Auto Accident Attorney in Florida
If you ask any experienced auto accident lawyer, they will tell you that Florida routinely ranks among the worst states for car accidents. If you’ve suffered injuries due to the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
However, it’s not always easy to prove your personal injury case to the insurance companies or in court. Obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries usually requires a proven lawyer’s experience, knowledge, and relationships.
Working with one of our skilled auto accident attorneys can help you pursue maximum damages for your injuries.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a personal injury claim. Contact Schrier Law Group today for a free initial consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney in Florida?
Seeking a personal injury claim against multi-billion-dollar insurance companies alone is not recommended. Insurance adjusters have tons of resources and high-powered attorneys on their side.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Florida caused by another driver’s negligence, the experienced attorneys at Schrier Law Group can help. With over 40 years of success handling auto injury claims, our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of Florida’s accident laws and insurance regulations.
We know how to navigate the claims process to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
We conduct exhaustive investigations, reviewing all evidence – police reports, medical records, video footage, and more – to build the strongest case proving liability and damages. We handle negotiations aggressively to push for the full settlement value and won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit if the insurer tries to lowball you. With our proven trial experience and litigation skills, they know we aren’t afraid to take a case to court if needed to secure a just result.
At Schrier Law Group, every client gets compassionate, one-on-one attention and guidance tailored to their unique situation and needs throughout the legal process. We reduce the burden by taking care of every detail for you.
There are no upfront fees – we only collect if we win money for you.
Our dedicated lawyers and professional staff are focused on getting injured clients and grieving families the maximum compensation they deserve after suffering from another driver’s reckless behavior. Choose the respected attorneys at Schrier Law Group for the best legal representation for your auto accident case in Florida.
If your situation fits any of the following circumstances, it’s in your best interest to consult with one of our accident attorneys:
- You were in an accident (due to someone else’s fault) and suffered injuries due to the accident.
- You suffered damages (i.e., property damage, physical injuries, etc.) and want maximum compensation.
- You are not familiar with Florida car accidents and insurance laws
- You don’t have a lot of free time to pursue your car accident claim
- You have a complex car accident case (i.e., truck accidents, multi-vehicle car accidents, etc.)
- Insurance companies are not typically known for understanding or fairness when handling personal injury claims.
There are many well-documented instances of insurance companies using pressure tactics, refusing to pay claims, and making lowball offers. Hiring one of our proven auto accident attorneys in Florida can be the difference between a successful personal injury claim and an unsuccessful claim.
Understanding Florida’s Laws That Impact Car Accident Claims
Florida is a No-Fault Insurance State
Florida uses a no-fault insurance system for auto accidents. This means that regardless of who was at fault for causing the crash, your own insurance policy will pay out a minimum amount of benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. This required no-fault insurance is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, and Florida law sets the minimum PIP limit at $10,000.
No-fault insurance aims to streamline minor claims and reduce lawsuits between drivers over smaller losses. However, Florida’s no-fault system still allows accident victims to pursue a liability claim and lawsuit against the at-fault driver when serious injuries or losses exceed the PIP limits. An experienced attorney can help maximize your total compensation using both your PIP policy benefits as well as damages from the negligent driver.
Florida Follows a Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
Florida uses a “pure comparative negligence” rule to determine financial responsibility when multiple parties share blame for an accident. This means that even if you were partially at fault for a crash, you could still recover compensation proportional to the at-fault driver’s percentage of negligence.
For example, if you were deemed 30% responsible while the other driver was 70% negligent for the wreck, you could still potentially receive 70% of the total value of your damages claim. An attorney can help demonstrate the other motorist’s greater degree of fault to maximize your percentage-based recovery.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations is Four Years
Under Florida law, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit over a car accident is four years from the date of the collision. This means accident victims have four years to either settle an injury claim or file a civil lawsuit before the legal right to sue expires.
It is risky to wait until the last minute because obtaining evidence, establishing damages, going through insurance negotiations, and allowing for delays is time-consuming. Starting the claims process promptly with an experienced attorney ensures there is time to prepare the strongest case possible before the four-year deadline passes.
Florida Follows At-Fault Rules for Vehicle Damage
While Florida uses no-fault insurance for personal injuries, property damage liability works differently. The at-fault driver must pay for vehicle repair costs and property losses they negligently caused in the wreck. Accident victims file a third-party claim against the liable driver’s liability coverage to recover property damages.
An attorney can help demonstrate the other motorist’s fault for the physical property damage, including your vehicle repairs, loss of vehicle value, damage to goods inside the car, and other losses. Make sure to fully document all property losses for your claim.
Florida’s Insurance Minimums Are $10,000 PIP and $10,000 PDL
Under Florida law, all registered vehicle owners must carry minimum auto insurance coverage, including:
- $10,000 Personal Injury Protection to cover medical payments, lost wages, and other no-fault benefits
- $10,000 Property Damage Liability to cover damage repairs to others’ vehicles and property
These state-required minimums may be insufficient for serious accidents. Higher policy limits ensure greater coverage, so speak with our attorneys about adequate coverage for your risks.
Pain and Suffering Damages are Capped Against Government
Florida law limits the amount of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, that can be recovered in claims against government entities, including state agencies, counties, cities, and municipalities. This cap is currently set at $200,000 per person and applies only to civil actions against government bodies.
There are no caps on economic damages like medical bills, property losses, or pain and suffering claims against private drivers and insurers. An attorney can help maximize all recoverable damages.
Penalties Exist for Driving Uninsured in Florida
It’s illegal under Florida law to drive without valid car insurance. Those caught driving uninsured face:
- Fines up to $500 for first offense, doubling on subsequent violations
- Driver’s license and registration suspension for up to three years
- Up to three months imprisonment for repeat offenders
- Limited driving privileges may require proof of insurance
Harsher penalties can apply for accidents while uninsured. Since nearly 1 in 4 Florida drivers lack coverage, ask your lawyer to check the liable driver’s policy.
Florida is a Daubert State for Expert Witness Testimony
Under Florida’s Daubert standard, only expert opinion testimony that is considered scientifically valid and relevant to the particular issues and facts of the case can be admitted as evidence in court. Evaluating the methodology behind expert opinions to exclude unsupported speculation or theories.
Qualified accident reconstructionists, physicians, and other experts can strengthen an injury claim when properly vetted. Our attorneys work closely with experts to develop opinions that withstand Florida’s Daubert scrutiny.
Why Don’t Car Insurance Companies Want to Pay?
In theory, insured drivers pay premiums so that their auto insurer will take care of them if an accident happens. But the reality is more complex. Insurance companies ultimately focus on their bottom-line profits, not their policyholders’ best interests.
That’s why injured crash victims shouldn’t accept an insurer’s first settlement offer. Adjusters use various tactics to minimize claim payouts:
- They dispute injuries as preexisting or unrelated to the collision
- Challenge treatment costs as excessive or unnecessary
- Make quick settlements before full damages are known
- Claim you were partially at fault, reducing their liability
- Allege gaps in medical care show you weren’t really injured
- Argue injuries should have healed faster with proper care
- Require numerous costly expert medical evaluations
- Delay claim processing, hoping you’ll accept pennies on the dollar.
Having one of our experienced car accident lawyers in your corner levels the playing field against deceptive insurance practices. We know their tricks and how to effectively negotiate fair settlements for maximum compensation. Don’t let insurers take advantage of you during an already difficult time.
Compensation Received by Resolved Cases for Florida Car Accident Victims
Car accident victims who suffer injuries are often concerned about property damages, medical bills, and lost income. Winning a personal injury case via settlement or trial can help pay for current and future damages from the accident. Learn more below.
Medical bills often start piling up immediately after the accident occurs. That can include ambulance fees, the cost of emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and much more. A few of the most common types of injuries sustained after a car accident include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal injuries and other types of back injuries
- Mental health injuries (i.e., PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.)
- Injuries to the face or neck
Serious injuries often require time away from work. In extreme cases, injuries resulting from an accident could lead to the loss of occupation. Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you determine how much income you’ve lost and how much you stand to lose in the future.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are essentially physical/emotional discomfort and stress resulting from a car collision. Under Florida auto accident laws, individuals injured due to a negligent car accident can sue for pain and suffering (as well as other non-economic damages).
Suppose you or a loved one suffers a permanent disability from an auto accident. In that case, it could threaten your career, income-earning potential, as well as personal life. An experienced auto accident attorney can help ensure you recover maximum damages.
A wrongful death occurs when someone unintentionally kills someone due to negligence. You may be entitled to compensation if a family member or loved one suffered a wrongful death in a Florida car accident.
Types and Causes of Auto Accidents
Car accidents can occur at any time, anywhere, and to anyone. With that in mind, individuals eligible to pursue damages can be involved in many types of vehicle accidents. Learn more below.
Drunk/Under the Influence Driving
Drunk driving remains a serious problem in Florida, with over 4,000 alcohol-related crash deaths in the state between 2008 and 2017. Drugged driving is also rising as more drivers get behind the wheel after taking illegal or prescription drugs.
Individuals who get behind the wheel after drinking can be held criminally and civilly liable. However, receiving maximum compensation for injuries caused by an alcohol-related accident often requires a skillful and determined car accident attorney.
Driving over the posted speed limit is a major contributor to serious and fatal crashes in Florida. Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the force of impact in a collision.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 3,000 distracted driving-related fatalities yearly in the US. Distracted driving can include but is not limited to:
- Texting and driving
- Eating and driving
- Handling radio, navigation, or other types of electronic devices
- Talking to passengers
Nearly 10 percent of all crashes involve observable symptoms of driver drowsiness. Some studies suggest that driving after being awake for more than 20 hours is equivalent to driving drunk. With that in mind, drowsy driving is not a viable excuse for reckless driving. Individuals who cause motor vehicle accidents due to tiredness may be liable for any damages, injuries, or deaths caused as a result.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles usually produce severe injuries (at minimum). With that in mind, pursuing compensation for injuries after a truck accident can be complex, frustrating, and lengthy. That’s especially true if you don’t hire an experienced car accident lawyer.
Florida routinely ranks in the top ten for motorcycle accidents and motorcycle fatalities. If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident while riding your motorcycle, it’s in your best interest to consult with a proven car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Pedestrian accidents involving negligent drivers are more likely to result in severe injuries or death for the pedestrian. Establishing liability in pedestrian accidents can be challenging without the help of an attorney.
Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, speeding, unsafe lane changes, and road rage significantly increase accident risk.
Unlicensed drivers have not proven the basic competency to legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Crashes involving unlicensed drivers often result in serious injuries.
Dangerous Roads and Conditions
Hazards like potholes, debris, poor lighting, and low visibility due to fog or rain contribute to many Florida accidents.
Rideshare accidents in Florida occur every day. Companies like Uber and Lyft offer robust insurance packages and coverages. However, it’s not always easy to determine fault or receive maximum compensation for injuries sustained in rideshare accidents. That’s because it often involves multiple disputing parties, drivers, passengers, and insurance companies.
Self-Driving Car Accidents
Contrary to popular belief, self-driving cars are still more accident-prone than human drivers. However, proving fault in a self-driving car accident can be complex. Our attorneys understand Florida’s recent driverless car legislation and how personal injury claims apply.
By being aware of these common accident causes, Florida drivers can make smarter choices to protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the road. But when a preventable crash does occur due to another driver’s negligence or misconduct, our dedicated car accident attorneys are here to help injured victims recover damages.
What You Should Do Following a Car Accident
Building a strong personal injury case starts immediately after an accident occurs. If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida, it’s in your best interest to do the following:
- Check on others involved in the accident (if possible)
- Exchange identification and insurance information
- Take plenty of pictures and videos of the car accident scene, property damages, and injuries suffered
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Contact the police
- Contact an experienced auto accident lawyer to discuss your legal case
Florida is a no-fault state. That means that every driver must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance (PIP). While PIP insurance covers medical damages up to a certain amount, it often isn’t enough to take care of every expense. An attorney can help you recover the compensation you’re owed.
Further, Florida has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers on the road. It can be difficult to receive compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver, but it’s possible. Contact Schrier Law Group to learn more.
Common Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents
Car accident injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic, life-altering trauma. Some of the most common serious injuries our lawyers see in auto accident cases include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – The violent shaking of the brain against the inside of the skull in a crash causes bruising, bleeding, and swelling. Even mild concussions can have long-term cognitive effects.
- Spinal cord injuries – Sudden impact and crushing forces can fracture vertebrae or tear nerve pathways in the spine, causing partial or total paralysis.
- Internal organ damage – Penetrating trauma from fragments or the sudden deceleration motion in crashes can rupture, tear, or detach organs.
- Broken bones – Fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, collarbone, and other bones are extremely painful and slow to heal. Compound fractures with protruding bones raise infection risks.
- Severe burns – Friction with the roadway, contact with extremely hot engine components, or ignited fuel can cause disfiguring third-degree burns.
- Emotional trauma – The stress, fear, and panic during an accident commonly cause psychological problems like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.
- Wrongful death – The most tragic outcome of a serious car collision is the loss of life. Negligent drivers must be held accountable.
Documenting the full extent of all crash injuries is critical, as some may not be immediately apparent. Our lawyers coordinate with medical specialists to fully evaluate and substantiate injury claims.
Why Post-Accident Medical Treatment Matters
One of the biggest mistakes people make after a car accident is failing to seek prompt medical evaluation and treatment. Even if you don’t have obvious severe injuries, it is essential to get checked out. Here’s why:
- Symptoms of some injuries like concussions or internal bleeding develop over hours or days. A medical exam can detect emerging issues.
- Left untreated, injuries like whiplash or back strain can develop into chronic long-term pain. Early treatment improves recovery outlook.
- Gaps in care create doubt about the validity and seriousness of injury claims. Insurers often argue that delayed treatment suggests a minor impact.
- Without documentation of accident-related injuries, you lack evidence to substantiate damages for your claim.
- Jurors want to see responsible victims who mitigate damages by getting prompt medical attention.
- Following physician-recommended treatment shows you are doing your part to get well. Noncompliance can reduce claim value.
We advise accident victims to get evaluated at the ER immediately after a crash, then follow up with their primary care physician and specialists like chiropractors or physical therapists. Listen to your doctors, and document every expense for care, medications, equipment, and missed wages from work absences. Your complete medical paper trail strengthens your case.
What Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers Can Do for You
Our car accident lawyers at Schrier Law Group have aggressively pursued maximum compensation for our personal injury clients for over 40 years. Our personal injury attorneys listen compassionately, thoroughly investigate every accident, and relentlessly pursue fair compensation for every client.
Determining legal liability is the first critical step in any car accident claim. Liability means determining who was legally at fault and responsible for causing the collision.
Florida follows traditional comparative negligence rules. This means the person who was primarily negligent and caused the crash can be held financially liable for damages and injuries. However, your compensation may be reduced if you were partially negligent in contributing to the accident.
Proving liability relies on evidence like:
- Police accident reports documenting the crash circumstances, statements from both drivers and any citations issued
- Photographic and video evidence from the accident scene depicting vehicle positions, skid marks, and property damage
- Eyewitness statements about what happened before and during the collision
- Data from the vehicles’ on-board computers and other electronic devices
- Records securing evidence like cell phone usage at the time of the crash
- Crash reconstruction expert analysis
- Medical reports documenting injuries sustained
Our experienced car accident lawyers know how to secure this evidence from all available sources, interpret what happened, and build a compelling argument for liability. We handle all aspects of reviewing evidence and proving fault so injured clients can focus on recovery.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an Auto accident on Florida highways or roads, we can help. Contact Schrier Law Group today at 1-800-700-PAUL for your free initial consultation.
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