South Florida witnesses over 1,000 car accidents per day. As a result, deaths and serious bodily injuries occur. Our firm specializes in assisting accident victims every step of the way. We work diligently to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future medical costs, and other damages. When an accident leads to injuries, let an accident attorney help you today.
Car Accidents in Pompano Beach
South Florida is one of the most dangerous areas for drivers, with hundreds of thousands of car accidents occurring each year. Being a highly populated state with long stretches of interstates, highways, and busy streets, people are traveling in their cars every day, leaving them vulnerable to being injured in a car crash at any time.
If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, you need to immediately seek medical and legal advice from an experienced pompano beach car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Laws in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state, which means you need to seek compensation from your auto insurance provider for your injuries, even if the other driver is at fault. In Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory for every driver. This level of protection is there to ensure you can immediately receive medical attention for injuries, regardless of who was at fault.
However, PIP only covers a percentage of damages, up to $10,000, which is why many car accident victims have to pursue a claim to receive compensation for their injuries and expenses.
Qualified Lawyers Fighting for Compensation You Deserve
Florida’s high-traffic and congestion raises the possibility of being involved in a car accident. Not to mention, in many cases negligence is the cause of automotive accidents. Negligence behind the wheel encompasses everything from driving under the influence (DUI), speeding, texting and driving, drowsy driving, road rage, distracted driving, and speeding.
However, after a car accident, you need the assistance of a car accident attorney to prove a driver was negligent to receive the compensation you deserve. While your PIP insurance will cover the damages up to $10,000, car accident injuries and damages can exceed that amount. This is why having a qualified car accident lawyer by your side is paramount.
In one second, you can go from driving to work to being involved in a car accident that can lead to severe injuries. Car accident injuries include concussions, brain injury, whiplash, herniated discs, broken bones, burns, damage to the spinal cord, and much more. Each of these injuries can leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bills, in addition to lost wages for missing work, property damage, and of course, the emotional distress associated with traumatic car accidents.
While some car accident costs are crystal clear, others are not. Filing a car accident claim means you can fight for compensation for future medical bills, emotional distress, and future lost wages. At LJW Legal, we can help you to analyze these expenses and make sure you receive what you deserve after you have been in a car accident in Pompano Beach, FL.
Florida Statute of Limitations
The Florida Statute of Limitations for car accident claims is four years from the date of your accident, which means you have four years to file a claim and receive compensation. After four years, you will have no legal options to pursue compensation except for very specific situations, such as an instance where you did not realize that you were injured until a later date. However, trying to file a claim once the date has expired can feel nearly impossible.
Four years may seem like ample time to get the ball rolling, but your attorney will likely use this time to work toward an out-of-court settlement. Negotiations can take a long time, and if you wait until you are nearing the four-year cutoff to hire an attorney, they will not have much time to gather information and build a negotiation strategy before being compelled to file a lawsuit.
Types of Car Accident Claims
There are a few different ways that an attorney will go about resolving a car accident claim:
This is the most common way to resolve car accident claims, where your attorney will negotiate directly with the insurance company to reach a fair agreement. This is often the preferred method, as it retains control over the situation instead of leaving major decisions up to a judge or jury. Some studies estimate that upwards of 95% of personal injury cases are settled before trial, with nearly 50% being settled before a legal case is ever even filed.
In certain cases, an out-of-court settlement will not be possible, and a lawsuit is the best path forward to reach a resolution. The insurance company may be unwilling to reach a fair settlement agreement, or your attorney may believe that you are eligible for punitive damages, which are additional damages that a judge or jury will impart on the at-fault driver as a punishment.
Arbitration is another common negotiation format, but it is more informal than a settlement negotiation and often much quicker. This process involves a third-party arbitrator who works as an intermediary between the two parties as they work to resolve the case. Once the arbitrator reaches a final decision that both parties agree to abide by, the decision is legally binding and is typically only able to be appealed in limited circumstances.
Common Types of Compensation and Factors to Consider
When it comes to a car accident, there is a lot more to your settlement than your property damage. The losses that you have suffered are known as compensatory damages and are further divided into two parts: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those losses that are financial in nature, meaning they have a dollar value; on the other hand, non-economic damages are those that do not have a dollar value.
Your attorney will seek compensation for costs related to your medical treatment for the injuries you sustained in the accident.
Injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to work, whether this means you miss entire blocks of work or if you are unable to earn as much as you were able to before the crash. Your lawyer will seek reimbursement for the income you’ve lost out on, as well as income that you may continue to lose in the future.
Based on the cost to repair or replace your damaged or destroyed property, your attorney will seek compensation that will restore your personal property back to its original condition.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is non-economic damage, as there is no set or measurable dollar value for something so abstract. Your attorney will seek compensation for both physical and emotional distress that you have endured as a result of your accident and the resulting injuries.
Factors to Consider When Determining Compensation
There are a number of factors that your lawyer will take into account while they calculate the compensation they believe that you are owed:
- The Severity of Injuries: The extent and the severity of your injuries will play a major factor in determining compensation, especially when they are trying to work out the amount of non-economic damages you are owed.
- Long-term impacts: If your injuries will have long-lasting effects on your life, such as a permanent disability, your attorney will also take this into account by projecting future damages.
- Liability: The party that caused the accident is liable for the damages you have incurred, but Florida uses a rule known as Pure Comparative Negligence. This means that a victim can be partially responsible for a crash and still be eligible for compensation, reduced by the percentage of fault they assume. Insurance companies will attempt to use this rule to their advantage by pinning unfair blame on you to reduce the cost of your claim.
- Insurance Coverage: Insurance policies have limits that say how much the insurer will pay out for each category, and beyond this limit, a victim may need to file a lawsuit against the victim directly or seek additional payment from their own insurer to cover the difference.
Common Injuries from Car Accidents
No two accidents are alike, meaning that two victims in seemingly-identical crashes can walk away with dramatically different injuries. However, some injuries are more common than others, including:
- Whiplash: this injury happens when the head is jerked back and forth, tearing the soft tissues in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Head Injuries: These can range from mild concussions to serious, long-lasting traumatic brain injuries, known as TBIs. These injuries happen when the brain is jolted inside the skull, and a head injury of any severity should be examined by a doctor immediately.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The spinal cord is responsible for the transmission of all signals from the brain through a complex bundle of nerves, and an injury to this area can leave a person paralyzed or with reduced motor functions. These injuries happen if the spinal cord is stretched, compressed, or severed.
- Broken Bones: The impact of a car accident can cause broken bones all throughout the body, including arms, legs, ribs, hips, and more.
- Internal Injuries: Organs like the liver, spleen, or kidneys can be damaged in an impact, although the damage will not be visibly apparent. If you feel any discomfort in your organs, get treatment immediately — these injuries can be life-threatening if not treated.
- Cuts and Bruises: These types of injuries are extremely common in a car accident, whether due to an impact or broken glass and debris flying around inside the vehicle.
Whether or not your injuries were mentioned above, contact us right away to discuss your situation and learn more about how we can help you fight for the money you deserve.
Common Types of Auto Accidents
There are many different types of auto accidents, but the following are a few of the most common:
When one car drives into the back of another, this is known as a rear-end collision. These are common at stop signs and red lights but are equally common in traffic.
Lane Change Accidents
When a driver changes lanes and doesn’t notice another vehicle already in the lane, they can cause a collision that may lead to serious injuries.
When two vehicles hit each other head-on, the force of the accident is extreme and can lead to serious or even fatal injuries. These are most common when one driver leaves their lane and crosses over the center line into oncoming traffic.
When a car flips over and rolls onto its side or roof the damage can be catastrophic. These types of injuries are some of the deadliest, especially if the vehicle rolls a few times before coming to a stop.
PIP Insurance Claims
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is a mandatory policy in Florida, and all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 as part of their insurance policy.
PIP is designed to provide coverage to drivers for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from a car accident, but unlike liability insurance, this is a no-fault policy that pays out regardless of who was at fault.
PIP may not cover all of your expenses if you are involved in a car accident but can provide you with a helpful payment soon after the crash to help keep your finances stable as you work towards a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
At LJW Legal, our car accident attorneys will help you:
Identify Third-Party Defendants
In some cases, there may be a third party that is partially responsible for your crash, in addition to the at-fault driver. Common third-party defendants can include vehicle manufacturers, auto mechanics, or even liquor establishments under specific circumstances.
Regardless of who the third-party defendant is, bringing another party into your legal case also means that there will be another team of lawyers focusing on avoiding liability and paying you as little as possible — if anything at all. Working with the team at LJW Legal means that you will have a dedicated attorney fighting to get you the compensation you deserve no matter how many parties are involved, and no matter how strong the resistance is.
Seek Necessary Medical Care
After a car accident, it is important that you get the necessary medical care. Many people may feel stuck after working with the primary care physician, or might be passed right off to a physical therapist without getting a comprehensive understanding of their injuries.
The team at LJW Legal is familiar with post-accident medical care and will help guide you through the process of finding the right doctor who will sympathize with your situation and ensure that you get comprehensive care. It is important to work with healthcare professionals who understand a bit about tort laws, also, because their documentation will play an important role in your claims process and it’s necessary that they include all relevant information.
Navigate Insurance Company Pitfalls
Insurance companies, like all businesses, are focused on making money, and this means paying as little as possible on claims against their drivers. Insurance companies will delay or deny claims in the hopes of avoiding an appeal, offer shockingly low settlement offers, attempt to place unreasonable blame on the victim for the accident, and pressure the claimant to accept a quick settlement before they realize what they actually deserve. Once settled, a victim has no legal recourse to reopen the case.
To avoid these issues, it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer who can review the situation and build a strong case on your behalf.
Protect You From Insurance Representatives
When you are working with an insurance adjuster, no matter how friendly and helpful they may be, it is always important to remember that they are working for the insurer and focused on resolving your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible — no matter how badly this impacts your own ability to move forward with your life.
Insurers have decades-old playbooks that are designed to take advantage of obscure legal loopholes, deny claims outright, or even simply delay a claim until you give up and accept their lowball offer. The team at LJW Legal knows these tactics and will fight to ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
Gather Medical Records and Accident Reports
One of the most important steps to take after a car accident is to document your injuries, all of your medical assessments and treatment received, and any other reports and documentation that will help provide context to the situation.
The team at LJW Legal will gather all of this documentation on your behalf so that you can remain focused on your recovery without dealing with bureaucratic red tape and paperwork.
Obtain Testimony From Respected Expert Witnesses
In many instances, working with an expert witness is a great way to add additional context to the situation as we work to convey your case to a judge or jury. An expert witness will be able to provide testimony that will help explain the nuances of a complex case and make sure that your story is accurately depicted.
The team at LJW Legal works with a variety of expert witnesses in Pompano Beach and throughout Florida, and will bring in these experts to strengthen your case.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Pompano Beach
After a car accident, you need to take immediate action to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. However, this does not mean springing out of the car, ignoring your injuries, and trying to check every box on this list. The most important thing you must do is take care of yourself first — get the medical attention you need, and do not ignore injuries.
Take a look at the list below to get a better idea of the steps to take in a best-case scenario, but again, remember that your health is your absolute top priority. If you are injured, do not do anything that will make matters worse. Not only will this lead to bigger problems down the road, but it will also give the insurance company and defense attorneys “proof” that your injuries are either not related to this accident or that you are exaggerating their severity.
Take a Moment and Assess the Situation
Immediately after a car accident, you first want to take a moment to catch your breath and make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe. Check your surroundings to determine whether or not you are at risk of further injury from a secondary collision or other danger. After a crash, you will be flooded with adrenaline that can suppress pain, so scan your body and look for any blood or other discomfort.
Before even exiting the vehicle, call 911 so first responders can be sent to the scene right away. It is best to do this before speaking with the other driver in case they try to convince you to handle it one-on-one and get agitated if you insist on calling. There is nothing worse than working directly with an at-fault driver without having a police officer on site to compile an official accident report, only to find that the driver has changed their story or is denying fault after the fact.
Furthermore, EMTs will be called to the scene who can give you a comprehensive check and make medical recommendations for the next steps. If there are any serious injuries, they may suggest taking an ambulance to the Emergency Room. If a victim is nonresponsive, they will make this decision without waiting for consent.
Get Medical Attention
When the EMTs arrive, let them give you a full inspection and talk over any symptoms or issues you may be experiencing. Be honest during the exam, and take their advice seriously. Trying to suffer through an injury is not only dangerous for your long-term health, but it can also put a damper on the car accident claim.
If you do not take an ambulance and are able to leave the scene on your own, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your primary care physician immediately, or head to the nearest walk-in clinic. Each interaction you have with a healthcare professional will help you with your recovery and care, and will also generate documentation that will come in handy as your attorney works to build a case on your behalf.
Make sure you compile as much information as possible, including contact information for any witnesses, accident reports, and if possible, photographs of the scene. If you are able to take a video of the scene, speak on the video about any specific events or details that are coming to mind. Any additional information that you can gather at the time will help your lawyer piece together the details of the crash as they work to prove fault and fight to recover the compensation you are rightfully owed.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer
You may think that the next step is to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and initiate a claim, but the fact is that the insurer will be looking for ways to downplay your injuries and pay as little as possible from the moment they first speak with you. They do this through a combination of overwhelming the victim with legal terms and documents, twisting the victim’s words, and trying to intimidate them into accepting a low settlement.
When you have a seasoned car accident attorney handling your case from day one, the insurer knows that they won’t be able to get away with these tactics, and you won’t need to deal with any of the stress of your claim. While our team handles your car accident claim, you can stay focused on your recovery.
Recovering From Car Accident Injuries
Car accident cases can be very traumatic experiences. Recovering from an accident takes time and care, but when victims are uncertain about their accident claim and whether or not they will receive the compensation they deserve, they may ignore their injuries and rush back to work, or skip out on medical care to avoid taking on debt. When you are working with a trusted attorney, they can give you the confidence you need to focus on getting the care you deserve and working towards making a full recovery.
Build Your Car Accident Legal Team
At LJW Legal, our attorneys will always go above and beyond to help you recover from a car accident. We know that a car accident can be confusing, and negotiating with insurance companies is even worse, which is why an attorney will be available 24/7 to answer all of your questions.
Once your recovery journey begins, insurance companies will do their best to get you to sign a settlement offer and close the case. Don’t. Car accident injuries often take longer to heal, once you close the case the insurance company no longer has to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other accident costs to accident victims.
Having an experienced injury lawyer on your side will help you protect your rights. Do not let insurance companies restrict the compensation you deserve. Our personal injury attorneys will personally speak to witnesses, read police records, analyze accident reports, and meticulously prepare a solid claim that will ensure you receive what you deserve.
We know how insurance companies operate, which is why our attorneys will always be there to support and answer all your questions.
Working with a Car Accident Lawyer in South Florida
When you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Pompano Beach, FL, working with a personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call 954-597-6700 or contact us online to receive a complimentary initial consultation. With offices located in Pompano Beach, our car accident attorneys are ready to represent you and fight for the compensation from insurance companies you deserve.
When insurance companies want to take advantage – don’t let them. If you are in need of an injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or any other location in South Florida, contact our law firm for a free consultation today.
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