Clearwater Personal Injury FAQs
Q. How do I know if I need an attorney for my car accident?
A. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your situation and let you know whether you need an attorney or not. At Mike Walker Law, we offer a free initial consultation that is completely confidential, and you are under no obligation to retain us.
Q. The insurance company has already offered me a check, so what do I need an attorney for?
A. It is not surprising that the insurance company would offer you a quick settlement. They want to get the matter off their books as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The fact is that the initial offer from the insurance company, if you are not represented by attorney, is not anywhere near what your case is actually worth. By hiring a Board-Certified trial attorney with a record of success, the insurance company knows that if they do not deal with you fairly, they face the potential of having to go to court against an expert litigator and having to pay a much higher jury verdict. It is a good idea not to cash any checks, sign any papers or make any recorded statements to the insurance company until you have talked to an attorney first.
Q. How long will it take to settle my case? How will I pay my bills until my check comes in?
A. While we try to settle your case as quickly as possible, it is important not to be in too much of a hurry. If you were seriously injured, we need to wait until your doctors pronounce you medically stationary or until we have a very good idea of what your total medical expenses and other costs will be now and into the future. We prepare every case from the start as though it is going to trial, and it is not uncommon for the insurance company to wait until the last minute to settle the case for an appropriate amount. Meanwhile, many of your medical bills may be covered through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or no-fault, insurance. You may also have Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage on your policy, as well as health insurance to cover the costs. If you cannot work, you may be eligible for disability benefits as well. Also, we can help you work out a payment plan with your doctor if necessary. Many doctors will not hassle you for your bill if they know you cannot presently pay but are seeking compensation from a negligent party.
Q. The insurance company is refusing to deal with me at all. They say my claim is not covered. What can I do?
A. While in some cases your claim may not actually be covered, there are other times when the insurance company is not dealing with you in good faith. These activities may include denying coverage, delaying coverage, offering an unreasonably low settlement amount, or canceling your policy. If you feel your insurance company is acting in bad faith, contact our office for a consultation.
Q. What should I look for in an attorney?
A. Of course, you want an attorney who is competent, who has experience and credentials such as Board Certification, or who has references from people you know. Another consideration is whether your attorney is someone you feel comfortable with. Your attorney will be advising you on important matters. You should feel that his advice is thoughtful and that he gives you the information you need to make important decisions.
Q. What if I have a legal problem other than a car accident or injury case?
A. Mike Walker Law handles only injury and insurance cases. However, Mike Walker has practiced in the Tampa area for over 20 years and is well-established in the legal community. If you have other legal issues that you need help with, we can certainly recommend an attorney in the practice area you need.