West Palm Beach Car Accidents
There’s no disputing that people who are seriously injured in motor-vehicle collisions face considerable physical, emotional, and financial hurdles. Lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses can add up quickly. There are also non-economic damages to consider such as pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of consortium. Fortunately, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation for these damages by filing a claim against the party responsible for the crash.
If you were hurt in a wreck that was not your fault, turn to Donaldson & Weston to determine the most strategic way to proceed. As soon as you call our office, we will talk with you honestly about your claim and begin creating a plan to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 561-299-3999 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers.What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation with a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer?
During the initial consultation, your injury attorney will ask questions about the collision to determine if you have grounds for a claim. If the circumstances of the wreck in which you were involved warrant a claim, you can expect to discuss potential strategies for pursuing compensation.
You can streamline the earliest stages of building your case by bringing certain documents to the consultation including:
- The official police report;
- Written statements from eyewitnesses;
- Medical records;
- Hospital bills;
- Your auto insurance policy;
- The other party’s auto insurance information;
- Any correspondence you have had with insurance adjusters on either side;
- Receipts for any expenses associated with treating the injuries or repairing damaged property;
- Time-off requests for work;
- The names and contact information of all other motorists and passengers involved;
- A summary of what happened in your own words;
- Any photographs of the wreckage; and
- Any available dash cam footage or surveillance recordings of the incident.
You should not have to worry about paying legal fees at a time when your family may be struggling to cover just the necessities. That’s why at Donaldson & Weston, we will not charge any attorneys’ fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. The initial consultation is absolutely free.What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Florida?
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits must be filed before the statute of limitations has passed. If the deadline passes before you file suit, it’s almost certain that your case will be dismissed. As such, if you intend to file a car accident claim, it’s important that you begin the proceedings as soon as possible.
The typical statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida is four years from the date of injury. If a member of your family died in a crash, you have two years to take the case to court if a settlement cannot be reached. If a government entity is liable for the accident—for instance, if the crash was caused by poor road maintenance or by the negligence of a government employee—you'll have to submit a notice of the claim to the relevant agency. You'll then have to wait for a 180-day investigation to conclude, and if your claim is denied, your lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident (in the case of personal injury) or two years from the date of death.
These deadlines might seem far away, but investigating a serious collision takes time. Your West Palm Beach car accident lawyer will want to assess your case from all angles and may need to consult various experts and file subpoenas to obtain evidence that’s being withheld. It’s also possible that time-sensitive evidence will eventually become unavailable. In fact, many attorneys don’t even accept cases unless there’s a reasonable amount of time to prepare the claim. As such, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible.Do Any Damages Caps Apply to Car Accident Cases?
In the state of Florida, there are damages caps that apply to punitive awards. That cap is usually $500,000 or triple the compensatory damages, whichever is greater. If financial gain was a motivation of the tortfeasor (the alleged wrongdoer), the punitive damages cap increases to $2 million or four times the compensatory damages. If you were intentionally harmed, there is no cap on punitive damages. Unfortunately, you cannot obtain a punitive damages award from a government entity.When Can a Car Accident Victim Pursue Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are only available in cases that involve gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Gross negligence is typically the basis for punitive damages awards in car accident cases, though such damages are not available in most cases.
Gross negligence means the defendant acted with a conscious disregard or indifference to your rights, safety, or life. Examples of gross negligence include drunk driving, fleeing the scene of an accident and, sometimes, texting behind the wheel.
Your West Palm Beach car accident attorney can review the police report, interview eyewitnesses, and assess other evidence to determine if punitive damages may be available in your case. At Donaldson & Weston, we have extensive experience helping accident victims throughout Florida fight for punitive awards.Speak with a West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney Today!
If you sustained injuries in a collision with a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver, turn to Donaldson & Weston for unparalleled legal guidance during every stage of the claims process. We have assisted hundreds of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Our lawyers will do everything in their power to help you recover the maximum settlement, and they will not hesitate to take your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to cooperate. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a fee consultation with one of our West Palm Beach injury attorneys.