Spring Hill: 352-606-2548
St. Petersburg: 727-362-6552
Tarpon Springs: 727-937-3171
and all other areas
Zervos & Calta, PLLC not only have years of experience in personal injury and car accident injury claims, they also have years of courtroom and trial experience against the insurance industry. More importantly, the law firm of Zervos & Calta, PLLC gives you the legal representation that keeps your best interests in mind, from beginning to end. Our injury lawyers will protect your rights, inform you of your legal options, and assist you each and every step of the way to resolve any issues or problems that are inherently involved in a car accident.
If you, a family member or a friend have been injured because another driver or person was negligent or careless, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer as early as possible. Legal issues related to personal injury law, insurance coverage, and injury claims can be overwhelming to handle without proper legal counsel.
Zervos & Calta, personal injury lawyers with decades of combined experience, can help answer common questions you may have about your claim, such as:
Whether it’s your first time being in a car accident or not, there is no denying that the aftermath can be overwhelming and stressful for victims. There are so many things you have to worry about, including how to know whether the insurance company is treating you fairly and more importantly, how are you going to handle all of this on your own?
There are several things you should do right away. The very first one is to find an experienced auto accident attorney that has a reputation for going to trial. In addition, here is a list of other things you should do after an accident to protect your health and ensure you have a strong case.
Whether you are away on a trip or close to home, having a car accident unexpectedly can cause injuries and pain that could have an impact on you for weeks and years to come. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered in car accidents are:
All of these injuries have the potential to have life-long effects. The treatment for these injuries can take weeks, months or be required for the rest of your life. The after effects of these types of injuries can be temporary or permanent, and may result in compensation to you for various types of damages.
A car accident can wreak havoc on your life. The losses and damages can be immediate and last a lifetime. The losses can be physical, emotional and financial. Our civil system of justice has established a system that not only recognizes the types of losses an accident can cause, but allows for victims to be fairly compensated for the following types of damages.
Under Florida law, plaintiffs can claim compensation under two separate categories:
Economic damages are those expenses and costs that arise directly from the accident and include:
Your Florida car accident lawyer will educate you about what types of damages Florida law permits, and will work closely with you to help you determine your economic losses and try to keep them minimized. Every case is different and the amount of compensation can vary, depending on the nature of the injuries.
Non-economic damages are losses that stem from the car accident and are subjective, rather than objective. They are those losses which can’t be calculated with numbers and which are suffered on a personal level. Non-economic damages include:
Punitive damages, which are not nearly as common as the economic and non-economic damages mentioned above, are the types of damages that a court permits when the court feels that “a punishment” type element is part of the case. This “punishment” is in the form of a financial penalty used to punish the at fault part for gross negligence or recklessness which caused the accident.
For instance, drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is the type of case that a court allows punitive damages for causing the accident. The jury ultimately decides if punitive damages should be awarded and if so, how much. Florida limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000 whichever amount is greater.
All insurance companies require that you file a report to them as soon as possible to preserve your rights under your policy. Other than reporting the details of what happened to YOUR insurance company, you should not speak with or give a recorded statement to the driver’s insurance company until after you have consulted with expert car accident attorneys. Don’t be fooled into believing that the insurance company will act in your best interests. Remember, the insurance industry is “big business” and their goal is to save money and collect premiums.
Keep it professional, short and sweet. Remember, the insurance adjuster is not your friend and no matter how nice they are to you, their allegiance is to their company.
Never sign any documents that say you are “waiving”, “giving up” or “releasing” any of your rights. You should always consult a personal injury lawyer before signing anything that may affect your rights!
Hopefully your first meeting will actually be with the accident lawyer and not an investigator or paralegal. You should ask about their education and professional experience. Here are some sample questions:
– How long have you practiced personal injury law?
– Does your practice consist solely of representing auto accident victims, or do you handle other types of law, as well?
– On average, how many victims do you represent each year?
– How many injury lawsuits do you settle each year? How many cases do you take to trial each year?
– Have you frequently handled cases similar to mine?
– Which law school did you attend, and when did you graduate?
– Do you belong to any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?
– Do you have any special experience representing victims of auto accident who have back injuries, neck injuries, or other injuries that may cause lifelong medical problems?
– How many cases have you taken and to trial, and what were the outcomes?
– Can you provide me with the names and case numbers of your cases that went to trial?
– Do you work on a contingency fee?
You should further take time to discuss your car accident and injuries, and ask the injury attorneys for their opinion of your case. Some questions to ask include:
– What is your assessment of my case?
– What kind of auto accident settlement or judgment can I realistically expect to receive?
– What are the strengths of my case? What are the weaknesses of my case?
– Will my case have to go to trial?
– How long do you expect it would take to resolve my case?
Every lawyer has a different style or approach in practicing personal injury law. Here are some questions to ask the personal injury attorney along those lines:
– How would you describe your philosophy or approach to practicing law?
– What is your approach to handling auto accident cases?
– Will you ask me to make decisions or will you to tell me what I should do?
– Will you personally handle my case, or will another attorney manage it?
– Will you handle negotiations and court appearances?
– Will you be my day-to-day contact?
– What is the best way to reach you? How quickly do you typically respond?
Call us at one of our four office locations to discuss your legal options. Remember, we get paid a contingency fee so there is no fee to you unless we win the compensation you deserve.
Contact us by filling out the form on the right or call 727-937-3171 to schedule a free phone consultation.
We also work with clients in Trinity, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Westchase, Hudson, Elfers, Holiday, Bayonet Point, and New Port Richey.
Many different factors are taken into consideration when coming to a settlement for an auto accident. If there were injuries, some sources put the average settlement at around $15,000. A settlement for property damage is typically about $3,000.
You should talk to an injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, so that they can deal with the insurance company. This helps prevent any costly mistakes, and potentially help with covering medical bills and lost income.
Make an appointment for a consultation right away and gather all pertinent paperwork. Do not talk to the insurance company, the attorney will do that for you. Most importantly, do not sign anything before speaking with the attorney.