The Florida Car Accident Guide was created by McKenzie Law Firm to help residents obtain the financial compensation they deserve after suffering from another’s negligence.
Car accidents are horrible events to experience. It is always devastating to be injured in an accident, especially when it is not your fault. To begin, we want to express how sorry we are that you have to go through this. If you have suffered serious injuries, you deserve to seek compensation from the liable party. We can help you get the fullest and fairest amount of compensation. After you read about cases like yours below, please do not hesitate to call our Florida car accident lawyer for a free consultation.
The First Steps of a Successful Car Accident Case
There are three very important steps when it comes to having a successful case. The first thing you need to do when you are trying to make this case as strong as it can be is to seek medical attention right away. You do not want to delay seeing a doctor, going to the emergency room, or visiting an urgent care facility. The second thing that needs to happen if you want to have a strong case is collecting ample evidence from the scene. You can take photos, videos, get contact information from witnesses, and insurance information from the other driver or drivers involved. Lastly, you need to hire an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you stay on track with e a strong and successful case.
Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are notoriously devastating. We have all seen the wreck photos on TV, in advertisements, or during assemblies at school to discourage drunk driving. They are scary photos, but actually living through a car accident can be traumatic. The injuries we see from people involved in car accidents commonly include head, neck, or back injuries, concussion, spinal cord injury, broken or fractured bones, bruising, and in severe cases paralysis. Again, the most important thing you can do for your car accident case is seek immediate medical attention.
Avoid Talking to the Insurance Company for the Liable Party
There is one thing that will always prove to be a bad decision and that is talking to the insurance company that represents the liable party. Very shortly after the accident, you will most likely hear from the insurance company; chances are, they will be asking for a recorded statement. They tell you that they need it to get your case moving along and settled sooner, but it will not help you get the most out of your case. The issue is that if you say something wrong during this recorded statement, they will use it against you to reduce the amount of compensation that they owe you. As such, it is very important that you tread lightly with this. You are in no way obligated to talk to them, and we highly suggest that you hand over all communication to your lawyer so that they can protect you from impacting the success of your case.
Florida Car Accident Statute of Limitations
You do not want to delay in hiring a lawyer. Why? Because you are under a deadline starting from the date of the car accident called your statute of limitations. If you try to file a claim after this deadline has passed, you will in fact be barred from receiving compensation in any form. Florida does allow for four years for your statute of limitations, but if you choose to wait because you think this is a long time, you are running the risk of your witnesses forgetting key details, and your evidence going missing. We highly suggest that you call a lawyer straight away.
How Florida Car Accident Compensation Works
Florida is one of the most lenient states when it comes to compensation. You can collect compensation even if you are found to be mostly at fault for the car accident. The state of Florida allows you to collect a portion of your compensation award up to 99 percent at fault for the accident. That means you would be collecting the remaining 1 percent of the award. If you are 100 percent at fault, you will not be permitted to receive compensation, but anything below that will be eligible for an award, reduced by however much you are at fault.
Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions
What Mistakes Should I Avoid Making?
There are two most common mistakes people make. The first most common mistake that I see is that the client or potential client does not hire an attorney quick enough or speak to an attorney quick enough. As a result, they end up speaking with the insurance company or the defendant and they make certain missteps that harm their case down the road.
That’s why it’s imperative that if you’ve been involved in a car accident, you reach an attorney as quick as possible. You may have been injured for the very first time in your life. You may be going through certain traumas because of the injuries that you’ve received that means that you’re just not all there and ready to handle all the complex information that’s being thrown at you.
Meanwhile, on the other side, you have someone who hasn’t been in the accident that’s an insurance adjustor trying to work towards the interest of the insurance company. They’re not looking for your interest. In your time of need, what you need is an attorney. You should do that quickly so that you don’t have to make the mistake of speaking with an insurance company or a defendant who’s not looking out for your best interest.
The second most common mistake we see in car accident cases is that the clients, even though they’ve been injured and a doctor has prescribed a certain course of treatment or procedure for them, either delay or avoid the treatment. Your long-term health depends on you receiving the treatment that the doctor has told you that you need to get.
You’ve got to go get that treatment. You’re harming your future down the road if you don’t get that treatment. You need to take care of yourself first. What taking care of yourself first means is taking care of your medical needs, and listening to your doctors, and getting that treatment that you need regardless of the other circumstances going on in your life.
You’re also harming your case when you’re not getting the treatment that you need and that you’re required to get because the less treatment you get, the less value your case has. In the end, you harm the ability for your attorney and yourself to maximize the recovery they can make for you. As a result, unfortunately, those are the two most common mistakes that we see.
What If the Person Who Hit Me Was Uninsured?
Florida does not require at-fault drivers to carry bodily injury coverage. Sometimes there are circumstances in which there is no coverage from the other driver who has hit you.
There are a host of things that can be done if you have an experienced lawyer to determine other coverages that may exist. For instance, in the state of Florida, your insurance company is required to make you sign a rejection of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If that is not done properly, you are then entitled to a predetermined amount of uninsured motorist coverage depending on other coverages that you have. There may be coverage even in the event that the other driver has not been insured for bodily injury coverage even if you have not selected uninsured motorist coverage. Even if you haven’t, there are certain legal mechanisms in which you can have established by law uninsured motorist coverage.
There are also other aspects that have to be looked in every single circumstance: who was the owner of the vehicle? Who was the driver of the vehicle that harmed you? If the owner of the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle are different, there is potential that even though one of them may not have coverage, another may have coverage. They may be responsible for your injuries.
There are a host of various ways in which coverage can be determined. Even if it’s determined there’s no coverage, we will still look to who the person that drove that vehicle was. Who is the person that owned that vehicle? Do they have assets that are recoverable?
Are there ways to get money from them even though they didn’t have insurance? You need to hire an experienced car accident attorney in order to make a determination as to what coverage exists or does not exist.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
We can take your case up to go to trial if necessary. We handle every case at this office as if we’re ready to go to trial because every client’s case deserves to be prepared to go to trial. That is how you achieve maximum recovery for a client. You work the case in a way that is ready to go be presented to a judge or a jury, whoever it may be so that your client can achieve the maximum result possible given the circumstances of their case. We can’t tell you if a case is going to go to trial or not, but what we can tell you is we are always ready to go to trial for you if need be.
How Much is My Case Worth?
We need to know not only just about your injuries, but we need to know about your life, how you live your life, what your job is, and what you do for a living. Are you missing work as a result of this? Can you work ever again?
Do you have little kids at home that you need to take care of? What are the things that you do in your average daily life? Do you play with a bridge club? Do you play soccer? Do you play football?
What is it that you do in your life that has value to you because all of those things go towards what the value of your case is? Until we have gone through the process of developing that information, and until your doctors have taken you to a certain point with your treatment where they’ve determined you can’t get any better from that point are we going to be able to make a determination as to what the value of your case is. That takes time.
Now, when the right time does come, we will discuss with you how we’ve determined what the value of your case is based on your unique traits, your unique injuries, and the unique parts of your life both mental and emotional that have been affected by the accident. Then we can make a determination as to what the value of your case is.
Who Pays My Medical Bills?
The person who has harmed you is legally responsible for paying for your medical bills. They are going to be responsible for all of the medical bills associated with your accident.
That’s why it’s imperative that you hire a lawyer who knows how to get all those damages evaluated for you so that they can hold that person responsible. You only get one chance to hold that person responsible for those damages. It is important that you speak with a lawyer because there may be other avenues and other insurance coverage that may exist under the circumstances of your case that may provide compensation for you. You should contact a lawyer you’ve been injured and you’ve suffered serious medical damages as a result of it.
Who Is Responsible for Property Damage?
The person who has hurt you is responsible for paying for your vehicle. The long answer to the question can be much more complicated and depends on the circumstances of your case, and coverages you or the other person may or may not have.
In the state of Florida, it becomes a complicated question. It is not something that my firm handles for any sum of money from our clients, but for our clients who have been injured, it’s a service that we provide for our injured clients is resolving their property damage claims for them and on their behalf. However, it is not something that we handle solely on its own. We only handle injury cases that involve property damage as well.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement?
Those insurance companies are not looking out for your interest; they’re looking out for the insurance company’s interest no matter what they may tell you. They’re doing everything in their power to ensure that they pay as little as possible to you for the harm that has occurred to you. The only person who has the experience necessary to look out for your interest and to maximize the potential recovery for you is a lawyer who can act on your behalf.
That is why, before you give any kind of recorded statement or speak to any insurance company other than simply to report a claim, it is imperative that you have an attorney on your side.
How Long Will My Case Take?
If there’s any attorney out there telling you when your case will resolve, you need to turn around and go the other way.
The reason being is that you’re an individual and the accident that you have been involved in is an individual accident. They are unique aspects to you and to every single case that comes in our door which determines how each case is handled. Those individual things can cause a case to go on for shorter or longer periods of time. It also depends on a host of individuals that are involved in the process be it a defendant, the insurance company, a judge, or a jury which can determine when or when not a case resolves.
That’s why it is simply impossible for an attorney to tell you with any reasonable certainty when your case will or will not resolve. We can tell you, based on general experiences, certain ranges of time in which cases will resolve, but again, those are only just guesses at best when your case comes in the door. Therefore, we tell you that we can’t make a promise as to when your case is going to get resolved.
What we can tell you is that we will handle your case as quickly and as efficiently as possible given the particular needs and circumstances of your case in order to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery that you can get given your particular circumstances.
How Does Lost Wage Reimbursement Work?
The other day, I was speaking with a potential client who was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. They were wondering who was going to pay for their lost time at work. The short answer to that question is the person who’s injured you and their insurance company are liable to you for any lost wages that you may have now and in the future as a result of those injuries.
The long answer to the question is again like most areas of law, it’s more complicated than that. There are other coverages and insurance coverages that may exist that may provide compensation for you as a result of lost wages. Only when speaking with an attorney and an attorney examining all the particular circumstances of your case can make that determination.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been seriously hurt in a car crash and you want strong, dedicated, and supportive representation, please call our Florida car accident lawyer today to set up a free initial case review. We will get to work for you right away. You deserve to have your case treated like the priority that it is. Allow us to help you to get the best possible compensation award for your injuries and damages.