If you were involved in a car accident that caused serious injury, then you will need to hire a skilled car accident lawyer to recover compensation for your damages, injuries, and losses in the State of Florida.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2015 over 2.44 million people of the United States were involved in car accidents and sustained injuries, while close to 35,092 people died in car accidents. Here are some of the statistics for road accidents in the State of Florida for 2016:
- 395,785 reported collisions.
- 254,158 reported people who sustained injuries in car accidents.
- 226,927 reported car accidents that resulted in property damage.
- 41,242 reported car accidents involving commercial vehicles.
- 3,177 reported people who died in car accidents.
A car accident can be a disastrous event in a person’s life, and it can be very stressful to have to handle it all on your own – especially when you have sustained injuries. However, you can reach out to a car accident lawyer from The Law Place. We will take the pressure off while you are on your road to recovery.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of collective experience in managing personal injury claims for clients who have suffered injuries in accidents all over the State of Florida. We have a team of skilled car accident lawyers who have the necessary knowledge and resources to win the compensation that you deserve.
Our law firm prides itself on taking care of clients first and foremost, which means that we will deal with all of the negotiating and paperwork while you are recovering from your injuries. If you have any questions about filing a claim, feel free to get in touch with one of our skilled car accident lawyer Sarasota today, who will gladly answer all of your questions.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation. We are open 24/7 to begin fighting your case.
In This Article
- What Causes Car Accidents in Florida?
- What to Do After a Car Accident in Florida
- How to Know If You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
- Damages for a Car Accident in Florida
- Negotiating for Full Compensation After Your Car Accident in Florida
- Tips for Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident in Florida
- Why You Should Work With a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
- How to Choose Your Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
- Contact The Law Place Today
What Causes Car Accidents in Florida?
Many car crashes are a result of negligent drivers in the State of Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reported that close to three million traffic citations were issued by the police department in 2018.
A list of negligent driving examples include:
- Speeding – Driving over the posted speed limit is considered highly dangerous in the State of Florida. Speeding is one of the biggest reasons for car accidents occurring. When you are driving too fast, it makes it harder for you to notice other drivers or pedestrians, and it is more difficult to brake at the appropriate time.
- Distracted driving – Using a mobile phone or talking to another passenger while behind the wheel is a growing issue on Florida roadways. Many drivers claim that they fully understand the risks and danger of distracted driving, but they still carry on texting or engaging in activities that cause them to take their eyes off the road. Most of the time, people are unaware of the dangers of distracted driving, and they only realize it when it is too late.
- Aggressive driving – Many drivers show their frustration and impatience with traffic by driving in an aggressive manner, such as weaving through traffic, tailgating, or beeping their car’s horn to try and intimidate other drivers. The behavior of aggressive drivers can quickly end up in a catastrophic accident.
- Drowsy driving – Operating a motor vehicle while experiencing driver fatigue. This applies to drivers who take long road trips or who travel long hours for work. It is very important to take breaks while driving and put your safety first.
- Tailgating – When a car is driving too closely behind another vehicle, it can quickly result in a car accident. This is because the driver in front can suddenly stop or slow down, which can cause a collision.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) – Operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol can cause impaired driving. Drunk driving is a life-threatening situation, and many police officers only manage to catch a few drunk drivers in Florida. It is very common for drunk drivers to cause accidents and send innocent people to the hospital because of their negligence behind the wheel.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – Operating a motor vehicle after taking illegal street drugs, prescription medication, or other controlled substances can seriously affect a person’s ability to drive, and it often results in accidents on the roadways.
- Traffic violations – The Florida Traffic Code explains the rules of the road that must be learned and understood to pass a driving test. It is mandatory for every driver to have a basic knowledge and understanding of safety laws when they are operating a vehicle on Florida roadways. A violation of traffic law includes making improper turns, speeding, driving past a stop sign or red light, failing to yield, and many other traffic violations that can easily lead to a car accident.
- Defective vehicle parts – It is possible for drivers to lose control of their vehicle without it directly being their fault. Sometimes parts of a vehicle can unexpectedly malfunction, such as tires, brakes, airbags, steering systems, etc. If a defective part of a vehicle causes a car accident, the manufacturer will be held responsible for the car crash. The Law Place will develop a case against the company and ensure that you are compensated for your damages, injuries, and losses.
- Road hazards – Changes in weather can cause havoc on Florida roadways that result in harsh and unexpected accidents. The state and local governments are mostly responsible for restoring and repairing Florida roadways, excluding roads that are owned by private parties. If you are driving and unexpectedly hit a pothole, a large crack, or another kind of road hazard and your car ends up spinning out of control and colliding with another vehicle, then the government agency will be held responsible for the damaged road. In this case, you will need a skilled car accident lawyer who has the necessary experience to take on a legal claim against the government. In addition, you will need to have sufficient evidence to prove that the government agency that owns the road was negligent. There are hundreds of possible causes that can result in unfortunate accidents in the State of Florida.
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What to Do After a Car Accident in Florida
There are many safety measures to take following a car accident, and we highly recommend that you follow these steps to protect your own safety, and everyone else’s too:
- Remain at the location – If you are uninjured and capable of thinking clearly, remain at the location of the car accident. Otherwise, you could be accused of a hit and run if you were to suddenly leave, even if the crash was not your fault.
- Wait in a safe location – Always remember to put your safety first and step out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Call the police department – Florida Statute 316.062 states that you are obliged to call the police to the location of the car accident as soon as it happens. It is also worth noting that a police report will greatly benefit your claim for compensation.
- Call an ambulance – You must call emergency services to the location of the car accident as soon as possible if you or anyone else suffered injuries.
- Get contact information – Remember to speak to the other driver who was involved in the accident and collect their contact information, such as name, phone number, vehicle registration number, and insurance information. It is also worth collecting the contact information of any eyewitness to the car accident, as this could benefit your claim for compensation.
- Gather evidence – If you are uninjured and capable of thinking clearly, then take the opportunity to gather evidence. This includes taking pictures of the location of the accident, the damaged vehicles, injuries, and any other piece of evidence that could be relevant and useful in your claim for compensation.
- Speak to a personal injury lawyer – It is crucial for your case that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact The Law Place now to schedule a free consultation where we will explain the process to you and answer all of your questions about your car accident and personal injury claim.
- Call your insurance company – You must call your insurance company, usually within 24 hours following a car accident. However, the exact timeframe might differ. This information will be specified in your policy agreement. Insurance companies can be very intimidating, but the good news is that you can reach out and speak to one of our car accident lawyers for help. We can offer you advice on how to steer the conversation or even talk to your insurance company on your behalf.
- Keep a journal – It can be very beneficial to keep a journal and take notes of your injuries, symptoms, pain, and suffering, adjustments to your daily life following your accident, and your healing progress. This information can improve your case in the hands of the right car accident lawyer.
- Paperwork evidence – It is important to keep a record of paperwork related to your accident, which includes medical bills, receipts for travel costs, lost wages, and any other expenses for damages such as injuries, pain and suffering, operations, therapy, and more costs that might have incurred following your car accident. A personal injury lawyer from The Law Place will be able to skillfully use this information to your benefit in your claim for compensation.
- Report the car accident to the police department – Florida Statute 316.066 states that you have up to 10 days from the date of the car accident to file a report in the State of Florida. It is also possible for you to report the car accident online by logging onto the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) website, or you can also head down to your local police station to report the car crash.
How to Know If You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
You have the legal right to hire a car accident lawyer in the State of Florida, regardless of whether your crash was minor or major. You might not think that you should hire a car accident lawyer if your case was only a minor incident. However, it is always better to seek legal advice following a crash. This is because the value of your car accident case might be worth a lot more than you think, and you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation.
A car accident lawyer from The Law Place will be able to provide the right advice and guidance during your time of need. In addition, they will be able to investigate your case to work out the value of your claim and complete all of the necessary paperwork on your behalf. A car accident lawyer will fight vigorously with the insurance companies to make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and losses.
The Law Place will be able to offer services whether your car accident case is major or minor. There are some car accident cases that might involve more difficult negotiations or complex legal concepts, especially when insurance adjusters are disputing your claim and trying to offer you the lowest compensation amount possible. A car accident attorney from The Law Place will be able to help you in these types of situations and many others. For example:
- You are facing accusations of being at fault for the car accident.
- The cost to repair your vehicle is estimated to be thousands of dollars or more.
- An insurance adjuster claims that your specific damages cannot be covered.
- An insurance adjuster wants to access your medical history.
- An insurance adjuster denied your personal injury claim.
- An insurance adjuster wants to reduce the value of your personal injury claim.
- Your car accident involved a rideshare service driver, such as Uber or Lyft, or a company vehicle.
- Your car accident involved a series of complicated circumstances or multiple parties.
Damages for a Car Accident in Florida
A car accident can result in many different damages and losses for the person who was injured. A few of the most common examples of damages include:
- Medical bills – Treatment for any type of injury can grow to be very expensive, even for a considerably minor injury. The costs for injuries can quickly accumulate due to taking trips back and forth to the hospital, surgery, medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, follow-up visits to the hospital, and more. For serious injuries, such as neck injuries, back injuries, or brain damage, surgery will likely be required, as well as hospitalization and even long-term assistance. A car accident attorney will take all of your past, present, and future medical bills into consideration to ensure that you receive full compensation for every single one of your injuries.
- Loss of income – There are some injuries that can prevent you from returning to work, and this means that you may lose a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months of wages. This can seriously hurt your finances, especially when you have a whole stack of medical bills to pay following your accident. You deserve full compensation for all of your damages, regardless of whether you missed work due to medical treatments or because your injuries stop you from doing your job.
- Property damage – The costs to repair a car after an accident is usually very expensive. In this case, you deserve compensation for all of the costs to repair your vehicle and also for the lessened value of your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering – Medical bills and lost wages are easier damages to calculate as you simply add up the costs you need to be compensated for. However, pain and suffering are much more difficult to define and explain. Damages for pain and suffering include physical, mental, and emotional injury. Winning compensation for pain and suffering can be achieved by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
A car accident lawyer will negotiate, evaluate, and divide your damages into two separate categories – economic damages (that can easily be calculated, like lost wages, medical bills, etc.) and non-economic damages (that can be more challenging to calculate, like pain and suffering).
A car accident lawyer will build your case and evaluate your damages based on your personal experience of pain and suffering following your crash. There are two types of pain and suffering that are important to understand:
- Physical pain and suffering – This includes any physical pain that you are experiencing through the process of your recovery, surgery, rehabilitation, and long-term pain in the aftermath of your car accident.
- Mental pain and suffering – This includes any form of emotional anguish or trauma, such as PTSD, fear, depression, and more. An example of mental pain and suffering is when you feel like you have lost the privilege of being able to experience life as you could before your car crash.
These damages are more difficult to show due to not having anything tangible to figure out your damages and losses in this specific area. However, a car accident lawyer will be able to skillfully explain to the judge and jury how the car accident has deeply affected you. They will describe the levels of pain and suffering that you have experienced since the day of the car crash. Non-economic damages also include:
- Loss of companionship – This type of compensation applies if your spouse or another family member was tragically killed in a car accident, meaning that you are entitled to make a claim for the loss of their companionship.
- Wrongful death – This type of compensation also applies in the event that a family member was tragically killed in a car accident, meaning that their surviving family can file a claim for wrongful death to recover the damages and losses following their passing.
- Medical bills – This type of compensation applies to the costs for hospital visits, surgery, trips to see the doctor, physical therapy, rehabilitation, medical equipment, prescription medication, etc.
- Loss of income – This type of compensation applies to a loss of income if your injuries prevent you from working or stop you from being able to work at the same rate as before the crash, which then prevents you from earning your usual wages. A car accident lawyer will be able to make sure that you are fully compensated for all of your losses in the State of Florida.
- Property damage – This type of compensation applies to any costs to repair or replace your vehicle or any other type of property damage that occurred because of the car accident, which includes damage to your clothes, mobile phone, or any other possessions.
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Negotiating for Full Compensation After Your Car Accident in Florida
The law in Florida has a different set of requirements when it comes to recovering damages and losses for a car accident. In most cases, it will depend on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Some of the main methods of compensation following a car accident include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance – All drivers are obliged to carry a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This will ultimately cover medical bills, lost income, and other losses, regardless of whether you were at fault or not for the car accident.
- The negligent driver’s insurance – You might be able to hold the at-fault driver’s insurance company liable for any damages that were caused to your vehicle following your car accident. This also includes any medical bills that exceed your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
- A car accident lawsuit – You might be able to file a car accident claim against the liable party and seek compensation through the civil court system if your injuries are classed as very serious.
At The Law Place, we have the necessary experience, knowledge, and resources to investigate your accident and skillfully negotiate with insurance companies to secure the full amount of compensation that you deserve. This could be achieved through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or we could even take your case to court if necessary. Rest assured that our team of car accident lawyers will explore every available option and agree on a settlement that is satisfactory for you.
Tips for Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident in Florida
Insurance companies are known for wanting to pay out the least amount of money possible for a settlement following a car accident in the State of Florida. It is always best to know these things before you get involved in a conversation with your insurance company, as their only objective is to make as much money as they can out of your claim.
It is very beneficial to have a car accident lawyer on your side to protect your best interests and discuss your case with the insurance company on your behalf. However, if you decide to talk to your insurance company on your own, then keep these things in mind:
- It is not necessary to discuss everything with your insurance company – Most of the insurance adjusters out there will try to get a statement from you about your accident, which they will use against you later to claim that you were partly at fault for the crash. It is important to know that you are under no obligation to discuss any details of your case with your insurance company, but you will need to hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim and speak to your insurance company on your behalf.
- Do not sign any papers until you have hired a car accident lawyer – Insurance companies are known for pressuring people into signing documents by declaring that they need your signature before they are able to process your claim. This is not true, and many of these documents have certain agreements that will waive your legal rights. A car accident lawyer will make sure that no insurance company takes advantage of you, and they will review your case and all documents before they let you sign anything.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer – The first settlement that an insurance company tends to offer will usually contain the least amount of money. In this case, you will need to hire a car accident lawyer from The Law Place to negotiate your case with the insurance company and agree on a settlement that recovers all of your losses.
Why You Should Work With a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
There are many people who are reluctant to hire a car accident lawyer after experiencing a crash, as they feel that working with a lawyer might not be necessary for their case. However, it is always best to seek legal representation to raise your chances of winning the full amount of compensation that you are owed. In addition, a car accident lawyer will offer you the guidance and support that you need while you are on your way to recovery.
Here are some of the most vital aspects that a car accident lawyer is responsible for when filing a claim:
- Investigating your accident – It is not always easy to prove fault following a car accident, and it is necessary to have the right legal team on your side to investigate the case and collect evidence to determine fault. This will have a huge impact on the amount of money that you are offered from an insurance company, which is why you must have all the evidence in one place before you can recover compensation. The Law Place will investigate the location of the accident, physical evidence, photographs, reports from the police officers, video footage, statements from witnesses of the crash, and more.
- Filing your claim – It can be confusing to file a claim after an accident, as you might not know how or who you are filing a claim against. However, the good news is that your car accident lawyer from The Law Place will be there to explain the process to you and make sure that your claim is properly filed against the right party at the right time.
- Proving damages – To file a claim, you must know the full extent of your injuries, losses, and damages so that you are fully compensated in all aspects following a car crash. A car accident lawyer from our law firm will assist you in collecting this information, which includes medical expenses, costs for transportation to and from the hospital, surgery bills, physical therapy, and more.
- Negotiating for the right settlement – Insurance adjusters are known to offer the lowest possible settlement in car accident claims, which is why you will need a reputable law firm on your side to build a strong case and negotiate with your insurance company to secure the best possible settlement for your claim.
- Taking your case to court – In some cases, a settlement cannot be reached. This means that you will need the right law firm on your side to fight for your compensation by taking your case to court.
How to Choose Your Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
There are many law firms out there with many car accident lawyers who will want to work with you. However, finding the right car accident lawyer can be a challenge as you want to make sure that you have someone that you can trust to handle your case.
The most qualified car accident lawyer will have full knowledge of the laws surrounding your case, and they will endlessly research to secure the best possible outcome for your car accident claim. They will investigate, document, and collect all of the relevant information to make sure that all of your damages are recovered. A skilled car accident lawyer will work closely with their clients, listen to them attentively, and negotiate vigorously on their behalf. But most of all, they will fight to win the case for their clients no matter what obstacles are presented to them.
A professional car accident lawyer will have these key achievements and qualities:
- A good standing reputation with their law firm, colleagues, and clients.
- Awards and accolades from their law firm, clients, and community.
- A history of authentic and transparent testimonials from clients.
- A history of winning cases and settlements from clients.
It is important that you work with a car accident lawyer who is worthy of your respect and trust. You might want to ask these questions to the car accident lawyer you are looking to hire:
- Experience – Check to see if the car accident lawyer that you hired has managed personal injury cases in the past.
- Trial – Check to see if the car accident lawyer that you hired is willing to take your case to trial if necessary. A trial lawyer will not settle, and they will make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are owed. In addition, the insurance company will likely increase your settlement if they find out that your car accident lawyer is taking your case to trial.
- Jury trials – Check to see if the car accident lawyer that you hired has conducted jury trials before.
- Family and friends – Ask your family and friends if they have any car accident lawyers they recommend. Referrals are usually one of the best ways to find a good car accident lawyer.
- Settlement – Check to see if the car accident lawyer has managed to settle cases like yours with success in the past.
- Reputation – Check to see if the car accident lawyer is well respected in the area. Use the resource of the internet to find reviews for lawyers in the State of Florida.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you suffered injuries in a car accident and you are feeling at a loss for what to do next, then we highly recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. No one should have to deal with the aftermath of a car accident alone.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of combined experience in successfully managing personal injury cases for clients across the State of Florida. We understand the pain and suffering that comes following a traumatic event, and we want to be the ones to help you heal and move past it.
Our team of car accident lawyers will investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and deal with the necessary paperwork to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Reach out to The Law Place today to schedule your free consultation, where a car accident lawyer will discuss your available options and offer you honest legal advice on the best move to make following your car accident in the State of Florida.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444, and we will fight your car accident case together in the State of Florida. We are open 24/7 and are waiting for your call.