Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County, and the area includes towns such as Dunedin, Largo, and Safety Harbor. Founded in 1915, Clearwater is home to over 115,000 residents, and with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the southeast, it is a popular city for spring breakers and tourists. In particular, Cleveland Street District is known for its shopping, dining, bars, and nightlife.
If you are a car accident victim, you should speak with a Clearwater car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The Fran Haasch Law Group has actively supported the community for over 20 years and are members of Amplify Clearwater, the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce. Our legal team has helped several car accident victims get the money they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Contact one of our auto accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
While Clearwater is a place full of sunshine and warm weather, it’s also a city with many car accidents. In 2021, there were 16,462 motor vehicle accidents in Pinellas County, with 155 fatalities. A Dangerous By Design 2021 | Smart Growth America also ranks the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater at number eight in the top ten areas for pedestrian fatalities. There are various causes of automobile accidents. The most common include:
- Distracted Driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Drivers who are distracted can lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident.
- Speeding is another common cause of car accidents. When drivers speed, they may not be able to stop in time if there is a sudden stop ahead, and they can cause an accident.
- Drunk Driving is a leading cause of car accidents and can lead to serious injuries or death. Drunk drivers should not get behind the wheel and should find a safe way home.
- Texting While Driving is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. It can lead to a loss of vehicle control and cause an accident.
- Running a Red Light is against the law and can cause an accident. Drivers who run red lights may not have time to stop if another car is coming through the intersection.
- Defective Car Parts can also lead to car accidents. If a part is faulty, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.
These are just some of the common causes of car accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident, speaking with an experienced lawyer is important to learn about your rights. The Fran Haasch Law Group has a team of experienced car accident lawyers who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and will likely be in shock. It’s important to remember these steps following the accident.
- Call Clearwater Police Dept – The first thing you should do after an auto accident is call 911. This will ensure that emergency personnel is alerted to the accident scene.
- Check for Injuries – If you don’t have serious injuries and need immediate treatment, check for other non-fatal injuries such as cuts, bruises, or lacerations.
- Wait for Help to Arrive – Once the police get there, you will have to file an accident report. This will help document the accident and could be used in court.
- Gather Evidence and Witness Statements – To prove fault and file a successful motor vehicle accident claim, you will need any evidence you can after the accident. This includes pictures of the scene, damages to your car, and eyewitness statements. You can also get a copy of the accident report by visiting the Clearwater Police Dept @ 645 Pierce Street Clearwater, FL between 8 AM – 4 PM or going to the Clearwater Public records site to request the report.
- Seek Medical Treatment – Seek medical attention for your injuries. Do not wait to see if the injuries will go away. Many injuries do not show symptoms until days or weeks after the accident.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – Contacting your insurer as soon as you can after the accident will allow them to start investigating the accident and determine if they will cover your damages.
- Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer – The best way to protect your rights is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. A car accident attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. They will help you gather evidence and file a claim on your behalf.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
A car accident injury can range from non-fatal to more serious injuries. The most common injuries are:
Neck and Back Injuries – These are the most common type of injuries suffered in a car accident. They can be very painful and may require extensive treatment.
Chest Injury – A chest injury can be very serious and may lead to death if not treated properly.
Arm and Leg Injuries – These types of injuries are common in auto accidents and can often require surgery.
Brain Injury – A brain injury can be very serious and may lead to long-term damage.
Spinal Cord Injury – A spinal cord injury can be very serious and may lead to paralysis.
Broken Bones – Broken bones are common in car crashes and can often require surgery.
Death – Motor vehicle accidents can often result in death. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you should immediately contact an auto accident attorney.
The most serious types of auto accident injuries are those that involve brain damage or spinal cord injuries. These injuries can require extensive medical therapy and can have a lifelong impact on the victim.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Car Accident?
The time it takes to recover from a car accident varies from person to person. Some people may experience only minor injuries and return to work within a few weeks. Others may suffer more serious injuries and may not be able to return to work for months or even years.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Am Injured in a Car Accident?
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Car accident lawyers review your case and let you know your options. The best way to find out is to speak with an experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer.
Types of Claims You Can File After a Car Accident
There are several types of claims you may be able to file after a car accident. The most common types of claims are:
A personal injury claim is the most common type of claim and can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Property damage claim – This includes the cost of repairing or replacing your car.
Wrongful death claim – This is a claim filed by the family of someone who died in a car accident. The family can receive compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Partially Responsible for My Clearwater Car Accident?
Yes, you can recover compensation even if you are partially responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on your percentage of fault in the accident. An experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and what type of compensation you may be able to receive.
How Do I Prove Negligence in Clearwater, Florida?
To prove negligence in Florida, you must show that the other driver failed to use reasonable care while driving. This can be done by showing that the driver was speeding, driving drunk, or using their cell phone while driving. You may also be able to show that the driver caused the accident through their negligent actions.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Rule means that you are entitled to certain benefits after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. The benefits include payment for medical treatment and reimbursement for lost wages.
Pure Comparative Fault in Florida
Comparative fault is a legal doctrine that allows injured parties to recover damages from other parties who are partially responsible for their injuries.
In Florida, auto accident cases are typically handled using pure comparative fault. This means that the victim will be able to recover compensation, under most circumstances, even if they are more than 50% responsible for the accident. An experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and what type of compensation you may be able to receive.
Uninsured and Underinsured Vehicle Owners Accidents?
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the terms of your insurance policy.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Clearwater?
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Florida is four years. This means you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible, as the statute of limitations may vary depending on the nature of your case.
Why Should I File a Car Accident Claim?
There are many reasons to file an auto accident claim, including the following:
- To receive compensation for your injuries
- To hold the other driver responsible for their actions
- To cover medical expenses and lost wages
- To get justice for the negligence against you
How Do I Know if I Have a Car Accident Case?
The best way to know if you have an auto accident case is to speak with an experienced lawyer. Car accident lawyers review your case and let you know what your options are.
What Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of your Clearwater car accident case will depend on the nature of your injuries, the amount of damages you have suffered, and the amount of liability insurance coverage available. An experienced lawyer can help you estimate the value of your case.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Clearwater Auto Accident Claim?
In an auto accident claim, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Three types of damages may be available to you, non-economic, economic, and punitive damages.
Non-economic damages are damages that are not limited to economic losses. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
Economic damages are damages that are limited to economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Economic damages can include property damage, repair costs, and loss of income.
Punitive damages are damages that are awarded to punish the defendant for their actions. Punitive damages are not common in car accident cases, and you will likely need an experienced lawyer to help you file a claim for punitive damages.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Car Accident?
You may be able to file a wrongful death claim if there is a fatal crash. The damages available in a wrongful death case vary depending on the state but can include funeral and burial expenses. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect If I File a Car Accident Claim?
The amount of compensation that you can receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the damages caused.
Some factors that will be considered include:
- The cost of rehabilitation – This includes both past and future costs
- The cost of property damage – This includes the cost to repair or replace your vehicle
- The loss of income – If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation
- The pain and suffering caused by the accident
What Can I Do to Help My Case?
There are several things car accident victims can do to help their case if they have been involved in a motor vehicle accident.
First, document everything. Take pictures of the accident scene, record witness names and contact information, and keep track of all expenses related to your medical treatment.
Second, don’t sign anything from the insurance company without talking to an attorney first. They may try to get you to sign a release or waiver that waives your rights to sue.
Third, speak with a Clearwater auto accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you file a claim and negotiate with your insurer.
Who Is Liable For My Medical Bills?
First, it’s important to determine whether or not your case falls under Florida’s no-fault insurance system. If your case falls under this no-fault system, then your injury protection insurance will cover at least part of your expenses.
How Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) Work?
Personal injury protection insurance, also known as PIP insurance, is a type of auto insurance that covers a certain amount of costs after a motor vehicle collision.
PIP insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and lost income after a car crash. Under this system, PIP insurance will cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000 and 60% of lost earnings. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry PIP insurance. Your health insurance will assume responsibility once your auto medical bill insurances are tapped out.
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accidents
What is The Process of Filing a Car Accident Claim?
The process of filing an automobile accident claim can be complex and may require the assistance of an experienced lawyer. The lawyer can help you file your claim with the insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit.
When Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
You can file a car accident lawsuit when the insurance company has denied your claim or reached an impasse in negotiations. The lawyer will need to investigate the accident and gather the evidence before filing a lawsuit.
Can I File an Auto Accident Claim Without an Attorney?
You may be able to file a car accident claim without an attorney, but it is advisable to speak with an experienced lawyer to learn about your options. The lawyer can help you file your claim with the insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit.
Should I Accept a Clearwater Accident Settlement?
It would be best to speak with an experienced lawyer before accepting a Clearwater accident settlement. The lawyer can review your case and help you make the best decision for your situation.
How Much Do Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys Cost?
An experienced Clearwater accident attorney will likely charge a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer will only receive a fee if you win your case. The lawyer can discuss fees with you in more detail once they have reviewed your case.
How Long Does it Take to File Car Accident Lawsuits?
It can take several months to file a lawsuit after an auto accident. The lawyer will need to investigate the accident and gather the evidence before filing a lawsuit.
Can I Get a Rental Car If My Car is Totaled in a Clearwater Car Accident?
If your car is totaled in a car crash, you may be able to get a rental car. The terms of your insurance policy will determine whether or not you are eligible for a rental car.
What Do I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?
To file a personal injury claim, car accident attorneys will need the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- The name and contact information of the insurance company
- The policy number of the insurance company
- The date and time of the car accident
- The location of the car accident
- The name and contact information of the other driver
- The name and contact information of any witnesses
- The name and contact information of your doctor
- The type of injury you sustained
- The amount of money you have spent on medical treatment so far
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at The Fran Haasch Law Group Today
Home to popular tourist destinations such as Pier 60, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Baycare Ballpark, spring training home to Major League Baseball team Philadelphia Phillies, Clearwater is a growing city. BayCare Health System, Bausch & Lomb Surgical, and Lincare Holdings are some of the largest employers in the city and with 45 higher education institutions within a one-hour drive from the city, the workforce and population continue to strengthen.
With growth comes traffic, and with traffic comes accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to know your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Don’t hesitate to contact our Clearwater car accident lawyers for a free case review. Our law firm can help you determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit and what type of compensation you may be able to receive.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we represent victims of car accidents and other types of personal injuries. Contact a car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
The Fran Haasch Law Group
10300 49th St N, Clearwater, FL 33762