Miami is the third most populous metropolis on the east coast and the seventh most populous in the country. This means that the traffic is crazy. Between people who live and work in the city, tourists who fly into the international airport, and the tourists who drive to Miami for shopping or nightlife, the streets are crowded with vehicles. Passenger cars and trucks, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and even bicycles and pedestrians crowd the streets, even after sundown.
Because of this, the Miami area has the highest number of accidents in the state.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident in Miami, contact a personal injury lawyer for a free case evaluation. Contact the auto accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today.
Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Don’t Charge You Anything
When you retain Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, instead of paying upfront for attorney’s fees, you will get to know more about our contingency fee basis. You are already worried about how you will support your family on one income. You do not need to worry about attorneys’ fees on top of your regular expenses.
In many cases, medical professionals are more likely to delay collections on unpaid medical expenses if they know you are working with an attorney. Once you retain us, let your medical providers know and ask if they would consider holding expenses without reporting you to the credit bureaus. Many will allow this, and the worst they can say is “no.” You will never know unless you ask.
When you do not have the stress of worrying about attorneys’ fees and medical expenses, your body can recover quicker than if you were to worry about these extra expenses.
Accident Case Results and Case Valuation
Some of the most common questions we hear are questions about case valuation. Your case is unique to you, and there is no way to tell ahead of time how much you will get. However, we can tell you that if you have catastrophic injuries, your case is worth more.
Some of the results we achieved for our clients include:
- $3.2 million for a truck accident that we settled in pre-trial mediation.
- $1.75 million for a truck accident where the victim suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and a torn rotator cuff after a semi-truck hit our client. The highest offer the victim received from the insurance company was $265,000, so the victim retained Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. After an investigation, we learned that the truck was not properly maintained.
- $1.58 million in an accident where a victim was offered $62,000 after the defendant insisted that the victim’s cervical disc injuries were pre-existing conditions not caused by the accident.
- $1.4 million for a motorcycle accident that resulted in multiple serious injuries. This case was also resolved in pre-trial mediation.
- $1 million for a SLAP tear in a shoulder, post-concussive syndrome, and a broad-based disc herniation. This case settled in a mediation just before the trial was to take place.
While no result can be guaranteed, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today to see what we can do for you.
Working With Insurance Companies
When contacting your insurance company to file a claim, give the representative your contact information, the date and location of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information. The representative will ask you questions about the accident—refer her or him to your attorney. Even if the accident was not your fault, the insurance company may attempt to assign fault to you so that it has a reason to deny a claim or to offer you an unfair settlement.
Insurance companies do this because every claim they have to pay affects their bottom lines. Even if it is your own insurance company. They may not care that you have paid years of premiums and that this is your first accident. They only want to retain as much of that profit as possible.
A Miami car accident attorney knows the tricks that many insurance companies play to justify offering a pittance. Instead of dealing with the stress of arguing with them, let your attorney do it for you, especially when more than one defendant could face responsibility for your injuries.
Parties That Might Face Responsibility for Accident Injuries
Some accidents are not as straightforward as they seem. If a semi-truck hits you, the driver and others might share in the liability, including the trucking company, the truck maintenance company, or even a dispatcher.
Even crashes between two individuals could have multiple defendants. If a defective part caused someone to crash into you, the part manufacturer or installer could share in the liability for your injuries.
Other parties who might share in a liability claim other than the driver include:
- Vehicle owner;
- Repair shop/technician;
- Parts manufacturer;
- Vehicle manufacturer;
- Municipality responsible for roads;
- Driver in a third vehicle;
- Commercial vehicle dispatcher; and/or
- Commercial vehicle loading crew.
Miami Car Accident Injuries
Injuries you might suffer in a car accident depend on the circumstances of the accident. The size and speed of the vehicle that hits you (and how it hits you) can play a large role in the type of injuries you receive.
- Cuts, scrapes, bumps, and bruises;
- Strains and sprains;
- Pulled and torn muscles, and other soft-tissue injuries;
- Simple and compound fractures;
- Head and neck injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Back and spinal cord injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Burns; and
- Road rash.
You might also suffer from secondary injuries such as infection of open wounds, or complications because of underlying conditions such as diabetes and immunodeficiency issues. Your settlement should also cover these types of injuries, so be sure to let your attorney know about these issues.
Recoverable Damages in Miami Car Accidents
The amount of damages you could recover is based on your losses and, in some cases, the actions or inactions of the defendant. Florida law allows you to collect two types of compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The two types of compensatory damages are economic damages (sometimes referred to as special damages), and non-economic damages (sometimes referred to as general damages). Economic damages have a monetary value while non-economic damages do not. Most accident victims recover some type of economic damages. The court usually orders the defendant to pay non-economic damages if your injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities or if you lost a loved one in the accident.
The court orders punitive damages if it finds that the defendant’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent. You cannot collect punitive damages if the court does not order economic or non-economic damages. Thus, if you want to ask for punitive damages, you must ask for them in the initial complaint, but the trial is bifurcated—you will have to attend a separate trial that proves the gross negligence of the defendant.
An example of punitive damages might include distracted driving, excessive speeding, or driving under the influence. You will have to prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions were not just negligent, but grossly negligent, before the court awards punitive damages. The evidence you and your attorney collect during the discovery phase of the case, including accident investigation reports, police reports, camera footage, and expert witness testimony, could help show the court that the defendant was grossly negligent.
Economic damages can include:
- Past medical expenses for those incurred as a result of the accident and before a settlement or trial award.
- Future medical expenses for those incurred as a result of the accident and after a settlement or trial award, including additional surgeries, follow-up appointments, and therapy appointments.
- Past lost wages for the time you couldn’t work from the time of the accident until the settlement or the trial award.
- Future lost wages for the time you cannot work after a settlement or a trial award. Future lost wages could include partial lost wages if you return to work but have to take a pay cut because of a job change due to long-term or permanent disabilities caused by accident injuries.
- Replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property, including your vehicle and personal property in your vehicle.
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses if you lost a loved one in an accident.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Emotional distress if you lost a loved one in a car accident.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a foot or a hand.
- Loss of use of a bodily function, such as your eyesight.
- Excessive scarring.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, such as grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, and home maintenance.
To determine what damages you could pursue, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today.
Miami Has the Highest Number of Accidents in the State
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), The Miami area has the highest number of accidents. In one recent year, 65,143 accidents took place in greater Miami. Of those, 298 were fatal, and 31,698 caused injuries.
Broward County came in second with 41,114 accidents. Orange County (which includes Orlando)—another area with a high number of tourists—saw 31,593 accidents during the same year.
What to Do After a Miami Car Accident
If you can physically move without causing additional injuries to yourself after an accident, call first responders and check on others involved in the accident. Before anyone moves any of the vehicles, take photos of both vehicles. Be sure to get photos of the damage to the vehicles and to any property that was damaged.
Speak to witnesses to find out what they saw and obtain their contact information. If possible, obtain a good phone number, email, and home address. Allow the emergency medical technicians to check you out, even if you believe your injuries are minor. More severe injuries could manifest in a few hours or even a day or two later. For this reason, you should always seek medical attention as soon as the police release you from the scene. Waiting to obtain medical attention could be something the insurance company uses against you.
Obtain the other driver’s contact, registration, and insurance information. Contact your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. The only information you should give them is your name, contact information, date and location of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information. Do not answer questions the insurance company asks. Instead, refer the insurance company to your attorney.
Wouldn’t the Police Obtain a lot of That Information?
Yes. However, you will most likely take photos of the scene from different viewpoints. The extra photos could help your attorney with your case. Also, it could take several days to get a copy of the police report. We can start on your case sooner if you get some of this preliminary information. It is not a requirement that you obtain it—but in some cases, it could help your case.
Contact Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Now
After a car accident, whether you suffered injuries or you lost a loved one, you will be living on one income (or will lose your income if single) if your injuries require a longer hospital stay or if your doctors do not allow you to work until you reach a certain point in the recovery phase.
The inability to work to support yourself or help support your family is a stress point for most accident victims. Adding financial stress to an already stressful situation often prolongs recovery. Instead of worrying about medical expenses and how to feed your family, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (833) 552-7274 or (833) 55-CRASH for a free case evaluation today.
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