Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence in the State of Florida. In fact, according to data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, over 400,000 accidents take place every year on Florida Roads and highways.
If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident, whether or not you were at fault, you’ll need to get in touch with a car accident attorney for legal advice and support. Many individuals do not know where to turn after being involved in auto accidents because there are so many available attorneys in the State of Florida. So, we’ve highlighted some of the key things you should look out for when narrowing down your choices.
Here at The Law Place, we specialize in traffic crimes and traffic injuries. We can guarantee round-the-clock support for all of our clients in the State of Florida, as well as an excellent record in winning cases like yours. If you are facing any criminal charges, or if you’re looking to pursue compensation for serious injury, we’re here to help.
Contact our office today to receive a free case evaluation with one of our car accident attorneys on (941) 444-4444.
Qualities of a Reputable Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer
There are hundreds of attorneys in the State of Florida who advertise their services to those who have been involved in car accidents. However, you’ll need to do your own research and choose carefully to find the best professional for you and your case. So, in order to do this, you should look out for characteristics such as:
A Professional Website
The first step for any car accident victim when looking for legal representation is usually to use a search engine such as Google. ‘Sarasota car accident attorneys’ and related searches will return thousands of results.
When narrowing down your options, you should pay close attention to law firm websites. A trustworthy car accident lawyer will have a professional website with lots of content. You should be able to view information about the firm and its legal professionals. You should also be able to read plenty of articles and blogs. All of these qualities demonstrate that the firm has lots of specific experience and knowledge to support its clients and achieve the best possible case outcome.
However, you should never take a law firm’s website at face value. Instead, you should always do your own research, including looking at reviews from previous clients on independent review sites. You can also look for professional accreditation sites where companies and clients can rate the experience they’ve received with a law firm or specific attorney. For example, here at The Law Place, we’re externally reviewed by AVVO, where many members of our team have received the highest possible score of 10.0.
Any reputable car accident attorney will always offer a free consultation or a free case evaluation to all of their prospective clients. Any attorney who is confident in their ability and their experience will want to make you feel comfortable before you start working with them. They’ll want you to ask lots of questions to make sure you feel they are a good fit for you and your case. They’ll also want to help you make sure you’re confident in your choice of legal representation before you commit to spending any money or signing any contracts. So, you should be wary of any law firm that does not offer this service.
Working on a No-Win, No-Fee Basis
It’s no secret that hiring a car accident or personal injury attorney can be expensive – especially if you’re filing a lawsuit and taking your case to a court of law. Therefore, it’s always best to choose a firm that operates on a no-win, no-fee basis – often referred to as a ‘contingency fee basis.’ This means that if your lawyer is not able to win your case, either with an out-of-court settlement or by trial, you won’t be obligated to pay a fee.
This demonstrates that you’re working with a law firm that is confident that they can offer an excellent service and achieve a favorable case outcome for you. It also gives you confidence that your attorney will be putting dedicated time and effort into your case, as they won’t get paid if you don’t win.
There are thousands of legal professionals in Sarasota, FL. This can make it extremely difficult to narrow down your options and choose someone to represent you – especially if your case needs to be handled quickly or if you have sustained injuries in a serious car accident and need to pursue immediate compensation.
Many car accident victims may know that they’ll need to work with a criminal defense attorney if they are facing criminal charges or even a personal injury attorney if they have been injured through negligence. However, beyond this, you should be as specific as possible in your choice. This means that you should look for a lawyer that specializes in motor vehicle accidents and has experience winning these types of cases.
Lawyers with specific prior experience will know tactics and arguments that have previously been successful for cases like yours. In addition, this area of Florida law requires a specific set of knowledge and skills that a standard personal injury or criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota may not possess. Therefore, a Sarasota car accident attorney will be the best professional to support you with your case.
Focus on Attorney-Client Relationship
Being injured in a car accident can have devastating consequences. You could be suffering from painful physical injuries, as well as mental trauma. Therefore, it’s important to find someone who is a good fit, both professionally and personally.
Your lawyer will be your first port of call for any questions or concerns, and they will be supporting you through a complex legal process. So, in addition to things like qualifications and case experience, you should be aiming to get a sense of whether or not you and your attorney will work well together.
Whilst car accident attorneys will usually work with more than one client at any time. They should still be able to give you an expectation of the communication you will receive. Naturally, you want to be sure that you feel like a priority and that you are always able to contact your attorney when you need them. So, you should ask about how long it typically takes them to reply to clients and what level of response you could receive.
In addition, you want to make sure that you have a clear line of communication with your lawyer. Whilst some of your communication may involve speaking with an attorney’s assistant, you need to be sure that if you have an issue or need some reassurance, you are able to contact your attorney directly.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me With?
Some individuals involved in car accidents are hesitant to hire an attorney due to the fact that legal representation can be expensive. However, both criminal defense and personal injury for traffic-related incidents are complicated areas of Florida law that can be difficult to navigate without experience – especially if your case is taken before a court of law.
Attorneys who specialize in car accidents can assist you with a number of key areas, including:
Communicating With Insurance Companies
After getting into a car accident, it’s likely that you’ll need to communicate with multiple insurance companies. Firstly, you’ll need to contact your own insurance company in order to claim through your own Personal Injury Protection insurance in accordance with Florida Statute 627.736. In addition, if you’re filing a claim or pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent driver involved in your accident, you’ll also have to deal with their insurance provider.
It can be notoriously difficult to handle communications with insurance companies as they are usually using tactics to try to avoid paying higher amounts of compensation to accident victims. For example, they could be attempting to get you to downplay your injuries or even admit fault for the accident.
Car accident lawyers will be able to handle all communications with insurance companies involved in your case and also fill out any paperwork in order to make sure you aren’t at risk of harming your claim.
Whether you’re facing criminal charges or making a personal injury claim against another driver, your lawyer will need to prove that some kind of negligence occurred in order for your case to be successful.
According to Florida Statute 768.81, in order to prove negligence, your attorney will have to:
- Prove that an individual involved in your car accident owed you a duty of care.
- Prove that this individual breached the duty of care they owed to you, for example, if they engaged in distracted driving, drunk driving or if they fell asleep at the wheel.
- Prove that this breach of care directly resulted in you becoming injured.
Once it has been established that there was a negligent party, it will also need to be proved that you sustained serious injuries as described in Florida Statute 316.027.
If you are facing criminal charges, proving that your accident was caused by or exacerbated by another negligent party could lead to your charges being downgraded or dropped. Alternatively, for personal injury cases, proving this information will ensure that you receive compensation for your auto accident.
Once it has been proved that another individual was responsible for your auto accident, they will then be liable to pay for damages. Car accident lawyers will help you to make a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit to receive compensation for damages, including:
- Short-term medical bills.
- Long-term medical expenses such as medication for pain or rehabilitation and physiotherapy for your injuries.
- Lost wages for short-term and long-term lost income.
- Pain and suffering for mental and emotional pain.
- Property damage.
- Wrongful death benefits (if a family member was killed).
- Loss of consortium if a spouse or partner sustained serious injuries which have affected your physical and romantic relationship.
Taking Your Case to Court
Florida has one of the harshest sentencing rules for traffic crimes in the United States. Therefore, it’s important to find legal representation as soon as possible in order to start building a strong legal defense.
A criminal defense attorney should be able to defend you against a number of traffic crimes and should attempt to have your charges downgraded or dropped. For example by:
- Arguing that police officers treated you unnecessarily forcefully at the scene of the crime.
- Questioning whether law enforcement officers performed all their duties correctly, including reciting the Miranda Warning.
- Arguing that police officers breached your Fifth Amendment right to withhold incriminating information and, therefore, the evidence you gave was inadmissible.
- Arguing that someone else’s negligence was the primary reason for the car accident that occurred.
Or, in the case of a personal injury claim, your lawyer should be prepared to take your claim to court if the insurance companies involved are unwilling to agree on a fair settlement for your case.
Contact The Law Place – Sarasota Car Accident Attorneys
If you’re a car accident victim, we can represent you whether or not you are at fault for the accident, even if you are facing criminal charges. Our legal team of criminal defense lawyers and personal injury lawyers have a great deal of experience winning traffic cases, including personal injury claims, car wreck injuries, DUIs, reckless driving, and more.
Here at The Law Place, we can help you to obtain compensation, including lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. We can also help to get any criminal charges dropped or downgraded if you were responsible for a Sarasota car accident.
To speak with one of our Sarasota car accident lawyers in a free consultation, call our office today on (941) 444-4444.