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Tampa Personal Injury Attorney & Car Accident Lawyer
Capaz Law Firm offers compassionate and tenacious legal representation in personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death cases. Follow the links below to learn more about our areas of practice.
Tampa Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
What Factors Could Impact the Value of My Personal Injury Claim?
After suffering a serious injury, a common question on the mind of many claimants is, “How much is my case worth?” It’s an important question—after all, your financial future is likely hinging on the outcome of your claim—but there are no easy answers. Our attorneys may first need to investigate your case, consult with expert witnesses, and take many other steps before we can estimate the potential recovery for your case.
Below are a few more factors that could affect the value of your claim:
- Extent of Your Injuries: A catastrophic injury can lead to a lifetime of expenses, from medical bills to home modifications to lost wages. Typically, the more severe your injuries, the more you stand to gain in the form of damages.
- Your Own Liability: While you may have been the victim of another party’s negligent actions, there’s no guarantee that you will be reimbursed for all the damages you incurred. For instance, if you played a role in causing the accident, it’s likely your financial award will be reduced. Alternatively, if you made mistakes after the accident—such as failing to follow your doctor’s instructions or posting about your injuries on social media—you will be more likely to encounter disputes.
- Available Insurance Coverage: Are the liable parties insured? What policies do you carry? If the at-fault parties do not have enough coverage to pay for your damages, you may have to tap into your own coverage to pay the difference. Your Tampa personal injury attorney can assess the available insurance policies and discuss your options for seeking compensation.
- Non-Economic Damages: Even minor injuries can lead to significant pain and discomfort. More serious conditions can limit you in several ways, preventing you from returning to your normal routines. As such, compensation for pain and suffering and other intangible losses is often available to claimants in a personal injury case. Your lawyer may ask you to start a personal injury journal to document your symptoms, pain levels, and other elements of your recovery. This journal can be an invaluable asset for proving non-economic damages.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevented you from working and/or are likely to impact your ability to earn a living in the future, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages.
How Can Social Media Affect a Personal Injury Case?
After suffering a serious injury, it’s normal to feel confused, scared, and stressed out. Unsurprisingly, many accident victims take to social media for support during this difficult chapter of their lives. But the digital space is no safer than the real world; anything you post on these platforms could sink your claim. It’s not uncommon for insurers and opposing parties to monitor claimants’ social media feeds. All it takes is just a single comment, taken out of context, to dispute liability, to bring your claim crashing down.
At Capaz Law Firm, our injury lawyers in Tampa may advise you to disable your accounts until your claim is resolved. However, if this isn’t an option, here are a few mistakes you should avoid next time you’re online:
- You Accepted a New Connection Request: A new follow request from someone you don’t recognize should be an immediate red flag. While they may look like the friendly barista at your local café, there’s a chance it could be someone from the insurance company. It’s not unheard of for individuals hired by insurers to send connection requests to claimants to gain access to their “private” accounts. Once accepted, these individuals will have free rein to comb through your posts at their own leisure, picking out comments and pictures that could be used to challenge your case. Until your claim is resolved, you should not accept any new friend requests.
- You Posted Pictures of Yourself: Recovering from a catastrophic injury is a challenging journey. Most days, you’re likely gritting your teeth against the pain, trying to make it from one minute to the next. However, there may be a few brighter days. In those happy moments, you may be tempted to snap a few pictures and publish them on social media. However, even seemingly innocent snaps could still be used to undermine your claim. For instance, if you posted a picture of yourself at the park in the weeks following the accident, opposing parties may assert that you ignored your doctor’s instructions to rest. As such, you should abstain from posting pictures until your case has concluded.
- You Did Not Set Your Account to Private: Dialing up your privacy settings won’t just keep you safe from the internet’s numerous cyberthreats; it will also safeguard your information from investigators hoping to monitor your activity. It’s no secret that insurance companies monitor claimants’ social media feeds for any evidence that could be used to dispute liability or damages. Setting your account to private will ensure that only those in your circles can see what you post. However, there are still ways around this digital barrier. For instance, one of your connections may screenshot your posts and share these with an opposing party or on a public platform. As a result, you should never discuss anything related to your accident online, whether it’s the traumatic event itself or the details of your recovery.
Do I Have a Strong Personal Injury Claim?
If it’s clear the other party is at fault and you’ve been diligent about tracking your damages, you may think you have the makings of a convincing claim. However, pursuing damages in a personal injury case is rarely a straightforward process. Not only are there many other factors that could affect the outcome of your case, but the insurance company may also fight you tooth and nail to avoid paying out a fair settlement.
At Capaz Law Firm, our personal injury and car accident attorneys can review your case as part of a free initial consultation. It’s a chance to get insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your claim and the evidence you will need to prove liability, causation, and damages.
Below are a few signs that you might have a strong claim:
- You Did Not Delay Your Medical Evaluation: Seeking immediate medical treatment won’t just ensure that you receive the care you need; it can also reduce the chances of facing disputes when you file your claim. If, for instance, you skipped your medical assessment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries can’t be very serious because you did not require urgent care. Alternatively, they may say that you failed in your duty to mitigate damages and thus are partially or entirely liable for your damages.
- You Followed Your Doctor’s Instructions: As a claimant you have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to mitigate damages. This can include seeking immediate treatment, not undergoing unnecessary procedures, and following your doctor’s orders. Whether it’s performing a specific set of exercises or taking time off work to let your injuries heal, you should never deviate from the script. Doing so could put you in the firing line, giving the insurance company a clear shot to dispute liability and damages.
- You Gathered Evidence at the Scene: Strong evidence is the backbone of a successful claim. Without it, opposing parties will have ample room to dispute aspects of your case and pin the blame on you. As such, it can be useful to start gathering evidence immediately after the accident. While your attorney will conduct his or her own investigation, any evidence you’ve gathered could help your attorney finetune their approach. For instance, if you spoke to any eyewitnesses, you should take down their contact details so that your lawyer can interview them to determine whether their deposition may help corroborate your version of events. Alternatively, if you saw surveillance cameras in the vicinity of the accident scene, you should communicate this information to your attorney. He or she can take steps to retrieve this footage before it becomes unavailable.