Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are 39.5 million medically attended injuries and poisonings every year, resulting in 42.3 million emergency room visits for accidental injuries? That’s 126.3 medically attended injuries per 1,000 people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that there were 37,461 fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in 2016 (most recent statistics), which was an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year. And nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 amid mounting signs that pedestrians and drivers are dangerously distracted.
In 2017, Lee County roads were the deadliest they’ve been in nearly a decade after 116 people lost their lives due to traffic accidents. That was the highest total of casualties since 2006. In Collier County, there were 31 traffic fatalities in 2017. Since the start of the year, in Collier County, there have been 40 cars vs. bike crashes and if that rate continues, the number will surpass 2017’s number of 124.
Faced with these staggering statistics, it’s no wonder residents of Naples, FL and Collier County are seeking fair and just compensation for their medical costs, treatment for injuries and the impact an accident can have on your life both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, the system does not always work in your favor. So many turn to a personal injury lawyer.
But do you really need a personal injury lawyer?
The answer to that question is it all depends on the case itself. The complexity of the case is what really needs to be considered. The main job of an effective personal injury attorney is to be able to define and prove the extent of the loss and the fault of the other party. This involves gathering evidence, witness statements, police reports, medical reports, negotiating with insurance carriers and detailed understanding of the law.
What does a personal injury lawyer do?
The short answer is a personal injury lawyer represents your interests if you have been injured because of direct action or negligence. This includes everything from automobile accidents to medical malpractice, wrongful death, cruise ship accidents, product defects, premise liability (getting hurt on someone’s property), and construction accidents, among others.
One of the primary functions your personal injury attorney will perform is to deal directly with your insurance carrier. Personal injury lawyers deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and most have years of experience negotiating with them. This puts a skilled personal injury attorney at an advantage because they know what to look for, how to present a case, what steps need to be taken to maximize a settlement and also what not to say in order to not jeopardize a case.
When should you hire a personal injury attorney?
Timing is critical when hiring an attorney. You should consider hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. If you allow too much time to pass before filing a claim, it can potentially reduce the amount you could have received. Additionally, key witness can start to confuse facts, forget things or even change the narrative altogether as time elapses.
Should I hire a local attorney?
Yes. You want someone familiar with the area, local laws and the county court system. That’s why Weinstein & Cohen has offices in both Naples and Miami so we can serve all of South Florida.
Do I need an attorney if I have insurance?
Even if you have great insurance, it will be helpful to have an attorney on your side. Insurance policies have limits on what the carrier will pay and that means if the party who injured you has a $150,000 maximum policy, that is the largest amount you can collect. However, if damages and costs are higher than that, you can potentially collect additional compensation through a lawsuit.
Also, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are a business and one of their primary concerns is profitability. Most insurance companies we deal with have systems that put limits on what adjusters can offer and a good attorney will help you navigate the complex nature of dealing with these situations.
How much does a lawyer cost?
The amount usually depends on the final settlement from the insurance company or the outcome of a trial if the case goes to court. At Weinstein & Cohen, we provide a free initial consultation where we gather facts about your case to determine if it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney’s service. We also work on a contingency basis – meaning we do not get paid unless you win your case. The final fee in a contingency arrangement is an agreed upon percentage of the final settlement or winnings.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident in Naples, Florida or across South Florida, contact the Naples accident lawyers and Miami personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen at 239-793-3331 or 305-374-1011, or visit fairnessforall, for an absolutely free and confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.