Have You Suffered a Car or Auto Accident?

At Carey Leisure Carney, our auto accident attorneys understand that dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is a stressful time. We believe your main focus should be on recovering from your injuries and attempting to get back to your normal life, not on paperwork and insurance claims. 

Trust our team of lawyers to handle your car accident claim efficiently and effectively.  Our firm has 35+ years of legal experience representing car accident victims and getting them the compensation they deserve.  

Do you need an auto or car accident attorney in Clearwater, FL? If you’ve been involved in an accident, we’ll fight to recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for any medical expenses, car rental, car repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any additional damages that may apply to your specific circumstances. 

Call our office today at (727) 472-4735 for a FREE consultation or fill out the form for a FREE case evaluation.

What to Do If You Experienced an Auto Accident

Every year, close to half a million people are involved in car accidents in Florida. There may be extensive property damage, severe injuries, incapacitation, and fatalities associated with these accidents.

Being involved in an accident can change your life in an instant, leaving you traumatized, confused, and wondering how you will put your life back together. If you have recently been involved in an auto accident, you may be wondering, what do I do next?

Any time you are involved in an auto accident, there are several things you should do as soon as possible to protect yourself and strengthen your claim to recover maximum compensation:

Keep Calm and Evaluate the Situation

The most important thing you can do after being involved in an accident is to remain level-headed. Calmly, remove yourself and any passengers from harm’s way.

If you or a passenger in your car has been injured and needs medical attention, call 911 as soon as possible to request an ambulance.

Call the Police

This is an important step. An official accident report can provide essential details that may be very important to your case. Often the officer that arrives on the scene did not witness the accident, so they will rely on testimony from the drivers to put together an accurate picture of what happened.

Be honest with them and stick to the facts.

Get the Other Driver’s Information

You can simply take pictures of the other party’s driver’s license, license plate, and insurance card. Save these in a separate album on your phone to be easily accessible.

Do Not Discuss Fault With Anyone on the Scene

Even saying something as seemingly harmless as “I’m sorry” to the other driver can be construed as admitting fault, especially if they report this to their insurance adjuster.

Take Pictures and Videos of the Scene and of Any Visible Injuries

This step will help to prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries and property damage.

Be sure to take pictures and videos from several angles of the general scene. Try to include any street signs or identifying landmarks to clarify the location.

If there were any hazards near the location of the accident, be sure they are clearly visible in your photos. Show all damage caused to any vehicles involved in the accident and your visible injuries (continue to document them during the healing process).

Get the Contact Information of Eyewitnesses

Eyewitness testimony can be very helpful to a case, as it can help establish fault. If anyone directly witnessed your accident, ask them to stay at the scene to give a statement to the police, and get their contact information.

Seek Medical Attention

A good rule of thumb is to seek medical treatment within 24 hours of an accident. Remember that in order to preserve a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of your auto accident.

Be sure to document all your doctor’s visits and be consistent in attending follow-up appointments and following all prescribed treatments.

Stay off Social Media

Anything you post online about your accident may be found and used against you to deny your claim. It is safest to avoid discussing the details of your accident online altogether.

Notify Your Insurance Company (required)

You are required to let your insurance company know that you have been in an accident, so be sure to call them as soon as possible. You can discuss the accident briefly, but do not go into too much detail in order to preserve your claim.

If the insurance adjuster pressures you to give a recorded statement, you should politely decline and let them know that all requests will be handled by your attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to exert pressure on accident victims.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney

Contacting an experienced auto accident attorney can be the key to maximizing the value of your claim. They will be able to meet with you, gather the important details from your accident, answer any questions you may have, and discuss your next steps.

The quicker you contact an attorney, the better, as they will be able to help preserve all potential evidence related to your claim.

Why Call Our Auto Accident Attorneys at Carey Leisure Carney?

We Put CARE First

We have built a phenomenal team of trial attorneys, claims adjusters, paralegals, and support staff who strive every day to provide our clients with exceptional representation and ensure that every client knows they are more than just a number. Many of our attorneys and team members have suffered similar tragedies and injuries to our clients.

That is one reason that our team demonstrates a unique level of empathy and passion for representing our clients. We have been in your shoes and are committed to a better standard of representation than our competitors!

Board Certified Civil Trial Attorneys

Less than 2% of attorneys in the state of Florida are Board Certified Civil Trial Attorneys. All our named partners are Board Certified, and the insurance companies know it! Our firm has 35+ years of experience - founded in 1984.

We Handle Settlements & Litigation Alike

Insurance adjusters keep track of which attorneys know how to successfully take a case to trial and they are likely to put a more fair value on the offer to avoid litigation with firms that have a track record of taking cases to trial.

By choosing the attorneys at Carey Leisure Carney, you have selected representation that have a proven track record of fighting insurance companies to protect your rights.

No Attorney Fees, Unless You Win

Our fee is contingent on the success of your claim. We charge no legal fees unless you collect damages. You pay nothing for depositions, expert witnesses, or other costs associated with your case unless we recover a settlement or win a judgment for you.

Commonly Asked Questions After a Car Accident

What if the other driver asks not to call the police?
We always recommend calling the police after an accident. We have represented clients who agreed to avoid calling the police only to have the at-fault driver claim the accident never happened or refuse to take responsibility with their insurance company. An accident report provides vital documentation to protect your rights.

What if my insurance lapsed before the accident?
If your insurance lapsed before an accident, this does not mean that the other driver involved in the accident is uninsured. It is always a good idea to contact an auto accident attorney to perform a coverage investigation for you. You may be able to recover from the at-fault driver’s policy.

How can I get my car fixed?
In most cases, it is best to have the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company handle your property damage to avoid incurring the collision deductible that may be on your policy. This will also ensure you will be given a rental car while your vehicle is repaired, or you are paid for the fair value of your car. After reporting the claim to their insurance company, an adjuster should call you to arrange for repairs of your vehicle. Ask the adjuster about warranties for repairs completed at their approved collision centers.

Unfortunately, not all situations are this clear. Sometimes the at-fault driver will have inadequate insurance coverage, or their insurance company may refuse to accept responsibility or liability for the accident. Our team is experienced at navigating through these challenging situations and are happy to provide you with a free consultation.

How can I get a rental car?
Depending on the severity of the accident, your only method of transportation may be either a total loss or in need of repairs. The at-fault driver’s insurance company should provide you with a rental car similar to the vehicle which was involved in the crash. Our team will work quickly with their insurance company to confirm representation and try to get you into a rental car quickly. If the insurance adjuster is dragging their feet about providing you with a rental car, consult our team regarding your options.

I have no health insurance, but I need to see a doctor. What can I do?
In Florida, if you have been injured in an auto accident and have auto insurance coverage, you can use your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to seek the treatment you need. In order to do this, you must seek treatment within 14 days of your accident. PIP will pay a portion of your medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses up to a certain dollar amount. That limit depends on whether a doctor has diagnosed you with an Emergency Medical Condition. If a doctor makes that determination, the limit of your PIP under most circumstances is $10,000. If not, the limit of your PIP will typically be $2,500.

If your insurance coverage lapsed prior to your accident, speak with your attorney about the specifics of your case to examine your options.

How long until my auto accident claim settles?
The best answer to this question is: it depends. Each case will have a variety of factors that could either make the process progress quickly and smoothly or may create some challenges. Following the advice above to preserve as much evidence as possible will help expedite the process of building your case and create a smoother starting point.

Why do I need an attorney?
Hiring an attorney immediately allows for the preservation of evidence that may otherwise be lost or destroyed soon after your accident. Also, despite their marketing attempts, insurance companies are not always looking out for the injured parties’ best interests. They are profit-driven and can easily gain the upper hand when an injured party is simply trying to navigate their system. At Carey Leisure Carney, we are honored to protect our clients and their families from falling into the insurance companies’ traps

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