When to Seek Legal Action After a Car Accident in Miami
Insurance companies typically investigate accidents shortly after they occur. Depending on the severity of the crash, insurance companies may even retain defense attorneys and litigation experts to begin the process of gathering important evidence to help defend against claims and mitigate financial exposure to those injured in the crash. If you have been injured in a crash, it will likely benefit you to have your own dedicated representation to help build your case, preserve evidence, and guard against evidence spoliation.
In the past decades, Miami has attracted millions of new residents and seen an huge increase in the number of motorists on the road. Car accidents and traffic congestion have unfortunately become part of daily life in Miami. If you have been involved in a car accident, you may wonder whether it makes sense to contact an attorney to help pursue a personal injury claim, assist with property damage issues, or otherwise protect your legal interests. This article explores why and when you may wish to retain an attorney after a crash.
Significant Injuries and Medical Expenses
Injuries from car accidents can leave motorists with mounting medical bills, the inability to return to work, legal questions, and permanent impairments from physical injuries. In these cases, it often makes sense to retain an attorney as soon as possible. Attorneys can assist in obtaining compensation for lost wages, diminished earning capacity, past and future medical bills, and intangible damages stemming from physical and mental pain and suffering.
Most attorneys will offer a free consultation. So, there is no reason not to reach out to an attorney to have your immediate questions answered and see if it makes sense for you to begin the process of making a personal injury claim.
If there is any dispute as to who is at fault for your crash, there is a risk that the insurance company will refuse to compensate you for some or all of your damages. This is true for both property damage to your vehicle, as well as personal injury damages such as medical bills and lost wages. If there is a dispute as to liability, an attorney can help you gather the evidence you will need to prove your case and convince the insurance company to pay for any damages that are reasonably related to your crash.
Uncertain Compensation Amount
Most people involved in car accidents do not have the legal training or experience to fairly evaluate the full value of their personal injury claims. Damages for personal injury claims stemming from car accidents in Florida can include past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of the ability to earn money, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and other damages. Evaluating the full value for your injuries and what your claim should settle for requires an understanding of available liability insurance limits, the legal obligations of car insurance companies, and an understanding of how to argue and value intangible damages for personal injuries. You should contact an attorney if you are unsure of what would constitute fair compensation in your case.
Severe Property Damage
When a vehicle is rendered unusable or requires significant repairs, understanding the depth of compensation can be intricate. Legal experts can help gauge the real value of property damage, ensuring you receive fair compensation.
Loss of Wages or Earning Capacity
If the accident results in an inability to work – either temporarily or permanently – calculating potential lost earnings can be complex. Lawyers have the expertise to factor in future earnings, inflation, and other economic variables to ensure you are adequately compensated.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault System
Most people have heard that Florida is a “no fault state,” but may not fully understand what that means. This refers to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, which are available under all car insurance policies issued in Florida. Determining whether and to what extent you are entitled to PIP benefits can be complex and depends on a number of factors. However, these are critical benefits for anyone injured in a car accident because they can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You should contact an attorney if you do not understand what your rights are under Florida’s no fault system, or if you believe you did not receive some or all of the PIP benefits you were entitled to.
Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
Insurance companies occasionally delay payments, make unreasonable settlement offers, or deny claims altogether. Under these circumstances, an attorney can help resolve matters.
Statute of Limitations
There is a limited time under Florida law to file personal injury claims related to car accidents. This timeframe is referred to as the statute of limitations and is only 2 years under Florida law. If you are considering a personal injury claim related to a car accident in Florida and your accident occurred close to two years ago, you should seek legal advice immediately.
Though not every car accident requires attorneys to get involved, there are a number of scenarios where it makes sense to retain legal representation after a crash. This is because car insurance companies do not always act fairly toward their insureds or extend reasonable settlement offers when they should.