If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering what a victim must do in order to be fairly compensated for the harm resulting from a wreck. The injury attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can help people in Stuart and the surrounding communities devise a plan to investigate, document, and, if necessary, litigate your claim against the party who caused the crash. With offices in Stuart and West Palm Beach, our Stuart car accident attorneys have represented many Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach County accident victims over decades of combined law practice experience, and we will be glad to discuss your case at no charge.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Florida Driver
Tens of thousands of motor vehicle collisions occur annually in Florida, and most are preventable. The reasons for these accidents are virtually countless, but some of the more common causes include speeding, failing to yield, disregarding traffic control devices such as stop signs or red lights, distracted driving such as texting, and driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Regardless of the cause of a traffic accident, the case generally will proceed under a theory of negligence. To show negligence, the claimant must prove the four elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The duty element is usually established because each driver is required to use the same level of care that an ordinary person would use in a similar situation, refraining from creating foreseeable risks of harm for others. A breach of duty can be any conduct that falls short of this standard, including the behaviors discussed above.
Forms of damages typically include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, it will be up to the trier of fact (usually, a jury) to place a dollar figure on the amount of compensation due to the plaintiff.
In cases in which the plaintiff is partially at fault in an accident, his or her award of damages will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to him or her under the pure comparative fault doctrine followed in Florida. In situations in which the responsible person is unknown, uninsured, or underinsured, the injured person may proceed against his or her own uninsured motorist liability insurance company. Such a proceeding is adversarial in nature, with the insurance company basically “standing in the shoes” of the party whose actions caused the crash.
If an accident results in a tragic death, the family of the deceased person may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Notably, the deadline for filing a wrongful death claim is substantially shorter than the statute of limitations for car accident and other personal injury cases in which a person was hurt but not killed. Consequently, it is very important to seek legal counsel immediately if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a person, business, or governmental entity.Discuss Your Stuart Case With a Car Accident Attorney
The importance of speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after being involved in an accident cannot be overstated. A motor vehicle collision lawyer who is experienced in asserting the rights of injured residents in and around Stuart can guide you through the process, from securing the police report to negotiating a final settlement, or taking the case to trial if needed. To put the experienced Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston to work on your case, call us at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online and ask for a free appointment. We are represent clients in a number of local communities, including Jensen Beach, Stuart, West Palm Beach, and Royal Palm Beach.
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- Distracted Driving Accidents
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- Failure to Yield Accidents
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- Injuries from Car Accidents
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