A Car Accident Lawyer Near Me can be a life-changing event. It is a very difficult time for those involved. The last thing people want to worry about and deal with is the financial problem caused by the accident or by talking to an insurance company. This is where we can help.
We have handled car accident claims across the country since 1955, and have earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most successful law firms, winning over $ 4 million in jury verdicts and settlements.
We are located in downtown Pensacola, and our thirty-five attorneys live in the Pensacola community. We have handled more accident claims in Northwest Florida for injured people than any other law firm.
Types of Compensation in an Auto Accident Attorney
In a car accident lawsuit , damages include past and future physical pain and suffering; mental pain and suffering; medical expenses; loss of salary; and loss of earning capacity.
If you were married at the time of the accident, then your spouse is entitled to loss of damages from the consortium; which is the loss of services, assistance, help and companionship of the injured spouse.
If the accident results in death, then a wrongful death claim is filed. Damages in this type of case include medical and funeral expenses; mental pain and suffering for the surviving spouse and minor children; loss of support; and loss of future assets.
If the company or person causing your damage acted intentionally or recklessly, you may also be entitled to recover punitive damages.
What will I have to prove to be successful in my auto accident claim?
To be successful in your claim, you must prove three things: (1) the other side acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally; (2) the other side caused your injury; and (3) the amount of your damages.
When it comes to the first thing you need to prove, negligence is the other driver’s failure to use reasonable care, which is care that a careful driver would have used under the same circumstances.
Common examples of negligent driving
- The other driver ran a stop sign or red light.
- The other driver was distracted; for example, texting, reading emails, making a phone call, eating, searching for something.
- The other driver was accelerating or driving too fast for conditions.
- The other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The other driver was operating a vehicle that was not well maintained; for example, the lights or brakes were not working properly.
- The other driver crossed into oncoming traffic.
The second thing you need to prove is causation, which means that the negligence of the other driver caused the accident or contributed substantially to causing the accident. The third thing you need to prove is your damage.
It is our job to gather all the evidence to prove your claim, and then present your best possible case to the insurance company; and if necessary, a judge and jury.
What should I do after a car accident?
First, if you or anyone else has suffered a personal injury in an auto collision, call 911 for law enforcement and medical help! Health and safety are of paramount importance.
If you or someone with you is capable, try to do the following:
- Write down all the details of the other vehicles involved in the accident (for example, make, model, year, license tag number).
- Get the other driver’s name, contact information (phone and email), license number and insurance information, as well as the name and contact information of all passengers.
- Write down anything the other driver and passengers say (for example, I’m so sorry; I didn’t see you; I was in a hurry).
- Obtain the names and contact information (phone and emails) of all witnesses to the vehicle accident.
- Take photos and video of the accident scene and all the vehicles involved (remember, you probably have a cell phone with these capabilities).
- Make a list of all your personal injuries. Often times, an injury won’t appear until days or weeks later; Be sure to write them down as they occur.
- Keep a list of all your doctor and hospital visits and all other medical expenses. Write down the dates, the name of the doctor and the nature of the visit.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
- If you receive a call from anyone associated with the other car or insurance company, it is best that you do not provide them with anystatement without first consulting a personal injury attorney who focuses on auto accident litigation. Remember that car accident attorneys should not charge you for a consultation. Take advantage of this, even if you choose not to hire an injury attorney.
How long do I have to file an auto accident claim?
There is no easy answer to this question, as it depends on many factors, such as where the accident occurred, the type of injury, and who caused the accident.
If an accident occurs in Florida, the injured person has four years to file an injury claim, but only two years if the accident results in death.
If the accident is caused by a government entity, there are papers that need to be filed at least six months before the lawsuit is filed. These documents must be presented within three years of the accident in an injury case, and two years in a death case or in a case related to the federal government or its employees.
Most importantly, immediately seek free legal advice when you become aware of a possible injury after an accident, even if you decide not to hire an attorney. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it offers a lot of protection.