If you were involved in an auto accident, you are likely to have a handful of questions be overwhelmed with how to proceed. While many injured motorists pursue a civil lawsuit for compensation, this involves a complex legal process that is often difficult without legal representation.
Instead of trying to negotiate with insurance companies and navigate the claims process alone, a knowledgeable lawyer could help to explain what you should know about St. Petersburg car accident cases and how you could proceed with filing a claim. By helping with each step, a dedicated attorney could allow you to focus on your recovery.
Understanding How Crashes Happen in St. Petersburg
Unfortunately, car crashes are common in St. Petersburg. Because of the density of the population and the number of vehicles on the roadways, these wrecks are often serious. Furthermore, many roads have narrow lanes—having been built over 100 years ago, in some cases—and due to the small number of highways and interstates, this means people often travel throughout St. Petersburg at high speeds on roads that were designed to be residential.
Typically, these accidents involve multiple, and, when one accident occurs, there are usually other vehicles in close proximity. Because Florida is a comparative negligence state, however, an injured motorist might be able to proceed with a claim for any injury they sustained on the roadways. Because of this possibility, it is often useful to consult with a well-versed lawyer before proceeding.
How to Prepare for an Accident Case
In St. Petersburg, car accident claims are often handled with aggressive insurance companies representing the at-fault driver. Almost immediately, they will hire investigators to interview witnesses, as well as the insurance adjusters for a responsible motorist. Furthermore, they will often seek to interview and take a recorded statement from the injured and innocent party. Even though an innocent motorist has no legal obligation to cooperate with the insurance company of the at-fault driver, their aggressive adjusters will still pester them in the hopes of getting a statement that might be used against them during a claim.
Beyond this, insurance companies often hire private investigators to conduct surveillance on injured parties. Then, they might try to use this footage out of context in an attempt to prove that the individual is not actually suffering from their injuries. Through this process, their primary goal is to save the insurance company money by not having them pay for a claim.
How an Attorney Could Help With a St. Petersburg Case
Of course, it is important for anyone involved in an accident to make sure they are in a stable condition and have received the proper medical treatment—whether this means traveling to the hospital on their own or with an ambulance. However, as soon as they are released or discharged, it is often a good idea to contact an attorney to discuss what happened, as well as what to do going forward. For example, it is important to follow a doctor’s advice regarding future medical care. Often, a doctor would not see a person unless they have the ability to pay through their own insurance or with their PIP no-fault insurance attached to their motor vehicle.
While everyone in the state of Florida is required to have no-fault insurance on their vehicle, the claims process is often complicated and requires extensive legal knowledge. While an injured person can pursue a claim alone, any misstep may lead to a delay or denial of their coverage. It is also important for a claimant to have an attorney guide them through the initial PIP no-fault claims process so that they have the ability—financially—to see the doctors that they need to begin the recovery process.
A proactive legal professional could help a person to obtain the relevant medical records, as well as an accident report from the investigating officers and the insurance information for the at-fault driver who caused the wreck. All of these documents might prove vital for successfully filing a claim. If you were injured in a crash, call a lawyer to discuss what to know about a St. Petersburg car accident case and to receive help with each step.