Fort Lauderdale was already a famous beach location in Florida when the novelist John D. MacDonald used it as the site for his Travis McGee series decades ago. Its appeal hasn’t changed all that much since then, and it’s still a favorite hangout for many beach lovers as well as shoppers. Unfortunately, its popularity has made it a prime location for car accidents, and in 2013 21 accidents resulted in 22 fatalities. It’s still important to have a car accident attorney Fort Lauderdale FL tourists and residents can trust, because even now serious car accidents seem to happen every week around here.
Do I Need a Lawyer after a Car Accident?
It’s for that reason you need an experienced negotiator when you deal with the claims adjuster, because in many cases the first offer will be ludicrously low. They will try to convince you that their offer is fair by using their superior knowledge of how car accidents claims process, and laws, work. The car insurance company, after all, is in the car accident business, they deal with them 24/7. You, on the other hand, may be dealing with your first car accident ever. That they don’t immediately offer a fair settlement and instead tries to find an advantage for the insurance company should already tell you where their loyalty lies.
So, without a lawyer, you’re already at a huge disadvantage. Finding a Fort Lauderdale lawyer to represent your case is to your benefit, because at least you have a representative who is sworn to put your best interests before others.
When to Get a Lawyer after an Auto Accident
Your most ideal scenario is if you realize right at the start that you need a lawyer right away. That’s because any statement you make can be used to make you look like you’re the bad guy. And since most of the time the insurance company has to be notified within a short period of time after the accident, you should also have some legal representation as well when you communicate with the claims adjuster.
However, you actually have up to 4 years after the car accident to file a suit. And if you’re going to file against the local or state government, you only have 3 years after the incident. However, any good lawyer will tell you that time it not on your side. The insurance company immediately begins marshalling its resources to justify paying you as little as possible. This is why you need an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney by your side as soon as possible.
When to Call a Lawyer after a Car Accident: Possible Scenarios
If you are in any pain at all following a car accident, you should hire a lawyer. Period.
In addition, lawyers are essential when it’s being alleged that you’re partly responsible for the car accident. The degree of your culpability will determine the reduction on the settlement you’re supposed to get. So if you’re deemed 15% partially responsible for the accident, your settlement may also be reduced by 15% too. This is referred to as comparative negligence and you want an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer who can help minimize or eliminate any comparative negligence assigned to you.
Another possible scenario is when you and your insurance company can’t agree on a single figure for the settlement claim. When that happens, your next course of action is to file a lawsuit against the insurance company so that you can use the court system to compel them to compensate you fairly. And when lawsuits are involved, so must lawyers if you want the odds to go in your favor.
Finally, you may even be able to file a suit against an errant driver who caused the car accident that resulted in your injury. Florida’s no fault law requires your own insurance company to compensate you regardless of who’s at fault. However, this PIP benefit is limited to $10,000.00, which may not even cover your emergency room bill. For any amount above $10,000.00, you need to seek damages from the at-fault party or your own uninsured motorists coverage.
Your lawyer can then argue that your injuries are indeed serious, and they can present the evidence to back up this claim. In general, it usually means you’ve suffered some form of permanent injury, however minor. But it may also mean you have some truly serious disfigurements or scarring.
There’s even the possibility of getting punitive damages. This doesn’t happen often in Florida, but there’s always a chance that a driver at fault may have behaved so outrageously that punitive damages may be warranted and awarded. This is typically seen in drunk-driving scenarios.
How to Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer
You can read numerous car accident lawyer reviews to get a feel of what kind of lawyers get the best ratings. In general, these lawyers work with the most experienced law firms so they have the resources to represent your case to the full. They have investigators who can gather evidence to back up your case and counter-evidence that can negate the case against you. However, nothing will beat the experience of a live 1 on 1 interview with your potential car accident lawyer. We always insist our potential clients meeting with one of our lawyers (not a case manager and not a paralegal). If you cannot get a ride to our office or are hospital bound, we will come to you.
Your lawyer should have extensive experience in pursuing these cases, and they should also have evidence that they’re successful at it. They need to be easily accessible, so you can reach them from your Fort Lauderdale home without difficulty and delay. You can call them up at any time, even during weekends.
How Much Does a Fort Lauderdale Lawyer Cost For a Car Accident Case?
You should never have to pay your attorney up front. You don’t pay for attorney’s fees until you receive Compensation. This is known as a contingency-fee contract and if the lawyer is not successful in obtaining some kind of recovery, you should not pay them a dime.
It naturally follows then, that even the initial consultation should be free of charge as well. This consultation lets you ask specific questions about what the law firm can do for you, and they can also tell you about what you can expect from your case. Meanwhile, they find out about your case to determine whether you have a valid claim so that they can then earn money for their efforts, time, and expert knowledge on the subject. You have to choose them as your law firm, but then they also have to choose you as their client. It’s essentially a mutual partnership.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge For Car Accident Cases After Your Settlement?
Once you receive your settlement, your lawyer then get their fees from the money you get. That percentage will be specified in your payment agreement with your lawyer. The Florida Bar approved contingency fee contract provides that a car accident lawyer should charge no more than 1/3rd of your settlement before filing a law suit and 40% if filing suit is necessary.
Imagine if you didn’t know what you were doing and accepted the first offer that the claims adjuster made. You may not even have enough to cover your medical bills, and you won’t be able to compensate for your lost wages. You probably didn’t even know that you can ask for compensation for expenses connected to your physical condition, including pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Conclusion: Why Get a Lawyer after Car Accident?
It’s simple. With a lawyer, you get a firm idea of what you ought to do after the car accident, so you won’t have to figure it out all by yourself and make mistakes in the process. Your entire attention can also be concentrated on getting well if you’re recovering from injuries. And you’re more likely to get a much bigger settlement even after your law firm has deducted its fees, compared to what you may have received had you decided to do it on your own.
In other words, with the right car accident attorney Fort Lauderdale FL you can get the professional assistance you truly deserve.
With the right car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale FL residents can rest assured that they will receive whatever compensation they deserve. So give us a call today @ 305-931-6666. We want to earn your trust, your respect and only then would love to assist you thorough this crucial process. Give us a call today.