If you get injured in any sort of car accident, you’re going to need to do a few things. First, you need to call the cops. They can arrange for an ambulance. They’ll also investigate the accident scene. Second, you need to seek immediate medical treatment. Third, you need to call an experienced car accident lawyer in Navarre, Florida.
No two accidents are the same. Every case is different. But there are a few things they almost all have in common. Almost all car accidents involve at least two vehicles. There are the rare cases in which you hit something inanimate. But, for the most part, car accidents involve multiple vehicles.
The other thing about car accidents in Florida is that most people do have car insurance. Despite the horror stories you’ve heard about dealing with uninsured motorists, most people do have insurance. This means you’ll have to file an auto insurance claim.
Lastly, most car accident cases never see a courtroom. Most are either paid by insurance or settled later on with the insurance adjuster. Even for those cases that require a lawsuit usually settle long before trial. So, odds are, your case will also be resolved one way or another.
If you’ve been injured in a car wreck in Navarre, Florida, you should call an experienced car accident lawyer. They can explain the legal process to you. They can also review your case and let you know how much it may be worth.
After Your Accident, Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
After any motor vehicle accident, you need to seek medical treatment. Even if you think you’re okay, you need to get checked out at the hospital. Don’t drive yourself there. Wait for the cops to come to the scene. They’ll arrange for an ambulance to take you there. Or, if your injuries aren’t very serious, a friend or family member can drive you there.
Don’t wait too long to go to the emergency room. You need to show that your injuries were caused by the accident. The only way to do this is by using medical records. If you wait days or weeks to go to the doctor, the defendant will claim that something other than the car accident caused your injuries.
Your Navarre injury lawyer will also need you to go to the hospital. They'll need evidence to prove that you were injured. If you don’t go to the hospital, it will be almost impossible for them to do this.
Call a Car Accident Attorney in Navarre, Florida
Once you’ve received medical treatment and know that you’re okay, you should call an experienced car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know if you have a legitimate claim.
While it may be early days to determine how much your case is worth, your lawyer can give you an idea if it’s worth pursuing. They won’t have a good idea of what it’s worth until they know just how bad your injuries are.
You want to have an attorney in place before you file your insurance claim. The insurance company will take you more seriously if you have a lawyer. If not, they’ll try to take advantage of you.
File Your Insurance Claim
The next thing you need to do is file your insurance claim. Your Navarre auto accident attorney can help do this. They’ll reach out to the insurance negotiator to try to get your claim paid. If you’re lucky, they’ll pay your claim right away. If this is the case, you’ll get your check within a week or two.
If your claim is denied, however, your attorney will have two choices. They can appeal your claim and try to get it paid. Or, if the insurance company has made it clear they aren’t going to pay, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Some of the reasons your claim may be denied include:
- The policy wasn’t valid
- The policy had lapsed for non-payment
- The driver wasn’t listed on the policy
- You didn’t file your claim in time
- The insurance company doesn’t believe you were hurt
- They think you caused the accident
- You have a history of filing false claims
Your lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If they’re not able to do this, they’ll file suit in civil court. Your lawsuit will demand that you be paid the damages resulting from your car accident.
File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim, your lawyer will file suit. The insurance company will have to defend their driver in court. Your attorney will file suit and serve a copy of the complaint on the defendant and their insurance company.
The defendant will have a certain amount of time to respond to your complaint. If they do nothing, your lawyer will file for default judgment. However, it is rare that an insurance company would do this. More than likely, they’ll file an answer.
The answer will outline the reasons why the insurance company and their lawyers think you don’t deserve compensation. They may argue that you were at fault. Or, they’ll just reiterate the same reasons outlined in your claim denial.
If the defendant files an answer to your complaint, the court will set the wheels in motion. There will be a few steps throughout the case where you’re encouraged to settle your case. This is one of the reasons why 95% of all car accident cases do indeed settle out of court.
Your Navarre Car Accident Lawyer Will Conduct Discovery
By this point, both sides are going to have started their investigations to determine fault. The insurance company has a team of people that do nothing but this. They’ll review the police report. They’ll also look at the damage to the cars.
Another thing both sides will do is review the other party’s driving abstract. It’s important to look at the other driver’s driving history to see if they’ve been in other accidents. It will also show if they have a history of being pulled over for things like speeding and DUI.
Discovery is the period of time in which both lawyers can demand certain information from the other side. This way, the court can make sure everyone is on the same level playing field when it comes to trial.
Some of the different types of discover include:
- Depositions – This is when your lawyer can sit down with a witness and ask them whatever questions they choose. It’s similar to a cross-examination in court in the sense that the lawyers are there and can object to certain lines of questioning. The big difference is that the party usually still has to answer the question. A deposition is one way to get information you don’t otherwise have. The answers to a deposition can be used to prepare your case.
- Notice to Produce – Your lawyer can request that the other driver’s lawyer turn over certain documents. There are limitations to what you can demand. However, in car accident cases, this may be limited to things like witness statements or medical records.
- Interrogatories – These are like a deposition, only the questions are in writing. They’re a common tool used by personal injury attorneys. The other party only has about a month to respond to interrogatories. So the responses are relatively quick.
As mentioned before, there are multiple times when the attorneys are encouraged to settle. In Florida, you’ll attend mediation in an effort to settle your case out of court. This involves an impartial mediator (usually another lawyer) to sit down with both sides and try to hash out an agreement.
Even if your case doesn’t settle at mediation, that doesn’t mean it won’t settle shortly thereafter. Most cases do settle out of court. Mediation is a good tool because it gives both sides of idea of what the judge will do should the case go to trial.
If, for some reason, your lawyer can’t negotiate a settlement of your case, it’ll go to trial. This is very rare. Nobody ever wants to go to trial. They’re time consuming and expensive. Plus, you face the risk of losing.
95% of all personal injury cases settle before trial. You can settle all the way up to and during trial if you want to. Your Navarre car accident lawyer will work hard to negotiate a settlement of your case long before trial.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Navarre, Florida
If you’re injured in a car accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Navarre, Florida. Your attorney is going to work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call and schedule your initial consultation today.
The initial consultation is absolutely free. You can sit down with an experienced lawyer and ask any questions you may have. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.