Panama City Car Accident Attorneys
Car Accidents in Florida
Have you been hurt by another motorist on the road? If so, it's likely you have a viable claim for compensation. At Syfrett, Dykes & Furr, our team of dedicated Panama City car accident lawyers have a reputation for diligent, incisive representation for traffic-oriented personal injury claims. Our firm is prepared to launch its own investigation into what happened and develop a compelling case for relief on our clients' behalf.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident, it is possible to fight for the restitution you deserve. Pursue relief with Syfrett, Dykes & Furr. Call (850) 795-4979 today. Se Habla Español.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
When an accident happens, it’s only natural to feel rattled and shaken afterward. However, it’s important to gather your composure following a car accident. The steps you take after your accident can significantly impact the status of any injury or accident claims that you might file in the future.
These actions should be completed after an accident:
- Take Care of Yourself: Check yourself for injuries and conduct an inventory of any passengers in your vehicle. This should be done before you try to exit your vehicle.
- Get Out of Traffic: You should flash your hazard lights to inform other drivers on the road to be cautious. If you have road flares, use them to mark off the accident scene.
- Exchange Information: You’ll need the information from all parties involved in the accident. Get their name, phone number, and home address. You will also want other information like their insurance company, policy number, and driver’s license.
- Call 911: A police report can come in handy when you file your accident claim. Calling 911 after an accident will help to speed up the claim process.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: When you speak with your insurer, remember to be as specific as possible when you describe the events of the accident. This can save you time and trouble in the long-run.
- Take Pictures & Document the Scene: Make sure to get clear photos of any damage done to your vehicle. This can be used to support your accident claim later on. Remember, you can never have too many pictures of an accident.
- Contact Your Mechanic: After you have completed the above steps, schedule an appointment with a mechanic to make needed repairs. Get a detailed report of what repairs were performed on your vehicle as well. Although accidents are a scary experience, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm.
If you have been in an accident and would like more advice before you speak with a doctor, adjuster, or another concerned party in your case, feel free to give our car accident attorneys in Panama City a call and arrange a free, initial case evaluation.
Payment for Car Damage
If the other side was 100% at fault and if they have the right kind of insurance coverage, then they should pay to fix your car. In Florida, if the other driver is driving legally (with even the minimum insurance) then they should have $10,000 in Property Damage Liability Coverage and this will help pay for your car.
If you have difficulty with the other person’s insurance company and you have collision coverage on your vehicle then call your own insurance company and ask them to fix your car. In many cases, your legal counsel can negotiate with these insurance providers and ensure that they know that you what your rights are and are serious about recovering the coverage you deserve.
Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
Most insurance companies include in their settlements that no additional compensation can be collected after the initial settlement amount, so once you agree to a settlement it’s usually difficult to recover anything else. If you have been offered a settlement, or if you have already signed one, call Syfrett, Dykes & Furr today to talk about your case.
Car Accident FAQ
With over a hundred years of experience, our legal team is well-equipped and prepared to answer any questions you may have regarding your car accident claim. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions our clients have asked in the past.
Do you have an auto accident claim?
Each case is different, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you should explore your legal options. At our firm, we can help you examine these details in you a free consultation with our team.
These considerations include:
- Was it clear that the other driver was at fault?
- Has your health suffered as a result of the accident?
- Are you experiencing lasting, adverse effects from the accident?
- Have your resulting medical bills reached or surpassed $5,000?
- Did your injuries require surgery?
If your answer to most of these questions is "yes," then it is likely you have a viable claim against the other motorist. Contact our firm today to further explore your options.
Who will pay for your car to be fixed?
If the other side was 100% at fault and if they have the right kind of insurance coverage, then they should pay to fix your car. In Florida, if the other driver is driving legally (with even the minimum insurance) then they should have $10,000 in Property Damage Liability Coverage and this will help pay for your car. If you have difficulty with the other person’s insurance company and you have collision coverage on your vehicle then call your own insurance company and ask them to fix your car.
Do you have to give the insurance company a taped statement?
If it is your insurance company, then the answer is probably yes, but you have every right to have your attorney present. If it is the other driver’s insurance company, then the answer is no. You are under no obligation to give the other driver’s insurance company a taped statement.
Should you speak with an attorney before you give a taped statement?
It is strongly recommended that you do not give the insurance company a taped statement without the presence of your attorney. You are more than likely required to give a taped statement to your insurance company, but you have every right to have your lawyer present.
You are under no obligation to give the other driver’s insurance company a taped statement. Talking with an auto accident attorney in person, and having that lawyer present when you give a taped statement is the smartest thing you can do.
What about my lost wages?
In Florida, your PIP coverage (Personal Injury Protection) will pay 60% of your lost wages that are a result of your automobile accident. As with most insurance, however, this is not automatic. Your employer has to complete a wage history form showing your wages. Your doctor has to complete a form that certifies you have missed work due to the crash.
What if the other driver was at-fault and your medical bills exceed your own PIP (no-fault) benefits?
If the other driver had Bodily Injury Liability Coverage then that can help with your medical bills. Under Florida Law, the other driver’s insurance company has to disclose this information to you. Also, regardless of the kind of coverage the other driver has, if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, commonly referred to as UM/UIM then you are protected.
How do you know if you have a case?
Each case is different, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself. Is it clear that the other side was at fault or mostly at fault for the crash? Do you notice a significant difference in the way you feel versus how you felt before the crash? Do you have pain and discomfort on a regular basis that you did not have before? Do you have medical bills and/or lost wages that exceed $5000? Have you already had surgery or is there a strong possibility that you will need surgery? The more times you have answered yes to these questions, the more likely you are to have a case.
How long do personal injury cases take?
Generally speaking, personal injury cases last anywhere from six to eighteen months. Most people need to see their doctor and receive treatment for some period of time before the doctor can say with any degree of certainty how the injury has affected them already and how it will affect them in the near future. The attorney typically cannot work on resolving the case with the at-fault party until the treatment is completed and a clear picture of the client’s injuries are present.
If it takes so long, why do you need an attorney now?
Because the insurance companies have attorneys and claims adjusters working for them from the day you were injured. Unfortunately, the insurance company wants to see you make as many mistakes as possible because this decreases the value of your claim. If you give a taped statement without knowing what the insurance adjuster is really trying to do you may be unaware that your words can decrease the value of your case.
How much is your case worth?
This question depends on several factors. First, what is your injury? (We generally won’t know this until you are done with treatment.) How much are your medical bills? How much are your lost wages? How has the accident affected your daily life, your job, your family? How clear is the liability? Does the other driver have adequate insurance coverage? Do you have adequate insurance coverage?
Why is insurance so important in a case?
Because we want you to understand how much is really at stake. Insurance companies are in business to make money. Their goal is to settle your case with you for the least amount possible. They train their adjusters to do what they can to minimize your case value because it is in their business interest. We’ll do what we can to protect you because we work for you and your best interest.
Ready to start exploring your car accident claim options? Our team is ready to hear from you. Request a free consultation with our car accident lawyers in Panama City today.