Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
No amount of safety gadgets or smart road infrastructure can prevent all deadly crashes. Despite new cars becoming much safer in the last few years, fatalities and serious injuries remain high. And, few states have traffic problems equivalent to Florida’s. Young drivers have, by far, the highest mortality rates, and despite the state’s older age bracket, the number of serious injuries and fatalities that take place in Florida and Tampa specifically is incredibly large and troubling. If you have been hit and injured by a negligent driver, don’t hesitate to contact the best Tampa car accident lawyers immediately to seek financial compensation.
Tampa Car Accidents
There are a number of important steps to take after a crash to create the best outcome for your case. In addition to seeking medical care, filing a police report, and notifying your insurance company about the accident, your next step should be contacting an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer for legal representation. Working with an experienced car crash lawyer is highly advised, even if you think that your case is straightforward and that you are guaranteed a settlement.
Why You Should Work with a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
Many people hesitate to contact an Tampa car accident lawyer after a crash, wondering whether or not working with an lawyer is really necessary. While you have no legal obligation to contact a lawyer, doing so can improve your chances of recovering the maximum amount of money that you are owed, and can also provide you with a sense of confidence and comfort throughout the process. Here are some important ways that our Tampa car accident lawyer helps you after a car accident:
- Investigating your accident. Fault in a crash is not always clear, and even when it is, the right evidence must be collected to prove it. Fault, or negligence, can have a big impact on the amount of money that you receive in a settlement offer, and unless you prove the negligence of the other driver (or other at-fault party), you may be unable to recover compensation at all. The investigation starts as soon as we learn around your accident, collecting all evidence. This includes physical evidence, pictures of the accident scene, police reports, video footage, witness statements, and more.
- Filing your claim. Filing can be confusing. You may not know how to file your claim after an accident, or against whom. This is especially true if the accident was caused by a party other than another driver, such as the manufacturer of a defective auto part. Our Tampa car accident lawyers help you file your claim against the appropriate party in a timely manner.
- Proving damages. If you are injured in a crash and suffer losses, you may assume that the insurance adjuster responsible for processing your claim will recognize this and you’ll be compensated. Unfortunately, you will need to prove the full extent of your losses in order to recover any compensation. Our Tampa car crash lawyers can assist you in gathering medical bills, working with experts, and proving damages.
- Negotiating for a fair settlement offer. Frequently, insurance adjusters offer claimants less than they deserve, hoping that the claimant will take the money in desperation and frustration. When your settlement offer does not address the full amount of damages you have suffered, we will aggressively negotiate for a more suitable settlement amount.
- Taking your claim to court. When a settlement cannot be reached, our Tampa car accident lawyers will be prepared to take your case to court.
Types of Car Accident Claims
Most car accidents happen because of negligence, which is the failure to exercise a certain level of caution while operating a vehicle. The Tampa car crash lawyers, along with your insurance company, will conduct a preliminary investigation to identify whether you were negligent or not.
To have the best chances of winning the case, the experienced Tampa auto accident lawyers must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. Some examples are negligent drivers, reckless drivers, intoxicated drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and those who text and drive.
If your vehicle, or the defendant’s vehicle had a defect contributed to the accident, the injured party may have a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its many parts. If the car had a faulty manufacturing issue, the manufacturer can be held responsible regardless of who was actually at fault for the accident.
The Tampa car crash lawyers must prove that you were not at fault for the accident, and that the defect happened due to the manufacturing process. Usually they bring in expert testimony and analysis as evidence to prove that the defect caused or contributed to the accident. Successful lawsuits will require the plaintiff to show:
- The defective car or part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The vehicle was being operated safely
- The vehicle’s performance had not changed since purchase
Then there’s faulty construction, design, or maintenance of roads. This can contribute to car crashes and have nothing to do with the drivers. This type of claim will prove the plaintiff and defendant not guilty due to circumstances beyond their control.
Types of Car Crash Injuries and Compensation You May Be Entitled To
The extent and severity of injuries suffered will be different with each individual case. In some cases, treatment for injuries will not be covered by insurance. The Tampa auto accident lawyers help cover costs of injuries that include:
- Burns and scars
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Joint, muscle, back, neck, and bone injuries
- Knee damage
- Permanent disability
If you are seeking further compensation for damages, your lawyer will approach the negligent party’s insurance company in an attempt to recover compensation to cover your remaining costs. Your claim will be submitted for approval to the insurance company, which will have led an investigation of its own.
The success of your claim will likely depend on the ability of your lawyer to collect, analyze, and present evidence. It can be particularly challenging considering the opposing insurance company will clearly want to minimize their disbursement.
Providing your lawyer with as much information as possible can help your odds of winning the case. If your lawyer and the insurance company cannot agree on a settlement, often the case may proceed to trial.
In addition to these, our experienced Tampa car accident lawyers can help you obtain compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers Assist with Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, the family or survivors of the victim must prove that their loved one was killed as a result of another’s negligence. You can gain economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Driving Remains Dangerous, Looks to Have Become Even More So in the Last 12 Months
More bad news is likely on the way for traffic safety in our state. The National Safety Council released its preliminary data on the fatalities of 2015, which saw the largest year to year increase in traffic deaths in half a century. Nationally, deaths rose by eight percent from 2014, with only three states seeing any decline in deaths from the previous year. Florida was not among those states. What’s more, Florida is among the four states that saw the most dramatic increase in fatalities from 2014. Florida had 18 percent more traffic fatalities in 2015 than it did in 2014. Sadly, 4.4 million people were injured in traffic accidents in 2015, which accounts for billions of dollars in lost productivity, medical costs, and administrative fees. Billions more were handed over to the victims, often from the insurance provider of the negligent party, which, inevitably, drives up insurance rates for everyone down the road. According to Deborah Hersman, the National Security Council president and CEO, “Americans take their safety on the roadways for granted. Driving a car is one of the riskiest activities any of us undertake in spite of decades of vehicle design improvements and traffic safety advancements. Engage your defensive driving skills and stay alert so we can reverse this trend in 2016.” While entirely true, that statement may be hard for most Americans to follow through on, as an incredibly high percentage of Americans, and Tampa residents, do not seem to have the self restraint to stay off their phones while on the road. Talking on the phone, which is not illegal in Florida, increases the chances of crashing by a considerable margin, and texting or accessing the internet compounds that risk by multiple orders of magnitude.
An Aggressive Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the increase in fatalities and serious injuries may also have something to do with increased traffic. Lower gas prices and a slightly surging economy with more people going to work likely added to the numbers of fatalities. As long as more people are on the road and drivers continue to pay more attention to their electronics than the cars around them, driving will remain at the dangerous level it is currently at. If you have been hit by a distracted, drowsy, drunk, careless, or reckless driver, contact an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer with The Pendas Law Firm at 1-888-573-6327 today. Our aggressive lawyers will help you fight for your rights to recover compensation.
What to do After a Tampa Car Accident
The faster you begin taking the necessary legal steps after a traffic collision, the faster you can put the mess behind you. As such, contacting your insurance provider, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer, and taking all the steps your doctor recommends for physical recovery can all lead to an accident that is, overall, less invasive and detrimental to your life–an accident that you can recover from as soon as possible. If you have been involved in an auto collision, contact a lawyer today to learn more about your options for financial compensation that can go towards your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
Proving Negligence is the Most Critical Step in Receiving Financial Compensation
In order to come to a successful civil resolution, we must be able to show the court that you were not at fault, and that another party was the cause of the crash. In many instances, this is a fairly straightforward endeavor, as the police report will clearly outline the circumstance and cause of the crash, such as speeding, which is involved in 28 percent of all fatal collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This highlights the importance of always reporting collisions and in doing so, ensuring that the police come on the scene to take your information, witness statements, and conduct a thorough investigation of the crash. They will fill out an official accident report that will go a long way in proving that the other party should be held liable for financial damages.
Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Crash to Help Prove the Cause of the Crash
It is not uncommon for a driver to admit fault at the scene of the crash, only to go back on their word weeks later when they realize the financial implications of admitting their guilt to the court and their insurance provider. By gathering evidence immediately after the collision, if you are physically able to, you can help rule out environmental factors, vehicular malfunctions, and other critical non-driver-caused errors, the three of which only account for six percent of fatal car collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ultimately, the cause of 94 percent of crashes are one or more forms of driver error, equating to negligence. Follow the steps listed below after every major and minor car collision:
- Contact the paramedics, if needed, and the police;
- Provide comfort to any victims that are seriously injured and wait for help to arrive before you do anything else;
- Move your vehicle off to the side of the road if possible;
- Set up road flares;
- Ask eyewitnesses to stick around to give their reports to the police. Take down their contact information for your own use in case the police do not get around to talking with them;
- Exchange information with the other parties, including driver’s license, phone number, insurance information, address, and license plate number;
- Seek medical treatment after you talk with the police and are able to leave the scene. Injuries may not fully reveal themselves for hours or days after the crash; and
- Contact your insurance provider.
Contact our Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers
Finally, it is imperative that you call an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer immediately who can help you on your way towards financial recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out to The Pendas Law Firm at 1-888-573-6327 for professional representation in your case.