Florida is the third-highest state in America for fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. While road crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people aged 1-54. Injuries and the death of loved ones are the aftermaths of car accidents.

We have provided answers to some frequently questions about car accident claims that you or someone you know who desires to pursue a car accident claim may have, particularly if you want to pursue this claim in Florida.

1. What do I need to prove to succeed in my car accident claim?

To succeed in your car accident claim, you should show one of three things. First, you should show that the driver or another person at fault was negligent. For negligence to be established, a few factors should be in place.

  • that the negligent party owes you a duty of care
  • that he breached that duty of care
  • that the breach of that duty caused your injury.

2. Who can be held liable for my injuries

Anyone at fault can be held liable. Anyone whose action or inaction is responsible for your injury is a potential defendant in the lawsuit. Traditionally, most car accident claims begin with an insurance company. Anyone of the below-listed parties can be held liable for your injury

  • The driver
  • Another motorist on the road who contributed to the accident
  • Insurance companies
  • Other road users like a pedestrian or a motorcyclist
  • Companies responsible for producing or marketing a defective product

3. What if I am partially at fault for an accident, am I still entitled to compensation?

Yes, you may still be able to recover compensation even if you are partly wrong. This is because Florida state law allows victims to get compensated even if they are partially at fault for the accident, as long as someone else is responsible for the injury. 

But when you are partially at fault for an accident, you may not be able to claim as much. The Florida Statute 768.81 on the practical contributory fault states that ‘in a negligence action, contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as economic and non-economic damages… but does not bar recovery.’

If you are being blamed for an accident, you should not  hesitate to contact a Car Accident Attorney.

4. How can I calculate my damages?

Damages can be in the form of economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated and awarded to the injured party. Economic damages can include expenses like hospital bills, wages lost during the injury, the cost of an ambulance, and expenses that can be estimated by arithmetic calculation.  

Non-economic damages cannot be calculated by arithmetic means and are primarily dependent on the severity of the injury and the pain or suffering the injured party may have suffered. 

 5. What is my car accident case worth?

This will depend on the facts of your case. For example, the severity and technicality of the case, the kind of injury sustained, the effect of the injury suffered, and many other factors. No two cases are the same.

6. How long do I have to file my car accident lawsuit?

You do not have forever to decide whether or not you want to file your car accident claim. You should do so timeously where you have a cause of action and intend to bring it to court. In Florida, a person has only four years to get their accident claim being a personal injury. This is by the Statute of Limitation, a law that stipulates the time limit for actions. Where death occurred, the deceased’s surviving relative has two years to sue for wrongful death.

7. How much will it cost me to hire a car accident attorney?

Hiring a Personal Injury may cost you money. The cost of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney can depend on the technicality of the case, the expertise of the attorney, their caliber, and maybe how much they traditionally charge for similar matters.

8. What if I cannot afford to hire a car accident attorney?

If you do not have the financial means to hire a car accident lawyer, you can still brief one. You can speak with a Car Accident Lawyer without having to part with money. With us, consultation is free, and you are required to pay the attorney’s professional fees when your claim succeeds, and you are awarded damages. 

9. Can I get compensation without going to court?

You can decide to pursue your insurance benefits without filing a lawsuit. This is an option where you have willing insurance companies open to settlement rather than litigation. This option does not dispense that you shouldn’t have your attorney help you throughout the negotiation process.

10. What role do I play in my car accident claim?

Even if your attorney presents you, you are not a passive party in your car accident claim. You should 

  • Provide your attorney with all the facts of the case. If you think you were partially at fault, you should not fail to divulge this information.
  • Provide your attorney with every piece of information needed. Pictures of the accident scene, phone numbers of persons who witnessed the accident, records of money spent in treating the injury
  • Be present in court.
  • Be willing to testify if the need arises.

11. How can a car accident attorney help me?

A car accident attorney can do any of the following for you

  • Negotiate on your behalf with one or multiple insurance companies 
  • Advice you on the relative strength or weaknesses of your case
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork and file them
  • Represent you in court
  • Help you recover your compensation

12. What should I consider before hiring a car accident attorney?

It would be best to consider the following before briefing a car accident attorney.

  • Experience and Expertise: Mastery comes with years of experience. When considering the attorney to brief, consider their track records and how many personal injury cases they have undertaken.
  • Professionalism: Professionalism in this respect means how diligently and meticulously this attorney handles and conducts his matters.
  • Familiarity: When an accident happens in St Petersburg or Tampa, you should get a lawyer familiar with the jurisdiction’s practice and procedure. It would be wise to consider hiring a St Petersburg or Tampa-based lawyer familiar with the local terrain.
  •  Compassion: We believe this is an essential factor to consider before briefing a car accident attorney. An attorney cannot represent you effectively if they do not understand your plight. There should be in your attorney a perfect blend of the knowledge of the law and compassion for prospective clients.
  • Accountability: A car accident attorney should be accountable to his client by keeping him updated with the status of his case and by acting in good faith when representing his client in any negotiations with third parties

13. What Should I Expect From My Attorney?

You should expect some of the following from your car accident attorney.

  • Adequate Representation: Your attorney is your legal representative. You should expect adequate representation from your attorney with insurance companies and court if your car accident injury snowballs into a lawsuit.
  • Handle Negotiations: You should expect your car accident attorney to handle negotiations on your behalf. You should not do so yourself, and you should trust your attorney’s judgment in negotiating on your behalf to get you the best financial compensation you deserve.
  • Gather evidence to establish your case: Your car accident attorney can require you to produce any records in your care that can enable them to establish your case. It is the duty of your attorney to gather evidence, facts, and records and analyze them to present a strong case on your behalf.
  • Conduct Investigation: Expect that your car accident attorney may conduct an independent investigation to ascertain the different sides of the story to avoid surprises and to arm himself with possible defenses.

Do you have any other questions?

Speak to Coleman Law Group directly! 

constance@colemanlawgroup.com 

727-214-0400

2901 1st Ave. N. Suite 303 St. Petersburg FL 33713

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