If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries following a car accident, the Hollywood car accident lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law can help. Our team is dedicated to helping personal injury victims seek justice and fair compensation for their damages.
We know that car accidents are some of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. In a matter of seconds, your life could turn upside down in an accident caused by a distracted, careless, or drunk driver. This is why we devote our skills, experience, and resources to helping crash victims.
Our car accident lawyers will help you navigate the legal procedures after a car accident, to ensure that you ultimately get the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation with a top car personal injury attorney in Hollywood, FL.
Florida Car Accident Statistics
According to data from the FLHSMV, the total car accidents in Florida spiked in 2021, following two years of decline. Here are the numbers:
January through July 7, 2022: 194,632
Overall, this highlights a downward trend, though the significant drop in the total number of car accidents in 2020 can largely be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, there are still over 1,000 car accidents happening on Florida’s roadways every day. This means that the state is one of the most dangerous for drivers in the country.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Many car accident victims hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer after an accident as they assume they just couldn’t afford to pay an hourly fee or secure a retainer fee to access legal services. However, in most personal injury cases, lawyers don’t require their clients to pay fees upfront.
Most car accident lawyers work cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the client and the lawyer agree to have the lawyer work with no upfront payment, such that they will receive a percentage of the client’s settlement amount when they win the case.
If the case is unsuccessful, the client can walk away without having to pay lawyer fees. If the case is successful, the law firm will receive a share of the settlement amount according to the terms of the contingency fee agreement.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The steps you take immediately after an auto accident will have a huge impact on your ability to recover full compensation for your damages. Keep in mind that the insurance company will investigate everything, including what you did and didn’t do after the car accident. They do this while calculating the value of your claim.
Here are some of the basic steps to follow to protect your eligibility for full compensation:
Contact the police
If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 right away and get emergency medical services. If there are no injuries requiring an immediate attention, you still need to report the accident. You’re legally required to report the accident in case injury or death occurs, or if the property damage exceeds $500.
Check on other involved parties (Do Not Leave!)
Attend to anyone on the scene that needs medical help before the paramedics arrive. Don’t leave the scene. Whether you believe you’re at fault or innocent, you should remain at the scene until you’re cleared. Fleeing could have serious consequences.
Florida Statute § 316.062 requires that all drivers involved in a crash that results in injury, death, or property damage must provide the other parties with their names, addresses, license information, and vehicle registration numbers.
Record the scene
While at the scene of the accident, take as many photos and videos as possible. Consider getting close-up shots of important details and wide angles of the whole scene. In case you notice any surveillance cameras nearby, consider going to the business and requesting copies of the footage.
Never admit fault
It’s not a crime to be polite to everyone after the accident. However, emotions will likely be running high, and staying calm is crucial. Be careful about what you say to the other parties involved in the accident. Never admit to any blame or apologize to anyone, even if you feel like you were at fault in the accident. What you say can be used against you, even if you said it in passing, out of politeness or concern.
Seek medical attention
When involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, you should never delay in seeking medical care. Waiting too long to see the doctor can even be used against you by the insurance company to blame you for the injury or evade liability.
Call a car accident lawyer
The defendant will likely have an insurance company working to protect his/her interests. It’s also vital for you to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible after the crash. Don’t give out any statements to the insurance company or accept any settlement offers until your lawyer has gone through the details.
A Hollywood car accident lawyer at Klotzman Property Damage Law can help during this troubling and life-changing time. We will be with you during every phase of the recovery process. We know how difficult it can be to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a serious accident. Let us take the legal side of things off your shoulders.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
The average settlement amount listed among reliable Florida law resources for auto accident settlement ranges from $10,000 to $60,000 or more. As you can probably imagine, settlement amounts will vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries and the effectiveness of your legal strategy.
Having the right Hollywood car accident lawyer can be invaluable in helping you figure out how much compensation you might be eligible for, and what you could do to lessen the financial burden during your recovery journey.
When Should I Get a Hollywood Car Accident Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
Consulting with an experienced Hollywood car accident lawyer as soon as possible is essential. A lawyer will give you all the answers you need about your legal issue and offer advice on how you can deal with the insurance companies to avoid them taking advantage of the situation.
You should get a lawyer to represent you following a car accident when:
- You suffered serious or permanent injuries.
- A loved one succumbed to injuries they sustained in the auto accident.
- The defendant’s insurance company made a lowball settlement offer.
- The accident might have been caused by a government agency’s negligence or incompetence.
- You were injured and your car was damaged significantly.
- Someone else’s negligent actions likely contributed to the crash.
Keep in mind that Florida law does not require you to hire a lawyer after a car crash. There are a few instances where it might not be necessary to hire one. These include:
- Accidents with minor impact and negligible damage.
- Accident where the other party admits their fault and is ready to pay for damages.
- Accidents with minor damage, and you successfully filed a claim with your own PIP insurance.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
You may assume that you might be able to handle the legal aspects of the car accident by yourself. But the reality is nothing could be further from the truth. Getting a lawyer could make your recovery journey easier and prevent insurance adjusters from taking advantage of the situation. Our team will help you with:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Filling an accident claim typically involves a lot of paperwork, which should be filed on time and properly to ensure the case proceeds accordingly and raises your chances of getting a favorable outcome. Failing to file the right paperwork and not meeting the set deadlines could lead to lengthy delays in your case, and possibly prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve.
Our team understands the Florida laws regarding car accident claims and how to effectively negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that you get a fair and just settlement for your injuries and losses. Trying to negotiate with the insurance company on your own will put you at a significant disadvantage.
Trial preparations and representation
In case the settlement negotiations fail, your lawyers will take the case to court. While most of the cases are settled out of court through a settlement, some cases do go to court. This means letting a judge or jury listen to both sides and decide the best course of action. The team at Klotzman Property Damage Law is made up of experienced litigators that are always ready to argue a case in court.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
Several factors determine what compensation you will receive following your Hollywood car accident. Plus, since no two accidents are the same, car accident settlement amounts vary dramatically from case to case. Some of the main factors that determine settlement include:
- Your insurance policy
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- Your financial losses
- Whether you suffered temporary or permanent disability
The average car accident settlement in Florida usually hovers around the $15,000 mark. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, some could end up being worth considerably more (or less).
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Considering how impactful a car accident can be on the lives of those involved, it’s important to get a good understanding of the kind of compensation victims may be eligible for.
Also known as special damages or compensatory damages, these are awarded to help make victims financially whole after an accident that resulted in out-of-pocket monetary loss. Some of the most common economic damages a victim can recover includes:
Medical expenses, including past, current, and future bills, emergency room treatment, ER transportation, hospital stays, medical procedures, and any other similar costs.
Rehabilitation costs, including any future specialist treatments, therapies, and modifications to the home or car to accommodate the victim.
Lost wages or income as a result of time spent away from work.
Loss of future earning capacity
Loss of support for dependents in case of incapacitation or death
- These are general damages that are designed to compensate for intangible losses. Auto crash victims are often able to recover significant amounts from this category, though it’s a lot more difficult to value these kinds of losses accurately. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering, including the discomfort and agony from the event and the recovery process.
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma, including grief, anxiety, concern, embarrassment, and other similar manifestations experienced after the crash.
- Loss of consortium, which covers the reduced ability of a spouse to enjoy companionship, sexual relationships, affection, etc. Following a crash.
In any cases where a driver is found to have been grossly negligent in their actions, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are additional damages awarded to punish the at-fault party more to deter them and others from engaging in such actions in the future.
How is Fault Determined?
When it comes to establishing fault in a Florida car accident case, the plaintiff has to prove the four foundational elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: The defendant had a legal duty of care for the plaintiff’s well-being and safety.
- Breach of duty of care: The defendant breached this duty of care, either through intent or negligence.
- Causation: This breach of duty directly resulted in the accident.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered compensable damages as a direct result of this accident.
An experienced Hollywood car accident lawyer can help you establish the at-fault driver’s negligence and pursue compensation for the resulting damages.
It’s worth noting that Florida is a no-fault state, where collision damage claims are covered by personal injury cover, also known as PIP insurance. This implies that injured drivers collect their payouts directly from their own insurance providers instead of the insurance provider of the defendant.
Florida law also includes a rule referred to as comparative negligence, where a plaintiff may still recover damages even if they are more than 50% to blame for the accident. The percentage of blame the victim is ascribed to will reduce the amount of settlement award by the same percentage.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
The Florida statute of limitations for car accident cases is the same as that of all personal injury claims; four years from the date of the incident. If you fail to meet this deadline, your case will likely be thrown out by the court.
How Can a Lawyer Help me File My Insurance Claim?
The claim process for car accident cases can be overwhelming, especially if you’re still recuperating from the injuries. Our team will guide you through the entire claims process, which mainly involves the following steps:
During the initial consultation, you will provide your Hollywood car accident lawyer with all the details of the accident, including the evidence you were able to collect. Anything you recall about the incident could be helpful to your case.
Our team will then start conducting an independent investigation of the accident and collect additional evidence to support your case. This may include medical records, witness statements, pictures of the scene of the accident, and police records.
Once we have ample evidence, we will use it to determine the total damages you suffered in the crash. This will help us establish the correct amount to go after from the insurance companies.
We will then submit a claim to your PIP insurance and the defendant’s insurance company as needed.
We will then negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies. Our team is skilled at negotiating, and you can be certain that we’ll do everything in our power to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
What Can I do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
Unfortunately, you can’t always expect insurance companies to always honor car accident claims. In fact, many car accident claims end up being denied for a variety of reasons.
In case yours was denied, you should talk to your lawyer immediately. If the insurance company denies your claim, your lawyer can file an appeal to protest the decision. They can also investigate why the insurer denied your claim, and then use this reasoning to provide additional evidence for them to reconsider.
Do I Have a Case?
Whether or not you have a case depends on several factors. However, generally speaking, for a case to be valid, all elements of negligence should be present.
When you contact Klotzman Property Damage Law, our car accident lawyers in Hollywood, FL will carefully assess your case and work out whether you have a case. This could help you avoid wasting time and resources, and also offer guidance on your best way forward.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
As already mentioned, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that your insurance provider should cover your damages regardless of who is at fault. As such, every driver is legally required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP insurance is meant to compensate you for any losses or injuries whether you are at fault for the crash or not. However, if the damages suffered in the crash exceed your coverage level, you might be allowed to pursue compensation from the defendant’s insurance provider to cover for the excess.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
There are three main ways to obtain your car accident report in Florida, as outlined below:
- Get a Florida Highway Patrol accident number. If you’re unable to get yours, consider contacting the state patrol station closest to the location where the accident happened, and they will be happy to assist you in locating it.
- Complete the Sworn Statement for Traffic Crash Report Information. Due to the fact that accident reports are confidential for 60 days after the report is filed, you have to complete this form to prove you were actually involved in the crash. It must be notarized before it’s submitted to the Florida Highway Patrol.
- Purchase a copy of your accident report online, which might be far easier and more convenient. You can do this through a third-party website: BuyCrash.com.
In case you need more information about how you can obtain your accident report in Hollywood and other areas, feel free to contact us or reach out to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Any auto accident can result in serious physical injuries and psychological trauma. Some of the most common forms of car accident injuries we see in Florida include:
- Head Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Facial Disfigurement
- Internal Injuries
- Leg, hip, and knee Injuries
Most of these injuries tend to be serious and they may require extensive treatment. Fortunately, you have a chance of making a full recovery with the right resources. The defendant should be held liable for your damages, including your medical expenses.
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
The type of car accident that happened is usually helpful in establishing which driver is at fault and how the compensation claim should be handled. The following are the types of car accident claims we handle at our office:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving While Intoxicated Accidents (alcohol & illegal substances)
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Reckless Driving
- Head-on Collisions
- Rear-End Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Speeding Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Uninsured Motorist
No matter the type of accident you were involved in, working with an experienced lawyer can help you seek justice and ensure you receive full compensation for your damages.
Contact Our Hollywood, FL Car Accident Lawyers Today
Car accidents happen when we least expect them, and they can easily turn your life upside down. In such a confusing and overwhelming period, you can find help and advocacy at Klotzman Property Damage Law.
Our team has the skills, knowledge, and resources to help you recover from the accident financially, physically, and emotionally. We are committed to protecting the rights of personal injury victims and their families while helping them seek justice and compensation from negligent parties.
Give us a call today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation with us and learn more about how our Hollywood car accident lawyers can help.