Being in a car accident in Wesley Chapel, Florida, can be a harrowing experience, often leaving individuals dealing with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial concerns. If you find yourself in this situation, it's essential to understand that you have options for seeking compensation for your injuries. Filing a personal injury claim may be a viable path to recover damages and regain control of your life.
Navigating a personal injury claim can be challenging, but with the right legal support, you can pursue the justice and financial relief you need. Contact the experienced Wesley Chapel car accident lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys today to discuss your case and explore your options. Your well-being and peace of mind are our top priorities. You can call our Wesley Chapel office at 813-537-6927. There is no cost or obligation for this consultation.
Why Choose Hancock Injury Attorneys for Your Car Accident Claim?
Our firm founder Mike Hancock spent the first eight years of his legal career focusing on insurance defense litigation. Very few personal injury lawyers have this kind of experience working for car insurance companies. Mike learned what motivates them to pay the largest settlements in the least amount of time. We have the insurance companies’ “playbook,” and use that information to maximize the value of our clients' car accident claims.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, our team of experienced and compassionate lawyers is here to guide you through the process. We'll handle the legal complexities, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being. Whether it's a minor collision or a more severe accident, we're dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you secure the compensation you deserve.
For an immediate, free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Wesley Chapel car accident attorneys, you can contact us at any time.
Our Office Location and Headquarters
We have offices in Wesley Chapel at 2224 Ashley Oaks Circle, Suite 102-E, Wesley Chapel, Florida 33544. Call the Wesley Chapel office at 813-537-6927. We serve clients in Spring Hill, Wesley Chapel, Tampa, and throughout central Florida. Our Tampa office is located at 1317 W Fletcher Ave., Tampa, Florida 33612. You can reach us by phone at the Tampa office at 813-915-1110.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle
The lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys have represented thousands of people injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another. Our legal team handles cases involving cars, trucks, and SUVs, as well as 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and ATVs. We also work with clients injured in traffic collisions involving bicycles and pedestrians. Various types of car accidents can result in injuries or wrongful death. Here are some common examples:
- Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle strikes another from behind. They can lead to whiplash, back injuries, and head injuries, particularly at higher speeds.
- Head-On Collisions: These are among the most severe accidents, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death due to the high impact.
- Side-Impact (T-Bone) Collisions: These accidents can cause serious injuries, especially if the side of a vehicle is struck where there is less protection for occupants.
- Rollover Accidents: When a vehicle flips over, it can lead to multiple types of injuries, including head injuries, fractures, and spinal cord injuries.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents: These accidents can leave victims injured without the responsible party being identified, making it challenging to pursue compensation.
- Distracted Driving Accidents: Accidents caused by texting, talking on the phone, or other distractions can result in various injuries.
- Drunk or Impaired Driving Accidents: Driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to severe injuries or fatalities, as impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and judgment.
- Fatigue-Related Accidents: Drowsy driving can lead to accidents with injuries, as fatigued drivers may nod off or have slower reaction times.
- Speeding Accidents: High-speed collisions can cause more significant injuries due to the force of impact.
- Multi-Vehicle Pileups: These complex accidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor to severe, and may involve multiple liable parties.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian or cyclist, it can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, and accidents involving motorcycles often lead to severe injuries or wrongful death.
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Collisions involving large trucks or buses can have devastating consequences, including catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Talking to a lawyer after a car accident will put you a step ahead of the insurance companies. A personal injury lawyer with experience handling car accident claims can negotiate to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available for your injuries and losses.
Filing A Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident in Wesley Chapel
A lawyer can explain your rights and provide legal guidance tailored to your specific situation. They will help you understand the legal aspects of your case. Hiring a lawyer after a car accident can significantly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses while easing the legal burdens associated with such an event.
Attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, collecting evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and photographs to build a strong case. Your lawyer will work to determine who was at fault for the accident, which is crucial for pursuing compensation.
Lawyers are skilled negotiators and can engage in settlement discussions on your behalf. They can assist with the complex process of dealing with insurance companies, ensuring you receive the maximum compensation available under your policy. They can also assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, to ensure you seek adequate compensation.
Insurance companies rarely offer accident victims what they deserve without extensive negotiation or even a lawsuit. They will often delay paying a valid settlement, deny a valid settlement, blame the victim, or claim your injuries are not as extensive as they are or are pre-existing conditions. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, our experienced Spring Hill car accident lawyers know these insurance tactics. We aggressively advocate for our clients, ensuring that they get the fair compensation they deserve.
If necessary, a lawyer can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf to pursue compensation through the legal system. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will represent your interests in court, presenting evidence and arguing on your behalf.
A local lawyer has the advantage of being well-versed in the relevant laws and regulations to ensure your case complies with local and state legal requirements.
Having a lawyer can relieve much of the stress associated with the legal aspects of a car accident, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Injuries and Losses from Traffic Crashes
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries and losses. The severity of these injuries can vary depending on factors like the type of accident, the speed of impact, and whether the individuals involved were wearing seat belts. Common injuries and losses from car accidents include:
- Head Injuries: These can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), often caused by impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows. Keep in mind that no head injury should be considered minor. All require medical attention as soon as possible.
- Whiplash: This is a soft tissue injury to the neck and upper back caused by sudden acceleration or deceleration, commonly occurring in rear-end collisions.
- Fractures: Broken bones are common in car accidents, especially in high-impact crashes, and can occur in various parts of the body.
- Facial Injuries: Facial fractures, jaw injuries, and fractured and broken teeth are among these types of injuries.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These can result in paralysis or partial loss of function and are typically caused by a severe impact on the spine.
- Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma can lead to injuries to internal organs, such as the spleen, liver, or lungs, and may not always be immediately apparent.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Broken glass and sharp objects inside the vehicle can cause cuts and lacerations, sometimes severe.
- Burns: Car accidents can lead to fires or explosions, causing burns to the skin.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: This includes damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, resulting in sprains and strains.
- Emotional Distress: In addition to physical injuries, car accidents can also cause emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety.
- Seat Belt Injuries: While seat belts save lives, they can also cause injuries like bruising or chest injuries during a collision.
- Airbag Injuries: Airbags can deploy with significant force, potentially causing injuries like burns or abrasions.
- Wrongful Death: In the worst cases, a motorist may be killed in a traffic crash.
Seek immediate medical attention and document all injuries following a car accident. Some injuries may be more severe than they appear at first. Also, talking to a doctor will create a medical record connecting your injuries to the accident. This may be valuable to support a personal injury case or wrongful death claim.
Establishing Liability: Who is At Fault for the Crash?
To establish liability for a car accident in Florida, a lawyer typically follows a series of steps and considers specific Florida laws that affect liability. Here's an overview of the process:
- Investigation: The lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. This includes reviewing police reports, speaking with witnesses, and collecting evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs or video footage.
- Determining Fault: Florida follows a "no-fault" insurance system, but it's essential to establish who was at fault for the accident, as this can affect liability. The lawyer will gather evidence to demonstrate that the other party was negligent or reckless.
- Florida's "No-Fault" Law: Florida's "no-fault" law requires each driver to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. In most cases, you will initially seek compensation through your PIP coverage, regardless of fault. However, there are exceptions, such as cases involving significant injuries or death.
- Negligence: The lawyer will assess whether the other party's actions constituted negligence. This may involve showing that the other driver breached a duty of care, which directly led to the accident and the resulting injuries.
- Comparative Negligence: Florida follows a "pure comparative negligence" system. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation, but your total recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. The lawyer will consider this in establishing liability.
- Serious Injury Threshold: To pursue a liability claim against the at-fault party, your injuries must meet Florida's "serious injury threshold." This includes significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
- Statute of Limitations: Florida has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You must file your claim within four years of the date of the accident, or you may lose the right to seek compensation.
- Insurance Coverage: Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage, and lawyers will examine the insurance policies involved to determine the available coverage for liability claims.
- Expert Witnesses: In some cases, lawyers may use expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to demonstrate fault and liability more convincingly.
- Mediation and Negotiation: In many cases, lawyers will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company. Mediation may also be used to facilitate discussions.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit in a Florida court.
Florida's specific laws and legal system play a significant role in determining liability in car accident cases. A knowledgeable Wesley Chapel attorney can navigate these complexities to establish liability and seek appropriate compensation on your behalf.
What Compensation Can I Recover After Being Injured in a Wesley Chapel Car Accident?
After being injured in a Wesley Chapel car accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for various losses and damages. The specific types of compensation you can pursue depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Here are some common categories of compensation you may be entitled to:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for all medical costs related to your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor's fees, surgery, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries result in missed work and a loss of income, you can pursue compensation for past and future lost earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: This category includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall suffering caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Property Damage: You may be eligible for reimbursement of repair or replacement costs for your damaged vehicle and any personal property affected in the accident.
- Disability and Disfigurement: If the accident results in a permanent disability or significant disfigurement, you can seek compensation for the impact on your life.
- Loss of Consortium: Spouses or family members of injured individuals may seek compensation for the loss of companionship and support resulting from the injuries.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter future misconduct.
The specific amount of compensation you can recover depends on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, available insurance coverage, and the extent of liability established for the accident. Our goal is to settle your personal injury claim for the largest amount of money you are legally entitled to recover.
This is your one and only opportunity to recover money for the injuries and losses you suffered in your car accident.
Once you settle your claim, by law you can never come back for additional compensation. That is why we make sure your settlement will include compensation for past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, the loss of capacity to enjoy life, disability, and scarring.
Wrongful Death Claims
In cases of fatal car accidents, surviving family members may pursue compensation. These claims aim to hold the responsible party accountable for the death and seek compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members.
Wrongful death claims are based on the principle that if the deceased person had survived, they would have had a valid personal injury claim against the at-fault party. In Florida, specific family members, such as spouses, children, parents, and in some cases, siblings or other dependents, are typically eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. The eligibility criteria may vary by state.
Compensation in wrongful death claims may cover various losses, such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the deceased person's final injury or illness, lost financial support, and the emotional suffering of surviving family members.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future. However, punitive damages are typically awarded in cases involving gross negligence or intentional harm.
The party bringing the wrongful death claim must prove that the at-fault party's actions or negligence directly caused the death.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Case?
One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How long will it take to settle my personal injury claim?” Although the question seems simple enough, the truthful answer is “it depends.” Every case is truly different. The length of time it will take to settle your personal injury claim caused by a motor vehicle accident will be based on many factors unique to each case.
For a more in-depth look at how long it takes for a car accident case to settle, watch the video below. There, attorney Mike Hancock discusses the factors that determine how long it will take to settle your car accident injury claim.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
We operate on a contingency fee basis. With this fee structure, clients don't have to pay upfront legal fees. Instead, the attorney's fees depend on the outcome of the case. If the attorney doesn't win the case and secure compensation for the client, there are no legal fees. We also guarantee that the amount you receive for your settlement will always be more than the amount of your attorney’s fees. Most personal injury attorneys charge the same basic contingency fee to their clients for their services, but what you get for that can be significantly different from attorney to attorney.
Contact Hancock Injury Attorneys for Your Wesley Chapel Car Accident Claim
Experiencing a car accident in Wesley Chapel is never easy, but seeking the compensation you deserve shouldn't be a burden. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we're here to support you every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, it's time to take action. Don't let the financial and emotional toll of the accident overwhelm you. Let us put our experience to work for you. We'll handle the legal complexities, fight for your rights, and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need to move forward. Your well-being is our top priority. Contact Hancock Injury Attorneys now, and let's start the journey toward recovery. Your free case consultation will always be with one of our attorneys, not with a non-lawyer call center representative. Call our Wesley Chapel office at 813-537-6927 or fill out the contact form on this website.