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Protecting Your Rights And Pursuing Compensation After A Car Accident

Drivers in Lakeland, Florida, area, like other areas of the country, are more careless than ever before, due in large part to a never-ending source of distractions available to those who should be focused on the road. What happens when someone else’s poor driving choices cause you to get in a car accident? You turn to a trusted car accident lawyer for help getting the compensation you deserve. Learn more about the car accident claim process and contact Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law, to discuss your options.

After surviving a traumatic motor vehicle collision, choosing the right Lakeland personal injury attorney is critical. A lawyer will not only thoroughly explain what compensation options are available to you, but also protect your rights throughout the entire process. 

How To Choose A Lakeland Car Accident Attorney

The personal injury attorneys at Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law, work hard to settle cases before filing a lawsuit. You deserve a team of skilled negotiators with a proven track record of success in resolving cases. Any attorney’s fee will increase with litigation. Costs can be substantial – and deducted from any amount you are awarded. With strong negotiators on your side, you can focus on recovering from your injury – and receive fair compensation as well. 

Lakeland injury attorneys like Darla K. Snead and Michael H. Dulin understand how Florida’s laws can affect your compensation and will help you build a strong case position with the insurance companies and court. You never have to worry about settling for less because they will fight to ensure any settlement or judgment you receive is fair and just for your situation. 

What To Do After A Car Accident In Florida

It’s hard to react calmly and productively after an accident, but panicking and lashing out at the other driver doesn’t get anything done. What you do in the minutes and hours after a car accident matters. 

  • Write down the following information (or save it in your phone):
    • Other driver’s name, address, and phone number
    • Their car’s make, model, year, license number, and vehicle ID number
    • (If not the driver) The car owner’s name, address, and phone number
    • Name, address, and phone number for any witnesses
  • Diagram the accident and photograph the accident scene.
  • Do not take any blame for the accident.
  • Call Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. Call immediately, as the time right after the accident can be vital to your claim. 
  • Call emergency services. If anyone is injured, they will need to be assessed by emergency medical technicians and possibly get transported to the hospital. Even if no one is injured, the accident must be reported to the police so they can create a police report.
  • Communicate with the police and medical care providers. Provide your contact and insurance information and get the other party’s insurance and contact information.
  • Gather evidence. Take pictures of the scene of the crash, your injuries, the road conditions around you, and any damaged property. If possible, take a video recording as well; this is harder to alter and may strengthen your case. You should also get contact information from any witnesses who stopped to offer help.
  • Seek medical care. Get checked out by medical professionals as quickly as possible after the crash. Some injuries may not be visible right away, but still, have the potential to cause serious harm. A medical checkup offers peace of mind and creates a paper trail of the injuries you sustained during the accident.
  • Reach out to an attorney before you have any contact with the other party’s insurance company. As soon as you can, connect with a top injury lawyer in Lakeland. If you communicate at all with the liable party’s insurance company, you risk losing or decreasing your settlement.

Are You Entitled To Compensation?

If you did not cause the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the other party. Much comes down to determining liability. An investigation may indicate that one party is 90% responsible for the accident and the other party shares 10% of the blame. It may come out to a 50%/50% liability split. Regardless, you may be able to get compensated if you are less liable than the other party. Your award would simply be reduced according to the amount of fault you share.

Many types of compensation are awarded in personal injury cases. During your consultation, we’ll discuss what you may be entitled to, including:

  • Medical expenses. This includes the expenses you’ve already accrued because of the accident, as well as compensation for any future medical care you are likely to need. Working with an experienced Lakeland personal injury lawyer can help increase the likelihood of receiving such compensation.
  • Lost wages. If you had to take time away from work to go to medical appointments or you were unable to work for a period of time because of your injuries, you may be able to recoup those losses with the help of a Lakeland car accident lawyer.
  • Disability or disfigurement. Those who suffer permanent disability or the loss of a limb or sense should consult with a Lakeland personal injury attorney to obtain further compensation to make up for their irreversible losses.
  • Property damage. Damage to your vehicle is a significant expense and should not be forgotten during your personal injury case. A knowledgeable Lakeland car accident attorney can help you make the at-fault party pay for these damages.
  • Pain and suffering. Car accidents often leave victims with serious pain and ongoing trauma. This is accounted for in many court awards and lawsuit settlements. Trust a highly skilled Lakeland personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Note that under Florida law, drivers must have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage.

What To Bring When You Meet With Your Lawyer

When scheduling your initial consultation, your Lakeland accident attorney will let you know what documentation to provide. You should also be prepared with any information you think could assist your lawyer in representing your case, even if they did not ask for it. You never know what may prove useful during your case, so do not hesitate to share anything you think is pertinent. 

Below are what you can expect to need at your first meeting with your personal injury attorney:

  • A copy of your driver’s license
  • A copy of accident report and/or driver exchange of information report 
  • Any documents or photographs related to the accident
  • All motor vehicle insurance cards
  • All health insurance cards (Including private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid)
  • Any medical bills or medical records
  • A list of all hospitals, medical doctors or chiropractors you have seen since the accident
  • Information about any work you have missed because of the accident

Additionally, it is important to discuss with the attorney how the accident has affected your ability to work or any limitations on your daily activities. The attorney will want to know in detail what physical problems you are experiencing and how often you are experiencing those problems. Therefore, it is helpful to keep a calendar or notes on how you feel on a daily basis.

Is Your Attorney A Good Fit? Ask These Questions

Besides providing details about your life before the accident, and the expenses and losses you have suffered, you should have some questions prepared to determine if your Lakeland accident attorney is a good fit for your case. 

Consider some of these examples of questions: 

  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Have you been handling personal injury cases involving car accidents in Lakeland the whole time?
  • How many accident claims have you handled in your career?
  • How will the insurance company evaluate my personal injury case?
  • Does the attorney personally handle my case or a case manager (nonattorney)?
  • Do you offer contingency fee pricing?

These are just a few questions that could have a significant impact on your personal injury claim. Make sure that whoever you choose to represent you is someone you are comfortable with and trust. Your recovery is dependent upon their skill and capability to effectively represent your legal interests. 

Going Forward With Your Lakeland Car Accident Case

After hiring a Lakeland personal injury lawyer, you can expect to sign several agreements regarding fees, representation, and records authorizations. While these steps are essential to your case, the next phases of your car accident claim will begin. Below are the stages of at-fault accident cases. 

  • Determining viability of your case
  • Gathering your medical records and evaluating your treatment
  • Sending a demand letter and supporting documentation to the insurance company
  • Negotiations 
  • File a lawsuit (if unable to settle)
  • Mediation 
  • Going to trial

How We Can Help You With Your Case

Choosing the right car accident lawyer for your needs is crucial. You need an attorney with substantial experience going up against insurance companies, fighting for clients’ rights, and securing fair settlements. We have this experience. With us you will get: 

  • With almost 50 years combined experience, including corporate representation of insurance companies and their at-fault drivers, Darla K. Snead and Michael H. Dulin know all of the tricks that insurance companies use and how to fight back. From securing evidence and creating a clear timeline of your accident to calculating damages and demanding a fair amount from the other party, they are ready to stand with you throughout your case and help you get what you deserve.
  • You might wonder why it’s so important that you choose an attorney who knows how to work with insurance companies. This is because the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court. It’s likely that your case will never even reach the courtroom. However, the insurance company is not going to pay without a fight. Their goal is to protect their shareholders by paying out fewer claims and lower amounts. That means that even if their client was clearly negligent in a crash, they’ll do whatever it takes to pin some blame on you.
  • Bringing a lawyer into the conversation completely changes the insurance company’s strategy. They know that they can’t intimidate or lowball a Lakeland car accident attorney the same way they can an accident victim.

Through multiple rounds of negotiation, Ms. Snead and Mr. Dulin will fight aggressively to secure a fair settlement that covers your losses from the accident.

When You Are Ready To Start Your Personal Injury Claim

You can expect Ms. Snead and Mr. Dulin to be with you throughout the entire process. When you have questions or concerns, they’ll be there to update you, answer your questions, and provide insight. Our team will handle the legal side of your claim so you can focus on resting and healing.

The earlier you reach out to a Lakeland car accident lawyer, the sooner they are able to start building a case for you. Take the first step now by reaching out to Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law You can contact us online or call our office to get started.