Broward County Accident Claim Lawyer
Alan Sackrin Knows How to Help
What To Do After You’ve Recovered From Your Injuries
Accidents do happen, and most accident victims never think they will be an injury victim — until they are. It’s not fair, and it can be a life-altering event. So, when you are hurt in an accident, what can your attorney do to help fix things and get you back to freely living your life as soon as possible?
Of course, seeking medical treatment is the first priority. After that, most injured people consult with an accident attorney to determine if they have a legal claim for damages. In Florida, if you are hurt in an accident (car accident, slip and fall, etc.), and that accident was caused by the negligent actions (or failure to act) of another party, (and you can prove they are at fault), then that party is legally responsible for compensating you for your losses.
Accident Claims: Damages to Be Demanded Under Florida Law
In Florida, accident claims are defined by the kinds of losses that the injury victim has sustained. There are several kinds of “economic damages” for instance, and there is another category of legal damages to be made as well, called “general damages.”
Economic damages that can be demanded as part of a Florida accident claim include things like doctor bills, EMS charges, hospital bills, property damage (e.g., if the car was totalled), lost wages, therapy expenses, and more.
General damages can include things like: pain and suffering, mental distress, and decreased quality of life due to physical disability, etc.
Pain and Suffering: An Example of How Accident Claims Lawyers Can Help
It’s not required under Florida law that an injury victim have a lawyer in order to file an accident claim, and the insurance adjuster isn’t going to tell you to go get legal help. The insurance company has the goal of settling your claim as fast as they can for as little as possible and they know that you having a lawyer doesn’t help them achieve this goal.
Why? Especially in the part of your claim for “general damages,” it’s not always obvious what is needed to prove up and support damages and losses here. If the injury victim doesn’t properly make a demand, then the insurance company is not legally required to pay anything on that loss, no matter how real it may be.
Pain and suffering is a great example of this. Pain and suffering damages are legitimate claims for injury victims, but they are hard to establish because unlike economic damages like doctor bills or lost wages, there’s not any paperwork to attach to the claim that tallies their total (economic damages are quantifiable, whereas pain and suffering is not).
For “pain and suffering,” particular kinds of evidence will need to be gathered — and if necessary, experts will need to be hired to provide opinion testimony or opinion reports (”affidavits”) that quantifies the pain and suffering that you have experienced (or will experience in the future) as the result of the accident. We wrote an in depth article about pain and suffering claims in Florida because there are so many issues associated with this type of injury claim, including the type of documentation needed to prove a claim and the factors to be considered in calculating these damages. Therefore, it's easy to see why having an experienced accident claims lawyer to help you prove up general damages like “pain and suffering” is very important to your success in getting your losses paid.
When Accident Claims Lawyers are a Must
In most accident claims, the injured person has a clear need for an attorney. If the insurance company outright denies their claim for damages, for instance, or makes an unreasonable settlement offer, then hiring an accident claim lawyer to contest that denial is very important.
Just because you get a letter stating that the company has decided it doesn’t want to pay you doesn’t mean that they aren’t legally liable to you! In this scenario, you may not only have your initial damages claim but now another legal claim against them for acting “in bad faith.”
Additionally, many Florida car crashes end up with the injury victim needing a lawyer to help them seek justice because the person at fault does not have enough insurance coverage to meet the victim’s damages. This is the situation where the at-fault driver is “underinsured.”
The chances of getting your losses covered in this situation can be improved by having an accident claims attorney that has experience and understands how to fight for damages in these cases. Here, an experienced lawyer who has dealt with Florida car insurance carriers for many years can be very helpful, since he/she will know the insurance companies’ tactics and strategies for trying to avoid paying claims.
How Much Will a Accident Claim Lawyer Cost You?
It’s true that lawyers usually don’t represent accident victims for free. However, it’s also true that many personal injury law firms in South Florida, like our firm, offer “contingent fee agreements” to clients who have been hurt in an accident and are pursuing an injury claim.
Our position is that contingent fee agreements are right and fair, particularly for accident claim clients, because you are already dealing with the pain and harm of a physical injury, first of all. So are your loved ones — they are sharing in your suffering, and all the inconveniences that go along with it. The inability to drive, or to walk stairs, or maybe even to dress yourself or cook a meal: it’s not just you that has to deal with the aftermath of an accident.
It’s not fair, but it’s reality.
Add to that the pressures of money. After an accident, all too often accident victims cannot work. Some may be in the hospital for awhile and doing work is simply impossible to even consider. Others are in the process of healing and are dealing with things like casts, wheelchairs, or physical therapy. Going back to work is foreseeable, but it’s not time yet.
Contingent fee agreements mean that the lawyer does not get paid any lawyer fees until and unless the injured person recovers on their claim.
If you think that an accident claim lawyer may be helpful to resolve your claims, then please feel free to contact our office for a free initial consultation.
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Since 1982, Alan Sackrin has represented clients throughout Florida in recovering monetary damages for car accident injuries. Alan is a Board Certified Civil Trial Expert that strives to maximize the amount of compensation his clients' receive for their claim. Alan brings a high-level of skill and knowledge to his client's car accident cases and he offers a free initial consultation.
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