CAN SOMEONE SUE ME IF THE CAR ACCIDENT CASE WAS SETTLED?
If a car accident victim accepts an insurance settlement, they can’t sue you for more money later on. However, someone can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an individual instead of an insurer. The most common reasons at-fault drivers face litigation is not having insurance or the insurance claim exceeding policy limits.
Most claims don’t go over policy limits. However, if they do, at-fault drivers should have an asset protection plan in place. That can include appropriate liability insurance and additional coverages. Otherwise, at-fault drivers risk financially devastating lawsuits.
Fortunately, Florida laws offer many ways to protect your assets after an at-fault accident. However, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Continue reading to learn the importance of protecting your assets before and after at-fault collisions.
Can Someone Sue You After Your Insurance Pays?
Suppose a personal injury claimant accepts your insurance company’s settlement offer. In that case, they can no longer pursue damages against you or the insurer.
However, if you’re underinsured, a plaintiff and their auto accident attorney may decide that they can get more money by foregoing a personal injury settlement and taking you to court instead.
That’s why it’s essential to have adequate insurance coverage in place to decrease the likelihood of personal liability in the event of an at-fault accident.
How Do I Protect My Assets After a Car Accident?
A personal injury lawsuit has the potential to decimate your finances. With that in mind, there are legal and procedural steps that at-fault drivers can take to help protect assets. Generally, a seasoned car accident attorney is likely to recommend the following:
- Talk with your insurer to learn if the personal injury claim is expected to exceed your policy limits.
- Learn what assets Florida law protects if the injured party decides to file a lawsuit against you.
- Design and act on a plan to legally protect certain assets.
- Prove to the court that any collection activities would be challenging by submitting a financial affidavit.
It’s essential to note that attempting to hide, transfer, or otherwise illegally protect assets when facing a lawsuit can lead to fraudulent conveyance claims.
What Options Do Plaintiffs Have If The Damages Exceed The Insurance Payout?
Car accident plaintiffs can exercise many options to obtain compensation for personal injuries. A judgment creditor can access financial records, garnish bank accounts, or garnish wages. Learn more about each below.
Access to Financial Records
Judgment creditors can review all of a debtor’s (defendant) financial records, including bank statements, tax returns, wage statements, and more. Further, victorious plaintiffs can require the defendant to make a legally binding deposition that outlines all assets and finances.
Bank Account Garnishment
The most common and useful method for collecting car accident judgments is bank account garnishment. A Writ of Garnishment can be obtained from the Clerk of Court. The plaintiff must then serve the defendant’s bank.
When the bank receives the Writ of Garnishment, they immediately freeze all accounts of the debtor. Once frozen, the bank informs the creditor of the account details, including the amount of money in the account at the time of garnishment.
In addition to bank account garnishment, creditors can also garnish a debtor’s wages. Wage garnishment involves directing the defendant’s employer to garnish up to one-fourth of their wages. Wage garnishment can continue until all debts are paid.
Defenses to Bank Account and Wage Garnishment in Florida
There are ways to protect your finances after an at-fault accident in Florida. A few of the most common methods to defend your bank account and wages against garnishment include but are not limited to:
- Head-of-Household Protections: At-fault drivers considered the “head of household” in Florida are typically exempted from a bank account and wage garnishment (up to six months’ wages).
- Joint Accounts: Certain types of joint accounts are exempt from garnishment. That’s especially true of accounts shared with a non-debtor spouse who holds equal equity and survivorship rights to the account.
- Exempt Income: Income from sources like social security, disability benefits, and annuities are exempt from collections and garnishment.
It’s recommended that at-fault drivers review their finances, fix any vulnerabilities, and submit a financial affidavit to increase the chances of avoiding litigation.
In many cases, if a plaintiff and their auto accident lawyer don’t believe they can collect more from you than the insurer, they will likely settle with the insurance company.
Contact A Florida Auto Accident Attorney
Sometimes, “at-fault drivers” are not entirely to blame for the accident. In that case, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you prove the other party’s negligence and potentially avoid a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Shrier Law Group today to discuss the details of your case with a skilled Florida auto accident attorney.
TOP WAYS TO PROVE WHIPLASH IN COURT
More than 3 million people suffer from accident-induced whiplash injuries every year. Whiplash is more likely to occur as a result of rear-end collisions, but that’s not the only way it can happen.
Generally, any type of accident that causes your neck to suddenly and forcefully jerk can lead to whiplash injuries. If you’ve suffered a severe whiplash injury in an accident, you may incur significant damages resulting from:
- Medical bills
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can significantly increase your odds of receiving maximum compensation. Contact a skilled Florida car accident attorney at Shrier Law Group today to learn how we can help.
Continue reading to learn the top ways to prove whiplash in court.
What is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash occurs when the neck suffers an injury due to a forceful back-and-forth movement. Generally, whiplash symptoms may include but are not limited to:
- Stiff neck
- Increased neck pain with movement
- Decreased range of motion in the neck
- Head pains, usually beginning at the base of the skull
- Tender shoulders, upper back, or arms
- Numb or tingling feeling in the arms
- Dizziness and tiredness
In more severe cases, whiplash can lead to blurred vision, ringing in the ears, mental health problems, lack of sleep, and more. If you suspect a whiplash injury after an accident, it’s essential to see a physician and contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
How Can You Prove You Have Whiplash?
Individuals who have experienced whiplash resulting from another driver’s negligence have the right to file a claim against the defendant and their insurer. However, your car accident attorney must prove the following four elements of a personal injury case before you can receive compensation: Duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Learn more about each below.
The Defendant Owed You A Duty of Care
All Florida drivers owe others on the road a reasonable duty of care. That means that drivers must take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of others on the road. That duty of care extends to other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, passengers, and more.
They Breached That Duty of Care
The second step in proving whiplash in court is to prove that the defendant committed an act of negligence that caused the collision. Examples of negligent driving include but are not limited to:
- Lack of control of a vehicle
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
Generally, any act that an otherwise “prudent driver” wouldn’t make can be considered negligence in car accident cases.
Their Negligence Caused Your Whiplash Injuries
Negligence is not enough to secure compensation for whiplash injuries. In addition to a breached duty of care, your car accident attorney must prove your injuries directly resulted from the other driver’s negligence.
Proving causation often requires the help of a skilled car accident attorney, solid evidence, and sometimes, expert medical witnesses.
You Suffered Damages Resulting From the Whiplash
Lastly, your car accident attorney needs to prove that you suffered losses resulting from your whiplash injuries. Damages can include the cost of medical treatment, lost income, rehabilitation costs, and more.
Is it Worth Suing For Whiplash?
Not all whiplash cases in Florida are worth pursuing. In many cases, whiplash symptoms are mild or disappear in a few days. If you don’t suffer damages due to the injury, it can be challenging for a car accident attorney to secure compensation.
Whiplash cases are notoriously difficult to prove, even with solid evidence. For that reason, it’s in your best interest to consult with a proven car accident lawyer before pursuing a personal injury case for whiplash.
Your attorney can advise you of your chances of winning, the best steps to take, and how much you can expect in a personal injury case.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney For Whiplash Injuries
Suppose you’ve sustained significant damages resulting from car accident-induced whiplash injuries. In that case, it’s in your best interest to consult with a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Our personal injury attorneys have collected hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured car collision victims. We’re confident that we can help you secure the best possible outcome in your case as well.
We’re here to assess your case, guide you through the process, and fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact Schrier Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation with a proven Florida car accident lawyer.
WILL MY CAR ACCIDENT CASE ACTUALLY GO TO TRIAL?
If you’re seeking damages for a car accident, your case may go to trial, but it’s not likely. Most car collision cases are settled during negotiations or pre-trial mediation.
Generally, insurers and litigants prefer to settle because it’s less expensive and takes less time. However, insurance companies and claimants sometimes can’t agree on a settlement. In that case, going to court with a car accident attorney may be the only option.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a collision, but the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, you have options. Contact Schrier Law Group today to speak with a proven car accident attorney.
Continue reading to learn more about car accident trials in Florida.
How Many Car Accident Cases Actually Go To Court?
Nearly 95% of all personal injury cases are settled out of court. That means that your case is not likely to go to trial. However, if you do, you should be aware that only 57% of car accident trials are decided in favor of the plaintiff. A few factors that can enhance your chances of a favorable outcome include:
- Most insurers prefer settling out of court because they have more control over the outcome.
- The burden of proof for car accident cases is much lower than other types of personal injury claims.
A few factors that could limit your ability to win a car accident settlement include:
- Lack of proof that the defendant caused the accident
- Minimal damages caused by the collision
- Inexperienced car accident attorney representing the plaintiff
What to Expect When Appearing in Court For an Accident
Every car accident case is different. Generally, if your car accident attorney cannot negotiate a fair settlement, you can expect the following to occur at trial.
- You and the insurer are unable to reach an out-of-court settlement.
- Your car accident lawyer files a lawsuit against the defendant.
- The defendant’s insurance company hires a lawyer to represent them during the trial.
- Pre-trial process including discovery, motion practice, and mediation.
- The car accident trial begins.
- Both parties present their evidence (i.e., photos, eyewitness testimony, expert witnesses, etc.) while attempting to discredit the other party
- The plaintiff may be required to testify and face cross-examination.
- The judge or jury will decide on fault and award damages (if the plaintiff is successful)
It’s important to note that only a slight majority of car accident trials end in success for the plaintiff. If you’ve received an unfavorable ruling, your car accident attorney can take steps to appeal the decision.
How Long Does a Car Accident Trial Last?
The length of a car accident trial depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, how many drivers were involved in the collision, and the experience of your car accident attorney.
Generally, car accident trials can be as short as a few days or as long as many weeks. The most lengthy part of going to court is the pre-trial phase. Pre-trial can last for many months, sometimes up to one year.
Further, the time to conclude the case can be lengthier if an appeal is filed after the original ruling. The best method to ensure the fastest outcome in your case is to hire a proven car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf before going to trial.
If your lawyer is successful, you could receive maximum compensation weeks or months after filing your claim.
How Can I Strengthen My Car Accident Claim?
You can do a few things to make negotiations easier and faster for your car accident attorney. They include, but are not limited to:
- Seek immediate medical attention after an accident, even if you’re unsure that you’ve suffered injuries
- Note the responding police officer’s contact information, and obtain a copy of the police report
- Identify eyewitnesses and get their contact information
- Collect important evidence like photos, videos footage, weather conditions, etc.
- Maintain a written account of your injuries, pain, and rehabilitation efforts
- Contact a car accident lawyer quickly after the collision
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
Working with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer can dramatically increase your chances of a successful outcome in your personal injury case. A proven attorney knows how to negotiate with insurers, present compelling evidence, and secure the best possible settlement.
The car accident attorneys at Schrier Law Group have collected more than $500 million for injured accident victims. Our skilled legal team is aggressive, creative, and ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to speak with a proven Florida car accident attorney.
HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA
If you’ve sustained injuries due to an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you can pursue several types of damages (i.e., economic, non-economic, and punitive damages) by filing a personal injury claim.
However, it can be challenging to recover the maximum compensation owed when negotiating with insurers, which is especially true if you intend to pursue non-economic damages like:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Activities
- Worsened prior injuries due to the collision
- Emotional Distress
In most cases, getting maximum compensation requires the skill and experience of a proven Florida auto accident attorney. That’s because, unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don’t have an exact monetary value attached to them.
File Your Personal Injury Claim Within The Florida Statute of Limitations
According to Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), individuals have four years to file a personal injury suit against another person. However, there are exceptions, including but not limited to:
- The injured person was incapacitated (i.e., short or long-term mental illness) at the time of the accident. In that case, the statute of limitations is seven years from the date of the accident.
- The individual who caused the accident leaves Florida after the accident, but before the lawsuit is filed AND the defendant attempted to conceal their identity in order to prevent or delay a lawsuit.
Generally, your Florida accident attorney is likely to suggest filing a personal injury claim much earlier than the statute of limitations allows to ensure fresh evidence and memories from the scene.
Prove The Other Parties Negligence
Negligence is the cornerstone of most personal injury cases. Generally, Florida regards negligence as the failure to use reasonable care that an otherwise reasonably responsible person would use under similar circumstances. To win a negligence-based personal injury case, you must prove the following:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care
- The defendant did not provide (breached) their duty of care
- As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff suffers injuries
- The injuries sustained by the plaintiff are compensable
Furnish Proof of Your Injuries and Damages
Receiving maximum compensation for your injuries requires concrete proof of the injuries sustained. Generally, the best way to document your injuries and their effect on your life include:
- Obtaining evidence from the scene include pictures and videos
- Seeking immediate medical attention and strictly following physician orders
- Adhering to all prescribed rehabilitation
- Writing daily journal entries after the accident describing your injuries, pain, etc.
- Waiting to settle the case until you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
- Hire a Florida auto accident attorney who can help you build your case
Clearly Convey Pain And Suffering And How it’s Linked to the Accident
Before you can pursue damages for pain and suffering, it’s essential to understand what qualifies as pain and suffering in Florida. Generally, pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain the plaintiff endures due to the accident and subsequent injuries.
Common examples of pain and suffering include headaches, body pain, neck pain, etc. Further emotional pain and suffering can include sleeplessness, PTSD, fear, anxiety, etc., resulting from the collision.
It’s important to clearly differentiate your pain and suffering post-accident from your life before the accident occurred. That means that you and your Florida accident attorney need to prove how your life has worsened after the accident.
Stay Away From Social Media
If you’re claiming significant economic and non-economic damages in your personal injury case, it’s essential not to publish posts on social media sites that could infer otherwise. For example, if you’re claiming serious back injuries, but your Facebook page shows videos of you energetically participating in physically strenuous activities, your case could suffer. Most auto accident attorneys recommend staying away from all social media activities until the conclusion of your case.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Attorney Today
Suppose you’ve suffered significant injuries resulting from the negligence of another party. In that case, you may be eligible to receive maximum compensation for your damages. However, recovering maximum damages isn’t always an easy task.
Hiring the best Florida auto accident attorney for your situation can be the difference between a successful personal injury claim and an unsuccessful claim.
At Schrier Law Group, our auto accident lawyers have been instrumental in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in personal injury cases. We’re confident that we can help you achieve the best results in your case as well. Contact us today at 1-800-700-7285 for your free initial consultation.
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT WHILE DRIVING
If you were to ask an experienced car accident lawyer what’s the most surprising (and common) reason why people get into accidents, they would likely say “eating.” That’s right, eating while driving may be convenient, but it can also be dangerous and deadly.
In fact, the CDC considers eating while driving among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. That’s because it can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, occupy their hands, and distract their attention.
With that in mind, if you’ve suffered injuries in an accident due to another person eating while driving, you may be eligible for maximum compensation. Contact a proven Florida car accident lawyer at Schrier Law Group today at 1-888-831-2688 for your free initial consultation.
Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of eating while driving.
Is It Illegal to Eat While Driving?
It’s not illegal to eat while driving in Florida or any other state. However, it’s still not recommended to do so. That’s because eating while driving can lead to dangerous driving, resulting in getting stopped by the police. Further, in worst-case scenarios, eating while driving can result in catastrophic accidents.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Eat While Driving
Recent studies confirm that eating while driving increases the risk of getting into an accident by three times compared to a driver who is not eating. A few additional compelling reasons to avoid consuming food while operating a car include:
- Eating while driving leads to a 44% decrease in a drivers reaction time
- Drinking while operating a car lowers reaction time by more than 20%
- Certain food can make your hands slippery and unable to safely grasp your steering wheel to get out of danger
- Spilling food while driving can lead to more extreme distractions while you attempt to clean
- Depending on what you’re eating, your food may block certain parts of your vision
- Nearly 65% of all “near-miss” accidents are the result of distracted drivers eating or drinking
- Drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident while drinking or eating
- A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that eating or drinking while behind the wheel increases your risk of an accident by more than 80%
Generally, there are three types of distracted driving. They include taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, or taking your mind off of driving. Eating food while operating a car falls into all three categories.
How to Stop Eating While Driving
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people per year in the U.S. and results in thousands of injuries. However, stopping the habit of eating while driving isn’t always easy. Listed below, we’ve listed a few proven methods to help you avoid consuming food or drinks while behind the wheel.
- Eat before you get into your car or after you’ve reached your destination. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to eat before work, if needed.
- Keep snacks out of your car, or keep them in the trunk.
- If you get hungry while driving, pull over into a parking lot or otherwise safe area and eat.
- Try not to drink. But if it’s necessary, opt for a secured and ergonomically designed drink holder (to avoid spills).
Although you may be ready to walk away from eating while driving, a recent ExxonMobil survey shows that more than 70% of the other drivers on the road continue to eat and drive.
With that in mind, if you’ve suffered injuries resulting from an accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more below.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
You can control your actions and limit your distractions while driving. However, there’s nothing you can do about other drivers who engage in distracted driving. Suppose you were recently in an accident in Florida due to another driver eating while driving. In that case, it’s recommended that you immediately consult with the best Florida car accident lawyer for your circumstances.
A car accident lawyer at Schrier Law Group can investigate your claims, help you prove that the other driver caused the accident as a result of them eating while driving, and seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
If you’ve suffered injuries due to the negligence or distractions of another motorist, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation with a proven Florida car accident lawyer.
HOW DEFENSIVE DRIVING CAN PREVENT A CAR ACCIDENT FROM HAPPENING
Did you know that 77% of drivers have been in at least one accident in their life? In many cases, individuals involved in accidents are not at fault, and they are the victim of a reckless or distracted driver. With that in mind, learning and practicing defensive driving techniques can help you and your family to avoid a major collision while driving.
What is defensive driving? Defensive driving is the practice of using safe driving techniques to avoid accidents by predicting potential hazards and doing your best to stay away from them.
Drivers who routinely use defensive driving techniques can expect:
- Decreased insurance premiums
- Lowered risk of being the victim of an accident
- Reduced risk of causing an accident
If you’ve already suffered injuries resulting from the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries, property damage, and more. Contact Paul Schrier at Schrier Law Group at 1-800-700-PAUL for your free initial consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Continue reading to learn more about how defensive driving can help drivers avoid accidents.
How Can Defensive Driving Help Drivers Avoid Accidents?
No defensive driving technique is 100 percent effective. However, regularly practicing defensive driving skills can drastically improve your chances of making it to your destination without getting into an accident. A few of the most effective methods to avoid car collisions in Florida are listed below.
Follow The Law And Pay Attention to The Signs
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding contributes to 26% of all traffic fatalities. While it may seem normal to go a bit faster than the posted speed limit, you should be aware that doing so drastically increases your risk of getting into an accident.
Further, it’s essential to pay attention to posted signs like:
- School zones
- Children at play / recreation zones
- Slippery when wet
Driving at a safe speed and paying attention to posted signs can help you and your family avoid disaster while driving on Florida roads and highways.
Only Use The Passing Lane When Necessary
The passing lane (the lane furthest to the left) is meant for drivers who need to increase their speed to pass other drivers momentarily. Generally, it’s not recommended to remain in the passing lane for most of your trip. Doing so can lead to traffic congestion and potentially create unsafe conditions for you and other drivers on the road, especially if you’re driving at a reasonable speed while in the passing lane.
Use Defensive Driving Techniques to Avoid Dangerous Situations
While driving, it’s imperative to practice the three defensive driving techniques that are proven to help drivers avoid accidents. What are the three basic principles of defensive driving?
- Always put safety first (i.e., higher importance than speed, comfort, or fun) and follow the rules of the road.
- Be courteous with other drivers and be aware of unsafe driving conditions and reckless driving behaviors.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained (i.e., brakes, mirrors, tires, etc.).
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
According to the CDC, approximately eight people are killed every day in car accidents due to distracted driving. Distractions can lead to devastating collisions that put you and other drivers at risk of injury or worse. With that in mind, examples of distractions you should avoid while driving include but are not limited to:
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
- Typing in directions while operating your car
- Eating and driving
- Sending or reading a text message or similar
Hope For The Best But Prepare For The Worst
Accidents can happen anywhere, to anyone, and at any time. With that in mind, it’s essential to be ready for the worst-case scenario. That means that you should always assume that another driver is capable of causing a dangerous situation. A few things you can do to help yourself prepare for the worse include keeping a safe distance, getting off the road when you notice unsafe driving, and practicing patient driving techniques.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Sometimes, defensive driving techniques aren’t enough to help you avoid the recklessness of another driver. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another driver, you may be entitled to maximum compensation. Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you:
- Identify and collect evidence
- Negotiate with insurance providers
- Calculate your damages
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Contact Schrier Law Group today at 1-800-700-7285 to discuss your case with a proven auto accident lawyer.
CAN YOU SUE YOUR INSURANCE AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
If you get into an accident (specifically one that’s not your fault), your insurance owes you a duty to compensate you for injuries and property damages. However, in many cases, insurance providers fall short on their side of the bargain. Insurance companies will often find ways to deny or underpay claims by:
- Contesting the cause of the injuries
- Disputing the extent of your injuries, or
- Claiming a lack of evidence to establish fault
Many insurance companies are known for denying claims in bad faith or neglecting to properly investigate a claim before issuing a denial. Further, insurance companies are much more likely to take advantage of claimants who are not represented by a formidable auto accident lawyer.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and your insurance company denies your claim or makes a lowball offer, you have options. Contact Schrier Law Group at 1-800-700-7285 for your free initial consultation with a proven auto accident lawyer.
Why Would You Sue Your Car Insurance After an Auto Accident?
Car insurance can help to pay for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses in the event of a collision. However, in many cases, insurers make lowball offers, refuse to pay out viable claims, and use bad faith practices when dealing with auto accident claimants.
The most common reasons to sue your own car insurance company include:
- The driver that causes the accident doesn’t have insurance, you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, and your insurance refuses to pay your damages or makes a low settlement offer.
- The driver that causes the accident doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover your damages, you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, so you pursue additional damages through your policy.
If your insurance company neglects to hold up its end of the bargain, you have options. Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can drastically improve your odds of getting maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
Continue reading to learn more about a recent successful personal injury suit against a major insurance provider in the next section.
Case Study: Ryan J. Burke v. Hernando Lancheros and VL Auto Transport, Inc.
In 2016, Ryan Burke was heading westbound on the I-4 in Orlando. Suddenly, he was struck by a tractor-trailer (going in the opposite direction) and subsequently collided with a concrete barrier. Seconds later, another westbound vehicle rear-ended Mr. Burke.
Mr. Burke suffered serious back injuries due to the collision. With the help of his auto accident lawyer, Ryan Burke sued his employer, the driver of the tractor-trailer, the employer of the driver, and his insurer (Horace Mann Property & Casualty Insurance Co.) to recover his underinsured-motorist benefits.
Fortunately, he hired a skilled Florida auto accident lawyer to represent him. Mr. Burke’s auto accident lawyer successfully negotiated a settlement north of $6 million. If he didn’t hire a proven auto accident attorney, it’s not as likely that he would have received maximum compensation (especially without going to court).
Should I Sue My Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
In most cases, a lawsuit is not necessary. However, it’s recommended that you hire an auto accident lawyer to help you negotiate with your insurer. Insurance companies are notorious for making low-ball offers, denying viable claims, and hindering all attempts to receive maximum compensation for injuries and damages.
An experienced auto accident attorney will ensure that your losses are well-documented, all of your forms are submitted without error, and aggressively fight for the maximum damages you are owed. In the event that your insurer still refuses to pay you fair compensation (even after hiring a lawyer), your auto accident lawyer can file suit.
Further, an attorney can play an instrumental role in pursuing damages from all parties involved in the collision. Attempting to recover damages from multiple parties is generally a complex task reserved for the most skilled personal injury attorneys.
Contact The Best Auto Accident Lawyer in Florida Today
Our auto accident lawyers at Schrier Law Group let our results speak for themselves. To date, we’ve recovered more than $500 million for accident victims in Florida. We take pride in standing up to the insurance companies, asserting our client’s rights, and pursuing maximum compensation for every client.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to no fault of your own, it’s in your best interest to consult with the best auto accident lawyer for your circumstances. Negotiating with insurers on your own can lead to:
- Delayed settlements
- Denied claims
- Low-ball offers
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FLORIDA AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR YOU
If you’ve recently suffered property damage or serious injuries in a Florida car accident, you need an auto accident lawyer you can trust. The caliber of attorney you hire will directly impact your ability to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
With that in mind, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and ask lawyers specific questions about their experience, qualifications, and their perspective on your case. This article covers tips and tricks that will help you find the right car accident attorney for your case.
Continue reading to learn how to find the right Florida auto accident lawyer for you.
Do Your Research Before Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer
Before you search for a car accident lawyer online. It’s always a good idea to first check with friends, family, and colleagues for references. Whether you find an attorney online or via recommendations, it’s never a good idea to hire the first lawyer referred to you.
Rather, we recommend learning the following before making a decision:
- Primary practice area
- Online reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, etc.
- The status of their license and any potential disciplinary actions against them
- Whether or not your lawyer will handle your case or a member of their staff
Further, be sure to have a conversation with your potential car accident lawyer before hiring them. The way an attorney communicates with you can make or break your levels of satisfaction with their service. So, be sure that they are a good fit before trusting them with your case.
Search For Lawyers Who Specialize in Personal Injury Law
Many lawyers dabble in multiple practice areas. While that extra experience can be a great asset sometimes, it’s not necessarily what you want in a Florida accident lawyer. The best persona injury lawyers are masters of their practice area. They eat, sleep, and breathe personal injury law.
Attorney’s who have a split focus may miss important changes in the law, lack experience negotiating with insurance companies, or make errors in court if your case goes to trial. Generally, the more court experience (with personal injury law), the better.
Look for These Traits in Your Attorney
Once you’ve narrowed down a list of two to three potential car accident lawyers, you should look to hire the attorney who exhibits the following traits before, during, and after your initial consultation:
- Effective and clear communication – You want to know that your lawyer will always tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Further, be sure to note how quickly you receive answers to your questions, return phone calls, etc.
- Open to Providing references – If an attorney claims to be experienced, they should have at least a few clients who are willing to vouch for their services. If an attorney seems hesitant to provide references, they may not be the best option for your case.
- Organization skills – A disorganized car accident lawyer is more likely to make errors on paperwork, miss deadlines, and lose documents.
- Years of successful experience: Experience with car accident cases is only helpful if the attorney has a history of success in personal injury cases. Be sure to ask potential lawyers about their record in court as well as cases they’ve worked on that were similar to yours.
Ask a Your Potential Lawyer These Questions
It can be a challenge to remember everything you should ask a potential auto accident lawyer during your initial consultation. With that in mind, we’ve provided a list of important questions you should have clear answers to before hiring a lawyer. They include but are not limited to:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- Do you work exclusively on personal injury cases?
- What is your comfort level and experience with going to trial?
- Have you worked on cases similar to mine? If so, what was the outcome?
- What are some examples of recent settlement offers you’ve secured?
- If I hire you, who will handle my case, and who will I be in contact with?
- How soon can I expect a response when I call, text, or email?
- How do you bill, and when am I expected to pay?
Have you been injured in a car accident? Don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue damages.
Our auto accident attorneys are skilled, experienced, and ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer at Schrier Law Group for your free initial consultation today.
Can Tailgating Cause Car Accidents?
Nearly one-third of all car accidents involve rear-ending. With that in mind, yes. Tailgating can cause serious car accidents. Generally, when tailgating occurs, it leaves the driver a very small margin for error.
If the lead car needs to slam on brakes to avoid a collision or hazard, the tailgater has little option but to hit the car in front of them. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about tailgating, how to avoid it, and what to do if you’re involved in a rear-end collision.
Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Tailgaiting?
Tailgating occurs when a person drives too closely behind another vehicle. Most experts recommend leaving at least two car lengths of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you (when driving at slow speed).
It’s advisable to leave much more space when traveling on the highways or at faster speeds. However, when that space is decreased (even by a few feet), it severely limits a driver’s ability to avoid collisions.
How to Avoid Tailgating
Most drivers are guilty of tailgating at one time or another. However, it’s in your best interest to avoid the practice as much as possible. With that in mind, you should consider the following when driving:
- Remain conscious of your surroundings
- Limit distractions (i.e., cell phones, food, etc.)
- Keep as much space between you and the next driver as possible
- If you’re tired, pull over and take a nap in a safe place
- Get your brakes, tires, and tire pressure checked regularly
- Don’t be in a rush when driving – it can be deadly
You can control whether or not you tailgate other vehicles. However, you have no control over other drivers on the road. Continue reading to learn tips to stay away from tailgaters while driving.
How to Stay Away From Tailgators
Tailgating isn’t always due to intentional recklessness. On the contrary, most tailgaters are not aware of their proximity to the car in front of them due to several factors such as:
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while distracted
- Driving aggressively
- Drunk or drugged driving
Suppose you notice a car tailgating your vehicle or another close-by vehicle. In that case, it’s recommended that you move your car to the shoulder and allow the tailgater to pass.
If that’s not possible under the circumstances, take the soonest turn off the road or highways that you can. If you’re unable to get away from another car driving too close to yours, it may be helpful to drive a bit slower. That may incentivize the tailgating driver to switch lanes.
The most important thing here is to pay attention to other drivers around you and take precautions when you notice tailgating. Doing so could save you a lot of frustration, pain, time, and potentially, money.
Who’s at Fault in Tailgating Accidents?
In most cases, the tailgater is liable for accidents. The logic is that they may have avoided the accident if they allowed the recommended space between the next car. However, in some cases, the lead driver is liable for tailgating accidents.
A few possible scenarios that could result in the lead driver being held liable for an accident include but are not limited to:
- The lead driver unlawfully or recklessly pulled in front of the rear driver
- The lead driver slams on the brakes for no apparent reason
- Instances of road rage or insurance fraud
- Drunk or drugged driving
- The lead driver was distracted
It’s not easy to prove the lead driver is responsible for a car accident. However, it’s not impossible either.
If you’re involved in a rear-end collision (where you believe it was the lead driver’s fault), it’s in your best interest to identify as many eyewitnesses as possible before leaving the scene.
What to do If You Are Injured in a Tailgating Accident
Common injuries in tailgating accidents include whiplash, traumatic brain injury (TBI), injuries to the lower extremities, facial injuries, and more. If you’re injured in a rear-end collision, it’s in your best interest to take the following steps:
- Check on the other driver’s involved in the accident
- Contact the police, notify your insurance, and call an ambulance if necessary
- Call an experienced auto accident lawyer
- Collect evidence at the scene (i.e., pictures, videos, eyewitness information)
- Seek immediate medical attention
If you’ve been injured in a tailgating accident in Florida, working with a proven auto accident lawyer can be the difference between maximum compensation and no compensation.
Contact Schrier Law Group for your free initial consultation with a proven auto accident lawyer in Florida today.
When Should I Call an Auto Accident Attorney After an Accident?
The legal advice offered by an experienced auto accident lawyer can save you time, frustration, and a lot of money. However, if you wait too long, your injuries may worsen, and you could lose your right to ever recover damages.
Are you unsure if you should call a Florida auto accident lawyer after your accident? Listed below, are a few of the most common examples of when an accident attorney can benefit you.
- An insurance company requests medical records from before the accident
- An insurance company has made you a lowball offer
- An insurance company is offering a structured settlement rather than a total lump sum
- It’s difficult to prove that you lost wages
- It’s unclear who is responsible for an accident
- More than one party may be liable for the accident
- You require assistance negotiating a fair settlement
- You’re unsure how to calculate your damages
Contact the auto accident lawyers at Schrier Law Group today for a free consultation – we can help. Continue reading to learn when you should call an attorney after a car accident.
Should You Always Call a Lawyer After an Accident?
Accident victims who seek skillful legal representation typically fare much better in settlement negotiations. Accident law experts recommend seeking legal representation when:
- An insurance company denies your claim
- Liability is unclear
- The case may require expert investigators or witnesses
- The insurance company is making lowball offers
- The injured party is a minor
- The other party has filed a lawsuit against you
- You are injured and have significant medical bills
- You are not at fault or partially at fault for the accident
- Your quality of life has been affected by your accident
- You are temporarily or permanently disabled because of the accident
Waiting to call an attorney could harm your claim. For negligence lawsuits, there is generally only a four-year time limitation for when you must file a lawsuit within. If a family member or loved one tragically died, due to a negligent driver in a car accident, then you often only have two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
According to Florida Statute 627.736, (the Florida Pip Statute), you only have 14 days to see a doctor after an auto. accident. If you fail to seek medical treatment promptly and within 14 days, after you sustain injuries from an auto accident, the Pip insurance company will almost always legally deny paying your hospital and your medical provider’s bills that would typically be paid by your Pip Insurance Company under Florida’s no fault laws.
What is Comparative Negligence?
If there is an accident, then comparative negligence leads to the division of monetary compensation, from each careless party, based on the fault that each party is found responsible for. If the total value of your negligence case was determined to be worth $200,000 and two drivers caused the accident, (one driver was determined to be 80% at fault and the other driver found to be 20% responsible), each driver would contribute a proportional percentage of their fault for the accident. ($160,000 & $40,000 respectively).
Insurers use comparative negligence to determine how much blame or fault to accept, before paying you for your claim & case. Florida’s comparative negligence statutes award damages for accidents proportionally based on the determination of the degrees of each party’s negligence.
What if the Driver Leaves the Scene After an Accident in Florida?
Under Florida Statutes, Sections 316.061-316.063, individuals who leave the scene of an accident that involves bodily injury, property damage, or death violate the law. If one leaves the scene after causing an injury, it is a felony in Florida.
A person can be convicted for leaving the scene of a Florida accident if they:
- Operate a vehicle involved in an accident, and it led to severe injury or death of another person or property damage.
- You were aware, or you should have been aware that you were involved in an accident, but you still fled the scene.
- You willfully chose to leave the scene without providing identifying information to the other person or calling the police.
- You failed to offer much-needed assistance to another individual involved in the accident.
A knowledgeable Florida accident attorney can support those who are victims of hit and runs and those who have been falsely accused.
How Can an Auto Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Hiring an auto accident attorney can improve your chances of recovering money damages in your case. Personal injury law experts recommend hiring a lawyer when it’s not apparent what your damages are or who is at fault.
Negligence and liability aren’t always easy to establish. For that reason, hiring a skilled investigator could make a big difference in your case. It’s important to note that once you’ve accepted an offer from the insurance company, you most likely will also forfeit your right to ever pursue additional damages.
With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney before settling your own case or before signing any papers given to you by an insurance company.
Contact Schrier Law Group Today
Your attorney will protect your rights, explain your legal options, and guide you through the auto accident claims process. Auto accident attorneys handle many matters, including investigating your case, gathering evidence, dealing with insurance companies, filing lawsuits, negotiating, and representing you in court if negotiations fail.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to file an auto accident claim. Call 1-800-700-PAUL today to schedule your free initial case review.