10 Reasons to Talk to a Lawyer After a Serious Accident in Florida

May 1, 2024 | Catastrophic Injury

A serious accident can change your life in an instant. All of a sudden, you are struggling to cope with severe traumatic injuries and their psychological effects, you are facing substantial medical bills while you are unable to work, and you have far more questions than you have answers.

Yet, if you are like many people, you will hesitate to seek help.

Whether due to stress or uncertainty, many people choose not to talk to a lawyer after suffering severe traumatic injuries due to circumstances beyond their control. This is unfortunate because there are a lot of ways an experienced lawyer can help in this situation.

10 Reasons to Talk to a Lawyer After a Serious Accident in Florida

While many people hesitate to send a message or pick up the phone, the reality is that talking to a lawyer doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) stressful. It should be the opposite. An experienced lawyer who can sympathize with your situation and who is passionate about helping people when they need it most should be able to give you the advice you need while making it feel like you are talking to a friend or family member. This is true after all types of serious accidents, including:

  • Car, truck, and SUV accidents
  • 18-wheeler accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian and cycling accidents
  • Maritime accidents (including boating and cruise ship accidents)
  • Aviation accidents
  • Railroad accidents
  • Premises-related accidents (including swimming pool accidents)
  • Construction accidents (including building collapses)
  • Spills, fires, and other accidents resulting in toxic exposure

But, if you are reading this, we understand that you are unsure about contacting a lawyer for help. To help ensure that you are making informed decisions, here are 10 reasons why we strongly encourage you to get in touch:

1. A Lawyer Can Guide You Through Your Next Steps

After any type of serious accident, there are several steps that it is important to try to take as soon as possible. This includes—but is not limited to—steps that will help protect your legal rights. Your lawyer will be able to walk you through everything you need to do and will be able to assist you as necessary moving forward.

For example, one of the most important things you can do after a serious accident is get the best quality medical care for your injuries. But, with today’s insurance-driven healthcare system, this is much easier said than done. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have working relationships with reputable specialists who can provide the treatment you need. Your lawyer can also work with your doctors to ensure that he or she has the medical documentation needed to assert your legal rights effectively.

2. A Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Legal Rights

In many cases, accident victims find themselves paralyzed by indecision. Their situation is overwhelming, and they don’t know what to do—so they end up doing nothing. Unfortunately, far too often, this means that they end up bearing the costs of other people’s mistakes unnecessarily.

If you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault or that was the result of a company’s negligence, you have clear legal rights. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain your legal rights in detail, and then you can use this information to move forward with confidence. Maybe this will involve filing a claim and maybe it won’t; but, in either case, you will know that you made an informed decision based on an accurate understanding of your present circumstances.

3. A Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Costly Assumptions and Mistakes

If you assume that you don’t have a claim, or if you assume that the insurance companies will simply take advantage of you, you could end up bearing the costs of someone else’s mistake for years to come. When you are struggling to cope with serious accident-related injuries, you have far too much at stake to make assumptions about what you should do or what might (or might not) happen. A lawyer can provide the advice you need so that you can make decisions—not assumptions—as making assumptions is a critical mistake that you need to avoid.

Along with not making assumptions, there are many other all-too-common mistakes that you need to avoid as well. From trusting the insurance companies to trying to go back to work too soon, your lawyer can also explain everything not to do while you work through the recovery process.

4. A Lawyer Can Deal with the Insurance Companies for You

One of the main reasons why many people choose not to take action after a serious accident is because they just don’t want to deal with the insurance companies. This is understandable because dealing with insurance companies isn’t easy—or fun.

But, in most cases, this is what it takes to assert your legal rights. The vast majority of serious accident claims are covered by insurance, and the vast majority of successful claims result in out-of-court insurance settlements. Fortunately, you have the right to have a lawyer deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, and an experienced personal injury lawyer will be well-versed in the insurance companies’ policies, procedures, and tactics for trying to pay accident victims less than they deserve.

5. A Lawyer Can Help You Understand the Accident’s Long-Term Costs

One way insurance companies try to get away with paying accident victims less than they deserve is by convincing victims to accept settlement checks before they know how much they are entitled to recover. If you have an auto or trucking accident claim, maritime accident claim, construction accident claim, or any other type of personal injury claim in Florida, you are entitled to just compensation for your current and future losses. When you hire a lawyer to deal with the insurance companies for you, your lawyer will help you understand your accident’s long-term costs so that you know when (and if) it makes sense to settle.

The costs you are entitled to recover after a serious accident in Florida include costs that are both financial and non-financial in nature. By hiring a lawyer to calculate how much you deserve to recover for your medical costs, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and other financial and non-financial costs, you can make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table and putting yourself through years of unnecessary stress.

6. A Lawyer Can Make Sure the Insurance Companies Don’t Take Advantage of You

If you aren’t careful, the insurance companies will take advantage of you. No matter what they say in their advertisements, they are not on your side. From trying to get you to admit fault (when you weren’t at fault) to trying to get you to accept just a small fraction of the compensation you are owed, they will use various tactics to try to protect their bottom line at your expense.

Here, too, a lawyer can make sure this does not happen. It’s unfortunate, but the insurance companies handle claims differently when there are lawyers involved. They know that experienced lawyers know their client’s rights, and they know that experienced lawyers won’t let them get away with dubious tactics that walk the line of illegal bad-faith insurance practices.

7. Hiring a Lawyer Shows You Are Serious About Protecting Your Legal Rights

One reason why insurance companies handle claims differently when there are lawyers involved is because they know that refusing to make a fair settlement offer could land them in court. If you file a claim on your own, the insurance companies know that you aren’t going to sue—and they take this into account when applying pressure to try to get you to accept a lowball settlement.

But, if you have a lawyer on your side, the insurance companies know that litigation is a very real possibility—especially if your lawyer has a history of taking cases to court. When the insurance companies know they are liable, they also know that settling will be cheaper than going to court in most cases.

8. Hiring a Lawyer Ensures that You Won’t Accept Responsibility for Something That Wasn’t Your Fault

Another way the insurance companies try to take advantage of serious accident victims is by blaming them for their own injuries. Under a new Florida law passed in 2023, if you are more than 50% at fault in an accident, you are not entitled to any compensation for your injuries. As a result, victim-blaming is now an even bigger problem than it used to be.

If you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer can help ensure that you don’t take responsibility for something that wasn’t your fault. Your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation focused on your best interests—not the best interests of the insurance companies—and your lawyer can use the available evidence to ensure that blame is assigned appropriately.

9. Hiring a Lawyer Can Give You Confidence and Peace of Mind

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident is stressful. It can also be scary—especially if you don’t know when (or if) your injuries will fully heal. While your doctors can help you understand your long-term medical needs, this can often add to your stress if you don’t know how you are going to cover your medical expenses (not to mention your other costs) in the future.

Hiring a lawyer to help you assert your legal rights can give you confidence and peace of mind. When you know that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself, you can focus on planning for the future instead of worrying about what might happen next. While there are no guarantees, hiring a lawyer is one of the best things you can do to give yourself the best shot at a full recovery.

10. It Costs Nothing to Talk to a Lawyer About Your Accident

Finally, when you are already worried about your financial stability, the last thing you need is to take on additional costs. Fortunately, it costs nothing to talk to a lawyer about your accident. Your initial consultation is completely free (and 100% confidential). Additionally, if you choose to hire a lawyer to file a claim on your behalf, your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your settlement or verdict. This means that you pay nothing out-of-pocket, and it means that you pay nothing at all unless your claim is successful.

Schedule a Time to Talk to a Lawyer at Silva & Silva in South Florida

If you have been injured in a serious accident in Florida, we strongly encourage you to get in touch. We will arrange for you to sit down with a lawyer one-on-one to discuss your situation, go over your options, and outline your next steps. To speak with a caring and compassionate lawyer at Silva & Silva in confidence, give us a call at 305-445-0011 or tell us how we can contact you online today.