Law Offices of Stephen A. Smith

Call For a Free Consultation | (904) 357 0090 | Available 24/7

Must-Dos After A Car Accident

Must-Dos After A Car Accident - Jacksonville, FLCommon Questions And Misconceptions About Personal Injury Claims

Over my time as a personal injury attorney, by far the most common question people have asked me is, “How much is my claim worth?” This is an understandable thing to be concerned with, but it is not so simple. People think there is some standard formula or simple calculation that can determine the value of a claim, but this is not the case! Many are incredibly surprised to discover this when I tell them the reality.

There are general guiding principles, but every case is truly unique. Because of this, multiple factors weigh in on a claim’s value and worth in ways that wouldn’t be so for others. These factors typically include the:

  • Severity of the injuries;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Loss wages;
  • Impact that the injury actually has on your quality of life;
  • And so much more…

Many people also often ask if they really need a lawyer in order to file their personal injury claim. While having a lawyer is not strictly or legally required, many operate under the misconception that they can handle the process on their own. This is possible, but legal complexities, particularly when dealing with these insurance companies, more often than not demand a level of knowledge that someone without proper legal training and years of experience simply does not have.

Another question people commonly ask is, “How long will my personal injury case take?” This is yet another understandable thing to be concerned with. Many believe the process is quick, essentially just a matter of filing a claim with their insurance company, but, unfortunately, this is rarely the case. The length of the process really depends on the complexity of the case, and, as stated, every case has unique circumstances. The most important thing you can do to expedite your case is promptly seek treatment and generate evidence of actual damages. Doing this ensures your claim can be properly built and, if necessary, taken to trial with the highest probability of obtaining a successful outcome.

Call The Police, Regardless Of The Damage And Injury

It is vitally important to call the police after a car accident, regardless of the severity of the injury. In fact, you should contact the police even if you don’t suffer an injury at all.

Incidentally, Florida law requires you to report any car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage. However, you’ll find in many cases that the police, unfortunately, don’t come. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential to retrieve all relevant information so that you can make a claim for this at a later time. Community service officers may be dispatched instead of police officers, and it’s important you provide all relevant information to them so that you can later utilize it in establishing your claim. Having a police officer come to the scene of the crash provides an independent record of the incident, proving the:

  • Incident actually happened;
  • Parties claiming to be involved were actually involved;
  • Witnesses’ statements are legitimate;
  • Descriptions of the damages and injuries at the time of the crash are accurate.

Sometimes, an officer may even weigh in with an opinion about who is at fault. This can help expedite the liability question resolved with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

The Impact Of Being Ticketed

Being ticketed can significantly impact your personal injury case. Whether right or wrong, a traffic citation can indicate, if not serve as solid evidence, that one of the parties involved was negligent in operating their vehicle or entirely at fault and caused the accident. If the injured party receives the traffic ticket, it can significantly complicate the claim, but it is not necessarily dispositive, meaning it does not determine whether or not they are at fault.

Law enforcement officers get things wrong, whether because they did not do their job correctly, were rushing, or made a simple clerical error. Therefore, remember that a ticket alone won’t decide your case. Other factors come into play, including:

  • Witness statements;
  • Physical evidence;
  • Pictures of the crime scene;
  • Medical reports;
  • Expert testimony.

Sometimes even cases with tickets are so complicated that expert witnesses must be called in to establish who is negligent in determining fault.

For more information on Misconceptions About Personal Injury Claims, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (904) 357 0090 today.

Stephen A. Smith, Esq.

Call For a Free Consultation
(904) 357 0090 | Available 24/7

Translate »
Accessibility Accessibility
× Accessibility Menu CTRL+U