At David & Philpot, P.L., you can be confident when working with a car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL offers from our firm. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge about Florida’s motor vehicle laws and how they can affect your personal injury claim. Call us today to find out more after speaking with a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL from our firm.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Lakeland, FL
After a car accident, victims may be dealing with serious injuries and enormous stress. With so much to focus on, developing a legal strategy to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for their damages may not be their priority. Unfortunately, if victims don’t protect their rights from the onset, it may make it difficult if not impossible to recover their damages. Not only will delays allow accident scene evidence to disappear, key eyewitnesses’ memories can fade.
Overall, as time passes it becomes more and more challenging to build a strong case to defend your rights. When you contact a car accident lawyer from David & Philpot, P.L. after sustaining a serious injury, we may represent your best interests. Learn about What Happens in an Out-of-State Car Accident?.
Car Accident Claims and Settlements FAQ
The personal injury claims process is considerably complex and takes time to navigate. Once you have made it through mediation and negotiations, or in some cases through a hearing, you’ll likely have more questions about how you’ll actually receive your settlement.
Questions related to the settlement process are all too common; however, there is no perfect answer for each one. This is because every case is inherently different and will be dependent on the insurance company or negligent party involved in the claim. For instance, one insurance company might issue settlement checks within 30 days; others might take 6-8 weeks. Medical billers may also have their own regulations for billing and receiving payments. This is particularly common when Medicaid or Medicare is a factor. You should discuss this situation with your car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL to get a clear understanding of what you can expect.
A General Explanation of the Settlement Process
As you maneuver through the process of a car accident claim you might reach a point that involves negotiations and finally a settlement offer. If the offer is fair and just, you might decide to accept — but then what happens? Following your official acceptance, the process to receive your compensation will begin. Here’s what you should know:
The Insurance Company Issues the Check – If you’ve won your settlement with the help of a car accident lawyer, there is a good chance that a check will be mailed to the firm. You might be responsible for executing the check, and then the firm may deposit the money into a trust fund or bank account. This should be discussed beforehand.
Clearing the Settlement – After you have received the check, it will need to be cleared by the bank. Typically this takes between 7 and 10 working days.
Reimbursements – Most likely, your settlement will have liens on it. These liens could come from insurance companies, medical doctors, investigators, and other parties. If you’re unsure whether or not there are pre-existing liens, you can ask your car accident lawyer or look into the following:
- Medical Bills: In nearly all car accident cases, you will be required to pay back your medical providers for any treatment rendered. In many cases, if your medical records were given to your lawyer at no cost, there is a lien. If your lawyers had to pay for the records, there is typically no lien. However, you are likely still responsible for covering outstanding debts.
- Your Lawyer: When your car accident case has been taken on a contingency fee basis, you will have agreed to paying the lawyer for their services when, and if, you recover a settlement. After you have accepted the offer, your lawyer will deduct the amount owed once the check has cleared. The contingency fee is typically a percentage of the settlement. This is something you should discuss with your car accident lawyer before beginning anything.
- Medicaid, Medicare, Government Health Insurance: If your medical treatment has been covered by any government (state or federal) program, you or your lawyer will need to contact the appropriate department to determine what is owed. Failing to do this could result in serious problems, including the holding of your money.
- Private Health Insurance: Dependending on the plan, you may be required to pay back the insurance company for your treatment.
- Child Support: If you are behind on child support, collection agencies may be able to collect a portion of any personal injury settlement in order to pay off your debts. Money in the settlement that is allocated specifically for medical care may be protected from this.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
Another important reason to immediately contact a car accident lawyer is because of the statute of limitations. In the state of Florida, personal injury victims have a limited amount of time to file an injury claim. After that time period, their claim will be denied regardless of how serious an injury the victim sustained.
Do not let this happen to you. Contact our office to speak with one of our attorneys. If we represent you in your personal injury case, your David & Philpot, P.L. attorney will make sure your claim is filed before the deadline expires. In addition, your attorney can submit all required paperwork to the proper authorities.
When Your Settlement is Not Enough
If your settlement is not enough to cover your expenses, it is possible that your lawyer will consider a proration. This is an option that is not available in all states, but would allow you to pay off your medical liens, legal fees, and your own losses with equal proportions of money.
If Your Personal Injury Claim Was Denied
If you have filed your accident claim on your own and it was denied, talk to one of our car accident attorneys who may be able to re-submit it. Claims are often denied because incorrect information was provided or the victim did not submit sufficient proof. David & Philpot, P.L. attorneys have a thorough understanding of what is needed for a successful claim. In addition, we have an extensive network of respected medical professionals and other experts who can provide testimony as necessary on behalf of our clients.
Contact a Qualified Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member was seriously hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your costs. Our legal team may be able to advise you after a review of your case. Request a free and confidential consultation from one of our attorneys. If you would like to find a car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL trusts, contact us at David & Philpot, P.L. today.
Mistakes That Can Damage Your Florida Car Accident Claim
If you were injured in a car accident case that was another driver’s fault, you have the right to sue for compensation. However, in order to receive the compensation you deserve, you must take the proper steps and avoid making errors that can hurt your case. A car accident lawyer at David & Philpot, P.L. lists some of the most common mistakes people make in their car accident claims.
Filing Your Claim Too Late
Every state has a different statute of limitations on car accident claims. Some states may allow you two years to file an accident claims while other states may give you three or four years. If you file your claim once the statute of limitations is up, you will no longer be eligible for compensation. That’s why you should talk to a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL about filing a claim as soon as possible.
Not Taking Photos
Photos are one of the most important pieces of evidence you can have in a car accident claim. It’s important to take several photos of the accident scene. Be sure to get clear shots of all the vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks on the road and traffic signs. If you’re too injured to take the photos yourself, don’t hesitate to ask a bystander to do it for you.
Not Being Careful When Posting on Social Media
When you have filed a car accident claim, insurance adjusters may investigate your Facebook and other social media sites for information that could possibly get them off the hook. That’s why it’s important to be extra careful about what you post on social media. For example, if you suffered a back injury in a car accident and posted a photo of you hiking, insurance adjusters may claim that you aren’t hurt as you say you are.
Talking to Insurance Adjusters
After you have been injured in a car accident, insurance adjusters will likely try to contact you. No matter how friendly they seem, you shouldn’t talk to them. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and may try to persuade you to say something that will hurt your case. You should never talk to insurance companies without consulting with your car accident lawyer first.
Failing to Get Medical Care
No matter how you feel after the accident, it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can assess the extent of your injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment. Delaying treatment will only jeopardize your health. If you wait too long to seek treatment, it can also hurt your case because insurance adjusters may think you’re not truly hurt.
Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice
After a doctor has evaluated your injuries, he or she will suggest the proper course of treatment. Whether your doctor recommends bed rest or physical therapy, it’s important to follow instructions. If the insurance company finds out that you haven’t been following your doctor’s advice, they might not believe you are as hurt as you say you are.
If you have been injured in a car accident, schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer Lakeland FL clients trust from David & Philpot, P.L. today.