Florida Car Accident Lawyers

The fallout from a car accident in Florida can be long-lasting and far-reaching, bringing serious physical injuries, emotional hurt, and financial instability. To recover losses you have sustained from a car accident, secure representation from a Howell & Thornhill Florida car accident lawyer.

 

Florida’s Car Accident Statistics

The Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reports 99,337 motor vehicle accidents statewide for the most recent full year of data collection. Those accidents led to 851 fatalities and 63,834 injuries.

Accident victims included occupants of the vehicles involved, motorcycle operators, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Of all 50 states and Washington D.C., recent data shows only California and Texas outnumber Florida for the highest number of fatal car accidents, but when considering population size, Florida’s fatality rates are disproportionately higher. New York, whose population is closer to Florida’s, saw 2,000 fewer motor vehicle accidents than the sunshine state.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Care

While accident-caused injuries are immediately apparent or severe, others take time to show. This delayed onset is dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, it may “trick” you into thinking you are okay when you could actually be experiencing internal bleeding, serious back or spinal cord damage, or head or brain trauma.

Delaying treatment can make a moderate injury far more serious, even deadly, making it essential for you to seek care as quickly as possible. Further, Florida law requires you to seek medical attention within 14 days, or your insurance company is “off the hook” for covering your injuries.

A delay can also hurt your personal injury claim, should you need to file one. The at-fault party can claim that if your injuries are as debilitating as you claim, you would not have waited to see a doctor. Or, they can argue that you made your condition worse by failing to get immediate treatment and they should not be responsible for the damage you caused to yourself.

Determining the Responsible Party

Even though Florida is a no-fault state, if you file a third-party claim, knowing who is responsible for the accident is critical to your case. The at-fault party’s insurance or other representatives will do their best to point the finger at you. Fortunately, a skilled car accident attorney in Florida will investigate the case to discover and prove the truth.

The team at Howell and Thornhill is well-equipped to conduct this investigation. Our team knows how to gain access to police reports, traffic and surveillance camera footage, and has relationships with experts whose input can support your case. Based on this careful examination, your car accident lawyer in Florida will identify who caused the accident and compile evidence to hold them accountable.

Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents

An accident can have one or even multiple causes. While no two car accidents are exactly alike, there are some more typical reasons for crashes.

  • Driver Error: A driver may simply make a mistake, forgetting to check the rearview before merging or misreading a traffic sign or signal
  • Driver Intoxication: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) caused 1,178 of the accidents reported by the FHSMV.
  • Reckless Driving: Speeding or driving while distracted are major causes of motor vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,522 deaths nationwide caused by distracted drivers for a recent year of data collection
  • Vehicle or Part Malfunction: Sometimes, cars have manufacturer defects or other improper part installation, which could leave the car or part manufacturer culpable for the accident
  • Roadway Problems: Poorly maintained, unlit, or other non-working road elements or traffic signals can cause accidents. In these cases, the municipal, state, or federal offices responsible for their oversight may be responsible.

Keep in mind that cases against government entities are far more complicated than those against private citizens or companies. Do not take on these offices without a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer on your side.

Florida’s Personal Injury Laws

Recently, Florida’s personal injury laws underwent important revisions. Unfortunately, most of the changes make it more difficult for victims to get the compensation they deserve and easier for insurance companies to deny this compensation. These changes make it even more important to have a Florida car accident lawyer manage your case.

Statute of Limitations

To be eligible to collect a settlement, you must first file your injury claim within Florida’s new two-year statute of limitations. Previously, the statute of limitations was four years.

Modified Comparative Fault

Florida used to operate under a pure comparative fault system, meaning a victim could seek damages even if they held a high degree of fault for the accident. Under the new law, victims can only pursue a settlement if they are less than 50% responsible for the event causing their injuries.

Insurance Companies

Florida law has essentially shifted the burden to insurance policyholders to act in “good faith” with their insurance carrier or risk having compensation reduced. An insurance company’s negligence is no longer sufficient grounds for policyholders to file a “bad faith” lawsuit against the company.

Collecting Damages

There are new limits on past and future medical expenses injury victims or wrongful death claimants can recover. Further, there are limitations on what types of evidence can be used to prove medical costs.

How A Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Help

As if the physical, emotional, and financial losses that come with suffering an accident were not enough, these new laws may add another layer to your sense of discouragement. You are not alone in your fight.

Consider Howell & Thornhill, your “Home Team.” By partnering with us you gain the services of a skilled Florida car accident lawyer, an accident reconstructionist, and a medical professional. We are all ready to fight for your financial relief and justice.

Working Through the Legal Process

You need to focus on recovery. Your attorney will handle the legalities of your case, filing within the legal deadline, preparing and submitting all additional documentation efficiently, and handling any case-related complications that arise.

Gathering Crucial Evidence

Your lawyer knows what types of evidence you need and what the law allows for submission, and will tailor their efforts to gather this crucial, admissible evidence.

Communicating With Insurance Companies

Now more than ever, you need a car accident lawyer in Florida to stand up for you against insurance companies. Even before the new laws, these companies often used bullying tactics to scare victims into accepting far-too-low settlements, twisted victims’ words into admissions of guilt or found ways to put unwarranted blame for the events on the victims.

Your lawyer will not be bullied and knows what to say–and not to say–to protect your settlement.

Representing You in the Courtroom

Personal injury cases often settle out of court. When the at-fault party and their representatives refuse to come to an acceptable agreement, however, you may decide to take your case to court after your attorney presents you with your options.

At every court proceeding, your lawyer will offer you representation, tirelessly fighting to secure the highest settlement possible.

A Settlement Secures Your Future

It is easy to underestimate the ways a car accident can affect your life, especially when you are in a vulnerable state and occupied with getting through one day at a time. Trust a Florida car accident lawyer to evaluate your situation and fight for the settlement you need to move forward and secure your future. A fair settlement can:

  • Provide compensation for your full medical care. While some physical injuries heal completely, others will need continued care, and your lawyer will fight to cover those future needs.
  • Recover income loss for days missed at work. If your injuries cause permanent disability and you cannot return to work, your attorney will seek recovery of your income loss, including potential earnings and benefits.
  • Acknowledge your pain and suffering. The physical pain and emotional trauma caused by your accident matter, and they deserve justice.
  • Account for other losses or expenses incurred by your accident. Your attorney will make a settlement demand to cover these additional damages.

Your Fight Is Our Fight

For decades, Howell & Thornhill has fought for financial justice and relief for Florida residents injured because of someone else’s negligence. We are primed and ready to add your fight to our successful history. To arrange a free consultation with a compassionate, experienced Florida car accident attorney, simply visit our contact page to call or leave an electronic message. Your fight is our fight, and we will not let you down.  Remember, we got this!