Martin County Car Accidents
Martin County is the fifth-largest county in Florida by land area. Considered part of both the Port St. Lucie and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie combined statistical areas, Martin County is home to about 150,000 residents. Local tourist attractions and historic areas in communities such as Hope Sound, Hutchinson Island, Jenson Beach, and Jupiter Island beckon many visitors as well. If you live in Martin County or are visiting the area and have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision there, the knowledgeable Martin County car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are here to help you seek compensation from the person, business, or governmental entity that caused the accident.Bringing a Negligence Claim Following a Car Accident
In an area as beautiful as Martin County, it is sometimes challenging for a driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. Modern life has added many other forms of distraction, such as smart phones, GPS units, and other electronic devices. Never in the history of automotive travel have so many accidents been caused by distracted driving in one form or another. Driving under the influence also remains a major problem in Florida and elsewhere, with many fatal crashes involving a driver who was intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs or prescription medications that should not have been taken while driving. Especially when it comes to truck accidents, fatigued driving is also a common problem.
While there may be many “reasons” for car accidents, the truth is that there are very few valid excuses for causing serious injury or death to someone else on the road. This is why the state of Florida has laws in place that allow a person hurt in a crash, or the family of a person killed in a crash, to bring a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The plaintiff in such a case has the burden of proof, meaning that he or she must try to convince the jury that, more likely than not, the plaintiff’s version of the facts is the correct one. This is called proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
There are four elements in a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The first two elements are based on showing that the defendant failed to use the degree of care that would be appropriate for a particular situation. Causation consists of investigating whether the crash would have happened if the defendant had not acted carelessly. If it would not have, the plaintiff may be able to recover any damages that directly resulted from the accident, ranging from medical bills and lost income to pain and suffering as well as diminished quality of life.
Many people who are injured in a car accident believe that they can handle their claim on their own and that eventually the defendant’s insurance company will pay a fair settlement. This belief may be encouraged by the adjuster working the case. Unfortunately, the truth is that it takes a lot of work – and no small amount of litigation skill – to get a fair settlement even in straightforward cases. A lawsuit often must be filed in court, and discovery may need to take place before anything close to a fair offer is made. Unless an insurance company knows that the plaintiff is prepared to take his or case before a jury, the plaintiff’s case will likely be devalued. Furthermore, the longer the plaintiff waits before talking to a lawyer, the more likely it is that evidence spoliation may lower the damages that might otherwise be available.Seek Guidance from a Car Accident Attorney in Martin County
There may be many nuances in litigating a car crash case. Issues such as comparative negligence, proximate cause, and punitive damages must be dealt with in a prompt, informed manner. To talk to an experienced Martin County car accident lawyer, call Donaldson & Weston at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case. If you or someone in your family has been hurt by a negligent driver, the time to consult a motor vehicle collision attorney is now.