How to Ensure That You Collect FULL Compensation for Your Florida Car Accident Claim
Suffering injuries in a car accident can change a person’s life forever, especially if the injuries sustained are permanent. While some lucky individuals walk away from Florida car accidents with minor injuries, many others are not in the same boat. In addition to addressing the physical injuries associated with a car accident, such as receiving necessary medical treatment, many injured victims consider whether someone else may have been at fault for causing the accident. Regardless of who is at fault for causing an accident, it is a good idea to allow a Car Accident Attorney in Florida to review the situation to determine what party or parties caused the car accident.
We Are Here to Help You Put the Pieces of Your Life Back Together
It is understandable that injured victims fear speaking with an attorney, however, there is no harm by having legal questions answered in a timely manner so that the injured victims can move forward and not continue to ponder whether someone else may be to blame. Because speaking with a qualified Florida Car Accident Attorney is free, there is nothing to lose by consulting with an attorney about a car accident and the subsequent injuries.
Parker Waichman LLP represents clients injured in a variety of accidents, and work on car accident cases on a regular basis. Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys have extensive experience handling catastrophic injury cases where an injured person’s future is uncertain. To learn more about a potential personal injury or wrongful death claim relating to a car accident, act quickly by contacting Parker Waichman LLP today.
The Most Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents
Heavy traffic throughout Florida contributes to the significant number of car accidents seen on a daily basis. Whether a fender-bender slows down morning rush hour traffic, or a head-on collision puts victims in the hospital, car accidents are a fact of life. However, many car accidents are preventable, making the aftermath even more tragic. The silver lining with daily car accidents is that because many are preventable, there are steps drivers can take to promote safety on our Florida highways and streets.
There are countless reasons why car accidents happen in both Florida and throughout the United States. Because of Florida’s large population, Florida will see a wider variety of car accidents than those states with smaller populations. Causes of Florida Car Accidents include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- Speeding, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign; failing to yield to another vehicle or pedestrian, following too closely, and failing to use a turn signal, among other infractions;
- Driving while intoxicated, whether a driver has been drinking or taking illegal or prescription drugs;
- Texting, using social media apps, talking on the phone, and taking pictures/videos, as well as other distractions;
- Weather conditions (rain, winds, and fog, etc.); and
- Vehicular equipment failure, such as failed brakes or blown tires, among others.
Distracted driving is now considered to be just as dangerous if not more dangerous than driving while intoxicated which is a significant problem that all drivers need to keep in mind. If a person’s eyes are not on the road, then any accident can happen that could be fatal. Innocent individuals have suffered permanent and fatal injuries all because a driver could not wait a few minutes to read a text or take a phone call. Given there are many reasons why car accidents happen, speaking with a Florida Car Accident Attorney can help to alleviate some concerns and address important questions.
Injuries Associated with Florida Car Accidents
All auto accidents in the state of Florida have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries. The way in which a car accident happens will determine the severity of potential injuries that may be suffered. For example, a head-on collision is more likely to lead to severe and permanent injuries, while a fender-bender may result in mild to moderate neck pain. While neck pain could be a life-long condition for an injured person, a traumatic brain injury, an amputated limb, and paralysis are all injuries that cause greater harm and have life-altering consequences. Injuries sustained in Florida Car Accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as concussions and other open or closed head injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Internal bleeding;
- Injuries to organs;
- Spinal cord injuries that may lead to paralysis;
- Neck and back injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Burns; and
It is important to remember that injuries sustained in car accidents can lead to additional medical conditions. For example, a traumatic brain injury may cause a person to suffer from chronic headaches, memory loss, mood swings, depression, and an altered state of mind, among other conditions that did not exist prior to the car accident. Additionally, severely broken or fractured bones may lead to new onset arthritis, a condition the injured individual may not have had but for the car accident. Because injuries associated with a car accident can be severe and debilitating, it is important to speak with an attorney about the accident and subsequent injuries.
The Rise in Fatal Florida Car Accidents – What You Should Know
Despite the increase in vehicle safety features, car accidents continue to happen at a rapid rate in Florida as well as throughout the other states within the United States. Alarmingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released data indicated that traffic-related fatalities increased by 10 percent during the first half of 2016 as compared to the first half of 2015. Additionally, in August of 2016, the National Safety Council (NSC) issued a report indicating Florida had the greatest “upward trend” of vehicular fatalities out of any other state. In fact, there was a 43 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities from 2014 to 2016.
The NSC also released the following statistics that all Florida motorists should be aware of:
- Between January and June of 2014, a total of 1,114 individuals died from injuries associated with Florida traffic accidents;
- Between January and June of 2015, a total of 1,441 individuals died from injuries associated with Florida traffic accidents, an increase of 327 deaths;
- Between January and June of 216, a total of 1,590 individuals died from injuries associated with Florida traffic accidents, an increase of 149 deaths, closely matching the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ report of 1,555 traffic deaths.
- In 2015,
Why So Many Fatal Accidents in Florida?
In 2016, the figure rose even higher to 1,590 deaths. This is close to the 1,555 preliminary traffic deaths counted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the first half of 2016.
In 2015, Florida saw a total of 374,443 car crashes, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Comparatively, there were only 344,469 car accidents in the state in 2014. Currently, data shows that 2016 had 273,363 car accidents in Florida.
Increased traffic has contributed to the rise in Florida car accidents, according to NSC. NSC statistics group manager Ken Kolosh says that the rise in traffic accidents during an 18-month period coincides with a growth in Florida’s economy, a decrease in unemployment rates and low gas prices.
More than one in six auto accidents in Florida occur in the Miami region, according to Miami-Dade County crash data over a six-year period. Roughly 4,000 car accidents a month, or 50,000 crashes a year, take place in Miami.
In Florida, deadly car accidents were most likely to occur in drivers between the ages of 20 and 24. Second were drivers between the ages of 25 to 29. Distracted driving, especially due to mobile devices, may increase the risk of a car accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident? – Understanding What Steps to Take
Being involved in a car accident can be stressful and nerve-wracking. If you were involved in a car accident in Florida, our personal injury attorneys have several recommendations. First, seek medical treatment for any injuries as seeing a doctor right away can help improve your recovery and ability to prove damages. Even if you do not feel like you sustained serious injuries, you should consider medical attention because not all injuries are immediately apparent. TBIs and soft tissue injuries, for example, may not manifest until a later time.
Additionally, medical records documenting your injury will help strengthen your claim. The insurance company seeks to find reasons to blame you for the accident so they will not have to compensate you for your overall damages. Medical records are a form of documentation that is vital to proving your case.
For any injury, it is best to document everything about the accident. This includes taking photos of your injury, as well as damage to the vehicles or property. Also take pictures of the scene to preserve what position the cars were in, along with other details that can be reviewed later. Make sure you get the other driver’s contact information, including their license plate number. If possible, obtain information from any eyewitnesses who can provide a firsthand account of the accident.
If the accident was minor and nobody was hurt, you may be wondering whether it is necessary to call the police. It is not always required, but we advise that you call the authorities if you are unsure. If anyone is injured or if there is significant damage to the vehicles or property, call the police. You could face serious legal consequences for failing to call the authorities when necessary. It is important to remain calm and level-headed. You can check to make sure all occupants of the vehicles are not injured, but avoid saying “sorry”, as this can be used against you later in your case.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for more information about filing a Florida car accident lawsuit. You only have a certain amount of time to file a claim, so we encourage you to call us today.
What You Should Know About Florida’s Statutes of Limitation
Every state has time limitations on how long a person or party has to file a lawsuit. In Florida, there are different timeframes for different types of lawsuits, as set forth below.
- For personal injury lawsuits, injured individuals have four years from the date of the negligent act that caused injury (or the date the injured person discovered his or her injury was related to negligence) to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
- For medical malpractice lawsuits, injured individuals have two years from the date of the negligent act that caused injury (or the date the injured person discovered his or her injury was related to negligence) to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. However, no lawsuit can be filed more than four years after the date of the alleged negligent act.
- For wrongful death lawsuits, the representative of a deceased individual’s estate has two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
- For product liability lawsuits, injured individuals have four years from the date they learned their injury was caused by a defective product, such as a drug or medical device.
For most lawsuits relating to injuries in Florida, the “discovery rule” applies so that the statute of limitation does not begin to run until the injured person realized or “discovered” that his or her injuries were caused by a negligent act. However, this rule does not apply to wrongful death cases that strictly adhere to the two-year deadline. Given that missing a statute of limitation can bar a person from filing a legal claim, acting quickly is essential to ensure an injured person is able to seek compensation for injuries suffered because of another’s negligent conduct.
The Case Process When Facing Personal Injuries Resulting from an Accident or Defective Product
Personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and product liability cases all have the potential to take a very long time to resolve. Some cases can settle quickly before going to trial, but other cases could take one year or longer to even get a trial date. As such, patience is key when pursuing legal action to receive compensation for injuries. The first step in any potential case is for an injured person to have a free consultation with a Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorney. If an attorney believes a person has a good case, that case is either filed in court or perhaps negotiated before going to court after extensive review of medical records and other documentation proving a party acted negligently and that such negligence caused injuries
It is the ultimate goal to help a client receive compensation for injuries he or she sustained because of another’s negligence. While some cases are dismissed, a truly skilled attorney will work to either settle a case or win a verdict at trial. There are never guarantees in any lawsuit, but the more experienced the attorney, the better off a client will be.
How a Florida Personal Injury Accident Attorney Can Help Me
Many injured people hold off on contacting an attorney as they are not sure if they really have a claim. These same individuals may ponder the situation for a long period of time until it may be too late. As such, even if an injured person is unsure whether he or she has a valid potential lawsuit, it is a good idea to allow an attorney to review the matter and determine early on if a lawsuit is warranted. An attorney not only evaluates the potential claim but also answers important questions that injured victims and their loved ones have. An attorney can also help injured individuals understand why they do or do not have a valid claim, and what the next steps should be.
Florida Car Accident Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What role will my insurance company play if I am injured in a car accident?
Car insurance companies will inevitably play a role in any car accident as it is the insurance company that must defend a driver who may be at fault for causing an accident. However, working directly with an insurance company without the assistance of an attorney can leave injured victims without the compensation they need and deserve. Unfortunately, many car accident victims who do not seek the guidance of an attorney are taken advantage of by insurance companies. As such, working alongside a Florida Car Accident Attorney is a good idea to protect an injured person’s rights.
How long does a car accident lawsuit in Florida take?
First, it is important to remember that compensation is not guaranteed. However, if the facts are clear that a person’s injuries are linked to negligent conduct, that person is more likely to receive compensation. The amount of compensation is based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the severity of the injuries, whether those injuries are permanent, the amount of medical expenses incurred, lost wages, whether the injured person is able to work again, the age of the injured person, and the cost of future medical care. The more severe the injuries, the greater the compensation is likely to be.
Should I contact my insurance company after being involved in an auto accident?
The insurance process can be complicated, and many injured individuals are not fully aware of what benefits or compensation they are entitled to. As such, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about injuries sustained in a car accident, as an attorney can protect an injured person’s rights to ensure the injured person is not being taken advantage of.
How do I know who is at fault for causing my injuries?
An attorney will thoroughly evaluate a potential claim to determine how a person sustained his or her injuries and whether anything could have been done to prevent those injuries. Depending on the nature of the accident and injuries, it is possible that more than one person or party could be at fault for contributing to someone’s injuries (i.e., multi-vehicle car accident). If more than one party is at fault, a lawsuit against multiple parties is certainly a possibility.
Parker Waichman LLP – Obtaining More than $2 Billion in Compensation for Injured Clients
At Parker Waichman LLP, we are a nationally-recognized firm with extensive experience handling personal injury cases for clients all over the United States. Our law firm is one of only a few personal injury law firm that has been able to recover more than $2 billion collectively for its clients, whether through arbitration, medication, negotiated settlements and verdicts at trial. Parker Waichman LLP is honored to have received multiple awards and recognition for its outstanding service to all clients.
Such honors include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- AVVO Rating of 9.8/10;
- AV Peer-Reviewed “Preeminent Lawyers” rating;
- Listed in Peer-Reviewed “Best Lawyers”; and
- Ranking of “5 Dragons” according to Lawdragon’s peer review.
Awards and recognition certainly are not the only ways to determine a firm’s qualifications and reputation. It is by speaking with the legal team of Parker Waichman LLP that clients learn who we are and how we will use our advocacy skills to represent our clients’ rights and interests. At Parker Waichman LLP, we know that accidents and injuries can be a burden, not only in terms of the physical and emotional consequences, but also the financial consequences. As such, speaking with a Florida Personal Injury Attorney about injuries sustained in an accident.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Florida Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers of Parker Waichman LLP use their advocacy skills to provide the best legal representation possible to injured victims from throughout Florida, some of which have died because of their injuries. Our law firm has seen just how devastating accidents can be, and how both the victims and their family members suffer the consequences. Allow our attorneys to help you have a better understanding of your situation and any potential legal options.
There is no question that suffering from the pain, mental anguish and financial stress associated with car accident injuries can take a toll on both an injured person and his or her loved ones. As such, if you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from a car accident, act quickly today by contacting Parker Waichman LLP.
To schedule your free consultation to speak with one of our Florida Accident Lawyers, call Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529).
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