A tragic incident in Walton County last week reminded us that accidents can come in many different forms. According to a report by WJHG, Eleanor J. Bryant, age 68, was killed on Thursday May 11, 2012. Bryant had been using a riding lawnmower that afternoon at Richard Road and Heartland Acres Road in Walton County. She stopped to check her mailbox and then proceeded to turn around by making a u-turn on Richardson Road. In doing so, she steered in front of a pick-up truck and was hit.
Bryant was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where she passed away a few hours later. The truck was driven by Zackery Bryant, a 67-year-old man from DeFuniak Springs, who was not injured in the crash. Authorities from the Florida Highway Patrol and conducting a further investigation of the incident, but no charges had been filed at the time of WJHG's report.
This collision stands out for its unusual circumstances, but every accident in Panama City and our Bay County region is unique. After any crash, medical care should always be the top priority. However, in certain cases it is vital that those hurt in accidents contact a skilled lawyer in a timely fashion afterwards.
We are often asked why it is necessary to hire an attorney after an accident. Injury law is very complex and you need, and deserve, an expert on your team. A skilled attorney will help ensure the proper claims are filed in the proper court in the required time period, and a lawyer will help you apply general legal principles to the unique facts of your incident. Law firms that focus on injury cases understand the proof required in order to make a claim successful.
The Panama City injury lawyer at our firm understands that sometimes insurance companies make a quick settlement offer with the hope that the injured person will accept the offer before obtaining legal counsel. These offers may be tempting, but they are in the interests of the insurance company, not the injured person. The offers are almost always for amounts that are much less than the law allows.
Insurance companies are hoping to capitalize on the understandable desire of injured people to resolve claims quickly. Simply engaging an attorney often raises the amount offered at settlement and experienced counsel can help you evaluate an offer to determine if the amount is appropriate. While good lawyers are always prepared to go to trial, personal injury attorneys are also skilled negotiators, and can often help clients achieve favorable settlements without the need for trial.
Injured people are often concerned about the costs involved in hiring attorneys. In most cases, however, injury claims are handled on a contingency basis. This means the law firm's fee is based upon the amount recovered by the client. If the victim does not receive any compensation, the law firm is not paid. This system means the attorney's interests are directly aligned with that of the client – the attorney earns more money when the injured person receives a higher amount of compensation.
Wes Pittman is an experienced Panama City accident lawyer. The phone lines at The Pittman Firm are open 24/7 to help potential clients, and an initial consultation with Attorney Pittman is always free.