Our car accident attorneys in Tampa have the resources and legal strategies to help you pursue the settlement you need to cover medical costs and any other damages arising from your collision. We won’t let the at-fault party or insurance company take advantage of you. With extensive trial experience, our legal team isn’t afraid to see a case through to the end.
For a free case assessment, call us today at (954) 880-9500. If you cannot come to us, a member of our team can come to you.
What Evidence Should I Bring to My Free Consultation?
In an instant, your life may have changed forever. Instead of returning to your normal routine—the 9-to-5, the errands, the school runs—you might be starting on the long road to recovery, a journey that will be emotional, painful, and expensive. Sustaining a serious injury can derail your life in many different ways, and your future financial security could be hinging on the success of your claim.
With so much on the line, you’re probably willing to do everything in your power to increase your odds of obtaining a fair recovery. Although the outcome of your car accident case is largely out of your hands, there are a few steps you can take to assist your attorney in building a solid claim.
A crucial part of this process is preparing for the first chapter of your fight for reasonable compensation: your free initial consultation. Careful planning can help establish a rock-solid foundation for your attorney’s investigation and assist them in anticipating any disputes that may arise during the course of negotiations. Here are a few things to bring with you to the consultation:
- A Written Account of the Accident: Even minor details could play a major role in proving liability and damages. For instance, if you noticed a vehicle equipped with a dashcam near the crash scene, take notes on your observation. It’s possible that this camera may have captured footage of the collision and could help prove who or what caused your injuries. You should also document additional details such as the time, date, and location of the accident, whether police attended the scene, descriptions of your injuries, and an account of all of your actions in the moments before and after the accident occurred.
- Receipts and Invoices: You should compile any financial documents detailing expenses you incurred as a result of the crash to assist your Tampa car accident lawyer in estimating and proving damages.
- Medical Documents: Official documents will help your attorney demonstrate the types of injuries you sustained, the severity of those injuries, and recommended interventions and prescriptions. These records can also be used to tie your injuries to the incident in question. By showing that you sought immediate medical treatment, the insurance company may be less likely to assert that you failed to mitigate damages.
- Evidence from the Scene: Your Tampa car accident attorney will want to see eyewitness statements, photographs of your injuries and property damage, an official police accident report, and any other evidence you were able to gather.
- Correspondence with the Insurance Company: If you communicated directly with the insurance company or the at-fault party, you should bring along any such correspondence to share with your attorney.
- Financial Documents: Lost wages may be included as part of the settlement estimations. If you haven’t yet been able to go back to work, you might also be able to collect compensation for loss of future earnings. You should bring along any evidence that will help your attorney prove these damages such as paystubs, bank statements, or letters from your employer.
Should I Stay off Facebook While My Car Accident Claim Is Pending?
After a serious accident, reaching out to loved ones over social media sites may help you get through the dark days ahead. But posts about your claim or the collision could be used as ammunition by the insurance company to reduce the value of your case or deny the claim outright.
You should disable your social media profiles until your case has concluded. However, if this is not a viable option, here are a few precautionary steps you can take to prevent your online activity from hurting your case:
- Do Not Accept New Friend Requests: There’s a blip as you receive a new notification. It’s a friend request from an unknown person. Out of curiosity, you decide to accept the invitation to connect. However, this seemingly innocent interaction could be a Trojan horse. It’s not unheard of for investigators hired by the defense to send connection requests in an attempt to gain access to claimants’ social media activity. Once accepted, these investigators will have free rein to comb through your past and future posts and may use your comments out of context to lodge disputes over liability, causation, and damages. You should ignore friend requests from users you do not know until your case has concluded.
- Do Not Keep Your Accounts Public: From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, most social media sites now let you switch your accounts to “private.” In this setting, only you and those in your social media circles can see what you post. This will help protect your information from prying eyes.
- Do Not Discuss Your Case: Even if your account is set to private, there’s nothing stopping someone in your circles from screenshotting your posts and sharing them with another party. The opposing party might also make a discovery request to access to posts on your social media feed. As such, you should never discuss your case, injuries, or the accident online.
What Might My Car Accident Claim Be Worth?
After suffering a serious injury, the costs can add up fast. Between the medical bills, property repairs, and your regular expenses, it may feel like you’re being crushed under this mountain of debt—especially if you’re unable to return to work due to your injuries. Filing a car accident claim may allow you to recover compensation for your losses and avoid financial turmoil in the future. Understandably, you may be wondering how much your case is worth.
Many different factors can impact the potential value of a claim. Below are a few factors that our Tampa car accident attorneys may consider when estimating reasonable compensation for your losses:
- Lost Earnings: If you were sidelined from work due to your injuries or your condition has hampered your income-earning capacity, these missed paychecks may be recoverable as part of your claim. At Lubell Rosen, we have decades of combined experience helping clients pursue compensation for lost earnings and loss of future wages. We have access to an extensive network of financial and vocational experts ready to assist with building your claim. They can also provide deposition if your case moves to discovery.
- Medical Costs: Even minor injuries can lead to significant medical bills. As such, it’s common for these expenses to form a considerable portion of a settlement. Our auto accident lawyers might look at the cost of past and future medical procedures, lab tests, orthopedics, prescription drugs, pain management, prosthetics, home modifications, nursing care, and other medical interventions. You should compile any records from your healthcare providers as your attorney may rely on these documents to prove such damages.
- Pain and Suffering: If your injury meets Florida’s “serious injury” threshold and you bring a claim against the liable party or their insurance carrier, it may be possible to obtain compensation for pain and suffering. Attorneys use one of two approaches when estimating the value of such losses. For instance, a lawyer may multiply your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. This multiplier is determined by the extent of your injuries and a few other relevant factors. Or, your lawyer may assign a dollar amount to each day from the date of the accident until the day you’re expected to achieve maximum medical improvement.
- Property Damage: If any of your personal property was destroyed or damaged, the cost of replacement and/or repairs might be factored into settlement estimations.
- Punitive Damages: Plaintiffs may be awarded exemplary damages if the liable party is found to have acted with intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Should I Start a Personal Injury Journal?
Suffering a serious injury can be incredibly traumatic, and you’re likely hoping to forget those terrifying moments as soon as you can. But your ability to recall important details about the accident, your injuries, and your recovery may be crucial to the success of your claim. Taking notes in a personal injury journal will ensure that you don’t lose that information to the passage of time. Below are a few elements commonly included as part of a personal injury journal:
- Pain Levels: Proving pain and suffering in a car accident case is not as simple as tracking medical bills, repair expenses, and other tangible costs. After all, there are no receipts for mental anguish or invoices for emotional distress. However, through smart use of a personal injury journal, you can begin to paint a picture of how your injuries have affected your life. Keep track of how often you feel pain and the severity of your pain (grade your pain on a scale of 1 to 10). Our car accident lawyers in Tampa may advise you to use vivid descriptions to convey what you are experiencing. For instance, if you feel a dull ache at the injury site, you might describe it as, “a hammer tapping against the bone.”
- Doctor’s Visits: Think of your personal injury journal as a central resource to file all information relating to your injury and recovery. When you visit a doctor or consult with a specialist, create new entries for each visit. What did your healthcare provider say? Were you given any instructions? Prescribed any medication? Did they ask you to attend a follow-up? You should also make notes whenever you have followed through on their instructions.
- Medication Side Effects: Medication errors can exacerbate your injury or halt your recovery. Opposing parties may assert that it was your own negligence that led to these road bumps, and you may be held liable for a portion of your damages. However, if you can demonstrate that changes in your condition were due to the negligence of your healthcare provider or an adverse drug side effect, you may not have to foot the bill.
- Limitations: Some injuries and conditions can affect your job performance or inhibit your ability to complete everyday tasks such as doing chores or taking part in physical activity. Whenever your injuries prevent you from doing something, you log each of these moments.
How Can I Improve My Chances of Recovering Fair Compensation?
If you hire a skilled personal injury attorney from Lubell Rosen, our legal team will oversee the logistics of your case so you can focus on your loved ones, recovery, and mental wellbeing. Our attorneys will know which evidence to collect to help prove your case, consult with well-credentialed experts where necessary, and handle correspondence with the insurance company.
However, there are some steps you can take to protect your case and avoid disputes, such as:
- Seeking Immediate Medical Treatment: Even if your injuries don’t appear to be very serious, you should still visit a clinic or hospital after leaving the accident scene. Not only will this ensure that you receive the treatment you need to prevent your injuries from worsening, but a prompt diagnosis may also help reduce the chances of facing disputes from the insurance company down the road.
- Following Your Doctor’s Instructions: Whether they have told you to rest, perform daily exercises, or take prescribed medication, it’s important to stick to the script. If it emerges that you went against your healthcare provider’s orders, the insurance company may argue that you breached your duty to mitigate damages. As a result, your financial award may be reduced by your percentage of the liability.
- Tracking Your Damages: From financial documents to medical records to your personal injury journal, keeping track of your damages may assist your attorney in building your case and estimating a fair settlement. You should share these documents with your attorney during your free initial consultation.
- Letting Your Lawyer Handle Correspondence with Opposing Parties: Any statements you make to the claims adjuster may be misrepresented in order to challenge your claim. At Lubell Rosen, our attorneys can oversee all dialogue with the insurance company so you don’t accidentally say something that could harm your case.
- Staying off Social Media: Your posts on social media or forums could be used as evidence to dispute your claim. You should deactivate your accounts and/or abstain from posting until your case has concluded.
Call (954) 880-9500 to Set up an Appointment with a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
For a free consultation with one of our skilled and highly experienced auto injury attorneys, call (954) 880-9500. Alternatively, you can send us a message on our Contact Page.