Contact The Barker Law Firm today if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of an auto accident. You will immediately receive prompt, courteous attention, and the help you need from a St Petersburg auto accident lawyer. We help with deciding how to deal with medical bills, property damage, wage loss, insurance claims, and other important questions that you or your family may have following a car accident.
Automobile accidents are a fact of life and happen every day. They are often caused by other drivers who are either:
Speeding – everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. When drivers are in a hurry or late, they try to compensate by driving just a little faster.
Ignoring traffic signals and signs – driver trying to beat a yellow light before it turns green or failing to completely stop at an intersection where there is a stop sign before moving forward. You, as the driver who does not have a controlled traffic device or sign keep driving as if the car coming through the intersection is going to do what they are supposed to do – stop. When they don’t, you have no warning that they are going to continue through the intersection and suddenly the vehicles collide.
Talking or texting on their cell phones – modern technology is a wonderful thing. Computers, GPS, cell phones, watches that do all kinds of things are great conveniences. In a car, though, these devices such as cell phones and GPS devices become distractions that take away the driver’s attention from traffic on the roadway, even if for just a split second. A lot can happen in a split second when your eyes are not on the road causing an accident. Cell phones records can be obtained that will show whether a driver has been using their cell phone at the same time they were involved in a collision. When this information comes to light, attributing liability to the driver who was distracted by technology becomes easy.
Weather conditions – weather conditions affect traffic and often result only in traffic delays. But a driver who is not familiar with operating their motor vehicle in dense fog, rain, slick roads and high winds or other adverse weather conditions needs to adjust their speed and pay closer attention to traffic on the roadway. Even though the weather conditions may have caused a driver to not keep their vehicle under proper control, the driver is still the one that is held responsible for the accident.
Fortunately, a small percentage of accidents result in a death, but injuries are sustained in auto accident that can be debilitating and life or career altering. If you are injured in a car accident as the result of the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to be compensated not only for your injuries but for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages you sustain.
Representing yourself in a claim for an automobile accident is never a good idea. Insurance adjusters keep their jobs by settling claimants of people who are really injured to the negligence of the insured drivers for as little money as possible. Once you sign a release, you no longer have a right to bring a claim for any injury which you sustained as a direct result of the accident. You will be responsible for payment of any outstanding medical bills and any time lost from work that results a loss of income to you will not be compensated by the at-fault driver’s carrier.
For this reason, it is important that when the other driver’s carrier contacts you, you decline to speak to them, to give any information about how the accident happened or how bad your injuries are. Oftentimes, you do not know immediately how bad your injuries really are. At the scene of the accident, adrenaline is often pumping and you are emotional and you do not immediately realize that your neck, back or some other part of your body is injured. It is, in fact, sometimes a few days before you feel any real pain or limitations. Even more importantly, a disc injury is something that will not be discovered until an MRI or other diagnostic testing is performed at the request of a doctor by a diagnostic facility. There are no outward signs of a disc injury. Just pain and physical limitations. A medical provider will often treat you conservatively before resorting to expensive diagnostic studies. But, if you do not feel better within a few weeks, diagnostic studies will show the injuries that we cannot see.
In those immediate moments after a car accident, there are some things you should not do:
Never try to represent yourself against an insurance company. This occurs when people do not understand their legal rights and mistakenly believe that the insurance company will be fair and offer an adequate settlement.
Do not think that hiring a large personal injury firm based on radio and television commercials is the best choice because of the size of the firm. In large law firms, there are many levels of staff that you will talk to before you get to talk to your attorney. In some instances, a client who hire large firms never actually get to speak to their attorney who is assigned to their case. Although you may sometimes speak to the paralegal assigned to your case at The Barker Law Firm, it is your right to speak directly to your attorney any time you want to. St Petersburg car accident lawyer Brian Barker is available to speak to all of his clients personally.
If you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident do not leave the scene. Call 911 immediately so they can send policeman or deputy to the scene of the accident in addition to an ambulance and EMT’s to do an on-site assessment of your injuries.
Don’t apologize to the other driver and do not admit any fault for the accident. Anything that you say at the scene may be brought up later and used against you.
Do not tell anyone that you are not hurt or that you are okay. You have just had an accident, you are not thinking clearly and at that point you really don’t know if you are okay.
Do not leave the scene of the accident without taking pictures, preferably if you are able to, while the cars are still in the position immediately after the accident. Almost everyone has a cell phone that can take pictures. These pictures could be very important later on when the adverse driver’s insurance carrier tries to dispute liability.
Do not forget to obtain the other driver’s insurance information and if possible take a picture of the license plate of the other driver’s car or truck.
Do not refuse to be medically assessed at the scene of the accident. Some injuries will take a few days before you are really feeling pain as you try to go about your regular routine. The other drive’s insurance company will try to say are not hurt because you refused treatment at the scene or did not go to the hospital.
Do not speak to anyone from an insurance company or a private investigator. They are going to try to get information from you that they will use to hurt you later on. Tell whoever calls you to contact your attorney. Insurers will often reach out to accident victims immediately and try to offer them a few hundred dollars in exchange for an all inclusive release. If you sign that release you will never be able to file a claim, even if your injuries are very serious.
To really protect yourself and your future after an automobile accident that is not your fault, you need to retain the services of a law firm that has represented injured clients and knows how to deal with insurance carriers.
The Barker Law Firm will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. We will make sure that the insurance company for the at-fault party does not have the opportunity to take advantage of you and settle your claim for a nominal amount which is likely significantly less than what your case is really worth.
If you are injured in an automobile accident, contact The Barker Law Firm in St Petersburg to represent you. And when the adverse insurance company calls you to settle with you for $500, you can tell them call my attorneys – The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000
To schedule a free consultation or request additional information about our services, please contact The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000 or click here to contact us by e-mail.