Miami, FL Car Accident Attorney
Are you looking to find a Miami car accident lawyer? If you or a family member was injured in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in Miami-Dade County, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver if their negligent actions contributed to the accident. A skilled lawyer from Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A can guide you through the claims process in a way that allows you to treat your injuries and address the emotional aspect of the collision while still seeking legal recourse as soon as possible.
How Can our Miami Lawyers Help You?
When pursuing an injury claim from an auto accident, the right personal injury attorney is very important to have. The best Miami car accident attorneys help their clients get the evidence they need by conducting a thorough investigation in order to help them win their case. This means offering services like witness investigation, examining the scene of the accident, and even using expert witnesses when needed. All this plays an important role in negotiating your settlement with the insurance company.
The settlement negotiation process with the insurance company is not something you want to handle on your own (unless there were no injuries involved). Claims adjustors don’t have your best interest in mind – but our attorneys do. Let our attorneys negotiate with the insurance company so you don’t have to. Our highly experienced attorneys have been negotiating car accident claims for many years and our goal is always to help you recover as much money as possible so all expenses that have resulted from the accident can be taken care of. No accident victim should have to pay for costs that were no fault of their own.
We are ready to help with your Miami car accident claim
The auto accident attorneys here in our office are here to help any accident victims in Florida who have suffered harm as the result of negligence on the part of another person, party or entity. We take great pride in being there for our clients during the entire process and doing whatever we can to help. Our law firm understands that the personal injury process is not solely based in financial compensation for bodily injuries. When someone is involved in a life-changing car accident, it is common to experience some form of emotional trauma. We have helped numerous individuals and families recover for all forms of damage caused by an accident, even when other firms refuse to serve them. Part of the process is helping you heal both mentally and physically, and we are here for our clients to help make that happen. Our goal is to take as much off of your plate as possible so you can focus only on getting healing and getting as healthy as you possible can.
Our law firm track record of success
We have years of experience winning and successfully handling car accident cases here in Miami. One of our successful auto accident cases involves a client who sustained a herniated disc following a collision. Our lead Miami car accident lawyer, Michael T. Flanagan, represented this individual, helping them secure $700,000 in compensation for their damages.
Our attorneys are also equipped to handle trickier cases against entities that might work against you. In a case involving Geico, the company claimed that our client lied about injuries associated with an accident after refusing to settle a fair amount for his injuries. We successfully represented this client, securing him $250,000 in compensation.
While we can’t guarantee the outcome of any case, we can promise to fight as hard as we can to maximize the amount of money we get for you.
Damages related to the car accident you may be able to sue for
Miami 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 the smartest thing you can do to get maximum value for your case.
Florida car accident statistics
When we turn to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, we see that there were 402,385 total car accidents in Florida during the latest reporting year. Out of those crashes, there were:
- 3,116 total crash fatalities
- 254,310 total crash injuries
Thankfully, most car accidents result in only property damage or minor injuries. However, looking closer at the numbers, we can see that there were over 20,000 incapacitating injuries during that reporting year.
Looking closer at the Miami car accident statistics, we can see that for the year mentioned above, there were nearly 66,000 total car accidents in Miami-Dade County. Out of these crashes, there were 285 fatalities and 32,389 injuries.
Our area has more car accidents than most other places around the state. Our streets are packed all year long with visitors from all over the country. When combined with unfamiliarity on our streets, negligent drivers can cause serious crashes.
What are the most common Miami car accident injuries?
We mentioned that most car accident injuries are minor, but we do not want you to confuse that with them not being serious. Even minor injuries can lead to major medical expenses and lost income and benefits that can negatively impact a crash victim.
Serious injuries can lead to victims and their families being put into financial jeopardy. Thousands of people each year in this state suffer from incapacitating injuries.
Some of the most common car accident injuries we see at Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A. include:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Causes of Car Accidents
While there are many potential causes for car accidents, most are the result of preventable human error. You should speak to an accident lawyer if the car wreck you were in involved any of the following:
- Distracted driving: Any activity that takes your attention away from the road constitutes distracted driving, including looking at your cell phone, texting while driving, talking to other passengers in the car, and eating.
- Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is not only a crime, but also decreases attention span, causes delayed reaction times, and interferes with critical thinking. During the latest reporting year in Florida, alcohol-impaired drivers and drug-impaired drivers were responsible for 712 total crash fatalities, a significant number of the overall crash fatalities in the state.
- Reckless driving: Whenever drivers act aggressively, change lanes too quickly, drive over the speed limit, or otherwise, they are driving recklessly and can cause accidents like rollovers.
- Inclement weather: Bad weather such as heavy rains can create unsafe roadway conditions, especially when drivers do not adjust their speeds appropriately or can’t see their surroundings, causing motorcycle accidents.
- Design defects: When a vehicle design or part is defective, it can increase the risks of crashing.
If your accident was the result of any of the issues listed above, call our Miami accident lawyers today to find out how we can help.
Miami’s No-Fault Insurance System
Florida is one of twelve states that operates under a mandatory no-fault insurance system. No fault insurance systems are self-explanatory in that each driver’s insurance company covers their own driver, without assigning a fault rating like fault-based states do.
No-fault insurance states remove the interaction between both parties in a collision. Individuals involved in minor accidents cannot pursue any form of claim against the other driver unless they qualify. Most car accidents, however, do not. Minor fender benders and other small collisions must not enter the court circuit – keeping the court system clear of minor small claims is one of the purposes of no-fault insurance.
In Florida, all registered driver must meet the minimum caps for their base insurance plan and liability insurance. Florida requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in both property liability and personal injury protection (PIP) to cover for damages the driver could sustain in an accident. However, the state does recommend that drivers also purchase bodily injury liability insurance, which covers at-fault drivers if the other driver involved qualifies to sue via personal injury claim. In Florida, liability insurance is not mandatory – only PIP and property damage liability are.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws
Florida operates under pure comparative negligence laws. In circumstances where an injured driver qualifies to press charges, the fault-based rating system comes into play. This means either the insurance company or the court assigns a percentage-based fault rating to each party. Evidence-gathering is a crucial aspect of this process because the plaintiff’s total compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault they possess. This is where help from our accident attorneys comes into play.
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. Our law firm has a history of success in turning low-value or low-insurance cases into larger settlement recoveries for our clients.
Who Is Liable for a Miami Car Accident?
Liability in a car accident refers to which party is responsible for causing the incident. That party should pay for any damages they have caused. 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, our attorneys 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% responsible for the accident, then you would only receive $80,000 in compensation. You can recover as long as you were not solely responsible for the accident. Florida is a “pure comparative negligence” state.
What should you do after a Miami car accident?
Seek medical care immediately after a crash for any injuries to you, your passengers, or anyone else at the scene. Call 911 and ensure police and EMS are on the way. In many cases, crash victims may not feel any pain in the immediate aftermath of a crash. Please understand that the signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries may not appear until hours or even days after the crash. Even if your injuries are not serious, you should let a doctor examine and diagnose you. By seeking medical attention immediately after a Miami car accident, you are establishing a link between the crash and any injuries you sustained.
Document the scene if you are able to do so. Get out your smartphone and begin taking pictures of everything. This includes damages and injuries from the crash, the causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, and more. Speak to any eyewitnesses to the crash. Get their names and contact information so they can help with insurance issues or in a potential lawsuit.
Make sure the police complete an accident report. Police officers will conduct their investigation and record their findings in the accident report. Be sure you know how to obtain a copy of this report for insurance or lawsuit purposes.
Continue any medical treatment that your doctor prescribes. Discontinuing a treatment plan could jeopardize any settlement that you receive from insurance companies or in a lawsuit.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to give a free evaluation of your case. You may ask – My injury isn’t bad, should I get a lawyer anyway? Yes, you should. It is often impossible to predict how an injury will progress and affect you in the future. By securing an attorney for any injuries sustained in a car accident, you are protecting yourself.
Dealing with insurance companies after your accident
Very soon after a car accident occurs and you report it to the insurance company, you will get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance company claims adjuster. You need to avoid making any statements. Please understand that they will record anything you say and can potentially use your words against you when determining a settlement. Inform them that you have an attorney and you would like your attorney to handle all communications. Insurance companies are not your friend. Their purpose is to pay as little as possible in a settlement.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you were in an accident and there were no injuries involved, you can probably handle this on your own with a lawyer. However, if you or a family member suffered an injury, this is where the right Miami car accident lawyers can usually help you get far more money from the insurance companies than if you were trying to handle this on your own. An attorney can help you evaluate your case and inform you of your legal options. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine 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 victims who don’t have a lawyer to represent them. You need an auto accident lawyer in Miami to make sure that you get as much money as possible to pay for all of your past, present and future medical bills that were a direct result of the accident, as well as other expenses.
Contact our Miami Car Accident Attorneys Today
When you suffer an injury in a car accident, you don’t have to face the courts or insurance companies alone. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have a history of protecting the rights of our clients through successful Miami personal injury claims. When you trust us with your claim, we’ll handle your legal matters so that you can focus on recovery.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash in Coral Gables, contact our Coral Gables car accident attorneys today.
Contact us to arrange your free car accident consultation today.
“Michael is honest trust worthy and effective lawyer. A few years ago I was in car accident, and injured my back badly. Mick worked with the insurance on my behalf, and got me large settlement and they also paid for my back surgery. He always has my best interest at heart. Michael works miracles and always put his clients first. Thanks Michael.” – Hamsler Moleon