Common Injuries in Car Accidents
Automobile accidents are among the leading causes of injury and death in Florida. According to data maintained by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department, over 200,000 people are injured in car crashes each year in the Sunshine State. As Florida’s population and popularity as a tourist destination increase, so do car accidents and the serious injuries resulting from them. While some injuries suffered in vehicle crashes are relatively minor, car accidents have the potential to inflict catastrophic harm on motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision, the compassionate Stuart car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can guide you through the often complex process of pursuing damages from the person who caused the accident.Bringing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident
People who are hurt in car crashes have a legal right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Some of the most common forms of harm that may result include head and back injuries, concussions, brain trauma, lacerations, contusions, paralysis, amputations, herniated discs, and psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. An accident victim may seek compensation not only for past and future medical bills but also for pain and suffering, as well as payment of lost wages and loss of future earning capacity in cases involving a permanent disability. If the injured person was married at the time of the accident, their spouse may seek compensation for any loss of the marital relationship through a loss of consortium claim.
In order to receive compensation for damages incurred in a car accident, the plaintiff must first prove that the defendant was negligent, or that the defendant failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner. Proving negligence in a Florida car accident case is a four-step process that begins with an inquiry into whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a particular duty of care. All drivers owe certain duties to others while they are behind the wheel, including the duty to keep a proper lookout and the duty to maintain a safe following distance. Other duties may be established by reference to statutes pertaining to the rules of the road, local ordinances, and prior case law. The second step in proving negligence is showing that the defendant breached their duty. This may be a factual question that is resolved by testimony from the parties, first responders, and expert witnesses such as vehicular reconstructionists.
The third and fourth steps in a negligence lawsuit are proving that the plaintiff suffered damages (such as physical injuries like bruises, broken bones, cuts, internal injuries, or brain damage) and that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the plaintiff’s damages. The defendant may admit that the plaintiff has certain injuries but claim that these injuries were pre-existing or that they were exacerbated by an event after the collision, such as a workplace accident. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, which may require testimony from the plaintiff’s physicians and other medical providers concerning the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, as well as their future prognosis.Seek Representation from a Car Accident Attorney in Stuart
If a negligent driver caused an accident that resulted in serious harm to you or a family member, you should not delay in getting knowledgeable legal advice from a motor vehicle collision attorney about your case. A delay in filing a claim against the responsible party could result in your case being barred by the Florida statute of limitations, so it is important to pursue your claim in a timely fashion. The Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston are here to help you with your case. We serve victims in Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, and other cities throughout Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties. We can be reached for an appointment in Stuart at 772-266-5555 or in West Palm Beach at 561-299-3999, or you can contact us online. The initial case evaluation is free, and no legal fees are charged unless a settlement or judgment has been obtained on your behalf.