Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer
It’s not a simple matter to get fairly compensated for a traffic accident. Make sure you get the most for your claim by working with an auto accident lawyer.
Car crashes can be traumatizing experiences—emotionally, financially, and physically. Few events can so thoroughly change your life for the worse in so short a span of time. The injuries and resulting disabilities can be bad enough, but the cost of the medical care and other damages can seem insurmountable for the average person.
Because Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance, you’d think that these expenses would be taken care of without a problem. This simply isn’t the case, however, as it’s the rare crash claim that isn’t met with a lowball offer meant to settle the matter cheaply and quickly. To the insurance companies, this is all about profits and losses, and the more they pay out in claims, the smaller their profit margins get.
You deserve better than this. Your health and recovery matter far more than a large corporation’s business concerns. A car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo can help you make this point loud and clear. We’ll treat your claim as if it’s our own, and we won’t be satisfied unless you get everything that you’re entitled to.
Understanding Florida’s Negligence Laws
What is negligence? The law of negligence basically states that if you’re injured because of someone else’s actions, you can seek damages by filing an injury claim in court. Any accident will allow you to sue another party if negligence can be proven. In Florida, the only exception to this law is auto wrecks.
Normally, when you’ve been hurt in an auto wreck, you will file a claim using your own no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, regardless of who caused the wreck. You can’t sue a negligent driver in Boca Raton—unless your injuries are very serious.
If the extent of your injuries meets Florida law’s definition of serious, then you can go after any responsible party just like with any other type of accident. You will also need to prove the other party’s responsibility, as with any injury case. You have the right to seek damages when another person’s negligent actions caused you serious injury.
Florida No-Fault Car Insurance Rules
No-fault insurance means your claim starts with your own insurer. While this means you don’t have to worry about the insurance adjuster trying to find a way to blame you for the crash, it doesn’t mean you can expect to be treated fairly.
As sympathetic as the insurance representatives might seem, their interests do not coincide with your own best interests. They don’t want you to find out how much your claim is really worth; instead, their goal is to offer you just enough money that the deal sounds too good to pass up. Many accident victims find out too late that the settlement they’ve accepted won’t cover all of their losses.
Even if you do get the most from your PIP, if your wounds are truly serious, it’s likely that the coverage provided still won’t be enough. This is the point where you need to consider filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and their insurance. This is also the situation where the insurer will start trying to find ways to blame you for the collision.
A Boca Raton car accident lawyer can help you with either of these scenarios. We can help you maximize your PIP benefits, and we can help you keep an opposing insurer honest in their dealings with you.
Auto Wrecks and Proving Negligence
Getting a full and fair settlement out of an insurance company means negotiating from a position of strength. Simply demanding compensation for your injuries won’t get them to take your claim seriously; you’ll need a compelling case backed with evidence and witness testimony. You might need the following kinds of evidence:
- Police and accident reports
- Crash scene expert testimony
- Witness statements
- Medical history
- Photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Records of your injuries and medical expenses
- Records of how this crash has impacted your life
Your car accident lawyer from Boca Raton will investigate the scene of the accident and handle this process on your behalf. Depending on the events that led to the crash, it may turn out that multiple parties were actually at fault for what happened. Naming them all in your claim will be important for maximizing your potential payout.
Other drivers, companies, and government entities could all potentially have played a role in causing your collision. All of the following factors will need to be considered when determining who was negligent:
- Distracted Driving – Becoming more and more dangerous each passing year, distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of vehicle collisions in the country. If a distracted driver injured you, you can seek compensation.
- Drowsy Driving – Drowsy driving can happen to anyone, but it’s more common with truckers or those who drive for a living. If a person decided to drive while tired and injured you, you can pursue the driver and the company he or she works for to recover your losses.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving – Another major cause of serious collisions and wrongful death is reckless driving, including speeding. If a reckless driver has injured you, you can hold him or her accountable by filing a personal injury claim.
- Intoxicated Driving – Drunk driving is not only dangerous—it’s illegal. In addition to criminal penalties drunk drivers will face, they can also be held liable for the injuries they inflict on victims.
- Road Construction – Those orange cones are there for a reason—because dangerous stuff is happening on the roadways. If a construction zone isn’t properly marked, this can quickly lead to driver confusion and vehicle collisions.
- Road Rage – A very real phenomenon, road rage can lead to serious vehicle wrecks due to a driver’s inability to control feelings of anger and frustration. If someone has caused your wreck because he or she was tailgating you or ran you off the road, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Defective Auto Parts and Tires – All automobiles must measure up to very strict safety standards before consumers can purchase them. However, if your vehicle has defective parts, you may be able to sue the vehicle manufacturer for damages.
- Dangerous Road Conditions – Potholes, missing signs, faded lane markers, and other road hazards can all lead to car crashes. The government agency responsible for road maintenance can be held liable for your injuries.
Your Crash Injuries Will Determine Your Damages
Seeking compensation for a Boca Raton traffic accident also requires considering the type of injury you sustained and how it will impact your life. Some injuries might be painful and expensive in the short term but heal fine. Other wounds might not be possible to recover from, resulting in permanent disabilities and a lifetime of expensive medical care.
A Boca Raton car accident lawyer from our firm will work with your doctors to properly assess the severity of your injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – TBIs can vary substantially in severity, but all have the potential to reduce your cognitive and physical capabilities, leading to strained personal relationships, a completely changed lifestyle, and ongoing medical care.
- Spine Injuries – Whether you were paralyzed or will have to deal with chronic pain, back injuries are not easy to recover from. You might need special mobility equipment and be unable to participate in physical activities that you used to enjoy.
- Whiplash – While generally a short-term neck injury, whiplash can be incredibly painful and prevent you from working and driving.
- Broken Bones – Bone fractures usually heal in time, but you might not be able to work in the interim. In extreme cases, you might need surgically installed pins and screws.
- Amputations – Limb loss can alter your life forever, leaving you permanently disabled. Even with the help of mobility aids, you may never be able to work certain types of jobs again, and you may require caregiving assistance for life.
- Organ Damage – Auto collisions can cause severe internal injuries that requires surgeries. You could even lose an organ. Your health could be forever impacted by damage to your vital organs.
Settling Your Automobile Accident Claim
Once your claim’s value has been properly assessed, a demand for compensation from the insurance company can be made. If your case is strong enough, odds are very good that a settlement can be reached out of court, although it might require some back-and-forth negotiation.
Trial only needs to be considered if insurers refuse to make an acceptable offer. Even then, sometimes formally filing your personal injury lawsuit and setting a court date is all it takes to get them to start negotiating in good faith.
If court truly becomes necessary, your Boca Raton car accident lawyer will represent your interests and present your case to the jury, giving you the best chance for a favorable verdict.
Whether your case settles through negotiations or requires a trial, the financial award you receive should cover all of your financial damages and non-economic losses.
Financial damages are all the losses you’ve suffered with a price tag attached, such as missing out on work. Non-economic damages, sometimes called non-monetary losses, are the damages you’ve suffered that cannot translate to a direct dollar value. These include the ways this accident has affected your life.
For example, if you were a football player and you can no longer play football because of your injuries, you can be compensated for that substantial loss. Here’s a look at some of the damages frequently requested in Boca Raton auto injury claims:
- Medical bills, current and future
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Cost of therapy and mobility equipment
- Vehicle repair and property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement and emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment of life
Boca Raton Car Accident FAQ
A car accident lawyer from our office that servers Boca Raton is always available to answer any questions you might have regarding the legal process and what to expect. We’ve provided a few answers to some common questions here, but if you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Can I seek compensation if I lost a family member in a fatal car crash?
Florida does allow certain immediate family members and other relatives to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. This allows you to collect damages similar to a personal injury claim, plus memorial expenses and a few other losses unique to these cases.
If I was hurt in a rear-end collision, is the rear driver automatically at fault?
This is a commonly held belief, but one that’s not necessarily true in all cases. If distracted or drunk driving were involved, the rear driver will almost certainly be at fault. However, if brake failure or dangerous road conditions contributed, the driver might not be the one to blame.
Who’s at fault when dangerous roads cause a car wreck?
A surprising number of car crashes are caused by potholes, shoulder drop-offs, uneven lanes, and missing guardrails. All of these elements might indicate that the government agency responsible for the road’s maintenance was negligent—and therefore responsible for your wreck.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in Florida?
In Florida, the time limit (also called the statute of limitations) for filing a personal injury claim is four years from the date of your car crash. If you try to file a claim after the four-year mark has passed, your case will likely be rejected. There are some exceptions to this rule, so speak to an attorney.
What if I can’t afford to hire a vehicle crash attorney?
Attorneys from our firm work on contingency when it comes to handling personal injury claims for car accidents. What that means is that we will take your case with no upfront cost to you, and you will pay for our services after we’ve won your car crash claim, either through insurance negotiations or in court. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact a Boca Raton Auto Wreck Attorney
At the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, we make it a point to do everything we can to get our clients the largest settlement possible. Whether you’re filing a no-fault claim or a personal injury lawsuit, we can guide you to a successful conclusion.
To find out more about what we can do for you, schedule a free consultation with a Boca Raton car accident lawyer by completing the contact form on this page or by calling 561-659-6366.