Help! I was just involved in an auto crash! What should I do next? Do I need a car accidents attorney?
- Check for safety. Standing on the side of the street or highway is dangerous. If possible, move your vehicle completely onto the shoulder. If the car will not start, stay inside and turn your hazard lights on while you wait for emergency responders.
- Always call emergency services. You need the police to investigate the auto accident, so that a police report will be available later. Documenting the incident is very important to your future personal injury case.
- Get examined by medical professionals. Even when a crash seems minor, car accidents are significantly violent collisions that can wreak havoc on the human body. Auto wreck injuries often take days or a week after the accident to show up. You should always accept medical attention, even if you feel sure that you aren’t injured.
- Search for an experienced car accidents attorney in St. Petersburg, FL as soon as possible to protect all your legal rights.
What if I caused the accident I was injured in? Can I still file a claim?
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. What this means is that even if you were 97% at fault for the accident you were injured in, you can recover for the three percent of damages caused by the negligence of the other driver. Assigning proportions of liability for each driver is a complex legal process, assigned to a jury or the judge, if your case goes to trial. A skilled St. Petersburg car accidents attorney can provide an honest and accurate evaluation of your personal injury claim. Contact a car accidents attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida for a customized claim evaluation today.
What if the at-fault driver was not insured at the time of the crash?
Unfortunately, Florida does not legally require motorists to carry an uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance policy. This insurance coverage, if you add it, will provide protection in the event that you are injured by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance coverage for the costs of your damages. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is added coverage to supplement your own auto insurance policy. If you hold it and you are hit by an uninsured driver, your own insurance company will be required to cover the injuries you sustain.
An uninsured or underinsured insurance claim operates in the same fashion that a typical insurance claim would, except for the fact that you are recovering your costs from your own insurance company instead of the other party’s. It is important to realize that the representatives of your own insurance company are not necessarily on your side any more than those of the other side are. The companies’ goals are only to minimize losses and maximize profits. You will require the assistance of an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected from both insurance companies.
How Will It Impact My Auto Accident Claim If I Was Partially at Fault?
Florida follows the law of comparative negligence. This means that if a plaintiff were partially at fault for an accident, their recovery could be reduced. Even if a plaintiff were 99 percent at fault for the accident, they could still recover one percent of the damages. This is true even if the plaintiff was speeding and not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. However, if the plaintiff was intoxicated and more than 50 percent at fault for an accident in Florida, then they would not be able to recover. Read more
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