Every few seconds, an automobile or motorcycle accident occurs. Unfortunately, in many of these accidents, people suffer severe bodily injuries and property damage. This leads to costly medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and rental car expenses.
If you are harmed due to another person’s negligence, you have a right to file an accident claim seeking compensation from the at-fault party. Our Florida car accident lawyer could review your case, prove negligence, and negotiate a fair settlement, while you relax and get the medical care you need.
Learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Florida Car Accident Statistics
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) crash report, more than 390,000 vehicle crashes occurred in 2022 alone. Further, these collisions resulted in almost 249,000 injuries and more than 3,400 fatalities.
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Drivers Have a Legal Duty to Drive Safely
Drivers have a legal duty to remain vigilant while behind the wheel and should take precautions such as checking their blind spot before changing lanes. They must also avoid distractions such as texting or looking at their phone while driving.
This is commonly referred to as the “duty of care” and is a legal concept that applies to all drivers. If a driver breaches this duty of care and causes an accident, they may be found liable for the resulting damages, including property damage, personal injury, and even wrongful death.
It is important for drivers to always be mindful of their actions while behind the wheel and to always prioritize safety for themselves and others on the road. When motorists fail to uphold their reasonable duty of care, they should be held accountable for the accidents they cause.
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Why You May Need a Car Accident Lawyer
After a life-changing car accident, it is important to understand why you may need a lawyer. For example, insurance adjusters may seem friendly, but they are not your friends. They could twist something you say to blame you for the crash. Or, they could pressure you to settle for less than your case is worth.
A Car Crash Attorney Can Protect Your Rights
A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. They do this by reviewing your case, identifying the negligent party, and negotiating a fair settlement.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Understand the Law
Additionally, they can help you understand Florida motor vehicle collision laws surrounding your case and how they may affect your claim. Finally, a car accident lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed with a claim against the at-fault party.
With an experienced accident attorney, you can rest assured that all your legal needs will be addressed. In addition, hiring a lawyer from our law firm will allow you to focus on your health while we handle everything else.
What Sets Our Personal Injury Law Firm Apart
We understand that dealing with the aftermath of an automobile accident can be overwhelming, which is why we provide our clients with personalized attention and support throughout the process.
Our firm has locations throughout Florida, including Orlando, Melbourne, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Stuart, and Miami. This allows us to provide our clients convenient access to our services, regardless of location.
We have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accidents, and our case results back that up. In addition, our lawyers accept cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing upfront. Instead, attorney fees come from your settlement. Also, your initial consultation is completely free.
We Are Committed to You
We are committed to helping Florida accident victims, and we aim for settlements that cover more than just medical expenses. Let us put our experience and skills to work in your case.
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We Handle All Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents can take many forms, from minor fender benders to catastrophic collisions. The severity of injuries and damages can vary greatly depending on the type of accident. The following are some of the most common car accident types:
- Rear-End Collisions: Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle strikes another from behind. Distracted drivers often cause these accidents.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. These disastrous accidents are often caused by impaired or reckless driving.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Side-impacts occur when one vehicle strikes another from the side. Red light runners sometimes cause these crashes.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle flips over due to a sudden change in direction or speed. These dangerous wrecks usually involve driver negligence or recklessness.
No matter what kind of collision you were involved in, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. A Florida auto accident attorney can review your case and help you hold the negligent driver responsible.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car wreck can be traumatic, but taking certain precautions in the aftermath can help ensure you receive adequate compensation.
- Speak with the police
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident
- Preserve evidence
- Get the contact information of any witnesses present
- Avoid admitting fault or discussing accident details with the insurance adjuster
- Contact a lawyer if you believe someone else caused the collision
Taking these steps will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have a shot at fair compensation for your damages. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible so they can assist you at every step and prevent you from making mistakes that could jeopardize your settlement or accident lawsuit.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle collisions can be traumatic, and the resulting injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. For example, common car accident injuries may include:
- Whiplash: This painful injury happens often in motor vehicle accidents. It can occur when your head is jerked suddenly, forward or backward, resulting in neck and shoulder pain.
- Head and neck injuries: Injuries to the head or neck can range from mild to severe, depending on the force of the impact. Symptoms of head trauma may include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and difficulty concentrating.
- Soft tissue injuries: These include sprains, strains, and tears of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and a limited range of motion in the affected area.
- Broken bones: Breaks and fractures are common in car accidents, especially if the crash victim is not wearing a seatbelt. Broken bones can be incredibly painful and require extensive medical treatment.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBIs are some of the most catastrophic car accident injuries. They can result in permanent disability or even death. Symptoms of a TBI may include confusion, memory loss, difficulty speaking, and impaired motor skills.
- Spinal cord damage: This is another devastating injury that can occur in a car wreck. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis or sensation loss in certain body parts.
- Internal organ damage: Life-threatening internal injuries can occur when the impact force causes organs to be damaged or displaced.
If you have been injured in a crash, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. Getting prompt medical treatment is important for your health and your personal injury case.
What an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Could Do for Your Case
After seeking medical attention, one of your first phone calls should be to a personal injury law firm specializing in car accidents.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Even if the collision was minor, having legal representation can be beneficial in several ways:
First and foremost, a lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for the accident. In Florida, liability follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that each party involved in the incident can be partially responsible for the damages.
An experienced lawyer can help you understand the state’s comparative fault system and ensure you are not held responsible for more than your fair share of the damages.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Second, a lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive full compensation. Insurers often try to minimize their payouts, and an experienced lawyer can help you fight for the amount you are owed.
If you have been handling your insurance claim alone and have received a lowball offer from the insurer, don’t accept it without consulting with an attorney. Signing a settlement agreement almost always forfeits your right to recover additional compensation for the accident.
An experienced lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you. They will also be able to advise you on any other legal options available to maximize your settlement amount.
Representing You in Court
If the insurance company fails to agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and represent you in court.
Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Once the other side finds out you hired a lawyer, they might automatically offer a higher amount.
Potential Damages in an Auto Accident Case
When someone is injured due to another party’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation for their losses.
In Florida, the law allows victims of car accidents to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for a range of losses they have suffered due to the crash.
- Medical expenses: Medical care is one of the most common damages victims seek after a car accident. This category can include hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medications, and other medical costs related to the accident.
- Lost wages: If an injured person cannot work after the accident, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This amount should include any income they would have earned had they not been injured in the accident.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that can be awarded in a car accident case. These losses include physical pain, emotional distress, and other mental anguish caused by the wreck.
- Property damage: Damage to your vehicle and its contents is another expected loss in a car accident case. This loss includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other property damaged in the crash.
- Loss of consortium: This legal term refers to the loss of companionship, comfort, and support a spouse experiences when their husband or wife is severely injured in an accident. In Florida, if a person’s marital relationship suffers after an injury accident, they may qualify for this form of compensation.
- Wrongful death damages: Wrongful death damages could include funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and any other damages suffered due to their loved one’s death. In addition, medical expenses incurred before an accident victim’s death could also be included as part of a wrongful death claim.
Whatever your situation, an experienced Florida car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure that you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled under state law.
Identifying Liability in a Car Accident
As previously mentioned, those who operate motor vehicles have a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to uphold this duty is the most common reason a driver will be held liable for the injuries caused in a collision.
In addition to a careless driver, the following parties can be held liable for the injuries caused in a crash:
- Vehicle owner
- An automobile manufacturer or part supplier
- Leasing company
- Rental car company
- Automobile repair shop
- The property owner of the location where the accident occurred or owners of real estate in the immediate vicinity
Multiple negligent parties can contribute to an accident, especially if the collision involves a commercial vehicle.
Common Car Accident Causes
Automobile crashes are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year, millions of people are injured or killed in car wrecks, many of which could have been avoided.
Knowing what causes car accidents can help you stay safe and avoid becoming a statistic. Common accident causes include the following:
- Distracted driving: One of the most frequent causes of car accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving is often caused by texting, looking at a phone, eating, or adjusting the stereo.
- Speeding: Motorists who speed are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and cause a collision.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a major cause of car accidents. These substances can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, making it difficult to control the vehicle.
- Poor road conditions: Finally, dangerous road conditions can also lead to accidents. Poorly maintained roads, potholes, and debris can contribute to serious accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured in a collision, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced Florida car accident lawyer. A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights and options and ensure you receive the medical care and compensation you deserve.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
Florida is a no-fault state. Under Florida’s no-fault insurance rules, each driver’s insurance policy covers their own medical bills and property damage, regardless of fault. The coverage on your policy that pays for this is called personal injury protection (PIP).
Following a collision, it’s important to understand the state’s no-fault law and how PIP coverage works. PIP insurance pays for medical bills and lost wages resulting from an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault.
All Florida drivers must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. In addition, motorists are not allowed to sue the at-fault driver for damages unless they have suffered serious injury or the loss of a loved one due to the accident.
Dealing With Your Insurance Company and the Other Party’s Insurer
A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights and options and ensure that you receive all available financial compensation, whether from the at-fault party’s insurance company or your own. We negotiate with both parties on your behalf.
Please remember that insurance companies have time limits and teams of lawyers who may already be working against you. We understand their tactics and can counter them, but the more time we have, the better.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in the Sunshine State, it is important to speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Time Limit for Florida Personal Injury Claims
Each state has a time limit for filing a personal injury claim. The Florida statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is four years from the accident date, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
If you don’t take legal action within four years, you may be barred from recovering compensation for this accident.
Ideally, you should contact an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer as soon as possible so that they can begin working on your case and ensure you meet all applicable deadlines.
Wrongful Death Time Limit
It can be devastating when a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligent actions. Fortunately, family members of the deceased have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against those responsible for their loss.
However, like in personal injury cases, you must file the claim within a certain timeframe. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
Whether you have been seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident, you need Florida lawyers with experience, on your side. The Schiller Kessler Group provides robust legal representation to our clients with the highest standards of compassion and integrity.
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that car accidents can take on victims and their families and are here to help. We provide personalized attention and timely communication, so our clients are always aware of their case status. We want to assist you in moving forward after a life-altering crash.
Contact us anytime to schedule a free case evaluation.