Recovering from a Tampa auto accident is more than just a physical process; the financial strain and emotional turmoil can take months or even years to overcome. The recovery is even more of a challenge when you’re left to pay for medical bills and lost wages alone (the average injury accident costs between $40,000 and $155,000 depending on severity).
You may be wondering, “what can I do next?”. As Tampa personal injury lawyers, we’re experts in this topic so are here to guide you through it:
You Have the Right to File a Personal Injury Claim
As you recover, you have two choices:
- Pay off your medical bills with your own money and debts.
- Or, file a personal injury claim to recover your damages and expenses.
How Personal Injury Insurance Claims Work in Tampa:
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Tampa that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need to file a claim against your own insurance company. This is because Florida is a ‘no-fault’ insurance state.
To do this, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider to inform them of the accident, before eventually sending a settlement package – which details the extent of your injuries, including the true cost of your damages with supporting evidence.
How Long Do I Have to File an Auto Accident Personal Injury Claim in Tampa?
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the injury date.
It is advised you act as soon as possible, to ensure no delaying tactics or health complications restrict you from making the claim.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
While recovering from a Tampa Auto Accident, you always have the right to consult a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer. This is highly advised and as our team works on a no-win, no-fee basis, there is no risk involved.
A lawyer will take care of all communications, so you can focus on a full recovery; without the burden and stress of phone calls, emails and manipulative insurance adjusters.
This is also the best way to get the maximum possible settlement, as our experienced lawyers will use their knowledge of negotiating and the industry to prove the true cost of your damages.
You’ll Be Interviewed By the Insurance Company
You can expect a phone call from an insurance representative who will ask you about your accident. This is as-much as a mission to trick you, as it is a fact-finding mission.
They are working for for-profit insurers, who only want to pay you as little as possible (or nothing at all!)
You should be very careful with their manipulation tactics, as they’ll try to get you to undersell your injuries or admit fault entirely.
We advise you to be strong, state that you were not at-fault and that you are still being treated. You can also state that evidence is still to be acquired, so you are not ready to answer some questions.
You May Be Offered a Low-Ball Settlement Offer
You’ll likely be offered a low-ball settlement figure by the insurance company while you’re recovering from a Tampa Auto Accident very soon after the first call.
Don’t fall for this trap. Initial offers are often far too low and will leave you paying for your medical bills out of your own bank account or credit.
Instead, you should first consult a Tampa auto accident attorney who will calculate the true cost of your injuries and then be able to determine if the offer is too low.
This tactic works wonders for the insurance company, as so many victims are desperate to win anything – but fear not, negotiating is always possible and we can get you the money you deserve.
Determine The True Cause of the Auto Accident
You will also need to determine and prove the true cause of your accident and injuries. This isn’t always obvious at first, as there may even be multiple parties at-fault.
In most cases, CCTV footage, police reports and witness statements can prove the other driver was at-fault. However, in some cases we may need to dig deeper to show that the road conditions or car part, for example, played a part.
If necessary, we will use our extensive resources to discover the true cause and most importantly use that as evidence – for example with crash reconstruction experts.
Evidence is everything in a personal injury claim for a Tampa Auto Accident. It will be proof that cannot be argued against, that you have suffered injuries and how.
We urge you to:
- Keep all doctors’ notes
- Keep medical bills and receipts of expenses related to the accident injury(s).
- Obtain a police report
- Obtain witness statements
- Obtain proof of lost wages or other financial damages (such as in your payslips).
Fear not, if you can’t remember or obtain all this then our Tampa auto accident lawyers will do further investigation if required. We can help you get a copy of the police report and may be able to access CCTV cameras or other dashcam footage. However, the more evidence you have yourself, the easier it can be.
Assess the Progress of Your Injuries
You should keep track of the improvement or worsening of your injuries and symptoms.
- Take photos of visual symptoms
- Keep a log of what you’ve experienced each day.
- Schedule an expert medical assessment of your injuries
- Consult specialists to find out how long your injuries will take to heal
- If you have any further symptoms, such as headache or nausea then you should visit a doctor ASAP as it could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury or whiplash.
Sending a Settlement Package
Once you and your lawyer have collected all the relevant evidence, they’ll put together a settlement package which will be sent to your insurance provider.
This package will detail the breakdown of why you’re demanding the fee and come with a supporting index. This will then be sent to the insurance company.
If the settlement offer is rejected, you may need to negotiate. Our Tampa auto accident lawyers are very experienced in this role and know the tricks that can win you a fee close to what you’re demanding.
Negotiations can be very stressful alone, especially when you’re recovering and up against opposing lawyers. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation for support in that area.
Do Tampa Auto Accident Claims Go to Court?
By design, personal injury claims aim to avoid going to court. It’s all about getting a resolution without any need for legal disputes.
However, in some extreme cases, the Tampa auto accident injury victim may have to take the insurance company to court – to prove that they deserve the compensation.
This happens in cases where an insurance company refuses to pay out, or undervalues the claim to an extent where court is a wise option.
If this happens, our experienced Tampa auto accident lawyers will be fully prepared and arrive at the court with an arsenal of evidence to win you your settlement.
Tampa Car Accident Statistics
- 82,359 auto accidents
- 576 fatal crashes
- 37,120 injury crashes
- 1,875 motorcycle crashes
- 19,386 hit and run accidents
- 1,414 alcohol-impaired accidents
Further Resources for Tampa Auto Accident Recovery:
- Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: For driver license and motor vehicle checks.
- Further information on insurance from the FHSMV
- Tampa General Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center
- Brain Injury Association of Florida
- Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center
- Psychology Today: Directory for Florida-based therapists and counselors.
- Crash Survivors Network: Support group for all affected by auto accidents in Tampa.
Hire a Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer in Tampa, FL
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Tampa, Florida, please contact our experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.
We have decades of experience helping victims injured by someone else and understand the importance of winning you coverage for the true cost of your injuries.
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas are award-winning Personal Injury Lawyers with vast experience, a proven track record, a strong reputation and impressive resources. We believe we provide the strongest chance of winning the maximum possible settlement to help you move forward.