Miami Car Accident Attorney
When you experience a car accident, your life can change dramatically. Florida law allow victims of car accidents to recover compensation for their damages, but its “no-fault” laws set restrictions on who is eligible to file a claim. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, contact Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A. to ensure that you can protect your rights and focus on recovery.
Why Choose Us as Your Lawyer
At Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A., we have extensive experience in car accident cases, helping our client pursue compensation for their losses. We understand that the period after a car crash can be incredibly stressful and strive to give your case the compassion and skill it deserves. When you work with our law firm, you’ll have:
- An attorney who carries a small caseload so that we can give your case our personal attention from start to finish.
- The support of a law firm who has proven results with cases that have historically been difficult to litigate.
- A free initial consultation to discuss all legal options for your case – including making house calls and hospital visits if necessary.
We pride ourselves on giving every case our utmost attention. Our goal is to allow our clients to focus on making a full medical recovery while we handle the legal recovery. If you’re ready to start your car accident claim and begin the road to getting your life back on track, contact us today.
Car Accident Statistics in Florida
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 395,785 automobile crashes statewide in 2016. Out of those crashes, 2,935 were fatal accidents that resulted in over 3,176 deaths, and 165,940 crashes resulted in 254,155 injuries – with 17,568 crashes leading to 21,645 incapacitating injuries.
Driving while under the influence is also a major contributor to car accidents, with alcohol contributing to 5,223 crashes in 2016. Drugs also played a role in 617 accidents.
In the same year, young drivers between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four were involved in over 130,000 car accidents. Over 34,000 of those accidents led to injuries, with 353 accidents ending in fatalities across the age group.
Causes of Car Accidents
While there are numerous potential causes for car accidents, many are the result of preventable human error. Your accident may have been the result of:
- Distracted driving. Any activity that takes your attention away from the road constitutes distracted driving, including looking at your cell phone, texting, talking to other passengers in the car, and eating.
- Driving under the influence. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is not only a crime, but also decreases attention span, causes delayed reaction times, and interferes with critical thinking.
- Reckless driving. Whenever drivers act aggressively, change lanes too quickly, drive over the speed limit, or otherwise, they are driving recklessly.
- Inclement weather like heavy rains can create unsafe roadway conditions, especially when drivers do not adjust their speeds appropriately.
- Design defects. When a vehicle design or part is defective, it can increase the risks of crashing.
In many automobile incidents, these causes amount to negligence on a driver or manufacturer’s part. When that happens, the party’s negligence contributes to their fault for your accident.
Car Accident Laws in Florida
Florida is a “no-fault”(PIP) state when it comes to car accidents. This means that you can recover money from your PIP insurance carrier for your medical bills caused by the accident regardless of negligence. If you can establish that the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you can recover compensation for lost wages and future medical bills from that person’s bodily injury insurance company. Moreover, if you suffered a permanent injury, you can recover pain and suffering and other damages from the negligent person’s bodily injury insurance. If the at-fault party does not carrier bodily injury insurance, you can recover from your Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance.
However, in Florida bodily injury insurance and Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance is not mandatory. Florida is one of only two states that does not mandate that all drivers have bodily injury insurance. The result is that in many cases, there is no insurance coverage for victims’ injuries. At our firm, we work to discover all available insurance and explore all possible avenues of recovery. We have a history of success in turning low-value or low-insurance cases into large recoveries.
Who Is Liable for a Car Accident?
Liability in a car accident refers to which party is responsible for causing the incident – and thus should pay for any damages. If the other driver was acting negligently by violating traffic laws, then he or she would be liable for your injuries. In a car accident, you can establish fault by:
- Proving that the other driver acted negligently
- Those negligent actions led to the accident
- The accident was responsible for your injuries, and
- Your injuries are serious enough to require compensation
Without proving liability, you will not be able to recover damages for your accident. Aside from being a no-fault insurance state, Florida law also works under a rule of comparative negligence. If the court finds you partially responsible for your accident, then the courts will reduce any compensation by your percentage of fault.
For example, if your total damages in the claim were $100,000, but the court found you 20 percent responsible for the accident, then you would only receive $80,000 in compensation. In Florida, you can recover as long as you were not solely responsible for the accident. Florida is a “pure comparative negligence” state.
Damages You Can Recover
Car accidents victims are eligible to recover various damages depending on the circumstances of your case. You may be able to recover:
- Medical bills. You may be able eligible to recover any medical bills you incurred because of the accident. You also have a right to compensation for any future medical treatments for your injuries.
- Lost wages. If your injuries led to you losing income from missing work, then you can recover for your losses.
- Pain and suffering. Aside from financial losses like medical bills and lost wages, you can also recover for any past and future suffering due to your injuries. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for your damages and discourage further negligent or reckless behavior. These damages are rare and occur in cases where the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional.
Because of the complex processes of determining fair values for non-financial damages and future losses, working with an attorney is your best path to achieving the maximum value for your case. That being said, every case is different and may have a different value in court.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a sudden collision is something most of us don’t want to consider happening. When these accidents occur, they can be highly stressful – especially when you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries. While it’s difficult, try your best to remain calm and take these actions:
- Seek immediate medical help for any injuries and inform the police of the collision.
- Collect the other driver’s name, contact details, and insurance information.
- Take photos or video of the scene, the damages to your car, and any injuries, if possible.
- Collect contact information of any witnesses.
- Inform your insurance company of the incident.
- Do not talk with the other party’s insurance adjuster or give any statements.
- Consult an attorney.
Following these steps can help you gather critical evidence to support your legal claim, if possible. However, the police will conduct their own investigation that will provide evidence for your case. Nevertheless, you should not rely on the police to take the photos and witness information needed for your case.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
An attorney can help you evaluate your case and inform you of your legal options. Your lawyer will be able to help you evaluate if an insurance company is offering you a fair settlement offer, and, if necessary, fight for your right to compensation in court. Insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of car accident victims that do not have a lawyer. Oftentimes, they will make unfair settlement offers to unrepresented claimants shortly after the accident. This is an attempt to take advantage of unrepresented victims before they have a lawyer to protect their rights. You need a lawyer to make sure that you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact Us Today
When you suffer an injury in a car accident, you don’t have to face the courts alone. The experienced attorneys of Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm P.A. have a history of protecting the rights of Miami citizens through successful personal injury claims. When you trust us with your claim, we’ll handle your legal matters so that you can focus on recovery. Contact us to arrange your free consultation today.