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Seek Experienced Legal Help For Your Florida Car Accident Claim

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents. In many cases, these accidents are preventable, because they are caused by the negligence of other drivers.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence in Pasco, Hernando or Sumter counties, you should not have to shoulder the high costs associated with your injuries. Instead, contact Karatinos Law, PLLC. Attorney Keeley Karatinos fights for the injured and is ready to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Florida’s Unique Car Accident Laws

In Florida, you must report a car accident to law enforcement if it involves injuries, deaths, or property damage exceeding $500. The report should be made to the local police, county sheriff, or the Florida Highway Patrol.

Florida follows a “no-fault” insurance system. This means that after a car accident, each party’s insurance company is generally responsible for covering their own medical expenses and certain economic damages, regardless of who caused the accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory for all drivers.

Florida also has a 14-day accident law requiring car accident victims to seek medical care within 14 days of the crash. This law includes getting an evaluation and treatment. You must get medical care within 14 days to file a PIP insurance claim. While the state has a no-fault system, there is a “serious injury threshold” that allows accident victims to seek compensation beyond their PIP coverage. If a person sustains a significant and permanent injury, disfigurement, or disability, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for additional damages.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit related to a car accident is generally four years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

What if You Were Partially at Fault For The Crash?

Florida follows a pure comparative fault rule, meaning that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 20% at fault and awarded $10,000, your final compensation would be $8,000.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Car accidents can occur due to a variety of negligent behaviors on the part of another driver. The most common types of car accidents are caused by:

  • Drunk driving: Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common causes of car accidents. In fact, drunk driving is the leading cause of all fatal car accidents.
  • Speeding: Driving while speeding is the second leading cause of fatal car accidents.
  • Distracted driving: Cellphone use, texting, and other forms of distracted driving are the third leading cause of fatal car accidents.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving is a leading cause of car accidents, especially among teens.
  • Drowsy driving: Drowsy driving is a leading cause of car accidents, especially among teens.
  • Tailgating: Tailgating is a leading cause of car accidents, especially among teens.
  • Failure to obey traffic laws: Driving while intoxicated and driving while distracted are both examples of driving while breaking the law.

In order to recover compensation for your injuries, you must prove that the driver who caused your accident was negligent. To prove negligence, you must show that the driver owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty, that the breach caused the accident, and that the accident resulted in injuries. If you can prove that the driver was negligent, you can recover compensation for your injuries. You can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

When you hire Keeley as your attorney, she can handle communications with the insurance agency, help you document evidence of your accident and injuries, advise you on what legal steps to take and lead negotiations to ensure that you get a proper settlement

What Should You Do Immediately After a Crash?

A car accident can be a distressing experience, and knowing what steps to take immediately following the incident is crucial to protect your rights and well-being. Here are the essential steps to follow:

  • Check for injuries: First and foremost, check for injuries, both in your vehicle and the other involved vehicles. Seek immediate medical attention for anyone injured.
  • Call the police: It’s essential to report the accident to law enforcement. They will create an accident report, which can be valuable for insurance claims and legal purposes.
  • Exchange information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers. Obtain names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance policy details.
  • Document the scene: Use your smartphone or a camera to take photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
  • Witness information: If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information as well. Their statements may be crucial in determining liability.
  • Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be honest and accurate when describing the incident.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t believe you are seriously injured, it’s advisable to seek a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not manifest immediately.
  • Preserve evidence: Keep all records related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies.
  • Follow medical advice: Adhere to your health care provider’s recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation. This demonstrates your commitment to your recovery and may be vital for any potential legal claims.

Finally, you should consult an attorney who is highly experienced in personal injury law. If you’ve sustained significant injuries or face disputes with insurance companies, it’s wise to consult an experienced car accident attorney. They can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.

Contact a Lawyer Who Will Protect Your Rights and Preserve Your Legal Options

After a car accident, you may be overwhelmed by the medical bills, missed wages, and other damages you have suffered. You may not know where to begin. You may not have the resources to fight for the compensation you deserve. Thankfully, Karatinos Law, PLLC, is ready to help. The firm offers free initial consultations to all prospective clients. To schedule yours, call 352-405-0537 or reach out online.