If you are in a car accident, chances are that you’re not feeling like yourself. You may be dealing with aches and pains, or even more serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment. Unfortunately, the costs associated with these injuries can quickly add up to thousands of dollars and sometimes much more than that.
A Boca Raton car accident lawyer can help you with all of your insurance issues after an accident. We will also be able to advise you on the best course of action for your specific case.
No matter your situation, contact an attorney from Dyson Law, PLLC. We provide free consultations to car accident victims. Our experienced attorneys can advise you on the proper steps to take so that you receive all money that’s due to you for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost income, and more.
Being in a car accident is a jarring and often traumatic experience, regardless of the intensity of the collision. The anxiety surrounding the incident doesn’t end when you get home, either. Knowing what to do after your accident can allow you to feel more secure and in control of the situation.
Before anything else, regardless of how fine you may think you are, it’s vital that you seek medical attention from a professional. If your accident is more severe, it’s likely that emergency medical services have already been called to the scene. However, for a more minor accident, such as a fender-bender, you may need to seek medical attention anyway.
Even if you don’t feel injured following your accident, you may be unable to trust your senses. Certain types of injuries aren’t obvious from the start. For example, you may not feel that you’re bleeding internally until you’re in a critical situation. Acting now can prevent your injuries from worsening.
Acting now to get medical care can also protect your claim from action by the insurance company. This prevents the at-fault party from being able to claim that you sustained your injuries elsewhere and are falsifying your claim in order to receive greater financial compensation. Your lawyer can help you prove them wrong if you act shortly after your accident.
Aside from preserving your physical health, having a medical professional check you over following your accident can be valuable evidence for your car accident case. If you have a record of your doctor’s visit on the day of your accident, you will be able to present the doctor’s findings in court.
Consider getting check-ups on a consistent basis following your car accident, to record your recovery process. It will be helpful to show how the car accident has impacted your daily life and physical, mental, emotional, and financial health.
It would also be wise to request copies of any related medical records and file them neatly away to show your attorney. Hold on to any bills, invoices, or receipts that have to do with hospital visits or the cost of prescriptions, mobility aids, or outpatient therapy.
Taking photos to document your experience provides another valuable record that you can present to the court. If you or any of your passengers are in the physical and emotional state to be able to take photos of the accident scene, it would be wise to do so. Having photos of the accident scene can provide relevant details, such as the position that the involved vehicles ended up in following the accident.
Other relevant details of the accident scene that photos may capture include the state of the road and surroundings. For example, is the road intact and well-maintained? Did one of the cars run into a guardrail? Is there any relevant signage posted?
If you can gather the names and contact information of any witnesses, such as passengers, bystanders, bicyclists, or pedestrians, it’s wise to do so. Even just getting a name and phone number or email could prove valuable to your case later down the line.
If you take your vehicle in for repairs, be sure to keep copies of any receipts, invoices, or diagnostic statements from your mechanic.
All of this information will be considered by your insurance company, your attorney, and, if you cannot settle out of court, the judge and jury.
Florida requires that you file a police report after a car accident if more than $500 of property damage has been inflicted, anyone has been injured, or anyone has been killed. In the event of a minor accident, the police may not become involved. However, in a more severe case, it is likely that the police will arrive on the scene.
If the police arrive on the scene, that relieves you of your obligation to file a report, as they will write it up themselves. It would be wise to get the names, badge numbers, and license plates of any of the officers that arrive on the scene. This will be helpful in the future when you or your attorney go to request a copy of the police report for your case.
To request a copy of the police accident report, you can go on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website and find the form in the public records section, or simply ask that your attorney take care of it.
After a car accident, your first priority should be to get as much information about the other driver and their insurance company as possible. If you don’t know where to start, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help with this process and ensure all your needs are met. Here’s how an attorney can help you.
You may be able to take photos, collect the contact information of witnesses, and even request a copy of the police accident report, but there are certain resources that your Boca Raton car accident attorney has access to that you simply do not.
One of the most valuable resources your attorney can offer in terms of evidence is the testimony of expert witnesses. To help illustrate the impact that your accident had on your physical, mental, emotional, and financial health, your attorney may call to the stand any number of experts in various fields.
Your attorney might choose to contact a medical professional to explain how your injuries impact your functioning and the estimated timeline of your healing process. They may contact an economist to show how being out of work and covering medical bills has impacted your financial security.
If a faulty part in your vehicle contributed to your accident, your attorney could reach out to an expert mechanic. If damaged public infrastructure, such as potholes, broken streetlights, incorrect signage, or missing guardrails, caused or added to your accident, your attorney could call an engineering expert to the stand.
Having people at the top of their field testify for you in court can help your case immeasurably.
If you were not at fault for the accident and were injured in it, it’s important to understand how Florida laws protect victims of car accidents from being held responsible for costs related to their injuries or damage sustained by their vehicles.
It’s also important to be familiar with what insurance covers after an accident and how long it takes before an insurance company pays out on claims made by victims of an accident.
If there is vehicle damage that needs to be repaired due to your accident, it’s necessary for all involved insurance companies to work together to determine who pays for what and when those payments will happen. Your car accident lawyer in Boca Raton will assist with this process by communicating between both sides until all details have been worked out.
When you get into an accident, you should call your insurance company to report it. You must be careful what you do and don’t disclose, however. Unfortunately, your insurance company isn’t your friend. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, meaning that paying you the money you’re truly owed is not in their best interest. They will do everything they can to minimize your insurance payout.
You will need to provide some details of your accident. It is vital that you stick to the facts. Don’t make any guesses, assumptions, or feelings-based statements. Generally, the only information you should provide your insurance company are these basics:
Providing any further details could potentially compromise your case. If at all possible, you should speak to an attorney before disclosing any information, including the basics, just so that you can be prepared for any tactics that your insurance adjuster might use to get you to slip up and admit some degree of fault.
Do not give a statement, on or off the record, to your insurance company or any of their constituents without consulting your attorney. Ideally, you will be able to have your attorney handle a majority of the communications with your insurance company, to avoid the possibility of them taking advantage of you.
Any other details you provide, even if you think you are just exchanging informal conversation with the person on the other end of the line, could reduce the value of your claim. Making statements or guesses about:
Again, your insurance company is a for-profit business. Any information you provide can be used against you to reduce the compensation you are able to receive when your claim is settled.
If the insurance company of any of the other individuals involved in the accident attempts to contact you, do not speak to them. There is nothing positive to be gained by speaking to the other drivers’ insurance and plenty to lose.
If your insurance company offers you a settlement that feels too quick, trust your gut.
Depending on the complexity of your car accident claim, a fair insurance settlement could come between six weeks and six months. If you receive an offer in less than four to six weeks, even if your case is relatively straightforward, it is a sure sign that your insurance company is trying to cut corners in order to lowball you.
Insurance claims require lots of documentation to properly calculate the value of your claim. Your adjuster should take into account the way your car accident has affected your physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. To do so, they will need to thoroughly review several documents, such as:
If you do not provide this information to your insurance adjuster and they do not request it before offering you a settlement, they have not done their job correctly.
Working closely with your Boca Raton car accident attorney throughout the claims process is the best way to ensure that your insurance company isn’t trying to take advantage of you.
Unfortunately, the financial costs associated with an injury claim can also be significant, which is why it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver may be your best option for recovering compensation for your losses caused by their negligence.
The details of your condition often change over time due to various factors, such as the healing progress rate. Having professional legal advice available at every step along the way can make sure everything gets covered properly without missing anything that could lead to more medical expenses months or even years later.
In addition, if the insurance company tries to deny your claim or pay you less than they should, then your Boca Raton car accident lawyer will work hard to secure a settlement on your behalf so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for any future medical bills related specifically toward treating those injuries for which someone else should be held accountable.
In many cases, our attorneys can help negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. However, if negotiations with the insurance companies fail, when appropriate, your attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company or against a third party who may be liable for an accident, such as a city government.
Your attorney will draw up a legal strategy that will provide optimal results. Building an effective case for your compensation for damages requires evidence that will prove negligence on the part of the other driver, for instance:
In Florida, licensed drivers are required to have their own car insurance, called personal injury protection (or PIP). Regardless of who caused the accident, each involved individual must first seek compensation from their own insurance.
Vehicle owners are legally required to have $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits and $10,000 in property damage liability. While it isn’t technically required, it is wise to include bodily injury liability coverage in your insurance plan, so that you don’t have to pay someone else’s medical bills out of pocket in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
Personal injury protection covers the policyholder, their children, any members of the household, and any passengers that were present at the time of the crash that doesn’t have their own insurance.
The policyholder is also covered if they are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle when an accident occurs. It protects them as a pedestrian and a bicyclist as well as when they are in a vehicle. The policyholder’s children will also be eligible for PIP in the event that they experience a motor vehicle accident while riding on the bus to school, for example.
Florida requires that PIP covers three major things. Firstly, personal injury protection should cover 80 percent of medical expenses resulting from the accident. Secondly, in the event that the insured has had to take time off work to recover, or is unable to return to work due to severe injuries, PIP covers 60 percent of lost income.
Finally, in the event of a fatal car accident, personal injury protection pays $5,000 of death benefits to the living relatives (or estate) of the person who was killed.
One important detail to keep in mind regarding personal injury protection is Florida’s 14-Day Rule. This rule states that the claimant must receive medical attention within two weeks from the date of the accident in order to be eligible to recover 80 percent of their medical expenses.
As long as you were checked over by emergency medical services at the scene, went to the emergency room following your accident, or scheduled an appointment with your primary care physician within precisely two weeks of the accident date, you are adhering to the 14-Day Rule.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to bypass Florida’s no-fault insurance system and recover the damages you’ve suffered in their entirety. This is dependent on several factors.
To be eligible to file a liability claim outside of Florida’s no-fault system, your injuries must reach or pass a certain threshold. Serious injuries are determined by whether or not the affected individual has experienced any of the following after the accident:
If you are eligible to file a liability claim outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance system, you can pursue your damages in full. This includes economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
If you are unsure whether your case crosses the threshold of serious injury, be sure to consult your attorney and provide as much detail about your situation as possible.
When you’re hurt in a Boca Raton car accident, your lawsuit should cover the costs of your injuries and help you recover. But what if the at-fault party claims you were partly responsible for your injuries? In Florida, comparative fault can impact your claim in major ways.
This means that even if the other driver was partially at fault for your accident, you can still recover damages from them if their percentage of fault is less than yours. Let’s say you were hit by a speeding driver, but the at-fault party claims you were texting and driving. Your compensation may be reduced by the amount they claim you were responsible for.
Your lawyer can help you face your claim, even if the at-fault party claims you were mostly responsible for the accident. Your Boca Raton lawyer can gather evidence that you’re not at fault, and they can represent you in the courtroom to present that evidence. When you’re hurt, getting the maximum compensation you’re due is vital.
In the event that you are able to circumvent Florida’s no-fault insurance system, there are three types of damages you are able to recover: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages cover anything that has a clear, traceable price tag attached. If the damage you are seeking compensation for has a paper trail (such as a bill, invoice, or receipt), it is probably economic damage.
Medical bills, prescription costs, out-of-pocket physical therapy costs, over-the-counter medications, and vehicle repair expenses are all economic damages. Any income you’ve lost from being out of work, or unable to return to work, while you recover from your injuries, also qualifies as economic damages.
Florida does not impose any limits, or caps, on economic damages.
Non-economic damages are amorphous concepts that are often more difficult to quantify. Non-economic damages don’t have receipts to help calculate their value. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In 2017, Florida changed their legislature regarding non-economic damages. Now, there are no limits to the amount of non-economic damages that a plaintiff can pursue.
Punitive damages are the third and least common type of damages that Boca Raton car accident victims can pursue. Punitive damages are purely meant to punish the at-fault party for extremely reckless, or negligent, behavior. It is difficult to successfully achieve punitive damages, and it would be wise to speak to your attorney before deciding to attempt to do so.
Punitive damages are the only damages that Florida has a cap for as of 2023. The legislature limits punitive damages to three times the total value of the compensatory damages, or $500,000. The jury is directed to award whatever amount ends up being higher between the two.
Historically, punitive damages have been awarded in car accident cases involving intoxicated or inebriated driving. In the event that the collision was caused maliciously by the at-fault driver, punitive damages will also likely be on the table.
We are here to help you if you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident. We offer free consultations and will not charge unless we win your case. Our team understands car accidents can be devastating for everyone involved, especially if a loved one is injured or killed. The stress of dealing with the aftermath of a serious car crash can be overwhelming.
It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who understands Florida’s personal injury laws and has experience handling these types of cases so that we can help guide you through this often difficult process and ensure that you are as protected from liability as is feasible.
The attorneys of Dyson Law, PLLC are experienced personal injury attorneys who have handled thousands of cases involving motor vehicle accidents. Contact us today so that a Boca Raton car accident lawyer can begin working on your case. Please provide us with details about your situation by filling out the form on our website, or call 561-498-9979 for prompt attention from a qualified member of our staff.
After a car accident, chances are good that you have unanswered questions about your claim. A car accident lawsuit can be complicated, no matter how many parties are involved with your lawsuit. Fortunately, your lawyer can help you recover.
If you’re seeking answers following a Boca Raton car accident, reach out for help. In the meantime, check out some of the questions we’re asked the most and what we can do to help your claim succeed.
Not always—outside factors can lead to you losing control of your vehicle and crashing. For example, a pothole may have damaged your car, causing an accident. The state transportation department is responsible for maintaining the roads. Likewise, manufacturers are liable for any defects that cause accidents or injuries. Talk to your lawyer to investigate your options.
We want everyone to get the representation they need following a car accident. That’s why we work on contingency fees—you only pay a set percentage of your settlement if we win. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
Losing a loved one to a deadly car accident can be devastating. Fortunately, our lawyers are here to help you recover. Your lawyer can help you pursue compensation, if you’re eligible, through a wrongful death case. This lawsuit can help you get the funding you need for their final expenses and other costs caused by the accident.
A child’s injury in a car accident can be complex for the parents or guardians because a minor cannot take legal action on their own. Luckily, your lawyer can represent your child as their guardian ad litem. That means that, if the judge approves, you and your lawyer can represent your child in the courtroom now, while the evidence is new.
When multiple parties are involved in a Boca Raton car accident, determining fault can be tough. How do you know whose actions caused the accident? Your lawyer can use evidence from the scene of the accident, surveillance footage, and witness testimony to determine fault no matter how many drivers are involved.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of your settlement without speaking with a lawyer, which makes acting now tough. Fortunately, your lawyer can help you identify damages that you may not have thought of, like loss of consortium or future costs for medical care. With their guidance, you can be sure your case covers your needs.
The length of your case will depend on external factors and the willingness of the other party to settle. No matter how long it takes, we’re ready to tackle your case and get you the funds you’re due. We often take cases on a contingency fee so we do not get paid until you do, which means we want to move it at a pace that benefits you the most.
The statute of limitations for car accidents in Florida is four years from the date of the crash. There are some exceptions, but they are few and far between, and you shouldn’t expect to receive an extension on your deadline from the courts.
In almost every case, if you fail to file your car accident claim within the four-year statute of limitations, your case will be dismissed by the court.
It is definitely a good idea to get your vehicle inspected following your crash. This is good practice, both to keep you safe, and to have receipts to better illustrate the damages you suffered during your accident. Even if your vehicle only appears slightly dented, it could be hiding major internal damage. It is definitely better to take it in for some preventative care, instead of finding out that something is seriously wrong while you are cruising down the highway or running late for work.
Luckily, you can have your car repaired anywhere. You just need to be sure to give the repair center some information so that they can coordinate with your insurance adjuster. Provide them with your insurance claim number, the name of the person handling your case, and that person’s phone number. To get your vehicle repair expenses covered, you will need to file a property damage claim.
Yes, you can still be found at fault if you are rear-ended. While in most cases, the driver who crashed into the vehicle in front of them is found to be at fault, there are always some exceptions. If you made a sudden, unexpected stop, or an illegal turn, you may be found at fault. If you are unsure about your situation, it is in your best interest to consult a Boca Raton car accident attorney as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.
Losing a loved one to a Boca Raton car accident can be devastating. You and your family may be grieving and struggling with the high costs of funeral and burial services, among other expenses. When this happens, you may need to contact a lawyer about a wrongful death claim. Certain family members can act on behalf of the deceased’s estate, seeking the funds your family needs for a full recovery.