Florida car accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. One moment you're driving down the highway, and the next thing you know, your car is facing the wrong direction, you are covered in broken glass, and your heart is racing. What happened? What should you do next? How much is this going to cost? Do you need a Florida car accident lawyer?
After an accident in Florida, most crash victims are overwhelmed. If you were injured in a car accident, you might be facing extreme pain, extensive medical treatment, future medical expenses, lost wages, and an uncertain future. When you have questions and concerns about a potential car accident claim, trust the Florida car accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, to help you recover.
Where Do Car Accidents Occur in Florida?
Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country, reporting more car accident claims than most states in the nation. Here, accidents occur at an alarming rate. From local state roads to busy freeways and highways, Florida drivers are more likely to get into a serious or fatal car accident than most other states. When car accident victims are facing an uncertain future, they need a dedicated Florida Car Accident Lawyer who will protect their rights.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 3,000 people die in car-related traffic accidents every year in Florida, and 212,000 suffer injuries. While these accidents occur on virtually every road in every county, some counties are more dangerous than others. For example:
- According to one study, Bay County, Orange County, Monroe County, and Okaloosa County have the most distracted drivers
- Orlando is one of the most dangerous cities, with 30,000 car accidents every year
- Residents in Hollywood, located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, have a 15% risk of being in a car accident. It is the third most dangerous city for drivers in Florida.
- Hialeah is the second most dangerous driving city in Florida, with the likelihood of getting into a car accident topping 26%.
- Fort Lauderdale is the most dangerous city to drive in due to its increase in tourism and partying beachgoers.
Did you know that six of America's 10 most dangerous highways are in Florida? Other dangerous roads and intersections include:
- Alton Road and Dade Boulevard
- Pines Boulevard and South Flamingo Road
- A1A and Las Olas
- Northeast 2nd Avenue and 36th Street
With offices throughout the state, our Florida car accident attorneys personally know the roads, the most dangerous areas, and the car accident victims in our neighborhoods who we want to help. Our car accident lawyers are here for you, 24/7, whenever you need us.
Reported Car Accident Cases Involving Injuries in Florida
A Respected Florida Car Accident Lawyer & Florida Law Firm Can Help You Recover Fair Compensation
Although many people refer to these situations as car accidents—and you may even hear a Florida accident attorney use that phrase—many car crashes are not accidental at all. An accident implies that there is no at-fault driver in the collision. When a person is driving while intoxicated or texting and driving, or if an auto manufacturing company knows its steering system is defective, the car crash is probably not an accident and might have been prevented.
Even worse, when your car accident in Florida results in serious impairment, disfigurement, or pain and suffering, you may find that this crash has completely destroyed your life and irreparably changed your future. You might face unimaginable struggles and crippling medical expenses in the blink of an eye.
This is why it's essential to hire an experienced car crash attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury. Our Florida car accident lawyers have an impressive track record of successfully resolving hundreds of Florida personal injury cases for our clients.
Potential Damages in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
Accident injury victims may incur many losses from a motor vehicle collision, particularly medical expenses. With the rising medical care costs, treating any type of injury can get expensive. Even moderately insignificant auto accident injuries can require a trip to the emergency department, medication, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, follow-up visits, and more.
Catastrophic injuries, like those to the neck and back or even the brain, may require hospitalization, surgeries, or even long-term care or assistance. Having skilled attorneys who will consider all of your past and future medical bills will ensure you receive the maximum amount of financial recovery for your injuries.
Many injuries can keep you from working for a while or prevent you from returning to your previous job. When you're saddled with medical bills and personal expenses, lost wages can seriously impact your finances.
You deserve compensation for lost income if you miss work due to injuries or medical treatments. In addition, if your injuries are permanent and force you to stop working or seek a lower-paying job, you may recover compensation for future lost earning ability.
Car repairs can cost a lot of money. You can request compensation for vehicle repair costs and diminished value after a crash caused by someone else's negligence. If appropriate, property damages should be a part of any car accident claims you file.
A Florida Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Recover Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering
To receive compensation in Florida for your losses that exceed your PIP coverage, you must bring a personal injury claim against the negligent party's insurance company. Your attorney will divide your damages into economic damages (like medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and non-economic damages (like physical pain and emotional suffering, loss of quality of life, etc.).
In a Florida car accident claim, you can request compensation for out-of-pocket losses like medical bills and future wages. These are easily calculated by adding up the bills and doing some simple math for the lost wages.
However, crash victims can also suffer other damages during a car accident. You may have the right to seek more subjective losses, including the value of the physical pain you experienced and the emotional or mental suffering the crash caused. Pain and suffering are difficult to define and even more challenging to prove in court.
Two Types of Pain and Suffering
As your attorney builds your case, they will evaluate your specific experience of pain and suffering based on what you tell your attorney and anything you have to document. There are two types of pain and suffering: physical and mental.
- Physical pain and suffering refer to the bodily pain you experienced from surgery, during recovery, while in rehab, and any physical pain you will experience for the rest of your life.
- Mental pain and suffering refer to the emotional anguish or emotional trauma you suffered from your car accident (like PTSD) and emotions like fear and depression you sustained after the wreck.
Pain and suffering are often more difficult to pursue than documented expenses like medical bills. A seasoned Florida car accident attorney knows how to explain to the jury (or during negotiations with the insurance company) how the car accident has affected you and caused your pain and suffering. Additional evidence, like a psychiatric exam, is also helpful to prove your emotional distress.
Recovering the Most Compensation After Your Florida Car Accident
Recovering compensation for automobile accident-related losses can be complex in Florida because the law sets out different requirements depending on your situation. After a crash, a car accident attorney may need to bring legal action through:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance: Florida law mandates that drivers carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover their medical costs, lost income, and other qualified expenses up to a certain amount, regardless of who caused the accident.
- A negligent driver's insurance: If another party caused your wreck, you might hold their insurance company liable for damage to your vehicle and any medical expenses or losses exceeding your PIP coverage.
- An auto accident lawsuit: If your injuries are severe, you may have the right to seek compensation through the civil court system by filing a car accident lawsuit against the liable party.
At Dolman Law Group, we know how to investigate and gather evidence after an accident. Our car accident lawyers will skillfully advocate for the compensation you deserve with your PIP insurance company, another driver's insurer, or, if necessary, in court.
We will always explore every option for you to receive the maximum settlement amount in your case.
Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys Don't Get Paid Unless You Recover Your Losses
When a firm says that they don't collect any fees unless they win, they mean they are working on a contingency fee basis. Most attorneys who do not work in the personal injury industry charge their clients based on the time and labor of the attorneys and their staff.
However, a personal injury attorney charges based on how much they recover for their client in a settlement or trial verdict. This means that no money is required upfront for the attorney to take the case, and the client will not have to pay anything until their case is over.
Dolman Law Group does not require clients to pay anything upfront, opting instead to deduct fees and expenses from the final settlement. This cost depends on whether your case is settled out of court in negotiations or if it requires a trial to get you compensation. A trial is more time and labor-intensive, so the fees are slightly higher.
Some of the costs you can expect to pay once your case is settled include court filing fees, expert witness fees, and the cost of obtaining your medical records.
Your Dolman Law Group Florida car accident attorney will thoroughly explain exactly how you will be billed and how that payment will affect your final recovery amount. It is vital that you understand what expenses and fees you will incur and how they are applied to your case, so if you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to ask.
What Caused Your Florida Auto Accident?
If your case involves serious injuries, you might exceed your own no-fault PIP insurance coverage and seek monetary damages from the at-fault party's insurance company. Or you might recover your losses directly from the responsible party by filing an automobile accident lawsuit. In these situations, you must prove that the party was liable for causing the accident to prevail on a claim.
Determining liability in any type of accident can be more complicated than you may think. Most negligent drivers don't admit to drinking or texting and won't accept responsibility at the scene of a car accident. At Dolman Law Group, we regularly initiate investigations into the cause of vehicle accidents to identify when our clients have the right to take additional legal action.
These investigations can require extensive resources and may involve reviewing substantial records, surveillance videos, witness interviews, and the analysis of an accident reconstruction expert. We have the tools and resources to determine whether someone else may be liable for your crash.
Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents
In general, drunk driving and distracted driving are the top causes of Florida car collisions. However, there are many types and causes of automobile accidents that Dolman Law Group can successfully handle on your behalf, including:
Despite rules against texting and driving in Florida, distracted driving continues to be a significant and growing problem on the roadways. While drivers may claim to know the risks of distracted driving, they continue to engage in activities that take their eyes or minds off the road.
Similarly, every driver should fully recognize how life-threatening a drunk driving accident can be. Still, police continually arrest drivers under the influence of alcohol, and they only catch a small percentage of the drunk drivers out on the roads.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
No one likes traffic, and we all seem to be in a hurry. Unfortunately, even though the traffic in South Florida can be frustrating, some drivers allow their frustration and impatience to escalate into belligerent driving and road rage. Such behaviors can include weaving through traffic, tailgating, or intimidating other drivers to get out of the way.
Some aggressive drivers even intentionally cause harm to others on the road. If you are injured by an aggressive driver, we can help you prove their legal liability and hold them accountable for their reckless driving and reckless actions.
Violating Traffic Laws
The Florida Traffic Code is extensive and sets out many road rules that you must learn to obtain a driver's license. Even though there are lesser-known traffic laws, everyone driving should fully comprehend Florida safety regulations and always comply with these laws.
Speeding, ignoring traffic lights or stop signs, disobeying right-of-way rules, failing to yield, and many more violations can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Defective Auto Parts
Sometimes, a driver will lose control of their car, and they might be blamed for the accident, even though they were not at fault. For example, if a driver loses control because their brakes, tires, steering system, or some other part malfunctions, the responsible party may be the auto or parts manufacturer.
When a defective auto part causes a crash, the companies that manufactured and sold that part might be considered the responsible parties and held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, seeking compensation from a corporation is often significantly more challenging than an individual. Having a respected car accident law firm on your side can help secure your rights and earn you the compensation you're entitled to.
We all know that the weather in Florida can wreak havoc on the roadways. State and local government agencies are generally responsible for the upkeep and repair of Florida roads unless the road is privately owned.
Drivers who suddenly hit a large crack, pothole, or another severe hazard might lose control of their car and collide with other vehicles. In this case, the agency that neglected the road might be held liable. Since Florida law sets out particular procedures for legal claims against the government, you need a collision lawyer experienced in handling the legal process in these cases.
These are only some of the many possible causes of car accidents in Florida. Not only do you need to know what caused your crash, but you also need to have sufficient evidence to prove who was negligent. The evidence needed to prove liability will differ from case to case.
The seasoned auto accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group fully understand liability evidence, and we'll use the time and resources necessary to gather the evidence to verify your claim and hold the negligent parties responsible for your losses.
Accident Injuries in Florida Car Crashes
At Dolman Law Group, we are proud to help injured Florida car crash victims like you. Our law offices have successfully represented accident survivors who suffered from injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
We work with your medical team to fully evaluate your injuries when seeking compensation. We want to know how your injuries will affect your future and your ability to get your life back on track. If you have a permanent disability, we want to be sure we collect the money you need to handle everything your future entails.
Should I Hire a Florida Car Accident Attorney After a Minor Car Accident?
Even if you're involved in an accident where there was minor damage to your vehicle or you don't feel immediate pain, you should still seek medical care and hire a car accident attorney, especially when someone else's negligence caused the crash.
Research has shown several types of injuries that people can sustain in minor car crashes don't appear until days later. For example, you might be in a rear-end accident and have no evident physical injury. You're probably not hurt, right? Not necessarily.
Many of us consider a bodily injury a laceration, a brain injury, or a broken bone. These are wounds that can affect us for a lifetime. However, we may dismiss stretched ligaments, bruising, or strained tendons as minor injuries.
If your neck and body violently snapped forward and back during the crash, you will likely discover agonizing back pain in days due to whiplash or other injuries following the collision. At the scene, your body will produce adrenaline to protect itself, but this hormone will also mask your injury. Experienced lawyers will suggest you see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure you don't have hidden injuries.
Finally, if you can drive from the crash scene and decline to make an insurance claim or file a police accident report (or both), you may find it challenging to bring your personal injury claims later or in front of a judge. This is true even if you have a doctor or a healthcare professional on your team because the other party will argue your injuries were not related to the crash in question.
An experienced car accident attorney can look over your claim and help you seek maximum compensation for your case. That way, you can avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses for your hospital bills and repair bills for any vehicle damage.
Insurance Companies Are Looking Out for Their Own Bottom Line
If you file a claim with your insurance carrier, their insurance representative might offer you a quick settlement. You may think this method comes with the least amount of hassle and will help you get your car fixed more quickly. However, the settlement amount may not be enough to cover the car repairs, and you may find out that you have injuries you didn't expect.
Unfortunately, when you accept an insurance settlement, you sign away any future rights to compensation or legal action. It is common for accident victims to believe the insurance company has their best interest in mind; however, the insurance industry operates like any other business. It is looking out for its bottom line and will attempt to pay as little money as possible.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Aren't sure if you need an experienced car accident lawyer? Don't worry! During a FREE consultation with one of our compassionate and dedicated car accident lawyers, we can discuss your unique circumstances and your possible accident injury claim.
We want to get to know you better, so we can help you explore all your legal options. But, then, the legal path you take is up to you!
Our car crash attorneys will never pressure you into filing an auto accident claim. Instead, we offer solid and valuable legal counsel to help you maximize the compensation you deserve. You owe it to yourself to protect your future and learn more about your legal options.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (727) 451-6900 or write to us using our online contact page.
Our team of experienced and dedicated auto accident lawyers provides exemplary service throughout the United States. Office locations include:
- Cocoa Beach
- Bonita Springs
- Spring Hill
- Palm Harbor
- St. Petersburg
- New Port Richey
- Boca Raton
- Fort Lauderdale
- North Miami Beach
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*The above information was written and reviewed by either Attorney Matthew Dolman or another injury lawyer at the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA which has a combined 90 plus years of experience practicing Florida personal injury law. Matthew Dolman himself has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater and St. Petersburg for the last fifteen (15) years. The information provided comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms throughout Florida.