Filing an Accident Claim in Tampa

If you were hurt in a car accident that was caused by another driver, then you may file a claim against them and their insurance company. An experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer may help you with the process. Some things you can expect when filing an accident claim in Tampa include:

  • You need to prove who caused the accident and that negligence occurred.
  • You should know the value of your damages.
  • You should know tactics insurance companies may use against you.

You can hire a Tampa car accident attorney to represent and manage your case for you. They can also communicate with insurance adjusters and monitor their response times so that your case can move forward.

At the Distasio Law Firm, we have helped thousands of clients get the money that they deserve for their injuries. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out to our law offices today to schedule an appointment with a Tampa car accident lawyer.

How To Prove Negligence After a Car Accident

A major aspect of building your accident claim will involve gathering evidence that proves negligence occurred. In short, you must prove these four elements:

  • The defendant had a “duty of care” to follow traffic laws.
  • The defendant breached this duty through their actions or inactions.
  • Because of the defendant’s breach, they caused the accident.
  • You suffered damages in the accident.

You must be able to prove that the other driver’s negligence led to your injuries to collect compensation for your damages. Keep in mind that Florida is a no-fault state, so you would also be filing an accident claim with your auto insurance instead of the at-fault party’s insurer. Your insurer will determine how much compensation to provide based on your evidence.

Negligence is often straightforward, such as a case where another driver rear-ends you while you are stopped at a red light. However, there are many situations where negligence can be more complicated, such as a multi-vehicle accident or one where the accident victim bore some responsibility for the crash.

In Florida, even if you were partially at fault for a collision, you can still recover financial compensation for your injuries under Florida’s comparative fault law. Your recovery will then be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault, up to 50%. Insurance companies will often try to get accident victims to accept less than full compensation because they did something wrong – or may even tell you that you aren’t entitled to recover any money! 

To avoid getting a lowball settlement offer – and being left without enough money to pay for your bills – you should reach out to a Tampa car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies aren’t on your side, and will often try to get you to accept an offer for far less than what your case is worth. To protect yourself and your right to full compensation, call the Distasio Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

What Evidence Is Necessary for an Accident Claim?

The evidence you need will vary based on what you need to prove for your claim. Generally, you will need to prove that (1) the other driver caused the accident and (2) you suffered damages as a result. 

Some common examples of evidence include:

  • A copy of the crash report
  • Your medical records
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Photos and video footage of the accident
  • Expert witness testimony

Your attorney can help you gather this information when investigating your case.

Proving that the other driver was at fault can sometimes be challenging. In many cases, it can be difficult to gather the evidence that you need to demonstrate that the other driver caused the crash. In some situations, it wasn’t another driver that was at fault, but another entity – such as a government entity that failed to maintain a road properly.

Similarly, proving your damages (losses) can be difficult. This is particularly true when it comes to non-economic damages such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. Typically, you will need an expert to help you put together a more comprehensive claim for damages.

If you are concerned about being able to gather the right evidence to support your claim, reach out to a Tampa car accident attorney. They can use their experience and knowledge of similar cases to not only prove that another driver (or entity) was at fault but also to show that you are entitled to full compensation for your injuries. Call our law offices today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a member of your legal team.

Should I Provide a Statement to the Insurance Company?

When you report an accident to your insurer, you can expect an insurance representative to call and ask for a statement. They might ask questions like:

  • Who was involved in the accident?
  • What factors caused the accident?
  • Were you injured in the accident?
  • What were you doing at the time of the accident, and how did you respond?
  • Did you call law enforcement after the accident occurred?

On a surface level, the representative might seem like a neutral party, or they might even be friendly and seem empathetic toward your situation. However, you may be vulnerable to interpretation when you provide a statement. You will likely also be approached by an adjuster for the at-fault driver’s car insurance company.

Most car insurance policies require you to cooperate with the company in an accident investigation. However, you are not required to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Your best option is to reach out to a Tampa personal injury attorney before making any statements or signing any documents.

To avoid giving up your rights or saying something that hurts your case, you can refer the insurance adjuster to your car accident lawyer, who can make an official statement on your behalf. In Tampa and the surrounding areas, the Distasio Law Firm can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. Give us a call to set up a consultation with a member of our legal team.

The First Offer Might Not be an Appropriate Offer For Your Case

Once the insurance company processes your claim and determines whether you may qualify for compensation, they might offer the minimum amount in your policy to settle. This is often referred to as a lowball settlement offer.

You may want to refrain from accepting the first offer, even if it seems like the amount will be “enough” to cover your damages—for now. You could be entitled to collect more compensation than the minimum based on the terms of your policy, which your attorney can review for you. Your lawyer can also calculate your damages to compare the insurer’s offer with this total.

Remember: the insurance company’s goal is to resolve your case for as little money as possible. If you want maximum compensation, make sure that you talk to a lawyer before accepting any settlement, signing any paperwork, or making a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Give our law firm a call to learn more about how we can help you.

A Lawyer Can Explain Which Damages May Entitle You to Compensation

In a car accident case, you may qualify to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including costs for future treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages, including expected lost wages
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Mental anguish
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Property damage

In cases where a victim did not survive, surviving family members may qualify for wrongful death damages, including costs for funeral arrangements, loss of consortium, and other emotional losses.

As noted above, insurance companies want to resolve accident claims for as little money as possible. If you want to get top dollar for your claim, then hiring a Tampa car accident attorney is the best option. Contact the Distasio Law Firm to talk to one of our highly experienced personal injury lawyers about your claim.

Insurance Companies Will Use Tactics to Stall You From Filings a Lawsuit

Insurance companies often attempt to prolong the claims process by:

  • Delaying response times
  • Denying claims due to lack of evidence or other technical errors
  • Notifying claimants about additional information needed each time the claim gets reviewed

These tactics are an effort to keep claimants from timely submitting a lawsuit to pursue compensation.

Most accident victims don’t understand Florida personal injury law or their rights in an accident case. For example, you might not be aware that you can still file a claim even if you were partially at fault for the crash. You might also not know that you could potentially sue an entity that wasn’t even present at the time of the crash, like the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective car part.

A Tampa personal injury attorney will help you understand both your legal rights and your options. They will work hard to ensure that you hold all at-fault parties responsible – and that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation.

How Much Time Does a Plaintiff Have to File Their Case?

In Florida, there are two statutes of limitations that apply to accident cases:

  • Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) sets a two-year window period for personal injury cases, starting on the date of the accident.
  • Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d) sets a two-year window period for wrongful death cases, starting on the date of the victim’s death.

If you fail to submit your lawsuit within these timeframes, you may be barred from pursuing compensation through court. This would absolve the defendant from liability and lower your ability to negotiate a settlement deal through the claims process.

Two years may seem like a long time, but it can go quickly when you are dealing with doctor’s appointments, missed work, and more. If you want to get the best possible outcome for your case, give our law offices a call today.

Contact Our Attorneys Today For Help Filing a Claim

If you or a loved one was injured in a vehicle accident in Tampa, Florida, and now would like to file a claim, Distasio Law Firm can help you fight for compensation. During your consultation, we can explain what you should expect after filing an accident claim, including whether you should consider filing a lawsuit, too.

Call (813) 544-6844 today to get a free case review, or fill out our online contact form. When you work with an attorney at Distasio Law Firm, you get the Distasio Personal Touch, so you know your case is in good hands.

OUR OFFICES

Our main office is here in Downtown Tampa, Florida in the Channelside neighborhood. Office in Wesley Chapel and Largo are available by appointment only.

Distasio Law Firm
N/a