Car Accident Lawyer Tampa, FL
Four Steps You Should Take Immediately After a Car Accident
A car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL knows that car accidents range from extremely severe crashes to minor fender benders. No matter what kind of accident you’re involved in, it’s important to avoid panic and to take a few basic steps in the minutes following your collision. 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 –
1.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 arrive.
2.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 Tampa, Florida 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.
3.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.
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 Tampa, FL car accident lawyer 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 Tampa, Florida 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.
Things to Give Your Lawyer After An Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident you are probably thinking of hiring an attorney—we hope that’s something you’re considering. When acquiring an attorney you need to provide them with documents so they can have a full view of your case and create the best tactic to win your case.
Your lawyer may ask you for your insurance policy—they’re going to want to review the type of insurance you have, and the insurance recovery clause that you’re entitled to. Don’t panic if you don’t have a copy of your insurance, your lawyer can obtain one as long as you approve, from the insurance company itself. This is because your lawyer is working for you and needs these records—however, they cannot get them without your approval.
You’ll need to provide evidence of premium payments. They’ll also need to see proof of premium policy coverage. This is because your policy should be sending you statements or bills about your premiums that are due—and your insurance has to be up to date and paid for it to be active during your case, and to cover the accident that you had. You should provide this evidence so that your lawyer can prove your policy is paid up and in force.
You also need to provide information exchanged at the accident scene—witnesses’ names, phone numbers, emails, photos, and more. This is because your attorney can use this later, even if you’ve already spoken to those involved.
You also need to provide information that was provided to you by the police. In most cases, the police are called to the scene of an accident, and they are required to draft an accident report. This includes a diagram that shows where the various cars and parties were during the accident. The report has an on-scene officer’s initial impressions of the cause of the accident, too. This report is crucial for your attorney to get a true sense of your case. Providing this to your attorney—even if you don’t have a copy, they can get one for you—helps your case immensely.
You also want to acquire tickets that were related to the accident, if you were given one. If you were charged with something like “failure to yield” it can be used in your case too. And last but not least, get any photographs of the damage to your car and the crime scene in general to your lawyer. If you did not take photos, the insurance representative may have.
Everything you can provide your lawyer in conjunction with your case can help you, as it helps them further understand the case and how the accident was perceived by officials.
Florida car accidents typically bring about a lot of questions. You may wonder if you are okay immediately following the collision. Then, your mind fixates on the amount of property damage caused by the wreck. Then, as you go to the hospital and get checked out, reality sets in. You are in over your head financially and you have no idea how to move forward.
Thankfully, for victims struggling with injuries and property loss after an accident, there is a way forward. Car accident injury claims can help you recover some or all of your losses. However, you cannot delay. You must file before the statute of limitations runs out. A Tampa car accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law can answer all your questions and help pursue damages against the at-fault driver.
Statute of Limitations
Every state has different laws regarding personal injury statutes. That means that if you have not filed within that limitation, then you lose your right to seek damages. In Florida, victims have up to four years from when they were injured to file their claim. However, depending on the age of the victim(s) and the negligent party or entity, you may have a longer timeline. A car accident lawyer in Tampa can determine when exactly the statute for your case expires.
Minors and Statutes
Minors are not beholden to the same statute of limitations as adults. Most states agree that the clock should not start against a minor until they are 18. Therefore, if you are in an accident at the age of 16, then you have until you turn 18 plus the limitation, meaning that you would have until the age of 19 or 20 to file a personal injury claim, depending on your state.
Filing Against Public Entities
Unfortunately, if you wanted to file a claim against a public entity, you have a lot less time. For example, if you were riding a public bus when the accident occurred, you may only have a very limited time to file a lawsuit against the city. While this seems unfair, you can consult with a Tampa car attorney to find out if there is any leeway on the stricter timeline. For instance, if you sustain severe injuries or were in a coma, you may be able to cut through the red tape and file later than is typically permitted.
When you are in a car accident, you probably want to file sooner rather than later, unless you are a minor. However, to understand the statute of limitations and get a better idea of where your potential claim stands, you should contact an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer. Don’t wait to discuss your claim; talk to a lawyer, and figure out how to move forward before your time runs out.
Let a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Help
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another party, contact a car accident lawyer Tampa clients recommend 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.
3 Ways to Prevent a Road Rage Accident
Getting into an accident is something everyone tries to avoid, but when things get heated on the road, anything can happen. Road rage can become a real danger, especially during stressful traffic times or weather conditions. A car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL understands how road rage increases the risks of being injured in a crash.
Some of the reasons why drivers exhibit road rage include:
- People running late for work or an appointment, causing them to lose their patience.
- Many drivers feel anonymous around other drivers they think they will never see again, thus they feel more comfortable doing disrespectful things like cutting other drivers off, tailgating, and honking more than necessary.
- Some drivers are coming from an area where aggressive driving is the norm, especially big-city drivers.
It is good to understand how to play defense when you see an angry driver, and it’s even more important to know how to keep situations from escalating, especially when you yourself can become the angry driver. A Tampa, FL car accident lawyer can explain how a victim’s road rage can hurt their car accident lawsuit.
1.Plan Ahead and Stay Calm
It’s always better if you’re not in a hurry to get to where you’re going. This automatically will keep your stress levels lower while you’re driving. You can also do other things to stay calm like listening to good music, keeping your grip on the steering wheel relaxed, and deep breathing. It’s helpful to remember that everyone has their reasons for doing things the way they do them, such as slow drivers. There are many reasons someone could be driving slow, such as being lost or having car troubles.
2.Avoid Engaging with Angry Drivers
While it’s sometimes tempting to get mad at another angry driver, this could escalate the situation into dangerous territory. Resist the temptation, let tailgaters go by, ignore angry gestures, honking horns, and try not to make eye contact. Keep as much space between the two of you as possible to stay out of an accident. It’s always good to make positive gestures when relevant, such as when someone lets you merge into traffic.
3.Don’t Drive Home
If there is an overly aggressive driver that decides to follow you, do not drive home. Instead, drive to the nearest police station. It’s better not to find out what that person has in their mind! As well, if an angry driver stops at a stoplight and gets out of their car, do your best not to engage with them and do not get out of your vehicle.
Getting Medical Help After Your Car Accident
After you have been in a car accident, your car accident lawyer wants you to know that one of the best things you can do for your health and for your claim is to get medical attention as quickly as possible. You may be thinking “Sure, medical treatment will be helpful if I have any serious injuries!” However, you should get medical help regardless of whether you have serious injuries or not. First, even if you do not have any injuries that present right away, getting medical help after a car accident will ensure that a doctor gives you a full physical exam to see if there is any head trauma or internal injuries. Second, your doctor can play a huge part in your car accident claim.
How will a doctor help my car accident claim?
Most insurance companies will not take your claim seriously if you have not gone to a doctor. This is because you will have a harder time proving that you were injured in the accident or that your injuries are serious enough to warrant compensation. Your doctor will take detailed notes and can show:
- You were injured and that your injuries were a direct result of the car accident you were in
- Your injuries were caused by a certain type of accident (a rear-end accident, a head-on accident)
- You sought medical attention and are going through the proper treatment plan
- You have a detailed report of all of the injuries you sustained and the severity of the injuries
- The insurance company that you are not making up your injuries and that you are doing the right thing and getting help from a medical professional
What should I do when I seek help from the doctor?
When you go to your doctor after a car accident, you will want to be open and honest with them about what happened. Let them know you were in a car accident, give them details (if you can remember them) about how it occurred and how you got injured, and let them know the timeline. You will want to know what kinds of injuries you have, how long you should expect to have these injuries, and what that means for doing your daily activities and going back to work. These are all pertinent factors to your car accident claim. Your lawyer can gather the information your doctor provides and put it together in your claim.
Tampa, FL Car Accident Lawyer
If you do get into a car accident with an angry driver, especially if it’s not your fault, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer Tampa, FL victims trust from Jeff Murphy Law; we will help ensure your case is handled fairly and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your vehicle damages and medical bills.