Lakeland Car Accident Lawyers
Whether you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, your chances of being involved in a serious auto accident are very high. According to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 375,000 motor vehicle accidents each year in Lakeland and throughout the State. More than 243,000 victims of car accidents suffer injuries, and almost 3,000 people die each year in motor vehicle collisions.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our attorneys are skilled legal advocates who have spent more than twenty-years fighting for the rights of auto accident victims. Our team of Lakeland car accident attorneys, case managers, paralegals and support staff are ready to take on the big insurance companies who defend reckless drivers so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. If you have questions, contact our Lakeland office today for a free case evaluation.
- What’s the Cost?
- Why File Suit?
- What Can I Win?
Lakeland Car Accident Attorneys Fight Insurance Companies for You
Handling insurance claims following an automobile accident can be a frustrating, confusing and risky process for inexperienced accident victim and their family. Florida law imposes very specific deadlines for injured persons to seek medical treatment or they forfeit most health insurance benefits. And despite their catchy slogans, the insurance company handling your claim are not “like a good neighbor,” nor are the “on your side.” Instead their goals are to minimize the injured victim’s damages and delay paying full compensation to those injured by negligence.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our attorneys are truly on the side of those injured in auto accidents in Lakeland. With the financial resources necessary to take on the insurance companies, extensive knowledge and years of trial experience, our attorneys will fight tirelessly to get your family the money you deserve for your injury. For more two decades, our auto accident attorneys have handled thousands of cases helping crash victims throughout the State of Florida. Contact us today, if you are the victim of an auto accident.
Lakeland Car Accident? What You Need to Know
The shock and trauma following a serious car accident often makes it difficult to make good decisions. Here are a few things you should know if you are a car crash victim:
- First, call the police.
- If you are injured, call and wait for emergency medical assistance to arrive.
- Get the name, address and phone number of any witnesses to the collision.
- Take as many pictures as possible of the vehicles involved, the crash scene and any injuries sustained.
- Get the names and addresses of all police agencies and emergency services responders.
- If you are injured but not treated at the accident scene by emergency medical personnel or taken to a local hospital, please be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. If you are not examined within 14-days of a car accident, you will lose thousands of dollars in auto insurance benefits, even if you are not a fault.
- Finally, keep a detailed, written, record of the medical treatment you receive for related injuries and for any time lost from work.
Lakeland Car Accident FAQ
You suffered serious injuries in a Lakeland car accident. You know you need to file a personal injury claim.
Take a look at the FAQ below, or contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez of The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today to learn more about how to file a personal injury claim following a Lakeland car accident, including the details that can help you determine the compensation you may deserve.
1. How should I handle my medical expenses following a Lakeland car accident?
Medical expenses can quickly leave you struggling financially following your Lakeland car accident. You may have bills for emergency medical treatment, bills for long-term care as you recover from severe injuries, and bills for ongoing physical and/or occupational therapy to help you regain strength, flexibility, and functionality following your accident.
All those medical care providers eventually expect payment for their services, and as the person injured in the Lakeland car accident, you will need to make arrangements to pay those bills.
Luckily, you do have some options that can help alleviate those medical costs and make it easier for you to manage your bills as you recover from your injuries.
Use your PIP insurance. Florida drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection Insurance, also known as PIP insurance, to legally operate Florida vehicles.
PIP insurance helps cover the initial medical expenses associated with severe car accident injuries. PIP insurance typically provides up to $10,000 in coverage, minus the amount of your deductible, in assistance paying your medical bills following a car accident. It does not matter whether you or the other driver caused the accident. Your PIP coverage exists to provide some immediate assistance with medical bills.
Use your health insurance. If you carry private or employer-sponsored health insurance, your insurance can provide considerable assistance in managing the medical costs associated with your Lakeland auto accident. Health insurance may cover many of the ongoing costs of injuries that result in the need for long-term medical care, making it a vital part of your care plan.
If you carry health insurance, make sure you contact your provider as soon after your Lakeland car accident as possible to learn more about what specific coverage you have, including coverage for in-home care, durable medical equipment, and physical and occupational therapy.
Wait for the funds from your Lakeland car accident claim. Filing a Lakeland car accident claim can provide you with much-needed compensation that can make it easier to pay your medical bills and manage the other expenses associated with your auto accident. Your medical costs will form the foundation of that claim, so make sure you keep track of your medical bills so that you can submit an accurate assessment of your medical costs related to the accident.
You may have a long wait ahead of you as you file a car accident claim and await compensation. While you wait, if you do not have the funds to pay your medical bills, an attorney can issue a letter of protection to state your intent to pay once you have those funds. Often, a letter of protection can help you avoid collections actions against you while you await the funds from your car accident claim.
2. What should I do to protect myself as much as possible following a Lakeland car accident?
Both physical and financial protection following a Lakeland auto accident can prove critical. Follow these steps to help increase your overall protection and help create better outcomes for your claim.
Report the accident. Often, the driver that caused your Lakeland auto accident will not want you to report the accident to the police. Lakeland has heavy traffic much of the time, so even a moment’s distraction, inattention, or even loss of focus can quickly lead to accidents with severe injuries.
Often, the liable party will not want to accept liability and all the consequences that may go along with it. A young driver may not want to admit the accident to his parents, while a drunk driver may want to avoid license loss and the criminal penalties that go along with driving while intoxicated.
Failure to report the accident, however, can make it very difficult for you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Do not leave the scene of a Lakeland car accident without reporting it. Instead, call 911 to have an officer from the Lakeland Police Department dispatched to the scene of the accident. The officer will review the scene, get a better idea of what led to the accident, and write a report that can help serve as evidence in a later personal injury claim.
Get the medical attention you need. Medical attention can prove essential following a serious auto accident. Unfortunately, all too many Lakeland auto accident victims walk away from the scene of the accident, assuming that they do not really need medical attention, only to later discover that they sustained much more severe injuries in the accident than they initially thought.
Even victims with severe injuries like traumatic brain injury may not recognize the full extent of their symptoms immediately after the accident, especially if they do not lose consciousness at the scene. Later, nausea and vomiting, a persistent headache, or cognitive changes may let the victim know that they suffered more serious injuries than first assumed.
Whether you choose to visit Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center or need transportation to a larger hospital outside Lakeland to seek the medical care you really need, those doctors can provide vital information about the injuries you sustained in the accident and the treatment you need. Those doctors can also help you establish evidence of when your injuries took place, which may prove vital to your later personal injury claim.
Make sure you follow all instructions given to you by medical professionals related to your injuries, including attending follow-up appointments or going through physical therapy, if needed. That follow-up care may prove vital to your recovery and to your ability to recover the funds you deserve in a personal injury claim.
Contact The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. If you suffered serious injuries in your Lakeland auto accident, contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez for a free consultation regarding your accident. Working with an attorney can help you establish the compensation you really deserve, increase the odds that the insurance company will take you seriously, and make it easier for you to recover damages following your accident.
3. Do Lakeland insurance companies offer fair compensation to car accident victims?
The aftermath of a Lakeland car accident can prove difficult enough to manage, and insurance companies often do not take steps to make it easier. Many insurance companies utilize a variety of tactics to minimize the compensation they have to pay out to car accident victims, including victims who may have sustained severe injuries and who, as a result, may deserve substantial compensation for their injuries.
Insurance companies may start by trying to prove that you, rather than the other driver, caused the accident, or that your actions contributed substantially to the accident. If the insurance company can prove that its driver did not commit the act of negligence that led to the accident, the insurance company may not have to pay out as much in compensation.
Next, the insurance company may try to prove that your injuries did not cause the severe impact on your life that you claim as part of your car accident claim. The insurance company may try to catch you engaging in activities that your injuries should prevent or prove that your quality of life did not decrease substantially because of the accident.
Finally, the insurance company may try issuing a low settlement offer, then pressuring you to take it. Often, insurance companies will use this tactic soon after the initial accident, before you have a chance to determine the full extent of your injuries or work out how they will impact you long-term. If the insurance company can get you to accept that offer, it will not have to pay out any future compensation, which may leave you without the funds you need to rebuild your life following a severe accident.
4. Do I really need a lawyer to help file a Lakeland car accident claim?
Many people feel that they may not need a lawyer to work with them on a car accident claim. After all, insurance companies exist to provide compensation for accident victims.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will ignore the needs of the accident victim, instead focusing on minimizing the amount they have to pay out as much as possible. If the insurance company fails to offer adequate payment, you may struggle to pay your medical bills or manage the other financial losses associated with your accident.
A lawyer can help.
At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer work to help their clients fully understand the compensation they deserve. Often, the firm takes over dealing with the insurance company on the victim’s behalf, which can make it easier for the victim to maximize their compensation while avoiding mistakes that could impact the damages they ultimately recover for their injuries.
A lawyer can also help with investigating the car accident. Some car accidents have a clear liable party: one driver who clearly caused or contributed to the accident. In other accidents, however, you may need a more in-depth investigation of the accident to get a better idea of who caused the accident and to establish which driver or other entity bears liability for those injuries.
An attorney can help conduct that investigation and even bring in an expert witness who can take a closer look at the circumstances that led to the accident and help put together compelling evidence that will help establish your claim.
Finally, an attorney can provide vital peace of mind as you move through your Lakeland car accident claim. An attorney has your best interests at heart, not the insurance company’s or even your doctors’. An attorney will help keep the focus on your financial needs and your rights following a car accident.
Many Lakeland auto accident victims find that working with an attorney who knows the local court system and Florida laws relating to auto accidents can make it much easier for them to obtain the compensation they deserve, even increasing the compensation they ultimately recover for their injuries.
5. How long will it take to settle a Lakeland car accident claim?
In a perfect world, you would have compensation for your car accident injuries in your hands soon after your auto accident. Unfortunately, car accident claims may not move as quickly as you had hoped. Many Lakeland car accident victims must wait for some time to obtain the compensation they really deserve for their injuries.
Keep in mind that it takes time to move through the claim process. Several factors may also extend the time needed to settle your claim.
- How long does it take to investigate your claim? In cases where you can clearly see who caused the accident, the investigation may not take long at all. On the other hand, complicated auto accident investigations can take considerably longer to move through. In the case of big truck accidents or accidents involving multiple vehicles, it may take considerably longer for your attorney and the other driver’s insurance company to investigate the claim.
- Do you need time to recover from your injuries? Many injuries mean a long and potentially difficult road to recovery. You may suffer complications along the way. Your doctors may not know how much you will eventually recover. In some cases, your attorney may recommend waiting until you have a better idea of what your eventual recovery will look like before moving forward with your car accident claim.
- How much do you need to negotiate? Multiple rounds of negotiation, while they can increase the odds that you will recover the compensation you deserve, can also increase the time needed to settle your Lakeland car accident claim. The more you need to negotiate, the longer it may take to settle your claim.
Contact our Lakeland Auto Accident Attorneys
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have been helping car accident victim’s for years. If you have been injured in an auto collision in Lakeland, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses, wage loss, pain, suffering and other damages. Should you wish to seek the advice on an experienced auto accident attorney, contact our law firm today for a free legal consultation at 1(800) 222-8163.
There are no fees or costs to you unless we make a recovery for you. We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win…and We Want to Win!