No one expects to be involved in a car accident in beautiful Tampa, Florida, but it happens all too often. If you’ve been injured, then you know how confusing the aftermath of a wreck can be. The at-fault party’s insurance company is probably pressuring you to settle, and you’re getting conflicting information, all while you’re trying to focus on getting better. It can be overwhelming.
If you’ve ended up on the wrong side of Florida’s crash statistics, you need the help of an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. The car accident attorneys at Distasio Law Firm are eager to answer your questions.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Tampa, call (813) 259-0022
Frequently Asked Tampa, FL, Car Accident Questions
You’ve been in a car accident in Tampa, and you’ve got questions. Our car crash attorneys have answers to the questions you are most likely to ask first.
This information is good to have, because in Florida, anyone can be the victim of a car accident, no matter how cautious you are on our roads. Here in the Sunshine State, there are approximately 200,000 car accidents each year. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, we experience an average of 650 crashes per day.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Here in Florida, you have four years from the date of your accident to file a claim. In this video, car crash attorney Scott Distasio explains the statute of limitations in this state and what it means for those who want to file a lawsuit.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, Florida?
In the vast majority of cases, you do need a car accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you probably have many questions that only an auto accident attorney can answer. You may be wondering:
- Do I need medical care, and who is going to pay for it?
- How am I going to make up for my lost work and salary?
- Is the person who hit me responsible for my costs?
- How am I going to get my car fixed or replaced?
- Can a car accident attorney help?
Our attorneys are available to answer these questions and any other questions you have about the lawsuit process. Let us put together a plan to get you a fair settlement.
When to Get a Lawyer for a Tampa Car Accident?
When should you call a Tampa personal injury lawyer after a car accident? The sooner you call, the sooner a motor vehicle accident attorney can help. Our goal is for you to be able to concentrate on healing from your injuries while we concentrate on getting you the money you will need to make up for what has happened to you. We represent the following types of vehicle accidents:
After a wreck involving a car and any pedestrian or vehicle, over time, evidence disappears, memories fade, and it becomes harder to prove your case. When you call the Distasio Law Firm in Tampa, it is our job to preserve this evidence. We can make sure photographs are taken to document the crash and your injuries. We can also interview the witnesses now.
Why Hire Our Lawyers to Help With Your Tampa Car Accident?
Most car accident law firms are settlement mills. At these law firms, the car accident lawyers handle so many files that they do not have time to speak to their clients. They are counting on settling quickly without going to trial, so they aren’t concerned with providing personalized attention.
These car accident lawyers do not need to get you the most money for your case. They try to convince you to take the first settlement that is offered so they can move on to their next case. The insurance companies know this and offer less money to these law firms. The end result is that you will not get full value for your auto accident case.
When you work with a Tampa car accident attorney from Distasio, you can be confident that every member of our team will put your well-being before our own profits.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Any lawyer that tells you that your case is worth a certain amount of money is just trying to get you to hire them. No attorney who has not carefully examined your case’s evidence can know how much your settlement might be. It takes time to know the extent of your injuries, the cost of medical care you will need in the future, and how much your lost wages will be.
Once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your car accident lawyer will be able to calculate all of your medical expenses. It is only then that a settlement can be estimated. MMI occurs when your doctor has treated you long enough to know and diagnose all of your injuries and they can predict your medical needs in the future.
In Florida, the law allows a person injured in a car accident to hold the person that caused the auto accident responsible for the damages. You may be able to recover the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Speak to a wrongful death lawyer if your loved one was involved in a fatal accident and you need compensation.
Is it Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident in Tampa?
A personal injury attorney in Tampa will be a huge help to you–it’s extremely difficult to represent yourself in a car accident claim, and if someone else was at fault for your damages, you shouldn’t have to pay for them yourself. The lawyers from our firm have the experience and skill necessary to investigate your crash and gather evidence.
Our team knows how to prove that the other party caused your accident, and we know how insurance companies will try to trick or bully you into a lower settlement. While you don’t necessarily need an attorney for your Tampa car accident, a lawyer will bring valuable know-how that could mean the difference between compensation and piling bills.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
The reality is that what may seem like a minor car accident can be more expensive and more damaging than you think. Often, injuries can pop up weeks after your accident, and medical bills can be exorbitant. Trying to get compensation for a small accident can turn into a long and costly legal battle.
Hiring a lawyer can help ensure that, no matter how minor your car accident was, you get the compensation you deserve. Remember that property damage and injuries can cost much more than you might originally think. If someone else was responsible for your accident, then you shouldn’t have to pay all your bills by yourself.
How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident in Florida?
Your compensation for a car accident in Florida depends on your situation, the extent of your damages, and who was at fault in your crash. When you meet with our Tampa car accident lawyers for your initial consultation, they may be able to give you an idea of how much you can expect from your claim.
According to the Florida Bar, in 2020, the minimum amount for which you can sue in the state of Florida was increased to $8,000. Now, if you wish to bring your lawsuit to a Florida county court, you can seek compensation between $8,000 and $30,000. If you wish to bring your claim to a circuit court, where most car accident lawsuits happen, you must be suing for over $30,000.
Only by taking the right steps can you make sure you get the right settlement for your car accident. A Tampa car crash attorney can help with that. Our team can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Car Crash Lawsuit?
When filing a claim for a car accident, in order to know how much compensation to sue for, you first need to know the extent of your damages. These can be split into economic and non-economic damages, both of which you can receive payment for.
Economic damages include any monetary expenses that you have paid or will have to pay in the future. These can include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages are damages to your quality of life or mental health. Non-economic damages in your car accident case can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
One of our motor vehicle accident lawyers in Tampa will calculate your past and future damages to show how much you’re owed.
What Is the Average Settlement in a Florida Car Accident Claim?
In general, the average settlement for a Florida auto accident is around $15,000. Settlements in car accident claims in Florida can vary greatly based on the extent of your damages, though, and the actions of the at-fault driver. Because of that, it’s difficult to provide an average number for what your settlement might be without first knowing the details of your case.
When thinking about your settlement, it may help to look at our firm’s case results to see what could be possible for your settlement. Our results include:
- $1,490,000 for a bicyclist injured by a car
- $1,000,000 for a car driver hit by a truck
- $480,000 for a rear-end collision
- $225,000 for a T-bone accident
When you get your free consultation with one of our Tampa personal injury attorneys, they will give you a general idea of what compensation you can expect based on the details of your accident, but you won’t know for sure until we are able to fully investigate your case.
Can Your Lawyer Help If You Were Partly At Fault?
A personal injury lawyer in Florida will be able to help if you were partly at fault for your accident. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means you can still receive compensation for an accident that you contributed to. However, your payment will be reduced.
According to Florida Statute § 768.81, a plaintiff’s compensation can be reduced proportionally to the amount of fault they had in their accident. That means if you stand to receive $10,000 from your claim, but you were 30% at fault, then your payment will be reduced by $3,000.
A skilled attorney will know what to do to prove that you had little to no fault in your accident so you can avoid having your compensation taken away. By gathering hard evidence from the scene of your accident, we can show that you were the victim of someone else’s negligence.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident?
Talking to the other party’s insurance adjuster after you’ve been in a car accident is like walking through a minefield. If you say one wrong thing, they will use your words against you in order to prove that you were somehow at fault for the crash or that you deserve less compensation.
That’s why, if an insurance adjuster calls you, you should be polite but say as little as possible. Simply get their contact information and tell them that your attorney will be in touch with them. They may act like your friend, but their real goal is to bully you out of your settlement.
When you hire a Tampa personal injury lawyer, they will help you negotiate with the insurance company. Our attorneys know their tricks, and we know what to say in order to get the maximum compensation for your car accident.
What if the First Settlement Offer Is Not Enough?
If the insurance company offers you an initial settlement that is too low, don’t worry. The settlement process is a negotiation, so your initial offer isn’t necessarily what you’ll end up with in the end. It’s just a first step.
Sometimes, the insurance company might offer you a low settlement because they don’t have enough information about your situation. By sitting down to calculate your damages, both economic and non-economic, you may find more things that you need to be paid for.
The process of figuring out what your past and future damages are can be difficult, though. A personal injury attorney in Tampa will be able to do that for you. Lawyers know what to look for in your case and they know what to do with a low initial settlement.
What Do You Need to Know About PIP in Florida?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance that all registered drivers in Florida are required to have. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, PIP is meant to cover 80% of all necessary medical expenses up to $10,000 after an accident. This is regardless of fault.
In the event that you are injured so severely that you cannot work, PIP covers up to 60% of lost wages. It is primary over any other health insurance you might have. Drivers in Florida are also required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL).
The Florida government is attempting to repeal PIP, though, which may increase your insurance rates, according to WFLA News. The new bill would require drivers to carry insurance providing $25,000 protection for personal injuries, $50,000 for injuries to multiple people, and $10,000 for property damage.
Who Is Liable in a Car Accident in Tampa?
In general, liability in a car accident case is based on negligence. Someone is negligent when they fail to meet a standard of care that they should reasonably be held to. Often, someone is found negligent when they are breaking traffic laws by doing something such as speeding or distracted driving.
You can share liability for your accident, even if it was mostly someone else’s fault. If you were doing anything at the time of the crash that could have contributed, then you could be partially at fault. However, as long as you were less negligent than the other party, then you could be eligible for compensation.
How Much Is Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Going to Cost?
The Tampa car accident lawyers from our firm decide their fees based on the details of your case, and they won’t be paid unless you get the compensation you deserve. You won’t have to pay anything up front.
When you hire one of our lawyers, they will sit down with you and decide on a certain portion of your settlement that will go towards their payment. After you recover payment for your damages, the check will be sent to our firm. Your attorney will take out the agreed-upon amount, then send the rest on to you so you can move on with a new chapter of your life.
How Will My Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Liability?
To prove liability in your case, your auto accident lawyer will have to gather evidence. That can include:
- Investigating the scene of your accident
- Gathering information from witnesses
- Collecting pertinent records and documents
- Getting expert testimony
Your lawyer will use this evidence to show that the other party has a history of negligence or was acting recklessly at the time of your accident. That way, we will be able to convincingly prove that they were liable.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
The length of time it will take to settle your Florida car accident claim can vary based on the amount of money you are seeking, the facts surrounding the case, and how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. If the insurance company is not convinced of the amount of fault the other party played or the amount of money you need to recover from your accident, the process can be incredibly drawn out.
If your claim will require a lawsuit because the other party won’t settle, the process could take longer than a year. However, given a clear case and the other party’s compliance, it could take as few as 30 days to settle your claim. An experienced lawyer will be able to build a strong case that goes through quickly and efficiently.
Tampa Car Accidents Lawyer Near Me (813) 259-0022
What Can a Tampa Lawyer Do for My Car Accident Claim?
A car crash attorney in Tampa can sit down with you for a free consultation. In that initial consultation, they will assess your case and let you know what the next steps might be for your case. After you hire one of our attorneys, they will get to work on:
- Gathering evidence of the other party’s fault
- Calculating your damages
- Negotiating with the other party and the insurance company
- Fighting for you in court if necessary
Remember, our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until you get the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer?
When looking for the right car accident lawyer, you should look for four things:
- Communication: Your lawyer should be clear and forthright about what is going on in your auto accident case.
- Ability: A good attorney will be resourceful and willing enough to do whay is needed to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Experience: It’s important that your law firm have decades of experience under their belt so they will know how to handle anything that comes your way.
- Results: You should look for a law firm that has secured compensation for many clients in the past.
It just so happens that that Distasio law firm meets all of these qualifications. If you don’t believe us, you can read some of our client testimonials to hear how we have been helping accident victims for years.
Experience Handling Car Accident Cases in Florida
Are you ready to experience the Distasio Law Firm difference? Our success on behalf of our clients is based upon our experience and knowledge of Florida law. Mr. Distasio has 27 years of experience handling car accident lawsuits, and he knows how to build a strong case.
When it comes to car accident claims, 95% of all cases settle. Insurance companies will offer more for your case because they know that the Distasio Law Firm has the financial resources and expertise to go to trial if your case needs it. Looking for a car accident attorney in Tampa? Call us today.