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Questions your injury lawyer will ask

Saturday, November 5, 2016

After a car accident, you might be tempted to call your insurance company to start the claims process. But if you suffered serious injuries in that accident, even such a simple task might seem daunting, especially if the insurance company gives you the runaround. The last thing you need during this trying time is hassle. For this reason – among many others – it's best to discuss your case with an attorney specializing in auto accidents before anyone else.

Florida is one of 12 "no-fault" state, meaning the victim can file a claim for medical bills and lost wages with his or her own insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. But many car accident victims often discover that the claims adjuster is not readily accessible, and they feel they're getting the runaround from their insurance company. That's where your attorney comes in. Insurers tend to take your claim more seriously if you have retained counsel, as they know you're serious about recouping what's rightfully yours.

During your initial consultation with a personal injury attorney, you'll be asked some basic questions that are common to most car accident cases, including:

  • Are your personal injury protection (PIP) and auto insurance valid? Without them, you will not be covered for the maximum $10,000 in medical care costs and may be responsible for the full amount.
  • Did this personal injury claim lead to a permanent disability, disfigurement or death? If this is the case, you will more than likely need more than $10,000 to get back on his or her feet.
  • Can it be proven that you are losing wages due to this accident? Everything from continuous doctors' visits to inability to work may be significant during a trial.
  • Can you provide proof that further medical visits are necessary due to this accident? Doctors' notes and records are extremely important in proving this, including references to improvements and setbacks during each exam. If your primary-care physician refers you to specialists, those doctors' notes also would be helpful.
  • Have you experienced emotional distress because of the accident? For example, whiplash isn't something that can be measured on an MRI, but the stress of being unable to do a job as well as before the accident, providing suitable child care or sleeplessness due to discomfort may all fall under the umbrella of "emotional distress."

It's important to understand that once a car accident lawyer is retained, any pending insurance claim stops immediately. Most accident victims feel it's well worth the trade-off, especially if their attorney believes there is a foundation for a solid case.

Every case is different, therefore no single course of action is best for everyone. Speaking with a lawyer after a car accident costs you nothing, but could unearth a strong case that you didn't know existed.

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