Car accidents often result in serious injuries and significant property damage. They are a leading cause of death in the state of Florida. While some accidents are unavoidable, many are caused by driver negligence. On average, there are 400,000 car accidents in Florida each year, leading to thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Car accident victims and their families are often left devastated and dealing with financial difficulties among other consequences.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you are entitled to some legal rights. Getting compensation for your injuries and damages can greatly ease your burden and help you get back to your normal life faster. However, navigating the complex legal process can be challenging especially if you have no experience with applying laws.
You need the assistance of an experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyer. At Florida Lawyers 360, we have a team of compassionate and highly seasoned personal injury attorneys who are prepared to help you with your case. We are committed to helping victims of car accidents get the justice they deserve.
Get in touch with us today at (954) 448-7355 to schedule your free initial consultation where we will evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action.
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How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Many accident victims forego the option of hiring an attorney due to the fear of how much it will cost them and they end up hurting their claim. What many people don’t know is that most professional car accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay them after they have successfully secured a favorable settlement or verdict. Thus, you have nothing to lose but all to gain by firing an attorney.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
After being involved in a car accident, it is important to take the following steps to protect your rights and wellbeing:
Under the law, when an accident results in injuries, death, and property damage exceeding $500, you should report it to the police. In addition, some insurance companies require an official police report to approve a claim.
Check on Other Involved Parties (Do Not Leave!)
Next, you need to assess your situation. Take a look around to find out if everyone is okay or in need of help. Also, consider moving your car to a safe area, if possible. Do not leave the scene until the police have cleared you.
Remember to collect the names, contact details, and insurance information of the other drivers involved in the accident.
Record the Scene
If you have a smartphone or camera, take as many photos and videos as possible of the scene of the accident. They should show the damages inflicted on the vehicles, your injuries, the presence or absence of skid marks, and other important details.
Never Admit Fault
Do not admit fault for the accident to anyone or apologize. Remember, liability is only determined after proper and thorough investigation.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical treatment is perhaps the most important thing you need to do after a car accident. Besides ensuring quick recovery, it is important to have your injuries documented by a medical specialist. This will help in proving your claim.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
You need to consult a Daytona Beach car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The earlier he or she starts investigating your case, the better.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Car accident settlements are not standard and thus, there is no average car accident settlement. While most online resources put it at around $10,000 – $20,000, all settlements are unique and will vary based on circumstances surrounding your case.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
If you’ve sustained serious injuries or damages after a car accident, it is in your best interest to get an auto accident attorney involved as soon as possible, preferably the same day or a few days later if you are able to. Taking quick action helps to protect your rights and ensure the best outcome.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Here is how our experienced attorneys can help with your Daytona Beach car accident claim:
Investigate Your Case
Your attorney will fully investigate all the aspects of your case to determine who exactly is at fault, determine the level of compensation you deserve, and build a strong case for you. If you choose to handle the case on your own, it can be very difficult to properly determine all these factors.
File Your Claim
Your attorney will help to ensure that you properly file your claim and within the set deadline. Any errors or missing the deadline can void your ability to pursue compensation. Your attorney will help to ensure that everything is done right.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Your attorney will need to determine whether the liable party is putting forward a settlement offer that fully compensates you for your injuries and damages. Attorneys have excellent negotiation skills and they will put them to work during the negotiations phase to ensure the best level of compensation.
Represent You in Court
In case a fair settlement agreement can’t be reached, your attorney should be prepared to take your case to court. This is why it is crucial that you hire an attorney that has experience tacking cases in court. The car accident attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 have vast experience presenting cases before a judge and jury.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
The value of your case will depend on many factors such as the severity of your injuries and the level of damages. Your attorney will need to determine the total expenses and losses you’ve suffered as well as those you stand to suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
Florida is a no-fault state which means that regardless of who’s at fault, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance cover should kick in and pay for most of your damages up to a certain limit.
The following are the current minimum auto insurance coverage amounts:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
- $10,000 per accident in property damage coverage
- Your PIP policy should cover:
- $5,000 in death benefits
- Up to 80 percent of medical expenses
- Up to 60 percent of lost wages
- Travel reimbursement for hospital visits
If your level of damages exceeds the amount covered by your PIP insurance policy, you can take legal action against the at-fault party and demand compensation for the excess amount.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Victims may be awarded the following types of damages in a Florida car accident lawsuit:
These types of damages cover you for verifiable losses that are financial in nature. They include current and future medical expenses, lost income, travel expenses, car repair costs, modifications to your house if you become disabled, etc.
Non-economic damages are meant to cover losses that can’t be assigned an objective monetary value. They include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
These types of damages are rarely awarded in car accident cases. They are usually awarded in cases where the at-fault party acted in a grossly negligent or intentional manner causing harm. The state of Florida caps punitive damages at three times the compensatory amount or $500,000, whichever is higher.
How is Fault Determined in Florida?
To secure your financial recovery, a Daytona Beach car accident lawyer will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. To achieve this he or she needs to prove the following elements of negligence:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care to drive in a careful and safe manner.
- The other driver breached his/her duty of care by failing to act or acting in a manner that another reasonable driver would have or would not have in a similar situation.
- The accident that resulted in your injuries was a direct result of the negligence of the other driver.
- Due to the accident, you suffered injuries and legally compensable damages.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
The deadline for filing car accident claims as stipulated under Florida’s statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help me File My Insurance Claim?
When filing a claim for a car accident, there is a certain procedure you need to follow. As discussed earlier, Florida is a no-fault state which means that you will need to turn to your insurance company first for compensation.
You are required to notify your insurance company and that of the defendant of your intention to file a claim. To avoid jeopardizing your case, you should let your attorney do this for you. Do not record any statements with your insurance company or sign any documents until your attorney has reviewed them.
Your attorney will then help you draft the demand letter containing all the crucial evidence and information regarding your injuries and damages including medical documents, proof of lost income, and proof of other damages and losses.
Your attorney will then initiate negotiations with the insurance company and if a favorable settlement agreement isn’t reached upon, your attorney will prepare your case for trial.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Getting involved in an accident with an uninsured driver raises various complications when it comes to your financial recovery. While you will still need to pursue compensation from your own insurance company, if your level of damages exceeds your policy coverage, it can be a good idea to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get some kind of legal recourse.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage and your insurance company refuses to pay, you will need to file a lawsuit against them.
If you file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver who is financially struggling and win the case, recovering compensation might still be difficult, however, some available options include asking for monthly fees, seizing personal property with a levy, garnishing their wages and bank account.
Contact a Qualified Daytona Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a completely avoidable accident and suffering injuries and damages can be a very painful and stressful experience. The at-fault party needs to be held responsible. Such an accident can turn your life upside down and leave you facing financial difficulties.
To make it easier on yourself and your family, you need to seek the assistance of a highly experienced car accident law firm serving Daytona Beach. Our attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 will aggressively fight for your rights and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today at (954) 448-7355 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation.