St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer
Since 2010, St. Petersburg’s population has grown 9.29% and continues growing every day. While this is good for the local economy and development in the area, it has led to more traffic on the roadways and more car accidents.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Crash Dashboard, approximately 400,000 car crashes occur each year in Florida, resulting in more than 250,000 injuries and 3600 fatalities. Last year, in St. Petersburg and surrounding Pinellas County alone, there were 16,459 crashes, 6,547 injury crashes and 160 fatalities on the roadways.
Serious car accident injuries can be life-altering for the injured victims and their families. Physical pain, medical procedures and loss of income can be very stressful and depressing. Uncertainty about the future and mounting medical expenses may seem to compound your difficulties. At the Dennis Hernandez law firm, the St. Petersburg car accident lawyers understand these problems and want to help.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident caused or partially caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct, we can help you overcome some of the problems you are facing. We have helped hundreds of families across Florida get justice and the full, fair financial compensation they deserve for their pain, suffering and losses and want to put our experience to work helping you.
On this webpage, we will answer questions clients commonly have about Florida car accident cases. For more specific information, please call us at 855.200.6169 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.
Can I Sue for Damages from St. Petersburg Car Accident Injuries?
If another driver’s risky or negligent driving caused or partially caused your St. Petersburg injury accident, then you may be able to sue them for damages. These damages can be both economic, such as medical expenses and lost income, and non-economic, such as pain, suffering, mental anguish and diminished capacity to enjoy life.
Florida law gives you the right to sue for damages if you have been seriously injured and you can prove the other driver was at least partially liable for the accident. Liability in Florida accident injury cases is based on the concept of negligence. That is, in order to sue another driver and hold them liable for damages from a car accident, you have to be able to demonstrate that they were negligent:
- They owed you a duty of care.
- They breached the duty of care.
- The breach of duty resulted in your being
- The injury(ies) from the driver’s breach of duty resulted in your suffering damages.
Florida law considers comparative fault when determining damages, which means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages in a negligence claim. However, the amount you receive will be reduced proportionally to the amount of fault attributed to you.
If you are considering a car accident lawsuit, you should also keep in mind that you need to file a claim within a specific time period. The statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident for a personal injury claim and two years for a wrongful death claim.
When Does the Florida No Fault Law Allow Car Accident Lawsuits?
According to Florida law, all motor vehicle operators must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover expenses for their own accident-related injuries. Since PIP insurance pays only a maximum of $10,000 for accident injury-related expenses, many expenses, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are not covered.
The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law takes this into consideration and allows people who are seriously injured in car accidents to sue negligent, at-fault drivers for damages. According to the law, serious injuries are those that:
- are permanent,
- resulted in disfigurement or scarring or
- caused the loss of important bodily functions.
Different types of injuries that could be viewed as serious include:
- Burns: Fires or explosions from car crashes can cause serious burn injuries. These injuries can result in scarring, disfigurement, pain, and/or loss of bodily functions and may require extensive and long-term medical treatments.
- Broken bones: Fractures or broken bones often occur in car accidents. These injuries can cause pain and chronic health problems, affect bodily functions and require medical treatments.
- Neck and back injuries: The sudden impact from a car crash can cause permanent damage to the discs in your neck or back.
- Traumatic Brain injuries: Car accidents are a primary cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can result in permanent, significant cognitive and physical disabilities.
- Lost limbs: When catastrophic accidents occur, your arms or legs can be severed or injured so severely that they have to be amputated.
If you or a family member were seriously injured in a car crash, you might need to sue for damages to obtain the compensation necessary to pay for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages. A Dennis Hernandez St. Petersburg car accident lawyer has the experience needed to thoroughly investigate your accident and injuries and provide expert advice you on your best course of action.
Am I Allowed to Sue the Other Driver If I Was Partially At-Fault for a Car Accident?
If your actions had a part in causing a car accident, you are still entitled to sue the other driver according to Florida’s comparative fault system for awarding damages. Under this system, the compensation you can receive for accident-related damages is reduced in proportion to the amount of your responsibility for the accident.
Qualified St. Petersburg car accident attorneys strive to protect their clients’ rights by gathering the evidence needed to demonstrate that the other driver was mainly or completely at fault for an accident. The team of experienced Dennis Hernandez car accident lawyers are committed to ensuring that their clients get the full, fair substantial compensation they deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Damages in a St. Petersburg Car Accident Case?
All parties who negligent or wrongful acts led to the accident can be held liable for damages in Florida car accident cases. In general, drivers are found to be negligent when they do not follow traffic laws and drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, speed, fail to yield the right-of-way or violate another traffic law.
Additionally, there are times when motor vehicle operators are not at fault, but rather some problem with the vehicle caused an accident. Defective parts or a design flaw can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash. Poor maintenance, especially of commercial trucks, can also lead to catastrophic accidents. In cases such as these, the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or the parts and/or the truck or fleet owner can be held liable for damages.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, Florida state law gives you the right to sue a negligent driver for damages, and you don’t need an attorney to do so. However, having an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney working for you can be very beneficial.
First, an experienced lawyer will answer your questions about the legal process, save you time and alleviate your stress. For example, your car accident lawyer will help you understand if your injury will be considered serious under Florida law; if the other driver can be considered negligent; what kind of compensation you should be entitled to for the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered because of your accident-related injury; and if there enough evidence to substantiate your claim.
In addition, the experienced Dennis Hernandez St. Petersburg car accident lawyers can expertly handle the entire legal process for you. They will:
- Thoroughly Investigate your accident and advise you on whether or not you should pursue damages from the other driver.
- Collect all the evidence needed to demonstrate negligence on the other driver’s part.
- Amass the evidence necessary to support your claim for substantial compensation.
- Protect your legal rights and make sure all the damages you have suffered are taken into consideration.
- Negotiate persistently with the other driver’s insurance company and refuse to settle for anything less than the full amount you deserve.
- Be completely prepared to fight and win at trial if a satisfactory settlement is not achieved.
- Always respond promptly to your questions and keep you updated on progress throughout the legal process.
You can reach an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at 855.200.6169 or online by filling in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website. All consultations are free.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit?
In a Florida car accident case, damages are the economic and non-economic losses you suffered because of the accident. The damages you can claim vary, depending on your physical injuries, your medical needs and the effects of your injuries and needs on your mental well-being, ability to work and participate in everyday activities and your family.
An experienced Dennis Hernandez car accident lawyer can help determine all the damages to which you may be entitled. Generally speaking, however, accident victims can pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including surgeries, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, medication, office visits, assistive devices, rehabilitative therapies and transportation to medical facilities
- Property damage
- Lost or decreased income, including diminished earning capacity in the future
- Physical impairment, disfigurement or scarring
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, depression, anxiety related to the accident and your injuries
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Your family’s loss of your guidance, assistance and companionship
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
How Much Can I Get from a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit?
The amount compensation you may be able to get from a Florida car accident lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances of your case (e.g., if you were partially responsible for the accident, the extent of your physical injuries, etc.) A Dennis Hernandez Fort Myers car accident lawyer will assess your medical condition, expenses and need for treatment and care in the future, as well as the effects of your injury on your mental state, income and family life before giving you an idea of what amount of compensation would be considered fair, given all the damages you have suffered.
The Dennis Hernandez lawyers have helped injured clients throughout Florida win multi-million-dollar awards. We will put our successful experience to work on your case to help you get the full, fair compensation you deserve.
What Should I Say to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
Following a car accident, representatives from the other driver’s insurance company will try to talk with you about the accident and your injuries. They may act concerned and friendly, but keep in mind that you need to be very careful when you talk to them because anything you say can later be used to demonstrate that you were responsible or partially responsible for the accident or that your injuries are not as bad as you claim they are.
Having an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer communicate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf can help you avoid such problems. Your lawyer will know the tactics insurance companies use to limit payment amounts and will negotiate aggressively on your behalf. When an insurance adjuster contacts you, you can just tell them that your attorney is handling all communications and will contact them. Then you do not have to be concerned about what they might ask or what you might say, and your lawyer can get started negotiating for the compensation you need.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?
For people unfamiliar with accident injury claims, handling communications with Insurance company representatives can be very confusing and frustrating. Insurance companies often try different tactics, such delaying payment or requiring more and more documentation, to get accident victims to accept low settlement offers. Unfortunately, accident victims who are struggling to make ends meet can feel pressured to accept a settlement offer when it finally comes, even if it is not sufficient to cover their medical expenses.
An experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer can help you avoid this situation altogether. Dennis Hernandez lawyers are experienced negotiators who know how to deal effectively with insurance companies. We do not back down and accept offers until our clients have fair settlements to cover all of their damages. Moreover, if insurance companies do not come to the table with a fair settlement offer, we are always prepared to go to court to fight for justice and win the fair award our clients deserve.
When Should I Hire a St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer?
It is a good idea to seek help from an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Doing so will give your attorney time to collect essential evidence and file a claim to achieve the results you want.
The car accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez have many years of experience helping injured clients win the settlements or awards they need and deserve. We are experienced, skilled negotiators and litigators who don’t back down until we get the results our clients want.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay anything to hire us. Our expert legal advice and services are free until you get the compensation you need.
How Do I Select a St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer?
When selecting a car accident lawyer, you should look for experience, a record of success, and a commitment to fighting for justice. Many lawyers say they are committed to leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, but only a few have years of successful experience helping clients get the full, fair financial compensation they deserve.
The Dennis Hernandez lawyers have been helping injured clients throughout Florida for over twenty-five years. We have achieved multi-million-dollar awards for our seriously injured clients and are committed to putting our experience, skill and resources to work fighting for the compensation you deserve.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Petersburg?
Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay anything until you secure the compensation you deserve. After you are awarded the substantial settlement or court award you deserve, your lawyer will accept a fee for representing you. The terms of this fee will be agreed upon up front so you will know what to expect.
Contact Experienced St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyers Today to Get the Legal Advice and Help You Need
The aftermath of a car accident can be devastating for people who are seriously injured. You may need extensive medical treatment, experience chronic pain and be unable to work or do many of things you used to do. Unfortunately, your difficulties can be increased by medical bills, financial hardship and having to submit insurance forms.
During these difficult times, talking with an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer can help put your mind at ease. The trusted Dennis Hernandez attorneys can handle insurance company representatives and paperwork, collect the evidence needed to win your case and help you get the substantial compensation you need for your injuries, pain, suffering and losses.
Some personal injury lawyers do everything they can to settle with insurance companies and avoid going to court. In contrast, Dennis Hernandez lawyers never back down. We will be well prepared take your case to court and fight to win the award you deserve. Partnering with us means getting the powerful advocacy and successful experience you need throughout the entire legal process.
To talk with an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer and get started on your case, call us at 855.200.6169 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website.