When Do I Need a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured at the hand of another, be it a driver, employer, caregiver or anyone else, you have the right to seek financial compensation. Call our offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Lakeland (by appointment), if you’ve been injured in a Florida car crash.
How Much Does A Florida Car Crash Lawyer Cost?
Our fees are contingency based, meaning there are no fees or costs unless we win. Your attorney’s fees and your medical costs will be taken out of the settlement amount you are awarded. Our fees are set state-wide for all attorneys.
How Do I Know What My Case Is Worth?
At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, we consider several factors to calculate a dollar amount that adequately compensates you for your injuries. These factors include:
- Hospital bills
- Treating doctor bills (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Inconvenience (past and future)
Your physical, emotional and financial burdens inform the case we will build and present in court.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
All divers in Florida must carry personal injury protection benefits on their automobile insurance policy. Other terms you may hear used to describe personal injury protection are “PIP” or “no-fault” coverage. This coverage is mandatory and causes a driver to be “self-insured” for medical expenses relating to motor vehicle accidents, regardless of fault. Eighty percent, up to $10,000, of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary treatment may be paid out of your PIP benefits.
These benefits come with some requirements and exceptions, though. One requirement is that an injured party must seek treatment within 14 days of the motor vehicle crash in order to obtain PIP benefits. This time restraint is a recently enacted reform; previously, there was no time limit to treat in order to attain these benefits. If you miss this 14-day cut-off, the insurance company no longer has the obligation to provide you with PIP coverage. Additionally, you may be liable for any medical expenses incurred and have to pay out of pocket.
How Do I Choose a Florida Personal Injury Attorney?
Your Florida personal injury attorney will be your voice against the insurance company and in court. He or she will be working with you every step of the way and should provide highly personalized guidance for your specific case. Choose an attorney who is experienced and has a proven record of success.
In the Dennis Hernandez offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Orlando, our attorneys know each case requires an individualized approach. We will go the distance through trial to get the full and fair justice that our clients deserve. Hear about our service firsthand from our past clients.
Consult an Experienced Injury Lawyer
Call us 24/7 or complete the form below for a free case evaluation. An attorney from our firm will review this information and your legal options with you at no cost. We can send a representative out to meet you anywhere in the state to begin working on your case right away. If you have been injured, do not hesitate to contact us. We fight to get you paid!
After Your Florida Car Accident
After calling law enforcement and ensuring that all parties involved in an accident are medically attended to, the next steps are critical to a successful Florida personal injury case. For Florida car accidents, we recommend following these steps:
Document the scene:
- Take as many photos as possible as soon as possible. If you don’t have a camera or smartphone handy, ask someone on the scene if you can use his or hers.
- Take photos of all of the vehicles involved from several angles.
- Take photos of the area surrounding the accident, including the roadway, street signs and traffic signals, if applicable.
- Take photos of any visible injuries you or any of your passengers may have sustained.
- In addition to damage to vehicles, take photos of any property that was damaged in the accident.
- Write down the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident.
- Ask the other driver if he or she owns the car or if it is owned by someone who is not at the scene.
- Ask for the name of the insurance company that covers the other driver’s vehicle.
- Ask the responding law enforcement officer how soon the accident report will be available to you and where you must go to get it.
- Should the officer indicate that a report will not be written, ask for his or her name and badge number to be used as contact information.
Get contact details from witnesses:
- Try to get contact information from all witnesses before they leave the scene. Do not ask witnesses for statements—your personal injury attorney will contact them if needed.
- If there were no witnesses in close proximity to the accident, make note of any nearby businesses or homes and provide this information to your attorney.
After the accident:
- If you received any medical treatment, gather contact information for the hospital or emergency room where you were immediately treated, as well as from physicians and/or therapists who may have treated you in the days following the accident.
- Retain all documents in a safe place. These may include:
- The police accident report
- Insurance policies and any communications from insurance companies
- Medical bills from hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, testing facilities, etc.
- Correspondence from the other driver or any witnesses
- Receipt for repairs to property that was damaged as a result of the accident
- Pay stubs or other proof of wages that were lost as a result of the accident
While each case is different, there are some basic processes that are central to every Florida personal injury case.
Your treatment period: This initial stage starts the moment you are injured and lasts until your doctor states you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Treatment can include chiropractic care, imaging, pain management and surgery.
Submission of documents: This is when information is submitted to your insurance company, including but not limited to your medical bills and proof of lost wages.
The negotiation period: An insurance adjuster reviews all of the submitted information, then makes a settlement offer. If your personal injury lawyer determines that this offer is insufficient, a counter offer will be made.
Litigation: When an agreement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial. We will take the case as far as possible to get the compensation you deserve.