West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
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Call our West Palm Beach law firm to make sure your car accident claim gets taken seriously and you are seeking full compensation for your losses.
In the blink of an eye, a car accident can change your life for the worse. Your vehicle is damages. The injuries sustained in a car accident can leave you permanently disable. And you’re likely buried under a mountain of medical bills and other losses.
You deserve a payout from the party at fault. Your compensation will likely come from an insurance company. Sadly, insurers are likely to view your claim as a profit loss. This means that for some, their goal is to minimize what they must pay you for the accident.
Getting fairly compensated means building a case clearly showing how the other side was at fault. This is something a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo can help you with.
No-Fault Car Accident Insurance in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance. Because of that, you’ll first have to file a claim with your own insurance after an accident. Your personal injury protection (PIP) can provide you with compensation quickly, regardless of who was responsible for causing the car accident. But it does have its shortcomings.
First, most policies are limited in what damages they’ll cover. Often they’re limited to just medical expenses and lost income. Non-economic damages generally aren’t covered.
Secondly, even though you’ll file this claim with your own insurance company, you still can’t count on them to treat you fairly. They can’t blame you for the car accident. But they’ll likely lowball your settlement offer. They may hope you’ll accept before you find out what your claim is truly worth.
To get compensation for all your losses, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim. Florida will only allow this if you suffer significant damages in the accident. This means your accident-related injuries must have resulted in serious bodily injury.
Some examples of serious injuries that could allow you to file a personal injury claim in West Palm Beach include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Spinal injuries
- Permanent disability
Unsure whether your injury qualifies as “serious” under Florida’s legal definition? A car accident lawyer from our West Palm Beach firm can help you see if you qualify.
How Negligence Relates to Your Car Accident Case
You might have heard the term “negligence” before, but you may not fully understand its meaning. Negligence is when someone’s careless (or willful) actions lead to you being injured. Florida law allows you to sue someone in civil court if their behaviors caused your injury. This includes serious car accidents.
There are many steps to proving negligence caused your accident in West Palm Beach. Your accident must be investigated to see what caused it and who was responsible. It must be proven that you weren’t responsible for your accident. Or, if you were partly at fault, you must prove someone else contributed to your injuries.
To determine fault, you should also understand some of the common factors that lead to car accidents involving negligence. We’ll discuss those below.
Fault and Your Car Accident Claim
While fault doesn’t matter in a no-fault claim, it’s key for a personal injury claim. For you to have grounds for a case, someone else needs to be at least partially responsible for causing the accident. You can be partially at fault—even mostly at fault—and still be able to seek a settlement.
Your car accident lawyer from West Palm Beach will look into the car accident for its cause and trace the fault back to whoever was responsible. These are a few examples of who could be at-fault for your car accident:
- Distracted Driving – This takes many forms, but often cell phones are involved. It may be necessary to get records from the provider to determine if texting or app use was taking place right before the accident.
- Drunk Driving – If the other driver was arrested for drunk driving, it can greatly strengthen your case for compensation.
- Faulty Manufacturer-Installed Parts – Sometimes, vehicle parts will break or otherwise not work the way they were intended. This can lead to collisions. For example, say your brakes go out because of poor design and you crash. You could sue the manufacturer of the brakes or vehicle.
- Poor Mechanical Work – Mechanics and body shops may make negligent mistakes when servicing a vehicle. This could cause an accident. The shop or the mechanic could be held liable.
- Drowsy Driving – Driver fatigue might be proven through rest logs or a long shift that just finished.
- Road Construction – Thousands of car accidents happen every year because of roadwork. Sometimes, dangerous debris is left in the road. Other accidents can be caused by inaccurate detour signs or inattentive flaggers, for example.
- Dangerous Road Conditions – In many accidents, unsafe road conditions, like potholes, steep shoulders, and broken traffic lights, are to blame. This could implicate the agency responsible for the road’s upkeep.
Looking into the Cause of Your West Palm Beach Car Accident
One of the hardest parts of winning a car accident case in West Palm Beach is proving negligence and fault. A car accident lawyer must investigate the accident scene, gather all available evidence, document your injuries, and keep records of medical expenses. Below are some items we might need to prove your West Palm Beach car accident case:
- Accident reports, injury reports, and accident scene expert reports
- Witness statements
- Video and photo evidence of the crash and your injuries
- Your medical history
- Info on the other involved parties
- Accident-related medical records and expenses
- Records of other accident-related costs
- Records of how this accident has impacted your life
Car Accident Types and Injuries
The type of accident you were hurt in and the injuries you suffered will be central to your West Palm Beach car accident claim. The accident type can provide clues about who was at fault. Your injuries will have a major impact on the financial compensation you receive.
These will be taken into account by your car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach.
Listed below are some common accident types and injuries often associated with them:
- Head-On Collisions – Traumatic brain injuries, spine and neck injuries, broken bones, wrongful death
- Rear-End Collisions – Whiplash, concussions, spinal injuries, facial fractures
- Rollovers – Traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, broken bones, wrongful death
- Sideswipes – Broken bones, head injuries, cuts, lacerations
West Palm Beach Accident Compensation
The bills that follow a car accident can be substantial. And that doesn’t even touch on the emotional trauma that can be caused. You can seek compensation to cover all of your financial expenses and non-economic losses.
Your car accident lawyer will work to uncover all of the ways your life and finances are impacted by the accident and your injuries. Below are just a few things you may be able to claim:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost wages, income, and earning potential
- Transportation costs and caretaker wages
- Car repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and therapy
- Lost enjoyment of life
Why Do I Need Legal Assistance with My Car Accident Claim in West Palm Beach?
Many people in West Palm Beach have never worked with a car accident lawyer before. So they have some anxiety about hiring one. This could be because you’re worried about the cost of working with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach. Or you may just be nervous about the entire personal injury process.
As for the cost of working with a lawyer on your personal injury case—you don’t pay us anything until we’ve won you fair compensation for your car accident claim.
What exactly does a car accident lawyer do for you?
- Help you file all personal injury paperwork
- Investigate the cause of your accident to determine responsibility
- Find car accident experts to testify on your behalf
- Interview witnesses
- Get important reports, such as accident and police reports
- Gather video and photo evidence
- Advise you on all legal matters for your case
- Obtain medical documentation needed to prove your injuries
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Take your case to court if required
The above would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a seriously injured individual to handle on their own. You should be focused on healing both physically and emotionally from this car accident. You don’t need to be running around trying to investigate your case, prove fault, and argue with insurance companies.
West Palm Beach Car Accident FAQ
A car accident lawyer from our West Palm Beach firm can help you find the answers you need.
How much time do I have to file a claim for my car accident?
Florida allows car accident victims four years in which to file a claim. You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, though. Time has a way of destroying evidence, and witness memories lose their focus. By acting fast, you increase your chances for a strong, successful case.
What can I do if my car accident was caused by a defective tire blowout?
If the tire defect was related to design or manufacture, you might be able to seek compensation from the company that made the tire. If the problem was caused by a faulty installation, the company that serviced your car or installed the tires might be at fault.
Who’s liable if an Uber or Lyft driver caused the accident?
Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This makes financial liability complicated in these accidents. It all comes down to whether the rideshare app was in use and whether the driver had an active ride request or paying fare in progress. If either of these conditions apply, the rideshare company should have at least some liability.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach
You should never accept a settlement from an insurance company without first speaking with an lawyer. That’s true even if it’s your own insurer. Instead, let the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo go to work on your accident claim so you can get the settlement you need and deserve.
The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo serves West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County.
Schedule a time to meet for a free, no-pressure consultation with a capable West Palm Beach car accident lawyer. We can give you an idea of what your claim might be worth. Simply complete the contact form on this page, or give us a call at 561-659-6366.