Steps to Take Following a Tampa Car Accident
With thousands of motor vehicle accidents taking place in Tampa every year, every driver in the area should understand their responsibilities and what to do after a car accident.
Report it to the Authorities
The first thing you should do is report the traffic accident to the property authority if there were any injuries or property damage. Whether you notify the local police, sheriff, or the highway patrol will depend on the location of the accident. The investigating officer will create an unbiased accident report outlining any charges against the driver that violated the traffic laws.
Get Medical Treatment
The next thing you should do is seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the crash. Often in the wake of a car accident, the shock and adrenaline can mask the severity of specific injuries, which is especially true for head and brain injuries where symptoms could take days or weeks before becoming present. Obtaining a medical diagnosis and the proper treatment early on is vital for your overall well-being and will benefit your case later on.
Notify Your Auto Insurance & File a Claim
Since Florida is a “No-Fault” state, after a car accident, all motorists involved have to file a claim with their auto insurance provider regardless of which driver is liable for the crash. By law, you should have purchased a minimum of $10K in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Your PIP benefits cover the cost of 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages.
It’s essential that you provide the right documentation during settlement negotiations to get coverage for all of your accident-related injuries. It’s also crucial that you protect your rights as a consumer. Without guidance, you could jeopardize or forfeit benefits to which you are entitled.
Hire an Attorney
The best way to protect your settlement from being based on an improper investigation and unfair adjustment practices is to hire an attorney. Car accident lawyers are familiar with the obstacles involved with insurance claim settlements, and their legal advice could help you recover the most money for your injuries. Having legal representation will ensure that your rights and best interest are safeguarded throughout every level of your case. The sooner you hire an attorney, the better.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you sustained a permanent injury or if your medical bills abd lost wages exceed the $10K PIP limit, you have four years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to meet the statute of limitations will likely prevent your case from being heard in court.
Depending on the circumstances of your crash, you may be able to obtain reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the accident including medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future income. You might also be able to recover compensation for intangible damages unique to you like your pain and suffering. Consulting your options with a Tampa car accident attorney can give you a better understanding of your case.
How 1-800-INJURED Can Help You Today
If you need help filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Tampa, Florida, 1-800 INJURED can connect you with a lawyer near you. 1-800 INJURED is an attorney and medical referral service that helps South Florida drivers get in touch with the professionals they need after a crash. We understand that life after an accident can be full of overwhelming challenges, which is why we want to help.
We connect people like you with a network of skilled attorneys who work hard to get clients the best possible outcome for their case. You already have so much on your plate. Let the attorneys handle the tough legal work so that you can focus on recovery. Call us toll-free at 1-800-INJURED to get started on your case today.