Tampa Car Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton
Call Today. Do Not Delay. 813-221-3200Tampa Auto Injury Trial Lawyers
Auto accidents happen every single day, in Tampa and across the United States. If you or someone you care about was harmed in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, the Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. Most importantly, call us as close to the beginning of the matter as possible so that we can steer you away from many of the common mistakes in handling a Car Accident insurance claim in Tampa.Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You
Preliminary estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2019 show that 36,120 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the nation. This is a decrease of 1.2% from 2018. The NHTSA saw a 1% increase in fatal crashes involving drivers 65+ as well as fatal car crashes involving large trucks.
While there are many reasons car accidents happen, they are most commonly caused by some type of driver error. If you have been injured by a drunk or drugged driver, a drowsy driver, or someone who just failed to pay proper attention when behind the wheel, the best course of action is to get in touch with our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton for a free consultation. You can call us anytime at 813-221-3200.What Do I Do If I Am In A Tampa Car Crash? If you still unsure about calling us – here’s 13 tips to get started on your Tampa Car Accident Insurance Claim
- Try and remain calm and assess the situation. Are you injured? Is anyone else injured? Take a breath, this is a jog, not a sprint.
- Call 911 and get medical assistance right away. Even if you think you are fine, make sure you see a doctor and tell them you were involved in a car accident. Your injuries may not appear right away. It’s critical that any Tampa medical professional treating you knows that you were in a motor vehicle accident, both because it effects the billing, but more importantly that they understand they are treating a trauma.
- Make sure you are in a safe place. If you or your vehicle is at risk for being hit, then move to the side of the roadway, if this is possible. If you are unable to move the car, then at least try and get yourself out and walk to a safe place. Unfortunately, we have been at this long enough wherein we have become witness to people who have been more seriously injured or even sadly died while awaiting help. Please get off the roadway.
- Exchange names, phone numbers, insurance information, license plate numbers, and driver’s license numbers with all other parties involved in the crash. My advice is be a good listener, listen to anything said by any participant or witness. This is not the time to talk.
- Most insurance companies advise never to admit any fault or never to apologize. While it’s true that it makes no sense to volunteer admissions, we are not going to tell you what to say, other than to consider this: If you say nothing, no harm will occur to you or the insurance claim. Also, many times your impression as to what occurred is often incomplete – let an investigation occur before you offer your opinion.
- Answer any questions from police honestly, but do not offer more details than is asked or make any speculations.
- If there are any witnesses to the crash, get their contact information and their statements.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. Take as many as you or your family can – your car, the other cars, the scene, your injuries, other people’s injuries, all of it.
- Report your accident to your insurance company. However, you should not make any recorded statements or provide any written accounts to your insurance provider before speaking with your car accident lawyer. Simply let them know the event occurred and which law enforcement agency responded and if you have it, give them the report or crash investigation number. The rest will be handled by our office.
- Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company before consulting with your auto accident attorney. Many insurance companies will offer a low-ball settlement offer immediately after a crash to make the case go away quickly. Do not take the bait – there is a reason they are offering the settlement so quickly, and it’s not because the want to help. Take a breath and get some advice before you forever end the claim.
- Get help from our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as you are able to. We offer completely free case reviews and legal consultations as it pertains to your car accident. We do not charge any upfront fees for our services.
- Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders and are consistent in making your appointments and following your treatment plans.
- Keep a filing system of all your receipts and important documents that pertain to your car accident. It is also helpful to keep a daily log of how you're feeling and how any injuries you have suffered are affecting your daily life. Make sure to describe the pain you feel and how your injuries are keeping you from performing your day-to-day activities.
Our Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton never charge anything for an initial consultation. We also help all of our car accident injury victims on what is called a contingency fee basis. This means that all of your legal fees are contingent upon us recovering a financial award on your behalf. If you never recover a financial settlement or award, then you walk away owing us nothing. If we do secure financial compensation for you, then our payment will be a percentage of the money you receive.
This type of payment arrangement gives all Tampa car accident victims the ability to seek the justice they deserve under Florida law after an unfortunate car accident without the added stress of worrying about paying attorneys’ fees upfront.What Types of Compensation Can I Recover from a Tampa Car Crash?
The types of financial compensation you may be entitled to all depend on the circumstances of your specific case, but our Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton may be able to pursue the following:
- Compensation for all medical bills both past, present, and future that relate to the accident and your injuries.
- Compensation for repairs to your vehicle or a total replacement of your car.
- If you can no longer work because of your injuries from the car accident, we will pursue lost wages.
- Compensation pain and suffering that have accompanied your injuries related to the car accident.
In cases that involve a severely negligent motorist, we will also pursue punitive damages, which are damages that are awarded to punish the at-fault party for their misconduct.When Do I Need an Attorney After a Tampa Car Accident?
Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident, even if it is just to discuss your legal options in a free consultation. We recommend this because an experienced car accident attorney will be able to thoroughly review your case with you so that you fully understand the types of damages that you may be entitled to.
It is also a good idea to have an attorney on your side from the beginning so that you do not have to worry about the added pressure of communicating with the at-fault party, the insurance companies involved, and even the billing offices of your medical providers. Moreover, our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton will launch an immediate investigation into your car crash before any evidence has time to disappear and we will interview all witnesses before their memories start to fade.How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Tampa Car Accident?
The state of Florida gives car accident victims four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit seeking financial compensation. Regardless of this time frame, we would like to point out that we will start working on your claim right away so that we can build the strongest case on your behalf.What Does Negligence Mean in My Tampa Car Accident Case?
In Florida and most other states, every motorist owes other drivers a duty of care every time they get behind the wheel. When a driver breaches this duty and the result is a crash that injures or kills another person, the negligent driver can then be held liable for damages.Examples of Negligent Driving
- Driving while Intoxicated or Driving while Impaired (DUI, DWI, Drugs or Alcohol)
- Distracted driving (Cell Phone, Texting, Radio, Children, Eating, Fighting)
- Road rage or tailgating
- Failing to yield, Right of Way
- Drowsy driving
- Wrong-way drivers
Choosing our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton to represent your needs after an accident means that we will communicate with your healthcare providers to let them know that a claim is pending. We will explain to your medical providers that any questions regarding payments can be referred to us, which means you can dodge this added stress and focus on healing and recovering. Specifically, many competent healthcare providers will engage in what is called a Letter of Protection with our office, essentially holding your bill until the case is resolved. Other Medical Professionals will take Health Insurance when applicable.What If the Driver Who Caused My Tampa Car Crash Does Not Have Insurance? Can I Still File a Claim?
All vehicles registered in the state of Florida are required to be insured with at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL). Unfortunately, until our leaders in Tallahassee (the Florida Legislature) take the Insurance Company’s grip off of the neck of Floridians, Bodily Injury coverage is not required, despite nearly the rest of the country requiring this type of coverage. This means often times a Tampa Car Accident will involve an at fault driver with no coverage for the injured involved.
If you are hit by a motorist who does not have insurance, then you may still be able to pursue financial relief through your own insurance policy as long as you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM or UIM) coverage. We are happy to answer any and all questions pertaining UM or UIM coverage.What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement?
We cannot stress this enough - do not sign any documents from the insurance company before speaking with your personal injury lawyer. The negotiation process can be a lengthy one, so the odds are that your first offer will be way lower than what you are actually entitled to. If you are suffering from major injuries, a settlement may seem enticing, but remember, you may not yet know the true extent of your injuries, so we recommend making sure to consult with our Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorneys before agreeing to a set amount of money. We can fully assess your damages, document the full scope of your injuries, and build you a strong case for a full and fair settlement.What Types of Car Accidents Do Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys Handle?
We handle all types of car accident cases, including head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, T-bone accidents, intersection accidents, accidents that happen on the interstate, accidents involving wrong-way drivers, drunk driving crashes, drugged driving collisions, distracted driving crashes, drowsy driving accidents, accidents involving speeding drivers, accidents involving large trucks, and more. We welcome you to contact us and share your Tampa car accident story.Common Car Accident Injuries
All car accidents are different, but the most common injuries our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton see are:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): These happen from piercing objects to the brain, jolts to the brain, and blows to the head.
- Neck and Back Injuries: This includes whiplash, spinal cord injuries, disc injuries, vertebrae damage, etc.
- Head and Facial Injuries
- Ear, Jaw, Eye, TMJ and Dental Injuries
- Leg and Knee Injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Broken Bones and Fractures
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Tinnitus and other auditory and neurological deficits
Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to helping auto accident victims recover for their suffering. When you choose to work with us you can expect us to immediately begin investigating your case and start filing an injury claim to pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at 813-221-3200 so that we can get started in your case.About Tampa
The Tampa area is infused with vibrant business districts, beautiful waterways, a mix of historic cultures and architecture, and modern landmarks that make it a great place to live, work, or just unwind on vacation. You can paddle along the Hillsborough River, take in a pro football, baseball, or hockey game, or even visit the thrilling amusement park Busch Gardens or the fun for all ages water park Adventure Island. Tampa is also home to Champa Bay, wherein the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV, the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, MLB Tampa Bay Rays went to the World Series and the USL St. Petersburg Rowdies won the Eastern Conference all in the same year!