Has another driver caused injury to you or your car? If so, then you need to understand your legal rights, and contacting a Davie car accident lawyer is the first step you should take. Car accident lawyers specialize in knowing their clients' rights when another driver has caused harm to their clients.
When you speak to a car accident lawyer, they will first explain your legal rights under Florida law and give you legal advice about the car accident claims process. Upon hiring your lawyer, they will begin to fight for you to ensure you receive your compensation after an auto accident. This includes collecting police reports, reviewing your insurance, filing an insurance claim on your behalf, investigating the car accident, notifying the other driver's insurance company, and negotiating with the insurance companies. Sometimes insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible, and a good lawyer will fight to get their client a fair settlement.
After your lawyer completes these steps, they may decide if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit. At this point, a lawyer will prepare legal documents, share information with the opposing party's lawyer, find witnesses and experts, likely participate in mediation, and potentially take your case to trial.
Receiving fair financial compensation for your injuries is not always an easy path, which is why you need to hire a car accident lawyer to work for you. Whether suffering severe injuries or minor injuries, victims of car accidents do not have to go through the legal process by themselves.
Car accidents regularly occur all over the country, but especially so in heavily populated areas, such as Broward County, Florida. According to a 2019 report by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 401,867 motor vehicle crashes, with 152,768 of those resulting in personal injury, and 231,896 causing personal property damage only. And that's just in Florida. The report also stated that, on average, motor vehicle accidents in the state occur 1,101 times per day.
Specifically, Broward County accounted for 41,114 of the Florida car crashes occurring in 2019. Of those car crashes, 214 involved a fatality, and 23,671 resulted in injury.
A driver must always be alert and give driving their full attention when navigating the busy roadways of Davie and Broward County. Unfortunately, even when you are paying attention and driving cautiously, you can't count on others to do the same.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Davie
Car accidents vary by the type of vehicle, the type of crash, and the places where the crashes occur.
Common accidents in Davie include:
- Head-on collisions happen when two cars collide at the front end of each car. Usually, this occurs when one car veers out of its lane and crosses into oncoming traffic.
- T-bone collisions, which is when the front of one car hits another car on its side, creating the shape of a "T."
- Rear-end collisions. These are prevalent and often occur as a result of the first car stopping quickly and the second car not braking in time. Distracted driving is also a common cause of rear-end collisions.
Motorcycle accidents, which can happen to any motorist or driver.
What are the common causes of car accidents in Davie?
In addition to these types of incidents, there are also various causes for these car accidents. As everyone living in South Florida knows, I-595 has a lot of traffic and sees its fair share of car accidents. Some intersections are prone to more accidents due to planning, congestion, or people running red lights. Also, drunk driving contributes to car accidents. In 2019, Broward County had 142 car accidents caused by drunk driving and 23 confirmed cases of driving while under the influence of drugs.
Additionally, researchers have noted that the onslaught of rideshare vehicles, such as Uber and Lyft, has increased the number of fatal traffic accidents, despite being a good alternative to drinking and driving.
Car accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles are prevalent as well. In 2019, in Broward County, there were 1,083 accidents involving pedestrians and 716 car accidents involving bicycles. Car accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as large trucks, accounted for 16 fatalities in Broward County in that year.
External conditions, such as the weather and the roadway condition, also impact car accidents and injuries from car accidents. For example, rain and cloudy weather contributed to 719 fatal accidents, and wet roadways contributed to 371 fatal accidents in Florida in 2019.
Time of day is another contributing factor. Fatal car accidents are most likely to occur at night. Specifically, 1,734 fatal crashes took place during the nighttime hours in Florida in 2019.
What are common car accident areas in Davie?
Car accidents occur throughout the Davie area. Here are two examples.
In August 2020, a two-car crash on Griffin Road in Davie made headlines when it ended with two fatalities and one person in the hospital. The police investigated speeding and impairment as a possible cause. In May 2021, a vehicle crashed into a construction truck on I-595. The vehicle driver died at the scene, and the driver of the construction truck went to the hospital.
Five Things NOT to Do After an Accident
While any type of car accident can be overwhelming, it is crucial NOT to do the following:
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. If you leave the accident scene, you will diminish, if not negate, your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries or property damage.
- Do not fail to seek medical attention. Always seek medical attention as soon as possible because your lawyer will need proof of your injuries, and some injuries do not appear until later. An injured person may not even realize they are injured, so always seek medical care.
- Do not fail to get a police report. Be sure to stay at the scene of the accident and call the police. Your lawyer will need to submit a police report to the insurance companies and potentially use it at trial.
- Do not accept any settlement offers from insurance companies. Insurance companies seek to minimize their payouts. Your lawyer will fight for you to receive everything you deserve.
- Do not fail to consult with a personal injury law firm. As noted above, experienced attorneys will fight for you and provide you with the personal attention to evaluate your personal injury needs and pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Always speak with a lawyer before you speak with an insurance company or the other driver's lawyer. Let an attorney work on your behalf to help ensure you receive compensation due to you under Florida law.
Who Is Liable for My Car Accident and Injuries?
If the negligence of another driver caused you serious injuries in a car accident, you could see medical bills and medical costs quickly pile up. Who is responsible for these bills, and what can you do? First, let's review the most common type of personal injuries.
Whiplash is a common injury that happens when your head jerks forward and stretches your neck and back muscles. It is common in rear-end collisions. Car accidents may also cause head and chest injuries. These may occur when a person's head or chest collides with a window, steering wheel, or airbag. You also may experience:
- Cuts and bruises to various parts of your body.
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries.
Not all car accident victims have physical injuries. However, it's likely if you've been in a car accident, then the accident caused damage to your car. Dings, dents, paint damage, and broken headlights or taillights are just a few common types of property damage. In more serious accidents, you may have damaged bumpers and fenders, crushed sides, or extensive damage, resulting in a total loss.
The state of Florida is a no-fault state, which means that car accident victims file their claims (medical bills and property damage) with their insurance company unless they meet certain criteria. If the car accident victim's injuries or expenses exceed payments under their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, then the victim may file a third-party claim against the other driver. At this point, the car accident victim's lawyer will need to prove the other driver was negligent under Florida law. Note, however, that Florida is a pure comparative fault state, which means that if the jury finds you partially at fault, let's say 20% at fault, then the other driver (or their insurance company) will owe you 80% of damages.
To prove negligence, your attorney will need to show that the driver had a duty of care to you and that duty was breached. Your attorney will also need to show causation, which means the other driver caused your injury and that you suffered an injury or injuries.
How Can I Prove That the Other Driver Was Negligent in My Case?
To prove that the other driver was negligent, your car accident attorney must prove the four elements of duty, breach, causation, and injury. To do this, they will gather evidence to support your claim. They will need the police report (remember never to leave the scene of an accident), medical records (always seek medical attention), contact witnesses (it's a good idea to write down the names and numbers of witnesses to the accident), and review photographs or videos from the accident scene.
If the accident happened near a business, check with the business to determine whether they have outside cameras. If the police didn't check for video evidence, it's good to have a lawyer that will. Car accident attorneys specialize in knowing how to find the evidence you need to strengthen your case.
What Is the Process of Filing a Florida Car Accident Claim?
When there is a car accident, Florida requires that you report it to the police. From there, you can either contact your insurance company or contact a car accident attorney (recommended).
What Damages Can I Receive Compensation For?
Unfortunately, car accidents result in a lot of injuries and damages beyond what you may initially realize. First, there is the damage to your car and, potentially, injury to your body. Seeking medical attention after a car accident is important because you may not always immediately know if something is wrong. It's prudent to have a doctor check you out.
Second, car accidents are an unwelcome hassle. You have to seek compensation for your economic and physical injuries, and that may include filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Because car accidents are stressful beyond the actual accident, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to work on your behalf is a wise decision.
However, if the accident didn't injure you and only caused minor injuries to your property, then you may want to file a claim with your insurance company. Just make sure you know the extent of your physical and economic injuries.
If you choose to file a claim against the other party, you may receive compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
Determining how much your claim is worth is a question best left for your attorney. A personal injury lawyer specializes in understanding compensation for car accidents under Florida law. They understand the insurance industry and know how to negotiate and maximize your compensation benefits.
The types of factors that your attorney will consider are your economic losses (current and potential medical bills, damage to your car, lost earnings if your injuries prevented you from working, and future lost earnings) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering). Keep your medical records and bills because these are important documents for your attorney to prove your economic injuries. Also, make sure you know how much it will cost for you to fix your car and the cost of renting a car in the meantime. If you are unable to work, you'll need to know how much you have lost in current and future wages.
How Do Florida's No-Fault and PIP Affect My Claim?
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) law requires that all Florida drivers carry $10,000 in PIP insurance. PIP pays for a maximum of 80% of necessary medical expenses resulting from a car accident, up to $10,000. If your expenses exceed this amount and you have a serious injury, you may pursue a claim against the other driver.
Senate Bill 54 is currently seeking to abolish the current Florida PIP law and, instead, require drivers to carry bodily injury insurance of $25,000. If the governor signs SB 54 into law, then an at-fault driver will be responsible for up to $25,000 to the injured party.
How Can a Davie Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If another driver has njured you or damaged your property in a car accident, you should contact an attorney today.
Call Ward Law, a premier personal injury firm. At Ward Law, we are car accident lawyers with extensive experience in personal injury law and are passionate about providing our clients with our best efforts to maximize their compensation. We serve the Davie area and Fort Lauderdale, Miami Lakes, and the surrounding South Florida areas. Let us bring our years of experience in personal injury law to your case. Our personal injury attorneys and our experienced legal team will help you receive the full compensation you deserve. We will guide you through the process each step of the way and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, as well as taking your case to trial if necessary.
Call Ward Law at 786-829-6694 for a free consultation or visit our website and fill out the contact form. Let us fight for you!