Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer
As the population of Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area has grown, so too has the traffic and congestion on our roads. Sadly, this also means there have been a lot more car crashes. For example, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that in 2019 there were 17,078 car accidents, 7,156 car crash injuries and 108 accident-related deaths in Pinellas County alone.
As the data for our county suggest, car accidents often cause injuries, many of them very serious and life-altering. Those who have been injured, along with their families, often face numerous adjustments and challenges, including the need for extensive medical treatment and financial hardship.
If you or a family member has suffered because of a serious car accident injury, you don’t have to face all of the challenges alone. The experienced Clearwater car accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates have helped hundreds of car accident victims throughout Florida and want to help you hold the at-fault party accountable and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
When Should You Seek Help from a Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a car accident, your first step after getting immediate medical attention will probably be to contact your automobile insurance company. Since your Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance will only pay a maximum of $10,000 for medical treatment, you will also need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for medical expenses and other losses over $10,000, if you are seriously injured.
Insurance companies then determine how much they are willing to pay for your injuries, or they may decide to deny your claim altogether. Faced with medical bills, car repairs and other problems, many accident victims decide to settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, however, they realize later that accepting the insurance company’s offer was a big mistake.
After a serious car accident injury, your medical needs and expenses can continue to increase, issues can occur at work, and daily life can become challenging. Some accident victims have chronic pain and mental distress. Their families may suffer because of decreased income and less emotional support and companionship. The settlement from the insurance company doesn’t begin to compensate them for their pain, suffering and losses.
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer is important to prevent this from happening. In pursuing full and fair compensation for you, your attorney will:
- Collect all the evidence necessary to establish negligence on the at-fault driver’s part.
- Examine your medical records and other evidence to determine the full value of your claim.
- Negotiate knowledgeably and forcefully with insurance company representatives and attorneys for a satisfactory settlement.
- Prove that a satisfactory financial award is needed to compensate you for the injuries, harms and losses you suffered.
- Prepare a strong, winning case if it is necessary to go to trial.
- Not back down in the fight for full and fair compensation.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies routinely try to pay out as little as possible so they can make as much money as possible. If you do not have an attorney who is known for being a tough litigator looking out for your rights, you can end up without the financial resources you need for healthcare expenses and coping with the physical and emotional pain from your car accident injuries.
What Injuries Are Considered Serious Enough for a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Unfortunately, many Floridians who are injured in car accidents do not contact a lawyer because they think they do not have a case. They might not completely understand the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, or perhaps they were given bad advice about it. The reality is that under Florida’s no-fault law, you still can file a car accident lawsuit to obtain compensation, if you suffered serious injuries.
The Florida no-fault law clearly states that anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident may recover damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience if their injury involves significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or death. While these parameters may seem daunting, you should not assume you do not have a “serious injury” without first consulting with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney.
There are many times when a lawsuit is necessary to compensate car accident victims for their long-term medical expenses, loss of income, pain, suffering, and other damages. Some of the serious car accident injuries that could cause these damages include:
- Burns: If your vehicle catches on fire after a collision, you could have serious burn injuries. These injuries are very painful and can also result in scarring and other physical problems.
- Neck and Back injuries– The sudden impact of a car crash can cause your head, neck and the rest of your body to move in ways it was never intended to move. This sudden movement can lead to permanent injuries of your discs that can degenerate and worsen over time, often leading to surgery later in life.
- Broken bones – Many bones can get broken in a car accident. Besides being painful and affecting your ability to do normal daily activities, serious breaks can require surgery and result in chronic pain, infection, and even loss of function of a limb.
- Brain injuries – Car accidents are one of the main causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that can cause permanent, life-changing damage or death.
- Spinal cord injuries – Car crashes can cause spinal cord injuries that can result in paralysis or lack of sensation or functioning in some or all of your limbs.
- Loss of limbs: In catastrophic crashes, your arms or legs can be crushed or torn and damaged so severely that amputation is necessary.
Your Florida car accident attorney will examine the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries and let you know if you should file a lawsuit to recover damages.
What Compensation Can Injury Victims Get from a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you could be entitled to recover damages to compensate you for your injuries. With an automobile accident lawsuit, you could potentially pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including hospital expenses, medication, medical equipment, diagnostic procedures, treatments, office visits, and transportation to appointments
- Salary lost because of time off work due to accident injuries
- Decreased earning potential
- Physical pain, emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
In some cases, your family can also get compensated for loss of consortium if you can no longer provide the companionship, care and support you did before the accident. If you lost a family member in a fatal automobile accident, you may also be able to pursue compensation with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Get Expert Help in Clearwater with Your Florida Car Accident Claim
Making sure you achieve justice and are compensated fairly for your injuries is our main concern at Dennis Hernandez & Associates. We will use our resources, skill and knowledge to support you through the entire legal process and make sure you get the substantial compensation you deserve.
We will assure that all evidence is gathered in a timely manner to prove negligence and negotiate directly with insurance companies and attorneys on your behalf. We will build a strong case demonstrating your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the car accident and will be prepared to fight aggressively in court to get what you deserve.
Many injury lawyers will do everything in their power to settle with insurance companies and avoid going to trial, but we won’t back down and leave money on the table. We will leverage our trial experience to fight for and win the compensation you deserve.
Call us in Clearwater at 727.697.0000 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.