- Get help from our Tampa Accident Attorneys Today
- Types of Accidents We Handle
- What to Do After a Car Crash in Florida
- Do You Have a Case? Ask Our Accident Attorneys
Get help from our Tampa Accident Attorneys Today
- Our firm has recovered millions for our past car accident clients
- We offer a free consultation for all car accident cases
- All accident cases are on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless we win!
Every year in Tampa, thousands of Floridians suffer serious injuries in car accidents. Some car crashes are honest accidents due to mechanical failures, roadway hazards, or vehicle defects. However, most car accidents happen because a driver was negligent and did not exercise proper care while driving his or her vehicle. If this happened to you while on I-4, I-275, or a surface street, you may need the help of a Tampa auto accident lawyer.
Don’t talk to the other side’s insurance company before talking to us!
When drivers operate their vehicles unsafely, or do not pay attention to the road, they put others at risk. Car accidents can happen anywhere. If a driver’s negligence caused a car accident, that driver needs to be held accountable for their actions. If you believe this has happened to you, contact our law firm today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.
Types of accidents our law firm handles
There are many reasons car accidents happen, and those caused by negligence can lead to lawsuits. Depending on the facts of your collision, your case can become complex. Some of the most common causes of car accidents that lead to lawsuits include the following:
A head-on collision is caused by a driver swerving out of their lane to avoid a hazard or a driver falling asleep behind the wheel. In some situations, an aggressive driver may attempt to pass a slower vehicle by driving into the opposing lane. Head-on collisions are typically far more serious than other types of collisions with a higher chance of fatal injuries.
Accidents on the highway are often more serious than those that occur in residential areas. Cars on the highway move at much higher speeds. This means that the initial crash is likely to be more severe, and other passing motorists have less time to stop. Highway accidents often involve many vehicles and victims.
Hit and Run Accidents
If you are struck by another driver who flees the scene, it’s important to record as much information about the other vehicle and driver as possible. If you catch the license plate, try to write it down. Human memory is unreliable, so try to record the first things you observe about a hit-and-run accident. If the other driver is found, they will likely face criminal charges in addition to your civil lawsuit.
Fatal Car Accidents
Unfortunately, not everyone walks away from car accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation recorded 3,174 Florida car accident fatalities in 2016 alone. If you lost a family member in a car accident, contact our wrongful death attorneys to discuss your options.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Florida
It’s a good idea to know what you can do following a car accident to protect yourself and hold any negligent drivers responsible for damages.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you find yourself in a car accident, the very first thing you should do after your vehicle comes to a stop is to check yourself for injuries. Call 911 if you or anyone else involved suffered serious injuries. Even if you don’t see any visible wounds, get yourself checked by a doctor. Car accidents can cause internal injuries that do not immediately manifest symptoms. If you suffered any injuries, your doctor will list the extent of the injuries and the details of his or her treatment plan for you in your medical report. This is a vital document in case you need to build a case later.
If you seek to file a claim and you did not immediately seek medical attention, a jury might wonder why. They will more than likely assume that since you didn’t seek medical care immediately, your injuries weren’t severe. After a car accident, attempting to “tough it out” can harm you and your case down the road. Moreover, in Florida you must see a medical provider within 14 days of the crash. Otherwise, your coverage will be denied.
2. File a Police Report
Florida law requires drivers to call the police after a car accident if:
- Anyone was injured – even slightly
- The accident caused property damage estimated to be in excess $500.
If everyone is fine, try to contact your local police department or the Florida Highway Patrol to file an accident report. The police will conduct brief interviews of everyone involved and assess the accident scene. At this point, it is imperative to contact a trusted car accident lawyer and be careful of what you say.
Even casual statements like “I’m so sorry,” or “I didn’t see the other car” could be construed later in court as an admission of fault. Don’t admit to anything, in any way, even if you think you may be at fault for the accident. Once the police finish their work, you can request a copy of the police report. This document is a vital piece of building a car accident case against a negligent driver, so make sure you get this report. If you are unable to, we will help get it for you as soon as it is available.
3. File an Insurance Claim
After handling the immediate issues of your medical concerns and dealing with the police, contact your insurance company. Even if you were not responsible for the accident, it’s important to speak with your insurance. They will investigate the claim and make their own assessment of fault and damages. However, do no give a recorded statement without representation by a lawyer.
Insurance companies may be in the business of making money, but they have a legal obligation to act in good faith when investigating a claim. This means the honest reporting of the facts, ethical interview practices, and timely responses to claimant issues and inquiries. If you feel as though an insurance claim adjuster is being combative or unfairly underestimating your claim, they may be acting in bad faith. Most insurance companies prefer to pay out on a claim rather than undergo a prolonged court battle. Speak to an attorney if you have any concerns about insurance bad faith after a car accident.
4. Choose the Right Attorney
After completing the steps above, you should contact a car accident attorney to discuss your case. There are countless personal injury firms across the country, so it’s important to be selective about who you choose to represent your case. Look for a law firm with great reviews from past clients and a strong track record of successful cases.
Do You Have a Case? Ask Our Accident Attorneys
The value of a car accident settlement can vary significantly. The Florida insurance system determines the amount of a car accident settlement based on the severity of injuries and the circumstances of the crash. Find out the possible value of your car accident by consulting with a car accident attorney at Fiol Law Group.
Who Covers Your Damages?
Only 12 states, including Florida, abide by “no-fault” insurance laws. This means that a car accident victim seeks recovery for an accident through his or her own insurance company regardless of who was at fault. The majority of your car accident settlement will therefore come from your own insurance company. If your policy does not cover all of your damages the other driver’s insurer can be held responsible. In Florida, vehicle owners must show that they are carrying a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage (PDL).
How Does an Insurance Company Calculate Damages?
After you file an insurance claim, your company will conduct an investigation into the accident. Someone called an insurance claims adjuster or claims analyst will take over your claim on behalf of the insurance company. The adjuster is in charge of assessing your medical costs, property damages, and other losses in relation to the car accident. You may need to provide medical documents, cost estimates from auto repair shops, and other evidence to help evaluate the claim.
It is often up to an attorney to negotiate with insurance companies for higher settlement offers. Initial settlements are often much lower than the claimant’s case is actually worth. The insurer will strive to get the claimant to settle for as little as possible. An attorney can help prove damages, in an attempt to gain a better settlement offer from the insurer. An attorney may then take the insurer to court in pursuit of a better judgment award if settlement negotiations don’t work.
What’s Your Claim Worth?
No damage caps exist in the state of Florida. A general rule of thumb to determine the value of a car accident settlement is to multiply the cost of your medical bills by three. Many factors can affect how much you will receive. The more severe your injuries, the higher your settlement amount will likely be. Long-term injuries need more expensive and longer-lasting medical treatments.
What if the Other Driver is Uninsured?
Although car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in the state of Florida, hundreds of irresponsible drivers disobey the law or drive without the minimum level of coverage. If the other driver doesn’t have adequate insurance:
- Make a claim under the provisions of your own car insurance policy. If you have car insurance, check to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage. It is generally a separate plan that you must purchase in addition to traditional liability coverage. This coverage pays for your medical bills and property damage costs if the at-fault party in an accident does not have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage will fill the gap between what the at-fault driver’s insurance can cover and what remains.
- Sue the at-fault driver. If the other driver does not have insurance to cover your damages and was at fault for the crash, you may be able to sue the driver to receive compensation. However, it is typically unlikely that an uninsured driver will have the funds to pay you, even if you win your case. Talk to a lawyer to find out if this is the right choice in your situation.
Speaking with insurance claims adjusters can be stressful, especially if you’re also dealing with physical injuries or expensive property damage. The goal of a claims adjuster is to get you to settle for as small a compensation amount as possible. Instead of agreeing to a settlement over the phone, speak with a lawyer at Fiol Law Group.
Protect Your Rights – Speak to Our Law Firm Today
After a Tampa driver was injured in a traffic collision, Fiol Law Group recovered $675,000 for her injuries. We can never guarantee the outcome of a car accident lawsuit, but we will do everything we can to maximize the amount of your settlement. If another driver injured you, it’s important to hold them accountable. A reliable car accident attorney will be your best ally when it comes to securing compensation.
Fiol Law Group is dedicated to maximizing your recovery. Our firm believes in accessible representation for every client. We offer services for both English and Spanish speakers. If you need an attorney to fight on your behalf after a car accident in the Tampa area, reach out to our team to request a free consultation.
“The Fiol Law Group staff went above and beyond for me and my auto accident case. Attorney Fiol and Attorney Morros were very attentive during every step of my claim. The case manager, Matthew Leonardi and assistant, Dianelys Reyna did a phenomenal job answering all my questions and putting me at ease during my situation. They kept me up to date and informed about my case. I would recommend Fiol Law Group to all my friends and family.” – Tiana H.