Motor-vehicle collisions are a leading cause of personal injury and wrongful death in the United States. In less than a second, a serious wreck can impact the lives not only of the people involved in the crash but also their family and friends. Our car accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale have seen firsthand the tragedy that comes in the wake of these events, and we are here to help you pursue the compensation you need to get your life back.
You won’t have to pay anything for the initial consultation, and no attorneys’ fees will be due unless we prevail. For a free case assessment, call (954) 880-9500.
How to Use a Personal Injury Journal After a Car Accident
In one terrifying moment, your life was flipped upside down. All it took was a few seconds for your normal routine to be replaced by pain, confusion, and uncertainty. Sustaining a serious injury can be a traumatic experience, one you will be hoping to forget. But your ability to recall specific details about the moments leading up to and following this encounter could be vital to the success of your personal injury claim.
While the brain is hardwired to bury traumatic memories, the blank page is the perfect space to capture these details forever. Not only can journaling about your accident be therapeutic, but it could also help preserve valuable information to share with your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer during your free consultation.
Here are a few suggestions on what you might want to include as part of your personal injury journal:
- Accident Details: Your first entry should include everything you can remember about the accident. What were you doing before it took place? Were there any surveillance cameras in the area that may have recorded the crash? Do you remember what the other parties involved said immediately after? Avoid speculating; you should stick to the facts. Your lawyer may rely on your initial entry to help guide his or her investigation.
- Pain Levels: As everyone experiences pain differently, it can be difficult to communicate these feelings. Simply saying, “I’m sore,” won’t accurately convey the level of pain you are experiencing. However, by using your personal injury journal, you can paint a descriptive picture of how your injuries have impacted your life. As part of your notes, use metaphors that will help someone else get a better sense of your suffering. For instance, you might describe an ache at the injury site as “cold iron pressed against the bone.” These descriptions will help others empathize with your situation and could assist your Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney in building a case for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
- Physical Limitations: Does your injury prevent you from enjoying your favorite pastimes? Are you unable to exercise? Are you struggling at work? The effects of your injury may extend beyond just pain and suffering, affecting your ability to return to a normal way of life. Your attorney may tap into this information to help prove the extent of your damages.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Medical bills, repair costs, home modifications, and your day-to-day expenses—after sustaining a serious injury, it may feel like your bank account has sprung a leak. To make matters worse, you might also be unable to return to work, leaving you with no way to replace these rapidly depleting funds.
What you need right now is a financial safety net, the kind that only a reasonable settlement or verdict can provide. Understandably, it would help ease anxieties to know exactly what your personal injury case might be worth. However, because every claim is unique, your lawyer will first need to investigate the specific circumstances of your case before he or she can estimate the potential value of your damages. Your attorney will look to answer the following questions:
- Were You Liable? There are situations wherein another party might be entirely responsible for causing your injuries. In this scenario, the defendant may be held liable for 100 percent of your damages. But this is not always the case. Not only may multiple parties share responsibility for the accident, but you may also be held partly liable, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you were speeding when the wreck happened or had a brake light out, you could be partially responsible.
- Were You Unable to Return to Work? Whether you were stuck in hospital recuperating or were instructed to take time off work to recover, you may have missed out on weeks—if not months—of potential earnings. If so, you may be entitled to seek compensation for lost wages. In the event that you suffered a more serious injury or permanent disability that will prevent you from returning to work altogether, your Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer may also factor loss of future earnings into the settlement estimations.
- How Serious Are Your Injuries? Severe or permanent injuries tend to incur greater medical costs, cause more extreme pain and suffering, and can lead to increased levels of emotional distress. As such, the severity of your injuries will play a major role in approximating the value of your claim.
- Did You Suffer Non-Economic Damages? While loss of life enjoyment and pain and suffering are difficult to quantify, their effects are very real. Our lawyers can assist you by determining whether or not non-economic damages may be recoverable based on the circumstances of your case.
Should I Visit a Doctor Even If My Injuries Don’t Appear to Be Very Serious?
Many auto accident victims walk away seemingly unscathed. Unsurprisingly, just as many don’t seek medical treatment until it’s too late. Not only do some serious conditions such as brain trauma present with minor or latent symptoms, but foregoing a doctor’s visit in the wake of an accident could also jeopardize your personal injury claim. Below are a few reasons why you should always seek a prompt diagnosis after you are involved in a crash:
- You Can Avoid Disputes: If you delay or forego medical treatment after an accident, opposing parties may pounce on this opportunity to dispute important aspects of your claim. For example, they may assert that your injuries cannot be very severe as you did not require urgent medical attention. Or, the insurance company could say that your injuries stem from a separate incident or preexisting condition. As such, you should visit the doctor immediately after leaving the accident scene.
- You Can Help Your Car Accident Lawyer Tie Your Injuries to the Accident: To win a financial award in a negligence claim, you must be able to prove the three fundamental elements of any personal injury case: liability, causation, and damages. As such, even if you are able to demonstrate that another party was negligent and that you incurred damages, you will not receive compensation in a third-party insurance claim unless you can show that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries. Seeking immediate medical treatment will make it easier for your Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney to connect your condition to the incident in question.
- You Will Have Official Records: Whenever you visit the doctor, they will typically create medical records with details about condition, diagnosis, prescribed medication, and other elements of your recovery. At Lubell Rosen, our lawyers may make use of medical records to estimate the value of healthcare costs, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What Are Signs That I Have a Strong Car Accident Claim?
On paper, filing a PIP or third-party insurance claim seems like a simple process. Unfortunately, even if it’s clear that you are entitled to compensation, you should always anticipate disputes. It’s not unusual for insurance companies to leave no stone unturned in their mission to reduce or deny claims. However, with a strong foundation, your claim is less likely to buckle under scrutiny. Below are a few common elements of a strong case:
- You Followed Your Doctor’s Instructions: As a claimant in a personal injury case, you have a responsibility to take sufficient steps to mitigate damages. Or, in simple terms, you should do everything you can to avoid exacerbating your injuries or prolonging your recovery. For instance, if your doctor prescribes medication and you do not take it as instructed, the insurance company may assert that you were negligent and caused your condition to worsen. In such cases, your financial award may be reduced to reflect your share of liability.
- You Sought Immediate Medical Treatment: As previously mentioned, prompt diagnosis can make all the difference—not just for your recovery but also for your chances of a successful outcome during settlement negotiations. Even if your injuries are minor, if you intend to file a claim, visiting the doctor should be your top priority after leaving the accident scene. Skip this step and you might face disputes over liability, causation, and/or damages. For instance, the insurance company may argue that your condition can’t be very serious if you didn’t require urgent medical attention.
- You Have Strong Evidence to Prove Liability, Causation, and Damages: Some evidence may appear to be inconsequential but might go on to play a pivotal role in helping you prove key aspects of your case. For example, if you spotted a surveillance camera near the car accident scene, it’s possible it may have captured footage of the moment you sustained your injury. Our Fort Lauderdale attorneys will know which evidence could be important to building your claim and can take the necessary steps to help you obtain it.
Qualities that Set Our Legal Team Apart from Other Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
With so many law firms to choose from, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed. As your medical bills, repair costs, and day-to-day expenses continue to add up, it can feel like your financial future is riding on the back of this all-important decision. Unfortunately, while lawyers may have similar qualifications, there are some that simply don’t have the time, resources, or experience to provide the representation you deserve. Here are just a few qualities that set Lubell Rosen apart from other practices in Fort Lauderdale:
- Accessible: Car accident cases can be daunting and complex, but getting the answers you need definitely shouldn’t be. You deserve a lawyer who doesn’t keep you in the dark. At Lubell Rosen, we strive to return phone calls, text messages, and emails promptly, and we will keep you updated on the progress of your claim every step of the way.
- Extensive Experience: Every claim an insurance company pays out cuts a slice out of their bottom line. As such, claims adjusters have become adept at reducing or denying claims, employing a range of strategies to avoid paying a reasonable settlement. Our legal team has decades of combined experience and is well-acquainted with the types of tactics insurance companies use to challenge claims. We can help ensure that you are treated fairly during negotiations and guide you through the process so you can avoid making costly mistakes that might otherwise harm your case.
- Skilled Litigators: While most personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom, it may still help to have a skilled litigator by your side. When the claims adjuster sees that you have hired a seasoned trial attorney, they may be less likely to challenge your case. You can also have peace of mind that if your case does proceed to discovery, your lawyer has the experience and knowledge to help you fight for a fair outcome.
Call Us Today at (954) 880-9500 to Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney
At Lubell Rosen, we are proud to advocate for individuals and families who have suffered as a result of the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of other parties. If you or someone you love was hurt in an auto accident, call us today at (954) 880-9500 or send us an email to set up a free consultation.