3 Important Reasons to Speak
with an Auto Accident Attorney
April 18, 2022
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Florida, your first impulse is to call your insurance company and get the claims process rolling. Since Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provision in your coverage is the first place to turn to cover your medical expenses.
The question is: should you first contact and involve an auto accident attorney?
The answer is often yes unless it was a fender-bender with just a scratch on the passenger-side door and you didn’t suffer any injury, but in many cases, it’s always a good step to have an attorney’s guidance and advice. Florida insurance laws can present challenges to the average person trying to navigate the system.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me immediately at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A., I have been helping others injured by the negligence and carelessness of others fight for the compensation they deserve for more than 25 years. I will meet with you, discuss the details of what happened, and then advise you of the best path forward.
I also proudly serve clients in communities throughout Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Polk County, and Lake County.
Reason Number One:
Understanding the System
Most drivers in Florida are happy to purchase the minimum insurance requirements, which are $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL). By law, if you’re injured in an auto accident, your PIP coverage is your first recourse, but even then, insurance companies generally only pay about 80 percent of the medical expenses you incur.
What happens if your expenses from the accident exceed $10,000? It’s here where an attorney can help you. The responsible driver who caused your injuries – called the tortfeasor in legalese – and their insurance company can be brought into the picture.
It is hard to comprehend when you get a final settlement check of, say, $8,000, but you still owe $12,000 in medical bills. This again is where an auto accident attorney can play a significant role.
Reason Number Two:
Recovering from Serious Injuries
It’s one thing to have your neck or back thrown out of whack from the crash, but another thing altogether if you face health-related consequences that can last for months, years, a lifetime, or that leave you permanently scarred or disfigured.
Florida law, fortunately, allows for personal injury lawsuits against an at-fault driver who causes serious injuries, which are defined as:
Fractures of bones
Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
A significant limitation of the use of a bodily function or system
Substantially full disability for 90 days
In a personal injury lawsuit for serious injuries suffered in an auto accident, you can not only recover the full range of your medical expenses and losses from missing work but you can also be compensated for your pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as defined above, contact me immediately to discuss the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.
Finally, if you’ve lost a loved one in an auto accident, then a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, which would cover even greater compensation, including for the loss of consortium (love and companionship) and for lost contributions by that person to your life and well-being.
Reason Number Three:
Dealing with Claims Adjusters
When you file your claim with your insurance company, the next person to call you will likely be that company’s claims adjuster. Claims adjusters are trained professionals dedicated to protecting the parent company’s bottom line, meaning they will do everything to minimize your settlement or deny it if possible.
Claims adjusters use a variety of tactics to get you to say something that can be used to minimize the payout. They may even start the conversation by asking, “How are you today?” If you reply “fine” or “good,” they can note that as an indication that you’re not really as hurt as you claim to be.
With my two-and-a-half decades of experience dealing with claims adjusters, I know all the tricks they use and can negotiate for a better settlement than the average person who has little or no experience with their tactics.
What to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
When you call me at my office, or better, meet me in person if possible, you should enquire about the benefits of relying on an auto accident attorney rather than doing it alone.
When you describe your injuries and the expenses involved, you can ask if there’s a case for pushing hard (yes, almost always). You can ask about what the claims adjuster will try to do to minimize your settlement. And if you’ve been seriously injured or lost a loved one, you need to ask about a possible lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident anywhere in Central Florida, contact me immediately at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A., and I will fight for you and your deserved compensation.