An automobile accident is usually a traumatic event, and it can be difficult to think clearly during the aftermath. The auto accident attorneys at Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. have more than 35 years of experience representing automobile accident victims, and we’ve put together a list of the five most common questions our clients ask us after they’ve been in an auto accident.
Question #1: Do I need an attorney if I’ve been in an automobile accident?
If you were not injured in an accident, your insurance claim could typically be settled without the help of an auto accident attorney. But when there is an injury involved, this makes a claim more complicated. As an injured victim, you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses, including medical costs and more difficult-to-measure losses, such as pain and suffering.
Insurance companies use lawyers who specialize in making sure you receive as little compensation as possible. So, the simple answer is no, you do not strictly need an attorney if you’ve been in an automobile accident, but an auto accident attorney can help you get a much better settlement.
Question #2: How much will it cost to work with an auto accident attorney?
Auto accident attorneys are only paid when your case is won. The standard fee is 35% of the money recovered for you, but it sometimes varies depending on the specifics of the case. The cost will never amount to more than the sum paid to you, and you do not pay anything out of pocket upfront.
Question #3: Will I get reimbursed for expenses related to my automobile accident?
Yes, you will typically be reimbursed for damage to your vehicle, loss of any property that was in the vehicle or on your person during the accident, medical bills, and lost wages. An experienced auto accident attorney will also help maximize the amount of money you get for less tangible issues such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment (if you’re no longer able to participate in activities you enjoyed before the accident, such as sports or hobbies).
Question #4: What are the most important things to do immediately after an automobile accident?
If you can, it’s important to try to do the following things immediately after you’ve been in an accident:
- Stay calm and stay in your vehicle unless it is dangerous to do so.
- Turn your hazard lights on.
- Call 911 (even for a minor accident).
- Call for medical attention for any injured parties.
- Do not move your vehicle until the police arrive (unless it is necessary to do so for safety).
- Write down the names and badge numbers of the police officers conducting the investigation.
- Write down the names and contact information of all parties, including witnesses.
- Take pictures of the cars and any visible injuries that you or your passengers have sustained.
- Do not admit fault to anyone.
- Contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police or your own insurance representative.
Question #5: What are the most important things to do in the days following an automobile accident?
In the days following the accident, follow these steps:
- Contact the police for a copy of the accident report.
- Contact your insurance company for a property damage valuation.
- Keep a list of all healthcare appointments and a journal of any symptoms or pain you’re experiencing. Keep records of all test results, treatments, medications, and other related information.
- Track details of all out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.
- Keep a record of missed time at work or other activities you’d typically participate in.
- Do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier before consulting with an auto accident attorney.
Auto Accident Attorneys in St. Petersburg, Florida
We hope you will find the above answers helpful. We understand that every case is unique and that you may have additional questions that have not been addressed here. Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. sets itself apart from St. Petersburg’s larger firms by providing more personalized service. We invite you to contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. Please contact us at 727-384-3800 or through our website today.