Do I Need a Lawyer for My Car Crash?
If you were recently involved in a motor-vehicle collision, you may be wondering whether you should hire a car accident attorney. While you don’t necessarily need strategic counsel if you were in a mere fender-bender and sustained a few superficial wounds, it’s advisable to call a lawyer if you suffered serious injuries that left you with actual damages.
What Constitutes “Serious” Injuries?
Because Florida has a no-fault rule, the state has established a “serious injury” threshold. If you don’t meet this threshold, you’re limited to filing a claim with your own insurer, even if you didn’t contribute to the wreck.
For this reason, motorists across Florida are required to purchase at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). While an attorney can certainly help you navigate a PIP claim, hiring one won’t necessarily yield a larger payout because the damages will be minimal and negotiations will be capped at your coverage limits.
If your condition does meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold, however, you may bypass Florida’s no-fault law and proceed with legal action against the liable party. Car accident victims may commence with third-party claims and/or personal injury suits if they suffer:
- Permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability; or
- Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement.
The state’s no-fault limitations do not apply to scenarios involving fatal injuries, either. That means if your loved one died from car accident injuries, your family could proceed with a wrongful death suit. Whether you intend to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, it’s wise to seek legal counsel.
What Will a Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Every successful car accident claim contains sufficient evidence of both liability and damages. As such, your legal team will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash in pursuit of proof that implicates all liable parties. In addition to prioritizing time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed, they will apply the legal pressure needed to gather critical proof that’s otherwise impossible to obtain.
Proving fault is, however, just one aspect of effective representation. Over the course of the proceedings, your attorney will also:
- Handle all correspondence with the opposing party;
- Track all economic damages;
- Estimate a reasonable figure for your non-economic damages;
- Consult with relevant experts and specialists regarding the extent of your losses;
- Negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf; and
- Prepare your case for court if the insurer disputes liability or otherwise proves uncooperative.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Attorney in Stuart
If you were struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, contact Donaldson & Weston. We combine the knowledge, resources, and experience of a large practice with the personal touch of a small local firm.
Our compassionate team has helped hundreds of injured parties and their loved ones recover the funds needed to put their lives back together. Call 772-266-5555 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Stuart.