Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Injury Lawyers
Experienced Injury Lawyers Fight for Fair Compensation in South Florida Car Accident Injury Cases
It was just your typical drive through South Florida. And then the next thing you know, another vehicle slams into you. Maybe you saw it coming or perhaps it caught you by surprise. Either way, you’re seriously hurt.
Assuming you’re going to be ok, a number of questions are racing through your mind.
- How long will it take to recover from your injuries?
- How much will medical treatment and rehabilitative care cost?
- Will insurance pay for everything?
- How will your injuries affect your ability to work?
Despite the fact that car accident injuries are quite common in Florida, the answer to every one of these questions will be unique to your specific car accident.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled personal injury lawyers are committed to looking at the big picture. We do this to ensure that your compensation not only covers your current expenses but all anticipated expenses and losses resulting from your car crash injuries.
We know how important it is for you to focus on your health while recovering from the accident. Therefore, we take on the responsibility of investigating your case and coordinating with your doctors. This allows us to put together a compelling claim for compensation so that you can begin to move forward.
Common Injuries from Car Accidents in South Florida
Regardless of the type of car crash you were in, the potential for car accident injuries is almost always present. If you’re lucky, you’ll only suffer a minor injury.
But sometimes, the injuries can be severe. And oftentimes, you may sustain multiple types of injuries. Some frequently seen car accident injuries in Dade County, FL include:
- Spinal cord injuries. A car crash may injure the spine in many ways. This includes damages to the spinal cord vertebrae or the nerves and discs surrounding the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can cause many problems such as loss of sensation, chronic pain and paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TMI), such as concussions, are caused when an object strikes or penetrates the skull. These are often extremely serious injuries and can cause problems with cognitive abilities, speech, memory, chronic pain, vision and focusing.
- Whiplash. Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injuries. It occurs when the force of the collision causes your neck to move back and forth suddenly. Although whiplash injuries can often resolve with rest and immobility, it may also cause more serious and permanent damage to the ligaments, discs or the spinal cord.
- Strains and sprains. Considered as a more “minor” injury, strains and sprains are common injuries in car accidents yet can sometimes be quite serious. Treatment may include physical therapy and extended periods of rest.
- Internal organ damage. Depending upon the severity of the crash, you may face internal organ damage. This is especially true if you were trapped or crushed in the vehicle following the crash or if a foreign object penetrated your body.
- Cuts and lacerations. Lacerations, cuts and even scrapes can occur as a result of flying objects within the vehicle. Cups, airbags, phones, GPS units, pens or even CD cases can move at high speed during an accident and break the skin. This can cause large amounts of bleeding and require stitches.
- Broken bones. These will often occur in the chest, especially the rib cage. Broken bones can also be found in the arms and legs (especially the knees) when they are slammed violently into interior sections of the vehicle.
Characteristics that Can Affect the Type and Extent of Car Accident Injuries
The type and seriousness of car accident injuries will depend on an almost an infinite number of factors. But some of the most influential factors include:
- Safety features of the vehicles involved.
- Seat belt use.
- Type of collision (rollover, head-on, rear-end, etc.)
- Position of the individual in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
- Speed of the vehicles at the time of the collision.
- Size of the vehicles involved in the accident.
- Existence of any preexisting injuries or medical conditions before the accident.
- How long it took to receive medical care after the accident.
How to Recover Compensation for Injuries from a Car Accident
Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means that anyone injured in a car accident will first turn to their own car insurance policy for coverage. This is regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
The advantage of a no-fault system is that it’s supposed to make it easier for insured drivers and passengers to obtain a financial recovery for treatment of their injuries. The drawback is that it can limit the legal options for recovery. This no-fault legal framework only applies to injuries and not property damage.
Following a car accident in Florida, you will first turn to your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under your car insurance policy. This will pay for only your economic damages from the accident.
Specifically, PIP will pay for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. If you want to sue for non-economic damages from your injuries, such as pain and suffering, you cannot sue the at-fault driver unless your injuries are severe enough.
What constitutes an injury that’s severe enough to allow for a lawsuit? Generally speaking, it will refer to injuries that include any of the following:
- Broken bones.
- Full disability for 90 days.
- Severe disfigurement.
- Permanent limitation of a body part or organ.
- Significant limitation concerning the use of a bodily function or system.
Another exception to the PIP lawsuit limitation is when the injuries exceed the $10,000 PIP coverage limit. So if your medical bills are $30,000, you can sue the at-fault driver for the $20,000 difference that your PIP protection will not pay for.
Talk to an Attorney if You Have Injuries from a Car Accident
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our seasoned Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers are here to help. We can assist in the recovery of full compensation for any injuries you sustained in a car crash.
We provide all potential clients with a free initial case evaluation so that we can understand what happened and explain your legal right to compensation. To schedule a consultation, you can either call us or fill out this online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Injuries
Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, and most drivers simply carry the minimum. This means that the total amount of coverage to which you are entitled is capped at the $10,000 amount, but PIP coverage also only covers up to 80 percent of your medical costs and 60 percent of lost wages stemming from the injuries. This means that car crash victims are often left with insufficient coverage to fully pay for the expenses and losses associated with car accident injuries.
Yes. In many cases, the emotional distress that you feel after suffering injuries in a traumatic car crash may remain problematic long after your actual physical injuries have healed. We will fight to recover compensation for any emotional counseling or mental health treatment needed to help you recover from the mental trauma of the accident, as well.
Florida law requires that your injuries reach a certain level of severity before you can pursue a lawsuit for compensation. This generally means that the injury must result in permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function, injuries that are anticipated to be permanent, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or death. However, this does not mean that you cannot recover compensation for injuries that the doctors anticipate will heal—the threshold for what constitutes a “significant” injury leaves room for interpretation—for example, a broken bone that should heal with time is generally serious enough.