Clearwater Car Accident Attorney
No one gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in Clearwater expecting to get into a car crash. But in mere moments, a driver’s carelessness or inattentiveness can turn a routine commute from work or trip to the store into a terrible, life-altering event. Those involved in car accidents can suffer serious, life-threatening injuries requiring thousands of dollars of medical treatment. Not only this, but accident victims typically suffer mental pain and trauma that must be addressed before a victim can said to have been made whole. This is on top of the damage that occurs to the victim’s vehicle.
Car accidents can alter your life or the life of a loved one. Even where injuries are slight or completely absent, the mental suffering alone that accompanies car accidents can require significant treatment. Added to the mental trauma is the stress of dealing with insurance companies whose goal is to minimize their liability. An experienced Clearwater car accident attorney with Mike Walker Law understands that overwhelming feelings such as anger, frustration, and confusion can accompany a car accident. We understand you want to get back to living and can help you understand the court process, help you work with insurance companies, and formulate a strategy with you so you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
Car Accident Statistics
With over 15 million licensed drivers and over 14 million registered vehicles sharing Florida’s roads, accidents are bound to happen. In fact, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2012 there were a total of 281,340 vehicle crashes – an average of 770 crashes per day! Over 130,000 of these crashes resulted in injuries to at least one person, and over 2,200 of these crashes involved at least one fatality. In Pinellas County alone there were over 13,500 traffic crashes in 2012.
Causes of Car Accidents
Most car accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence, or carelessness. Anytime a driver does something that an ordinary, careful and prudent driver would not do, that driver acts negligently. Examples of negligence include:
- Texting while driving or using a cell phone while driving;
- Driving aggressively or too fast for the road conditions;
- Ignoring or failing to obey rules of the road;
- Failing to adhere to traffic signs;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Taking his or her eyes off of the road to talk with passengers, change the radio, etc.
If a driver acts negligently and causes a car accident, that negligent driver may be held civilly liable for monetary damages. These damages would be paid to other parties seriously injured in the crash and would go to cover such things as medical bills, damage to property, and mental pain and suffering.
What You Should Do After A Florida Auto Accident
If You Have Been Involved in an Auto Accident…
What should you do after an auto accident Many people are unsure about what to do after an auto accident. The rush of adrenaline or the pain of an injury can make it difficult to think clearly. Attorney Mike Walker, at Mike Walker Law in Clearwater, Florida, focuses on guiding clients through difficult situations that often arise after an accident. We can let you know what you should do after an auto accident. After you have followed our steps, we can begin to handle every element of your personal injury case compassionately, skillfully and effectively.
Together, with our experienced Florida personal injury legal team, our attorneys represent drivers and passengers who have been injured in car accidents. We can help with the immediate problems, like who will pay for your car, how you will be reimbursed for time missed from work and how you will get and pay for the medical care you need. We will take all of your options into account when seeking resolution of your injury case. We will look for evidence of drunk driving or dangerous road conditions, which can open up more recovery options.
A Step-By-Step Guide for Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
Nobody ever plans on being involved in a car accident. However, the staff at Mike Walker Law believes in preparation, and we have put together a step-by-step guide of things that you should do following a crash:
- Make sure you are safe In an auto accident, your well-being is the most important thing. Survey the scene. Pull over to the side of the road and stay clear of traffic, unless moving would cause further injury to yourself or someone in your vehicle.
- Call the police Even if the other party tells you not to, it is a good idea to call the police. They will survey the auto accident scene and complete an official accident report, which may be useful for insurance companies or in potential litigation without an accident report, it is often difficult to settle an injury case.
- If you are injured, make sure an ambulance is called or at a minimum the police officer knows you have been hurt and will be seeking treatment on your own. Because of the large adrenaline rush that often comes with an accident, you may not feel serious pain at the scene. It is important to get medical care, just in case. Many large injuries feel small at the beginning. For example, serious jaw injuries may often start as minor head and neck aches.
- Exchange information. Make sure that you get the name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information of the other driver. This will be necessary to get compensation for property damage or personal injury.
- Follow up with a healthcare provider Seeking continuing care with a doctor can be critical to your health. It can also be essential to bringing a successful personal injury claim. Insurance companies will often use delays and gaps in treatment against you, arguing that your injuries are not as serious as they say or if the delay or gap is too long, that your injuries are not even related to the accident.
- Do not cover up critical evidence. Many people rush to get their vehicles fixed after wrecks, but by doing so may lose critical evidence about the collision. Experts often inspect vehicle damage to estimate the rate of speed, force of the impact among other things. Talk with legal counsel before you take action. Injury photos showing cuts and bruises are often helpful in demonstrating the severity of a case, too.
- Get legal advice. The best way to protect your rights is to speak with our Clearwater personal injury attorneys before talking with the other driver’s insurance company.
Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to protect your legal rights. Evidence critical to showing who was at fault may be lost if action is not taken quickly, as photographs can disappear and memories can fade. Not only this, but statements made to the other driver or insurance company can limit the recovery you might otherwise receive. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, contact Mike Walker Law to discuss your personal injury case with an experienced Clearwater car accident attorney.