I wrote this page to teach everyone who has been injured in a car accident everything you need to know to educate yourself enough to know your legal rights, to beat insurance companies, to avoid losing out on the compensation you deserve, how to find and choose the best attorney for your case, and even more important, how to avoid the costly mistake of choosing the wrong attorney for your case. The following information is the same I have given to my friends and family for many years. Regardless of whether you decide to hire Hancock Injury Attorneys to represent you or a loved one in your personal injury or wrongful death claim, or whether you are a grieving family member of a loved one taken from you far too soon, I hope this page and website provide you valuable information to protect you and your loved ones. I wish you and your family the very best.
— Written and legally reviewed by Attorney Mike Hancock, founding partner of Hancock Injury Attorneys
Helping You Take Care Of Yourself
We Will Do All the Heavy Lifting, All the Legal Work, All the Preparation, Make All the Phone Calls, Take Care of All the Paperwork, and Take Care of Your Property Damage, So You Can Focus on Nothing but Getting Better
We begin handling every aspect of your car accident injury claim immediately upon being hired. You can immediately stop worrying about what to do, who to call, and what to say to insurance adjusters. We will explain the process to you and explain everything you are entitled to recover. We will help you get your car repaired, provide help getting the insurance companies to pay for a rental car, and help you get a fair offer from the insurance company if your car is totaled. We will also help you find the most qualified doctor who is best suited to treat your specific injuries. We will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on nothing but getting better.
Why Choose Us to be Your Car Accident Lawyers?
We Have Insider Insurance Company Knowledge and We Use It to Your Advantage
Mike Hancock spent the first eight years of his legal career at two insurance defense law firms, the first of which had 25 attorneys and was located in Houston, Texas. The second was in Tampa and had 15 attorneys. Both law firms limited their practices to insurance defense litigation.
For eight years, Mike’s job as an insurance defense attorney was to be hired by large auto insurance companies like GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Travelers, State Farm, and more, to defend them and their insurance in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Very few personal injury lawyers have this kind of experience being hired by car insurance companies. Even fewer have the experience of going to trial and trying lawsuits representing car insurance companies.
In those first eight years of his career, Mike was mentored by some of the best trial attorneys in the nation. During that time Mike tried more than thirty trials on behalf of the insurance companies, honing his trial skills. The insurance adjusters and Mike communicated daily discussing case evaluations, determining how much each case was worth, and developing strategies to defend car accident-related personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Mike became privy to how the insurance companies evaluate car accident injury claims, learning what motivates them to pay the largest settlements in the least amount of time.
Mike gained invaluable experiences, insider insurance industry information that we now use to maximize the value of our client’s car accident claims.
In short, by working for and trying personal injury cases for car insurance companies for eight years, Mike learned the car insurance companies’ “playbooks.” Now, all the attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys use Mike’s knowledge of the “playbooks” against the insurance companies to maximize our own clients’ recoveries in car accident injury claims. By knowing the “playbook” we are always one step ahead, anticipating their next move, and knowing how to defeat the tactics every car insurance adjuster will use to delay your claim and minimize your injuries.
Our Track Record is Known and Respected by Judges, Insurance Adjusters, and Insurance Defense Attorneys
Our track record has earned extraordinary weight and respect with judges, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys. This equals better and faster results than law firms with lesser reputations.
The insurance companies also keep track of the relative experience of car accident injury lawyers. They know our long track record of success, our track record of defending insurance companies, our track record of never backing down, never accepting unreasonable settlement offers and our track record of trying cases. As a result we believe we get better and faster results for our clients.
We Guarantee the Amount You Receive for Your Settlement Will Always Be Greater Than the Amount of Our Attorney’s Fees
We know of no other personal injury law firm other than Hancock Injury Attorneys that guarantee the amount you receive for your settlement will always be more than the amount of our attorney’s fees. We know of far too many stories of personal injury attorneys who have refused to reduce the agreed contingency fee, even if their client takes less due to outstanding medical bills. Unlike those firms, we guarantee to reduce our fee to make sure our client gets more money than us.
We Focus on Putting More Money in Your Pocket
At our law firm, we don’t charge you a “file set-up fee” or other unnamed and unspecified “administrative costs” like other law firms. We believe that would be unethical.
We are careful with advanced costs associated with your case and work hard to keep your costs to a minimum. We are also committed to never pocketing more money than our clients.
Many other personal injury firms will take the agreed contingency fee, even if their client takes less due to outstanding medical bills. Unlike those firms, we are happy to reduce our fee to make sure our client gets more money than us.
Hiring the Experts at Hancock Injury Attorneys Doesn’t Cost You More, But Hiring Us Might Result in a Much Larger and Quicker Settlement for You
All personal injury lawyers, even those with far less experience than the attorneys have at Hancock Injury Attorneys, charge the same contingency fee to represent clients in car accident injury claims. The amount, or percentage, of the contingency fee is actually limited by the Florida Bar, the organization that governs the conduct of all attorneys in Florida. Although our experience will not cost you more, our experience may result in a far larger settlement, in less time, than you would get with an attorney with less experience.
Attorney Mike Hancock is Recognized by Judges and His Peers As An Expert in Personal Injury Law
Mike Hancock has been recognized by his peers as a preeminent attorney and is considered an expert in personal injury and car accident law by state and national organizations, including Tampa Top Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Martindale Hubble AV Preeminent, Best Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Better Business Bureau A+ rating, Florida Trends Legal Elite, U.S. News Best Law Firms.
Attorney Mike Hancock Is a Leader in the Community
Mike is a second-generation Tampa native, now raising his family where his parents raised him. Mike has ties to our community and is a leader in local charitable, civic, and legal organizations. And as a leader both in the office and in the community, he works to make Tampa a safer place for all our families.
Our Free Consultation Is Always Free, With No Obligation to Hire Us
Our free case consultation is always free and at your convenience, including any time on weekdays, evenings, or weekends, in person, by phone, Zoom, or Facetime. And your free case consultation will always be with one of our attorneys, not with a non-lawyer call center representative.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Hiring a Large Advertising Law Firm
The Tampa car accident lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys have been contacted countless times over the years by clients of large advertising law firms wanting to fire their car accident attorneys and hire us. There has always been a common story these clients have told us:
- “I was never given an opportunity to speak with a lawyer before hiring the law firm.”
- “My free consultation was with a non-lawyer call center representative. Talking with a lawyer was not an option.”
- “During my free consultation, the call center representative had no idea which lawyer would be assigned to my case.”
- “It was two to three months before I was able to speak with my lawyer.”
- “My case had been transferred to so many different case managers, secretaries, and associate lawyers within the firm, that I didn’t know who I needed to ask for to have my questions answered.”
- “My attorney would never return my calls, and the case manager and paralegals didn’t know how to answer my question.”
- “My lawyer didn’t even appear at my deposition, but instead sent an inexperienced associate whom I had never met before and didn’t know anything about me or my case.”
Do I Have to Pay You Anything Upfront to Hire You?
No, we never ask our clients to pay any attorney’s fees or costs upfront. Never! We only get paid if you win. We handle all of our car accident injury cases on a “contingency fee agreement”, which means our attorney’s fees are “contingent” on us winning your case and recovering money for you. When we win your case, either by settlement or jury verdict, our fees are a percentage of the gross recovery.
The Benefit of a Contingency Fee
The contingent fee gives you the chance to even the playing field against the largest corporations and insurance companies by giving you the ability to hire attorneys who are experts in personal injury law, without any upfront cost to you.
The alternative to a contingency fee is for a client to pay their lawyer by the hour. Depending on the experience of the firm, that hourly rate would vary from $400.00 to $600.00 per hour. The attorney would also bill you for all the work done by his or her paralegal, at an average rate of $150.00 per hour. You would be required to give your attorney at least a $5,000.00 retainer, against which the attorney would bill the attorney and paralegal time. Your $5,000.00 retainer would be quickly depleted, and the attorney would require you to deposit another $5,000.00. Everyone understands this isn’t feasible for clients seeking legal representation for their car motor vehicle accident injury claim.
The contingent fee agreement benefits our community as a whole by giving everyone access to our legal system, and thus access to justice so that no person or corporation is above the law, and everyone is accountable for his or her actions.
What Types of Car Accident Cases Do We Handle?
Since 1996 the lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys have represented thousands of clients injured in all sorts of motor vehicle accidents. In addition to representing clients injured in collisions involving two cars or SUVs or pick-up trucks, we also have years of experience in representing clients injured in motorcycle accidents, accidents involving large 18-wheelers, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents, and ATV accidents. The following is just a sample of the many types of claims we have experience with:
- Motorcycle crashes
- Truck Accidents (18-wheelers)
- Rear-End collisions
- T-Bone collisions
- Intersection Accidents
- Injuries and death caused by distracted drivers
- Texting while driving crashes
- Injuries and death caused by drunk drivers
- Injuries and death caused by impaired drivers
The 3 Most Important Things You Need to Do Within 14-days After Being Injured in a Car Accident
See a doctor
You must have medical treatment within 14 days after the accident. If you don’t, then you forfeit your right to use any of your $10,000,00 in Florida No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance benefits, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and replacement household services.
Also, if you are experiencing pain after a car accident, seeking medical care within 14 days gives you the best chance to make the quickest physical recovery from your injuries. Professional athletes seek immediate medical treatment and weeks of physical therapy to get themselves back on the playing field as quickly as possible. You deserve nothing less. In addition, doing so results in medical documentation of your injuries.
Further, if there is any possibility you will make a personal injury claim, failing to seek medical treatment soon after your car crash will be used against you by the insurance adjusters to minimize the value of your case. Even if the property damage to the vehicles was minor, many of our clients who initially thought their pain would go away have gone on to suffer permanent injuries requiring months, as well as years, of medical treatment.
If you are suffering from any of the following, even if you believe the pain will go away within a few weeks, seek medical treatment within 14 days: Muscle pain or joint pain; concussion; headaches; neck pain or back pain; and shoulder, hip, or knee pain. Tell your doctor how the accident happened and of all your symptoms, including any soreness, muscle spasms, pain, loss of sensation, numbness and/or tingling in your arms, hands, and in your legs and feet, headaches, and loss of balance or dizziness.
Don’t make any statements to insurance adjusters
The other driver’s insurance company adjuster will likely contact you. Do not give any statements, recorded or otherwise, to any insurance adjuster without first having a free consultation an attorney.
The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible or deny your claim entirely. Insurance adjusters are specially trained to ask you questions in such a way elicits answers that will minimize your recovery and/or allow them to argue that you were comparatively negligent. Giving a statement to any insurance adjuster could result in hurting your case in ways that can’t later be fixed even with an attorney.
Have a free, immediate, consultation with an attorney who is an expert in car accident injury law to learn your rights and have all your questions answered
Have a free consultation with an expert in car accident injury law before you talk with any insurance adjusters. Avoid being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters. This is what they do for a living, and they are trained very well.
Call us right now to have a free, immediate, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at Hancock Injury Attorneys. If you decide to hire us, we will immediately begin handling every aspect of your car accident injury claim. You can immediately stop worrying about what to do, who to call, what to say to the insurance adjusters. We will explain the process to you and explain everything you are entitled to recover. We will help you get your car repaired, provide help getting the insurance companies to pay for a rental car, and help you get a fair offer from the insurance company if your car is totaled. We will also help you find the most qualified doctor who is best suited to treat your specific injuries. We will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on nothing but getting better.
Source: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; Traffic Crash Reports; Crash Dashboard; 2020-2021
We Have Successfully Represented Clients with the Following Injuries Caused by Car Accidents:
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Subdural hematoma and epidural hematoma resulting in emergency craniotomy
- Sprains and Strains
- Rotator cuff injuries to the shoulder
- Knee injuries including torn meniscus and torn ligaments and tendons in the knee
- Broken Bones
- Fractures resulting in open reduction and internal fixation surgery
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Injuries to internal organs, including lacerated spleens and livers, and punctured lungs
- Crush Injuries
- Herniated Disc Injuries
Herniated disc injuries resulting in surgeries such as laminectomies, fusions, surgical disk replacements, and anterior
cervical discectomy with fusion
Neck and back injuries resulting in epidural steroid injections, medial branch blocks, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablations, Wrongful Death, Facial fractures, Fractured and broken teeth, Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injuries, Second and third-degree burns and Amputations.
Who Pays for My Medical Bills? An Explanation of the Florida No-Fault Law
If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you will have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. It’s required as part of the Florida No-Fault Law. You will hear this insurance coverage referred to in any one of the following four ways: Florida No-Fault Insurance; PIP; PIP – each letter sounded out phonetically; and Personal Injury Protection. If you have Florida PIP insurance, the limit of your PIP coverage is always $10,000.00. If you have an out-of-state car insurance policy, you may have no PIP coverage or up to $100,000.00 in PIP coverage.
It is important to note that PIP laws vary by state.
The idea behind the Florida No-Fault Law is to ensure everyone involved in a car accident has immediate access to $10,000.00 worth of insurance to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and household services so that you don’t have to wait for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to agree to pay.
Your PIP policy pays 80 percent of reasonable and necessary medical bills, 60 percent of lost wages, and 100 percent of replacement household services, up to its $10,000.00 PIP policy limits. In addition, PIP also provides a separate $5,000.00 death benefit.
The at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance, also known as BI coverage, and/or your uninsured motorist coverage will pay your medical bills not paid for by PIP.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, our expert Tampa car accident attorneys will reject the inevitable insurance company low ball offers and aggressively advocate on your behalf until we get a fair and reasonable settlement offer that fully compensates you for all your injuries and losses.
What Compensation Can I Recover After Being Injured in a Tampa Car Accident?
If the other driver was at fault, that driver’s bodily injury liability insurance, also called BI coverage, pays for everything not covered by your PIP. Costs for your medical treatment and lost wages alone can easily exceed your $10,000.00 PIP limit. When you hire us to be your attorneys, our job is to recover all the damages you are entitled to, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity
- Disability or physical impairment
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for enjoyment of life
- Property damage, including the diminished value of your car
If the other driver had no bodily injury liability insurance, or not enough bodily injury liability insurance, your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy pays all the same damages listed in the preceding paragraph.
Unfortunately, the business model for every car insurance company is to:
- Delay paying you a fair settlement to compensate you for your injuries;
- Deny their insured caused the car accident;
- Claim that you were partly at fault (comparative negligence);
- When they can’t deny their insured caused the car crash, and they can’t claim you were comparatively negligent, they will claim you weren’t injured, or the aches and pains you complain of are pre-existing injuries or conditions.
Can I Make a Claim if I Was Partly At-Fault?
Contributory negligence or comparative negligence are legal rules designed to prevent you from collecting the full amount of your damages after a car accident if you were partly at fault for causing the accident. Each state has some variation of the contributory negligence or comparative negligence rule.
Florida law follows what is known as pure comparative negligence. The pure comparative negligence theory assumes that both you and the other driver could have been partly responsible for causing your accident. As such, your entitlement to compensation will be reduced by your percentage of comparative fault. So, if you are 25% at fault, then your total damages will be reduced by 25%.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
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 more compensation. That is why we make sure your settlement will include compensation for past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, the loss of capacity to enjoy life, disability, and scarring.
Every Case is Truly Different, But Here Are Some of the Factors We Consider
Some of the many factors we review to determine how much your personal injury claim is worth include: the amount of property damage to the vehicles involved in the crash; the photographic evidence of the damage to the cars; how soon after the crash you sought medical care; were you flown by helicopter from the scene of the car crash to the emergency room as a trauma alert patient or taken to a hospital emergency room (ER) by ambulance or did you not seek medical treatment until weeks after the crash.
Other Factors That We Consider
Other factors include the types of doctors you have treated with since being injured. The types of doctors or clients treated with include Emergency Room physicians, trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, physiatrists, physical medicine doctors, medical doctors (M.D.), doctors of osteopathy (D.O.), chiropractors, physical therapists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, dentists, plastic surgeons, massage therapists, and acupuncturists.
Of course, the type and severity of your injuries are also factors we review to determine how much your personal injury claim is worth. Whether they are expected to get better within six months or be with you for a lifetime, whether you will need years of future medical care to treat your injuries, and whether you will have a loss of the ability to earn money in the future, are some of the biggest factors we consider in evaluating the worth of your car accident injury claim.
You can see how answering what seems like a simple question – how much is my case worth – is not so simple. The question is best answered by an attorney who is an expert in personal injury law, like the lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys.
To answer the question, we need to speak with you so we can understand every aspect and factor of your car accident case. Once we know the details of your claim, we can then provide you with an answer to what your case is worth. The personal injury lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys have represented thousands of clients since 1996 and have obtained verdicts and settlements in car accident injury cases exceeding $1 million and down to $10,000.00.
Will I Be Better off Settling My Car Accident Injury Claim Myself or With the Help of an Attorney?
The Insurance Research Council (a non-profit group funded by national insurance companies) published a study in 1999 titled “Paying for Auto Injuries; A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims”. This insurance industry study found that the average settlement for car accident victims was 40% higher with the help of an attorney.
Another study from the Insurance Research Council revealed that 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for car accident injury claims is paid to those who have hired an attorney.
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.
If Your Injuries Heal Within 30 Days
Hopefully within 30 days after being injured in a car accident, all your aches and pains have gone away, and you return to your normal state of health. If that occurs, and your doctors tell you there is no need for continuing medical treatment, we can prepare a demand to the insurance company to settle your personal injury claim within 30 to 60 days.
If Your Injuries Don’t Heal Within 30 Days
If your aches and pains do not disappear within 30 days, your injuries will hopefully get better and heal up within four to six months. If you are done with all your medical treatment within four to six months, your car accident injury claim would be ready to settle at that time. During those four to six months, our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys will have already been obtaining your medical records and bills, speaking with your doctors to obtain their opinions regarding your diagnosis and prognosis, and will have already completed all aspects of investigating your car accident injury claim. Your lawyer at Hancock Injury Attorneys will then prepare a demand to be sent to the insurance company to settle your personal injury claim, giving the insurance adjuster thirty days to respond. If the insurance adjuster responds with an unacceptable offer, we will begin negotiations with the insurance adjuster. These negotiations take on average two to four weeks before we know whether we can settle your case, or whether we will need to file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain a result that fully compensates you for your injuries.
If Your Injuries Don’t Heal Within 4 to 6 Months
If, at the end of four to six months, you are still suffering from the injuries caused by the car accident, we will prepare your settlement demand as soon as your doctor is of the opinion you have reached maximum medical improvement. At that time, your doctor will provide us with a report that not only details all the injuries you sustained in the motor vehicle accident, but more importantly sets forth your prognosis. The detailed prognosis will include a description of the symptoms you are expected to have in the future, a description of all the future medical treatment you will need, along with the anticipated cost of that future medical treatment.
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.
The Timeline of a Car Accident Case
The following graphic details the process of a typical car accident case.
Our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys have been recognized statewide and nationally as experts in personal injury law and car accident law. Attorney Mike Hancock has lectured for years to other attorneys throughout Florida at continuing legal education seminars approved by the Florida Bar. will work to get you a settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries.
Call Us Now for an Immediate, Free, No-Obligation Consultation with One of Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys
“My goal in writing this Tampa Car Accident Lawyer page is to educate people like yourself who have either been injured in a car accident or who have loved ones who have been injured as the result of the negligence of another driver. People like yourself who are trying to learn more about your legal rights, learn how to choose the best attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim, and learn more about the process of a personal injury claim. We have made hiring Hancock Injury Attorneys fast, simple, and convenient. Call us 24/7 and speak with one of our attorneys. There is no need to “schedule” a consultation days from now, as other firms do. Call us right now, and you will speak with one of our attorneys right now. The call is absolutely free and there is no obligation to hire us. If you do decide you want to hire us, we will immediately text or email you the paperwork you can electronically sign. It is that easy. I look forward to representing you.” – Attorney Mike Hancock, founding partner of Hancock Injury Attorneys
Our Office Locations and Areas
Throughout Florida We Serve
Although we are based in Tampa, we also have office locations in Wesley Chapel and Spring Hill. Furthermore, we represent clients throughout Florida, as far north as Tallahassee and Jacksonville, across the state to Orlando, Clermont and Satellite Beach, south to Fort Lauderdale, Labelle, Miami, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Sun City Center, and many other cities throughout Florida, including
- Citrus Park
- Temple Terrace
- Palma Ceia
- Seminole Heights
- Tampa Heights
- North Tampa
- Wesley Chapel