At David & Philpot, P.L., you can be confident when working with a car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL offers from our firm. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge about Florida’s motor vehicle laws and how they can affect your personal injury claim. Call us today to find out more after speaking with a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL from our firm.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Lakeland, FL
After a car accident, victims may be dealing with serious injuries and enormous stress. With so much to focus on, developing a legal strategy to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for their damages may not be their priority. Unfortunately, if victims don’t protect their rights from the onset, it may make it difficult if not impossible to recover their damages. Not only will delays allow accident scene evidence to disappear, key eyewitnesses’ memories can fade.
Overall, as time passes it becomes more and more challenging to build a strong case to defend your rights. When you contact a car accident lawyer from David & Philpot, P.L. after sustaining a serious injury, we may represent your best interests. Learn about What Happens in an Out-of-State Car Accident?.
Car Accident Claims and Settlements FAQ
The personal injury claims process is considerably complex and takes time to navigate. Once you have made it through mediation and negotiations, or in some cases through a hearing, you’ll likely have more questions about how you’ll actually receive your settlement.
Questions related to the settlement process are all too common; however, there is no perfect answer for each one. This is because every case is inherently different and will be dependent on the insurance company or negligent party involved in the claim. For instance, one insurance company might issue settlement checks within 30 days; others might take 6-8 weeks. Medical billers may also have their own regulations for billing and receiving payments. This is particularly common when Medicaid or Medicare is a factor. You should discuss this situation with your car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL to get a clear understanding of what you can expect.
A General Explanation of the Settlement Process
As you maneuver through the process of a car accident claim you might reach a point that involves negotiations and finally a settlement offer. If the offer is fair and just, you might decide to accept — but then what happens? Following your official acceptance, the process to receive your compensation will begin. Here’s what you should know:
The Insurance Company Issues the Check – If you’ve won your settlement with the help of a car accident lawyer, there is a good chance that a check will be mailed to the firm. You might be responsible for executing the check, and then the firm may deposit the money into a trust fund or bank account. This should be discussed beforehand.
Clearing the Settlement – After you have received the check, it will need to be cleared by the bank. Typically this takes between 7 and 10 working days.
Reimbursements – Most likely, your settlement will have liens on it. These liens could come from insurance companies, medical doctors, investigators, and other parties. If you’re unsure whether or not there are pre-existing liens, you can ask your car accident lawyer or look into the following:
- Medical Bills: In nearly all car accident cases, you will be required to pay back your medical providers for any treatment rendered. In many cases, if your medical records were given to your lawyer at no cost, there is a lien. If your lawyers had to pay for the records, there is typically no lien. However, you are likely still responsible for covering outstanding debts.
- Your Lawyer: When your car accident case has been taken on a contingency fee basis, you will have agreed to paying the lawyer for their services when, and if, you recover a settlement. After you have accepted the offer, your lawyer will deduct the amount owed once the check has cleared. The contingency fee is typically a percentage of the settlement. This is something you should discuss with your car accident lawyer before beginning anything.
- Medicaid, Medicare, Government Health Insurance: If your medical treatment has been covered by any government (state or federal) program, you or your lawyer will need to contact the appropriate department to determine what is owed. Failing to do this could result in serious problems, including the holding of your money.
- Private Health Insurance: Dependending on the plan, you may be required to pay back the insurance company for your treatment.
- Child Support: If you are behind on child support, collection agencies may be able to collect a portion of any personal injury settlement in order to pay off your debts. Money in the settlement that is allocated specifically for medical care may be protected from this.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
Another important reason to immediately contact a car accident lawyer is because of the statute of limitations. In the state of Florida, personal injury victims have a limited amount of time to file an injury claim. After that time period, their claim will be denied regardless of how serious an injury the victim sustained.
Do not let this happen to you. Contact our office to speak with one of our attorneys. If we represent you in your personal injury case, your David & Philpot, P.L. attorney will make sure your claim is filed before the deadline expires. In addition, your attorney can submit all required paperwork to the proper authorities.
When Your Settlement is Not Enough
If your settlement is not enough to cover your expenses, it is possible that your lawyer will consider a proration. This is an option that is not available in all states, but would allow you to pay off your medical liens, legal fees, and your own losses with equal proportions of money.
If Your Personal Injury Claim Was Denied
If you have filed your accident claim on your own and it was denied, talk to one of our car accident attorneys who may be able to re-submit it. Claims are often denied because incorrect information was provided or the victim did not submit sufficient proof. David & Philpot, P.L. attorneys have a thorough understanding of what is needed for a successful claim. In addition, we have an extensive network of respected medical professionals and other experts who can provide testimony as necessary on behalf of our clients.
Contact a Qualified Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member was seriously hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your costs. Our legal team may be able to advise you after a review of your case. Request a free and confidential consultation from one of our attorneys. If you would like to find a car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL trusts, contact us at David & Philpot, P.L. today.
Mistakes That Can Damage Your Florida Car Accident Claim
If you were injured in a car accident case that was another driver’s fault, you have the right to sue for compensation. However, in order to receive the compensation you deserve, you must take the proper steps and avoid making errors that can hurt your case. A car accident lawyer at David & Philpot, P.L. lists some of the most common mistakes people make in their car accident claims.
Filing Your Claim Too Late
Every state has a different statute of limitations on car accident claims. Some states may allow you two years to file an accident claims while other states may give you three or four years. If you file your claim once the statute of limitations is up, you will no longer be eligible for compensation. That’s why you should talk to a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL about filing a claim as soon as possible.
Not Taking Photos
Photos are one of the most important pieces of evidence you can have in a car accident claim. It’s important to take several photos of the accident scene. Be sure to get clear shots of all the vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks on the road and traffic signs. If you’re too injured to take the photos yourself, don’t hesitate to ask a bystander to do it for you.
Not Being Careful When Posting on Social Media
When you have filed a car accident claim, insurance adjusters may investigate your Facebook and other social media sites for information that could possibly get them off the hook. That’s why it’s important to be extra careful about what you post on social media. For example, if you suffered a back injury in a car accident and posted a photo of you hiking, insurance adjusters may claim that you aren’t hurt as you say you are.
Talking to Insurance Adjusters
After you have been injured in a car accident, insurance adjusters will likely try to contact you. No matter how friendly they seem, you shouldn’t talk to them. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and may try to persuade you to say something that will hurt your case. You should never talk to insurance companies without consulting with your car accident lawyer first.
Failing to Get Medical Care
No matter how you feel after the accident, it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can assess the extent of your injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment. Delaying treatment will only jeopardize your health. If you wait too long to seek treatment, it can also hurt your case because insurance adjusters may think you’re not truly hurt.
What to Discuss With Your Doctor After a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, one of the first things you should do is seek medical attention, as a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL can explain. Your health is the most important a doctor can assess your injuries and recommend the best treatment. However, you may be unsure of what exactly to talk about during your appointment. To get the most out of your visit, remember to discuss the following topics with your doctor.
The Details of Your Accident
Although it may be difficult to relive the details of the car accident, it’s important to talk about them with your doctor. If you provide your doctor with detailed information about the accident, they will know what to look for and the types of injuries you may have. Were you rear-ended or had a side-impact collision? How did you feel immediately after the accident? These are some examples of the questions you might be asked, so try to remember as much as you can about the crash.
To help determine exactly what type of injuries you have, your doctor will ask you about the symptoms you have been experiencing. Whether you’ve been experiencing headaches or knee pain, it’s important to tell your doctor about it. If your doctor knows more about your symptoms, they can determine which diagnostic tools to use, such as MRIs and CAT scans.
When you’re dealing with injuries from a car accident, you naturally want to feel better as soon as possible. That’s why treatment options will be one of the most important topics you discuss with your doctor during your appointment. While there may be just one treatment possible for certain injuries, many other injuries may respond to several different treatments. Your doctor should thoroughly explain the positives and negatives of each treatment and help you decide on the right one.
Going Back to Work
Many people who have been hurt in a car accident are eager to go back to work as soon as they can. However, some of them return to work sooner than they should. This can increase the risk of further injuries. That’s why you should ask your doctor when they think you can safely go back to work. Your doctor may also suggest for you to avoid certain tasks when you do go back to work for a while, such as lifting heavy items.
Taking Care of Yourself at Home
During your appointment with your doctor, you should also ask them how you can take good care yourself at home and promote a faster recovery. For example, if you suffered whiplash, your doctor may recommend for you to get plenty of rest, use a neck brace, ice your neck and avoid strenuous activities.
If you were injured in a car accident, schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL. A Lakeland car accident lawyer can assess your case, help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice
After a doctor has evaluated your injuries, he or she will suggest the proper course of treatment. Whether your doctor recommends bed rest or physical therapy, it’s important to follow instructions. If the insurance company finds out that you haven’t been following your doctor’s advice, they might not believe you are as hurt as you say you are.
3 Tips for Handling a Car Accident When You’re Injured
Suffering an accident is never something you plan on; however, there is always a chance one will occur. With the number of commuters on the roads, there is a fair chance that at some point you will find yourself in a crash.
Knowing how to handle things, especially if you get injured, is critical. Having this knowledge can help you get past a stressful situation with more grace and poise than most. Having this handy list in mind, or even on paper, may save you precious time in the moments and days following a collision. Take these three tips to heart and allow them to guide you should you need them.
- Call 911 and Get Photos of the Scene
After a crash, you may be thinking only of the pain in your shoulder or head. If you have an injury that requires immediate medical attention, make sure you alert the 911 emergency dispatcher about it. Injuries requiring critical care take precedence over anything else in this list, and as such, reporting these to the people who can help you is paramount to anything else. If you are unable to call the police yourself, ask a bystander or even the other driver to do it for you.
If you can function and remove yourself from the car, you need to go straight to work documenting the scene. Do not do this from the middle of a busy intersection, but rather from a safe distance near the side. Secondary accidents occur when other vehicles strike those that were involved in the crash.
- Seek Medical Treatment
If you do not think you are injured severely enough to warrant an ambulance, you should still seek medical attention after an accident. The reasons for this include silent injuries that may cause you great harm in the long run if left unattended. Head injuries, for instance, may not manifest as you would expect, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have one.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
Alerting your insurance company to the accident should be something on your list of things to do shortly after the crash. You do not need to launch into great detail or even give a recorded statement immediately, but you do need to tell them about the accident. Be prepared to provide them with a basic idea of what happened and tell them that you are injured or have seen a doctor.
A car accident lawyer is a good ally in the fight to recover damages after a car accident injury. Finding one in your area may help you when dealing with the aftermath of a crash.
Signs You Have a Car Accident Injury
A common mistake after a car accident is assuming your health is fine. Unfortunately, many injuries from a car crash can be hard to detect at first, especially when you’re emotionally upset.
There’s a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, so it’s wise to contact a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL following any crash to learn about your options. At the team of David & Philpot Personal Injury Law, we’ve had many clients who only noticed injuries later on. What symptoms should you watch out for?
Cuts and Gashes
This type of injury is more visible, but you may not notice when you’re focused on getting other passengers to safety. Once you’re safely out of the car, take a moment to calm yourself and then carefully check your body for any cuts, gashes or bleeding. They need medical treatment to avoid infection.
Never underestimate the danger of a burn. Even seemingly small burns from a burning engine or hot car parts can require extensive medical care. Injuries range from a first-degree to fourth-degree burns, and only a medical professional can assess the severity of the damage. A car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL may also help you seek compensation for psychological and emotional trauma that burns frequently cause, especially if they affect your appearance.
You can experience a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and not even remember the impact. Concussions are common in car accidents, especially when whiplash happens or your head impacts another part of the vehicle. Even passengers in the backseat can hit their head against the rear windshield if they’re not wearing a seatbelt. Here are a few signs of a concussion:
- Memory loss
- Migraine headaches
- Slurred speech
- Slow movements
- Difficulty concentrating
Be honest with emergency personnel about how you’re feeling. If you have a concussion, you need medical care to stay safe. Your car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL can help you get compensation for this necessary medical treatment afterward.
Neck Pain, Soreness and Stiffness
Any kind of neck pain is a primary indicator of whiplash. This dangerous injury happens when your neck moves sharply back and forth. This injury can cause long-lasting pain from overextension of your spine, muscles and nerves. Always contact a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL if you even suspect whiplash. You may need years of treatment to alleviate the symptoms, and an insurance settlement may not cover it completely, making filing a lawsuit essential.
Stomach Pain and Abdominal Pain
Sometimes, a car accident can damage your internal organs. A broken rib can also put your internal organs in danger. This type of injury is especially dangerous because the symptoms tend to be delayed. If you see any deep purple bruises, experience fever or faint, see a doctor immediately. At David & Philpot Personal Injury Law, we want you to have excellent quality of life. Getting the long-term medical care you need with the help of a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL is an important part of that.
6 Myths About Car Accident Claims
Myth: You Can Handle a Car Accident Injury Claim by Yourself
Fact: You don’t know all the ins and outs of personal injury law, but a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL, does. From statutes of limitations to admissible evidence, from negotiating a settlement to taking your case to trial, your attorney is far more knowledgeable than you when it comes to this type of tort.
Myth: You Can’t Afford To Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Fact: It’s standard practice in the field of personal injury law for attorneys to offer a free initial consultation, then work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t get paid if you don’t win your case. A car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL, from David & Philpot Personal Injury Law would be able to tell you what percentage of your winnings they would take as their fee.
Myth: Car Accident Cases Are Long and Drawn-out
Fact: The majority of car accident cases never see the light of a courtroom. Instead, your car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL, will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to arrive at a fair settlement for you.
Myth: Minor Injuries Don’t Warrant a Car Accident Lawyer
Right after your accident, you may think you only have minor injuries; many major injuries don’t show symptoms you’d detect at the time of injury. Only trained doctors would be able to diagnose them. Even if you do have only minor injuries, they still may require medical care and time away from work. Your car accident attorney at David & Philpot Personal Injury Law can help you get compensation for your medical care and lost wages.
Myth: People With Insurance Don’t Need Car Accident Lawyers
Fact: Even though you have insurance, you’re still entitled to file a car accident claim against the responsible party’s insurance company to be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket costs. Also, your insurance company may want to recover the cost of treating you for your injuries. A car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL, can help you reach a settlement.
Myth: You Can’t Sue Your Own Insurance Company
Fact: Your insurance company is in the business of making profits, a goal that’s incompatible with large claims payouts. They’ll try to get away with giving you as little money as possible. You need a car accident attorney to negotiate with your insurance company and, if needs be, take them to court to get a fair payout for you.
If you have been injured in a car accident, schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer Lakeland FL clients trust from David & Philpot, P.L. today.