A car accident is often a very traumatic event, and it can be difficult to know what to do in the aftermath. If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. Many people believe that they can handle the situation on their own, but this is often not the case. A West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Car accidents often result in serious injuries, and without legal representation, you may not be able to get the money you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. For help with your claim, contact GOLDLAW to schedule a consultation.
West Palm Beach Car Accident Resources
- What Are The Main Causes of Florida Car Accidents?
- Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
- What Type of Compensation is Available?
- Florida Car Accident Lawsuit Step-By-Step Guide
- How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Cost Me?
Why Choose GOLDLAW for Your Car Accident Claim?
After sustaining vehicle accident injuries and property damage, you need a legal advocate by your side who can assist you through every part of the claims process.
- The team at GOLDLAW has decades of experience handling complex vehicle accident claims in West Palm Beach and throughout Florida.
- We have a thorough understanding of what it takes to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers, and we have no problem taking your case to trial if needed.
- We focus on open communication with clients, which means you will not be left in the dark as your case proceeds forward with either a settlement or a personal injury trial.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida
According to the department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were almost 350,000 car accidents in Florida in 2020. So, what are the most common causes of car accidents in Florida?
1. Distracted Driving: This is by far the most common cause of car accidents in Florida. Distracted driving can include anything from talking on your phone to eating to changing the radio station. Basically, if you’re not focused on the task of driving, you’re guilty of distracted driving. And, when you’re not paying attention to driving and the vehicles around you, it’s only a matter of time before an accident happens.
2. Speeding: We’ve all been guilty of this one at one time or another, but there’s no denying that speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. When you’re speeding, you have less time to react, and you’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle.
3. DUI: Driving under the influence is never a good idea. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. If you’re going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. The last thing you want is to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and wind up getting into an accident.
4. Weather Conditions: Florida is known for its beautiful weather but driving conditions can become hazardous at times. When it rains or storms, visibility decreases, and roads can become slick. That’s why it’s always important to use extra caution when driving in bad weather conditions.
5. Road Rage: We’ve all been cut off by another driver or had someone tailgate us at some point. It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you when this happens, but it’s important to remain calm and not let road rage take over. Getting into an altercation with another driver will only increase your chances of getting into an accident.
Why Do You Need an Attorney After a Florida Car Accident?
Auto accidents are among the leading causes of personal injury in Florida. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is a good idea for the following reasons:
1. You May Be Entitled to More Compensation Than You Realize
After sustaining injuries in a car accident, many victims downplay their injuries or damages to avoid making a claim and potentially having their rates increase. However, what you may not realize is that you could be entitled to compensation for more than just your physical injuries and property damage. If your accident has caused you to miss work, incur medical bills, or experience pain and suffering, you may also be entitled to financial compensation for these damages.
2. The Insurance Company Is Not On Your Side
Insurance companies are businesses whose ultimate goal is to make a profit. As such, they will often try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out for claims. They may do this by offering low settlements, denying claims outright, or dragging out the claims process to frustrate victims into giving up.
3. You May Need to Take Your Claim to Court
In some cases, taking your claim to court might be necessary to get the compensation you deserve. This could be because the insurance company has denied your claim or because they have made an unreasonably low settlement offer.
4. The Statute of Limitations Could Be looming
In Florida, the time limit for filing most car accident claims is now two years from the date of the accident. This may seem like a long time, but if you wait too long, important evidence, such as eyewitnesses and surveillance footage, can be more challenging to find. Consulting with a lawyer right away can make sure you’re able to build a strong case that is filed on time.
Florida’s No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car insurance. This means that an injured driver must turn to their own insurance company after an accident, even if they were not at fault. Under Florida law, every driver is required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in the amount of $10,000. PIP coverage pays for the policyholder’s medical bills and lost wages, up to a maximum of $10,000, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
In addition to PIP insurance, drivers in Florida are also required to carry property damage liability (PDL) insurance. PDL insurance covers damages to another person’s property, such as their car, that is caused by the policyholder. In Florida, all drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability. This means the other driver – the one who caused your accident and injuries – will be responsible for paying for your property damage.
If your injuries are severe and/or permanent – and therefore incredibly costly – you may decide that you need to file a personal injury claim to recoup your costs and hold the other driver accountable.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities under the state’s no-fault laws. One of GOLDLAW’s experienced personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Types of Compensation Available After a West Palm Beach Car Accident
Individuals are often able to recover a variety of types of compensation if their vehicle accident claim is successful. Through the no-fault system, individuals are typically able to recover compensation for up to 80% of their medical bills and up to 60% of their lost wages. Anything not covered by the no-fault insurance is the responsibility of the policyholder.
Individuals who have valid insurance policies in the state of Florida will also be able to recover compensation for their property damage expenses if the other driver was at fault, up to the limits of the policy.
If a car accident victim is able to step outside of the no-fault injury system due to the thresholds established by law, then there may be additional types of compensation available through a personal injury claim. If a claim is successful, this could potentially help an individual recover 100% of their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and other losses arising as a result of the accident. Additionally, individuals may be able to recover various types of noneconomic damages, such as emotional and psychological pain and suffering, through a personal injury lawsuit.
How Much Compensation is Available?
The total amount of compensation available through an insurance claim or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each particular situation. Some factors that can affect total compensation amounts include the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery time, the level of property damage expenses, and the total payment suffering a person endures.
When you work with a skilled West Palm Beach car accident lawyer, you will have an advocate by your side working to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Your attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to help evaluate your total expected losses. This includes the current losses and any future expected losses arising due to the injuries or disability.
We understand that even two years can seem like quite a bit of time to file a claim, but we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Any delay in filing a claim potentially harms the ability to win that case. In addition to the two-year timeframe set forth by state law for a personal injury lawsuit, please be aware that the insurance carriers involved in these claims also have their own reporting deadlines. Failing to promptly report a claim to an insurance carrier (if there is one involved in the case) could result in a claim delay or denial.
Florida is Now a Modified Comparative Negligence State
In March of 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida House Bill (HB) 837, a massive tort reform bill. Though this law changed many aspects of the relationship between claimants and insurance carriers, notably, the law also changed Florida from a pure comparative negligence state to a modified comparative negligence state.
Previously, individuals who were able to step outside of the no fault car accident insurance system would have been able to recover compensation even if they were up to 99% negligent for the claim. Now, under the new modified comparative negligence system in Florida, those who sustained injuries can only recover compensation if they are less than 50% responsible for the injuries. Individuals who are more than 50% responsible for causing their own injuries are now barred from recovering compensation.
This is a major change in Florida law and will most certainly affect car accident victims and other types of personal injury claims moving forward. We encourage you to speak to your attorney to find out whether or not this Florida law change could affect your case.
This change does limit how much compensation victims are able to recover and could essentially cut off some individuals from recovering compensation at all. Insurance carriers will work very hard to push liability towards claimants now if they know that they only have to get the claimant’s “fault” to be more than 50%. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach who can push back against any allegations of shared fault in order to help you recover the compensation you need.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, you may be wondering how to go about filing a lawsuit. The process can be complex, but GOLDLAW is here to help. Here’s a step-by-step guide to filing a car accident lawsuit in Florida:
- Gather evidence. This includes taking photos/video of the accident scene, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and collecting police reports.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Keep track of your medical expenses and follow all instructions from your doctor.
- Hire a personal injury lawyer. Make sure you consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can help build your case.
- File a claim with your insurance company. This can be a long and frustrating process, so it’s important to have a lawyer’s help for this as well.
- File a lawsuit. If the other driver’s insurance company is unwilling to give you a fair settlement, your next step is to file a lawsuit in court.
- Go to trial. This is generally a last resort, but if both sides can’t come to an agreement, your case will go to trial and a judge or jury will decide how much you should receive in damages.
GOLDLAW knows that the process of filing a car accident lawsuit can be daunting, but we’re here to help you every step of the way.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
At GOLDLAW, we understand how challenging it can be to worry about finances and paying for an attorney in these situations. That is why we handle car accident claims in West Palm Beach on a contingency fee basis. This means a few things for our clients.
First, we handle all upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to the case at hand. Clients do not have to pay any of these expenses. Additionally, car accident victims do not have to pay any legal fees until after we successfully recover the compensation they are entitled to. The final legal fees will be an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or jury verdict. If we are unable to secure compensation through a successful claim, clients pay no legal fees at all.
Time Limits Involved in Your Car Accident Case
The aforementioned tort reform law in Florida also changed the length of time individuals have to file these lawsuits. If an individual needs to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against another party, they have two years from the date of the incident to do so. Previously, the personal injury statute of limitations in Florida was four years from the date of the incident.
Hire GOLDLAW For Your Car Accident Claims
A car accident can be a devastating experience, so it’s essential to know your rights and what actions you need to take to protect yourself both physically and legally. The West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at GOLDLAW are here to help.
- We have the financial resources smaller firms don’t, allowing us to battle the insurance industry.
- We have experienced, board-certified lawyers that handle ONLY personal injury cases.
- We have served the legal needs and supported the West Palm Beach community for over 20 years. We live here, and are locally owned and operated. GOLDLAW truly cares about your well-being.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact GOLDLAW today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.