Accident Lawyer Melbourne, FL
The aftermath of an accident can be profoundly disorienting. Regardless of whether you’ve suffered a head injury, it can be difficult to think clearly or critically. Whether you have minor or major injuries, you might be in a state of panic or confusion. This is one of the many reasons why it’s a good idea to schedule a free consultation with a Melbourne, FL accident lawyer after you’ve been injured unexpectedly. One of the first things you can do if you need assistance after going through any kind of accident should be to talk to a professional who can guide you. You don’t need to figure out your situation alone, because you can receive valuable legal advice from a reputable lawyer. They can help you make sense of your scenario and advise you on actions to take so that you can receive the help you need. Speaking with our firm will allow you to ask questions and have your legal options presented to you clearly. That way, you’ll place yourself in the best possible position to make an informed decision about your legal situation, even if you don’t feel like you can “think straight” quite yet. After getting the basic facts and information, you can make a more informed situation and have a strong understanding of your case.
- Accidents and Fault – The Basics
- Advice for Dealing with the Insurance Company After an Accident
- What Are Signs of Driving While Intoxicated?
- Seven Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore After a Car Accident
- Avoid These 3 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes
- Avoid These 3 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes Infographic
How Do I Know if I Have Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
No two cases are exactly alike. The type of injuries, medical expenses and related expenses will vary from case to case. Each personal injury accident case has very different factors, and the strategies appropriate for one case may be vastly different than another. A lawyer will examine your case closely to determine how they can build the right argument so that you can recover the full list of damages that you are eligible for. For the average client, determining the right approach for a personal injury case can be hard, so it is better to let an experienced personal injury lawyer take care of the legal tasks for you.
Whether your accident occurred in Virginia or elsewhere matters, as each state has their own laws that govern certain aspects of personal injury claims. Who caused the harm you suffered matters, as the law usually only allows accident victims to recover damages in the event that the party who/which harmed them owed that victim a legal duty of care and caused the harm after breaching that duty. (For example, a drunk driver owes other travelers and pedestrians a duty of care to drive safely and responsibly. By driving drunk, crashing into a pedestrian and causing that pedestrian to suffer broken bones, they caused harm by breaching their legal duty of care to other travelers.) Some states have more strict laws than others which limit a person’s eligibility to recover compensation if they have partial fault. Understanding whether you are able to recover partial compensation can be confusing, so you are advised to speak to a lawyer to discuss your case. If you have partial fault in a personal injury accident, your case may be more complex, but a lawyer will still be able to help you and use their resources to find the strategy that can increase your chances of success.
In a nutshell, you can’t always know whether the ins and outs of the law will provide you with grounds to file a personal injury claim until you speak with a local attorney. Trying to interpret the law on your own is a risk you do not want to take, especially when you have a sophisticated case. However, the law provides an opportunity to file a claim successfully under many circumstances. Therefore, if another person caused you physical harm (whether that “another” was a person, business, or other legal entity), it is worth exploring your legal options. You may have stronger grounds to bring a case than you’re initially led to believe.
How Can a Consultation with a Melbourne, FL Accident Lawyer Help Me?
The only surefire way to determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney you trust. Their level of knowledge of the legal system and experience working on personal injury cases compared to the average person is much higher. It is likely that they have worked on a similar case to yours, so they will know what to do. You can count on them to use their skills and legal knowledge to help you navigate your case. At the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, we pride ourselves on advocating passionately for the best interests of accident victims. We will be honest with you about your legal options, and recommend the best course of action. As an experienced legal team, we have assisted many clients over the years and have utilized an assortment of tools and resources to help our clients recover the highest compensation amount. Because we have handled many types of cases, we know how difficult it can be to go through the complexities of an accident case. When you schedule a consultation with our Melbourne, FL accident lawyer team, we’ll listen to your story, ask questions about your circumstances, and gladly respond to any concerns you may have weighing on your mind.
Once we’ve learned about the details of your situation, we’ll be able to provide you with our assessment of your legal options. You’ll then be empowered to make a truly informed choice about whether or not to file a legal claim. Free consultations are available. These meetings are confidential and don’t obligate you to file legal action. We don’t require you to make a decision right away. If you are still unsure about what actions to take, a consultation can give you the information you need and comes at no cost. It is better to have a full understanding of what you can do after an accident than remain in the dark. You have absolutely nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by exploring your legal options. Please connect with our Melbourne, FL accident lawyer team today; we look forward to speaking with you.
Accidents and Fault – The Basics
Across the United States, it is common to refer to car crashes/collisions as “accidents.” However, it isn’t appropriate to label collisions as “accidents” in cases where the at-fault driver clearly intended to cause a harmful crash. The word “accident” can be interpreted as “no-fault.” Yet, in many situations that can be labeled as accidents, someone’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior may be clearly categorized as the fault of one or more actors.
If you’ve recently suffered injury as a result of someone else’s actions or inactions, please don’t think that you have no legal options available to you simply because your situation has been labeled “an accident.” Yes, accidents happen. But that doesn’t mean that all accidents are faultless. Please connect with an accident lawyer Melbourne, FL residents trust today to let the team at Arcadier, Biggie & Wood know about your circumstances. Once we know more about your situation, our Melbourne, FL accident lawyer team can advise you of your options and help you make an informed decision about how to proceed.
Acting Despite Knowing the Risks to Others
A major consideration of personal injury law involves questioning whether the at fault party “knew or should have known” that their actions could endanger others. If they engage in those actions anyway, should the results be classified as an accident? Does the use of the term “accident” make it harder to hold people liable for acts which are reasonably understood to be dangerous? Here are some examples:
- Drunk-driving crashes: Everyone understands just how dangerous (and illegal) drunk driving is. Someone might claim to be ignorant of the dangers, but he or she still should have known that it is a highly hazardous action to take.
- Distracted-driving crashes: This is a newer problem than drunk driving, but safety advocates and government agencies have been warning Americans for years about the dangers of texting, surfing the web or engaging in other activities that distract from driving.
- Slip-and-fall injuries: Let’s say a grocery store employee mops a section of floor but doesn’t bother to put up a “caution: wet floor” sign. The employee may not want anyone to slip on the floor, but he also understands that slipping and falling is a significant risk. If he does nothing to prevent it or warn others, resulting injuries could hardly be called an accident.
Word choices have the power to shape thought. Describing something as an “accident” implies that the person who caused the harm acted in good faith and had no way of knowing that his actions could be dangerous to others. In the examples cited above, good faith is clearly not the case. Drunk driving and distracted driving aren’t accidental behaviors. Instead, they are crashes waiting to happen. True accidents are typically hard to foresee or prevent, but the results of negligent acts are not. If you’re unsure of how your situation should be classified, our Melbourne, FL accident lawyer team can help.
Accidents that Occur on Another’s Property
When accidents occur as a result of a condition or defect on another’s property—whether that property be public or private in nature—injury victims may have cause to hold property owners and/or managers accountable for the harm that they have suffered. This “branch” of general personal injury law is commonly referred to as premises liability law. Not all personal injury lawyer practice this area of law, but the Melbourne, FL accident lawyer team at The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood has extensive experience handling premises liability cases. Therefore, if you or a loved one (children are often, very unfortunately, premises liability accident victims) has been injured as a result of a condition or defect on another’s property, please schedule a risk-free consultation with our experienced team to discuss your rights and options.
It should be noted that most animal bite cases are considered premises liability cases, as it is the property owner’s insurance coverage that usually compensates the victim in question. It should also be noted that if you are dismissing the idea of filing legal action because you signed a liability waiver before engaging with the property in question, that not all liability waivers are enforceable. It is generally a good idea to avoid making any assumptions about the possible strengths and weaknesses of your legal situation until a knowledgeable Melbourne, FL accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood has evaluated it in an objective and thorough manner.
Accidents that Involve Dangerous or Defective Products
Most of the time, accident cases must establish that the defendant in question was behaving in ways that were reckless, negligent, or intentionally harmful in nature before they may be held legally and financially accountable for their conduct. However, there is legal theory that is most often employed in dangerous and defective products cases that doesn’t require establishment of negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful intent. This legal theory is known as “strict liability” and it makes these particular cases easier to win. If you’ve been harmed by a dangerous or defective consumer or industrial product (including medical products), please connect with the experienced Florida legal team at Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood to discuss your rights and options as an injury victim.
Workplace Accidents and Why They Are Unique
It is important to understand that if you have been harmed while engaging in work-related activities that you may be entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits and/or file a personal injury claim as a result of the harm that you have suffered. Both of these options may be applicable under certain circumstances, otherwise you may only be able to file for either workers’ comp benefits or file a personal injury claim. The ins and outs of this scenario can be complex and particularly time-sensitive (as compared with other cases), so you’ll want to connect with our experienced Melbourne, FL accident lawyer as soon as possible if your injurious circumstances were work-related.
Advice for Dealing with the Insurance Company After an Accident
Shortly after an accident, especially when negligence is a factor, you may be contacted by the insurance adjuster of the at-fault party. The insurance adjuster might ask to speak to you about the incident, and could even ask you for a sworn statement. Sometimes, they will ask you to sign documents that are “needed” to get the case going. At some point they may say things to you like:
- “We are here to help you.”
- “We would like to settle this so you can move forward.”
- “Don’t worry about having an accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL.”
- “We can offer you a settlement just once.”
- “We believe you are partially at fault.”
- “This is a very good deal. You should accept.”
- “Sign these documents so we can move forward.”
These are only some of the common statements that may be said to an accident victim. Naturally, they can be intimidating and have a psychological effect on the mind of someone who has just been injured in an accident.
How You Should Handle the Insurance Company
According to your own insurance policy terms, you may be obligated to contact your insurance adjuster and report the incident. This you should do, but remember to keep things truthful and short. If you don’t know something, all you need to say is “I don’t know.” Your accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL can take care of any details that you don’t have the answers to.
When, or if, you are contacted by the other side’s insurance company, you should remember the following:
- Whatever you say could be used against you.
- You may be pressured to answer their questions.
- They can say just about anything to get you to talk.
- You should not apologize or admit any fault.
- You are not legally obligated to talk with them.
- You should not agree to or sign anything.
In a best case scenario, you will say something like “My lawyer will be in touch with you.” You don’t have to talk with them, and you shouldn’t. All too often, we know of people who damaged their case because they didn’t know their rights, and were unsure about how to handle this situation. Remain polite, but don’t agree to talk with them. Call a Melbourne, FL accident lawyer for legal advice and guidance.
What If I Already Talked to the Insurance Company?
In the event you are reading this after you spoke with the insurance company belonging to the other side, try not to panic. Think about what was said, and call a lawyer. Hope is not necessarily lost. It is certainly possible that you didn’t say much that hurts your case. On the other hand, we may be able to demonstrate your rights were violated or you were intimidated by the adjuster. Call our firm, and let us help you to understand the next steps to take. We understand how to handle challenging circumstances, such as these and others.
Why you should not talk to the insurance company alone
The primary goal of the other drivers car insurance company as it can be is to pay out as little money as possible to you. Insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. In fact if you’re being contacted by somebody from the other driver’s insurance company it is likely that they are trying to find evidence that you were at fault for the accident, and your damages or injuries are not real. They may even try to twist your words later on and inform the court that your injuries existed prior to the car accident.
So do not tell anyone from any insurance company, yours or the at fault drivers, that you feel fine or that your injuries are minor. It doesn’t matter if you believe this is the case because some car cop accident injuries do not show up right away, and minor injuries may turn more serious than expected later on.
Anything you say to the other driver’s insurance company may serve as a basis for them refusing to pay you anything or reducing the value of your claim to nothing. If you are nice and you feel obligated to speak with an insurance company, do not volunteer any additional information. Do not agree to have your statement recorded, only answer the question that was asked. The reason the insurance company may want to record or write down your statement is to lock you into a certain version of events, leaving you no room to redact or remove a statement that is not properly worded. However what you know or feel may change just days after the accident.
Do not guess or speculate as to what happened. If you don’t know tell the insurance company that. By speculating or guessing they are going to take your words is evidence that you might be at fault or that you do not know what happened.
An insurance company from the at fault ensures the office is not going to want to talk to you to get your version of events, they are going to be analyzing everything that you say in an attempt to find some way to block you and and get you to drop the lawsuit. They don’t want to pay out, no insurance company does. If you are confident that any injuries and damages are minor and it’s clear that the other driver was at fault you are better off speaking with the drivers insurance company. But never give them any reason the question was at fault or the extent of your injuries and damages. If there’s a small chance you could’ve sustained a serious injury or extreme amount of damages, or if there’s a question of who was at fault, do not speak to the insurance company. Just do not pick up, and reach out to your car accident lawyer for advice.
What Are Signs of Driving While Intoxicated?
Getting injured in a car wreck is a nightmarish experience. It’s even more distressing when it isn’t your fault. Many reasons exist as to why someone might collide with you, including intoxication. Inebriated operators must pay for the harm they cause. Contact an accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, to get the legal ball rolling. Before meeting an attorney, write down indications of drunkenness you observed. This anecdotal evidence will help build a strong argument in court.
Loss of motor function is one of the most widely understood effects of overindulgence. Anyone who’s consumed too many spirits knows how difficult it can be to walk in a straight line. The same principle applies to driving. A person under the influence will have trouble keeping the steering wheel steady. Terrifyingly, this individual might head directly into oncoming traffic. Those hit by wayward drivers will find empathy from the attorneys at the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood.
Most people who are drunk know they are unfit to drive. Because of this, they tend to overcompensate, evidenced by braking early and driving too slowly. A sober person might not anticipate a fellow motorist suddenly stopping and thus causing a rear-end collision.
We all know that exceeding the speed limit is against the law. Driving below a reasonable velocity is also a violation. If a driver was issued a ticket for going too slowly, that may be evidence of intoxicated driving. An accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, will be highly interested in this fact.
Intoxicated motorists have a habit of driving too closely to those in front of them. One reason is that alcohol skews one’s depth perception. Another is that drunk drivers believe it will shield them from suspicion. Since they are mimicking the actions of a sober driver, they feel they cannot become suspects. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster. Anticipating another driver’s actions requires quick reflexes a drunk driver does not possess. If the driver who hit you was committing this moving violation, tell the representatives at the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood.
Drivers who are severely intoxicated may have trouble complying with even basic traffic laws, including using turn signals, driving in the right direction, and halting at stoplights. These actions, as well as the above, are indications of a boozy driver. Do your best to remember what you saw before an irresponsible citizen caused you harm.
Seven Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore After a Car Accident
One of the most common symptoms after a car accident is a headache. Most of them are harmless and will go away on their own. However, some headaches are indications of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). If you develop a headache after your accident, your accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, might recommend seeing your doctor as soon as possible to rule out any TBIs.
Like headaches, abdominal pain is common after a car accident. Soreness could result from your seatbelt holding you in place. Other pain, however, could have a more serious cause: internal bleeding. Keep an eye out for large bruises on your abdomen, as they’re another sign of internal bleeding. Don’t hesitate to call 911 for an ambulance if you have these two symptoms together; the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood could tell you it’s not safe to drive yourself to the hospital.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain can result from whiplash, another common injury where your head snaps back and forth from the collision. If you develop stiffness or soreness at the time of the accident or in the days that follow, your accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, may suggest seeing a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
Back pain after a car crash could be one of any number of things, including a spinal injury, a sprain, soft tissue damage, whiplash or a herniated disc. A herniated disc and other spinal injury both have the potential to become serious quickly. The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood can tell you, you need to get these injuries treated immediately.
Numbness after a car accident can happen anywhere in your body, and is usually a result of some form of nerve damage. You could experience tingling in conjunction with the numbness. Your accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, might tell you to get checked out before the numbness becomes permanent.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common after traumatic events such as car accidents. The sooner you seek counseling or therapy to address it, the easier it will be to treat it. Look for a therapist or psychologist who specializes in PTSD to help you through this sometimes-debilitating condition.
Any behavioral changes may occur after a car collision, including:
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Problems with short- or long-term memory
- Difficulty moving
- Struggles with hearing or vision
- Personality changes
Any of these could be signs of a TBI, and necessitate immediate attention from a medical professional.
Avoid These 3 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes
Whether a slip or fall or automobile accident, some incidents are more severe than others. If the accident has led to racking up medical bills and kept you from working or living like you did pre-accident, it’s an ideal time to consult with an accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL. While every situation is different, if you are not at fault, a personal injury claim may ease the situation. Before jumping into filing, it’s important to avoid these three common mistakes to improve your chances of a successful claim.
Dealing with Insurance Alone
After an accident, it is important to file a claim with your insurance company. While that is necessary, it’s also important to consider what happens after the process is started. Although you may need to discuss the event, it’s best to keep things to a minimum. That is especially important when dealing with the person at fault’s insurer. Insurance is complicated, so just going with the flow may lead you to less compensation and the inability to file a personal claim. Consulting an attorney from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood as soon as possible increases the chances that any forms or paperwork you sign won’t have mistakes that will quickly end your lawsuit before it even starts.
After an accident, many thoughts are circulating in your head. Oftentimes, contacting an accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, isn’t one of them. While your health should always take priority, time isn’t always on your side. In many situations, insurance companies have no-fault benefits that must be applied for with one year. Along with the chaos the accident has brought into your life, the insurance jargon may add to the confusion. Getting a professional on your side to help you through the process provides added peace of mind and ensures you know the timeline for your claim.
Discussing the Case
The only person you should be discussing your case with is your accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL. Especially in modern times with so many types of social media, it may be easy to post a picture or make one little comment that may soon deter you from your case. Adjusters and other representatives will do thorough research on their end to minimize any payouts they have to make. Anything discussed with an attorney from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood needs to be kept confidential, especially from insurance representatives or the other party’s lawyer.
Avoid These 3 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes Infographic
Need an Accident Lawyer’s Advice? Contact Us to Learn More
Our firm is located in Melbourne, Florida, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding area. If you’ve been seriously injured due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation. Contact us today to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced Melbourne, FL accident lawyer. We look forward to speaking with you.
Client Review“Cannot thank Maurice enough for the outstanding and effective service he provided to me. He is professional, attentive and extremely knowledgeable in his field of practice. Dawn, the office manager, is equally attentive and kind. I can’t give them enough stars. I will be back – HIGHLY recommended!” Ashley Verrill