Car accident lawyers representing victims in Stuart and the surrounding area
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in an accident in Stuart, Florida, through no fault of your own, you might be overwhelmed by mounting expenses and unexpected losses. It is possible to recover damages in sufficient amounts to compensate you for your economic and noneconomic losses. The injury attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm P.A. may identify all potential sources of recovery and aggressively work on your behalf to maximize the compensation that you receive.
Types of injuries associated with car accidents
Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe, amassing thousands to hundreds of thousands (or even millions) in damages. The severity of your injuries corresponds directly with the severity of the accident you were involved in. For example, those involved in a high-speed side collision accident will likely have more severe injuries than someone involved in a low-speed rear-end accident.
The most common types of injuries associated with car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Arm and leg injuries, such as broken bones or fractures
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal injuries
- Cuts and bruises
Steps to take after a Stuart car accident
If you’ve been involved in a Stuart car accident, there are a few steps you should take immediately following your accident.
- Check to ensure that everyone is okay. Call 911 if anyone is unresponsive or in critical condition. When they arrive at the scene, they’ll likely evaluate you to determine if you need to go to the hospital immediately.
- Contact the local police line to report the accident.
- If you’re able to stay at the scene, make sure to do the following:
- Exchange contact information with other involved parties
- Speak to any witnesses, get their contact information, and encourage them to speak to the police
- Take pictures and videos of the scene, the vehicles involved, and your enjoys
- Record your personal statement to ensure you don’t forget any details later
- After you leave the scene of the accident, go directly to a medical facility for an evaluation. Even if you think you’re not injured, you should still get checked out. Some injuries don’t present themselves right away like internal bleeding. If you fail to seek immediate medical attention, insurance companies may use this as a reason to deny your claim.
- Before you speak with the insurance company, contact an attorney. Insurance companies want you to settle fast and low. They’ll try to entice you with quick cash. Don’t fall for it. Once you accept a settlement offer, you won’t be able to claim further compensation. To ensure you don’t accidentally damage your case early, contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Understanding Personal Injury Protection and the right to sue
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, leading some people to believe that they cannot file lawsuits against the drivers who caused their accidents. When an injury accident in Florida causes minor injuries, people file claims with their own personal injury protection policies through their insurers. This coverage is mandatory in Florida and will pay 60 percent of the wages that you lost and 80 percent of your medical expenses up to a total of $10,000.
You may also have to pay deductibles, depending on your insurance company. In order to receive up to $10,000 in coverage from your PIP policy, you must seek medical care within 14 days of your accident. If you fail to meet this deadline, your recovery will be limited to $2,500 of coverage. This makes it very important for you to seek medical treatment after an accident as soon as possible.
Even if you do not initially think that you have been injured, you should still seek a medical examination because some injuries may take hours or days to show symptoms. If your injuries are serious, however, you may file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Seeking compensation from negligent drivers
Hundreds of thousands of accidents happen every year in Florida, with a large number resulting in injuries. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 374,372 vehicle crashes happened in 2015 alone, resulting in 243,316 nonfatal injuries. While these accidents may be caused by many different things, many are a result of negligent driving behaviors.
In Florida, you must file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your injury accident no later than four years from the date it occurs. It is best to file your lawsuit as soon after the accident as possible, however. If you wait to file, evidence may be lost, and it may be difficult to locate witnesses to the accident.
If you miss the four-year statute of limitations, you may be permanently barred from trying to recover damages through a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident and your injuries.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you must have suffered a serious injury, which might include the following:
- Permanent losses of body functions
- Permanent injuries or disabilities
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
How to file a claim against another driver
Generally, plaintiffs in lawsuits against at-fault drivers file negligence claims against the drivers. To prevail, plaintiffs must be able to prove each of the elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care to exercise reasonable care and caution; and
- The defendant driver violated the duty of care; and
- The breach of the duty of care caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered financial harm as a result.
Proving that a defendant driver owed a duty of care is fairly straightforward because all drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution while driving. Any driving behavior that fails to meet this duty may be a breach, including speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, running red lights, and others.
The dedicated personal injury lawyers at The Eberst Law Firm P.A. may thoroughly investigate your case in order to build a strong case on your behalf. This may help you to recover damages in an amount that will fairly compensate you for all of the losses that you have suffered.
Potential damages and comparative negligence
The damages that might be available to you in a personal injury lawsuit in Florida will vary depending on what happened, the severity of your injuries, and the losses that you have suffered. Typically, damages may include such things as your lost capacity to earn an income, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
The attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm P.A. may analyze your losses and provide you with an estimated range of values within which any settlement offer should fall. This can help you to evaluate any offers that are extended to you so that you can make a better-informed decision. While your attorney may work hard to help you to secure a fair settlement, it is sometimes difficult to reach an agreement through negotiations.
If that happens, the personal injury lawyers at The Eberst Law Firm P.A. Law may litigate aggressively on your behalf against the negligent driver up to and through a jury trial. If you prevail at a trial, the jury will determine the number of damages to award in each category of your economic and noneconomic losses.
Wrongful death lawsuits
When people are killed in automobile accidents because of the negligent actions of the drivers, their families may file wrongful death lawsuits against the drivers. By doing this, families may recover damages to compensate them for the losses that they have suffered as a result of their loved ones’ deaths.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is substantially shorter, and they must be filed no later than two years following the accident or death. This makes it very important for families to seek legal guidance as soon as they can in order to preserve their rights.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm P.A. Now
Getting help from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury or fatality accident is important. A lawyer may help you to recover more compensation than you might be able to recover on your own. A car accident attorney at The Eberst Law Firm P.A. may guide you throughout the process and work to help you to build the strongest case possible.
We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured victims and the families of those who are killed in Stuart and throughout the surrounding areas. Contact The Eberst Law Firm P.A. today online or call us at 772-225-4900 to schedule your free consultation so that you can learn more about your potential recovery rights.