How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help with My Case?
After a serious car wreck, you will probably have countless questions running through your mind. Who will cover your medical bills? Should you file a personal injury claim? What evidence might you need to build a strong third-party personal injury case?
The person best equipped to answer these questions is always just a phone call away. Many personal injury attorneys will meet with you as part of a free consultation to discuss your case. Meeting with an attorney can help answer your most immediate questions, provide guidance as to how to proceed, and explain what you can expect if a personal injury claim is made.
In addition to providing advice, attorneys can do many things to help during the weeks and months after a crash. This is especially true if you are seeking compensation for personal injuries.
Investigate the Wreck
To build a compelling personal injury case after an automobile crash, you will need evidence to establish fault and your injuries. Unfortunately, much of the evidence pertaining to the crash may disappear in the days or weeks after the crash. This evidence may include skidmarks, “black box” vehicle data, video surveillance from nearby businesses or traffic light cameras, vehicle debris, and pictures of vehicle damage. Witnesses may also become harder to locate as time goes by. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to secure some of this evidence and locate witnesses.
Evidence concerning who is at fault in a crash can be critical in litigation. Accident reconstruction experts retained by both sides may rely on this evidence in formulating expert opinions as to how the crash occurred. Furthermore, any black box/electronic data downloaded from vehicles can provide hard facts pertaining to what happened in the seconds or minutes before a crash. This evidence can include steering inputs, vehicle speeds, throttle and braking data, and other information which can tell the story of what occurred just before a crash.
Approximate the Value of Your Damages
Before you and your attorney can intelligently negotiate a settlement of your personal injury claim, you should have a lengthy discussion and firm understanding about the nature of your damages and injuries. This will help you and your attorney develop reasonable expectations as to how a jury may value your claim. To do this, you will need your medical records, medical bills, and perhaps input from one or more medical experts. If you have lost wages because of your injuries, you will also need to value the total amount of your lost wages and any loss of earning capacity you may sustain the future.
Lost wages and medical expenses only account for a fraction of the damages that are permitted under Florida law. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you may also be entitled to pursue a claim for non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, disability, and the loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. Although these intangible damages can be more difficult to value, and experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to help you incorporate the value of these damages into your overall settlement objectives.
Negotiate a Settlement
Much preparation and thought should go into any settlement negotiation involving a personal injury matter. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers are experienced at negotiating claims. Without a strong advocate in your corner, you may settle for less than you should. The amount of your initial settlement offer, whether and when to reduce that offer, and any ultimate settlement amount should be informed and guided by an experienced attorney.
File a Lawsuit (if Necessary)
If negotiations reach an impasse, you may consider filing a lawsuit. In the end, litigation is the only leverage you have to encourage an insurance adjuster to offer more money in a pre-lawsuit setting. The threat of filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial should incentivize claims handlers to offer a fair settlement amount. This is assuming, of course, that your case has merit and has been presented in a compelling manner. The threat of litigation, however, is only as strong as your attorney’s experience and reputation. That is why you should hire a trial attorney when pursuing litigation for personal injury matters.
Speak to a Car Accident Attorney in Miami Today
If you were in a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless motorist, turn to the legal team at Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC to find out how we might be able to assist with your case. With decades of collective experience representing accident victims, we possess the knowledge and resources necessary to help you navigate this challenging chapter of your life. Dial (305) 372-3650 or hop over to our Contact Form to request a free consultation with a Miami car accident attorney.