A car accident is a life-altering experience. Following the crash, you will have to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your losses and damages. Recovering damages following a vehicle accident is not the most straightforward experience, especially for someone who has never been involved in a car crash before. Fortunately, you can contact a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer at Fetterman & Associates, P.A., who will review your particular case and help you pursue compensation.
When our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can help
Broadly speaking, car accident liability can be divided into three categories which we will clarify for you below:
- Defective cars and auto parts
- Poor road conditions or design
Category 1 – Negligence
The vast majority of vehicle crashes are caused by a driver’s negligence. When another motorist has been negligent, and that negligence led to your injury, it is vital to speak with experienced lawyers to investigate your particular accident, determine liability, and collect evidence to prove fault. The most common types of negligent conduct on the road include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving;
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Reckless driving;
- Road rage;
- Failure to adjust to adverse weather conditions;
- Running red lights
- Ignoring road signs;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Wrong-way driving;
- Improper turns;
- Drowsy driving; and
- Failure to maintain a safe distance between vehicles (tailgating).
Regardless of how your car crash occurred, contact the Fetterman & Associates, P.A. auto accident attorneys in West Palm Beach to investigate your particular case and hold the other driver accountable for their negligent conduct.
Category 2 – Defective cars and auto parts
If either party’s car had a defect, or any auto parts/equipment were defective, which caused or contributed to your accident, you may file a product liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer and other parties.
However, since auto manufacturers are usually represented by the best defense attorneys in the country, winning a claim against them can be tough. For this reason, you must have a skilled car accident lawyer on your side to be able to prove that your collision was caused by a defective or faulty part or equipment.
Also, many car crashes are caused by improper maintenance. In this case, you could sue the driver who failed to maintain their vehicle in good condition. Tire blowout accidents are a common example of crashes caused by improper maintenance.
Category 3 – Poor road conditions or design
A large percentage of vehicle accidents are caused by poor road conditions or faulty road design. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove that your collision was caused by bad road conditions or design. Some examples of poor road conditions include:
- Missing or improperly maintained road sign and traffic signals
- Oil and chips
- Work zones
- Shoulder drop-off
- Ice patches
Unfortunately, suing a government entity is tricky because Florida law requires you to give advance notice of a car accident claim prior to suing a public agency. Also, there is a shortened statute of limitations for claims against government entities.
Common types of car accident injuries
The severity and type of injuries vary from one vehicle accident to another. Unfortunately, not all types of car accident injuries are covered by insurance. Here at Fetterman & Associates, P.A., our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers represent victims who have sustained injuries including but not limited to:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Loss of limb
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Scrapes and cuts
- Internal bleeding
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, our skilled attorneys will help you pursue compensation through: your own insurance company in West Palm Beach, the at-fault party’s insurance company, and/or other means, depending on your situation.
How a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer will seek your compensation
There can be different sources of recovery available to car accident victims. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, your lawyer will choose the most appropriate method of financial compensation after your crash, including:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage: Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry PIP insurance that provides coverage for their medical bills, loss of income, and certain other expenses up to a specific dollar amount regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
- At-fault driver’s insurance coverage: If the other motorist was responsible for causing your car accident, you might file a claim with their insurance company to recover damages as well as obtain compensation for the damages that exceed your own PIP coverage.
- Personal injury lawsuit: If there is no insurance coverage available or you have exhausted the limits of your PIP coverage, bringing a personal injury lawsuit may be the only option to obtain compensation.
Our auto accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, P.A., will investigate your particular case and identify the most appropriate way to seek reimbursement. Regardless of how your lawyer decides to recover damages on your behalf, our attorneys will fight for your maximum compensation.
How long will you wait to settle your car accident claim in Florida?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question because the timeline of your car accident case depends on a variety of factors. These factors include: the severity of your injury, the parties’ willingness to settle, and whether the at-fault party’s negligence is clear and undisputed, among others. In Florida, injured individuals have four years from the date of their injury to bring a lawsuit. However, when a car accident resulted in death, the surviving family members must file a wrongful death claim within two years. If your car crash involves a government entity, Florida law requires you to give advance notice of your intention to sue at least six months before filing a lawsuit.
How can auto accident attorneys in Florida prove negligence?
Most car accident cases are based on negligence. When a person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they assume a duty of care towards other people around them to drive in a reasonable manner and avoid causing harm to others. When a car driver’s conduct poses an unreasonable risk of harm to others, he or she may be found negligent. Chapter 768 of the Florida Statute requires injured persons to prove certain elements in order to establish negligence. Specifically, you must establish four elements in order to prove that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident:
- Duty of care: The other motorist owed you a duty of care. This one is pretty straightforward when it comes to determining liability in car accident cases because anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle assumes the responsibility to avoid causing harm to other people.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached the duty of care. If the other driver violated a traffic law or engaged in any negligent conduct, you can establish that the motorist breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The other driver’s negligence caused your car crash. You must establish the link between the motorist’s breach of duty and your injury.
- Damages: Your injury, which was caused by the negligent driver’s conduct, resulted in damages and losses.
Why you need a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer
Unfortunately, many car accident victims are reluctant to contact an attorney right away, while others choose to wait until their case reaches a dead-end before consulting with a lawyer. So, do you really need a car accident attorney to seek compensation? Is legal representation really that important to recover damages after a vehicle crash in Florida? While Florida law does not obligate you to be represented by a lawyer, doing so can substantially improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Here are some of the ways our car accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation following a collision in West Palm Beach:
- Investigating your crash to establish who was at fault: In most car accident cases, a driver’s fault is not immediately clear, which is why you need to collect a sufficient amount of evidence to prove that the other motorist was at fault. Since Florida is a comparative negligence state – and your own negligence can reduce the award of damages – establishing fault is a critical part of recovering damages. Your car accident lawyer will help you collect all evidence, talk to witnesses, consult with accident reconstruction experts, and investigate your crash to determine liability
- Filing a claim: Florida has strict deadlines for bringing a personal injury claim. Also, there is a lot of paperwork involved with filing car accident claims, not to mention that your case must meet specific legal requirements. An experienced lawyer will handle all the paperwork and help you file the appropriate claims in a timely manner so that you can focus on your physical recovery.
- Evaluating your damages: You need to know how much your case is worth before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. For this reason, you need to evaluate your damages and losses associated with the car crash in order to obtain the maximum amount of compensation.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies routinely deny and undervalue injury claims, which is why you need a skilled negotiator such as our Florida car accident attorneys, on your side to protect your legal rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- Representing you in court: Although most car accident cases are settled out of court, there is always a risk of taking your case to trial.
Schedule your free consultation with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach
Contact our car accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, P.A., if you were injured in a car crash in West Palm Beach. Our skilled auto accident attorneys will investigate your case, help you file a claim, evaluate your damages, and, if necessary, represent you in court. Call at 561-845-2510 or complete our contact form to schedule your free consultation.
Links to helpful articles:
- Florida No-Fault Insurance Laws and PIP Insurance
- What to Do After a Car Accident with Uninsured Driver
- 7 Delayed Injury Symptoms You Need to Know After a Car Accident
- Risks Associated with Handling Your Own Car Accident Claim
- Determining Liability in a Florida Driveway Accident
- Understanding the 14-Day Accident Law in the State of Florida
- What Is My Car Accident Worth?
- Involved in a Hit-and-Run? You Might Need a Car Accident Lawyer