Motor vehicle accidents happen often and without warning in the Orlando area. With many tourists trying to find their way around or local residents hurrying to get on with their busy lives, opportunities for an accident increase. When it does, lives can be turned upside down. Who is going to pay for the medical bills or lost wages? Will you be able to get a rental car until your vehicle is repaired or replaced?
As Orlando car accident lawyers, we receive these questions and more from innocent, hard-working individuals who want to get the lives back on track. Sadly, auto insurance companies may not always want to cooperate after a collision. Insurance representatives may deny fault or claim that the impact was minor and no one could reasonably have gotten hurt. When that happens, some people simply accept what is told them and no claim is made. Others may accept an inadequate sum of money in settlement of their injury claims.
When it comes to the proper value of your claim, you need to fully discuss with your lawyer (1) how your accident happened? Is there some question as to who was at fault? If so, that can seriously affect the settlement value of your claim. Why? In a car crash case, the first thing an injured party must do is prove that the other driver caused the collision. If there is doubt, such as “who had the green light?” then the insurance company representative knows that if the case did not settle and went to trial, a jury may find that their insured driver was not at fault. In that case, you would receive nothing. No monies for your injury. If that is a possibility in your case, then the settlement value would be lower than if you were rear-ended.
After deciding whether your accident happened in a way that leaves doubt as to who was at fault, then you need to discuss (2) whether you AND the other driver were both likely at fault. In Florida, the law requires all at fault parties to be responsible for their degree of fault. So, if the jury finds that the other driver may have been 70% at fault and you were 30% at fault, then you would receive 70% of the total money awarded. In such a situation, for settlement purposes, the insurance company may be willing to offer that percentage of your damages.
As you can see, it is very important that the attorney you hire spends sufficient time with you to go over all the facts and circumstances surrounding your case in order to best defend your actions and expose all of the careless conduct of the other driver. This takes time - yours and your attorney’s time. So, be certain to hire a lawyer who will be there for you – right from the start. You should not be pawned off to an investigator or paralegal. Otherwise, you are not getting the benefit of a trial lawyer’s experience on the important issues affecting “who was really to blame for the accident.”
Please feel free to call us now for assistance at 407-244-1212 ; or, if it is more convenient for you, just fill out our Get Help Now form and let us get started together.