Howell & Thornhill

Sebring Car Accident Lawyers

Your Home Team Since 1975 - We Got This!

If you are involved in a car crash in Sebring, FL, you may believe that you are solely responsible for the costs associated with your crash. However, this is not always the case. When you have an insurance claims lawyerat your side, you can seek damages from anyone responsible for your collision.

The Sebring car accident lawyers at Howell & Thornhill, P.C. put your best interests front and center. Following your auto collision, please reach out to us. Our Sebring car accident lawyer can review your case and help you submit a claim against any at-fault parties.

Why Auto Crashes Happen in Sebring

In 2021, there were 282 million vehicles registered in the United States, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Millions of medically consulted injuries in motor-vehicle accidents were reported during this time. These injuries and accidents occurred for many reasons, such as:

Distracted Driving

In a survey of U.S. drivers conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 20% of respondents said they engaged in at least one smartphone-based distraction. There is no excuse for distracted driving, but it remains a problem. For those who get hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver, they can sue for damages.

Speeding

Motorists are expected to follow the rules of the road, even if they want to travel from point A to point B as quickly as possible. If a speeding driver crashes their vehicle into another motorist or pedestrian, they can be held accountable. In this situation, an accident victim should talk to a lawyer, so they can pursue compensation from the at-fault motorist.

Drunk Driving

Florida has strict driving under the influence (DUI) laws — and they apply to anyone who gets behind the wheel in the Sunshine State. If a driver is intoxicated, they can easily lose focus and get into a collision. This drunk driver can also be sued as part of a personal injury lawsuit.

Drowsy Driving

A driver may spend many hours behind the wheel without actually realizing it. The longer this motorist is driving, the more likely it becomes that they will feel drowsy and cause a crash. If a driver blames their drowsiness for a crash, they can still be held responsible for any damages that they cause.

Inexperienced Driving

Teens and other young motorists may be prone to texting and driving and other mistakes. A lack of experience does not make it OK to cause an accident. If a driver lacks experience and crashes their vehicle into another car or pedestrian, they can be forced to pay any damages.

Poor Weather or Road Conditions

Weather can affect a driver’s visibility and the road conditions. It does not give a reason for a motorist to be negligent. If a driver says poor weather or road conditions caused your accident, you should not accept this excuse. Instead, you can partner with a car accident law firm that will help you pursue the most compensation possible from this negligent motorist.

Vehicle Performance Issues

It is a driver’s responsibility to take care of their vehicle. If a motorist chooses not to do so, their vehicle can become unsafe to drive. At this point, the motorist may be unable to stop quickly enough to prevent an accident.

At Howell & Thornhill, P.C., we understand why auto crashes happen in Sebring. No matter what caused your auto collision, our Sebring car accident attorney can help you request compensation from anyone responsible for it. To learn more, please get in touch with us.

How to Respond to a Sebring Car Accident

Call 911 to report your auto crash. Then, medical personnel will arrive on the scene to treat you and anyone else who has suffered injuries. Police officers will also come to the scene to find out what happened and report your crash.

Go to an emergency room or consult with a doctor following your collision. Doing so allows you to get medical treatment for any injuries that you incur. It is beneficial to get photos and videos of your injury and other evidence from the accident scene.

Along with these things, it is beneficial to get help from a car accident law firm. Next, you can discuss your case with auto accident lawyers who can teach you about Florida’s insurance and laws and other legal topics. Your auto accident lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of filing a personal injury claim.

What It Takes to Submit an Auto Accident Claim in Sebring

Per Florida’s laws, you have up to two years from the date you suffer a personal injury to file a claim against anyone responsible for it. This means you have a maximum of two years from the date of your auto collision to submit a claim for damages. If you decide against filing a lawsuit within this window, you lose the right to pursue compensation at a later time.

Auto accident attorneys help their clients submit lawsuits in accordance with Florida’s laws. If you are unsure about filing a personal injury claim, meet with an auto accident attorney. This gives you the opportunity to share your legal concerns with a lawyer who can help you make an informed decision about pursuing compensation.

When you are not at fault, the crash should not affect your insurance premiums but it can have other long-lasting effects on your finances. If your car crash occurred due to someone else’s negligence, it is generally in your best interests to seek damages. When you work with an experienced auto accident law firm, you can request compensation that serves you well now and in the future.

How an At-Fault Motorist May Respond to Your Sebring Car Accident

Car accident law firms want to help auto crash victims hold at-fault motorists responsible for their actions. In some instances, a negligent motorist causes an auto accident and does everything within their power to avoid paying the crash victim a fair amount of compensation. They may also propose a lowball settlement just days after an accident in the hopes that the collision victim will instantly accept the offer.

If an at-fault motorist or their insurer contacts you and offers a settlement only days after your crash, beware of the dangers of accepting the proposal. By approving the offer, you may get only a fraction of the amount of compensation that you could receive if you move forward with a personal injury claim. On top of that, you may wind up having to pay thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to cover your accident-related expenses.

When in doubt about what to do with a settlement offer, look for auto accident law firms in Sebring. You can find an attorney who can answer frequently asked questions about personal injury claims. This lawyer can help you decide whether to accept a settlement proposal or move forward with a personal injury lawsuit.

Options Available When You Get a Sebring Auto Accident Settlement Offer

You have the option to accept, reject, or counter any auto crash settlement proposal. Car accident attorneys want their clients to get as much money as they can. They will encourage their clients to approve settlement offers only if they believe these proposals are fair.

Thanks to your lawyer, you can get a complete rundown of all that a settlement proposal entails. Your lawyer will urge you to take as much time as you need to evaluate an offer. They can answer any questions you have about a proposal, so you can make the best possible decision about it.

If you are dealing with paralysis, scarring, or other injuries due to your auto crash, your lawyer will ask you to consider these as you assess a settlement offer. You may discover that your injury costs and other accident-related expenses exceed the compensation that the at-fault motorist will give you in a settlement. In this scenario, you may want to decline a settlement offer and continue to negotiate.

How Much Compensation You Can Get in an Auto Crash Lawsuit

You can request economic and non-economic damages in your auto collision lawsuit. Economic damages are quantifiable, while non-economic ones are subjective. Examples of economic and non-economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

There is no limit on the amount of economic and non-economic damages that you can ask for in a car accident lawsuit. Your lawyer will help you calculate these damages. They can also give you insights into how much money they have helped past clients recover.  However, there are limits to insurance coverage and your lawyer can advise you what is possible in each case.

In addition to economic and non-economic damages, you may be awarded punitive damages, which are used to deter an at-fault party from future acts of negligence. With punitive damages, a judge or jury can award up to $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater. A judge or jury will rarely award punitive damages, but doing so can help you recover the compensation you need to fully move past your auto accident.

What You Can Do to Win or Settle Your Auto Accident Case

After you file a car crash lawsuit, it can take months or years to resolve the case. Your attorney can open negotiations with the defendant in your case. Regardless, there are several things that you can do to put yourself in the best position to get compensation, such as:

Gather and Evaluate Evidence

You and your attorney can go over your medical records, photos and videos of the accident scene, and other evidence. From here, you can build a body of evidence that makes it clear to a judge or jury why you should be awarded damages. If you have a wide range of evidence, the defendant in your case may become increasingly motivated to settle.

Stay Off Social Media

It is important to note that any information you share publicly can be used against you. Therefore, it is beneficial to avoid posting content on social media following your auto crash. The defendant in your case may check out your social media pages and search for content — and if they find anything that contradicts the truth, they will use it to help them compel a judge or jury to rule in their favor.

Do Not Engage with the At-Fault Party or Their Insurer

The defendant in your case or their insurance company may try to get you to accept a settlement. If this happens, notify your attorney. This enables you to avoid ongoing requests to approve a settlement that falls short of what you want.

Remain in Contact with Your Attorney

There is no such thing as a “bad” question to ask your lawyer. If you ever have car accident questions, share them with your lawyer. This allows you to get the information you need to move through the legal process and feel confident in your case.

Your lawyer will help you get ready for your trial. They may conduct a “mock” trial with you and make sure you understand any questions you may receive if you take the stand. As a result, you can enter the courtroom prepared to deal with any challenges that come your way.

What to Expect During an Auto Crash Trial

It can be daunting to go to trial in an auto accident case. Fortunately, your attorney helps you throughout the trial process. They advocate for you and make sure that your legal rights are protected at each stage of your trial.

During your trial, your attorney and the defendant’s lawyer represent their respective clients as best as they can. Your lawyer presents evidence and questions witnesses about your accident to show that the defendant was negligent. Meanwhile, the defendant’s attorney disputes your lawyer’s claims and tries to show a judge or jury why their client should be let off the hook.

A judge or jury gives each trial the attention it deserves. If you deliver a compelling argument, your case is likely to resonate with a judge or jury. This may ultimately lead to a favorable judgment.

Do Not Wait Any Longer to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Sebring

Howell & Thornhill, P.C. makes it easy to connect with a car accident attorney in Sebring. Our team can take a look at your auto crash case right away. Please contact us today to get started.