Car Accident

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Experienced Car Accident Attorneys In Bradenton & Sarasota

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What You Should Know About Car Accidents

When it comes to dealing with injuries from a car accident, the more you know, the better. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), nearly 40,000 people die in car accidents each year in the United States alone. An additional 4.4 million people are hospitalized each year as a result of car-accident-related injuries.

While many who die or are seriously injured in crashes are the drivers or passengers in cars themselves, more than 50% of worldwide car accident deaths are actually pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists. Unfortunately, car accident deaths are so common that they’ve consistently ranked as the number one most likely cause of death for Americans aged 1-54.

While some car accidents are truly unpreventable, the vast majority occur as a result of the negligence of one or more parties. Other accidents may occur as a result of mechanical defects in the car, particularly those related to the brake system, tires, and transmission.

If You’re Injured in a Car Accident, Call An Attorney Immediately

If you’ve experienced an auto accident, the impact can be overwhelming. Pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and a general disruption of your life are the common results of an auto accident.

You should not have to suffer because of another individual’s negligence, but don’t assume that contacting your insurance company will eliminate the burden. Understand that insurance companies are in business to make money, so the less the company pays in policyholder claims, the more profitable they will be.

You may be driving to work, on your way to dinner with friends, making your way across town to pick up the kids, or just heading to the grocery store. Whatever the errand, there exists a basic assumption that if you obey the traffic laws and you operate your vehicle responsibly, you should be able to complete your trip without incident. Unfortunately, the negligent behavior of certain drivers occasionally subjects others to the risk of auto accidents.

Personal-Injury-Attorney-FAQs

Car Accident FAQs

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, and serious injuries are involved, you should call 9-1-1 immediately. Next, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Once immediate medical affairs are handled, it’s essential to limit your communications in the minutes following an accident, prior to speaking with an attorney. Talking excessively to the police, your insurance company, other drivers or passengers, or even a bystander could impact the amount of any potential compensation you receive. Your attorney may ask you to document the scene, taking photos, videos, or detailed notes about the accident scene, or interviewing a bystander regarding what they saw. 

With every car crash, you should insist that the collision be reported to law enforcement so that an investigating officer can complete the appropriate forms. You shouldn’t try to negotiate a payment agreement with the other party to settle damages.

Make sure the investigating officer records complete insurance information for all parties on the crash report. Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Be sure to report whether the party was insured or uninsured, so your insurance company can pursue compensation, as they have more resources at their disposal.

The Florida No-Fault Law provides that a Florida resident involved in an auto accident must initially file for medical and wage loss benefits from his/her own insurance company regardless of who is at fault in the accident. This is true even if you are involved in an accident while a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

As a Florida resident, you must be able to show you can take financial responsibility for any incidents in which you and your vehicle are involved. Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law and Florida’s No-Fault Law both outline coverage you need to meet financial responsibility requirements and legally operate your vehicle.

Whether or not you plan to drive, if you own a vehicle with a state license plate, you must cover it with the minimum liability insurance requirements. Returning your license plate to a driver license or tax collector’s office is the only way to legally cancel your insurance.

Even though it is extremely frustrating to you as the accident was not your fault, the other driver’s insurance company will do a liability investigation to make sure their driver was at fault and that they owe you for the claim. This investigation will almost certainly include getting a statement from their insured driver. They may also want to speak with any witnesses and look at the police report if one was made. This all takes time, so rarely will another driver’s insurance company agree to provide you with a rental car in the first 24 hours after an accident.

If you have rental car reimbursement coverage on your own auto insurance, you should consider getting a rental under your own policy rather than waiting for the other driver’s insurance company to complete their investigation. If they determine their insured driver was at fault, they will reimburse your insurance company.

The Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires that any person at fault in a crash resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others must have in effect at the time of the crash full liability insurance coverage. This coverage includes minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability per crash, and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.

With negligent driving being so common in the United States, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of ways that drivers may distract themselves and take their eyes off the road. However, some of the most common scenarios for negligent drivers include:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-bone collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Inattentive/unaware drivers
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Road rage
  • Texting and cell phone usage
  • Disregarding hazardous conditions
  • Driving while impaired (i.e., under the influence of alcohol or drugs)

In addition to physical injuries, many car accidents can lead to emotional and financial strain. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to secure a settlement or verdict related to issues such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of consortium (decline of a marriage/partnership/family relationship)
  • Loss of income
  • General quality of life (disfigurement/body changes or psychological/emotional issues impacting everyday life moving forward)

Just as there’s a wide variety in types of car accidents, there’s a variation in the types of injuries that victims may experience. An experienced car accident attorney can attempt to pursue financial compensation for each of these most common injury types — and others not listed below:

  • Soft tissue injuries (impacts muscles, ligaments, or tendons)
  • Scrapes and cuts (can lead to serious bleeding/infections or be an indicator of internal injuries)
  • Head injuries (resulting in minor headaches or mild concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 
  • Spinal injuries (may result in nerve pain/headaches or serious injuries like partial/full paralysis, learning problems, or migraines)
  • Chest injuries (serious injuries include broken ribs, internal bleeding/bruising, or damage to vital organs)
  • Arm and leg injuries (range from scrapes/bruises to sprained/broken bones)

Attorney fees for car accidents in Florida vary based on the complexity of the case. Typically, car accident lawyers work on a “contingency fee basis,” meaning they take a percentage of whatever amount of compensation is recovered on behalf of a client. Rates can range from 33.3% to 40%, depending on factors like negotiations and litigation. For our car accident lawyers at Gallagher & Hagopian, all initial consultations are free – and we don’t get paid unless you win. Consult with a trusted, qualified car accident lawyer near you to discuss the specifics of your situation and get an accurate estimate.

Absolutely. Immediately following an accident, call 911 to inform them of the location and any injuries you or others involved may have suffered. Then speak to an experienced car accident lawyer regarding your situation. Hiring an attorney after a car accident in Florida is crucial, especially in a world where insurance companies aren’t on your side and may look to provide you with the bare minimum payout.

Car accident lawyers with decades of expertise, like ours at Gallagher & Hagopian, can navigate complex legal processes, assess your case’s unique aspects, fight tenaciously on your behalf at trial and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation. A car accident lawyer near you not only provides valuable representation, protecting your rights, but is also personally available for support at a time when you truly need it most.

In a legal context, the value of pain and suffering varies widely and is determined by the extent of noneconomic injuries that you may sustain in an accident. This includes injuries such as psychological harm, physical pain, emotional anguish, physical suffering and the impact on your quality of life on a daily basis. Taking advantage of a free case evaluation from an experienced car accident lawyer can help you pinpoint all factors relevant to your unique situation and determine a value that fairly compensates you for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.

Compensation for pain and suffering in Florida depends on numerous factors, including the severity of injuries, limitations experienced in daily life because of those injuries, and emotional distress. Settlements vary case by case. However, there isn’t a limit on the amount of damages potentially awarded for pain and suffering in Florida. An experienced car accident lawyer can assess the specifics of your case and provide you with an accurate estimate. At Gallagher & Hagopian, our car accident lawyers offer free case evaluations to help clients start the process of ensuring they receive fair compensation for their pain and suffering.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is four years, starting from the day of the accident. Seeking a car accident lawyer who specializes in these types of cases is recommended not only for a thorough evaluation of your case, but also evidence preservation and timely filing of a lawsuit. With these unexpected situations, time is of the essence. Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer, after speaking with 911, ensures you’re prepared for the fight ahead and increases the likelihood of a successful claim.

The duration of a car accident lawsuit in Florida varies based on factors like case complexity, negotiations, and court availability. A car accident lawyer can handle a simpler case that may be settled within a few months, while complex ones might take a year or longer. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer near you can expedite the process and help you navigate potential delays, further ensuring a timely and fair resolution.

Yes, someone can sue you personally after a car accident in Florida. Personal liability depends on factors such as who is found to be the at-fault driver. This is why having adequate insurance coverage and the expertise of a car accident lawyer is crucial. An experienced car accident lawyer, like ours at Gallagher & Hagopian, can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims and fight on your behalf for your rights and a fair outcome.

Have You Been Injured? Call Our Local Car Accident Lawyers Today.

Every person deserves equal rights under the law, especially after an accident. If you’ve been injured, our car accident lawyers at Gallagher & Hagopian can help you get the compensation you deserve – and closure to experience life again.

With over 75 years of combined expertise, we understand the ins, outs and intricacies of accident cases. For the car accident lawyers at Gallagher & Hagopian, your fight becomes our fight.

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