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A St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney That Fights to Get You Paid

Getting into an auto accident in St. Petersburg can be a deeply traumatic event. There is often chaos and turmoil of emotions in the moments during and after an accident. At the time, it is often challenging to file car accident reports. Accident victims might struggle to recall the steps in the process of what to do after a car accident. In the months following, other unexpected injuries or costs may come up. All this can add to the stress and costs of a car accident in St. Petersburg. Where do you go from here? What do you do now? You are not alone! A St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney is here to help!

Our St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney is Here To Help!

That’s where we come in. Let the St. Petersburg auto accident lawyers of Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA alleviate the burden. We will do the hard work for you that way you can focus on healing. There is no need to be stressed when you are trying to recover.

With St. Petersburg traffic accidents, insurance companies will do everything in their power to diminish their financial payout. But, not with our team on your side. With our St. Petersburg attorneys, you can rest assured that fair and just compensation is coming your way. We will help you deal with car accident injuries and related damages.

There are many types of injuries that can result from car accidents. Almost all of those injuries have some level of compensation available to you through car accident claims.

Florida is a “no-fault” state. This holds insurance companies legally accountable. They must pay for medical bills resulting from road accident injuries. However, our St. Petersburg team knows how these big-name companies handle things. They will try to downplay injuries and pay less money to deserving parties.

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What Does No-Fault Mean?

There are two types of insurance methods that states choose in their mandates they build for their residents: tort and no-fault. Some states use all of one or the other, and some use a combination of the two. The bottom line is that every state is different. Some states have auto insurance laws that are similar to a large number of states, and some states have laws that are very different.

Armed with this information, it’s crucial to ensure that when you are moving or getting insurance for the first time in the state in which you currently reside, that you get some professional insurance help or research carefully before you make the ultimate choices on your auto insurance policy coverage choices. It could mean the difference between being well-protected and being vulnerable to a lawsuit or out-of-pocket expense.

Florida relies mostly on the no-fault system of insurance. Florida requires residents to carry $10,000 worth of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL). The PDL does, in fact, payout for damages if a driver is at fault and causes damage to someone’s vehicle or property. The PIP is the no-fault part where each injured person makes a claim on their own PIP coverage to pay for medical bills.

Florida recently had a bill that was approved in which injured parties could only use $2,500 of their PIP if they weren’t seriously injured or had a medical physician note that the injured needed necessary further medical treatment based on the degree of injury. This measure is designed to reduce the amount of fraud or padding of medical bills that are being charged to PIP when they shouldn’t be or shouldn’t be as high.

Get an Auto Accident Attorney

– Head-on collisions can easily lead to serious or catastrophic injuries. Two cars moving fast and making contact head to head produces immense force which can create both blunt force and soft tissue injuries. This can happen when one of the drivers is driving recklessly. Damages from head-on collisions can quickly go through the roof. This is what makes it all the more critical that you have a team of injury law experts by your side to help you receive compensation and ensure your bills get paid.

This is just one reason it’s important to find a reputable auto accident attorney. A St. Petersburg lawyer will ensure that you get the compensation you need to get your life back on track. You might have suffered a severe whiplash injury or other physical effects of the crash. You might also suffer from emotional distress and lost wages. For all these damages, our St. Petersburg team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

There are many causes of accidents in St. Petersburg. For one, Florida is filled with partying beach-goers and slow-driving snowbirds alike. At any moment, there is a risk of an accident car are not built to withstand. A few of the most common St. Petersburg accidents that warrant a claim are:

  • Head-on or rear-end
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • T-Bone collisions at intersections
  • Fatigued driving
  • Road rage
  • Hit and runs
  • Faulty car parts causing loss of control
  • Not following traffic laws or respecting road signs
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • 0After a car crash in the St. Petersburg area, you’ll need help. The process of determining potential compensation is best left to a skilled car accident attorney. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, we know the ins and outs of the process. Our St. Petersburg team will seek out the maximum level of compensation that correlates to the damages you suffered.

    The damages that you may be facing can include:

    A loss of wages from time off or work
    Emotional distress and physical pain
    Medical bill coverage
    Payment for household services and daily activities you cannot perform due to injury
    Cost of necessary equipment for medical recovery
    Our St. Petersburg team also handles auto crash claims that involve pedestrian, motorcycle, and truck accidents. Whatever the situation, we’ve got you covered.

What If Your Claim Is Denied?

Before filing an insurance dispute claim or negotiating with the insurance company, your attorney will gather evidence, including:

  • Reviewing medical records from treatment you received after the crash
  • Reviewing police reports, crime scene reports, and photographs of the scene
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Using traffic camera footage, if available
  • Investigating the history of the other driver
  • Obtaining a recording of the 911 call
    Examining photos of your car before and after the accident
  • Reviewing cell phone records
  • Reviewing specific information and history on the vehicles involved

Our team will use this information to create a claim that shows the other driver was at-fault and is therefore responsible for your losses. Insurance companies will want to limit their payout and, in many cases, will offer an amount that does not adequately cover your losses.

If this is the case, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you may be able to collect compensation by filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and other parties involved in the crash.

When it all boils down, car insurance companies are trying to make money. They will pinch pennies at the expense of your health and wellbeing. Our skilled team at Dennis Hernandez in St. Petersburg knows the tactics of how these companies work. We can navigate the arduous process of getting you fair compensation.

You could attempt to figure it out on your own. However, the outcome will be greater when you allow us to help your case. Our St. Petersburg attorneys can secure justice and compensation you deserve.

If you are suffering or large expenses due to an auto accident, call Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA. We have a proven track record of success in St. Petersburg. Our team is available and excited to fight to get the compensation you deserve. We will work to help you get your life back on track. Call today to schedule a consultation in St. Petersburg.

What Is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is coverage that every driver in Florida is required to carry on their insurance policy. State law requires a minimum of $10,000 coverage on every auto insurance policy. If you are in an auto accident, PIP will cover or reimburse a portion of expenses including medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, lost income, prescription medication prescribed for injuries, and the mileage to and from medical facilities for as long as you receive treatment.

A question that may come up:

How do I claim PIP?

  • No matter who is at fault, you will file a PIP claim with your own insurance company. If your own policy does not cover you, you may still qualify. You can do this through a relative you live with who owns an insured vehicle or as a passenger of an insured vehicle.

What if I don’t have PIP?

  • Even if you do not have PIP, you should still seek medical attention. You can file a claim against the at-fault driver of the accident to receive compensation for medical bills.

What is a PIP Attorney?

  • Trying to understand your coverage and benefits can be difficult when you are asking the insurance company for help. They are trying to save money rather than advocate for your best interest.

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Your Emotions Can Be Affected Too!

Being the victim of an accident can result not only in physical damage but in emotional and mental damage, as well. On top of coping with stressful medical bills, an accident can lead to missed time at work ― ultimately resulting in the loss of reliable income. Consequently, this can result in an inability to pay regular living expenses.

Most auto accidents are caused by someone else’s negligence, whether intentional or not. While most car accidents are not intended, they are usually the result of driving errors or the condition of the vehicle being driven.

The negligent driver is the operator that caused the accident, and it’s the responsibility of their insurance provider to compensate you after the car accident.

What Do You Do After an Accident?

Being involved in an automobile accident can be a very traumatic experience. From the moment of initial impact, your whole world can turn upside down. If you are involved in an automobile accident either as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, or know someone who has been involved, here are a few tips from our Florida car accident lawyer on what to do:

  1. Report the accident immediately: Call 911 and report that you have been involved in an automobile accident. Once law enforcement arrives, cooperate with them and explain how the accident happened in detail. If you know of witnesses who saw the crash, politely ask the officer to speak with them as well. Upon completion of the report, ask the officer for a copy of the information, or at a minimum the name of the law enforcement agency, officer’s name, and crash report number.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention: Injuries sustained in auto-accidents can vary from minor to severe to life-threatening. If you are experiencing any pain, including mild pain or discomfort, immediately seek medical attention. If medical assistance is offered at the accident scene, consider having the paramedics examine you. If you have insurance, your Personal Injury Protection will automatically cover the majority of the ambulance ride to the emergency room and the ER visit. If you don’t have insurance, the ambulance and hospital will treat you just the same.
  1. Get the names and contact information for all witnesses: Our office will immediately contact all witnesses and have them interviewed by a professional investigator. If you do not know the witnesses personally, they are considered to be “independent observers,” and their statement could help in any arguments about how the accident occurred.
  1. Take photographs at the scene: If at all possible, find a way to take pictures of all vehicles involved and any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident (construction barriers, potholes, debris, etc.). Anything will do!

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:

Gather information:

  • 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 indicates 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 the 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 a 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 the 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 St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer determines that this offer is insufficient, a counteroffer 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.

What Do Know About Automobile Negligence?

Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. What many people don’t realize is that when operating a motor vehicle, a driver owes a legal duty to other drivers on the road as well as to passengers in their vehicle and pedestrians. That duty is to operate the motor vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Dan Newlin is the top Orlando automobile negligence attorney in Florida.

When a person fails to operate their motor vehicle in a reasonably safe manner, they are deemed to have committed automobile negligence. In most cases, this is considered to be careless driving, which is defined in Florida Statute 316.1925:

 

“Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same carefully and prudently, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such manner shall constitute careless driving and a violation of this section.”

 

Other acts of automobile negligence are defined as following too closely, speeding, failure to yield right of way, failure to obey a traffic signal, and several more.

More About Our Car Accident Lawyer St. Petersburg!

Dennis Hernandez, Esq. is a fifth-generation native of Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Duke University at the age of 20 with a bachelor’s in economics. He graduated eighth in a class of 260 from Florida State College of Law and obtained his Master of Law from Harvard Law School at the age of 24. After four years of practicing law, he established the Florida personal injury firm Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A. at the age of 28. Since 1996, he has grown his firm to serve accident victims across the state by providing customized legal guidance in every personal injury case.

​We are devoted to fighting for every dollar our clients deserve for their injuries by providing outstanding service. Our Florida personal injury attorneys and our experienced team of trial attorneys will take your case as far as possible to get the compensation you deserve. Learn more about our experienced attorneys in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Bradenton, Orlando, and Lakeland.

For over 20 years, the dedicated team at Dennis Hernazes have worked to get their clients the payments they deserve. There is no case they can’t fight. This works with both trial and settlements. They will take on the insurance company and worry about all the problems that come with it that way you can stay stress free and focus on healing.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyer St. Petersburg

Our team of legal experts is here to fight for your money. Who says you need to go through this alone? Our team at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., want to make sure you are safe and protected while on the road. Our St. Petersburg attorney is here for you. Did you know our St. Petersburg car accident attorney are also located in other parts of Florida? Call our car accident lawyer near me today for more information. We are the best car accident lawyer St. Petersburg has to offer!

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