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Car Accident Lawyer Tampa, FL

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Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

As a dedicated Tampa car accident lawyer at Jeff Murphy Law, I understand that car accidents can vary greatly in their severity. From the most catastrophic collisions to the slightest fender benders, each accident presents unique challenges and concerns. My experience has taught me that regardless of the nature of the accident, the initial moments following the collision are crucial.

It’s imperative to stay calm and composed after an accident. This can be challenging, but it’s essential for handling the situation effectively. In my practice, I emphasize the importance of certain fundamental actions to take immediately after an accident. These steps not only ensure your safety but also help in any future legal proceedings related to the incident.

car accident

What To Do During An Accident

First and foremost, you’ll want to attend to your injuries and the injuries of anyone else involved in the crash. Everything else can wait until your health is evaluated. Second, you’ll want to preserve your legal options by connecting with an experienced Tampa, Florida car accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law. Once your health has been prioritized and your legal interests are being protected, your next steps will become clearer. If you’ve just suffered an accident, please consider the following steps –

Check Everyone for Injuries

Beginning with yourself, check everyone for injuries. If you are not seriously injured, check on your passengers. After they have checked out, move to the other drivers and passengers in other cars. If pedestrians are involved, you should check on them as well.

If you are severely injured and unable to check on everyone else, it’s ok to stay put until someone who can help arrives on the scene. If anyone is able to administer first aid, he or she should do so until professional medical personnel arrives.

Contact the Police

Some states require you to contact the police after an accident, but even in states where it’s not required, it’s a good idea. Calling 911 will get proper medical personnel there if you or anyone else needs medical assistance. The responding police officer will probably speak with everyone involved in the accident to get a better understanding of what happened. He or she will then write up a report that can be used during the claims process or as evidence for a lawsuit. If you are uncomfortable calling for law enforcement until you have your car accident lawyer on the scene, that’s okay. Call our firm and we’ll help to ensure that law enforcement is alerted while we’re en route to assist you. 

Move to Safety

If you and the others involved in the accident are able to safely leave your cars, you should move to safety instead of hanging out in the middle of the road. If traffic allows and your physical abilities allow, you may want to push the cars out of the way as well. This can help others to avoid getting in an accident with your already crashed cars.

Swap Information

Before you leave the scene, and even if the police officer has already done this, you should swap information with any other drivers involved in the accident. You’ll want both their contact information and their insurance information. It could benefit you to collect contact information for passengers and witnesses as well. If you have to leave the scene (in an ambulance) before you can obtain this information, your car accident attorney can help to track it down on your behalf. 

If you were involved in a car accident, there’s no time to waste. Contact a car accident lawyer so you can get everything squared away as soon as possible, and so you can preserve your legal options and protect your rights.

Documents For Your Lawyer

When you’re involved in an accident and considering hiring an attorney, it’s crucial to provide them with comprehensive documentation to ensure they have a full understanding of your case. Here are the key things you should give your lawyer:

Insurance Policy 

Your lawyer will need to review your insurance policy to understand the coverage and the insurance recovery clause you’re entitled to. If you don’t have a copy, your lawyer can request one from your insurance company with your approval.

Proof of Premium Payments 

Evidence of premium payments is essential. Your lawyer needs to verify that your insurance policy is active and covers the period of the accident. This involves showing that all premiums have been paid and are up to date.

Information Exchanged at the Accident Scene 

This includes names, contact details (phone numbers, emails) of witnesses, photos of the accident, and other relevant information. Your attorney can use this information to build your case, even if you’ve already communicated with those involved.

Police Report 

In most cases, the police draft an accident report when they are called to an accident scene. This report usually contains a diagram of the accident and the on-scene officer’s initial impressions of the cause. This document is critical for your lawyer to understand the specifics of your case.

Traffic Citations Related to the Accident 

If you received any tickets related to the accident (like a “failure to yield” citation), these should also be provided to your lawyer. They can be significant in the legal proceedings.

Photographs of the Damage and Accident Scene 

Any photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the accident scene are vital. If you didn’t take photos, check if the insurance representative did.

Providing your lawyer with these documents helps them to thoroughly understand the accident and the perspectives of officials involved. This comprehensive approach can significantly aid in developing an effective legal strategy for your case.

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Sit Down with Attorney Jeff Murphy to Answer the Question: What Does it Mean to be Fully Covered in an Auto Accident?

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS

Compensation Eligibility for Partial Fault

Despite feeling partially responsible for an accident, it’s crucial not to admit fault. Even if a police report finds you partly responsible, you can still file a compensation claim. Avoid apologizing or admitting responsibility, and let your lawyer handle all legal matters.

Need for a Car Accident Lawyer in Insurance Negotiations

Insurance companies aim to limit payouts, unlike car accident lawyers who work to ensure you receive full compensation. Lawyers are better equipped to navigate these negotiations.

Handling Discrepancies in Memory Post-Accident

It’s common for accident details to be misremembered. If your current recollections differ from initial statements, a lawyer can manage this with professional testimonies.

Seeking Medical Attention for All Injuries

Even minor injuries from car accidents should be examined by a doctor to prevent complications and to document for your claim, as some injuries like whiplash or concussions may not show immediate symptoms.

Admitting Fault

If you believe you’re partially to blame, do not admit fault. Allow legal proceedings to determine responsibility to avoid harming your claim.

Evidence Requirements for a Claim

Successful claims need evidence like police reports, photos of the scene, and witness statements. Lawyers can assist in gathering this evidence.

Rejecting Early Settlement Offers

Early settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance are usually not favorable. It’s better to have your lawyer negotiate a fair settlement.

Factors Influencing Compensation Amount

Compensation depends on various factors like medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer can estimate your claim’s value.

Delayed Injury Symptoms

Not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent. Seeking medical care right after an accident is essential, even if you feel fine.

Texting as a Common Accident Cause

Texting while driving is a major cause of accidents. Victims of such accidents may be entitled to compensation.

Timeframe to File an Accident Claim in Florida

The statute of limitations in Florida is four years post-accident. However, it’s advisable to consult a lawyer as soon as possible for a timely claim. Necessary evidence includes the police report, photos of the accident scene, medical records, and auto repair bills.

Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, taking a percentage of your settlement. Lawyers can help secure fair settlements from insurance companies and possess extensive knowledge about car accident cases. In case of an accident, especially with an uncooperative driver, it’s important to consult a car accident lawyer to ensure fair handling of your case.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another party, contact our car accident lawyers from Jeff Murphy Law. Our legal team will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve for the losses your injuries have caused you to suffer. Call our office today for a free and confidential consultation. 

Common Causes of Car Accidents

I understand that car accidents can occur due to a myriad of reasons. Recognizing these common causes is crucial, as this knowledge not only aids in preventing future accidents but also assists those affected in seeking justice and compensation. My experience in this field has reinforced the importance of this understanding for both preventative measures and legal recourse.

Distracted Driving

One of the leading causes of car accidents today is distracted driving. This includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, or fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2019 alone. At Jeff Murphy Law, we’ve seen how these moments of inattention can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Speeding

Speeding is another major factor in car accidents. Driving above the speed limit is not only illegal, but it also reduces the driver’s ability to navigate safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the severity of an accident. As we often advise our clients at Jeff Murphy Law, adhering to speed limits isn’t just about following the law – it’s about ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.

Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense and a prevalent cause of accidents. Alcohol impairs thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination, all of which are essential in operating a vehicle safely. Despite widespread awareness campaigns and strict laws, drunk driving remains a persistent problem. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident involving an impaired driver, we at Jeff Murphy Law are here to offer our expert legal guidance and support.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, including aggressive behaviors like changing lanes quickly, driving aggressively, and not respecting other drivers’ rights, can lead to severe accidents. This type of driving behavior not only endangers the driver but also others on the road. Our team has represented many clients who have been affected by such reckless actions, and we understand the physical and emotional trauma it can cause.

Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions, especially in areas prone to heavy rains, fog, or ice, can also lead to accidents. Adverse weather conditions make driving more hazardous and require extra caution and reduced speeds. Unfortunately, not all drivers adjust their driving habits accordingly, which can lead to accidents. We encourage drivers to be extra vigilant during poor weather conditions.

Running Red Lights

Ignoring traffic signals, especially red lights, is a significant cause of urban crashes. Drivers who run red lights risk colliding with vehicles that have the right of way, often resulting in T-bone or side-impact collisions, which can be particularly dangerous. At Jeff Murphy Law, we’ve assisted clients who have been involved in such accidents, helping them navigate the complex legal aftermath.

Teenage Drivers

Inexperienced drivers, particularly teenagers, are more likely to make mistakes that lead to car accidents. Their lack of driving experience often means they’re less capable of recognizing and responding to hazards on the road. It’s crucial for young drivers to receive proper education and training, and for parents to set a good example of safe driving.

Understanding the common causes of car accidents is crucial in our line of work. At Jeff Murphy Law, I have seen the impacts these accidents can have on individuals and families. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, I want you to know that you are not alone. My commitment is to offer compassionate and informed legal assistance to those affected by car accidents. I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Remember, being well-informed and cautious is a key step towards making our roads safer for everyone.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can cause a range of injuries, some of which may not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline. Recognizing these common injuries is vital for proper medical evaluation and legal proceedings.

Whiplash

  • Nature of Injury: Whiplash typically occurs due to the sudden movement of the head and neck during a collision.
  • Symptoms: Look out for back or neck pain and discomfort, which could indicate whiplash.
  • Medical Attention: It’s important to have a doctor conduct tests to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Recovery and Legal Implications: While recovery can take several weeks, whiplash rarely leads to permanent damage. However, documenting this injury is crucial for any legal claims.

Bruising

  • Causes and Identification: Even minor collisions can cause bruising due to seatbelt pressure.
  • Healing Time: Bruises usually heal within one to two weeks.
  • Legal Considerations: Documenting bruising, even if minor, can be relevant in legal claims for compensation.

Back and Neck Injuries

  • Types of Injuries: These can range from minor strains to severe conditions like ruptured or herniated spinal discs.
  • Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Conditions: If pre-existing back or neck issues are present, it’s critical to have an orthopedist assess whether the accident worsened these conditions.
  • Legal Implications: Back and neck injuries, especially aggravated ones, can significantly influence the outcome of a legal claim.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Emotional Impact: Not all injuries are physical; emotional and mental trauma like PTSD is common after accidents.
  • Symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, anxiety about driving, and nightmares are indicators.
  • Legal and Medical Steps: Discussing potential PTSD with a lawyer and seeking medical advice is crucial for both recovery and legal documentation.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Critical Nature of Injury: TBIs can be severe, altering brain function and emotional processing.
  • Importance of Medical Examination: Immediate and thorough medical evaluation is vital, even for minor accidents, as TBIs might not be immediately apparent.
  • Long-Term Implications: Treatment for TBIs can be extensive and life-changing, impacting both health and legal aspects of a car accident claim.

Understanding and identifying these injuries are essential steps in both the medical treatment and legal processes following a car accident. It’s important to consult healthcare professionals and legal experts, like those at Jeff Murphy Law, to ensure proper care and legal representation.

Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Infographic

Common Car Accident Injuries Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?

Immediately after a car accident, prioritize safety. Check for injuries and call emergency services if needed. Move to a safe location if possible, and then exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Document the scene with photos and take note of any relevant details, such as traffic signs and road conditions. It’s also essential to report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report. Avoid discussing fault at the scene and contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident.

How Do I Deal with Insurance Companies After an Accident?

When dealing with insurance companies after an accident, be cautious with your communication. Report the accident but avoid making any admissions of fault or giving detailed statements before consulting with a lawyer. Insurance adjusters may try to minimize your claim’s value, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your policy and rights. Consider having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage involved. Keep records of all conversations and correspondences related to the accident and your claim.

Can I Claim for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?

Yes, you can claim emotional distress following a car accident. This falls under non-economic damages and can include anxiety, depression, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the accident. Documenting your emotional state through medical records, therapy sessions, or a personal journal can strengthen your claim. A lawyer can guide you on the specifics of proving emotional distress and the likelihood of receiving compensation for it.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

Hiring a lawyer for a minor car accident can be beneficial, especially if there are any injuries, potential legal complexities, or disputes about who is at fault. A lawyer can help navigate the insurance claims process, ensure fair compensation, and handle any unforeseen legal issues. Even in minor accidents, legal advice can provide peace of mind and protect your rights.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims?

The statute of limitations for car accident claims varies by state, typically ranging from one to six years. It’s crucial to be aware of the specific timeframe in your state, as failing to file a claim within this period can result in losing your right to seek compensation. The statute of limitations may differ for personal injury claims and property damage claims, so consult a lawyer to understand the deadlines relevant to your case.

Tampa Car Accident Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of personal injury in the United States. In 2021, there were over 6 million car accidents in the United States, resulting in over 3 million injuries and 40,000 fatalities.

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Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Google Reviews

“Jeff Murphy is the BEST personal injury attorney in Tampa without question.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about Mr. Murphy.  From the moment I contacted him regarding my accident I was treated with kindness and professionalism.  With Jeff you are treated like an actual client and not just another file.  He responds (not just a paralegal) immediately to calls and emails which is rare in the personal injury legal field.  He went above and beyond my expectations and is fights for you to get the very best possible results.  I am so grateful for his help and expertise and would recommend him to anyone I know that needs a GREAT attorney.  Don’t waste your time with another personal injury attorney/firm that does not know your name and do not return your calls…don’t fall for advertising, big firms are not better!  I highly recommend calling Jeff Murphy.”  Chelsey M.

Why Should I Choose Jeff Murphy Law To Represent Me?

You should choose Jeff Murphy Law to represent you because Jeff Murphy has over 30 years of experience you can trust. In fact, he’s even one of the reputable few to receive an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest-ranking to bestow upon a lawyer for his legal ability and ethics. In other words, you know you’re getting one of the very best and most qualified personal injury experts when you hire Jeff. What’s more, he has a proven track record of success, ensuring that his clients are adequately compensated whether they want to go to trial or settle. 

For more information on how a car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL can help you become whole again, all new clients should call us at (813) – 553 – 5517 and existing clients should call us at (813) – 443 – 5553.


Client Review

“Jeff Murphy is a great attorney. I have known him for many years and have worked with him on personal injury cases. He is smart, experienced, and knows how to get great results for his clients. I give him the highest recommendation..”
G. Yerrid
Client Review

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