According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, over 400,000 car accidents happen every year on average. Many of these crashes result in devastating injuries and sometimes even fatalities.
If you have been involved in a car accident and have been injured, or your vehicle has been significantly damaged, you should contact The Law Place today. In Florida, there is a “statute of limitations,” which means there is a time limit on your right to bring a lawsuit. Because of this four-year time limit, it is imperative that you speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
The skilled personal injury lawyers at The Law Place have over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and helping clients who were in the exact same situation as you. Our law firm offers free, no-obligation consultations to anyone who believes they may have a case and wishes to discuss it with an experienced attorney. We will be able to explore all the possible options for your case to ensure you get the best possible result! Contact us now at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, Florida law requires you to file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider. Under Florida Statute 627.736, all drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance to use in case they are involved in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
PIP doesn’t cover just the driver but also your children, other family members, members of your household, and any passengers who don’t own a vehicle. For accident victims, it may also pay for 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of lost wages, based on the limits on your policy. However, if the injuries that a victim sustained are severe, their insurance may not be sufficient to cover the full costs they may incur. If their injuries prevent them from going back to work to earn an income, this can make it even harder for car accident victims.
If this ends up being the case for you, and your insurance cannot cover the full costs of the injuries and damages you sustained, a car accident victim may decide to sue the at-fault driver or any other negligent party.
In order to do this, you need to be able to prove the following things:
- That the driver’s negligence was the cause of the accident.
- That the injuries you sustained meet the threshold that is set by the State of Florida (physical scarring or disfigurement, permanent bodily injuries, or death).
- That the driver owed you a duty of care, which they then breached to cause the accident.
Your lawyer will be able to talk you through this process and will help you gather proof of these requirements so you don’t have to stress. To prove that negligence was committed, which resulted in the accident, our team of car accident attorneys will investigate and collect proof from the following:
- Police reports.
- Video or still photos from traffic cameras.
- Eyewitness statements.
- Medical records and doctor’s statements regarding your injuries and treatment plan.
If you have been involved in a car accident that left you injured and suffering financially, you should contact The Law Place today and schedule a free consultation today.
What Is the Average Payout for a Car Accident?
In the cases of many car accidents in Florida, the injured parties will resolve their case with their own insurance company. However, if your accident was serious and resulted in you sustaining severe injuries, you may want to bring a lawsuit to court with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
However, instead of going through the court process, a car accident victim may decide to settle outside of court. This way, victims can save time and stress, and it guarantees a payout.
A settlement is a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case, reached either before or after court action begins. In the case of a car accident claim and most other personal injury claims, the settlement involves the payment of money to the victim. The car accident settlement amount will depend on the severity of your injuries, the legal fault in your specific case, and the ability of the responsible party to pay your personal injury claim.
Before you accept a settlement offered to you by the at-fault driver, you should speak to an attorney at The Law Place. The experience and knowledge that our personal injury lawyers possess will be invaluable when negotiating settlements, and we will ensure that we secure the best possible settlement offer on your behalf.
What Are the Different Types of Damages in Car Accidents in Florida?
In Florida personal injury law, the term “damages” refers to the estimated sum of money that is awarded in compensation for an injury or loss that a victim suffered due to someone else’s negligence.
The damages that get awarded include compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are a way to attempt to restore a person’s life to how it was before the accident took place. There are two forms of compensatory damages that make up part of the overall car accident claim for damages. These are economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages reimburse car injury victims for what the accident has cost them financially or what they are projected to lose in the future as a result. The specific amount that you’re owed is usually well-defined as it can typically be calculated from records and professional documentation. All expenses must be quantified and proven for you to receive damages for them.
Some economic damages that The Law Place often recover compensation for on behalf of their clients are listed below:
- Medical expenses – If your injuries were so severe that you required medical care, then you deserve compensation to cover the medical expenses you incurred. These medical bills also include medical devices or equipment, transportation costs for doctor’s appointments, psychological or physical therapy, ambulance fees, and more.
- Lost earnings – If your earning capacity has been limited because of the injuries you sustained, then you deserve compensation to cover any lost income.
- Vehicle repair – In most car accident cases, the vehicles get damaged during the crash. The Law Place attorneys will be able to fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are owed to cover any vehicle repairs that you have to pay.
- Costs for household services one can no longer perform – If the injuries you sustained mean that you cannot perform usual household tasks, you deserve compensation.
- Compensation for future economic losses – This can include loss of earning capacity, future surgeries, or long-term care/ medical treatment.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for intangible losses, including both physical and mental losses, involving a loss of enjoyment for life. These damages generally refer to the distress that victims can experience after being involved in a car accident. These can affect quality-of-life and are separate from a person’s earnings and finances. These are often known as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.
Some examples of damages you can get compensation for are as follows:
- Physical pain.
- Mental anguish (anxiety, depression, and PTSD).
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of consortium.
Pain and suffering damages are crucial in the valuation of an injury case. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, but as these types of damages are subjective, it can be hard to prove them in a court of law. Because of this, it is important that you have a car accident attorney on your side. Our lawyers will be able to investigate on your behalf to find the proof that is required. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent you in court. So, contact The Law Place today to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled auto accident lawyers in Sarasota and begin your journey to getting the justice that you deserve.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant when their actions were intentional, malicious, or excessively negligent. These are meant to not only provide a sense of retribution and justice to the car accident victim but also to deter any future would-be perpetrators from making the same decisions.
These types of damages are not often awarded in car accident cases, as the drivers are not usually intentionally reckless, but there are some instances where these damages are awarded. If the at-fault driver had been driving under the influence, texting while driving, or otherwise driving recklessly, which then caused the accident, your attorney might decide to seek these damages.
Like most states, Florida limits the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded to a victim. They cap it to either three times the amount of the compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever amount is higher. However, if the actions of the defendant had been motivated by financial gain, the law in Florida allows punitive damages to either be up to four times the amount of compensatory damages, or $2,000,000, whichever is greater. This is unlikely to be the case in many car accident cases, though.
If you believe you may be owed punitive damages or would like more information, then don’t hesitate to contact The Law Place today. Our law firm offers a free consultation to all prospective clients to help go through their case with them in detail and be able to work out what their best options would be for them.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Florida, then you may be entitled to compensation. Our law firm understands the devastating impacts that any vehicle crash could leave you and your family suffering from. We are determined to help you get your life back on track and help fight to ensure that you get the justice that you deserve.
We know that compensation will not fix the trauma that you may be experiencing. But it will help cover any financial losses that you may be struggling with because of the accident and may also serve as some proof that justice has been served.
By calling The Law Place today, you will be ensuring that you get legal advice and guidance from experienced and highly skilled personal injury lawyers. What are you waiting for? Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You deserve justice and financial compensation, and we are the team most likely to win it for you.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444!