One minute, you are driving down the road enjoying the warm Florida sunshine and the beautiful views of the St. Johns River, and the next, you are dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Car accidents can be scary and confusing, especially when you suffer severe injuries that prevent you from working.
You are left with expensive car repairs, necessary medical treatments, and a confusing legal process. This is when you need to contact a Jacksonville personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and fight to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
The Jacksonville car accident lawyers of Chalik & Chalik can handle your insurance claim, protect your interests, and help make this process easier for you. If you would like to discuss your car accident case, talk with one of our lawyers. We will work to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Understanding Your Legal Rights After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, it’s important to know your rights. Being involved in such a traumatic event can leave many questions, and we’re here to help navigate what comes next.
Right to Pursue Damages from At-Fault Parties
Negligent drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents can be held liable under Florida law to pay full and fair compensation to their victims. This includes reimbursement for economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, as well as general damages for things like pain and suffering resulting from the crash.
Our car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, FL, understand exactly how to build a comprehensive liability case by thoroughly investigating the accident scene and circumstances. We’ll leave no stone unturned to determine if another party bears responsibility.
If so, we’re prepared to pursue maximum financial compensation on your behalf, whether it’s through settlement negotiations with an at-fault driver’s insurance company or taking legal action by filing a personal injury claim.
Your medical treatment and long-term care should not also come with financial ruin – we aim to achieve full reimbursement.
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Near Me (904) 549-6065
Challenges You May Face When Dealing With the Insurance Company
Here are some common challenges accident victims face when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company:
- Lowball offers: Insurance carriers often initially offer settlement amounts that are significantly lower than the actual damages. They may try to undervalue claims.
- Denied claims: Some insurers look for any reason they can to deny the claim entirely, even if their insured is clearly at fault. This forces victims to litigate.
- Delay tactics: Insurers may purposely stall negotiations and drag out the claims process, hoping victims get frustrated or need money urgently.
- Pressure to settle ASAP: Victims are often pressured into accepting quick, low settlements before medical treatment is complete and damages are known.
- Demands for records: Insurance requires medical records, bills, wage losses, etc., but does not reimburse for the costs of collecting this documentation.
- Disputed liability: Even with strong evidence, insurers sometimes dispute who is at fault to avoid full payment of a fair settlement. This causes prolonged litigation.
- Demands to use “preferred” doctors: Victims may be denied the choice of doctors if another provider is on an approved list, risking the quality of care.
A Jacksonville auto accident attorney works to ensure victims understand their rights and don’t feel forced into disadvantageous situations by insurance company practices and policies.
Chalik & Chalik Car Accidents Lawyer Near Me (904) 549-6065
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Here are some of the key benefits of working with a Jacksonville automobile accident lawyer:
- Negotiation skills: Attorneys are experienced negotiators who can get higher settlement offers for auto accident claims. Our representation can help clients from feeling rushed or coerced into inadequate “just to move on” deals.
- Legal knowledge: Lawyers thoroughly investigate accidents and build strong liability cases, leaving little room for insurers to dispute fault.
- Litigation: The threat of lawsuits and attorneys’ litigation skills apply pressure on insurers to settle more reasonably and swiftly.
- Even playing field: Because insurers have legal teams, victims who have legal representation can avoid being treated unfairly.
- Deal directly with insurer: Attorneys interface directly with claims adjusters, preventing added pressure from being placed on victims.
- Fight for full compensation: Lawyers make certain all applicable damages categories like pain and suffering are addressed.
- Answer questions and offer legal advice: Ongoing guidance and advice can help alleviate your uncertainty around the complex claims process.
By leveling the playing field, experienced representation significantly increases the chances of maximum claim payouts and fair insurance handling of accident cases.
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Types of Injuries We Commonly Claim
Some common types of injuries that may give rise to a car accident lawsuit include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: This includes concussions and more serious injuries like contusions or hemorrhaging within the brain tissue. Even mild TBIs can have long-lasting impacts.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spine like herniated or slipped discs, pinched nerves, or more severe injuries that cause paralysis. Back and neck injuries are very common in car accidents.
- Broken/fractured bones: Broken limbs, ribs, facial bones, vertebrae, etc. Bone fractures often require surgery and long recovery times.
- Soft tissue injuries: Whiplash or musculoskeletal injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. These can be recurrent or chronic.
- Internal injuries: Damage to vital organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, etc., from blunt force trauma during impact.
- Burns: Chemical or friction burns sustained during extrication from a vehicle or fire.
- Amputation: The traumatic loss of a limb or digit due to severe crush or avulsion injuries.
- Scarring/disfigurement: Visible scars resulting from lacerations, skin grafts, or other wounds requiring extensive treatment.
For a free legal consultation with a Chalik & Chalik lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (904) 549-6065
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover?
In a car accident claim, there are various damages that you may be able to recover to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Your car accident attorney in Jacksonville will thoroughly evaluate your losses to ensure you do not accept an undervalued settlement.
These damages fall under two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages aim to reimburse you financially for losses caused directly by the accident. Determining economic damages requires thorough documentation of costs incurred. Some of the major categories include:
This encompasses all bills from hospitals, doctors, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and other providers for initial treatment and ongoing care required as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. This includes costs for procedures, medications, medical supplies, and devices. Having medical records organized will help establish this element of damages.
If the injuries prevented you from working, missing time from work due to treatment or disability can be claimed. Lost wages cover actual salary, commissions, tips, or other work-related earnings you were unable to earn during recovery. Employers may provide documentation regarding salary and time missed.
Repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle, personal items inside like phones or clothing, or other possessions harmed in the accident generate property damage claims. Estimates from auto body shops or receipts for replacement goods quantify these costs.
Future Medical Costs
Doctors may outline expenses for therapies, prospective surgeries, or ongoing care needed long-term, such as nursing assistance. Life expectancy tables help experts analyze lifetime costs and present them to establish this element.
Loss of Earning Capacity
An economist can calculate the present-day value of future wages you may lose due to your inability to perform your regular duties or find comparable employment. Vocational evaluations and earnings histories support claims for loss of future income or career advancement opportunities.
While out-of-pocket costs are important, accidents also inflict intangible harms. Calculating non-economic or general damages requires placing monetary value on the impact of quality of life. These damages can be challenging to prove but are critical for full compensation. A Jacksonville personal injury attorney can fight to validate these damages on your behalf.
Pain and Suffering
Encompasses physical and mental pain experienced since the crash and potentially ongoing discomfort even with treatment. Factors like severity, activity limitations, and dependence on medication are addressed.
Disfigurement or Disability
Covers reduced mobility, utilization of bodily functions, or independence due to permanent injury impacts like scarring, restricted joint usage, and permanent impairments.
Notable harms include post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and other psychological effects of trauma. Long-term counseling needs may influence awards.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Awards consider the inability to participate in personal interests, hobbies, and passions previously enjoyed. Declines in rehabilitation potential and life expectancy also factor in.
Loss of Consortium
For married plaintiffs, this element addresses changes in companionship and intimate aspects of relationships due to injuries and their physical, social, and emotional effects.
Each case considers all relevant circumstantial details to grant amounts reflecting true lifetime repercussions of crashes beyond out-of-pocket costs recoverable.
How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
The Florida statute of limitations for most bodily damage personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. You have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim for damages. After that time period has passed, you will no longer be able to launch a case.
This rule has a few notable exceptions, though. If your injuries weren’t immediately obvious after an accident, for instance, the two-year window might not start counting down until you discovered them (or should have).
The statute of limitations may be shorter if the government agency or department is the defendant. It’s vital that you initiate proceedings as soon as possible following your accident.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney in Jacksonville, Florida?
Chalik & Chalik operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not require any upfront payment or retainer fees from our clients. Instead, our fees are contingent on the successful outcome of your case.
Under a contingency fee agreement, we only get paid if we are able to secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. If we are successful, our fees will be a percentage of the compensation you receive. This arrangement allows injury victims to access legal representation without worrying about the financial burden.
By working on a contingency fee basis, our law firm aligns our interests with yours. We are motivated to diligently pursue your case, as our payment is directly tied to the outcome. This arrangement also means that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and navigating the legal process without the added stress of upfront legal fees.
What If I Am Partially At Fault for a Car Accident?
When a car accident occurs, it is possible that both drivers may be found to share fault for the crash. This is typically argued by the other driver and their insurance company in order to shift blame away from themselves.
Fortunately, Florida has implemented comparative fault laws, which still allow injured parties to receive compensation even if they contributed to the accident. How much fault each driver may possess for the auto accident decides the reduction of the amount of damages.
For instance, if you are found responsible for 20% of the auto accident, any award you receive would be reduced by that amount. A Jacksonville auto accident lawyer can work to reduce your share of liability in a claim to preserve your compensation.
Contact a Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
It is important to have someone on your side. Seeking compensation through your insurance provider often means that they make all the rules.
You may be required to seek medical care from an insurance-approved physician. We will assist you in navigating this process so that you do not give up your rights or settle for substandard care for yourcar accident injuries.
Having an auto accident lawyer who fights for you and the compensation that you deserve is important when dealing with a car accident claim.Contact Chalik & Chalik today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (904) 549-6065