If you’ve been in a car accident, you may experience various emotions after, including shock, confusion, fear, and anger. If you’re feeling overwhelmed after a car accident, it’s important to seek legal representation. A Tampa Bay car accident lawyer can provide support and guidance as you move forward with your case.
Our Tampa car accident lawyers at The Fran Haasch Law Group have years of experience representing clients in car accident cases. We know what it takes to get results for car accident victims, and we are ready to fight for you.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Tampa Bay
Car accidents occur for various reasons. However, some are more common than others. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Florida include:
- 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.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Auto accident victims suffer from various injuries, from non-fatal to more serious injuries. Some common injuries that are sustained in car accidents 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 – When an automobile accident occurs, it 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.
- Spinal Cord Injury – 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.
- Soft Tissue Damage – Soft tissue damage includes injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are caused by overstretching them or tearing them during a car accident.
What To Do After Car Accidents in Tampa
If you are involved in a car accident, there are several things that you should do:
- Call the Police – When the police come to the scene, they will file a report. This report will be used as evidence later on in your case.
- Seek Medical Treatment – Getting medical attention for your injuries after auto accidents is important. Not only is it vital to protect yourself from additional harm, but it will also provide evidence that your injuries were a result of the car accident.
- Gather Evidence – If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and any visible injuries that you may have suffered from it. You should also get photos of all vehicles involved in the crash, and their license plates collect witness statements and insurance information from the other driver.
- Contact the Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at The Fran Haasch Law Group – It is important to speak with our Tampa auto accident attorneys as soon as possible. They will be able to help you determine who is at fault for the accident and file a claim against them.
Reasons to File a Car Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a car crash, you may be wondering whether or not you should file a 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.
Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Claim
There are several types of damages that you can recover in a car accident claim. These include economic and non-economic damages.
- Medical Bills – If you were injured in a car accident and required treatment, then the at-fault driver or their insurance company will be responsible for paying your medical expenses.
- Lost Wages – If the injuries from the car accident caused you to miss work, then you may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering – If the car accident left you with permanent injuries or pain that will never go away, then this is considered “pain and suffering.” You can seek compensation for these damages from the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
- Property Damage – You can receive compensation for any damage done to your vehicle in the accident.
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.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) in Tampa, FL
In Florida, drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance covers the medical costs and lost wages of drivers who are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
PIP coverage will pay for 80 percent of your medical bills and 60 percent of your lost wages, up to a certain limit.
You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after being injured in an accident. If the other driver was found to be the cause of the accident, you can also file a claim against their insurance company for compensation.
Factors That Affect a Car Accident Case
Several factors can affect the outcome of your car accident case and how much compensation you can recover. Some of these include:
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.
The Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years. This is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident occurs. If you do not file within this timeframe, you will likely lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.
The Amount of Insurance Coverage
If the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you may need to file a claim against your own insurance company. This can be difficult and may result in higher premiums.
The Cost of the Treatment
This can affect how long it takes for you to recover from your injuries and how much compensation you are able to receive.
In the state of Florida, when it comes to determining who is responsible for a car accident, a comparative negligence system is used. This means that if two drivers were involved in the accident, each of them will be assigned a percentage of the blame based on their actions leading up to the collision. However, recently there has been a change in how this system is implemented. In March of 2023, HB 837 was enacted, which altered the comparative negligence system in Florida to a “greater percentage of fault” system. This means that if a party is found to be more than 50% responsible for their own injuries or damages, they will not be able to recover any compensation for their losses.
Speak with an auto accident attorney to understand how comparative negligence may impact your claim. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine who was at fault in the crash and can help you file a claim against the other driver.
Liability in Tampa Car Accidents
When you are involved in a car accident, there is a good chance that the other driver will be at fault. However, in some auto accident cases, determining liability for the accident can be tricky, especially if multiple drivers are involved. Some parties that may be at fault in your case:
This is usually the case when there is an issue with the vehicle’s design or manufacturing process. However, in some cases, the accident was not caused by a driver at all.
If you were involved in an auto accident while on the job, your employer may be held liable for your injuries. This is often done when the company does not provide a safe work environment, or the driver acts negligently while on the job.
In some cases, another party may be responsible for the car accident. This could be another driver, a company responsible for the roadway, or even a government agency.
When a road department is at fault, it may be held responsible for the car accident. This can happen if there is an issue with the roadway, such as potholes or debris on the road that caused you to get into an accident.
How to File a Car Accident Claim in Florida
In Florida, there are a few things that you need to do in order to file a claim:
- Get a copy of the accident report and any other evidence that may be helpful in your cases, such as photos or witness statements.
- Contact a Tampa car accident attorney who can help you with all aspects of filing a claim, including getting your medical records and working with the insurance company on your behalf, so they don’t try to take advantage of you.
Remember, it is important to act fast after an accident because there are time limits in place for filing a claim.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyer at The Fran Haasch Law Group Today
Our accident lawyers in Tampa are well versed in personal injury law. They have extensive experience filing personal injury claims for car crash victims to get the fair compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and wishes to file a car accident claim, contact The Fran Haasch Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
Our car accident attorneys can help you get the damages you are entitled to for your injuries and other losses.