When to hire an attorney to handle your car accident case depends on several factors. In general, you should get one as soon as possible after your crash. After serious injuries, you may need days or weeks after the incident to recover. There are a few car accident attorneys in Vero Beach who will visit with you in the hospital or at your home after a car accident.
Sometimes, immediate family members have to contact an injury attorney on behalf of a loved one with catastrophic injuries. Even though Florida is an at-fault state, it isn’t always clear how you are going to be compensated for your injuries.
Most car accident law firms provide free consultations for crash victims who want a case assessment and to discuss their legal options. You can speak with one near you to learn more about your next steps and get answers to other questions you may have.
What Are Your Legal Options After a Car Accident?
Most attorneys recommend that accident victims call them about their case as early as possible. For those with significant injuries, this is likely as soon as your injuries allow you to make the call. Law firm team members may assess cases over the phone, via video call, and in person. If you are still in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility, an attorney might meet you there to discuss how to approach your case.
Generally, lawyers advise getting as early a start as possible on your case. They typically do not demand compensation or file lawsuits until you reach maximum medical recovery or are aware of your prognosis and future care needs.
However, you must take many steps to build a strong case long before this point. They include investigating what happened, identifying the liable party, and calculating your fair settlement range.
To this end, you should consider your legal options as soon as your injuries stabilize and you can focus on your next steps. Be aware that certain medications or some injuries could make it difficult to think clearly or remember what was said, so you may want to have a trusted loved one on the call, as well.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Early?
When you hire an attorney in the first days or weeks after a crash, you receive immediate benefits.
Acting quickly to enlist a law firm’s help ensures you do not have to navigate any part of the claims or legal process on your own, and you can fully focus on your treatment and healing. It also ensures you have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side from the start.
Three advantages of hiring an attorney as soon as possible after a crash include:
Your Lawyer Protects Your Rights
When a lawyer goes to work on a case, one of their primary concerns is to ensure their client maintains the right to seek fair compensation. That could require them to manage all communication with the insurance companies, determine the applicable deadlines, and submit all paperwork as required.
Throughout the process, whether they file a claim or a lawsuit, the attorney protects their client from any infringement on their rights. Personal injury attorneys represent their best interests, fighting for the compensation they deserve based on the case facts they uncovered.
Lawyers use all applicable state and local laws to develop a case and hold the at-fault driver or another liable party accountable to the fullest extent allowed.
The Firm Handles All Aspects of Your Case
When crash victims work with an attorney, they do not have to worry about their insurance claim or lawsuit. Their legal case is not their concern. Instead, the attorney handles all aspects of the case while the victim focuses on regaining their health and well-being—regardless of the severity of their injuries.
From the first day, the attorney manages the case. They offer regular updates and answer questions as they arise, but they have it covered. You have nothing to worry about.
You Will Have Someone Fighting for You
Sometimes, it is nice to know you have someone with knowledge and experience on your side. When you hire a lawyer, you suddenly have a beneficial resource on the case.
They have managed many cases similar to yours and know the process, what to do, and what is necessary to prove. They understand what will happen and how to respond if things go wrong.
How Can a Florida Car Accident Attorney Help You?
Understanding the role of an attorney in a car accident case makes it easier to decide if you want to hire a law firm to represent you and handle your case.
While their job is to offer legal advice and guide your case through the claims process, their role is actually much larger. Consider the following responsibilities of a car accident lawyer below:
They Protect Your Rights
When an attorney represents a crash victim, they ensure the insurer and other parties respect their legal rights. They seek fair compensation and protect the victim’s right to sue if necessary. This task requires them to manage all communication with the insurance companies, meet all necessary deadlines, and submit the proper paperwork in court.
They Investigate the Car Crash
According to the most recent data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 401,540 crashes in Florida with 252,973 injuries and 3,741 fatalities.
Car accident attorneys use firm resources, their knowledge of similar cases, and their experience to investigate the crash, show negligence, and demonstrate liability. They know the evidence necessary to win a case, where to find it, and how to preserve it. Investigations often require working with experts, too.
They Build the Case
Attorneys use the evidence they collect and analyze to build a convincing case against the liable party and seek compensation on your behalf.
This process includes organizing compelling evidence to tell a story demonstrating what happened, how, and why. They use this story to support the insurance claim and negotiate a fair settlement or to present to the jury at trial.
They Represent Your Best Interests
Your lawyer represents your best interests to the insurance company, the liable party, the judge and jury, and others involved. This service begins the day you sign the contract and continues through settlement negotiations or at a jury trial.
Have I Waited Too Long to Take Legal Action After a Car Accident?
Many victims worry they have waited too long to contact an attorney’s office about their case. While most firms encourage crash victims to call them as early in the process as possible, they understand the many reasons why someone might wait.
Many people try to handle their claims and call only when they encounter a problem. Others waited because their injuries took a long time to stabilize, or they did not think they had a case.
In most cases, victims should contact a personal injury law firm when they consider doing so. The firm can assess your case and determine if you waited too long. If it is within several months of your crash, that might not be the case.
You should know about the deadlines for filing a lawsuit in a car accident case. In Florida, the statutes of limitations set these deadlines, which generally vary from one to four years, depending on the type of negligence.
There are many exceptions to statutes of limitations. These nuances are another reason why contacting a lawyer in Vero Beach is a good idea.
Determining Your Case Value Can Be Difficult
Calculating how much your car accident case might be worth can be difficult. It requires an understanding of recoverable damages, how to estimate future care costs and experience with similar cases.
While an attorney handles these tasks regularly, most individuals do not have the knowledge or resources available to call in experts or assign a monetary value to intangible losses.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Insurance adjusters want to settle cases by paying as little as possible. This approach protects their employer’s bottom line. They are not on the side of the victim.
Sometimes, they use tactics to reduce the payout that most victims do not realize hurt their case. Attorneys are familiar with these and protect their clients’ rights. This is one reason lawyers usually handle all communication with the insurance company.
You Need to Focus on Other Things
Physical recovery must be your primary focus when you suffer injuries in a traffic accident. Undergoing treatment, attending therapy, and rehabilitation are time-consuming.
At the same time, managing an insurance claim often feels like a full-time job. When you work with an attorney, they focus on your claim so you can take care of what is most important. Without an attorney, it is all up to you.
What Should I Expect When I Call the Law Firm?
When you make the initial call to a law firm, you will likely speak to a team member who will assess your case and explain your options.
They can answer your questions about the firm, their approach to similar cases, and how their fees work. Some firms provide an opportunity to speak with the attorney, while others might not.
If you do talk to the lawyer, knowing what to ask will help you decide if the firm is a good fit for you.
Some questions to consider include:
- What types of cases do you handle?
- What is the firm’s experience with car accident cases?
- How do your fees work? What is your usual percentage, and does that change if I need to sue?
- What will I pay if you do not win my case?
- How often do you take cases to trial? Have you won any like mine recently?
- Who will handle my case?
- Who will I communicate with?
- How frequently will the firm provide case updates?
While you want to find a firm that fits your personality, you also want to know they handle many car accident cases and win. Their experience with cases like yours is central to recovering the compensation you need to cover your accident-related expenses and losses.
You are not obligated to hire a firm following a free initial consultation. You can discuss your case and weigh your options. The goal is to find a lawyer you trust to handle your case.
Contact a Vero Beach Car Accident Attorney Today
Discuss Your Case With a Local Law Firm for Free
An attorney can help you navigate your insurance claim or lawsuit and recover compensation. They can go to work for you from the day you sign a contract for representation and continue handling your case until they deliver the check or the case otherwise ends.
Knowledgeable and compassionate auto accident lawyers in Vero Beach know how to handle every necessary step in the process and can protect your right to fair compensation throughout the process. You do not have to try to take on these responsibilities on your own.
Most firms provide free case consultations for crash victims. You can reach out and speak with a legal representative today. They can assess your case and explain your next steps. You have an opportunity to ask questions and more. There’s no risk or obligation.