Car Accident in Palm Beach County
The car accident attorneys at the West Palm Beach Law Office of Roger P. Foley provide representation for seriously injured car crash victims, and to loved ones of those injured fatally. Our car wreck lawyers recognize that victims dealing with incapacitating injuries are overwhelmed physically and financially. Our auto accident attorneys can help ease that stress so you may concentrate on healing from your collision injuries. We understand that you were just involved in car accident and we understand the sooner you contact a car accident lawyer, the better prepared you will be to make a claim against the negligent party and their insurance company.
- How We Determine If You Have A Car Accident Lawsuit
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- Two Major Problems Faced By Car Accident Victims
- Top Five Reasons To Hire A Palm Beach County Car Accident Lawyer
- Comparative Negligence And How It Affects Your Car Accident Case
- Traffic Ticket after the accident? You may still file an Accident Claim
- What Are The Different Types Of Compensation For A Car Accident?
- What Are The Most Common Injuries In Automobile (Car) Accidents?
- Types Of Auto Accidents
You have questions about your car accident and are not sure what to do next, our accident claim lawyers are here to assist you in determining whether you have a car accident negligence claim against the other driver. We will acquire the police report and find out if the other driver(s) have insurance coverage. Simply call our personal injury law firm in West Palm Beach to determine if you have a possible car accident lawsuit.To Determine If You Have A Car Accident Lawsuit We Will Ask The Following:
- Date of Accident?
- How did the accident occur?
- Who’s fault was the accident?
- Did the police cite anyone for a traffic infraction or traffic criminal offense?
- What injuries did you receive from the car crash?
- Did you immediately go to the hospital? What hospital?
- Have you seen any specialists outside the hospital? If so, what are their names?
- Who is your insurance carrier? Do you have underinsured motorist coverage?
- Is surgery required for your injuries?
- Did you receive a police report or card with an accident case number?
After we receive the answers to you questions and contact information, we will determine the following:
- Insurance coverage
Liability is determined by who caused the accident. If you were stopped at a traffic light and rear ended then liability is clear. However, an accident on I 95 involving several cars may be more difficult to determine and issues of comparative negligence may need to be litigated.
Damages are determined by the injury and treatment required. Damages include past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Insurance coverage is determined by the policy limits. Many people have cheap policies and not much coverage. Polices can be as low as $10,000 for personal vehicle to several million on commercial vehicles. Again, if it it’s a two-car collision then it can be determined easily by contacting the insurance company. Insurance companies are obligated to respond with policy coverages within 30 days.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Florida, there is an additional insurance coverage referred to as “UM Coverage”. Uninsured Motorist coverage pays for injuries of anybody injured in your car, if the person that caused the injuries has no insurance or is under insured. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, and have a broken leg that requires surgery you case may be worth 150k. However, if the at fault or negligent driver does not have insurance or only 10k of insurance, but your injury is worth $150k then you get nothing or a maximum of 10k. 10k does not help a lot when you have 50k in medical fees. Uninsured motorist coverage fixes this problem. If you have 300k in UM coverage, now your attorney can seek to recover the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. This is for bodily injury protection only, not property damage to your car.
If you want to properly protect yourself in case of an accident, request this type of coverage from your insurance company. Uninsured or under insured coverage costs a little extra but it can help you immensely, if injured. If the other party is not insured or underinsured then you can collect from your own insurance company to pay for your injuries. Insurance companies rarely offer UM coverage, you need to specifically request this coverage. Do not hesitate to contact West Palm beach Accident Attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley at (561) 746-7076.
Two Major Problems Faced By Car Accident Victims Include:
- Loss of employment and the ability to secure other types of jobs
- Lifestyle changes and the ability to pursue your dreams are lessened
When faced with these two major problems a car accident victim is likely overwhelmed. An insurance adjuster may be reaching out to offer a small settlement and you need to have your medical bills paid as quickly as possible, but accepting a quick settlement will not fix the problem. This is why you want to seek out the best car accident attorneys in your area. A top-rated accident lawyer in Palm Beach County may better your situation by acquiring the most amount of financial compensation possible, thereby bringing some relief to a tough situation. If the insurance carrier has a one-million-dollar policy limit and you have serious injuries then accepting their offer of $100,000 is not justice. If you have a serious car accident injury and you suffered said injury from a rear end collision then it’s important that your attorney representing you for your car crash understands the extent of your injuries and demands the maximum amount on your case.Act Now! Contact Your West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney
- Statute of limitations is 4 years on a car accident case in Florida.
- Medical treatment is essential to your case
- Work to be done by attorney
- Investigation required
Speaking with your West Palm Beach car accident attorney will lead you to a better result. If you are injured in a car crash, contact our office to discuss your options regarding your Florida car accident case. Call us today, we offer free, no-obligation consultations! (561) 746-7076
Top Five Reasons To Hire A Palm Beach County Car Accident Lawyer
1. Your Injuries May Not Be So Minor
Often people call our office and tell us that they were involved in a car accident months or years ago. At the time they believed the injury was minor. They reported a few scrapes and bruises. They felt a little stiff. However, they did not seek medical treatment. They “toughed it out.” As time progressed, the injury became more apparent. When they eventually decided to seek see their doctor further treatment was needed. For example, a gentleman was involved in an accident and suffered a whiplash injury. He was in pain for few days and then the pain went away. About 6 months later, he was lifting a box from shelf and he felt immense pain. He was taken to the hospital, though x-ray and an MRI it was discovered that he had a broken neck. When he attempted to make a claim, it was denied because the insurance company knew that a jury would be unable to determine when the injury occurred. Hence, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. In the example, the injury sustained required surgery something that would have been covered had he sought an immediate medical assistance after the accident. This gentleman knew in his heart that the injury was a result of the car accident, however his claim was denied by insurance. The surgery required would be out-of-pocket or through his own health insurance. Do not hesitate! Seek treatment and contact your West Palm Beach car accident attorneys now. The Law Office of Roger P. Foley will investigate your car accident, determine the insurance coverage and advise you of your options and the best way to proceed.
2. Your Injuries May Become More Serious
If you accept a quick settlement from your car accident injuries, and it later becomes evident that you need more medical attention or possibly surgery, you will not be able to receive additional money from the insurance company. This is a major factor in seeking representation for your accident injury from a qualified car accident claim attorney in Palm Beach County. An accident lawyer will advise you to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries before accepting an offer. The first visit to the emergency room or to your physician may not initially determine your full injuries. Again, if you settle with insurance too quickly and something is later determined to be caused by the accident, you may be unable to recover.
3. Don’t Lose The Ability To Receive Compensation For “Pain And Suffering”
Insurance companies may reach out to a car accident victim to offer a settlement. They do this because the moment you hire a car accident attorney their pockets may empty. If you accept a settlement offer, it may not include compensation for your suffering. Insurance companies take advantage of non-represented victims. An experienced personal injury accident lawyer will understand what a potential jury may award and use that information to ensure that you receive a more complete settlement offer. Your lawyer is an expert in negotiation and insurers will take your claim more seriously when you are represented by a top car accident injury attorney. Insurance companies and their adjusters will often reach deeper in their pockets when they know the Car accident law firm will not hesitate to go to trial. Having a trial is costly for them too. Choosing your car accident lawyer wisely may help you acquire the most for your injuries, including pain and suffering.
4. Mistakenly Believing Having The Same Insurance Company Will Make Things Easier
Many people believe that if you both have the same insurance company that it will be quicker and easier to make a receive compensation from the accident claim. Many believe that their years of loyalty to a particular insurance company will translate to them looking out for the best interest of the insured. The best interest of the insurance company, making money, is in direct contrast with your goal. You want to get paid for your injuries. The insurance company wants to pay you as little as they can to make you go away. You see the conflict. A car accident attorney will represent your interest in a claim for injuries. That same accident attorney will communicate with your doctors so that the full extent of your injuries are known and what treatment is needed in the future. This is important as you may need treatment years in the future and that has to be considered to determine the correct amount of compensation.
5. Take Back Your Life While Your Car Accident Attorney Works For You
Once you make your request for damages, the other side will be doing their best to diminish the value of your claims. If you chose to negotiate with an insurance company alone, you will be facing tough insurance adjusters that have years of experience and training on their sides. Insurance companies don’t hire pushover types to negotiate. They bring in aggressive people that are articulate and they train them to be ruthless. They don’t care that it was their client’s fault, they will try their best to persuade you to take a lesser amount for your injuries. The Law Office of Roger P. Foley will fight for your best interests while you are putting your life back together. You will putting the accident behind you, finding out what you next best step is and determining what positive changes are needed to live your best life. While you are making the changes the car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley will be in the trenches fighting for you.
Comparative Negligence And How It Affects Your Car Accident Case
In Palm Beach County and throughout Florida, comparative negligence is the rule of law. In layman’s terms comparatively negligent means that the accident was partially your fault. For example, you are the plaintiff in a negligence lawsuit, you are alleging negligence on the part of the other driver; that negligence caused your injuries. If your injuries are awarded $1,000,000.00 by the jury and you had no comparative negligence you would receive a jury award for the full amount. If however, the jury found that you were speeding (contributory negligence), and apportioned twenty (20) percent of the cause of the accident to your speeding, they would grant you $800,000 in compensation. An experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney will investigate and determine if the other side will be able to claim comparative negligence in good faith. Additionally, the best car accident lawyer will work to minimize the amount of comparative negligence to ensure you receive the best financial settlement.
Don’t Assume Because Police Gave you a Ticket That You Don’t Have an Accident Claim
When determining whether or not you have a good car accident case, don’t guess or assume, consult with lawyers that handle car accidents. Remember, the consultation is free.
Here are two things you may not know about car accident cases in Florida:1. Accident Report Privilege In Florida
Anything said to a police officer during a vehicle crash investigation cannot be used against the declarant (the person speaking to the police officer) in either a criminal or civil lawsuit. See Florida Statutes 316.066(4):
(4) Except as specified in this subsection, each crash report made by a person involved in a crash and any statement made by such person to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of completing a crash report required by this section shall be without prejudice to the individual so reporting. Such report or statement may not be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal. However, subject to the applicable rules of evidence, a law enforcement officer at a criminal trial may testify as to any statement made to the officer by the person involved in the crash if that person’s privilege against self-incrimination is not violated. The results of breath, urine, and blood tests administered as provided in s. 316.1932 or s. 316.1933 are not confidential and are admissible into evidence in accordance with the provisions of s. 316.1934(2).2. Receiving A Traffic Ticket Can’t Stop You From Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
A lot of people are under the impression that if they receive a traffic ticket or traffic citation in Florida, after an accident that they are barred from bringing a lawsuit for their injuries but that is false. A jury will never hear about your traffic ticket in your car accident case. The reason the jury is not allowed to hear this information goes back to the accident report privilege above. The jury after hearing all admissible evidence will determine the facts of the case. The jury is the ultimate fact finder.
What Are The Different Types Of Compensation For A Car Accident?
The Law Office of Roger P. Foley and its car accident attorneys will work to make sure all bills are paid. Everything from the first hospital bill and ambulance ride, to visits with various specialists, x-rays, MRI, CT scans to physical therapy, chiropractic and medication. Future medical treatment may also be collected.
You may be entitled to recover all of your lost wages while you recuperate from your accident injuries. The possibility of reimbursement for future lost wages is also a possibility depending on the extent of your injuries and your ability to re-enter the work place. If you can no longer perform the job you had at the time of the accident, because of the accident, you can sue for loss of future wages.
Pain and Suffering
You deserve to be paid for pain and suffering. Prior to the car accident, you were doing really well and your health was not an issue. You could enjoy your daily life. Your life has now been changed! You can’t participate in things that you could prior to the accident. Simple things like getting dressed maybe extremely difficult or impossible. You need to be compensated for the physical pain and mental anguish that you now suffer as a result of the accident.
Deprivation of Family Relationship/ Loss Consortium
In car accidents that result in permanent disability or death, the family of the injured may be able to obtain financial compensation for loss of companionship or a reduced quality of life. Loss of consortium can be awarded to a spouse that has lost the company, cooperation and aid of the other. The Court in Gates v. Foley, 247 So.2d 40 (1971) defined loss of consortium, as “ the companionship and fellowship of husband and wife and the right of each to the company, cooperation and aid of the other in every conjugal relation. Consortium means much more than mere sexual relation and consists, also, of that affection, solace, comfort, companionship, conjugal life, fellowship, society and assistance so necessary to a successful marriage.” To break it down in non-legal terms. If as a result of the injuries you have any of the following you may have a claim for loss of consortium:
- A broken marriage
- Loss of companionship
- Less sex
- Inability to produce children
With all car accidents there is vehicle damage to the to the cars. Whether it can be repaired or if the vehicle is a total loss, you deserve to be reimbursed for your loss. If your car can be repaired, its resale value is diminished. If you a have a luxury car and its carfax shows a major accident you will lose thousands in resale value; you should be compensated for that. Additionally, your rental car, while your car is being repaired, may be claimed as an out-of-pocket expense that you can be compensated for. Lastly, if your personal items within the car were destroyed, i.e., a laptop is broken as a result of the accident then you may be reimbursed for that as an out-of-pocket expense. It’s worth mentioning that Florida law prohibits a split action. Meaning, you cannot have two separate legal cases, one for injury and one for property damage, so they must be claimed in the same lawsuit.
What Are The Most Common Injuries In Automobile (Car) Accidents?
Back and Neck Injuries
The human body is not intended to withstand high impact crashes. A car collision may cause a heavy impact to your neck and spine that results from a simple neck sprain to paralysis. Whiplash, for example, may result in herniated disks and intense pain. One problem with back and neck injuries are that you may or may not experience symptoms, such as tenderness, stiffness, tingling, and pain immediately. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the extent of your injuries. If you have any symptoms after a car accident you need to be examined by a doctor promptly to begin treatment and to sufficiently document your injuries for your personal injury case.
There are many types of head injuries, some more serious than others. Spinning around in a vehicle and/or having multiple points of impact can cause your head to radically change direction causing back and neck injuries. While your head is being thrown around it can collide with various parts of the car. The sudden impact can cause your brain to collide with your skull and result in swelling of the brain and other types of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury is quite serious and can result in long term cognitive impairment. Less impactful head injuries may result in cuts and bruises or a slight concussion.
It is possible to have a slip and fall and break a bone but it’s even more likely to break a bone or multiple bones during a car wreck. Often orthopedic surgery will be required to repair the bone(s) and rod and screw placement are often used to straighten the bone and allow corrective healing. Many Palm Beach car accident victims find themselves with broken bones after their car crash. When a bone breaks it often causes pain, swelling or deformity. Sometimes the victim will hear the snap of the bone or see the bone protruding through the skin. Other times, it may be a hairline fracture or stress fracture that has little swelling. Again, it’s important to seek medical attention as onset of pain may not occur for hours or days after your accident.
When the human body becomes a pin ball inside a vehicle due to a crash you may suffer a multitude of different injuries, one common injury is a herniated disk. A herniated disk is where one of the disks of your vertebrae become misaligned or some of the cushion between may bulge out causing pressure on the nerves. This often results in numbness in your extremities and sometime pain. A herniated disk can be a continued dull pain or a sharp pain that prevents you from moving. If you have any symptoms, it’s important that you allow a medical professional to examine you as soon as possible after the accident. Do not delay. Delay will likely cause you more suffering and will hamper your accident claim.
One of the most catastrophic injuries from a car crash is the loss of a limb. In a car accident, a vehicle may rollover and a limb may receive a crushing/severing impact. A severed limb may be re-attached but in some cases the limb is no longer viable meaning that blood supply is halted and the limb cannot receive a proper blood supply and must be amputated. Although it can happen to the driver, studies suggest that passengers have a higher probability of amputation during automobile accidents because they are less focused on the road and potential hazards. For example, a passenger resting his or her arm on the window sill may suffer this type of injury. A traumatic amputation is a lifelong disability that has an enormous emotional impact on the victim.
During a car accident, a vehicle occupant, may be burned by the airbag deployment, car fire, contact with an electrical pole and /or exposure to burning batteries that contain extremely flammable chemicals. There are four levels of burn injuries.
- The most sever is a fourth degree and it is potentially life threatening. It burns not only your skin but also muscles and tendons.
- Third degree burns destroy two layers of skin wherein the skin appears black. This type of burn is often referred to as “full thickness burn”.
- A second-degree burn is what many people think of when referring to a burn. The skin is red and may blister indicating that the dermis lawyer of skin is damaged. It is also possible to have a “partial thickness burn” that causes the skin to change color but not as dark as the full thickness burn described above.
- Lastly, a first degree is comparable to a bad sunburn. The skin will appear very red and may be painful but usually does not blister.
- In the age of electric automobiles, we are seeing articles regarding electrical battery fires and burn victims face a difficult recovery that often includes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).
- Chemical burns are extremely serious and the NTSB recently, in 2021, determined that there is a genuine safety risk to motorist of electric cars and first responders as batteries on these automobiles ignite. NTSB provided guidelines on how to extinguish these types of fires. Batteries have been known to reignite after extinguish possibly causing more damages to persona and structures.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
PTSD is emotional and not a physical injury but it is real. A victim of a car accident can be so overwhelming to a person that they continue experience the traumatic effects of the accident many years after the crash. The emotional feeling can be so strong that it affects daily activities going forward. A bang or loud noise can cause emotional reactions, negative mood changes, dark memories in everyday situations. The person affected feels helpless. Many avoid driving for fear of another accident. Others have reoccurring nightmares about the accident and their injuries. For a more complete list of PTSD symptoms click here.
Wrongful Death in Car Accident Cases
When a life is lost in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by the legal fault of another it is referred to as a wrongful death. Claims can be brought against the other driver or business that caused the negligence. For example, if a delivery truck driver working for a supermarket chain was driving erratically and negligently caused the accident, the company employing the driver can be sued. Wrongful death cases are generally brought by the immediate family, parents, spouse, and children. Siblings can also bring legal action in Florida. In a wrongful death case, the survivors are dealing a with emotional turmoil. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations in Florida for wrongful death is two (2) years. We understand that you need time to mourn your family member but it’s essential that you contact a wrongful death attorney in Palm Beach County. Clearly, no amount of financial compensation can bring back this person nor ease your pain, however a wrongful death lawyer will seek a measure of justice in terms of financial compensation so that your family is not financially burdened.
Types Of Auto Accidents
Driving under the Influence
An impaired driver is more likely to be involved in an accident. While intoxicated, their ability to drive an automobile is diminished. Their negligence in operating a motor vehicle can cause you injuries. Although reports and statements made during the accident are protected by the accident report privilege, criminal reports are admissible in determining civil liability. A driver with a .08 breath alcohol level and /or whose normal faculties are impaired are not automatically considered at fault but this information is extremely important in your car accident case.
A distracted driver is one that is not paying attention to driving but is preoccupied with something else. Today, many people use electronic gadgets while driving. They may be texting, talking on phone, watching videos, checking their emails or looking at online maps. It is not only phones but drivers may also be distracted by children, pets or other distractions in their car. All of these are distractions can and often lead to a car accident. Their failure to stay distraction free has caused you serious injury.
Careless or reckless driving
Speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and tailgating may all be considered careless driving. These actions may lead to a higher chance of being involved in a car accident. A distracted driver can also be considered careless. A reckless driver knows or should know that their actions are likely to result in an accident. For example, driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit is reckless and is a misdemeanor in Florida. Weaving in and out of traffic on I95 or the Florida turnpike is dangerous and can also be considered reckless. When someone is driving in a careless or reckless manner in Palm Beach County and collide with your car, they may be liable for your injuries and loss of property.
Many people exceed the speed limit by a few miles per hour over, it’s not uncommon for the average driver to do 45 mph in a 40 mile an hour zone. A few miles over the speed limit may not seem serious but when introduced into an accident claim it may reduce your negligence claim. See comparative negligence Speeding has been identified as a leading contributor of car accidents in Florida.
Failure to maintain one’s vehicle can lead to a car accident. Tires, for example can be expensive to replace and one may think they can get away with another month or two without replacing the tires. The tires may be ok for dry conditions but in Florida rain storms, it may not supply the necessary traction to stay on the roadway. Thus, maintenance of a vehicle is very important. This is why the department of transportation continuously inspects tractor trailers for mechanical defects. These trucks are driven countless miles and mechanical failure of any vehicle results in a higher risk of being in an accident.
A driver’s vision is affected negatively at night. Focusing on objects becomes more difficult. It can be from a low visibility situation or simply being tired. In low visibility situations you may not have enough time to react to prevent an accident. On the other hand, you may have worked long hours and are sleepy. These are both major contributors to night time car accidents. Additionally, many night time drivers say that they are affected by the glare of other vehicles headlights. The glare of the upcoming vehicle can decrease your peripheral vison and cause you to miss a vehicle, pedestrian or animal coming from the side.
Law Office Of Roger P Foley Can Help With Your Car Accident Injury In Palm Beach County, Florida
You have been harmed by the negligence of the other driver, the medical bills will soon arrive, you can’t return to work and you are overwhelmed by it all. That is why you are searching for the best auto accident lawyers for a free consultation. Once retained our injury claim lawyers will begin working on your financial settlement or start prepping for a trial. We understand your legal and financial situation and are here to assist you in your injury claim. If you are a victim of a car accident, contact our personal injury law firm located at 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 1555, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33401. Call us at (561)746-7076