Port St. Lucie Car Accidents
Automotive technology has come a long way in recent years, but even the most innovative safety features have their limitations. At the end of the day, lane departure warning and blind spot detection are no match for drunk, distracted, or reckless drivers.
If you were hurt in a collision with a negligent motorist, turn to Donaldson & Weston to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers have a reputation for tough litigation and the resources to win substantial settlements and verdicts.
We have assisted hundreds of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, and we will give your claim the individual attention that it deserves. Call 772-266-5555 to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys.Will I Have to Go to Trial?
If you sustained injuries in a motor-vehicle collision, there are several steps you must take to recover compensation for your damages. In most cases, the first step is filing a claim with your own insurance provider.
Because Florida is a “no fault” state regarding auto accident claims, injured parties must exhaust their own personal injury protection (PIP) before seeking compensation from others. If your PIP policy is not large enough to cover the resulting medical bills and lost income, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the liable motorist’s insurance provider.
Ideally, this claim will result in a settlement for the remaining damages; however, if the insurance company refuses to cooperate, you have the option of bringing the case to trial by filing a formal lawsuit.
Most claims do not end up in court, but there are certain factors that can affect the likelihood that yours will. These include:
- The severity of your injuries;
- The opposing party’s willingness to cooperate;
- Your own percentage of fault;
- The strength of the evidence you have gathered; and
- The number of liable parties.
It is usually in both parties’ best interests to avoid trial, which is why most cases settle out of court. If your claim does end up in court, though, you deserve a strategic legal ally by your side, and you will find one at Donaldson & Weston. Our experienced litigators have the knowledge, skills, and resources to take on even the largest insurance providers, motor carriers, and government agencies.Tips to Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim
Insurance companies market themselves as honest and ethical, but they can be ruthless when it comes to finding reasons to deny or reduce the value of claims. The insurance adjuster might monitor your social media profiles, place you under surveillance, review your medical history for pre-existing conditions, and try to coerce you into providing a recorded statement that harms your case.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to strengthen your claim and protect your legal rights. Examples include:
- Call a Car Accident Lawyer Right Away: From the moment you contact our office, the Port St. Lucie car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston will help you make strategic decisions and avoid costly mistakes that would derail your case. Seeking legal counsel right away is essential since the insurance adjuster will likely contact you within a few days of the crash to get a statement. Our lawyers can handle this correspondence so you don’t say something that might lead to a dispute. We’ll also launch an immediate investigation to gather any time-sensitive evidence while it’s still available.
- Store Your Evidence in a Secure Place: If you took photos or videos of the accident scene, they might be erased entirely if your phone breaks. It’s wise to back up those files on several hard drives so they’re safe and accessible when you consult a car accident lawyer. Also, keep any documentation pertaining to your healthcare, loss of income, and other accident-related expenses in a safe place.
- Keep a Personal Injury Journal: Florida law allows serious injury victims to seek non-economic damages such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. But as you can imagine, proving the existence and value of non-economic damages can be challenging due to their subjective nature. In addition to medical documentation, photos of injuries, and testimony from caregivers and relevant experts, your own personal injury journal may help your lawyer prove non-economic damages. In this journal, be sure to track the various ways your injury is affecting your general wellbeing—for example, by preventing you from attending social events or impacting your relationships with loved ones. Also, be sure to describe the extent of the pain you’re experiencing, and make note of any prescription drug side effects.
- Keep All Relevant Invoices and Receipts: Many accident victims are surprised to learn that they can seek compensation for domestic help, transportation to doctor’s appointments, child care, and other economic damages they incur as a result of their injuries. In order to recover compensation for these losses, however, you’ll need documentation to prove their value. Try to get in the habit of keeping receipts and invoices for all your purchases until your claim has been resolved.
- Avoid Social Media: Even if you do everything right to protect your claim, a single photo, video, or text post on social media could be all it takes to cause a dispute. It’s best to avoid social media websites entirely while your claim is pending.
If you were seriously injured in a wreck with a careless driver, turn to Donaldson & Weston for quality legal counsel during every stage of the claims process. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your crash, interview witnesses, track damages, and help you pursue the maximum payout possible. Call 772-266-5555 or fill out the Contact Form on our site to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers.