When should I contact an attorney after a car accident?
If someone is involved in a car accident, he/she may be entitled to collect compensation for injuries as well as any time missed from work. Whether an injured motorist misses work due to hospitalization or if the injuries simply prevent that individual from being able to perform his/her normal work duties, an injured motorist typically has a right to recover wages lost in addition to the cost of medical care. Certain types of injuries are commonly caused by auto accidents and they can range from mild to catastrophic. Some of the worst traffic accident injuries result from drivers who are distracted, drunk or drowsy.
Following a car accident, retaining the services of a personal injury attorney as early along in the process as possible can work to a claimant’s advantage. If a motorist is seriously injured, family members are strongly encouraged to speak with a car accident attorney while the injury victim is still recovering. The earlier an attorney is hired and involved in an automobile accident claim, the more time he/she has to gather supporting evidence and build a case. An experienced auto accident lawyer will know exactly what information to put together in order to get a fair and reasonable settlement offer from an insurance company. If necessary, an attorney will also organize the right information and be prepared to take a case to trial in the event that a fair settlement cannot be reached otherwise.
The bottom line – if you’re injured in a car accident and you feel another motorist was to blame, begin your search for an attorney immediately. Even if your injuries did not require hospitalization, an experience auto accident attorney can help to recover any costs of medical treatment you required to include any future doctor’s visits and prescriptions. You should never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Car Accident Statistics
- In addition to fatalities, auto accidents injure or disable 2.35 million people each year
- In Florida, auto accidents have decreased by nearly 30,000 occurrences since 2005, with fatal crashes down by almost one third
- Most accidents and related fatalities occur on Friday or Saturday, with the majority of collisions occurring between 3am and 5am
- Nearly 250,000 traffic accidents occur in Florida each year
- Nearly 37,000 traffic accident fatalities occur in the US each year
- Nearly 51% of fatalities in Florida and the US can be prevented by wearing a seat belt
- One in five drivers admits to having browsed the internet via smartphone while driving
- Reading or typing a text message occupies a minimum of 5 seconds of a driver’s attention – at 55mph, that timeframe covers the length of a football field (nearly 300 feet)
- The #1 cause of all traffic accidents in Florida and the US is careless driving, which includes distracted driving (texting), drowsy driving, and drunk driving
- The second leading cause of car accidents is a failure to yield the right of way
Driver Safety Tips
The Florida DMV and local police departments recommend implementing a few safe driving habits to help prevent car accidents and the injuries that can result:
- Abstain from texting at any time while driving. Only talk on the phone using a headset, blue-tooth or similar hand-free device
- Always wear a seat belt
- Never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs with sedating qualities or side effects
- Drive defensively and yield the right of way. When in doubt, allow the other car to proceed ahead of you and allow hurried/frustrated drivers to pass
- Increase your following distance by 4-6 car-lengths and reduce speed in adverse weather conditions such as Tampa’s heavy tropical rains during the summer and early fall months. Engage the hazard lights in minimal visibility conditions to help other drivers see your car