Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

Recovering Compensation for Auto Accident Victims in Tampa

The highways that connect the Tampa Bay area have earned Florida the number one spot for most dangerous roadways. Hillsborough Avenue has been linked to nearly 20 car crashes per mile. Brandon Boulevard, a 7-mile stretch in Tampa, has an average of 25 accidents per mile. And the highway connecting I-275 in Tampa to Daytona Beach has produced over one car crash fatality per mile.

It only takes one moment for a negligent driver to cause a life-changing auto accident injury. But in the wake of a car accident, having qualified legal representation can make all the difference in your financial recovery. If you were seriously injured in a car crash and it was caused by another motorist’s negligent driving, contact a Tampa car accident lawyer at ​The Fran Haasch Law Group​ today.

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Do You Need Help With Your Florida Car Accident Claim?

If you’ve been injured from an accident in Tampa, it is important to consult with a local personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the case law, judges, and injuries in the greater Tampa Bay area.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Tampa, you might need help understanding your legal rights and obligations in addition to complex state law. Contact a Tampa car accident lawyer from The Fran Haasch Legal Group for a free consultation with our legal team. We will review your case and determine the best strategy for getting you the money you deserve. Call us at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online.
Fill out the form to get started or give us a call to speak with our legal team directly.

Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents

While auto accidents are the leading cause of death across the United States, many factors make it more dangerous to drive on Florida roadways. With a Tampa car accident lawyer, it is important to identify what caused your crash and whether another driver may be held liable, especially if you sustained serious injuries.

Here are some of the most common causes of auto accidents in Tampa and across the state:

Driving too fast violates Florida speed limits that are calculated to help drivers safely get to their destinations. Speeding also makes it harder to negotiate turns, corners and unexpected debris in the road. Similarly, failing to obey traffic control lights by running red lights and stop signs can result in a side-impact crash or T-bone collision.

In Florida, ​it is illegal to text and drive​. As of 2019, officers can stop drivers simply for suspecting them of texting while driving. According to the ​National Safety Council​, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year and nearly 330,000 injuries occur from distracted driving accidents related to texting. Teen drivers, in particular, are prone to ​distracted driving​ behaviors.

Under Florida law, you are considered a ​drunk driver​ if you drive with a bodily alcohol content (0.08% or higher) or if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When a person is under the influence, they have less ability to give their attention to multiple things on the road. The CDC estimates that ​10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes​ each year in the United States.

Currently, there is no legal standard to determine if someone is driving while high on cannabis. In Florida, it is simply stated that a medical marijuana patient is not permitted to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. There is currently no limit for drug impairment, as there is with alcohol, but it is imperative that you refrain from operating a vehicle when under the influence of marijuana and other substances.

Tampa residents share the highways with commercial trucks every day, yet a fully loaded semi truck takes almost 40% longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. ​Semi-truck crashes in Tampa also frequently involve driver fatigue, speeding or faulty equipment.
The federal government and Florida state law have taken commercial truck safety seriously with “Hours of Service” regulations that dictate how long a truck driver can be behind the wheel without rest. The blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is also lowered to .04% with a threat of fines, jail time, and losing their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

FLHSMV Reported Car Accident Injuries in Tampa, Florida

Tampa auto accidents increased by 70%, and their resulting injuries increased by 80%, over a six-year span between 2012 and 2018.

Source: F​LHSMV

Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Car Crash in Tampa?

If you are injured in a car accident, the first step is to determine whether your case falls within Florida’s no-fault system. Florida drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

PIP insurance covers medical bills after an auto accident with a standard coverage of 80% of bills up to $10,000. Because no-fault insurance is Florida residents’ primary insurance, hospitals will bill your PIP insurance first before looking for other sources. Once your auto medical bill insurances are used up, your health insurance will assume responsibility.

The original goal behind no-fault insurance was to minimize personal injury car accident lawsuits in Florida’s court system. Without permanent injuries or pain and suffering, PIP is, in fact, a more convenient method to get basic medical care without a Tampa car accident lawyer getting involved.

However, when a car crash causes serious high-cost injuries or pain and suffering, PIP is not able to handle these with the same ease.

How Do You Recover Payment for Medical Bills from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance?

Unfortunately, the only drivers required to carry bodily injury coverage in Florida are

those convicted of DUIs. Even drivers who do carry bodily injury coverage often carry small amounts that will not cover the medical expenses from a serious car accident injury.

One way drivers bypass this issue is to buy​ ​uninsured motorist coverage​ ​which works exactly like bodily injury insurance. If you are in a serious car crash with an uninsured motorist, you will essentially bring a claim against your own insurance.

Even in these situations, your insurance company may refuse or undervalue your claim. It is important to not settle your claim without getting the money you need for future medical bills because once you have settled, you no longer have the option to reopen the case. A car accident lawyer in Tampa can help you fight for your ​uninsured motorist claim​.

What Happens If You Are in an Auto Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

Non-economic damages are funds awarded to victims to cover the intangible negative impact of their injuries, which may include the following:

  • Pain and suffering, both emotional and physical
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost sexual function and lost companionship, also known as loss of consortium
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Lost enjoyment of life

Each situation is unique, so discussing your injuries with a personal injury attorney in Clearwater can be helpful when determining which non-economic damages to request.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Builds an Injury Case

Non-economic damages are funds awarded to victims to cover the intangible negative impact of their injuries, which may include the following:

  • Pain and suffering, both emotional and physical
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost sexual function and lost companionship, also known as loss of consortium
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Lost enjoyment of life

Each situation is unique, so discussing your injuries with a personal injury attorney in Clearwater can be helpful when determining which non-economic damages to request.

Investigate Your Auto Accident

It is not always clear who is at fault in a car accident case which means that the following

evidence may be collected by an auto accident attorney to prove that you were injured as a result of the other driver’s negligence:

  • Timely witness interviews before memories fade and individuals move away
  • Photographs of the scene or private security camera video footage
  • Photographic evidence of property damage
  • Medical records from before and after the accident
  • Expert accident reconstruction to prepare cases for litigation
  • Cell phone records if distracted driving is suspected

File Your Claim

As an accident victim in Florida, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against

the person who is at fault for causing an auto accident. However, you do have to first attempt to recover compensation from your insurer. Filing a claim can be confusing. You may not know how to file your claim or against whom. Our Tampa car accident attorneys can help you file your claim against the appropriate party quickly and confidently.

Prove Damages

If you are injured in a car crash and suffer losses, you may assume that the insurance

adjuster will acknowledge and approve the full extent of your damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies require that you prove the full extent of your losses to recover compensation. An auto accident lawyer in Tampa can advise the best steps to do this, including using the items from an investigation to prove damages.

Negotiate for a Fair Settlement

Insurance adjusters will commonly offer a settlement amount that undervalues your

damages, assuming that you will avoid the time and hassle of pursuing the full extent of your losses. A car accident attorney will understand your options for securing a higher settlement amount.

Try Your Claim in Court

If a settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can pursue your claim in court with the help and preparation from outside experts. These resources can evaluate factors like distance, speed, and time to help prove liability in your case. No responsible lawyer can guarantee a specific ​payout amount​, but an experienced auto accident attorney will fight for your best interests and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled under the law.

Case Results and Settlements
in Tampa Car Accident Injury Cases

The Fran Haasch Law Group has earned a reputation for doing what it takes to recover maximum financial compensation for our clients. If you have been involved in a car accident in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County or Pasco County, our Tampa car accident attorneys are ready to provide compassionate and proven representation. The following are clients we have helped to recover significant damages:

  • $1.8 Million – Hillsborough County, FL – A 33-year-old female client sustained multiple back surgeries, infection and hospitalization from a rear-end accident.
  • $1 Million – Hillsborough County, FL – A 61-year-old male client required extensive back surgery from a rear-end accident while traveling on Interstate 275 in stop-and-go traffic.
  • $895,000 – Hillsborough County, FL – A 30-year-old female experienced a rear-end accident while stopped at a red light.
  • $750,000 – Hillsborough County, FL – A 57-year-old male on the Howard Frankland Bridge was clipped on the side of his vehicle, which forced his car into the side of the bridge.

Learn more about the cases we have successfully handled and view more case results here.

Different Types of Car Accident Liability Claims You Can File

Who you name as the defendant(s) in your lawsuit will determine the type of personal injury car accident claim you file. A car crash claim might include one of the following:

Claims Against a Negligent Driver

The most common car accident claims are against the at-fault motorist. The job of your Tampa car accident attorney will be to prove that the defendant was negligent while driving and caused both the accident and your injuries.

Some common car accident injuries include whiplash, knee damage, back and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), burns and scars, and permanent disability.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claims

Despite Florida’s mandated personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, severe accidents
often exceed policy limits. In these situations, injury victims cannot collect the compensation they need because the other driver lacks adequate insurance.

An auto attorney can help you seek compensation from your insurance company based on your individual policy uninsured motorist coverage. You can also pursue filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Product Liability Claims

In order to prove that a car accident resulted from the manufacturing process of a vehicle or part, your lawyer might pursue a claim against the manufacturer. ​To be successful, your car accident attorney would have to prove the following:

  • Design defects made the car or part unreasonably dangerous
  • The car was being operated safely
  • Vehicular performance had not changed since its purchase

Wrongful Death Claims

Under Florida law, you can file a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. For wrongful death cases, the victim’s survivors have only two years (as opposed to a four-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases) to file a claim.

Property Damage Claims

Tampa drivers must have property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage. If your damages exceed the $10,000 policy limits, you can sue for additional damages in civil court. If you hire a Tampa auto accident attorney and are successful, you might recover vehicle replacement funds or losses related to expensive items.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

When you are finally at home or in the hospital after a car accident, you should contact an auto accident attorney to protect your legal rights. However, in the moments immediately after a crash, you need to be prepared to document evidence that could help you recover significant losses.

Here are six steps that might improve your ability to seek compensation if you are injured after a car crash:

1. Stop the Car and Dial 911 for Immediate Medical Assistance

Do not leave the accident before it has been reported. The biological response to shock and trauma is to flood your body with adrenaline. This can diminish any painful sensations until days, weeks, or even months after the accident. Many auto accident injury victims do not realize they have even suffered injuries until later, which is why you should seek medical attention immediately.

2. Call the Police to File an Accident Report

You do not have to report all Florida car accidents, such as minor fender benders, to the police. But if the crash resulted in personal injuries or property damage worth $500 or more, do not hesitate to call law enforcement to file an official police report.

3. Document the Accident Events

While waiting for the police, write down your recollections from before the accident.
Which direction were you driving before being hit? Was a traffic light green, red, or yellow? Was the other driver swerving, speeding, or using a cell phone? This information will be significant to help your Tampa car accident lawyer reconstruct the collision.

4. Exchange Contact Information

Share vehicle and insurance details with the other driver. Include the make, model, year,
vehicle identification number, and license plate number of the other car. You should also ask for their complete name, address, date of birth, and contact information.

In the process, do not admit fault or apologize for the car accident as this could inadvertently reduce the amount of compensation you may be owed.

5. Gather Evidence and Witness Accounts

If it is possible to safely ​take clear photos​ and videos, including different angles of the damage to both vehicles, be thorough in your documentation. These images and recordings may also help signal weather conditions and road debris as well as street and traffic signs connected with your accident.

If a witness is available, include their identifying name and contact information and request to record a video with their retelling of what they saw.

6. Contact Your Insurance Company

Florida accident laws give you 10 days to report an accident and 14 days to seek medical attention in order for your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to kick in. Because insurance companies will often reject or undervalue your claim, you should consult with and potentially hire a Tampa auto accident attorney to navigate Florida law. We can help get you maximum compensation for your injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about car accidents and how a car accident lawyer can help your case, take a look at what other clients have asked to help you determine whether it might be time to reach out to a car accident lawyer at The Fran Haasch Law Group.

In Florida, you are still able to recover if you were partly at-fault in an auto accident. However, your recovery may be reduced by the portion the jury determines was your fault because the state operates under a comparative negligence system.

Determining fault percentages is complicated, but an experienced car accident attorney can provide insight into the strength of your claim. Contact our legal team for a free, no-risk consultation about your case.

If you filed a lawsuit in your personal injury case, you may have to take a compulsory medical examination. Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, this can be requested of a plaintiff or a defendant during a personal injury trial, and insurance carriers often take full advantage of this right.

During the medical examination, avoid discussing your personal life or details of the case. The physician performing a CME has been retained by an insurance carrier, and they may seek to minimize your injuries in their reports.

While it can feel like there are an overwhelming number of things to do after an accident,
you might also want to consider what to avoid.

  • Do not forgo calling the police. ​The other driver could provide you with the wrong information, or you could misplace your records. An official police report will serve as a permanent and factual representation of what happened, which can safeguard against he-​said/she-said accounts of the accident scene.
  • Avoid recording a statement. ​Insurance companies will likely attempt to get you to make a recorded statement. Your interest is in recovering maximum compensation for your losses while the insurance company’s interest is in paying as little as possible towards your claim.
  • Do not hesitate to pursue your claim.​ The Florida statute of limitations for car accident victims to file a claim is four years. After the four-year time limit, you no longer have the right to pursue recoveries. For wrongful death cases, you only have two years to file a claim.
Request Your Free Case Evaluation

Do You Need Help With Your Florida Car Accident Claim?

If you’ve been injured from an accident in Clearwater, it is important to consult with a local personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the case law, judges, and injuries in the greater Tampa Bay area.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Tampa, you might need help
understanding your legal rights and obligations in addition to complex state law. Contact a Tampa car accident lawyer from The Fran Haasch Legal Group for a free consultation with our legal team. We will review your case and determine the best strategy for getting you the money you deserve. Call us at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online.

Fill out the form to get started or give us a call to speak with our legal team directly.