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Car accidents happen every day in Kissimmee and throughout Florida. Most motor vehicle accidents result in at least minor injuries, but some injuries are serious and require comprehensive medical treatment. Getting into a serious car accident can be a devastating situation and alter your daily life forever.
Regardless of whether your injuries are minor or severe, if another driver’s negligence caused your injuries, you should contact the experienced lawyers at the Ward Law firm for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights. Our legal professionals have years of experience helping our clients receive financial compensation for serious injuries, wrongful death cases, medical malpractice, property damage, and other damages after an auto accident.
How common are car accidents in Kissimmee?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2017 alone, there were more than 400,000 crashes in Florida, with around 3,000 crashes resulting in fatalities. Kissimmee is a major tourist attraction, and many drivers are unfamiliar with the roads in and around the metropolitan area. Unfortunately, in recent years, this has led to daily car accidents, resulting in minor, severe, catastrophic injures or death.
Today, stories of fatal car accidents are in the news almost every day. In June 2021, a Mercedes was involved in a single-car crash on the John Young Parkway in Osceola County, killing the occupant’s driver and leaving a passenger in critical condition. The car went off the road, hit a tree, ejected both men, and then caught on fire. Neither man was wearing a seat belt.
In another accident, in September 2020, four people were killed in Osceola County in a two-vehicle collision on U.S. 441. The road conditions were slick from recent rain, and one of the cars, a sedan, veered off the road, and a pickup truck then t-boned the sedan. Three people in the sedan were killed, and the truck driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was also killed.
Stories of car accidents like these in Florida are, sadly, all too common. In yet another tragic case, in May 2021, a woman was pulled over with her hazard lights on, on the side of the Florida Turnpike in Orange County when a man driving an SUV crashed into the woman’s car. The crash happened at around 3 a.m. The woman, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from her car and died at the scene. The man, who is from Kissimmee, is facing criminal charges for the accident.
What are the most common types of car accidents in Kissimmee?
The most common types of car accidents in Kissimmee and throughout Central Florida are:
- head-on collisions
- single-car crashes with a vehicle running off the road
- Uber & Lyft rideshare accidents
- sideswipes during lane passings
- rear-end collisions
- vehicle rollovers
- t-bone accidents
- Fender-bender accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- truck accidents
- drunk driving accidents
- multi-vehicle collisions
- accidents involving pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists
The emotional trauma that may follow any type of accident can be extremely stressful on one’s mind. Our legal team of auto accident lawyers has extensive experience in taking legal action to fight for injured parties’ rights after the physical and emotional pain of an accident in the Kissimmee area.
Common Injuries for Car Accident Victims
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people under 30, killing about 96 people every day. In a single year, motor vehicle crashes cause $44 billion in medical expenses and missed work. Injuries from car crashes can range from minor to catastrophic. The most common injuries in car crashes are whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, herniated discs, spinal cord injury, lower leg fractures, loss of limbs, and disfigurement. Car accidents can also be fatal. If you lost a family member or loved one in a car accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused the accident.
What kind of damages can I recover after a Kissimmee car accident?
If you have been in a car accident in Kissimmee, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills for hospital or doctor visits, physical therapy, and surgery; property damages, such as physical damage to your car or the diminished value of your car; towing fees; rental car costs; lost wages based on work you missed after the accident; and future lost wages.
Florida law also allows for non-economic damages in the form of pain and suffering. These are intangible damages intended to compensate you for the pain and suffering you had to endure during the entire process. For instance, if you were disfigured in an accident with a drunk driver, you could be compensated for having to live the rest of your life without the full use of your limbs. Pain and suffering also include the emotional distress and trauma you experienced as a result of the accident. Finally, when another person’s conduct was particularly reckless, your car accident claim may include punitive damages, which are extra damages intended to punish the wrongdoer.
How does PIP insurance affect my claim?
Florida law requires every driver to maintain at least $10,000 in car insurance coverage, referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Florida is a no-fault state in terms of insurance, which means that if you get into a car accident, you must submit claims to your insurance company, and the company must pay out up to $10,000, regardless of who is at fault. Because injuries often exceed the minimum PIP amount, it’s important to have a Kissimmee personal injury lawyer on your side. A personal injury lawyer will go the extra mile by giving personal attention to clients’ needs in personal injury cases. On behalf of an experienced firm, the lawyer will provide legal counsel and outline the monetary results you can expect, as well as the process you’ll go through to obtain your money.
The fact is, Florida’s PIP laws are likely going to change soon. The Florida legislature recently enacted Senate Bill 54, which repeals Florida’s current no-fault laws. Instead, the bill requires Florida drivers to maintain insurance for injuries and deaths related to accidents. Drivers must carry up to $25,000 per person for bodily injury and death, or $50,000 for two or more people involved in an accident. The bill also requires drivers to maintain a MedPay benefit of $5,000 for 30 days to pay for hospital care and emergency services.
The bill is awaiting signature by Governor Ron DeSantis. If the governor does not veto the bill, it will become effective on January 1, 2022. Opponents of the new law argue that it could raise insurance premium rates by several hundred dollars a year. Since there will likely be a significant change in Florida’s laws regarding insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced attorney who can explain the current PIP law, as well as the proposed law.
What happens if my PIP coverage does not cover all of my damages?
For all damages that exceed $10,000, you will need to prove that another person caused your injuries to recover more money. To prove this, you must show that the other person’s negligence caused the accident. More specifically, you must show that the other person owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, you were injured, and the other person’s conduct proximately caused your injuries. You must show these things by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard than what is required in criminal cases by the government against a defendant.
Some states have contributory negligence laws, which means that if you were also at fault in the accident, you can not recover anything from the other person. In other words, even if the accident was only 1% your fault, you would receive no compensation. Florida rejects this harsh approach and instead uses a comparative fault model, which means that a court may reduce your damages according to your own degree of fault in causing the accident. For example, if the damages exceed $10,000, and if the accident was 15% your fault, then the court will reduce your amount of damages exceeding $10,000 by 15%.
What should I do after a car crash in Kissimmee?
If you are injured in a car crash in Kissimmee, you need to take several steps. Immediately after the accident, if you’re not too seriously injured, you need to report the accident so a police officer can write a police report. Don’t leave the accident scene unless you need immediate medical attention. Ask the other persons involved in the accident for their names and contact information. If you can, use cell phones to take photos of the vehicles involved in the crash, as well as any photos of your injuries. If there are any witnesses to the crash, take down their names and contact information. Also, write down any relevant information connected to the crash.
After the accident, go to a doctor for a physical examination of your injuries. Do this immediately after the accident and also months later, as some car accident injures aren’t always apparent immediately following a crash.
As soon as possible after the accident, you should contact an experienced attorney who can learn about your case and give you legal advice by answering all your questions. By having legal representation early while evidence, injuries, and memories are still fresh, you may be able to maximize the amount of money damages you can receive in legal matters.
What happens in the car accident claims process?
When you are injured in a car accident, you will first need to report the accident to your insurance company. Under current law, this is true even if the accident was not your fault. The insurance company will then investigate your claim, assessing both personal injuries and property damages from the claim. The insurance company will evaluate your claim and determine what you’re entitled to recover through insurance. Insurance companies are interested in maximizing profits, so they may undervalue your claim and offer you less than the amount you’re entitled to. The insurance company may attempt to reduce the amount by determining that you were more at fault in the accident than you were. If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, a trial attorney can take your lawsuit to trial to help you recover the damages you’re entitled to. For personal injury accidents, an experienced lawyer can guide you every step of the way with filing your claim.
How do I know if my insurance offer is fair after a car accident in Kissimmee?
To get just compensation for your injuries in a car accident, it’s important to calculate all of your current and future costs accurately. Often, car accident victims underestimate the values of their claims because they don’t accurately account for all of the future costs that flow from the initial injuries. To build your case, you’ll have to collect all the evidence you need to support your claim. This will include medical bills, expert testimonies on what caused the accident, lost wages based on missed work, and technical evidence regarding the vehicles’ speeds and braking attempts at the time of the accident. Again, an experienced attorney can help you collect this evidence.
When do I have to file a claim by in Florida?
Injuries caused by car accidents are considered personal injuries. For personal injury claims, each state has its own time limit, known in legal terms as a “statute of limitations,” for a person to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the time you realized you were injured. This usually means four years from the time of the accident, but because some injuries are not always immediately apparent, the discovery maybe later. An experienced car accident attorney can give you legal advice about the deadline to file a claim. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to make sure you still have time to file your lawsuit.
How can experienced Kissimmee personal injury attorneys help me?
If you were injured in a car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and complicated. An experienced car accident attorney can offer legal services to help you every step of the way, by helping you file insurance claims, collecting all necessary paperwork, calculating the value of your claim, and figuring out the proper persons to sue and the deadline to do so. Often, insurance companies will try to get you to settle a claim for less than it’s worth. An experienced car accident attorney can advise you as to whether a settlement is fair and whether you should file a lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Kissimmee, use this contact form to connect with the experienced lawyers at Ward Law for a free case evaluation.