Car accidents can strike anywhere, even in quaint, beautiful communities like Aventura. Maybe you were struck when driving to the Aventura Mall or rear-ended when pulling into Five Guys. Perhaps you were t-boned on Biscayne Boulevard or side-swiped on I-95. Regardless of how your collision happened, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Sibley Dolman, we advocate for accident victims like you, so give us a call and schedule a free appointment to discuss your case.
Not sure if your situation requires the attention of an accident attorney? Check out, “Attorneys Answer: When do you need to hire a car accident lawyer?” for opinions from lawyers from around the nation.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Car collisions range from minor fender benders to catastrophic accidents that require the Jaws of Life to remove trapped and injured passengers. At Sibley Dolman, we have seen all kinds of injuries, including the following:
- Soft-tissue injuries like sprains and strains
- Nerve damage, including pinched nerves
- First-, second-, and third-degree burns
- Spinal cord injuries, including herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, and collapsed vertebrae
- Broken bones, including fractured or shattered bones
- Joint injuries in the hips or shoulders
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Neck injuries like whiplash
- Cuts, scrapes, abrasions, and lacerations
You must treat every injury seriously and seek immediate medical treatment. If you hope to receive benefits from your insurance policy, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. To protect your rights, avoid delay.
Automobile Accidents and Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
As a no-fault state, Florida requires that people who own and register a car to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits, called “PIP.” If you are involved in an accident, you contact your own insurer without regard for who caused the crash. For example, someone might have rear-ended you as you pulled out of the mall, but you still contact your own insurer.
PIP benefits are very skimpy. They cover up to 80% of all reasonable medical care and only up to 60% of lost wages, up to your policy limit. Unless you have an emergency medical condition, you can tap only $2,500 of benefit. With the ever-increasing cost of medical care, $2,500—or even $10,000—is not very much money. In fact, even minor crashes could cost well over $10,000.
Only after you have exhausted your PIP benefits can you seek compensation from another driver if they were responsible for the collision. With luck, this driver carries bodily injury insurance, which can cover the rest of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, drivers are not required to carry bodily injury insurance, so few have it. If not, you should check whether you have underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) coverage with your own insurer, which will pay out benefits if the at-fault driver lacks bodily injury insurance.
Drivers without UM coverage should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss possible options.
Reported Car Accidents Involving Injuries in Aventura
Negotiating with Insurers
Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums but being very stingy when it comes to paying out claims to injured motorists. Increasingly, insurance companies attempt to deny claims or throw a blizzard of paperwork in front of injured victims who are often too confused to know how to respond.
At Sibley Dolman, we can relieve the stress of dealing with insurance companies—whether your own company or another driver’s. We will listen to your side of the story and negotiate with an insurance company for a fair settlement for your injuries.
Protecting Your Rights after a Collision
The minutes and days after an accident are critical, and we have seen many clients undermine their ability to receive compensation by making common mistakes. After your accident, remember the following:
- Don’t admit responsibility for the crash. Chances are, you don’t know what really caused the accident so there is no need to claim otherwise. Even a simple, “I’m sorry” can be used against you.
- Find witnesses, if possible. A disinterested third party makes a compelling witness about who caused the crash. Get their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If possible, ask what they saw.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, if you are physically able. Most smartphones have a camera, so use it to take pictures of where the vehicles ended up, any skid marks, etc. You might need to move your car out of the way after a crash but try to get at least one picture of where the car ended up.
- Report the accident as soon as possible to your insurer. Read your policy to see how much time you have. It is better not to delay.
- Never sign anything sent to you by an insurance agent without first running it by a lawyer.
- Never accept a settlement from an insurer without first talking to a lawyer. You do not know how much your injuries are worth, and insurance companies are not in the habit of being generous. Often, you can get more compensation if you hold out.
What if You are Partially to Blame?
Often, accidents have more than one cause, and sometimes you contribute to your own accident by driving carelessly. For example, you might have been speeding when someone struck you, or you might have been distracted by reading a text message in the moments leading up to a collision.
Fortunately, Florida law does not prevent negligent victims from suing for their injuries. So long as someone else is at least 1% responsible for the crash, you can bring a lawsuit. Your own contributory negligence does not act as a bar.
However, the amount of compensation you can take home will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, your injuries might be worth $100,000, but you are 50% responsible for the accident. In this case, you can only receive $50,000. If you were 75% responsible, then you can only receive $25,000.
Contact an Aventura Car Collision Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car wreck, pick up the phone and call a lawyer at Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. Our Aventura car accident lawyers understand the ins and outs of car accident lawsuits and insurance claims.
We are excited to hear from you, so please call 954-302-7068 or send an online message. Initial consultations and case evaluations are free.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
20807 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 100,
Aventura, FL 33180
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“So happy I chose Sibley Dolman!!! My experience with the law firm right from the start was fast, friendly and understanding. I started treatment for my injury right away, and while I was focusing on getting better the firm was fighting for me. Incredibly happy with the outcome, thank you to Brent and the team for all the hard work and updates.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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