Automobile Accident FAQs
Automobile accidents can cause life-changing injuries and you need to understand your rights after an accident occurs. A Tampa car accident lawyer at Alley, Clark & Greiwe will provide you with personalized help after an accident in order to determine if you can pursue a claim to hold another driver accountable for hurting you. We assist victims involved in several types of car accidents, including, but not limited to:
- Head-on car accidents
- Rear-end car accidents
- Hit-and-run car accidents
- Drunk driving car accidents
- Uber/Lyft car accidents
- Auto accidents involving bicycles
- Auto accidents involving buses
- Auto accidents involving pedestrians
- Auto accidents involving motorcycles
- Auto accidents involving trucks
- Multivehicle car accidents
As soon as your accident happens, you should give our office a call so we can help you to file necessary claims, talk with insurers, and protect your rights. There's never any substitute for legal advice, so do not hesitate to reach out and schedule your consultation. You can also review the information on this page to find answers to frequently asked questions about the rights of victims in auto accidents. Contact us today to get the help you need.
Who Is at Fault in an Auto Accident?
Determining who is at fault in an auto accident is complicated. Typically, a driver is considered to have caused an accident if the at-fault driver broke the rules of the road or behaved negligently and caused a crash to occur. For example, if a driver ran a red light and hit another car, it could be determined that this red light violation caused the crash and the driver could ultimately be held responsible.
Police reports, witness statements, and expert witnesses can all provide information that helps to demonstrate who was at fault for any collision that occurs.
What Steps Do I Need to Take After a Collision?
After the accident, stop and remain at the crash scene. Failure to do so could be considered a hit-and-run, which is a crime.
Exchange contact information with the other driver involved in the crash and get the contact details of any witnesses who can back up your version of events. You should also call the police so they can write a detailed police report about the crash, which can be powerful evidence if questions arise later about how the collision occurred.
If you're physically able, take pictures of the crash scene, including damaged vehicles, as these photos can also be used later to pursue your case for compensation. You should also get medical attention right away, even if you don't think you've been badly hurt, because injuries can turn out to be unexpectedly serious and you want proof they were caused by the crash.
Finally, be certain to call a Tampa car accident lawyer and your insurance company. You'll need to report your accident to your insurer right away, as the insurer may pay for damages in some circumstances. Calling a lawyer is also important because insurers often look for ways not to pay out appropriate compensation. You want an attorney's help protecting your rights and navigating the insurance claims process -- let Alley, Clark & Greiwe help.
I Didn’t Feel Pain Immediately Following the Accident. Do I Still Have a Valid Claim If I Didn’t See a Doctor Right Away?
Seeing a doctor right away to get a diagnosis is very important if you want to be able to prove that your injuries are crash-related. However, if you didn't get immediate medical help, this doesn't mean you'll never be able to make a claim for damages. A Tampa car accident lawyer can help you determine if you can prove a collision was the cause of your harm and can help you obtain available evidence proving your injuries were crash-related.
Should I File a Claim With My Insurance Company or the Other Driver’s Insurer?
Whether you'll file a claim with your own insurer or the other driver's insurer depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries. Florida is a no-fault state, which means you may have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage from your own insurer that can cover medical bills and partial wage loss benefits. Preserving your right to coverage with your own insurer is important; therefore, you should let your insurer know right away after an accident.
However, if your injuries are serious and go above and beyond what is covered by no-fault insurance, the other driver could be liable and, if that other driver has enough liability coverage, that driver's insurer can pay for your losses. If the driver doesn't have as much coverage as he needs, it's possible your own insurer would again have to pay under any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage you might have.
I Was Offered a Settlement by the Other Driver’s Insurance Provider. Should I Take It?
Not before you talk with a Tampa car accident lawyer. Once you agree to settle a case, you have to sign a waiver releasing the other driver and his insurer from all liability for losses arising from the same accident. This means you won't be able to change your mind and go back and ask for more money – even if it turns out your injuries were worse than expected or that the settlement was actually unfair.
Alley, Clark & Greiwe can help you evaluate a settlement, determine if it provides appropriate compensation and explore other options such as pursuing a claim in court. An accident attorney can also help negotiate a settlement on your behalf so you may be able to get more compensation.
Can I Pursue Damages From the At-Fault Driver in Addition to Filing an Insurance Claim?
This depends upon how serious your injuries are, whether your no-fault insurance covers them and whether you can prove the other driver was to blame for causing the crash. Because it can be complicated to determine if you have a claim against the at-fault driver after an accident, it's important to reach out to a car accident lawyer for advice as soon as possible after the accident.
What Happens If the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you could be compensated by your own insurer for up to the value of any uninsured motorist coverage you purchased. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage both protect you if you're hurt by a driver with insufficient insurance coverage. Your own insurer steps in and pays what the other driver should have, had he or she been fully insured.
In some cases, the other driver might have enough personal assets that you can pursue a claim against that driver and collect from his or her own personal money or property. However, many people don't really have enough assets to cover all of the losses you've endured.
What If I Don’t Have Car Insurance?
If you do not have car insurance, you could potentially face criminal charges. If you are at fault for an accident, the other driver could potentially pursue a claim against you personally to try to recover compensation. If the other driver was the one who caused the accident, you could potentially still pursue a claim against that other driver for damages. A Tampa car accident attorney will advise you on what can happen after an accident in which you have no insurance coverage or insufficient insurance.
What If I Didn’t Call the Police After the Accident?
Some accidents have to be reported to the police, so there could be legal problems if you fail to report them. The consequences vary, depending on the situation. For example, if you hit someone, hurt them and leave the crash scene instead of calling for help, you could be charged with a hit-and-run crime.
It's also important to call the police so you can get a police report detailing how the accident happened. This report could be very helpful in proving that the other driver caused the crash to occur so you can get the compensation you deserve.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
The process for pursuing a claim for compensation differs depending on whether you're trying to get compensation from your own insurer or from another driver who hurt you. If you're pursuing a case against another driver, many claims end with an out-of-court settlement. However, if no fair settlement offer is reached, you'd need to file a civil lawsuit and prove your case in court.
Alley, Clark & Greiwe helps you with all different types of claims. We can negotiate with your own insurer to get you the most compensation possible, negotiate a settlement offer on your behalf or can advocate for you in court, if necessary.
What Will My Case Be Worth?
This depends on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your loss, whether you were partially at fault and whether you resolve your claim through a lawsuit or a settlement. Typically, however, you should be compensated for medical bills incurred due to the accident, lost wages for missed work, any sick days or vacation days you had to take, any future loss in earning power, pain you endured, and emotional damages.
A skilled car accident lawyer in Tampa will help you maximize your compensation through effective settlement negotiations or through presenting compelling evidence of your injuries in court. Alley, Clark & Greiwe has recovered millions for clients, but every case is different. Get personalized advice on what your case is worth today.
Will I Still Be Eligible to File a Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt?
Yes. If another driver hurt you, the fact you were not wearing a seatbelt will not disqualify you from obtaining compensation for damages the other driver caused if his negligence led to the crash.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Car Accident Case?
This depends on whether you sue or settle. Our accident attorneys will help you resolve your claim as quickly as possible so you can begin the process of moving on without compromising your ability to obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Bringing Car Accident Claims in Tampa?
Injured victims in Florida typically have four years from the time of the accident to pursue a claim for compensation. It is important to talk with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you pursue your claim within the deadline for filing or your claim could be time-barred and you may be unable to pursue your case.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer?
Any of our Tampa car accident lawyers can provide you with personalized help with getting the maximum in compensation after an accident. Our attorneys can:
- Deal with insurers for you: Insurance companies want to pay the least amount of compensation possible to injured victims. They frequently look for justifications not to compensate you and may offer a lowball settlement or try to trip you up with confusing questions. An attorney can help you make sure your own insurer or the other driver's insurer pays you what you deserve.
- Investigate the crash cause: Sometimes, it's hard to prove who was to blame. We can obtain evidence, interview witnesses, and find accident reconstruction experts so you can prove your case and get the compensation you need.
- Handle court paperwork: Filing a claim in court and responding to court requests is complicated. We'll take care of the logistics.
- Represent you in court: Car accident victims have the burden of proof, which means they have to convince a judge or jury they should be compensated. Our experienced Tampa car accident attorneys know how to present compelling evidence to help you prevail.
These are just some of the many services an attorney can provide. The benefits of hiring a lawyer not only include the knowledge and experience your attorney brings to the table; hiring a lawyer also makes it possible for you to focus on recovery while your attorney protects your rights. And, because most victims are able to recover more compensation when helped by an attorney than when acting on their own, there's a financial benefit too.
What Does It Cost to Work With an Attorney at Your Firm?
There are no legal fees charged until we help you recover damages. Car accident attorneys receive a percentage of the money we help you obtain. To schedule your free consultation and find out more about how a Tampa car accident attorney can help you pursue a claim for compensation after a car accident, give us a call at 813-222-0977 today.