If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney. However, it generally depends on the circumstances of the collision and the severity of your injuries. For example, if you have not been injured, you most likely won’t need legal services. However, if you have suffered injuries in a serious car accident, it is advisable to seek legal representation from a qualified auto accident attorney.
Having a lawyer on your side can help you obtain fair compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Contact the car accident lawyers at The Fran Haasch Law Group to learn more about your legal rights.
Why Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
When you are involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. This is why working with an auto accident attorney is so beneficial. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal system and get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Some of the benefits of working with an auto accident attorney include:
- Knowledge of the Law – A good auto accident lawyer will have years of experience working with auto accident victims. They will know all about the legal system and how to get you a fair settlement for your case.
- Focus on Your Case – When you work with an auto accident attorney, they will be able to focus on your case. This allows them to do everything possible to get you the compensation that you need for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
- Peace of Mind – When you are involved in a car accident, it can be very stressful. By working with an auto accident lawyer, they will take care of all the legal aspects so that you can focus on healing and getting back to your life.
When You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for a Car Accident
The following are the circumstances when you need to hire a lawyer after a motor vehicle accident:
As we mentioned above, you want to hire an attorney if you suffered serious or catastrophic injuries stemming from a car accident. Not only will you need compensation to pay for past and current medical bills, but also future medical costs. Your lawyer can ensure both past and future medical expenses are taken care of.
If a loved one passes away in a car accident, you need to hire a lawyer for the case to recover funeral and burial expenses, past and future medical costs before the death, and other damages related to the loss.
If the at-fault driver blames you for the collision, then you need to hire a lawyer to hold the other party liable for their negligent actions. Keep in mind as of March of 2023, Florida is a modified comparative fault state, meaning your percentage of fault will reduce your damages or bar you from recovering any damages if you are over 50% at fault.
More Than One Party
If there are additional parties, such as multiple drivers or pedestrians, your car accident claim will be more complex. To protect your rights and best interests, having a lawyer on your side can make a difference.
If the police report fails to describe the accident and places you at fault, a lawyer will fight your case.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
After being involved in a car accident, there are certain steps you should take to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is always best to be checked out by a medical professional.
In many cases, injuries sustained in car accidents do not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident has occurred. If you delay in seeking medical treatment, it may be more difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Move Your Vehicle Out of the Way
After being involved in a car accident, it is important to move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if possible. If you are able to do so, turn on your hazard lights and call 911.
Stay at the Scene
Do not leave the scene of the accident until the authorities have arrived. Once the police have arrived, be sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information of any witnesses.
Be sure to collect the following information after being involved in a car accident:
- The contact information of the other driver
- The contact information of any witnesses
- Insurance information
- Pictures of the accident scene
Contact Your Insurance Company
After being involved in a car accident, you will need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Be sure to have all of the necessary information on hand, such as the other driver’s contact information and insurance information.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In many cases, insurance companies will try to low-ball accident victims in an effort to save money. Our personal injury lawyers will fight for the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
What Should I Do After a Minor Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a minor car accident, you should take the same steps as in any other car accident.
There is only property damage in most minor car accidents, and no one is injured. If this is the case, you may be able to handle the claim yourself without hiring a lawyer. However, if there is any damage to your vehicle or you have sustained injuries, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure you are fully compensated for your losses.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones and whiplash. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical treatment right away. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Whiplash – a neck injury caused when a head snaps forward and then back again.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Brain injuries can be very serious and can result in long-term disability or death.
- Broken bones – Car accidents can cause broken bones in any part of the body. Broken limbs are some of the most common injuries that occur during a car accident.
- Soft tissue damage includes injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are caused by overstretching them or tearing them during a car accident.
- Spinal cord injuries – A spinal cord injury is when there is damage to the spinal cord or nerves at its end. This can result in partial or complete paralysis and other long-term health problems.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may also benefit from speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident
In many cases, injuries sustained in car accidents do not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident has occurred. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Even if you do not think you are injured, it is always best to be checked out by a medical professional. Hidden injuries can include whiplash, concussion, and internal bleeding. If you delay in seeking medical treatment, it may be more difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida
Car accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, such as
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. A driver can be distracted by anything from texting to eating and drinking while driving or even talking on a cell phone without using hands-free technology.
- Speeding – When a driver chooses to go over the speed limit or drives too fast for conditions, they put everyone else on the road at risk.
- Drunk Driving – Drunk drivers are a danger to everyone on the road, including themselves.
- Reckless Driving – Reckless driving is when a driver operates a vehicle unsafe or careless. This can include tailgating, running red lights, and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Why Should I File a Car Accident Claim?
There are many reasons to file an automobile accident claim, including:
- Collecting Compensation for Injuries – If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the crash. You can recover damages for your injuries by filing a claim, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- To Get Money to Repair Your Vehicle – If your vehicle was damaged during the car accident, you may be able to file a property damage claim against the driver who caused the crash. You can recover damages for lost vehicle value or repair expenses by filing a claim.
- Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable – By filing a car accident claim, you can hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions and help to prevent future accidents.
Filing an Insurance Claim for a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, you will need to file an insurance claim with your own insurance company. In many cases, your insurance company will cover the damages caused by the other driver.
However, if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. If your insurance company denies your claim, an experienced personal injury attorney will help you file a lawsuit to recover the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, it is important to know that all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance covers up to 80% of damages up to $10,000 of your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Property Damage Liability Insurance
In Florida, drivers must also have property damage liability insurance coverage. This type of insurance coverage will pay for the repairs to your vehicle if you are involved in a car accident. However, it will not pay for your medical expenses or other damages.
Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers in Florida
In Florida, it is estimated that one in five drivers are uninsured. If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages.
In many cases, your own insurance company will cover your damages. However, if your insurance company denies your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Unlike PIP and PDL coverage, UIM/UM coverage is not required in Florida, but it is something you should consider purchasing. UIM/UM insurance protects you if you are involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim
You can prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident by gathering evidence such as witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and the police report. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to help you gather the necessary evidence to prove fault in your claim.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Doctrine
Under HB 837, Florida switched from a pure comparative fault system to a “greater percentage of fault” system in March 2023. This means that if a party is found to be greater than 50% at fault for their own harm, they are barred from recovering any damages.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are found to be 40% at fault, you would only receive $60,000. If you were 51% at fault, you would not recover any damages.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for Your Claim
Filing an accident claim against the driver who caused your crash may seem like a daunting task. However, you do not have to navigate the process on your own. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you file an insurance claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer today for a free case review.
How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident in Florida?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on a number of factors, such as the severity of your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault driver for their negligence. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss the full extent of your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover the following damages:
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical expenses. This includes the costs of emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, and any other medical treatments you need.
If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover the lost wages you have suffered. This includes the wages you have missed and future wages that you will miss because of your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
You may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. This includes both physical pain and emotional distress.
If the accident caused damage to your car, you may be able to recover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
Wrongful Death Claims
If a loved one was killed in a car accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Some of the types of compensation that may be available include medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income and benefits, loss of inheritance due to an untimely death, and emotional hardship for surviving family members.
Factors that Impact Your Settlement
The amount of compensation you can expect to receive for your injuries depends on several factors, including:
The Severity of The Injury
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, then you may be able to recover a significant amount of money for your damages. This includes things like medical bills and lost wages.
Type of Injury
There are a variety of injuries that can occur in a car accident. Some, like whiplash, may not be as severe but still require treatment. Others, like broken bones, can require surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
Length of Time the Injury Will Last
If you have an injury that is going to require long-term or permanent treatment, you may be able to recover more compensation than if it will heal on its own.
How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Florida?
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Do For You
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 21 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in motor vehicle accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
We Get You the Compensation You Deserve
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we understand that no amount of financial recovery can undo what you have been through. However, a fair settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with your accident.
We have obtained multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements in cases involving auto accidents, as well as claims concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
Here are a few of our auto accident case results:
- $1.8 million for our client in Pinellas County who was injured in an auto accident
- $1.8 million for a 33-year-old female client in Hillsborough County who was lawfully stopped for a left-turning vehicle ahead when she was rear-ended by the defendant vehicle, which was then rear-ended by the vehicle behind it, causing the client to feel two impacts. This resulted in multiple back surgeries and an infection which caused the client to be hospitalized several times.
- $1.6 million for a 25-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle when the defendant cut across the client’s path. The client was thrown over 200 feet from the motorcycle. The accident resulted in a fractured leg, broken finger, back surgery, and many other injuries.
- $1.55 million for a 46-year old male in Pasco County who was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County and was rear-ended by the defendant at a high rate of speed.
- $1.35 million for a client in Pasco County. The defendant turned left in front of our client, causing the client’s vehicle to flip and resulting in many injuries.
- $1.34 million for a 69-year-old male client in Orange County who was in the left turn lane when the defendant came across his pathway while attempting to turn and collided with the client. The accident resulted in multiple severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, punctured lung, a broken arm that required surgery, and several lacerations.
- $1.3 million for a 33-year-old female client in Pinellas County who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light with her three children in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
- $1.025 for our client injured in a car accident in Hillsborough County.
- $1.0 million for a client in Hillsborough County rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on the interstate.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and victims of bicycle, motorcycle, Uber and Lyft, and semi-truck accidents.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 637-0100 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.