Auto Accident lawyer Tampa, FL
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.
If you have been in an accident, contact a Tampa auto accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law for assistance in protecting your case.
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, there are a few things to do immediately:
- 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 in Tampa. 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.
Talking About Your Case
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.
Signing 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.
Not Following a 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 believe that you are being watched.
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.
Waiting 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.
Last, be clear and direct about everything. There is no need to add details to make the story of your accident more heroic. Keep your claim short, simple and to the point. Let your lawyer fill in the blanks.
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.