Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer
With its sunny weather, sandy beaches, amusement parks and numerous entertainment and recreational hotspots, Florida is a great place to live and to visit. However, if you’re driving anywhere in the state, it can also be a very dangerous place.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Crash Dashboard, approximately 400,000 car crashes occur here each year, resulting in more than 250,000 injuries and 3600 fatalities. Last year, in Bradenton and Manatee County alone, there were 6,771 crashes, 3,137 injury crashes and 73 fatalities.
People who are seriously injured in car accidents can suffer terribly in the days, weeks and months following the crash. Besides physical pain and suffering, they often experience mental anguish, stress, anxiety and financial hardship. Their physical limitations, loss of income and other losses can be devastating for them and their families.
If you or a loved one is dealing with these devastating challenges, you may be overwhelmed by your present situation and have serious concerns about your future. The trusted Bradenton car accident lawyers at the Dennis Hernandez law firm want you to know you don’t have to handle everything alone. We have helped hundreds of car accident victims throughout Florida and want to help you hold the negligent parties accountable and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
In the following sections on this page, we are going discuss when and how you should file a car accident lawsuit in Florida. We will also answer the following questions car accident victims and their families frequently ask us about Florida car accident cases:
- When Should I File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Bradenton?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with a Car Accident Lawsuit in Bradenton?
- What Does PIP Insurance Cover?
- What Kind of Injuries Are Serious Enough to Sue for Damages in Florida?
- Who Can Be Held Liable for My Bradenton Car Accident Injury?
- What Damages Can I Claim in a Bradenton Car Accident Lawsuit?
- How Much Compensation Can I Get with a Bradenton Car Accident Lawsuit?
- What Should I Tell the Insurance Adjuster?
- Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
- Should I Hire a Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer?
- How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer?
- What Should I Look for in a Car Accident Lawyer?
For answers to specific questions about your particular case, please contact the Dennis Hernandez law firm at 855-529-3366 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website and talk with an experienced Bradenton car accident lawyer. All consultations are free, and you pay nothing until we win your case.
Many different factors can lead to a car accident. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly noted that drivers – especially those who engage in risky driving behaviors – are the primary cause of accidents. Risky driving behaviors known to cause accidents include:
- Distracted Driving – Texting, daydreaming, talking on the phone and other distractions are responsible for causing more than 3,000 deaths each year.
- Drowsy Driving – Driving when fatigued and sleepy is responsible for approximately 700 fatalities per year.
- Speeding – Exceeding the speed limit is not only a violation traffic laws, it is responsible for almost 9,500 deaths each year.
- Drunk Driving – Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law and responsible for more than 10,000 fatalities a year.
- Drug-impaired Driving – Driving when under the influence of drugs, both legal and illegal, is associated with more than 50% of serious injury accidents.
If you have been injured in a car accident where the other driver engaged in risky driving behaviors or was negligent in another way, then you may be entitled to sue for damages. In Florida car accident cases, liability is based on the concept of negligence. That is, to hold someone liable for damages, you have to be able to establish the four elements of negligence:
- The other driver owed you a duty of reasonable care.
- The driver breached the duty of care.
- The driver’s breach of duty caused the accident that injured you.
- You suffered damages because of your injury. These damages can be economic, as in lost income and medical expenses, and non-economic, as in pain, suffering and mental anguish.
If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still bring a legal action against the other driver, as long as they were also at fault. Under Section 768.81, Florida Statues, partial fault does not preclude recovery of damages for injury. Instead, the amount of compensation you can receive for an injury is reduced in proportion to the amount of fault that can be attributed to you.
When considering filing a lawsuit for car accident injuries, you also have to remember that you need to file within a specific time period. You usually have only four years from the date of the accident in which to file a personal injury claim and only two years in which to file a wrongful death claim, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
If you have been seriously injured in a Bradenton area car accident, you have the right to sue a negligent driver who caused or partially caused the accident, and you do not have to have a lawyer to do so. However, getting help from a car accident lawyer who has experience handling injury accident cases and is a skilled negotiator and litigator can be very beneficial.
The Dennis Hernandez Bradenton car accident attorneys can answer your questions about Florida car accident lawsuits, advise you on your best course of action and expertly handle all aspects of your case so that you can focus on getting your healthcare needs met and recovering. More specifically, we will:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident and let you know whether you should file a claim for damages.
- Advise you if it is in your best interest to file an insurance claim or bring a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
- Protect your legal rights.
- Collect the evidence necessary to demonstrate negligence on the part of the at-fault driver, establish a fair value for your damages (physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, financial losses and other losses) and support your claim for compensation.
- Negotiate aggressively with the other party’s insurance company for the full, fair compensation you deserve.
- Advise you on whether you should accept a settlement offer based on the amount of compensation you deserve.
- Be completely prepared to fight and win a substantial award in court, if necessary to obtain the full, fair compensation you deserve.
- Promptly answer all of your questions about the case and keep you well-informed of progress throughout the entire legal process.
All Florida motor vehicle owners must have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance to cover their own expenses in case of an accident, according to Florida law. This insurance is intended to cover necessary medical expenses, such as medical treatment, hospital costs, rehabilitative care and physical and occupational therapy, and 60% of lost income, up to a maximum of $10,000.
If you are seriously injured, $10,000 will not cover your necessary medical expenses and other losses. To recover additional expenses and compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, mental anguish and diminished capacity to enjoy life, you need to file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Although Florida is a no-fault state, you can sue for damages if you are seriously injured. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law allows you to file a car accident lawsuit to obtain compensation if you suffered serious injuries that are permanent in nature, resulted in scarring or disfigurement, or caused the loss of important bodily functions.
Some examples of injuries that may meet the definition of “serious” under Florida law include:
- Broken and fractured bones: Bone fractures may cause pain, impair bodily functions, require surgery or other medical treatment, and/or cause chronic health problems.
- Neck and back injuries: The impact of a collision can injure the discs in your neck or back. The damage may be apparent immediately or may get worse over time and may require extensive surgeries and other medical treatments.
- Burns: When a crash causes a fire, the resulting burns may cause scarring, disfigurement, pain, and/or loss of bodily functions and may require extensive and long-term medical treatments.
- Brain injuries: Vehicle collisions are a major cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can cause significant and permanent disabilities.
- Lost limbs: In catastrophic collisions, arms or legs may be torn away or be so severely injured that they must be amputated.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can be permanently disabling, causing loss of function and/or sensation.
In many cases, filing a lawsuit is necessary to obtain the compensation you need to pay for present and future medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages. An experienced Dennis Hernandez Bradenton car accident attorney will review what happened in your accident and let you know if you are eligible for this kind of lawsuit.
The person or persons who breached their duty of reasonable care are considered negligent under Florida law and can be held liable for damages in a car accident case. Usually, people driving vehicles are found to be negligent when they break traffic laws, such as not stopping at a traffic light, driving while impaired, speeding or failing to yield the right-of-way, and cause an accident. However, if a defective part in a motor vehicle is the cause of an accident, the manufacturer, parts manufacturer or mechanic who did not repair or replace the part property can be held liable.
In addition, if you did something that contributed to the accident, such as speeding or texting while driving, then you could be found partially liable. You can still sue for compensation, however, as long as the other party’s negligence contributed more to the accident than yours.
The damages you can claim in a car accident lawsuit depend on many different factors, such as the seriousness of your physical injuries, your healthcare needs and medical expenses and the effects of your injury on your income, mental state and family. An experienced car accident attorney can help assess the damages for which you may be entitled to compensation.
Generally speaking, however, people who are seriously injured in car accidents may seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment, disfigurement or scarring
- Present and future medical and care expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, diagnostic tests, office visits, assistive devices and equipment, rehabilitative therapies and transportation to medical facilities
- Property damage
- Lost wages and other income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Your family’s loss of your guidance, assistance and companionship
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
The amount of compensation you may be able to receive from a car accident lawsuit depends on the specific details of your case. Our experienced Bradenton car accident attorneys will consider all facets of your case, including your physical injuries, medical expenses, need for treatment and care, as well as the present and future effects of your injury on your mental health, income and family life before giving you an idea of what amount would be considered fair compensation for your damages.
Our car accident attorneys have helped injured clients obtain multi-million-dollar awards and will leverage their years of successful experience to help you get the full, fair compensation you deserve.
After a car accident, a representative from the other driver’s insurance company will most likely contact you to ask about the accident and your injuries. The conversation may seem friendly, but it can actually be harmful to your case to discuss the accident with them, since you could casually say something that could be used to make the case that you were negligent and responsible or partially responsible for the accident or that your injuries are actually not as serious as you claim they are. In other words, anything you tell an adjuster or other insurance company representative can potentially be used against you to deny paying you or diminish a settlement offer.
An experienced lawyer can handle all communication with the other driver’s insurance company effectively and avoid this situation. Instead of talking with an adjustor or other insurance company representatives about the accident, you can tell them that your attorney will contact them. Our Bradenton car accident attorneys know what insurance companies do to try to deny or undervalue accident claims and will be well prepared to negotiate aggressively with them for the maximum compensation for you.
Insurance companies often deploy specific tactics to delay paying claimants and pay them less then they deserve. Car accident victims are then pressured to accept their settlement offer, even when it will not cover their medical expenses.
In cases like this, having an experienced Bradenton car accident attorney helping you can be especially beneficial. The Dennis Hernandez lawyers are skilled negotiators who know how insurance companies operate and will not back down until you have a fair settlement offer to cover all of your damages. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will be ready to fight in court to win a the full, fair award you deserve.
Working with a trusted Bradenton car accident lawyer will help you navigate successfully through the legal claim process. Our lawyers will investigate the circumstance of your accident and injuries; collect the evidence necessary to put together a solid, winning claim; negotiate aggressively with insurance company representatives for the full compensation you deserve; and if necessary, fight for your rights and full, fair compensation in court.
We have years of experience helping injured clients win the settlements and awards they need. We are skilled negotiators and litigators who don’t back down until we get the results our clients want.
The Dennis Hernandez Bradenton car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay anything for our trusted legal advice and services until we help you secure the substantial compensation you deserve. At that time, we will accept our fee for representing you throughout the legal process based on a previously agreed-upon amount.
When seeking help from a car accident lawyer, you should look primarily for experience and a record of success, as well as someone who will communicate well with you. You want someone representing you who knows what they are doing and can be trusted to leave no stone unturned in fighting for just compensation.
Most accident lawyers say they are committed to leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of justice, but only a few have the experience and record of success Dennis Hernandez lawyers do in helping clients get the full, fair financial compensation they deserve. We say we never back down, and we mean it. We are not afraid to take a case to court and fight for what is rightfully yours, and insurance companies and their attorneys know it.
We have helped hundreds of clients throughout Florida obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their accident injuries. We communicate often with our clients, answering all questions and always letting them know about the progress we’re making on their case. We have won multi-million-dollar awards for seriously injured clients and are committed to putting our experience, knowledge and skill to work fighting for the justice you deserve.
Get the Help You Need from a Bradenton Car Accident Attorney
Injury accidents can be devastating because of the pain, suffering and necessary medical treatments. Sadly, these immediate challenges can be compounded by having to deal with medical bills, insurance forms, loss of income and other losses.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car crash, it is important to talk with an experienced Bradenton car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced Dennis Hernandez attorneys know how to handle insurance company adjustors and attorneys, collect the evidence necessary to win your case, and secure the substantial compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain, suffering and losses.
Lots of car accident lawyers will do everything in their power to avoid going to court, but we never back down or settle for less than you deserve. When you work with us, you get legal experience, skill and commitment to justice you can trust to successfully support you through the entire legal process.
Call us at 855-529-3366 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to talk with an experienced Bradenton car accident lawyer and get started on your case.