Frequently Asked Questions Personal Injury Attorney Tampa, FL
I’ve just been involved in an auto accident! What are the first steps to take? Will I need a personal injury attorney?
- Safety first. Streets and highways are dangerous. Move the vehicle to the shoulder, if possible. If your car is no longer functional, stay inside with the hazard lights on or locate yourself far onto the shoulder.
- Call the police, 911, or other emergency services. You must have the police investigate the accident because you will need a police report. Documenting what happened at the scene will be very important to your personal injury case.
- Get medical treatment right away. Even auto accidents that appear minor are violent collisions that can cause injuries to our bodies. Auto accident injuries often take several days after an accident occurs to appear. Seek out medical attention, even if you do not believe that you are injured.
- Find a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Tampa, FL as soon as possible to protect all your legal rights.
Can I still file a claim even if I may have caused the accident that injured me?
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury claims of all types. Even if you were 95% at fault for the accident that injured you, you can still recover for the five percent of damages that were caused by the negligence of the other driver or party. Deciding on the proportions of fault for each party is a complicated legal task that will be assigned to a jury or a judge, if your case ends up facing a trial. A reputable Tampa, FL personal injury attorney can provide you with an honest evaluation of whether or not your personal injury claim is likely to succeed in a court setting. Contact a personal injury attorney in Tampa, Florida for a customized claim evaluation based on the specific facts of your case.
What if the person at fault in my auto accident is not insured?
In Florida, unfortunately, the state does not require motorists to carry any uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage. This type of coverage, if you elect to purchase it on your own, provides protection when you are injured by a negligent driver who does not have enough insurance coverage for the costs of your damages or who has no insurance. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is added coverage under your own existing auto insurance policy. If you are hit by a driver who is uninsured, your own insurance company must cover any injuries you suffer.
An underinsured insurance claim operates the same way any other insurance claim would work, but you are recovering from your own insurance company rather than the other party’s. It is important to be aware of the fact that the representatives of your own insurance company are not any more on your side than those of the other side. The company’s goal is simply to minimize its losses and maximize its profits. You still need to contact an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney to make sure that you are protected from your own insurance company.
Other Types of Personal Injury Cases
Many personal injury cases in Florida revolve around a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. However, these are not the only types of accidents that you can receive compensation for. Other common types of personal injury accidents include slip and falls, trip and falls, product liability, dog bites, and more. If you have been inured in any type of accident outside of your home, it is worth your time to speak with a personal injury attorney in Tampa, FL.
Statute of Limitations for personal injury cases in Florida
Florida law limits the amount of time that you have to file your claim for damages, regardless of what type of accident you were injured in. Victims have four years to file their claim in Florida. A personal injury attorney is the smartest way to verify the statute of limitations that applies to your accident case. Under very limited circumstances the statute of limitations might be extended, but this should never be relied upon as a strategy.
Accident damages in Tampa, Florida
Victims who have been injured by an act of negligence have the right to seek out compensation for their economic and their non-economic damages. A skilled Tampa, FL personal injury attorney is knowledgeable in the categorizing and calculating of all types of damages.
Economic Damages: Economic damages are monetary losses that you can verify and prove with documentation. They can include hospital bills, lost wages, the loss of employment or earning potential, the loss of the use of your property, and any necessary repairs to your property.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are intended to make up for your non-monetary losses, which can include your pain and suffering, both emotional and physical, loss of consortium, for those who are married, damage to your reputation, and embarrassment or humiliation.