Upon a vehicle accident in Florida, one of the main questions most people ask is, who is responsible for the damages and whether or not you get compensation for the damages. There are many causes of traffic accidents that range from the driver’s negligence to those that are the responsibility of the state. Accidents, when they happen, they cause bodily harm to the victims and damage to their property. The costs of repairing or replacing your damaged car, as well as the expenses associated with treating your injuries are compensable. When in Interlachen, the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney can pursue your claims and make sure you get compensated.

Establishing Fault in a Traffic Accident

Although Florida is a no-fault state, when your damages are so great that your insurance cover cannot compensate for them, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party. This means that it is essential to establish the party responsible for the accident to get damages from them when needed. Determining fault is not as easy as it seems. You may think one person is responsible for an accident only to find the cause of the accident is different. This makes it essential to get a local Interlachen Personal Injury Attorney to assist in establishing fault.

Typically, when you get injured in a road accident in Florida, you turn to your insurance protection cover for damages. Your cover pays for your medical expenses, repairs to your vehicle, lost income, among other costs. When damages are significant, your protection may not be enough to care for all your losses. When this is the case, the state allows for the use of pure comparative negligence law.

Under this law, it means that responsibility for the accident must be established before apportioning blame. Just because a car crashed into you, it does not mean you automatically blame them for the accident. There are many other causes of an accident other than the driver’s negligence. Knowing the actual reason for an accident is essential in deciding the party to blame.

If, for instance, a car crashed into you at an intersection, it must be established who had the right of way or ran a light and caused an accident. If the other party is entirely to blame for the collision, they will take 100% liability for the damages suffered. If under comparative negligence rule, it is established that you were partly to blame, your degree of fault is determined. If the jury establishes you were responsible for the damages up to 25%, then the costs you receive are 75%, while the other party gets the remaining 25%.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations

Even when you are entitled to compensation, there is a limit to when you can present a lawsuit in Florida. This means, if within the stipulated time to file a lawsuit you are unable to do so, filing it later will lead to an automatic dismissal of your case. However, certain exceptions may cause the deadline to get extended, but this is on a case by case basis.

The state gives victims of traffic accidents four years from the crash date to file their lawsuit. An experienced Interlachen Personal Injury Attorney understands the requirements and will work to make sure you do not miss the deadline.

Filing your claim with the insurance company immediately following your accident gives you enough room to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. If no agreement is reached between your lawyer and the insurance provider, you will have sufficient time to file a lawsuit for the damages in court.

Types of Traffic Accidents and their Causes

Traffic accidents occur in various ways and involve various kinds of vehicles. Truck accidents, bus accidents, regular vehicle crashes, motorcycles, cyclists, and pedestrian accidents are some of the accidents on our roads. The causes of these accidents are varied and help determine the party responsible for the accident. Some possible accidents you may get involved in include:

T-bone Accidents

These are regular accidents at intersections. They are common when one motorist runs the red light and crashes into another vehicle on the side. These types of accidents can be experienced with any kind of vehicle, be it a regular car, bus, or truck. The causes of these accidents are mostly due to the negligence of a driver. For instance, disregarding the traffic lights will result in these accidents among others.

Drunk or drugged driving is a significant cause of these accidents as well. Mechanical faults in a vehicle can also result in such a crash. If the brakes fail, it is likely for the motorist to crash into another car in the intersection.

Rollover Accidents

These are some of the most deadly accidents because of the severity of the injuries sustained and fatalities. A rollover accident often results in catastrophic or traumatic injuries to the victims. These types of injuries are costly to treat, and the damage to the car is also extensive. For this reason, most people involved in these types of accidents will seek compensation from the party responsible for the crash.

Rollover accidents can be due to another vehicle hitting you, poor road condition, mechanical fault, or driver’s recklessness. Establishing responsibility in such an accident is not always straightforward, making it crucial to engage an Interlachen Personal Injury Attorney to assist you.

Rear-end Collisions

In these kinds of accidents, most people assume the driver behind is always at fault. This is not always the case. The front driver may share the mistake or be the reason for the accident, among other causes. The injuries and damages to the vehicle from this type of accident are also compensable.

Pedestrian car accidents

These are accidents that involve a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. The motorist is not always at fault in such accidents, but they carry a more significant percentage of blame under the comparative negligence rule. Pedestrian injuries are often severe and even lead to death.

Head-on Crashes

These are the type of accidents that involve vehicles moving towards each other from the opposite directions, crashing. The injuries from such accidents can result in the victim’s significant injuries that can leave them in a vegetative state. The causes of these are also varied, with the most common reason being driver’s recklessness.

Victims of these crashes because of the severity of their injuries often exhaust their insurance coverage, making it vital to seek more damages from the other party’s insurance.

When the accident was caused due to a bad road condition, the victims will seek losses from the state agency responsible for the costs. If the other party suffered mechanical problems leading to the accident, the part or car manufacturer is liable for the damages. When the driver was reckless, or the accident was their fault, then the losses will get paid by their insurer.

The at-fault insurance providers will always try to avoid paying for the losses or apportioning the error for the accident on you. When you do not know the requirements, you may end up being the one accused when the fault was not yours. Having an Interlachen Personal Injury Attorney on your side ensures you are not blamed falsely.

What You Should do After an Accident to Enhance your Chances of Receiving Damages

When an accident happens, you will be in shock from experience, especially when injured. However, you must stay calm and examine yourself for injuries. The law also requires you to remain at the scene until the police arrive. But, if you sustain injuries that must immediately be checked in the hospital, your health is always a priority.

If you are in a position to, there are a few things essential to do to increase your chances of getting well compensated. You need to start by reporting the accident. Call 911 and report the accident as you call for help. The operator will ask you some questions to establish the extent of the accident, the injuries sustained, cars involved, the number of victims, state of other victims, where the accident occurred, among others.

Stay calm and try to answer the questions as best as you can. This is important in enabling help to reach you and others fast.

After you get off the phone with the operator, next is to gather evidence that will help with your claim. The evidence you collect assists in determining the party to blame for the accident. This is crucial, especially when seeking damages from the other party.

If you have a smartphone, take pictures of the crash scene, the vehicles involved, victims, and the surrounding. Take as many pictures as you can from different angles showing the exact point of the collision.

During this time, it is important to establish contact with the other party. They may be annoyed and blame you for the accident. Do not give in to pressure and apologize for the accident or admit fault. When you do, it shall be used against you to indicate you agreed on responsibility, and as such, you are responsible for the damages of the other party. If there is a witness to the accident, ask them to write and sign a statement and also give their contact information.

Exchange your insurance and personal details with the other motorist involved in the accident as you wait for the police. Once the police and emergency rescue arrive at the scene, the police may question you or not. You may or may not receive a citation, which you must accept.

When taken to the hospital, the police will remain at the scene, gathering evidence that will help them come up with a report. This is a crucial report when seeking damages because it contains the cause of the accident, according to police investigations. The insurance providers rely on this report to ascertain their client was responsible for the accident and to what degree.

The report is also crucial when seeking damages from your insurance coverage. It helps in proving the authenticity of the claim to avoid insurance fraud.

When at the hospital, you must be clear about your injuries and the symptoms you are experiencing. This is crucial in establishing the extent of your injuries and what to treat. When you do not explain all your symptoms, you may end up treated for the wrong thing, causing more damage to your body.

Once you are stable and settled in the treatment, you must engage a lawyer to follow your claim. Your lawyer will help report the accident to your insurance company and present your claim as well. If the damages are estimated to be higher than the amount covered, your attorney will seek the extra damages from the other party.

Compensable Damages in Florida

As earlier stated, when injured in a car accident, you will get compensated for the damages incurred. Damages involve both economic and noneconomic costs. Financial losses are those that are supported by evidence or documents. These are usually based on facts and not assumptions. Non Economic losses, on the other hand, cannot be quantified. These damages are often contested, but your Interlachen Personal Injury Attorney will fight for you to get the best settlement possible.

  • Cost of vehicle repair – when your vehicle gets damaged, you will incur charges to it. This amount is compensable when accompanied by a report from the auto shop you visited
  • Cost of Funeral – when a traffic accident results in a death, the family with incurs costs to bury their loved one. The funeral and burial expenses are compensable as well
  • Lost income – as you recuperate from your injuries, your employer may not pay you for the days missed. The loss of income during the period you recover from your injuries is compensable

Economic Damages

When an accident happens, the victim suffers quantifiable financial damages. These damages are as a result of the following and are compensable:

  • Medical costs – when seeking treatment, you will incur financial losses for the cost of treatment. All the procedures, tests, and medicines used must be included. A medical report must also include the doctor’s findings about your injuries and their recommendations
  • Cost of vehicle repair – when your vehicle gets damaged, you will incur charges to it. This amount is compensable when accompanied by a report from the auto shop you visited
  • Cost of Funeral – when a traffic accident results in a death, the family with incurs costs to bury their loved one. The funeral and burial expenses are compensable as well
  • Lost income – as you recuperate from your injuries, your employer may not pay you for the days missed. The loss of income during the period you recover from your injuries is compensable

Non-Economic Injuries

These are the kind of damages one cannot substantiate, but they do suffer them. The amount to be awarded for the damages is decided per case basis. Some of these damages are:

  • Wrongful death – when a victim dies due to the accident, their family receives damages compensating for their death. This damage cannot be quantified because deciding the value of human life is not easy or possible
  • Pain and suffering – as you heal from your injuries, you will experience pain and go through a lot of suffering. People feel pain and suffer differently, yet this is a damage that must get compensated
  • Lost consortium – this is usually an award to the spouse of the injured victim when they are not able to enjoy companionship from the wounded victim as they used to

Find an Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

Traffic accidents are common in our roads despite the many measures to reduce them. The damages that follow these accidents are detrimental to the victim’s health and finances. Fortunately, you can seek treatment and recovery of the costs that come as a result of the accident. When in Interlachen, the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney will assist you with your damages claim. Reach us at 904-800-7557 and let us fight for your losses.