St. Lucie County Car Accidents
St. Lucie County has been growing rapidly over the last decade. With recreational activities, educational offerings, and employment opportunities abounding, it is no wonder that nearly 300,000 Florida residents now call this beautiful area home. Moreover, a steady stream of tourists and travelers make their way through St. Lucie County on Interstate 95, U.S. Highway 1, State Road A1A, or Florida’s Turnpike. While population growth and tourism generally make positive contributions to the area, there is at least one negative consequence: an increase in the frequency of car accidents. If you or someone in your family has been involved in a motor vehicle collision and need prompt, dependable legal advice, the St. Lucie County car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston are here to answer your questions and help you seek justice against the responsible party.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Driver after a Car Accident
According to legend, the “Treasure Coast” area got its name from a series of shipwrecks in the early 1700s. Some of the gold and silver that the ships were carrying allegedly made its way into the hands of local treasure hunters. While this is a colorful story, most wrecks – especially modern car accidents – result only in injury, suffering, and financial losses. Fortunately, there is a way to hold careless drivers accountable for the harm that they cause. Under Florida law, an injured person has the right to file a negligence lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages from someone whose failure to act in a reasonable manner caused a motor vehicle collision.
Negligence may result from either action or inaction. If a driver acts in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not act, this can be a basis for a negligence claim. So can a situation in which a driver fails to take an action that a reasonable driver would take under the same or similar circumstances. In either case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This includes each of the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In the tragic event that an auto accident results in the death of a motorist, passenger, or pedestrian, the survivors of the person who was killed can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death case, the deceased person’s relatives have the burden of proving that the defendant’s negligence caused their loved one’s death. As in a case brought directly by a car accident victim, this requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant had a duty of care toward the deceased person, that he or she breached the duty, and that the victim’s death was the proximate result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit may vary, depending upon the relationship between the party bringing the case and the deceased person. Some of the damages that may be available include loss of spousal companionship, loss of protection, mental pain and suffering, loss of parental companionship, loss of instruction and guidance, loss of support and services, funeral expenses, and medical expenses associated with the accident. In cases of intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent conduct, a plaintiff may also be able to seek punitive damages.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a St. Lucie County Lawyer
If your family has been affected by a car accident, you should know that Florida law limits the time that you have to file a lawsuit against the party who caused the accident. Lawsuits not filed within the statute of limitations are almost always dismissed on procedural grounds, so you should enlist a motor vehicle collision lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with an experienced St. Lucie County car accident attorney, call Donaldson & Weston today at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online. We serve injured people in and around Port St. Lucie, Stuart, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter, as well as other communities throughout St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties. In most cases, we work on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning that no legal fee is owed until and unless your case is settled or a judgment is entered by the court in your favor.