When to Hire an Attorney for Your Tampa Personal Injury Claim

When you’re hurt in a personal injury accident it can be hard to know what to do. You might wonder if it’s the right time to hire an attorney. You have the option to have a lawyer represent you, or you can try to go at it alone.

While it is certainly possible to be successful when pursuing your personal injury claim alone, there are several scenarios you may encounter where a qualified personal injury lawyer can help. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it’s time to hire an attorney for your Tampa injury claim.

You Have Severe, Permanent or Debilitating Injuries

Although Florida typically uses no-fault insurance laws for auto accidents, if you suffer from a serious, permanent or disfiguring injury because of someone else’s negligence on the roads, you can bring a full claim for damages. An attorney can be critical in helping you determine if you qualify.

If you are eligible to bring a case in court outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance system, you may be surprised to learn that you can recover for much more than just your medical bills. You can seek compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience and more. An attorney can help you evaluate the case and make sure that you’re asking for comprehensive damages for your losses.

The Offer Is Too Low

If you don’t have an attorney, the other side may try to offer you a settlement that’s woefully inadequate. You might be able to look at the offer and know this immediately, or you may need advice from an attorney to evaluate the offer. In any event, just getting an attorney on your side can prompt the other side to take the case seriously and offer something reasonable.

You Lack Information

When you have a Tampa personal injury claim, you may not have complete information about what happened in your case. There may be witnesses or records that could provide some insight, but you might not know how to access them. An attorney can help you get this information using discovery.

Discovery is a process that allows you to question witnesses under oath. You can demand that the other side respond to written questions called interrogatories. Subpoenas are helpful for securing documents and records. Your attorney knows how to conduct discovery efficiently and productively. This expertise can be useful to gathering materials and building your case.

The Insurance Company Refuses to Pay

Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes refuse to pay valid claims in Florida’s no-fault system. The no-fault system is supposed to make sure that accident victims have compensation to recover for their injuries. When the insurance company refuses to pay, it destroys the very fabric of this structure.

An attorney can help you take on the insurance company. Just like a lawyer can help you recover from a person who causes you harm, they can also help you fight the insurance company when they refuse to pay a valid claim. Insurance companies often try to see what they can get away with, and your attorney can help you stand up to the insurer when they try to deny you the very benefits that you pay for.

The Insurance Company Intimidates You

When it comes to litigation, insurance companies try to win their case by wearing you down. One of the things they do is try to harass and embarrass you. They try and delve into our past medical history and your personal life. You need an attorney to fight back. They know that only an experienced attorney can file suit against them.

You’re Not Sure How to Document Your Damages

It’s not easy to figure out what your claim is worth. You may need to calculate your projected future medical bills and lost wages. You may also need to put a value on pain and suffering.

Your attorney can help with this process because they’ve been there before. In addition to their own training and experience, they likely have forensic accountants that they work with on a regular basis. These accountants can help you value your losses and explain them to the jury.

Your Time Is About to Run Out

In Florida, you have a limited amount of time to bring a personal injury case. The exact amount of time depends on the type of case, and depending on the type of case the time limit will typically be from 1 to 4 years. As this deadline approaches, you often need to work quickly to get your case filed before time runs out. There are other complex notice requirements that can apply as well. It is important to have an experienced attorney to assist you.

If you miss the deadline even by a day, your right to recover may be gone forever. An attorney can make things happen quickly. They can identify the statute of limitations in your case and make sure that you don’t miss your window of opportunity.

The Case Is Going to Trial

A trial isn’t as simple as just telling a jury your side of the story. The Florida Evidence Code controls how a trial works. There are precise rules that govern what evidence a jury can consider and how you must present it to the court. There are often motions that you need to file ahead of the trial to ask the judge to admit or exclude certain evidence.

An attorney with years of experience working with the Florida Evidence Code is very helpful. They can help you prepare your case in a way that makes sure the court admits all of the relevant evidence in your case and that compellingly tells your story. They can help take the pressure off because heading into court is stressful enough as it is.

How an Attorney Helps

An attorney can assist you at any point in your personal injury case. Ultimately, your attorney’s skill and experience can help you navigate the court system in a way that may result in a larger recovery than you might have obtained otherwise.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else and have found yourself in any of the above situations, contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys in Tampa today. Our powerful legal team has the training and expertise to build your case, help you negotiate a higher settlement or bring a winning case to trial. With over 35 years of experience, and extensive resources, our legal experts can ensure your rights are protected. Schedule your free consultation by calling (813) 333-6666 today.

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 35 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.