Clearwater, FL Car Accident Lawyer Near You
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident Clearwater or the surrounding area, you might be wondering what to do next.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful and time-consuming process.
Fortunately, however, hiring an experienced Clearwater car accident attorney can often make this process feel more manageable. So how do you go about finding the best car accident law firm for you?
Finding the right car accident attorney can be difficult, especially when there are so many firms out there that are competing to take on your case. Here are some reasons why we believe we are your best choice:
- We have been helping clients throughout Florida for over 30 years;
- We have collected over $800 million in compensation for deserving clients;
- We have received hundreds of positive reviews from past clients;
- You will not pay a dime, meaning no fees or costs, for our services unless and until we win; and
- We have extensive trial experience that will allow us to take your case to trial if necessary.
The Clearwater car accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk want to help you with your case and fight to get you the compensation you need to recover.
But if you’re not quite ready to take that step, we understand. In the meantime, let us tell you generally how a car accident attorney can help you with your case.
What To Do (And What Not To Do) After a Car Accident in Clearwater, FL
In the period immediately following a personal injury, it’s important that you take the correct steps, and avoid doing anything that might harm your claim to compensation.
Let’s start with what not to do:
- DON’T make any statements that could potentially be used against you. In particular, avoiding saying anything to anyone which indicates fault in a car accident or other accident. Even statements as casual as “sorry about that” or “my bad” can be used to diminish your claim.
- DON’T agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. It sounds cynical, but the plain fact is that the insurance company is not your friend. They want to pay you as little as possible. Do not give a recorded statement until speaking with an experienced Clearwater injury lawyer near you.
Here are the steps that you do want to take after a Clearwater car accident:
- Attend to any injuries. Your first concern is your physical safety and well-being. If you are able, call an ambulance and ask to be taken to the emergency room if necessary.
- Call the police. It’s always a good idea to have the police at the scene immediately after a bad traffic collision so that they can prepare an accurate report. Once the report is filed, here’s how to get your Clearwater police report.
- Get the other driver’s registration and insurance information. Make sure you carefully document the name, phone number, address, drivers’ license number, license plate numbers, and similar information from the other driver (or drivers) involved.
- Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses. Any bystanders who saw the collision firsthand may play an important part in insurance claims or litigation.
- Snap pictures of your car and the scene of the accident. If you feel up to it, taking photos of your injuries – or having someone else do so for you – can serve as evidence in a lawsuit. They can also serve as a basis for what your insurance pays if you file a claim.
- Tell your insurance company about the accident. Be prompt in notifying your insurance company, as any delays can also mean delays in your compensation you might be able to receive.
- Call an experienced attorney. Talk to a lawyer who focuses only on personal injury cases. Your injury claim may be worth far more than you realize.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Clearwater, FL Can Help You
Even thinking about hiring a car accident attorney in Florida to help with your case can feel daunting. However, it is an important step in the process toward recovery.
In fact, having an attorney in your corner to help fight for your rights can often be a great asset to you and your case. Here are just a few ways in which a Clearwater accident attorney can help you.
Collecting Relevant Evidence
Frequently, the success of your car accident case will rest in large part upon the availability of evidence.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to help you identify and collect potentially useful evidence. Examples of evidence a lawyer can help you compile that may be useful to your case include:
- Official police reports;
- Medical care documentation; and
- Security camera footage, where applicable.
It is important to note, however, that a lawyer can only do so much. Because you will not engage an attorney until after your accident, there are certain pieces of potential evidence that they may not be able to retrieve.
In fact, some of the best evidence for your car accident case may be most readily available right at the accident scene.
Thus, if it is possible to do so safely, you should attempt to collect the following evidence immediately after your accident:
- Contact information of any parties involved in the accident;
- Insurance information of any other drivers involved;
- Statements from any eyewitnesses;
- The name of any police officers who arrive at the scene and the police report number to more easily acquire a copy later; and
- Photos of the accident scene, property damage, and any injuries.
The more evidence you are able to collect at the scene, the better equipped your car accident lawyer will be to analyze and argue your case moving forward.
Get A Free Case Evaluation
A crucial aspect of a car accident case is the calculation of damages.
Legal “damages” are the monetary sums that are awarded in a legal dispute to help a victim recover from injuries sustained due to the actions of another.
Due to the important role damages play in your recovery, it is imperative that you have someone who can help you assess what you may ultimately be entitled to.
An experienced Clearwater car accident attorney can help you do just that.
In a car accident case, you may be entitled to recover damages to help compensate you for:
- Property damage,
- Medical bills,
- Hospital stays,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Emotional distress,
- Disability, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Knowing your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to under the law is one of the main hurdles standing between you and your recovery.
You shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve simply because you may not know what recoverable damages exist in your case.
Contact an attorney today to discuss your case to assess and calculate your potential compensation.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
It’s very rare that a car accident victim will get the full amount they are seeking upfront with no pushback from an insurer.
More often than not, reaching a settlement for your car accident case will require at least some negotiation.
In fact, insurance companies make their businesses off of collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on claims.
A car accident lawyer who is familiar with these tactics, however, will know how to effectively negotiate with insurers to work towards maximizing your recovery.
Negotiating with large insurance companies can be intimidating if you have no prior experience doing so.
Rest assured, the car accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are prepared to aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Preparing for Trial, if Necessary
While reaching an out-of-court settlement is almost always preferred, sometimes this is not possible or in your best interest. If this is the case, going to trial may become necessary to pursue your rights to the full extent of the law.
As difficult as it can be to negotiate without the assistance of a lawyer, preparing for a trial on your own can be even more daunting. Steps in preparing for a trial include:
- Pretrial briefs and motions,
- Preparation of witnesses, and
- Jury selection.
The importance of having an experienced trial lawyer in your corner to help you with these steps and more cannot be overstated.
Car Crash Statistics in Clearwater / Pinellas County FL
Since you’re here, you know all too well how prevalent vehicle collisions are. In 2018 there were ~1,100 car crashes per day in Florida. That comes out to one crash every 1.3 minutes, with many of those occurring right here in Clearwater and Pinellas County.
As of April 18, 2018, there had been a total of 5,050 crashes since the beginning of the year in Pinellas County. Compared to the 3,802 crashes in the first four months of 2011, the number of crashes has increased by almost a quarter. For context, the increase in the population of Pinellas County between April 2010 and July 2017 is less than six percent.
The small proportion of commercial vehicle crashes in these first few months of 2018 follows the same pattern as in the previous year. Nationally, thanks to increased safety measures, crashes are not causing injuries and fatalities as in the past. In March 2018, the National Highway Transport Administration released a report on 2016 motor vehicle crashes.
This report found that while close to 30 percent of the crashes resulted in injuries, only about half of one percent resulted in fatalities. Thus far, the proportion of crashes with injuries in Pinellas County is much higher. However, the proportion of fatalities in Pinellas County crashes is comparable. Compared to the figures from last year, bicycle fatalities have jumped dramatically already in the first few months of this year.
Most crashes (about 58 percent) in Pinellas County caused property damage. This follows very closely the pattern of accidents in the previous year. In contrast, close to 70 percent of crashes in the US in 2016 had property damage.
What do the statistics tell us about some common assumptions?
First, it should come as no surprise that the largest age group of drivers involved in Pinellas County crashes is the 65+ group. What is surprising is that the 15 to 19-year-old group is among the smallest percent of drivers in crashes thus far. Nationally, younger drivers tend to be crash more frequently than any other age group.
Even as recently as 2015, Pinellas’s teen drivers accounted for crashes that were double their share of licensed drivers. It is great to know that in Pinellas County at least this year, younger drivers are more careful and practicing defensive driving.
Second, thus far in Pinellas County, no clear patterns emerge from the day of the week in terms of crashes. For the first four months of 2018, the two biggest days of the week for crashes are Tuesday and Friday. This is very similar to the 2017 statistics. Nationally, most fatal crashes in 2015 occurred on Saturday and Sunday when more people are probably out on the roads. They may also be more careless and the days when people will probably consume more alcohol.
Third, when it comes to time of day, as of April 18 Pinellas County crashes peaked between 3.00 and 5.00 p.m. This pattern followed that of the previous year. The national statistics for 2015 paint a slightly different picture, with most fatal crashes occurring in the 6 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. period. It is likely that these times are simply the period when rush hour occurs. Related to the time of day is the lighting condition when the crashes happen.
In Pinellas County, a substantial majority of accidents thus far (close to 70 percent) took place in daylight, whereas in the country, less than half the fatal crashes took place in the daylight.
Contact Our Clearwater Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you still have questions about how a Clearwater car accident lawyer can be beneficial, contact our team today.
The team of attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has over 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims. We want to help you too.
Contact us by phone, text, or email today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.
Read Our Client Reviews From Our Clearwater Law Office
After my car accident I called Abrahamson & uiterwyk and they were great! They are Very Courteous and Sensitive to my needs. This is a wonderful law firm with great people. I would most definitely Recommend them.~ Anthony Delaphous
Rating 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
And read more of our 214+ reviews on Google.
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