After you suffer injuries in an auto accident, one of the first questions that comes to mind is whether you should retain a lawyer. If you have a general understanding of how insurance claims work, you probably think you should go it alone. Attorneys cost money, but you will get to keep the entire settlement if you represent yourself. While this may be true, a pro se strategy has its drawbacks.
Because it is important to weigh both options, here are a few factors you should consider when deciding whether you should hire a Florida car accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
Knowledge of Relevant Laws: Attorneys go to law school to gain in-depth knowledge on the topic of personal injury, in both statutory and case law. Unless you can dedicate 3+ years to the same educational experience, you could miss some key statutes and rules. In a Florida car accident case, relevant issues include:
Statute of Limitations: Florida places a four-year time limit on filing most lawsuits in an auto accident case, though its statute of limitations. You must be familiar with how this law operates and the exceptions to it, or you could lose your right to recover compensation.
FL is a No-Fault State: In Florida, one must use his own automobile insurance coverage, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage first for medical expenses and/or lost wages. There are critical time periods within which you must seek medical treatment or risk loosing a significant amount of PIP coverage.
Comparative Negligence: Florida also has a statute that applies when the victim of a car accident was partially at fault in causing the crash. The comparative fault law provides that you cannot recover 100 percent of the compensation you seek if your own conduct contributed to the collision. In some cases, your percentage of negligence may bar you from getting anything.
Skills in Dealings with an Insurance Company: Though knowledge is important, experience in dealing with insurers is also critical. When you file a claim for auto accident injuries, chances are it is your first time doing so. On the other hand, claims adjusters work with claims every day. They know that their job is to protect the insurance company’s interests and – if they want to remain employed – they will do everything possible to fight your claim. Fortunately for victims of Florida auto collisions, most car crash attorneys also deal with claims every day – but they put your interests first.
Contact Our Ocala, FL Car Accident Lawyers to Schedule a Free Consultation
For more information on the advantages of hiring an experienced attorney for a car accident claim, please call Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law. We understand that deciding whether to retain a lawyer is a difficult choice, so we are happy to tell you more about how we serve our clients in auto accident cases. You can schedule a free appointment at our Ocala, FL office by calling 352-558-8480 or visiting us online.