- Florida Car Accident Lawyers
- Factors Affecting Car Accident Claim
- Types of Auto Accident Claims
- Injuries from Car Wrecks
- Compensation Following a Car Accident
- What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
- Can a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help in a Small Accident?
- Florida Car Accident Statistics
- Best Florida Car Accident Attorneys Near You
- Specific Florida Areas Denmon Pearlman Serves
Denmon Pearlman’s auto accident attorneys have been handling claims for more than 14 years. Our Florida attorneys are certified to practice in all the cities in Florida, as well as the Federal district courts.
Florida Car Accident Lawyers | Top Rated
Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles works hard to protect Floridians and tourists. Still, motor vehicles are a leading cause of death and disability in the Sunshine State every year.
Texting while driving, driving distracted, driving under the influence, and other driver errors contribute to crashes and endanger the motoring public.
Car accident lawyers in Florida help those hurt physically, emotionally, or financially by car accidents.
Most commonly, accident lawyers help injured victims with their personal injury claims. Florida civil justice requires negligent drivers to compensate victims of vehicle wrecks for what has been taken from them.
We call this equal trade value. It is not “free money”. Something has been taken from the person. We then must act as appraisers to determine the equal trade for what has been taken.
A neck or back injury is a real injury. These injuries can cause pain and interfere with a person’s ability to live life on his or her own terms. A top-rated car accident attorney will secure equal trade for these injuries for their clients.
A good car accident lawyer will also:
- Set up the insurance claims for the client. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with after a collision.
- Make sure the insurance company pays you fair value if your vehicle is totaled.
- Make sure the insurance company repairs your vehicle.
- Help you into a rental vehicle if possible, or otherwise secure compensation for your time without a car.
- Treat you like a patient, and work with your doctors to make sure you are getting the best treatment for your injuries.
- Try to turn your difficult situation into the best experience possible for you!
Factors Affecting Car Accident Claim
Florida does not have a specific formula or calculation to determine the value of your car accident claim. Instead, the following factors help determine your claim value:
Responsibility for the Collision:
Florida a comparative fault state. That means a Jury can find the other driver 1% at fault or 100% at fault. The Jury can determine you were partially at fault.
If the driver you sued rear-ended you while you were stopped at a stop sign, the driver might well be 100% responsible for the collision. Your case is stronger because the responsibility is clear.
But what if both you and the driver were switching lanes on the interstate at the time of the wreck? The liability might not be as clear.
Insurance Coverage for the At-Fault Party:
To win a Florida car accident claim you need to have a financial source of recovery. Most of the time that means insurance coverages. These coverages include:
Bodily injury coverage:
This is insurance coverage that is purchased by the at-fault driver or the owner of the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver. Bodily injury coverage covers medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the past and the future. It is the most common source of recovery for those injured in a Florida motor vehicle collision. However, as of April 2021, bodily injury coverage is still not mandatory coverage in Florida. As many as 3 out of 10 Florida citizens are driving without bodily injury coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
This is insurance coverage that is purchased by you, a resident relative, or the non-fault owner of the vehicle you are driving with at the time of the collision. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage “pretends” to be bodily injury coverage when the bad driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough to cover your injuries.
It is not uncommon for a small insurance policy to artificially limit the settlement amount of the case. We have seen clients with permanent injuries not be able to recover a settlement because the bad driver had insufficient insurance and no assets.
Your Injuries: Permanent or Temporary:
The nature of the injuries can affect the value of a car accident claim.
In Florida, we have a pain and suffering threshold in most car accident claims. If there is not a permanent injury, or disfigurement, or permanent scarring, then the victim of the car accident can not recover from past and future pain and suffering.
However, if the injuries are permanent, the victim can recover from pain and suffering damages for the rest of his or her life.
For example, assume Sally Is 30. She herniated a disc in her back after a car wreck. The disc injury caused radiating pain down her leg. Her doctor opines that she is permanently injured. Sally can recover from pain and suffering damages into the future. The Social Security table predicts Sally will live until she is 83. That means it is reasonable and fair to ask for compensation for Sally’s injuries for the next 53 years.
The severity of the vehicle damage impacts the value of the case for two reasons.
First, the stronger the impact, the more it makes sense to a Jury that the impact caused significant injury. And while most cases do not go to trial, car accident lawyers try to gauge what a Jury would think when determining case values.
Second, insurance companies are willing to aggressively fight certain low-impact vehicle cases. On some low-impact causes without a lot of property damage, the insurance claims attorney has the authority to spend big bucks to fight the case tooth and nail.
Of course, we do have clients who are severely injured in car wrecks with little if any visible property damage. It is imperative to determine the severity of the client’s injury early on. If the client is potentially permanently injured, we will hire an accident reconstructionist and other experts to help prove our claim and win the case.
Types of Auto Accident Claims
Approximately 94 percent of Florida car accident cases are due to driver negligence. That means human error, as opposes to a defective product or condition.
Negligence: Your Florida auto accident attorney will need to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. Some examples of negligence include driving drunk, failing to keep eyes on the road and rear-ending someone, texting while driving, failure to yield, and improper turning.
Defective Roads and Conditions: Florida’s Department of Motor vehicles and local governments try to maintain the roads every year. Yet even though Florida has moderate weather, a road condition can cause an accident.
Some examples of faulty road conditions include faulty traffic signals, problems with the design or maintenance of the roads, improper or hidden signs, and potholes that have not been fixed timely.
Defective Car Parts: These claims usually go unnoticed for an extended period. Eventually, car accident attorneys, through the help of accident reconstruction experts and product engineering experts, see patterns in a collision and build the case against the defective car part manufacturer.
Injuries from Car Wrecks
Because of the speed and force of a motor vehicle accident, a human can suffer injuries from head to toe. However, there are certain injuries that we see in Florida car wrecks more often than others. These include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Tendon injury
- Joint or muscle injury
The most common injuries involve injuries to the spine and the head. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal injury in Florida and are the third leading cause of brain trauma in the Sunshine State.
Florida Law on Compensation Following a Car Accident
Florida law allows an injured party to recover economic for all victims of car accidents. These include:
- Prior lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Prior medical bills
- Future medical bills
Assuming a permanent injury, Florida law also allows car accident victims to recover from pain and suffering damages. This includes loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and mental anguish.
Non-economic damages sometimes rub people the wrong way. But this compensation is just and honorable. After all, compensation for medical bills just goes to pay the Doctor. But the non-economic damages go to the victim to offset what the victim has lost.
Florida has a large constitution that spells out the rights of its citizens. Some of those rights include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
When another person thrusts pain into another’s life unnaturally, it is only fair that the person pays for the damage caused. Non-economic damages help compensate for these damages.
What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
Our car accident attorneys put together the following guide of what to do if you are in a car accident in Florida:
- Take photos: A common misconception is to only take photos of the property damage. That is important, but better to take pictures of the entire scene. Where was the impact? Where did the cars ultimately stop? Can you see skid marks? All of this is used later to help prove your case.
- Get a police report if possible: While not always possible, call 911 and try to get a police report. Police reports memorialize the facts. Sometimes stories change and memories fade in the days or weeks after a car accident. Plus, a Florida car accident attorney can public records request the accident report to get insurance information for the bad driver and the owner of the car.
- Seek medical treatment: We always advise individuals in auto accidents to get checked out after a collision. Florida makes all drivers have “PIP” insurance, which will allow you to go to the urgent care and get checked out, regardless of fault and regardless of your health insurance situation. Discuss with the doctor when you should consider seeking treatment with a specialist if the pain does not improve.
- Call a Florida Car Accident Lawyer: Call a Florida car accident attorney and discuss your case. Even if you do not have a personal injury car accident claim, the law firm can help guide you on best practices for property damage claims and making sure you are in a vehicle. Our firm will talk to any victims of car accidents free of charge.
Can a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help in a Small Accident?
First, people ask if it is worth getting a car accident lawyer after a minor Florida car accident. The answer is often yes!
- Even accidents that cause minor property damage can cause big injuries: We have seen cases with no visible property damage that, after taking off the bumper reveal bent metal! Twisted steel by itself does not reveal the damage caused to the human body. It only reveals the damage to the vehicle.
- Even if you are not hurt, your vehicle will have lost value: In an era of Carfax, the world knows when your car is in an accident. And nobody wants to buy a vehicle that has been in a wreck. That means you have an economic loss that deserves to be addressed. Of course, the insurance company does not wish to compensate you for any more losses than they must. A Florida car accident attorney can help you find claims you may not know even exists, such as diminished value or rental loss.
- Remember, your insurance company is not your friend. It will always try to shave off some of the money you are due to make sure it has the profits the shareholders need at the end of the day. The good news is Florida law sometimes enables your car accident attorney to get paid directly from your insurance company when your company tries to screw you out of money. Anytime you have a claim with your insurance company, and it does not treat you fairly, discuss your claim with a Florida car accident attorney.
Florida Car Accident Statistics
The Florida resource at flhsmv.gov tracks crash data in Florida. The data shows the following:
Total crashes: In 2020 alone there were 340,552 traffic crashes in Florida.
Total fatalities: There were 3,328 fatalities from crashes in Florida in 2020. these fatalities happened in 3,089 crashes.
Injuries from crashes: 212,142 people were injured in crashes in Florida in 2020. These injuries occurred in 139,984 crashes.
Crashes are investigated equally among law enforcement agencies. The Sherriff’s department investigated 29.75%, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated 31.15%, and police departments investigated 39.03%.
Best Florida Car Accident Lawyers Near You
Our car accident attorneys have substantial experience helping clients with all car accident problems. From personal injury car accident claims to first-party property damage disputes, we know how to get you a fair shake for your claim.
Denmon Pearlman car accident lawyers have been named to the Superlawyers every year since 2016.
Our Florida lawyers in Tampa Bay include:
- Christian Denmon (partner)
- Nicole Denmon (partner)
- Lee Pearlman (partner)
- Andy Plagge
- Nicole Pearlman
Florida car accident attorneys near you: