If you’ve been in a car accident, you may find that insurance company lawyers and adjusters will attempt to make you seem responsible for the accident. The process of dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and unsettling for accident victims unless they have an experienced car accident attorney on their side.
At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., you will have experts with you every step of the way, fighting hard to ensure that you are fairly compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the potential loss of future wages, physical and vocational therapy costs, and much more. Most car accident cases will settle outside of court, however, we are prepared to take your case to trial to obtain fair compensation. Our accident attorneys have been protecting the rights of Tampa and Sarasota residents for more than two decades, and we understand how devastating the aftermath of an accident can be.
Our accident attorneys represent clients who have been injured in all types of car accidents, including those involving these factors and others:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- DUI accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Injured drivers
- Injured passengers
- Driving while fatigued
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Defective auto parts
- Traffic violations
- Poorly maintained roads
- Poorly maintained cars or equipment
Do you really need a Tampa auto accident attorney?
Even when the circumstances surrounding your accident seem to be simple, dealing with insurance companies can become very complex as you try to navigate their processes in order to successfully make a claim. Remember: Insurance companies are businesses, and the goal of every business is to make as much profit as possible, so your insurance company may not be willing to pay you a fair amount. If you have suffered a severe injury in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation that exceeds your PIP coverage. To reach a settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries and associated present and future losses, the assistance of a Tampa car accident attorney is critical. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., our team of skilled litigators provide personal attention and top-notch legal representation to your case. We will aggressively fight on your behalf to protect your rights and interests.
Checklist: What to do if you are in a car accident
Even minor accidents can be upsetting, and it’s natural for you to be too distressed to think of everything that can or should be done in the aftermath. Here are six things to do if you have a car accident:
1. Call the police
Having a police report on file is vital in determining who may be deemed at fault for the accident.
2. Seek medical attention
Just because you and your passengers can walk away from the scene of an accident doesn’t necessarily indicate that no injuries have been sustained. If you don’t require emergency medical services, make sure you seek precautionary medical attention and be evaluated for hidden injuries as soon as you can.
3. Do not admit fault
The determination of who is at fault can often only be made after a complete investigation. At the scene of the accident, do not admit any kind of fault to any degree to the police, witnesses, the other driver or passengers, or anyone else. Wait until you have consulted an attorney.
4. Speak to an attorney before signing or agreeing to anything
Some insurance companies dispatch local agents to accident scenes or hospitals whose job is to quickly arrange a settlement with you. (You may also hear from an insurance company’s agent via phone or email for the same purpose.) It’s critical that you do not agree to settle a claim or sign any documents before you have consulted an attorney.
5. Take photos
If you are physically able to do so, take as many photos as possible of the vehicles involved, damage to the vehicle, the surrounding scene, and any other details that you think may be pertinent.
6. Get witnesses’ information
Ask all witnesses on the scene for their names and contact information.
Car accident FAQs
Q: Do I have to pay any fees upfront for an auto accident attorney?
A: No: We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations with no hidden fees. We will meet with you at your location or our offices to discuss the details of your case. After your initial consultation, the work we do for you is on a contingency-fee basis. This means that we only receive payment from you if you recover any expenses. Please call our main office in Tampa at 813-250-0000 or complete the form above to schedule your free case evaluation.
Q: If I am injured in a car accident, who pays for my medical expenses?
A: The state of Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that your car insurance is the first to pay medical expenses. This is covered by the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that drivers must carry under Florida law. PIP will usually pay up to $10,000 of expenses incurred as a result of an accident regardless of who is at fault.
Another important factor is uninsured motorist insurance. It is not required by law as PIP is but it offers valuable coverage that protects drivers when the other driver involved in the accident does not have insurance or inadequate insurance. Learn more about why you should get uninsured motorist insurance.
Q: What types of damages am I entitled to recover?
A: If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, you may recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost earnings, medical bills, costs for household services that you can no longer perform, the costs of medical equipment and devices, and much more. Compensation for future losses, such as long-term medical treatment, are also included in the economic category.
Non-economic damages include physical and mental pain, suffering, and inconvenience. These intangible losses are important factors in determining just compensation for accident victims, and an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you recover such damages.
Q: Do I need a car accident attorney if I had only a minor accident?
A: Yes, even in seemingly minor accidents, an attorney will help you get the most desirable outcome of your claim. Many types of injuries—including some that may have life-changing effects—are not immediately apparent when you’ve been in an accident. These include back injuries, neck injuries, and head injuries. Read more about why you should always seek medical attention after a motor vehicle accident.
Q: I received notice of a compulsory medical examination (CME) after my accident. What should I do?
A: Insurance company representatives may require you to submit to a medical exam, even if you have already been seeing your own doctor for injuries sustained in an accident. The insurance company pays a CME, which is performed by a doctor paid by the insurance company. The results of a CME are used by the insurance company to evaluate your claim and decide whether to make an offer to settle your case.
If you’ve received notice of a CME, call Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A. We will work to ensure that your interests are protected when dealing with your insurance company. You can learn more about CMEs in this blog post.
Call for your free initial auto accident consultation.
You never have to face your insurance company alone—our experienced auto accident attorneys have decades of experience helping clients deal with insurance companies and protecting your rights. To arrange a free consultation to find out if you have a case, call us at 813-250-0000 in Tampa or 941-210-0000 in Sarasota. You never have to pay any fees unless our attorneys obtain a recovery for you.