Get Help From Top Florida Car Accident Attorneys
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 and receiving necessary medical treatment, many injury victims consider whether someone else may have been at fault for causing the accident. Regardless of who is at fault in an accident, it’s a good idea to allow a car accident attorney in Florida to review the situation to determine whether or not to pursue legal action.
We Are Here to Help You Put the Pieces of Your Life Back Together
Injury victims may feel reluctant to speak with a Florida car accident attorney because it can seem intimidating, but the truth is that there’s no harm in talking to a lawyer to get answers to your legal questions. When you get a free consultation from an attorney at Parker Waichman LLP, you’ll be under no obligation. We’ll simply provide information about auto accident lawsuits in Florida and evaluate your case to see if you should consider pursuing a legal claim. If we think you have a strong case, we’ll tell you the steps we think you should take next, but ultimately, the choice of whether or not to file a lawsuit is yours.
Because speaking with an experienced Florida car accident attorney at our firm is free, you have nothing to lose by consulting us about your case. And since we take on auto accident lawsuits in Florida on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll pay nothing out of pocket once you sign on with us, either. We’ll only get paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award. We assume all of the financial risk because our Florida car accident attorneys believe that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to justice.
What should I do immediately after a car accident in Florida?
If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida one of the first calls after the police and an ambulance, if needed, must be to a lawyer. A lawyer needs to be engaged immediately because a lawyer should get out there immediately and take a survey of the scene of the accident to see if there is any other possible causes of the accident other than the negligence of the other driver.
Sometimes there’s situations in the roadway like a pothole that was created by a public utility or maybe the traffic signals are out. There are possible witnesses that can shed light on the scene of the accident. A lawyer needs to talk to the witnesses immediately.
A lawyer needs to see if there is a video of the accident from a store security camera or from a municipality that has it on the traffic device. If a lawyer isn’t on the scene immediately these crucial videotapes could get recycled and witnesses memories can change as the days go by.
I know for a fact that the insurance company for the other car is going to send their investigator out to do exactly this. They’re going to talk to any witnesses they’re going to talk to the police officer and i’ll tell you from 40 years of experience the person who talks first to the witness is going to get the best witness for their client, not that the witness is lying but a skilled interviewer can always make the the other person skew the story in the best way for their client. Same with the police officer.
The person who gets to that police officer is going to get the best statement for their client and you want to be the first one to get to that police officer. You want to be the first one to get to that witness and the only way you’re going to do that is by call a good lawyer here at Parker Waichman.
What are some common vehicle accidents that lead to lawsuits in Florida?
Some common causes of vehicle accidents in Florida run the gamut like they do in every other location. Drivers aren’t paying attention so they hit you in the rear or drivers aren’t paying attention so they hit you when they make a left turn. People aren’t paying attention and they side swipe you. There are a lot of tractor trailer accidents on the highways of Florida. When you’re involved in a tractor trailer accident, you’re likely to be very hurt because those vehicles have a lot of power and they are very heavy. Some people driving tractor trailers and big trucks are working really hard and long hours. Sometimes they fall asleep for two seconds and boom there is an accident.
Vehicle malfunctions are also another reason for car accidents in Florida. Its possible the other drivers brakes didn’t work or the steering didn’t work properly or the transmission broke. Sometimes there is a dead car left on the side of the road that becomes an obstacle. There’s a whole host of reasons why accidents happen in Florida and you need a lawyer that’s going to get out there immediately to make a determination of whether there’s any other third parties responsible for your accident. That way we can gather information on all defendants accountable and you can get the maximum insurance coverage for your case.
What is the statute of limitations in Florida?
The statute of limitations in Florida for auto accidents is generally four years if they’re against private individuals. Make sure you ask your attorney what the specific statute is for your individual case.
Florida Car Accidents and Their Causes
Heavy traffic throughout Florida contributes to the high number of car accidents that happen every day. 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 their aftermath even more tragic. The silver lining is that there are steps drivers can take to increase safety on our highways and streets.
There are countless reasons why car accidents happen in Florida. Because of the state’s large population, Florida will naturally see a wider variety of car accidents than those states with smaller populations. Frequent causes of Florida car accidents include:
- Speeding, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to yield to another vehicle or pedestrian, following too closely, failing to use a turn signal or another type of traffic 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, taking pictures/videos, and other distractions
- Weather conditions (rain, high winds, fog, etc.)
- Vehicular equipment failure, such as failed brakes or blown tires
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. Innocent individuals have suffered permanent and fatal injuries because a driver could not wait a few minutes to read a text or take a phone call.
Injuries Associated With Florida Car Accidents
All auto accidents in Florida have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries, but the type of accident can affect the severity of the resulting injuries. For example, a head-on collision is more likely to lead to severe and permanent injuries, while a fender-bender may cause mild to moderate neck pain. While neck pain could be a lifelong condition for an injured person, a traumatic brain injury, amputated limb or paralysis can have much greater, life-altering consequences. Injuries sustained in Florida car accidents include:
- 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
It’s 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. And broken or fractured bones may lead to the onset of arthritis, a condition the injured individual may not have had before the car accident. Because injuries associated with a car accident can be debilitating, it is important to speak with a Florida car accident lawyer about your potential right to compensation.
The Rise in Fatal Florida Car Accidents: Statistics 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 United States. Alarmingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that traffic-related fatalities increased by 10 percent during the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. And in August 2016, the National Safety Council (NSC) issued a report indicating that Florida had the greatest upward trend in vehicular fatalities of any state. In fact, the state saw a 43 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities from 2014 to 2016.
The NSC also released the following statistics:
- 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 2016, 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, Florida saw a total of 374,443 car crashes, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. There were only 344,469 car accidents in the state in 2014. But why are these figures climbing?
The NSC blames increased traffic for the rise in Florida car accidents. According to NSC statistics group manager Ken Kolosh, the rise in traffic accidents during an 18-month period coincided 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 are most likely to involve drivers between the ages of 20 and 24, followed by drivers between the ages of 25 and 29.
What Should You Do After a Florida Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident can be stressful and nerve-wracking. If you have been 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 as well as your ability to prove damages later on. 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 become obvious until later. Medical records documenting your injury will also help strengthen your legal claim.
You’ll also want to document everything you can about the accident. This includes taking photos of your injuries as well as damage to the vehicles or property involved. 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 wonder whether it’s necessary to call the police. It’s not always required, but we advise that you should 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’s 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.
Once the police have left and you’ve sought medical attention, contact a Florida car accident attorney as soon as you can. You only have a certain amount of time to file a Florida car accident lawsuit under state law, so the sooner you act, the better.
What You Should Know About Florida’s Statutes of Limitations
Florida has different deadlines for filing different types of lawsuits:
- 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 that their 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 that their 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 that their injury was caused by a defective product, such as a drug or medical device.
For most lawsuits relating to injuries in Florida, including Lee county car injury lawsuits, the discovery rule applies, meaning that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured person realizes that their injuries were caused by a negligent act. However, this rule does not apply to wrongful death cases, which strictly adhere to a two-year deadline. Missing the deadline to file your legal claim can bar you from seeking compensation forever, so it’s crucial to act quickly to protect your rights.
What to Expect From the Process of Pursuing a Car Accident Lawsuit
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 a year or longer to even get a trial date. As such, patience is key when pursuing legal action to receive compensation for your injuries.
The first step in any potential case is for an injured person to get a free consultation from a skilled Florida accident attorney. If your lawyer believes that you have a good case, they will pursue legal action. Your auto accident attorney in Florida will do a full investigation of the facts and evidence of your case, and they may also help to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If the case is not settled before trial, your lawyer will advocate for you in court. When you work with an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer at our firm, we’ll fight hard to get you every penny of compensation you deserve.
Florida Car Accident Law Frequently Asked Questions
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 their insurance company 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 auto accident attorney in Florida can leave injury victims without the compensation they need and deserve. Many car accident victims who do not seek the guidance of an attorney are taken advantage of by insurance companies, but having a talented Florida car accident attorney on your side can ensure that you’re treated fairly.
How Much Is a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida Worth?
The results of any lawsuit are not guaranteed. But if it’s clear that a person’s injuries are linked to negligent conduct, that person is more likely to receive compensation. The amount will be based on a variety of factors, including 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.
Should I Contact My Insurance Company After Being Involved in an Auto Accident?
Yes. You will need to notify your own insurer to start the process of getting your car repaired and take advantage of any other services you may need that are included in your coverage. However, do not talk to the other party’s insurance company. They will not be acting in your best interests. Their goal is to pay as little as possible, not to help you. When you have an experienced auto accident lawyer in Florida, they can deal with the other party for you to ensure that your rights are protected.
How Do I Know Who Is at Fault for Causing My Injuries?
A Florida personal injury accident attorney will be able to thoroughly evaluate your potential claim to determine how your injuries happened and whether anything could have been done to prevent those injuries. Depending on the nature of the accident and injuries, it’s possible that more than one person or party could be at fault. If more than one party is at fault, a lawsuit against multiple parties is a possibility.
Work With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Florida
Parker Waichman is a nationally recognized law firm with a wealth of experience handling personal injury lawsuits all over the country. Over the years, our firm has been able to recover more than $2 billion and counting for our clients, and we’ve earned a variety of honors in our field, including inclusion in Best Lawyers and Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer-review rating, “AV Preeminent.” But while awards are nice, what’s far more important to us is the satisfaction of our clients. When you work with a Florida auto accident attorney at Parker Waichman, you’ll be working with a compassionate, knowledgeable advocate who will fight tirelessly for your legal rights.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, getting the compensation you deserve by pursuing auto accident lawsuits in Florida can make your recovery easier, helping you to get your life back on track. Let our experienced Florida accident lawyers help you: Just call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
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