If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you might wonder if you’ll ever get back on your feet. On top of your physical recovery, your injuries and other losses may have caused substantial financial harm. Hiring a car accident lawyer near Sarasota may feel like one more complication to add to your list. However, an attorney is there to help you. An attorney analyzes the facts of your case to determine the best possible course of action and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Can a Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Auto accidents are common, but that doesn’t mean you know how to navigate an accident claim. You may not know where to begin when it comes to initiating, investigating, or pursuing a claim. Because accident claims are so complicated, trying to handle your case by yourself may do more harm than good. Retaining an attorney provides injured victims with several advantages.
Florida law gives injured victims four years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Four years may seem like a long time, but it often passes more quickly than you would imagine. Your Sarasota car accident lawyer keeps track of all time-sensitive issues, including the statute of limitations, that may affect your ability to recover compensation.
Investigate Your Claim
If you suffered severe injuries because of an accident, you might have been unable to gather evidence, obtain an accident report, or even remember vital details about the collision. Your attorney can perform an extensive investigation to collect the information needed to build a strong case.
Valuing Your Case
The extent of your injuries, the severity of your pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and other factors will determine how much compensation you are eligible to receive. An attorney can assess all of your losses and explain what kinds of damages might be available to you. This information is particularly useful as your attorney negotiates for settlement or prepares for trial.
Work with Insurance Companies
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state and requires all drivers to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and a minimum of $10,000 in personal damage liability coverage. The personal injury protection policy will cover 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000, no matter who was at fault for the accident. An experienced attorney knows the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying injured victims the compensation they deserve. Additionally, if insurance fails to cover the full extent of your injuries and losses, you’ll need an attorney to pursue a lawsuit against the liable party.
Negotiate Settlement or Prepare for Trial
A favorable settlement may provide you with the financial support you need. However, if negotiations fail, you have a right to pursue compensation in court. You need an experienced auto accident lawyer in Sarasota who is skilled in the art of negotiation and isn’t afraid to go to trial when necessary.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Accident-related losses can easily exceed the state’s $10,000 minimum insurance coverage for bodily injury. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, Florida law also permits injured victims to recover both economic and noneconomic damages from the liable party in a personal injury lawsuit.
Economic damages represent direct financial losses that can be supported by tangible evidence, such as medical bills, and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earnings,
- Property damage, and
- Other miscellaneous expenses.
Retain all records of your financial losses, such as doctor bills and pay stubs, so your attorney can accurately calculate the full amount of your damages.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for emotional and psychological harm caused by an accident and your injuries. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of quality of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
Although difficult to quantify, noneconomic damages can make up a more significant part of your settlement or judgment award than economic damages.
What to Do After a Car Accident?
Taking certain steps immediately after a car accident can protect your rights and make it easier for your Sarasota auto accident attorney to gather evidence for your lawsuit.
- Dial 911. Shock and a rush of adrenaline may be the first feelings you experience after a car accident. Adrenaline can mask pain and make it difficult to detect an injury. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, request emergency medical personnel to report to the scene of the accident, so trained professionals can assess your injuries and the condition of other parties.
- Contact law enforcement. Law enforcement officers will create an accident report. These reports are potentially valuable tools that can be used by your Sarasota auto accident attorney to establish fault, liability, and damages.
- Document the scene. Take photographs, and obtain the names, contact information, and insurance policy number of all involved parties. Additionally, jot down your initial memories and recollections from the accident, as these memories fade quickly.
- Seek medical treatment. Many injuries after a car accident may present in the days, weeks, or even months after a car accident. Receiving compensation for your losses requires connecting your injuries to the accident. Therefore, even if you think you are injury-free, seek a complete medical evaluation after your accident.
- Report your accident to your insurance company. Most insurance policies require insured drivers to notify their carriers when they are involved in a car accident.
- Contact a car accident lawyer near Sarasota. If you suffered severe injuries and could not perform any of the above steps, you may have difficulty understanding where to begin your potential claim. An attorney is ready to assist you in your lawsuit and evaluate your next steps.
Don’t lose hope if you could not complete these steps after your accident. An experienced car accident attorney in Sarasota can evaluate the facts of your accident and recommend the best path forward for you.
At James Horne Law PA, our primary value is our commitment to our clients in personal injury matters. We treat every client like a person, not a file number, and take the time to understand the facts and circumstances of their case. We know each person walking through our door is dealing with one of the most challenging times in their life. When the stakes are high, you can turn to the team at James Horne Law for top-notch legal representation. Contact a Sarasota car accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.