since there was no mention of injury at the site, the statute in some states starts when the accident occurs. In other states, it is the first time that someone reasonable should have noticed the injury. This may not be when the injury was actually discovered by the plaintiff, but when the judge believes it should have been discovered. In yet other states, the statute may start when the plaintiff discovered the injury.
The laws in each state vary when it comes to a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a car accident. Due to the range and complexity of laws, it is advisable to consult with us if you need help settling your insurance claims.
Only Speak With Your Lawyer
It is natural to want to discuss your accident, but you should avoid this if you plan on suing. Discussing your potential case in conversation, on the phone, or online in social forums is potentially harmful to the mediation and lawsuit process. Inevitably stories and attitudes change every time a story is told and insurance companies will use every variation to reduce their liability. If you need to talk, speak with a Tampa auto accident lawyer.
Don’t Sign Away Your Rights
Always read everything you sign, and sign nothing without a Tampa, FL auto accident lawyer present. Insurance adjusters will likely approach you after an accident and make a generous-sounding settlement offer, but vet the offer with an attorney before agreeing to it. The fact is, you do not know the extent of your injuries or total damages for some time after an accident. Wait and don’t sign.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
While this should go without saying, follow your doctor’s orders exactly. If you don’t, insurers will take it to mean that you are not hurt, and may try to use whatever supposed “evidence” they found to deny or minimize your claim.
Refrain From Lying
Insurance companies may hire surveillance to follow you, and they will know when you lie. Do not try to get more out of a settlement by exaggerating your claims because it only hurts your case in the end.
Don’t Wait Too Long To File
While every state varies on their regulations for filing a personal injury claim, most allow only a certain number of years to file. Some instances change this timeline, however. For example, the clock doesn’t start for minors until they turn 18. Contact us to find out what the statute of limitations is for your case.
Insurance companies do not want to pay you money, and they will probably hire investigators to follow you and poke holes in your claim. The best way around this is to be honest and have legal representation.
If you have been injured in a crash and would like to find out what legal options you may have against the driver who caused the crash, contact an auto accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida from Jeff Murphy Law today for a free and confidential case evaluation.