Car Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Unfortunately, car accidents are simply a fact of life. A report by Esurance found that 77 percent of drivers have been in at least one accident. Further, the “average” driver will file an insurance claim for a car accident about once every 17.9 years. This translates into 3-4 accidents during your lifetime. These accidents could be minor fender benders, or much more serious car accidents. Of course, the more miles you drive, the higher your chances of being involved in a car accident. During a 1,000-mile trip, your chances of having a car accident are about 1 in 366.
Life can take an adverse turn in a split second when you are the victim of a car accident. Your health, your job, and your future can all be adversely affected because of something that was not your fault. You are now faced with challenges that can result in the necessity of seeking financial compensation from the at-fault party in order to get your life back on track. In many cases, this sounds much easier than it actually is. If you are the victim of a car accident, you should consider seeking help from a top-rated Broward County car accident attorney at the Lauriston Law Firm.
We understand the physical and emotional pain you may be experiencing in the aftermath of your car accident. You may be unable to pay your medical expenses, and, if your injuries were severe, you may be unable to return to work and make a living. We will be by your side from start to finish, fighting for your rights and your future. We believe in providing transparency, honesty, trust, and advocacy for our clients. We are solution-focused to help you reach your goals and will always answer all your questions clearly and thoroughly.
What Should You Do Immediately Following a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
If you are involved in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, you should do the following:
- First and foremost, contact the police. Regardless of what the other driver says, always contact the police.
- If you are injured, or if you are unsure whether you are injured, make sure you seek medical attention immediately. The jolt of adrenaline you receive during a car accident can mask symptoms of an injury, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry later on.
- If you are physically able, take photos of the scene of the accident with your phone. These can be invaluable evidence for your attorney later on.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- If there were witnesses, get their contact information.
- Once you are home, contact your own insurance company and give them the facts about the accident.
- Take the time to write down everything you remember about the accident once you are home. Even the smallest detail could potentially make a difference in whether or not you receive compensation for your injuries.
- Keep every single receipt for medical expenses so you can later receive reimbursement for your out-of-pocket costs.
Do I Need a Police Report Following My Broward County Car Accident?
A police report is created by the law enforcement officer who responds to the scene of a car accident. The police report can include crash-related details, statements from those involved in the accident—as well as witnesses—and other key information. In fact, police reports are given a significant amount of weight by insurance adjusters, as well as attorneys—especially when the findings indicate that one driver was clearly at fault. The responding police officer will usually include a diagram of the accident that includes location, the path of the vehicles involved, and the point of collision. Once you have secured a copy of the police report, make copies of the report so you can give one to your attorney, and have extras, if needed.
Should I make a Statement to the Insurance Company?
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you and could even ask you for a recorded statement. They might even tell you that you are required to provide a recorded statement, or your claim will not be processed. This is simply not true. You have no obligation to provide the other driver’s insurance company with a statement, and certainly you should never agree to a recorded statement without first speaking to your car accident attorney.
When you give a recorded statement, that statement could be taken out of context and used against you during the claims process. Insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to avoid paying claims and asking for a recorded statement is a part of that. The insurance company will look for any inconsistency in your statements as a reason to deny your claim, so simply refer them to your Lauriston Law Firm car accident lawyer.
Do I Need an Auto Accident Attorney?
Many people feel they can handle a car accident on their own. If your accident is relatively minor with primarily damages to your vehicle, no serious injuries and no significant amount of lost work, then you may be able to handle the insurance negotiations on your own. For anything more serious, it is extremely important that you have an experienced car accident lawyer from the Lauriston Law Firm to guide you through the process. When you watch commercials advertising insurance companies you can see they want you to believe you are a friend and that they have your best interests at heart.
In truth, insurance companies are businesses—businesses that care deeply about their financial bottom line and much less deeply about you and your injuries. They may attempt to offer you a quick—but low—settlement that will not fully cover your medical bills and lost wages. Once you have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your corner, the insurance company automatically respects your claim more and is much more likely to offer you a fair settlement.
Is Florida an At-Fault State? What About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
The state of Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. This means that each driver’s insurance pays for their own medical bills no matter who was responsible for the collision. Florida drivers are required to purchase PIP (personal injury protection) for that purpose.
To meet the severe injury threshold in Florida your injuries must be severe enough to affect your day-to-day activities. Any significant or permanent loss of a central body function, disfigurement, scarring, or total or partial disability that lasts for 90 days or more could meet the severe injury threshold. Your injuries must have been directly caused by the at-fault party’s actions and be a result of the accident.
What is the Florida Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident?
Every state sets its own statutes of limitations. This is the window of time you have in which to file an auto accident claim for damages. If you fail to file your claim within the Florida statutes, you will be forever barred from receiving damages for your injuries. In the state of Florida, you have four years from the time of your auto accident to file a claim. That being said, you should always file your claim as quickly as possible so you can resolve the manner as quickly as possible.
What is the Legal Process for a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
- Do I have a case? The best person to tell you whether you have a valid claim or not is an experienced car accident lawyer. Your attorney can assess the facts surrounding your claim, along with all the evidence, then determine whether filing a claim is in your best interests.
- What are the types of claims? Car accidents can occur in a variety of ways, including: rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, vehicle rollover, head-on collisions, multiple vehicle accidents, and hit and run accidents.
- What damages am I entitled to receive? The damages you are entitled to receive will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim. That being said, the most common types of compensation you might expect include medical expenses (current and future), lost wages (current and future), and pain and suffering. In rare cases, when the defendant exhibited malicious or deliberate actions that caused the accident, punitive damages could also be a potential damage.
- What type of settlement can I expect? Your settlement will depend entirely on the level of your injuries, how much time you lost from—or expect to lose—and whether you have chronic pain or emotional suffering that impacts your ability to work and your day-to-day life.
How a Car Accident Lawyer from the Lauriston Law Firm Can Help
At the Lauriston Law Firm, we understand that you have dozens of choices of law firms to represent you following a car accident. We have earned our reputation as one of the best auto accident attorneys in Broward County—based on the number of cases we have successfully represented. We help our clients receive the maximum potential compensation for their injuries and damages. We collect crucial evidence related to your accident to clearly show fault, focusing on all aspects of your claim during the discovery process. We have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation through auto injury claims and will go to every length to protect your rights and your future following your auto accident. Contact Lauriston Law Firm today!