Car Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A car accident can be a traumatic and life-changing event. Collisions may lead to permanent injuries, substantial medical care costs, time off from work, or the death of a loved one. Some people even suffer from fear and trauma after a car accident, making it difficult for them to readjust to normal life, get around on their own, go to work, and participate in activities they used to enjoy.
If you were involved in an accident due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another road user, you may be able to sue for damages. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney is just a call away and may be able to help with your case. Please contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 to learn more about potential compensation for damages in car accident cases, how we handle car accident cases, and what forms of evidence they require.
The Impact of Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 36,500 people were killed in vehicle accidents in the United States in 2018. This translates to over 100 vehicle-related deaths every single day.
Vehicle accidents are a serious public health concern that affects us all. Estimates of the economic costs of vehicle accidents vary, but studies suggest that vehicle accidents cause billions of dollars in losses every year in the form of medical treatment costs, lost productivity, lost wages, property damage, litigation costs, law enforcement expenses, and insurance overheads.
Social Impact of Auto Accident
While the aggregate social impact of accidents is considerable, the impact of an individual accident can be much more devastating for victims and their families. This is especially true when catastrophic accidents lead to fatalities and permanent injuries. A moment’s recklessness or negligence can have life-changing ramifications—physical and emotional, as well as financial.
Our Car Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale Able to Help in Accident Case
A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer may be able to help you navigate the many rules, regulations, and requirements that govern how to handle vehicle accident cases. These include insurance laws, personal injury litigation laws, statutes of limitations, evidentiary requirements, damage assessment protocols, and medical proof requirements.
Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Categories
Accidents can fall into different categories based on the driver, the location of the collision, or the type of vehicles involved. Some collisions may even fall into more than one category. For example, elder driver and teenage driver accidents are common and can be treated as separate accident categories, as can parking lot accidents or driveway or sidewalk accidents. Common car accident categories include all of the following:
T-bone, sideswipe, and intersection accidents
Collisions with trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrians
Accidents involving roadside fixtures
Blindspot, no-zone, and merging collisions
Overspeeding, reckless driving, and aggressive driving accidents
Accidents caused by poor maintenance or parts failure
It is important to remember that accidents are usually classified based on the type of damage that occurs in the accident and the types of vehicles involved in the accident. However, an insurance company may use other criteria, such as driver age or vehicle speed to categorize an accident. Based on these categorizations, different policy limits or evidence requirements may apply.
Causes of Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
The car accidents listed above are often caused by one or more factors. These typically fall under driver negligence, vehicle issues, or dangerous driving conditions.
Car Accident Cause by Driver Negligence
Negligent driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents in the United States, with driving while distracted being the main offense. Data from the NHTSA suggests that 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018. Since 2014, Florida statutes prohibit the use of certain devices while driving, such as smartphones, to prevent accidents such as accidents from occurring.
However, distracted driving can take many other forms as well. Eating while driving, interacting with other passengers, and adjusting devices or vehicle controls while driving are all forms of negligence due to distraction.
More Examples of Driver Negligence
Drinking and driving, driver fatigue, recklessness, and speeding are also examples of driver negligence. If a driver is found to have caused an accident because he or she was negligent in any way while driving, he or she may be held liable for all resultant damages.
Car Accident Cause by Vehicle Issues
Vehicle malfunctions and service or maintenance issues can cause an accident. For example, drivers who experience tire blowouts, or brake failures while driving may inadvertently cause a collision. In these cases, the maintenance provider or vehicle manufacturer may be responsible, rather than the driver.
Car Accident Cause by Road Issues and Driving Conditions
Potholes, cracked roads, uneven surfaces, steep inclines or declines, dangerous curves, poor signage, and slippery surfaces can all lead to vehicle collisions. Inclement weather, poor lighting, rain, snow, fog, and other weather conditions can also make it hazardous to drive, and increase the probability of an accident.
While weather conditions may not place anyone at-fault for an accident, poor maintenance of roadways may be attributed to construction companies or even local government entities.
Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Injuries and Damages
Car accidents can cause injuries ranging from minor scratches and bone fractures to spinal cord damage, total body incapacitation, and death. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of new spinal cord injuries in the United States every year, according to the Mayo Clinic. These injuries can lead to life-long pain, suffering, and paralysis, not to mention significant treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy costs.
Our Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Attorney Can Help If You Are Injured in a Car Accident
In accidents involving cars and motorcycles or pedestrians, the pedestrian or motorcyclist is more likely to be killed or suffer serious injuries than the occupants of the car. However, in accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles, the majority of all fatalities come from the latter. If you are involved or injured in this type of accident content our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato.
Injuries Occur in Car Accident
Injuries commonly seen in car accidents include:
Head, brain, and spinal cord damage.
Broken or fractured bones.
Pinched, stretched, or torn nerves.
Soft tissue damage.
Internal organ damage.
Neck and back injuries, such as whiplash.
Cuts and lacerations, especially from broken shards.
Amputations of all or part of a limb.
Financial Damages in Car Accident
Financial damages that a car accident can cause include:
Vehicle and property damage.
Lower earning potential.
Medical care and rehabilitation costs.
Assistive device and medication costs.
Pain and suffering.
Emotional trauma or mental scarring.
Incidental care or service costs.
Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys Help in Your Financial Damages
It is easier to place a dollar figure on the value of some of these losses and damages than it is for others. For example, medical care and vehicle repair costs are typically evaluated using invoices or receipts for treatment or repair. These are examples of economic damages. If you are facing financial damage in a car accident case so you need to just contact our auto accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale for legal help.
Losses From Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL
However, the losses from a car accident can go far beyond the financial realm. Pain, suffering, the loss of the company of a loved one, and the emotional turmoil that inevitably follows an accident can be hard to quantify. These fall under noneconomic damages. Expert testimony may be necessary to substantiate noneconomic losses. They can be calculated using estimates or multipliers to measure pain and suffering, or the long-term compounded costs of treatment and lost wages.
Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Liability
Based on who was responsible for your accident, the insurance policies that you and the at-fault driver hold, and all available accident evidence, an insurance adjuster will try to estimate the value of your claim. These three factors–accident liability, insurance coverage, and evidence requirements–are discussed below.
Liability for car accidents centers on the duty of care. Anyone driving automatically owes a certain level of duty of care to others on the road. The next step in proving liability in a collision is determining if a driver violated this duty of care with an act of negligence.
Our Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Lawyers Help To Prove Your Liability
To prove someone liable for an accident, you must prove that the accident you suffered was directly caused by the at-fault party’s breach of the duty of care. Once you or your attorney establish causation, you may be able to seek compensation for damages that accrue to you from the accident.
Breaching Duty of Care
A breach of the duty of care can take multiple forms, from a driver simply being unaware that he or she was endangering others, to recklessness, to intentional misconduct such as driving aggressively or with malicious intent.
Based on these categorizations and the nature of the accident you were involved in, any one of several parties may be at fault for your accident. The examples below will help illustrate how.
- If a driver operates his or her vehicle while drunk, drowsy, or distracted, or does not have the proper licensing needed to operate a vehicle of a certain type, the driver may be liable for damages and injuries caused by an accident.
- A trucking company may be liable for damages caused by poorly trained or inexperienced drivers if poor hiring and screening practices contributed to an accident.
- A service or maintenance team may be liable for accidents caused by vehicle operational failures, damages caused by loose cargo, construction site road accidents, or poor road maintenance.
- A government office or a local town/municipality may be liable for accidents that occur on roadways under their jurisdiction if damaged roads contributed to an accident.
A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can work with you to help determine which parties may be liable for your losses and fight for your compensable damages. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 to get started today.
Car Accident Insurance Coverage in Fort Lauderdale
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that parties involved in an accident must seek compensation for the collision from their insurance companies. Specifically, you may be able to seek compensation from:
- The insurance coverage of the at-fault driver, but only if you meet specific damage or injury levels.
- Your uninsured or underinsured accident policy, if the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance coverage.
- Your personal liability insurance or collision insurance policy.
- Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Florida Drivers Are Required to Maintain Insurance Coverage
All Florida drivers are required to maintain insurance coverage, but according to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida ranks first in uninsured drivers countrywide. More than one in four Florida drivers drive without insurance. The minimum coverage limits you must maintain by law are as follows:
- Liability coverage for bodily injuries: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000 per accident
- Bodily injury coverage for uninsured motorists: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage for uninsured motorists: $25,000 with a variable deductible between $250 and $1,000.
Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Vehicle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, and you may wish to purchase additional coverage beyond the limits above. In some cases, you may also be able to seek compensation from a company or corporation such as Uber or Lyft, if you were involved in an accident caused by a driver using a certain platform. Driverless cars and accidents with heavily insured trucking companies may also involve other at-fault parties, from whom you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and damages.
Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Evidence Requirements
To file a car accident claim, you must support your claim with as much evidence as possible. Common forms of evidence that you or your attorney can use to substantiate your claims include:
Dashcam or surveillance footage.
Cellphone usage records.
Maintenance or repair logs for roadways and vehicles.
Details on suspensions or citations, if any, of the at-fault driver.
Blood alcohol test results.
Medical bills and vehicle repair invoices.
Paystubs or salary slips to prove lost income.
Expert testimony to validate the use of a specific damages multiplier.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Team Today
A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer is just a call away. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we understand how difficult it can be to handle a car accident case and your claim if you suffered injuries in the accident or have other responsibilities to take care of. We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients, providing them with prompt and responsive communication, and treating them like family.
Our caring and attentive staff devote time to make sure our clients know their legal options, so let us help you. Please call us today at (954) 633-8270 for assistance with your car accident case.
CAR ACCIDENT FAQs:
What can I do to reduce my risk of a car accident?
Driving carefully and responsibly, avoiding distractions like your cell phone, and never driving intoxicated are some of the best ways to reduce your risk of causing a car accident. These are common causes of car accidents. Taking a defensive driving class can also help you learn to avoid hazards that could cause an accident, although sometimes accidents caused by other people’s careless actions are unavoidable.
What should I do first after a car accident?
If you are in a car accident, the first thing you need to do is to ensure you are safe from further harm. Do not get out of your car unless it is safe to do so. If you do leave your car, move away from the roadway and into a safe area. Then, begin to gather contact information and take pictures of the scene and give it to your accident lawyer.
What do I need to bring when I meet with a car accident lawyer?
When you meet with a car accident lawyer, you may want to bring any information you have about the accident. This could include the police report, picture or video from the scene, documentation about your injuries, and more. We recommend keeping a file of all accident-related material and bringing it with you when you come.
How do I prepare for a car accident lawyer consultation?
Before your consultation with one of our car accident lawyers, look over any material you have from the accident. We recommend writing down your account of the accident soon afterward so you can review it and better recall the facts of the event during your consultation. You can also gather all accident-related materials to bring to your appointment.