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. 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. 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.
How Do I Know if I Have Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
No two cases are exactly alike. 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 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.)
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. However, the law provides an opportunity to file a claim successfully under many circumstances. Therefore, if another 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. At the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, we pride ourselves on advocating passionately for the best interests of accident victims. 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. 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.
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.
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.