Auto Accident Lawyer Tampa, FL
An auto accident lawyer in Tampa, FL from Jeff Murphy Law knows 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.
What Not To Say To The Insurance After An Accident
You should not notify your insurance about your accident immediately after the accident, when you are still reeling and in shock, possibly confused and stressed, or even injured. Take care of your medical needs first, as this can help you protect your legal interests later down the road. You won’t have said anything you shouldn’t.
Never tell the insurance that it was “your fault”, you want to avoid admitting any fault for the accident. When describing the accident, do this by keeping your personal opinion out of the mix. Just tell it as if you were watching it happen from above the accident itself. The insurance companies can work out who was at fault, or most at fault, because there may have been other factors involved like a vehicle with bad parts, distracted driving, a traffic sign that’s hard to see or something else. Avoid making any statements about fault in front of the driver, law enforcement or the insurance company as these may be used against you later.
Never tell the insurance company, law enforcement or other person involved in the accident that you are not injured. This can make it harder for you to claim medical bills later on if you find that you were indeed injured. Don’t state anything that you do not know for a fact is true–with injuries, they can pop up at any time after an accident. Your neck or back can begin to hurt days after the accident, bruises may take time to develop and show. Injuries are not always instantaneous. Don’t sign any release forms from the insurance companies until talking to your lawyer.
You should never tell your “official statement”, before you have been advised by a personal injury attorney. You’re not under any obligation to have your statement recorded, and what you say can be twisted or taken out of context as it’s used to manipulate and serve them instead of you.
If you don’t know an actual answer, never answer it. There’s no need to say “I think…” because it’s not factual and can be misconstrued by the insurance companies. Stick to your basics, too, never bother giving insurance companies the names of family members, friends or physicians that are involved in your case. They may take you to court and request information on the mentioned individuals to use against you.
Never accept a first offer, as it is going to be severely lowballing you. They are not going to offer you enough to cover your medical bills or the wages you have lost at work, and you deserve to be fully compensated for your injuries. Discuss with a personal injury lawyer before you take a settlement, so that your lawyer can advocate for you. Also never admit to the insurance company that you do not have a lawyer, try to obtain a lawyer right away because a lawyer is going to have more experience and keep the insurance company on their toes, so that you will get more compensation for recovery, medical bills, wages lost, property damage and more.
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.
When are the most likely times for a car accident to occur?
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), car accidents take place every minute of the day. Yes, you just read that properly. Every minute of every day, somebody is involved with a vehicle mishap or accident. For more specific data on incidents happening near Tampa you can research an auto accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida.
While not all of these mishaps lead to a casualty, the frustrating majority of them lead to some kind of injury, residential or commercial property damage or legal lawsuits.
The car insurance coverage industry approximates that all motorists are likely to be involved in a minimum of 4 car mishaps in his or her lifetime. Furthermore, really young or amateur motorists are more likely to be involved in an automobile mishap, instead of more knowledgeable and older drivers.
Other factors that may also increase the threat of being involved in a car accident are:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI/ DWI).
- Speeding – Nearly one-third of all automobile mishaps are caused by someone driving over the speed limitation or driving too quickly for the existing weather condition and/or road conditions.
- Driving while distracted – which includes texting, consuming, applying cosmetics or any other habits that takes a motorist’s attention away from the road.
It is important to note that data from the Annual United States Road Crash Stats journal recommends fatal cars and truck mishaps are more likely to happen throughout specific days of the week, as well as throughout particular times of each day. The following is a breakdown of the days of the week and times of day when a deadly vehicle accident is probably to happen:.
- Monday– 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Tuesday– 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday– 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday– 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Friday– 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
- Saturday– midnight to 3:00 a.m.
- Sunday– midnight to 3:00 a.m.
There are also additional facts to think about when going over the frequency of car accidents and deaths, such as:
- Over 37,000 people pass away in auto accidents each year.
- Every 16 minutes, an automobile accident occurs that leads to death.
- Almost 8,000 people are killed in crashes including people in between the ages of 16 and 20.
- Over 1,600 kids under the age of 15 die in vehicle wrecks each year.
If you have been injured in a vehicle wreck in Florida, or if a loved one has been hurt or killed in a Tampa car accident, get in touch with the experienced Auto Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL by reaching out to Jeff Murphy Law today. We are willing to address any questions you may have concerning the car accident, also we are willing to discuss your legal rights and any settlement you may be entitled to due to accident and losses.
“Jeff actually handled 2 cases for me. His years and expertise helped calm me during a very stressful time. He always responded to my inquiries in a timely manner. He had great communication letting me know next steps and normal length of time.”