Florida boasts many attractions that make it feature high on the bucket lists of many adventure seekers. From its temperate climate to enchanted beaches, diverse cuisine, and plenty of fishing cum boating activities, it’s clear why anyone who’s visited the sunshine state would die for a second treat.
But with these attractions come high risks of traffic accidents. Florida has recently been ranked the third-most accident-prone state after California and Texas. The three states account for 22.4%, 8.3%, and 6.3% of all accidents in the United States, respectively.
A significant percentage of all accidents in Florida happen in Hillsborough County. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), this county alone accounts for about 30,000 of the approximately 400,000 auto accidents in Florida annually. Since Tampa is the capital of Hillsborough County, it’s further expected that a majority of accidents in the county would happen within the Tampa Bay area.
Motor vehicle accidents may be unforeseen. But getting legal help can help you shoulder the emotional and financial burden of the aftermath.
Here’s a guide to finding a skilled car accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida.
Why You Need Legal Help After A Car Accident in Tampa
Motor vehicle accidents are traumatizing experiences that cannot be wished upon anyone. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and have sustained injuries, it’s best to seek legal help immediately.
A car accident attorney will review your situation and advise you on the best action. Through their expertise, you’ll be able to know whether to press charges or opt for an out-of-court settlement with the at-fault motorist. At the very least, the lawyer will bring you up to speed with Florida’s statute of limitations for car accidents four years from the incident date.
But it doesn’t matter who’s at fault. The mandate of a Tampa car accident lawyer is to inform you of your rights and help prosecute the case in your favor. The accident might not have resulted in significant bodily harm or structural damage to your automobile. Still, a car accident lawyer is there to help you shoulder the emotional trauma resulting from the harrowing experience.
Your Tampa car accident lawyer will also advise you on when and how to file a claim with your insurance provider or the other driver’s auto insurer, whichever the case may be. Ordinarily, this should happen as soon as possible.
Most motor vehicle insurers require that you report an accident while still at the scene. But this isn’t always practically possible, especially if the accident is so grievous that it results in temporary loss of mobility or consciousness. Having your Tampa auto accident lawyer on speed dial can be handy in such cases. The lawyer will take care of the entire incident reporting and claims filing process while you recuperate. Moreover, knowing that you have such a dependable ally during difficult moments can go a long way in aiding your recovery process.
Last but not least, the expertise of your Tampa car accident attorney will be invaluable in helping prepare sufficient evidence in the event the case ends up in a law court. The attorney will help you dispute an at-fault driver who denies responsibility while taking you through the claims settlement process.
How to Find a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Every car accident attorney worth their salt must satisfy the below parameters.
- Willingness to Offer Personalized Services
When you’ve just been involved in a grisly road accident and are indisposed, you need a lawyer who can stick closer than a brother. The attorney should commit themselves to providing all the necessary help to bring you back on your feet.
A professional Tampa car accident attorney should be able to facilitate part of the litigation cost while you’re still bedridden. They should also endeavor to plead your case with your motor vehicle insurer while keeping in touch with your employer and family.
You need a lawyer who can walk with you every step of the way to ensure you recover from both the physical and emotional trauma and the financial damages that might result from the accident.
- Experience in Handling Car Accident Cases
Car accidents legally fall within the broader category of personal injury. However, personal injury attorneys can handle different cases, including those entirely unrelated to motor vehicle accidents.
So, the first step in choosing a Tampa car accident lawyer is to choose one specializing in motor vehicle accident injuries.
Experts also recommend choosing a lawyer with experience handling specific motor vehicle cases.
As you’ll find, some Tampa auto accident lawyers prefer cases involving commercial trucks, while others specialize in small personal cars. You may also find an attorney specializing in prosecuting accidents, including rollovers.
- Longer Duration in Practice
There’s no standard duration that a car accident lawyer ought to have been in practice to be deemed qualified for the job. But I doubt you’d want your case handled by a law firm that’s barely a month old.
Your best bet is to insist on attorneys who’ve been practicing for at least five years. Most importantly, they ought to have been considerably active during their years in practice.
Inquire about the number of cases they’ve handled, particularly concerning incidents within the Tampa Bay area.
And while you’re at it, ask them to produce a list of satisfied customers. You can then contact these individuals privately to establish the nature of their experience with the lawyer before hiring them.
- Competitive Legal Fees
Accidents have a way of resulting in huge financial losses besides causing physical disabilities. So, the last thing you want is a car accident lawyer that charges an arm and a leg. However, regarding professional legal representation, what you pay is usually proportional to the services you get.
How do you strike the right balance between quality services and competitive fees?
First, insist on a Tampa car accident attorney who offers free case reviews. Upon reviewing your case extensively, the lawyer will issue you with a befitting quote. Once you have the quote, compare it with similar car accident lawyers in the Tampa Bay area to determine that you’re getting a fair deal.
Numerous factors determine the best car accident attorney in Tampa, Florida. Therefore, it’s always essential to conduct your due diligence to ensure you’re hiring the most competent lawyer.