Every year, car crashes drastically change the lives of 235,000 unsuspecting Floridians. Sadly, 2,500 residents of The Sunshine State die annually from injuries sustained in car accidents. When someone suffers a life-threatening injury due to the negligence of another driver, they deserve to receive fair compensation.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, talk to the attorneys at Winston Law Firm. Our team has helped thousands of auto accident victims in Broward County take effective legal action. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can provide expert legal advice and work hard to secure the damages you’re owed.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Over the years, the car accident attorneys from our office in Fort Lauderdale have worked on a number of different auto collision cases. They’ve seen crashes caused by a variety of negligent actions and learned how to handle each type of incident.
They’ve gathered valuable experience that they can draw on to help you recover from a crash caused by any of the following factors:
- Driver error
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Car malfunction
- Highway defects
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by one of the above mentioned factors, our experienced car accident attorneys can help you identify the at-fault party, build a strong insurance claim, and fight for the damages you need to move forward.
Damages You Might Receive From a Car Accident Claim in South Florida
The damages you receive from a claim in South Florida will help you take care of medical expenses, vehicle repair, and any other losses you’ve endured as a result of the crash. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the impact that the collision has had on your finances, you may qualify for several of the following damages:
Economic damages can help you cover bills and other tangible losses you’ve incurred due to the collision. They can make up for the wages you miss while taking time off work to go to the doctor and rest. If you’ve sustained a long-term injury that’s expected to prevent you from working at your job, these damages can compensate for your decreased earning ability.
These damages can help you afford the cost of any medical treatment, hospital visits, prescription medication, rehabilitative therapy, and assistive devices you need to recuperate from your injuries. They’ll also cover a portion of your vehicle repair expenses or the cost to replace a totaled car.
Non-economic damages can help you cope with the physical and psychological stress of a serious injury. For example, if your injuries are causing you to experience pain on a daily basis, these damages can help receive the burden of your suffering.
If you’ve noticed feelings of mental distress or have been diagnosed with anxiety or PTSD after the collision, these damages can afford you the support you need to improve your mental health. A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney may also request these damages if your injuries have led to a decrease in your quality of life.
Punitive damages are usually reserved for accidents caused by drunk or extremely reckless drivers. If the motorist who caused your crash was intoxicated or acting with complete disregard for the safety of others, these damages can be used as a form of punishment.
How an Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Can Help You Obtain Damages
Our Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers take a personal interest in helping clients get the financial compensation they need to make up for lost wages, medical expenses, vehicle damage, and other accident-related losses.
Your attorney will handle every aspect of your case and dig deep to find the evidence they need to secure your settlement. Here’s what your lawyer will do to obtain the damages you’re entitled to:
Offer Reliable and Honest Representation
Our lawyers will never lie to you and say that your claim is worth more than it actually is. They’ll always be straightforward with you about your estimated settlement value and every other aspect of your case. They’ll also communicate clearly and keep you updated throughout the entirety of your case.
If you ever have any questions about your claim or lawsuit, they’ll be a phone call away. They’ll answer all of your questions and concerns with thoughtful and clear responses. If you ever have an issue with the services your attorney provides, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll do our best to remedy the situation.
Investigate the Accident
In order to build a strong claim, your lawyer must gather evidence related to your collision. They’ll analyze accident reports, photos of the accident scene, footage of the incident, and witness statements to find the proof they need to move forward with your claim.
Your attorney may also call on an accident reconstruction expert to gain more insight into the crash you were injured in. An expert can analyze details of the collision, like vehicle damage and tire marks, to determine how it occurred.
Assess Your Losses
To find out how much you’re owed, a car accident lawyer from our team in Fort Lauderdale will assess the losses you’ve taken on and calculate how much you’re owed for each loss. To give you an idea of how much you’ll receive from your claim, our team can use special software to estimate the value of your settlement.
Negotiate With Insurers
Once your attorney has collected compelling evidence that shows you deserve to be compensated for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered, they’ll take your claim to your PIP insurance provider. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often hesitant to provide ample compensation to honest claimants.
Without an experienced attorney, it’s very unlikely that you’d be able to get fair payment from the insurer. Luckily, our lawyers have years of negotiating experience, during which they’ve secured high-value settlements for accident victims just like you. Your attorney will use their expertise to convince insurers that they must put a fair offer on the table.
Take Your Case to Court
If the insurance provider denies your claim or fails to offer a fair settlement, we’ll take your case to court. Filing a lawsuit may sound like a daunting task, but our attorneys will do the heavy lifting so you can focus on recovering from your injury.
If your claim escalates into a lawsuit, Florida’s comparative negligence standard may affect your auto accident case. According to the standard, you’ll still be able to collect compensation if you were partly at fault for the collision. However, the amount of money you’re eligible to receive will decrease in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Your lawyer will use the evidence they’ve found to show that the other driver caused the accident. If you were partly to blame for the crash, your attorney can try to get your percentage of fault lowered as much as possible. That way, you can get as much compensation as possible for your vehicle damage and medical care.
What to Do if Your Insurance Policy doesn’t Cover All Your Losses
According to Florida’s insurance requirements, drivers must possess PIP (personal injury protection) insurance coverage. PIP plans can cover at the very least $10,000 in losses from an accident, but what happens if your losses exceed the amount of compensation that your policy offers?
In that case, you might be able to pursue damages by filing a bodily injury liability claim with the other driver’s insurer. If successful, you could receive financial remedies for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.
According to the law, you can only file a claim with the other party’s insurer if you sustained a permanent injury, considerable scarring, disfigurement, or impairment to an important part of the body. An auto accident lawyer based in Fort Lauderdale can help you determine if you’re eligible to pursue such a claim. If you are, they’ll make sure it’s prepared and filed correctly.
Car Accident Injuries that a Fort Lauderdale Lawyer Can Help You Recover from
Whether you’re eligible to file a bodily injury claim or not, your lawyer will do everything they can to get you the damages you need to treat your injury and manage long-term conditions. They’ll even work with medical experts and your doctor to determine how much your future care will cost.
Once they’ve calculated how much money you need to afford current and future treatment, they’ll consider every possible path to compensation that’s available to you and decide which one(s) will benefit you the most. Once your case has reached a conclusion, you’ll likely receive the money you need to recuperate from or cope with any of the following conditions:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Bone fracture
- Soft tissue injury
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- And more
These are only a few of the accident injuries that an attorney can help you seek financial remedies for. No matter how severe or debilitating your condition is, our team can help you take the appropriate legal action for your situation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, FL
If your spouse or family member has sustained fatal injuries in a collision caused by another driver, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party. The compensation you receive from a wrongful death suit can help you cover expenses related to your loved one’s passing and allow you the financial support you need to mourn your loss.
An attorney from our location in Fort Lauderdale will investigate the accident that led to your loved one’s passing and fight for the damages your family is owed. If your case is successful, you and your family members may receive the following damages:
- Cost of the decedent’s medical care
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support and services
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
Suddenly losing a loved one in a tragic accident can be an incredibly painful and frustrating experience. Our compassionate team of lawyers will work hard to obtain the economic and non-economic damages your family deserves, so you can focus on planning the funeral and celebrating the life of your loved one.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Florida
If a Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer decides that your best course of action is to file a lawsuit against the other driver, they’ll have to submit your suit before Florida’s filing deadline for personal injury lawsuits. According to Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(3)(a), you have four years from the date of your collision to file a civil suit.
If you’re pursuing damages for a family member who sustained fatal injuries in a car crash, your wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in accordance with Florida Statute 95.11 (4)(d). This statute states that all wrongful death suits must be filed no later than two years after the decedent’s passing.
Failure to abide by Florida’s deadlines could make it very difficult for you to pursue compensation and may prevent you from obtaining the damages you need. To ensure your attorney has enough time to file, reach out to our firm today. If you believe your suit’s deadline has passed, contact us anyway, as there might be a loophole we can take advantage of.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale
If you’ve been involved in an auto collision in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere in Florida, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of receiving an adequate settlement. Here’s what you should do after a car accident:
Prioritize Your Health
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, your first priority should be your health. If your injuries are serious, call an ambulance and get treated at a hospital. If your injuries are mild, there are a few things you can do to help your case. Once you’ve taken the following steps, make sure you seek medical attention from a licensed physician.
Call the Police
According to Florida law, you must call the cops after an accident that caused injury or more than $500 in damages. Reporting your accident to law enforcement isn’t only required by law, it’s also important to the success of your claim.
Once the police respond to your call, they’ll file an official report detailing the type of accident, the parties involved, and the damage caused. A car accident lawyer from our firm in South Lauderdale can use the police report to build your claim and convince insurers that you deserve a fair settlement.
Speak With the Driver
Once you’ve called the police, speak with the other driver or drivers involved in your accident. It’s important that you take down their name, contact information, and insurance details. Your attorney can use this information during the claim-filing process and if they file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.
If the driver refuses to give you their information, the police can facilitate the exchange of contact and insurance information when they arrive. If the driver who caused your accident fled the scene, make sure you notify the authorities. If you remember the make and model of their car or their license plate number, write it down and pass it on to the police.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone witnessed your accident, flag them down and speak with them. You’ll want to take down their name and contact information and ask them if they’d be willing to provide testimony for your case. A lawyer can use eye-witness testimony to build a strong case on your behalf. Your attorney may also call witnesses to the stand if your case requires a lawsuit.
Document the Accident
Documenting your accident is one of the most important things you can do. First, use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, visible injuries, and anything else that seems significant. Your lawyer can use these photos as evidence in your claim.
Keeping a personal journal of your injuries can also help your case. Some insurers might claim that your injuries are the result of a separate incident or a pre-existing condition. Having a detailed record of your injuries can lend validity to your claim and show insurers that the accident significantly impacted your health.
If you experience PTSD, anxiety, or another mental health issue in the days following your collision, you’ll want to document it. A personal record of your mental health can be used to secure damages for your mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. In addition to keeping a journal, seeking help from a psychologist can also help you get the damages you deserve.
Hire an Attorney
Hiring a Fort Lauderdale car crash lawyer as soon as you can is critical to the success of your case. Hiring a lawyer now will allow them to gather and analyze evidence while it’s still fresh. It will also allow your attorney to interview witnesses before their memories of the collision have had a chance to fade.
Taking action soon will ensure that your lawsuit is filed before the deadline described in Florida’s statute of limitations. Once an attorney has agreed to take on your case, they’ll get started on your claim or civil suit right away. The sooner you find a skilled lawyer, the sooner you’ll get the damages you need to treat your injuries and cope with your suffering.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Try your best to avoid posting about your accident on social media platforms. If an insurance adjuster or the defendant’s attorney were to see your post, they could use the contents of it against you in a court of law.
It’s also best not to post pictures of yourself after an accident. Even if the photo doesn’t reference the collision, the defendant’s lawyer could use the photo to prove that your injuries are less severe than you claim. Once your case has been resolved, feel free to post as much as you want.
Cost of an Automobile Accident Lawyer
If the attorneys at our office in Fort Lauderdale decide to take on your car accident case, they won’t charge you any upfront fees. Instead, they’ll take a portion of the settlement or court award that you receive at the end of your case. If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay your attorney out-of-pocket.
This form of payment is known as a contingency fee, as it’s contingent on the success of your case. If your claim yields compensation, you can expect your attorney to take approximately one-third of the money, though the exact amount can vary from case to case. Your lawyer will discuss the terms of your contingency fee agreement before they take on your case.
Our Firm Has an Impressive Track Record
Our attorneys are truly committed to helping the wrongfully injured get the resources and financial support they need to get their lives back on track, and the settlements they obtain are a testament to their hard work.
The lawyers at our firm have delivered a number of impressive case results for clients suffering from a variety of different accident-related injuries. To see some of the high-value settlements our team has secured in the past, visit our notable results page.
While we can’t guarantee that you’ll receive as much compensation as our other clients have, we promise to fight for every penny you need to get back on your feet. Our team will work long hours to get the settlement or jury verdict you deserve.
Contact Our Firm Today
Our law firm has been handling auto accident cases in the Fort Lauderdale area for over 20 years. Bradley Winston, the firm’s Managing Partner, is board certified by The Florida Bar in civil trial litigation. Only 7% of Florida attorneys achieve this highest level of recognition for their competency, experience, professionalism, and ethics.
If you’ve been injured in a crash that was caused by the careless actions of another, contact the Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys of Winston Law Firm. Our team will thoroughly investigate your crash and secure the evidence they need to pursue a settlement. They’ll work tirelessly to obtain the results you need to recover your financial losses and health.