Loxahatchee Car Accident Lawyers
Putting on your seat belt should be a force of habit, especially if you drive on a fairly regular basis. Besides reducing the risk of serious injuries and death in the event of an accident, wearing a seat belt is the law in Florida; all drivers, front-seat passengers, and minor passengers are required to buckle up.
Although this law might seem unfair, it’s ultimately in place to protect everyone on the road. In fact, wearing a safety belt while riding in the front seat reduces the risk of injury by 50 percent and the risk of death by 45 percent.
These statistics are reassuring for those who always buckle up, but even a seat belt cannot prevent injuries in all scenarios. If you were hurt in a wreck that another driver caused, turn to Donaldson & Weston to discuss your situation.
We have an unwavering commitment to the physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing of our clients. We understand that unanticipated injuries can turn your life upside down, and we want to help you in every way we can. Call 561-299-3999 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our compassionate Loxahatchee car accident lawyers.Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver Despite Florida’s “No-Fault” Laws?
Florida is currently one of 12 states with “no-fault” auto insurance laws. That means accident victims must file a claim with their own insurance provider to recover compensation for any damages, regardless of liability. But what if your personal injury protection (PIP) policy does not cover all the losses, and you were not responsible for the crash?
In such a scenario, you may be able to file a third-party claim or even sue the liable party if you sustained serious injuries. The state of Florida defines a serious injury as one that results in:
- Scarring or disfigurement;
- Significant loss of a bodily function; or
- Permanent loss of a bodily function.
Injuries that prove to be fatal are also considered serious under Florida’s no-fault laws. If a motor-vehicle collision results in a fatality, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of certain surviving family members. A successful claim may result in compensation for:
- Medical expenses accrued prior to the death;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of anticipated inheritances;
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Mental anguish.
As your medical bills and other costs add up, the pressure to settle can become overwhelming, but it’s important that you don’t accept an early payout that won’t cover all your damages. It’s common for the insurance company’s initial offer to undervalue or outright exclude non-economic damages and other losses. If you haven’t reached maximum medical improvement, you’d be taking a big gamble if you accept a settlement without at least discussing your case with a car accident attorney.
Two of the primary reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer are to avoid unnecessary delays and to ensure the settlement is fair. Although we cannot estimate the duration of your case before we’ve conducted an investigation, it may help to know the factors that might impact the amount of time it will take to resolve your claim. These factors include:
- Whether You Have Strong Evidence of Liability: If your injuries meet the “serious injury threshold” and you want to file a claim against the at-fault party, you’ll need strong evidence to prove liability, which usually involves demonstrating how the defendant’s negligence caused the crash. Some of the most valuable evidence may be difficult to access without applying legal pressure. For example, if you were hit by a driver who was texting, the cell phone service provider might not voluntarily hand over the records. Our Loxahatchee car accident lawyers can take the necessary steps to obtain such evidence, and we can bring in expert witnesses if their testimony would contribute to the strength of your claim.
- Whether You’re Pursuing Substantial Compensation: The more money that’s on the line for the insurance company, the more incentive they’ll have to dispute your claim. If they refuse to cooperate and a settlement cannot be reached, it may be in your best interests to proceed to litigation, which can draw out the proceedings.
- Whether You’ve Made Any Critical Mistakes: If you give the insurance company any reason to dispute liability or damages, your claim might take longer to resolve. Common mistakes made by car accident victims include discussing their crash online, providing recorded statements to the insurance adjuster, and failing to mitigate their damages.
- Whether You’ve Taken Your Medical Care Seriously: If you waited a considerable amount of time before visiting a doctor or if you’ve done anything else that might cause your injuries to worsen, the insurer might argue that you’ve failed to mitigate your damages. The claims adjuster might contend that your own negligence has caused your medical bills and other damages to be more expensive than they should have been, and thus you aren’t entitled to compensation for 100 percent of your damages. To prevent such a dispute, you should do everything in your power to facilitate the recovery process. Follow the instructions of your healthcare providers and avoid any activities that might aggravate your condition.
- Whether You Had a Pre-Existing Condition: Anything that could cause a dispute with the insurance company has the potential to draw out the claims process. If you had a pre-existing injury that was made worse by the accident, you can pursue compensation for the resulting damages, but the insurer might argue that your condition existed before the crash. To overcome such a dispute, our Loxahatchee car accident attorneys might rely on medical expert witness testimony, photos of the accident scene and your injury, and your medical records as evidence.
If you were hurt in a wreck that was not your fault, turn to the strategic Loxahatchee injury attorneys at Donaldson & Weston. As soon as you walk through our door, we will talk with you honestly about your case and start devising a plan for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.