Should I Hire an Attorney After Being Involved in a Car Accident?

The best answer is it depends. What was your role in the accident? If you were determined to be the victim, then yes. You most certainly should consult with an attorney. Even if you weren’t seriously injured issues can arise surrounding insurance coverage, medical bills, and car repair.  Our firm is always willing to take an initial phone call and give you an opportunity to speak with an attorney free of charge to discuss your options.  With any accident, we urge you to call as soon as possible so we can offer you guidance on your potential case and hopefully give you some peace of mind since. A free consult is a wonderful opportunity for us to share with you what you may expect moving forward.

On the other hand, if you were deemed at fault for the accident, it is probably in your best interest to let your insurance company and their respective attorneys litigate on your behalf. However, you are entitled to a private attorney should you so choose, but it will be at cost to you, and it will be costly. When you’re not at fault for an accident then whatever attorney you consult will likely take your case on a contingency basis, meaning there will be no cost to you upfront and you would only pay if they recovered money for you. When you’re at fault for an accident, no attorney will take your case on a contingency basis as there is no money to be recovered, so you will likely have no choice but to pay their hourly rate. Furthermore, whatever money is eventually awarded to the plaintiff, if that ends up being the case, will come from the insurance company that provides your coverage and not you personally. For this reason, if you find yourself the ‘at fault’ party, it makes the most sense to leave the litigating up to your insurance company.

Are my medical bills covered if I am involved in an accident?  Most likely.

Here in Florida if you maintain your car insurance policy it comes with coverage called Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage. This part of your policy should be available to you regardless of what your role in the accident was.  Typically, this coverage provides you with around $10,000 in medical coverage. In any case, you should report any accident to your insurance company immediately as this is usually required under your policy. You should NOT give an interview as to the facts of your accident to any insurance company before contacting an attorney (even if it’s your own insurance company).  Keep in mind that if you were not at fault, and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you could potentially have a claim against your own insurance company. If that is the case, you would want to be prepared for any questions they may ask before you provide a statement as to what happened.

Additionally, you’re obligated to seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident if you have been injured and want to make a claim.  If you seek medical attention (separate from being transported to the hospital after an accident) you should provide the medical care provider with your accident claim number which would be provided by your insurance company along with any personal health insurance information.  As you continue to medically treat, your $10,000 in PIP coverage will be used first and your health insurance will supplement anything PIP doesn’t pay or if your PIP runs out.  Each situation is different, and we encourage you if you’re involved in an accident to call our office and speak with an attorney for free.  We would love the opportunity to explain this process as it relates to your specific accident case. 

We hope you never need our services but should you or someone you know be in a situation where you need legal assistance, the attorneys at Woolsey Morcom have experience in navigating the complexities of Florida automobile personal injury law.  Give us a call today at (904) 638-4235. 

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