What Are The Next Steps?
One minute you are driving to work or you just dropped off the kids at school, and then BAM!, you’re involved in a car wreck. This can be a difficult time, and the situation can throw you into situations that you just don’t understand.
Guy S. DiMartino understands your concerns, and can help you navigate the potentially complicated process of dealing with body shops, insurance companies, medical bills, and lost wages.
Our Leesburg, Florida car accident lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, was also a practicing chiropractic physician for just under 20-years, so he can help his clients get through the medical-legal process, and receive the compensation that they deserve.
If you or your family member have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are not alone. The odds are that you are going to be involved in a car wreck at least one time in your life. According to the State of Florida, there were 402,385 crashes in 2017. 3,116 folks died in these crashes and just over 250,000 people were injured. That’s right! A quarter of a million people were injured in 2017 car accidents. Leesburg and Lake County were not immune. In Lake County, there were just under 5,000 motor vehicle accidents. In these accidents, 48 people died and 3,600 people were injured. If we were to break this down, we are talking about just over 13 car accidents a day in Leesburg and the surrounding area.
There are a number of steps you will need to take, depending on the nature and extent of the motor vehicle accident, here are a few:
Get Checked Out Medically
For many folks involved in accidents, the last thing they want to do is go to the emergency room and wait for hours. After an accident, your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is racing, and you feel shaken up, but you think you’re fine. You go home, things settle down, and then you start feeling stiff and hurting. The biggest mistake at this point is saying “everything will be okay.” Instead, you should immediately go to the hospital, an urgent care center, or your doctor’s office.
Many car accident victims are worried about the money for the medical expenses. You shouldn’t worry about that for the following reasons:
First, Florida is a No-Fault State. If you own a vehicle and it is insured, Florida requires up to $10,000 of “No-Fault” or “Personal Injury Protection” benefits. These benefits are available to get checked out medically, whether you or the other person are at fault for the accident. You are required to use your insurance for medical care, IT’S THE LAW – AND NO – YOUR INSURANCE RATES WILL NOT GO UP!
The second reason that you want to get checked out medically, is there could be something seriously wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met clients who thought they were okay at the accident scene and they ended up having a broken neck or bleeding in the brain. You see, the purpose of the emergency room or urgent care center is to rule out life-threatening or serious injuries.
The third reason that you want to get checked out immediately is that you will lose your PIP insurance, if you are not seen by a health care provider within 14-days of the accident.
The fourth reason that you want to get out immediately after a Leesburg car accident has to do with making an insurance claim in you are injured. Many insurance companies, like Allstate Insurance, use car accident claims software. The name of Allstate’s software is Colossus. One of the main factors that Colossus uses when generating the value of a claim, is the timing of the initial visit to a healthcare provider. Colossus also rates the healthcare providers. For instance, greater weight is given to an emergency room as compared to a physical therapist or chiropractor.
Believe it or not, all insurance companies are not the same, and there are different steps that you will need to take depending on the insurance company. Click on the link below to get a general overview of dealing with a particular insurance company.
- Direct General
- The Hartford
- Horace Mann
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
After a car accident, it’s important that the facts and circumstances of the crash be investigated. The most important pieces of evidence that need to be preserved are photographs of the accident scene, photographs of any injuries, and photographs of the vehicles. Within a week, this important evidence can be destroyed or altered. Once your car is fixed or totaled, it is impossible to recreate the photographs. If you don’t take pictures of the seat belt bruises across your chest, the bruising will be better in a few weeks, and if your case has to go to trial, the insurance company lawyer may take the position that you were not wearing your seat-belt. Think of how powerful your response will be in deposition or trial if you pull up the photo and show the lawyer or the jury, the bruising.
It is also important that any witness statements are taken immediately. Why? Because memories fade of people move. Many accident victims say, “the other driver said it was their fault”. If we had a quarter for every time that we heard that statement when a client first comes into the office, and then heard the opposite from an insurance adjuster or the other driver in deposition, we would be rich. The human brain is fabulous, but it has a tendency to rationalize events and fill in the gaps. This is why accident victims need to protect and preserve any witness statements immediately.
Finally, sometimes it’s important to preserve the actual vehicle so an expert witness can photograph, measure and capture computer data. If the vehicle is fixed or totaled, it is not possible to get this vital information, which can mean the difference between compensation and no compensation.
Choosing a Leesburg, Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Turn on the TV or look at the billboards when you’re driving on 441, and you will see that there is no shortage of car accident lawyers in Central Florida. There are a number of good and reputable lawyers that can handle your car accident claim. You will have to make the decision if you would like to be one clients of thousands with the TV lawyers, or if you would like direct access to your lawyer in a smaller office.
I would like to point out a few ways in which Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, PA is different than most car accident lawyers, this may work for you and this may not work for you.
First, you get a doctor and a lawyer wrapped into one. When Guy S. DiMartino practiced chiropractic medicine, he treated hundreds of folks who were injured in accidents. Doctors are busy when they see patients, and many times they make treatment recommendations that go right over their patients’ heads. Guy S. DiMartino routinely sit down with his clients, pulls up their diagnostic imaging and records, and discusses the best treatment options or doctors for their conditions.
Second, Guy S. DiMartino a Florida Bar Board Certified civil trial lawyer. The Florida Bar website says this about Board Certified lawyers: “Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.” Approximately 7% of Florida’s attorneys are board certified.
Finally, you will always have direct access to Guy S. DiMartino. If you call his direct number, he will pick up the phone, as long as the privilege is not abused. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help your case.