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Consult A Trusted Car Accident Lawyer That Will Fight For You
Car accidents are unexpected and unwanted, no matter when they happen. They create upset, hurt, and frustration for everyone involved. Have you been involved in a car accident in Lakeland and find yourself needing a Lakeland car accident lawyer? Well, Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA is the ideal place for the worst of situations. With their team of experts you’re bound to find the Lakeland personal injury attorney that’s right for you.
Advice From a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
A car accident involves many parties – from those in the crash to the insurance companies involved compensation. Often, insurance companies handle overwhelming amounts of requests. They will do what is necessary to lower compensation payouts, or even outright deny it. Unless you are an insurance agent, dealing with insurance companies after a car crash in Lakeland is frustrating and a lot of work. This is where the experienced Lakeland staff of Dennis Hernandez come in.
Our Lakeland firm has a record of success on traffic accidents claims. An expert auto accident attorney will aim for the best outcome for you after an auto accident.
Traffic accidents have been an issue since cars were first invented. The streets of Lakeland are no exception to this. Over time, insurance policies have made car accidents into a process fraught with legal red tape. The battle that can stretch into weeks, or even years. For Lakeland residents, there is the added layer of Florida’s status as a “no fault” state. This means your Lakeland insurance is responsible for medical bills. With that, insurance companies in Lakeland seek to minimize the amount they have to pay out.
With the Lakeland lawyers of Dennis Hernandez on your side, you’ll get the appropriate compensation. The damages incurred can be everything from whiplash injury to lost wages. Car wrecks cause both physical and emotional damage. The financial implications of not being able to work after an injury can seem endless. Let us help you.
- 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.
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 theirs.
- 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.
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.
There are a number of situations that can result in an automobile accident.
Distracted driving: This category can include a driver texting, eating, putting on makeup, rubbernecking, or not paying attention to road signs or hazards.
Fatigued driving: This one is pretty straight-forward and seems like common sense, but it’s disturbingly alarming to find out how many people actually drive when they are too tired and shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
Impaired driving: If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or even prescription drugs they could be held responsible for an accident that occurs while they’re driving.
Reckless or aggressive driving: Drivers who are speeding, switching lanes unsafely, tailgating, failing to yield, street racing, running stop signs, ignoring red lights, driving in the wrong direction, or having road rage can cause serious car crashes.
Defective auto parts: In these scenarios a car manufacturer can actually be found responsible for the accident even though they weren’t on the scene. Some things that may fall under this category are faulty brakes, tires, steering, suspension, or other safety equipment found in the car.
Unmaintained vehicles: Drivers could be held responsible if their car has unsecured materials, bad breaks, broken signal lights, non-working headlights, or broken engine parts.
Road conditions: This category can cause a number of difficulties when filing a lawsuit because it can be hard to hold a town or city government responsible. However, if the roads haven’t been maintained properly, if there is roadway debris, construction, or large potholes the victim may be entitled to compensation.
Roadway design: If a road has low visibility, congested traffic flow, unmaintained roads, improper striping, or defective traffic lights the victim may be able to sue the responsible party and receive some type of compensation.
Some of the more serious injuries you can experience after a car accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs
- Back and/or spinal cord injuries
- Any form of paralysis
- Permanent scarring
- Broken bones
- It is imperative to remember that your insurance company is trying to make money and usually when you have a personal injury policy up to eighty percent of your medical expenses will be covered for an “emergency medical condition.” This is defined as a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. Of course this percentage may change depending on the individual limitations set up and established in your policy. However, even if you suffer from one of the severe conditions listed above your insurance company may try to limit the severity of your condition and classify it as a temporary or “non-serious” condition, which means they won’t have to payout as much money to you as they would if the condition was classified as serious. Insurance providers do this because they are trying to make money and a profit, which they can’t do if they are giving their clients large settlements after every accident.
Due to the fact that your insurance company is bound to do this it is crucial that you collect as much information and proof that you can. Working with a trustworthy lawyer during this stage can be exceptionally beneficial as well. That’s because when you’re caught up in the emotional aspect of an accident your lawyer can be sure they are collecting all of the information they need to prove your condition is serious and life-altering.
Call our Lakeland firm today to speak with an auto accident attorney. We can talk through the compensation we can seek in regard to road accident claims.
Our law firm has represented clients on a myriad of Lakeland car accidents. Some of these include:
- Head on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Hit and run
- Driving while fatigued
- Injured drivers or passengers
- Reckless driving or road rage
- Traffic violations
- Defective auto parts
- Poorly maintained roads, vehicles or equipment
After a car accident, there are actually several potential types of compensation. If you were in an auto accident in Lakeland, you may be entitled to compensation. These can be both economic and non-economic.
Potential compensation can include:
- Expensive medical bills
- Lost earnings (both current and potential future earnings)
- Cost of medical equipment and devices
- Physical and mental pain
- Cost for household services you can no longer perform
We can also work with you on other types of car accident reports and injuries. These include truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, and traffic accidents in Lakeland. Our Lakeland team is confident and prepared. We are well-versed in assisting you in what to do after a car accident.
Florida is home to some of the most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians in the country
This was confirmed by research done by Transportation America. This is because of the vulnerability of walkers and runners on the open roads of the state. Also, it is a lot more likely for a pedestrian to sustain severe injuries following a car accident since they have nothing surrounding them and acting as a protectant. Another type of accident that is becoming much more common is bicycle wrecks. According to law, bicycle riders have the same exact rights as drivers on the road. They also have the same responsibilities as well. However a majority of bicycle accidents are caused because drivers don’t pay close attention to their duties on the road. This may be due to the fact that drivers aren’t properly yielding to cyclists (because they have the right-of-way), turning into the bike lane, or by not leaving the proper amount of space between their car and the bicyclist. Some states, including Florida, have created laws that are designed to specifically protect bicyclists on the streets. One of these laws is Florida’s “three-foot law,” which requires passing vehicle drivers to leave, at minimum, three feet between their car and a bike rider. If a crash does happen and the biker is injured the driver could be found negligent and may have to pay the bicyclist.
At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses seeking to turn a profit. Having said that, they may offer you an unfair amount. This is especially if the compensation you deserve exceeds your PIP coverage. To maximize your settlement, you need the best Lakeland lawyers that specializes in car accidents.
There are many times where people find themselves in a situation where their claim has been denied or found inadequate by their insurance provider. If this happens to you, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and angry, but it is critical that you have a lawyer on your side to help you evaluate the information to figure out the best way to get your claim reevaluated. Some things that your attorney may do is:
- Go over medical records from any treatment you underwent after the accident
- Ask for police reports, crime scene notes, and any pictures that were taken of the scene
- Interview any witnesses that made statements to the police or spoke with your insurance company
- Look at camera footage if there were any traffic cameras near the scene of the accident
- Review the driving history of the other driver involved in the crash
- Listen to the recording of the 911 call made after the accident
- Look over pictures of your car both before and after the accident
- Review cell phone records, for both drivers, to be sure no one was texting or using their phone at the estimated time of the collision
- Examine the information and history of both of the vehicles that were involved in the car accident to make sure there was nothing faulty in any of them.
It will be the goal of your lawyer to collect any information they can during the above steps to make you claim clear and to the point that the other driver was responsible for the accident. This means that they should be held responsible for any injuries you sustained as well as cover any losses that you have experienced because of and since the car accident happened.
If you try to go through this process without an experienced attorney your insurance company is more than likely going to offer you an amount that is much less than what you deserve. They do this in order to limit the amount of money they payout for a claim. If you’re not working with an attorney you may be tempted to take their offer since you need the money and you want to move on from the accident. However, this could be a mistake because you’ll end up taking an amount that is significantly less than what you are entitled to. Having a personal injury lawyer working on your behalf means that there is someone who has the knowledge to speak with your insurance company on your behalf and negotiate what they believe is fair for what you’ve experienced since the accident. Unfortunately, these negotiations aren’t always successful and although they limit the amount of interaction you need to have with your insurance provider your claim may still be denied and you may end up having to file a lawsuit if your attorney is unsuccessful.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident in Lakeland, give us a call today. From fender benders to serious car accident injuries, our Lakeland team will fight for the best outcome.
Facing insurance companies is hard, so don’t do it alone. Call in an expert auto accident lawyer in Lakeland to protect you. To learn more, call us at (863) 888 – 0000.
We can provide a free consultation about what to do after an auto crash in Lakeland. Start a no win, no-fee claim today, so we can start supporting you!
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 personal injury case. For vehicular accidents, we recommend following these steps:
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
Each case is as unique as the individual who has been injured in an accident, but there are some steps that are typically taken. Your accident injury case may include these and other events:
Your recovery period: This initial stage starts at the moment you are injured and lasts until your doctor states that your condition cannot be further improved in a medical setting with care provided by medical professionals. This point is referred to as maximum medical improvement (MMI). When you are at this point, any health issues you have going forward are considered to be permanent.
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 Sarasota 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. Keep in mind that the majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court.
If you end up in the litigation stage and you are getting ready to file a lawsuit you may be wondering “how much is my case actually worth?” If you find yourself pondering this question it may be time for you to understand exactly what you can be collecting money for following an accident.
- Future lost wages: There are some cases where a victim may not be able to ever return to work or they won’t be able to for an extended period of time. If this is your situation the at-fault driver may be told they have to pay you the wages you missed out on because of the injuries.
- Pain and suffering: Sure there is physical pain involved after an accident, but there is also emotional suffering that can be done. The other party may have to compensate you for any treatment that you need to have to treat depression, anxiety, fear, or a number of other mental issues.
- Loss of consortium: Let’s face it some accidents cause irreversible damage to relationships. If your relationship has been drastically affected by an accident you may be entitled to compensation for a loss of intimacy.
- Funeral cost: If your family finds themselves in the unfortunate situation where a loved one is lost because of an accident than your family may be entitled to money to help cover the costs of a funeral as well as other death-related costs.’
- Medical bills: If your injuries have caused you to visit a number of doctors and have caused you to need continued treatment of surgeries in the future the at-fault driver may have to cover current and anticipated medical expenses. This could include hospital visits or stays, rehab treatments and services, transportation (ambulances), as well as any medications you have to take.
- Loss of wages: If you have to miss work because of the injuries you sustained from an accident the other drive may have to compensate you for the money you may have earned during that time.
Contact a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer
Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A is the personal injury attorney Lakeland locals trust! We are devoted to helping our clients get everything they deserve after a car accident. If you’re looking for a Lakeland personal injury attorney in the Sarasota area that can help give you advice and guidance look no further. Call or visit us today to find out how we can help you!
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