Each day at our offices across Winter Haven, Tampa and Lakeland, we hear from people who’ve been seriously injured or even lost a loved one because of a car accident. Often the tragedy becomes even more difficult for the victim because their insurance company works hard to withhold the financial help the injured person needs to get their life back on track.
A serious car accident can leave someone physically and financially vulnerable — ill equipped to push back alone against an insurance company and their trained legal team. Getting help from an experienced auto accident attorney makes sure you get the full benefits you need from an insurance company and make sure any additional damages you’re eligible for are recovered for you.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an auto accident, we want to help you get the compensation you need to get your life back.
Hearing about your legal options is free, and if you decide you want us as your attorney you don’t pay anything if we don’t win your case.
Causes of Car Accidents
While safe and conscientious driving can help prevent accidents, sometimes a crash is the result of another driver’s negligence and cannot be avoided. These are the most common causes of severe car accident cases.
Driving Under the Influence:
When a driver is either drunk or under the influence of drugs, their ability to control their motor vehicle is affected. However, alcohol and illegal drugs are not the only issues. Many prescription medications can have side effects that impair a person’s ability to drive.
High speed not only causes accidents, but it also increases the amount of damage that occurs in the accident. High speed crashes are more likely to cause death and serious injury to the parties involved.
When inclement weather occurs, drivers need to take caution in operating their car. Accidents are more likely to happen when the driver is faced with wind, ice, fog, rain, or other weather events.
Driving while texting or talking on the phone can be a major factor in accidents. However, distractions can also come from loud music, speaking with a passenger in the backseat, eating, or many other distractions that should not be addressed while driving.
SUVs are particularly susceptible to rollover accidents due to the structure of the vehicle. A rollover can be deadly because the roof of the vehicle can be crushed, leading to severe head and neck injuries.
Running Lights and Stop Signs:
Disobeying traffic signals and signs is a serious driving infraction that can cause deadly accidents with innocent, unsuspecting motorists.
Head-On Collisions / Wrong Way Driving:
Head on collisions are a very dangerous form of car crash. When a vehicle enters a highway in the wrong direction or veers outside of their lane on a two-lane street, the resulting head-on crash can be devastating to the occupants of both vehicles.
Reckless driving can include any behavior from excessive speeds to drag racing to tailgating. When drivers engage in reckless behavior, they put themselves and other motorists at risk.
Lane Changes / Highway Accidents:
Florida is home to many dangerous interstates and divided highways. Changing lanes on a highway without taking necessary precautions can cause serious and deadly car crashes.
Seeing a Doctor After an Accident
It is highly recommended that both you and your passengers see a doctor after an accident. Doctors can recognize injuries that are not apparent to you. Long lasting injuries can affect your quality of life for years if left untreated.
Fees for a doctor visit and medical treatment may be covered by your insurance. Do not settle claims from an accident until a doctor has examined and advised you about the extent of your injuries and treatment options.
How Insurance Companies Can Handle Injuries
Insurance companies often want to take a recorded statement of an unrepresented person so that they can obtain information that can be used against that person. The insurance company will downplay any damage done to the vehicles and assert that there is no way that someone could sustain a personal injury based on such a “minimal” impact.
The insurance company will often hire expert witnesses to testify that a person was not injured in a specific automobile collision.
The bottom line is they will do everything they can to deny or delay paying on any claim. It’s the job of personal injury attorneys like those at Brooks Law Group to work hard to prevent this from happening by accurately representing the case to the letter of the law.
Getting fair compensation for your losses can often come down to how accidents are handled, and getting legal help is often the best way to do this.
When an Attorney can Help in Car Accident Insurance Cases
Many strong, hard working people believe that they can simply push through a car accident injury. They don’t want to cause trouble for other people or be seen as trying to game the system. Unfortunately, often those very good people end up taken advantage of by the insurance industry who counts on people not fighting for the compensation they deserve.
Situations Where an Attorney Can Help After an Auto Accident:
- Insurance Company is Disputing Liability
- Insurance Company is Refusing to Pay
- Accident Resulted in Severe Injuries
- Accident Resulted in Long-term Injuries
- Victim is Asked to Sign Legal Documents
Timing is critical in car accident cases. In the state of Florida there is a limited amount of time in which someone can file a claim. Reaching out early to understand your rights can be critical to ensure you get the level of help you have a right to receive.
Car Accident Injuries that Often Benefit from an Attorney:
- Brain damage
- Permanent disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Permanent or long-lasting loss of physical ability
At Brooks Law Group, we aren’t a huge multi-state law firm with a hot line ringing an overseas call center. We’re members of the Lakeland, Winter Haven and Tampa community who are committed to helping our neighbors who have been hurt in automobile accidents.
Releasing Medical Records in a Car Accident Case
It’s a good rule of thumb to never release medical records without consulting an attorney.
Medical record releases should only be signed under limited circumstances and only after consulting with your attorney. If your medical information gets into the insurance adjuster’s hands, it could hurt your case.
Understanding At-Fault and No-Fault in Florida Car Accident Injury Claims
Don’t assume fault or partial fault when you have been in an accident. In the heat of the moment, it is difficult to be objective immediately when you don’t have all of the information.
There are many possible causes such as faulty break lights or directional, possible intoxication of the other driver, road issues, all which your attorney can investigate on your behalf.
Initial acceptance of blame and apologizing to another driver may be used as evidence against you at trial. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can ensure you’re actions and intent is shown accurately.
The term “no-fault” is often highly misunderstood. It relates to which carrier your claim goes through less than it is about who caused an accident.
Working with a Auto Accident Attorney
When you’re already dealing with the extra stress and paperwork of an accident, working with an attorney may seem intimidating. But the fact is, we’re actually here to streamline that process with you and make it easier.
Hiring an attorney doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to make a court appearance either. An attorney knows all the ins and outs of insurance and appropriate negotiation for an acceptable settlement amount for your case. If another driver’s insurance company agrees to pay what your attorney believes your case is worth, and you agree, then your case will not go to court. This is what happens in most situations.
Some cases do require litigation. In either situation, hiring a law firm with experience in handling personal injury cases is critical.