Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer
In the past twenty years, Florida has experienced both explosive population growth and significant expansion of the tourism industry. Both of these factors have been great for the economy and development throughout the state. However, having thousands of additional people here has also led to problems on the roadways, including heavy traffic, more car accidents and increased car accident injuries and fatalities.
Data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that fatalities on our roadways increased by 54%, from 2,400 to 3,707, in the past ten years, and each year, more than 250,000 people are hurt in accidents. Last year in Polk County alone, 9,111 people were injured in crashes and 155 died because of their injuries.
Undoubtedly, car accident injuries can be devastating for the injured victims and their families. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a car accident, you may be facing overwhelming difficulties and losses and not know what to do. The Lakeland Dennis Hernandez car accident lawyers understand this and want to help. We have helped hundreds of car accident victims throughout Florida and can put our experience and legal expertise to work helping you get the financial compensation you need and deserve.
On this page, we are going to try to answer general questions you may have about Lakeland car accident cases. For specific information about your individual case, please call us at 855-529-3366 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website. All consultations and advice are free, and you pay nothing until we win your case.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accident Cases in Lakeland
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Lakeland, you may have many questions and concerns about your future, insurance coverage and lawsuits. On this web page, we have provided answers to common questions about these topics to give you a general understanding of your current situation and legal options. Talking with an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer is, however, recommended to help you decide on your best course of action.
In Florida, motor vehicle operators have to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own accident-related injuries. This insurance provides a maximum of $10,000, so some injury-related expenses and lost income, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, will not be covered.
When car accident injuries are serious, the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law allows accident victims to bring lawsuits to obtain fair compensation for their medical expenses, other economic losses and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. According to the law, serious injuries are those that are permanent, resulted in disfigurement or scarring or caused the loss of important bodily functions. Examples of injuries that could be considered serious include:
- Traumatic Brain injuries: Car crashes are a major cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries can cause significant and permanent cognitive and physical disabilities.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries cause loss of function and/or sensation and can be permanently disabling.
- Broken bones: Broken and fractured bones are very common in car accidents. They can cause pain, affect bodily functions, require surgery or other medical treatments, and cause chronic health problems.
- Neck and back injuries: The sudden impact of a collision can permanently injure the discs in your neck or back. The damage can get worse over time and could necissitate surgeries and other medical treatments.
- Burns: If an accident causes a fire or explosion, people in the vehicles may suffer serious burns. These burns can cause scarring, disfigurement, pain, and/or loss of bodily functions and may require extensive and long-term medical treatments.
- Lost limbs: In catastrophic accidents, a person’s arms or legs can be severed or injured so severely that they have to be amputated.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Lakeland car accident, you may need to bring a lawsuit for damages to get compensated fairly for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages. An experienced Dennis Hernandez Lakeland car accident lawyer can review what happened in your accident and let you know if you are eligible for this kind of lawsuit.
If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by another driver’s risky driving or driver negligence, then you may be able to sue the other driver for damages, including financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost income, pain, suffering, mental anguish and other damages recoverable under Florida law. However, you have to be able to demonstrate negligence on the other driver’s part. That is, you have to be able to show that
- The other driver owed you a duty of care. Anyone operating a motor vehicle in Florida owes those with whom they share the roads a duty of care. They have a legal duty to abide by the state’s traffic laws and drive safely.
- The driver breached this duty of care. If drivers are negligent or reckless, as in speeding, driving while distracted or driving while intoxicated, they have breached their duty of care.
- The breach of duty resulted in your being injured. When negligent or reckless driving behaviors lead to an injury accident, the negligent or reckless driver can be found to be at fault for the accident.
- Because of the harm resulting from the driver’s breach of duty, you suffered damages. Damages resulting from the driver’s negligent or reckless driving can be economic, such as medical expenses and lost income, and non-economic, such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, diminished capacity to enjoy life and other damages recoverable under Florida law,
Florida law allows you to sue another driver even if you were partially responsible for the accident. That is, partial fault does not prevent you from recovering damages related to an accident. However, the amount of compensation you can receive is reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to you.
If you are thinking about bringing a car accident lawsuit, you should keep in mind that you must file within a specific time period after the accident. Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) gives you four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim if you were injured in an accident and two years to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was fatally injured.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in the Lakeland area, Florida law allows you to sue the at-fault driver for damages, and you do not have to have a lawyer to do so. However, an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complicated legal process and obtain the full compensation you deserve.
The Dennis Hernandez Lakeland car accident lawyers can answer any questions you have about the process of filing a Florida car accident lawsuit, help you determine the best course of action, given the circumstances of your case, and expertly manage the case through the entire legal process so you can focus on recovering. As your lawyers, we will:
- Review the specific circumstances of your accident and advise you on whether you are eligible to sue for damages.
- Negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Amass the evidence needed to show the other driver was negligent.
- Gather the evidence necessary to establish the full value of your damages and support your claim for compensation.
- Advise you on whether you should accept a settlement offer.
- Be well prepared to win at trial if it becomes necessary to fight in court in order to get you the full, fair compensation you deserve.
- Protect your rights throughout the entire legal process.
- Keep you informed of progress on your case and respond promptly to any questions about it you may have.
The Dennis Hernandez Lakeland car accident lawyers are here to answer specific questions about your case. Please call us at 855-529-3366 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to talk with an experienced attorney. Your consultations with us are free, and you pay nothing until we win your case.
Liability in car accident cases is based on the concept of negligence. That is, the person or persons who breached their duty of reasonable care can be held liable for damages. Usually, people involved in car accidents are considered negligent when they do not follow traffic laws or are not driving safely due to distractions or fatigue.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the main cause of accidents is risky driving behaviors, including:
- Drunk Driving – responsible for more than 10,000 fatalities a year.
- Drug-impaired Driving – associated with more than 50% of the drivers involved in serious injury accidents.
- Speeding – responsible for almost 9,500 deaths each year.
- Drowsy Driving – responsible for approximately 700 fatalities per year.
- Distracted Driving – responsible for causing more than 3,000 deaths each year.
Some accidents are, however, caused by defective parts in cars and other motor vehicles. In these cases, the vehicle manufacturer, parts manufacturer or mechanic who did not repair or replace a part properly can be held liable.
Also, if you were negligent in some way and partially responsible for the accident, then you could be held partially liable. In a case such as this, you can still sue the other party for damages but the amount you can collect is decreased in proportion to the amount of fault that can be attributed to you.
Personal injury lawsuits for Florida car accident injuries enable accident victims to recover damages for the economic and non-economic losses they suffered because of the accident. The specific damages you can claim depend on many factors, such as your physical injuries, healthcare needs, prognosis and the effects of those injuries and needs on your emotional well-being, ability to work, capacity to enjoy life and ability to fulfill your family’s need for companionship, support and guidance.
An experienced Dennis Hernandez Lakeland car accident lawyer can help determine all the damages you may be able to recover. However, in general, Florida accident victims can pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, depression, anxiety related to the accident and your injuries
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Property damage
- Lost wages and other income, including diminished earning capacity in the future
- All medical and care expenses, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medication, diagnostic tests, office visits, assistive devices, equipment, rehabilitative therapies and transportation to medical facilities
- Physical impairment, disfigurement or scarring
- Your family’s loss of your guidance, assistance and companionship
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
The compensation you can recover with a Florida car accident lawsuit depends many different factors (e.g., Were you partially responsible for the accident? How seriously were you injured? Have you been able to return to work? What kind of medical care will you need in the future?). One of our experienced Lakeland car accident lawyers will be able to assess your medical expenses and need for treatment and care in the future, as well as the effects of your injury on your mental well-being, income and family life. Then we will have a better picture of the amount of compensation that would be considered fair, given all the damages you have suffered.
Our legal team has helped clients throughout Florida win multi-million-dollar awards. We will put our successful experience to work for you, helping you get the full, fair compensation you deserve.
The other driver’s insurance company will try to talk with you sometime after the accident to ask you about the accident and your injuries. The questions and conversation may seem friendly, but you have to be careful about saying anything that could later be used to show that you were responsible or partially responsible for the accident or that your injuries are not as bad as you are claiming they are. Anything you say to an adjuster or other insurance company representative can potentially be used to cast doubt on your claim and decrease or deny your compensation.
Having an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer communicate with the other driver’s insurance company can be very helpful in avoiding problems and miscommunications. We know how insurance companies work and are prepared to negotiate aggressively for the full settlement you deserve.
Simply tell insurance company representatives that your attorney will contact them and do not talk with them about the accident. In that way, you do not have to be worried about what you say or don’t say. You can let your lawyer handle everything and negotiate with the insurance company for the full compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, so they typically attempt to pay out as little as possible. For car accident victims, this usually means low settlement offers. Sadly, people who have been injured in car accidents who may be struggling to pay their bills can feel pressured to accept these offers, even if they do not cover their medical expenses sufficiently.
Our Lakeland car accident attorneys can help you avoid this unfortunate situation. We are skilled negotiators who know how to deal with insurance companies. The companies know that we do not back down until our clients have fair settlements to cover all of their damages. If they don’t offer a fair settlement amount, we are always well prepared to fight for justice in court and win a fair award.
It is wise to contact an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your consultation with an experienced Dennis Hernandez car accident lawyer is free, and getting started early will give your legal team ample time to amass the evidence needed to prepare and file a winning claim.
The Dennis Hernandez legal team has years of experience helping injured clients win the full settlements or awards they deserve. We are proven litigators who will not back down until we get the results our clients want, and our advice and legal services are free until you get the compensation you need.
Hiring a Lakeland car accident lawyer will not cost you anything. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay anything until we help you obtain the compensation you deserve. After you are awarded the settlement or court award, we will accept the previously agreed upon fee for representing you.
When selecting a lawyer, you should look for a firm’s experience, successes, commitment to clients and passion for justice. Most law firms will say they provide high quality service and leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, but only a few have the years of experience and record of success Dennis Hernandez does in helping injured clients get the full, fair financial compensation they deserve.
Our lawyers have many years of experience successfully helping injured clients throughout Florida. We communicate often with our clients, answering all of their questions, responding to their concerns and making sure they know about the progress we’re making on their case. With persistence and a commitment to pursuing justice, we have achieved multi-million-dollar awards for our seriously injured clients and will put our experience, commitment and skill to work fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Get High Quality Legal Help after a Lakeland Car Accident Injury
Car accident injuries can be devastating for those injured and their families. Medical treatment and follow-up care, coupled with pain, suffering and the inability to do everything you used to do, can make everyday life difficult. Sadly, your difficulties may be compounded by having to worry about medical bills and insurance forms.
The experienced Dennis Hernandez Lakeland car accident lawyers understand these difficulties and can put your mind at ease. We know how to handle insurance company representatives, get the evidence needed to win your case, and help you obtain the full amount you need to compensate you for your medical expenses, pain, suffering and losses.
Many personal injury lawyers in Florida try to settle with insurance companies out of court so they do not have to go to trial. Not Dennis Hernandez lawyers! We never back down. We are experienced trial lawyers who will fight for the full compensation you deserve. Partnering with us means getting the powerful representation you need throughout the entire legal process.
Please call us at 855-529-3366 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on this page to discuss your case with an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer and get the advice you need.