How Do I Know if I Have a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been involved in a car wreck, you may have questions about filing a car accident lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit is one way you can recover just compensation for your accident-related losses; and, in some cases, it will be your only option for recovering the compensation you deserve.
The experienced car accident attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright have extensive knowledge in a range of personal injury cases, if you were hurt in a crash, we can help you seek the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under Florida law. Contact our office today for a FREE initial consultation.
7 Questions to Determine if You Have a Car Accident Lawsuit
So, how do you know if you have a case to pursue? If your answer to each of the following questions is “Yes” (or even “Maybe”), you should speak with a lawyer about filing a car accident lawsuit promptly:
1. Were You Injured in a Car Accident?
Generally, it will only be worth filing a car accident lawsuit if you were injured in the crash. If you are dealing with property damage only, your best option will most likely be to file a claim with your insurance company (although there are exceptions). If you were injured, you will most likely be dealing with the insurance companies as well, but you may need to consider filing a lawsuit in order to maximize your financial recovery.
2. Is There a Chance the Accident Was Someone Else’s Fault?
Filing a car accident lawsuit requires proof of fault. If there is a chance that someone else was at fault in your car accident, you may have a claim for damages.
In most cases, this “someone else” is another driver. Speeding, driving recklessly, driving under the influence, and texting behind the wheel are all leading causes of car accidents in Florida.
But, there are other possibilities as well. For example, depending on the cause of your car accident, you may have a lawsuit against:
- A vehicle manufacturer
- A repair shop or dealership
- A local or state road authority
- A bar, restaurant, or party host
- The other driver’s employer
3. Is Evidence of Liability Available?
Proving fault requires evidence. Even if someone else was at fault in your car accident, if you don’t have the evidence to prove it, you won’t be able to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Fortunately, there are several types of evidence car accident lawyers can use to establish liability on behalf of their clients. For example, some types of evidence a lawyer may be able to use to file a car accident lawsuit on your behalf include:
- Forensic evidence from the scene of the crash
- Photos or videos you (or someone else) took at the crash site
- Testimony or sworn statements from eyewitnesses
- Traffic or surveillance camera footage
- Cell phone records or vehicle computer data
- Inspection reports
- The other driver’s posts on social media
4. Do You Have (or Can You Obtain) Documentation of Your Losses?
Along with proof that someone else was at fault in your car accident, to file a lawsuit you will also need proof of how much you are entitled to recover. This means that you will need to document your losses as thoroughly as possible.
When you file a car accident lawsuit in Florida, you can seek just compensation for all of the financial and non-financial costs you incur as a result of the crash. With this in mind, some examples of documentation your lawyer may need to prove your losses include:
- Medical bills and records
- Employment records
- Receipts for prescriptions and other out-of-pocket costs
- Expert reports regarding your long-term medical and financial needs
- Documentation of your pain and suffering
5. Have You Avoided Costly Mistakes?
When you have a car accident lawsuit, there are lots of mistakes you need to avoid. For example, you need to avoid saying the wrong things to the insurance companies, and you need to avoid posting the wrong things on social media. There are some mistakes you can’t correct; and, if you make these mistakes before filing a lawsuit, you might not be able to file a successful lawsuit.
6. Have You Protected Your Legal Rights?
In addition to avoiding mistakes, there are also certain proactive steps you need to take to protect your legal rights. For example, you should see a doctor for treatment promptly, and you should report your accident as required. The more steps you take to protect your legal rights, the better your chances will be of recovering just compensation.
7. Do You Still Have Time to File?
Finally, you need to make sure you still have time to file. In most cases, you have four years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit in Florida. But, there are exceptions (i.e., if you have a claim against a local or state road authority); and, in any case, it will be in your best interests to get started as soon as possible.
Do you have a car accident lawsuit? To find out, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and resources necessary to achieve justice in even the most complex cases.
Contact our office online or at (800) 766-1000 for a FREE consultation with an Orlando car accident lawyer. We handle car wreck claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we win.