Fort Lauderdale Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers Dedicated to Helping Clients Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents Throughout South Florida
Motor vehicle accidents happen in South Florida roads often. They happen so often that insurance adjusters barely blink when they receive a claim for compensation following an accident.
Despite the number of accidents that take place on Florida’s roads, each one is unique. This means each accident may require a different approach to obtain compensation.
Sometimes this compensation will come from your own car insurance company. Other times, you’ll need to go after the at-fault driver. Either way, you may require the services of a motor vehicle accident attorney from a firm such as Lawlor, White & Murphey.
Our firm provides all of our clients with the personalized attention they need. We also provide them with the information necessary to understand all potential options for recovering compensation.
We are always available to answer questions about your case and don’t back down from intimidation tactics that the insurance companies and defense lawyers like to use. Our lawyers are committed to formulating a strong case for recovering full and fair compensation for each and every client we take on.
Common Types of South Florida Motor Vehicle Accidents
Regardless of the complexity of your case, if you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you need an experienced lawyer by your side. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we handle all types of motor vehicle accidents that occur on the Florida roadways, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Truck accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Construction vehicle accidents
- Uber & Lyft accidents
- Taxi accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Claims in Palm Beach County
Florida is a no-fault state. This makes it more difficult to sue the negligent party to recover compensation after a motor vehicle accident. In general, you can only pursue a claim for compensation through a lawsuit if the accident caused a fatality, or your injuries involved:
- Significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function,
- An injury that is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, or
- Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Regardless of whether you injuries meet this threshold, you will usually first seek recovery from your car insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP). In many cases, this will be just $10,000, the legal minimum in Florida. This initial $10,000 in damages is recoverable from your own insurance company, regardless of driver fault.
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover in a Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Case?
Almost any financial cost to you can be potentially recoverable. Potential damages can be broken down into two types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Surgical costs
- Prescription drug costs
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair costs
These are tangible values and are generally easy to calculate. In contrast, non-economic damages are intangible and subjective. This makes them far more difficult to calculate. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
One thing to keep in mind is that the available compensation will depend upon what happened in your case. In rare instances, punitive damages may even be available, in especially when the conduct of the at-fault drive was especially egregious.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Pain and suffering damages are usually based upon the severity and permanency of the injuries. As a rule of thumb, the more severe and long-lasting an injured party’s injuries are, the higher the pain and suffering damages award.
Sometimes, insurance companies will calculate pain and suffering using a special formula. They will start by taking the amount of medical expenses of the injured party, then multiplying it by a special multiplier. The more severe and long-lasting the injuries are, the larger the multiplier.
How Do I File a Car Insurance Claim?
The first thing you need to do is notify your car insurance company of the accident. This can usually be done by calling your agent or your car insurance company directly. They won’t immediately expect you to know everything about the accident, but they will want basic details such as when the accident took place, who was involved and roughly what happened.
Your car insurance company will then ask for more detailed information a short time later. So you will need to collect documentation that supports your claim that you were injured.
This means you’ll need copies of the medical records of your treatment, as well as bills and invoices for the expenses you incurred as a result of your treatment. If you wish to claim lost wages or income, you will need to provide proof of your income, such as paystubs or income statements.
What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Has No Car Insurance?
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you can still file a claim for compensation against the driver. Unfortunately, this driver will likely not have enough money to fully compensate you. Therefore, if your car insurance policy provides for it, you may be entitled to pursue special uninsured motorist compensation from your own insurance company.
Why Choose Lawlor, White & Murphey to Handle Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case?
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our personal injury lawyers share the same South Florida roadways as you. We understand how quickly an accident can occur and how devastating the consequences can be.
When you choose us to represent your legal interests following a motor vehicle accident, we will handle every aspect of your case by:
- Conducting a full investigation to determine the cause of your motor vehicle accident.
- Examining all police and accident reports.
- Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Consulting with scientific and medical experts.
- Locating any available video footage and photos of the accident scene.
- Subpoenaing cell phone records if distracted driving may have played a role in your motor vehicle accident.
- Investigating the at-fault driver, including records of past motor vehicle accidents.
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys.
- Preparing all documentation necessary to your case.
- Fighting for your rights in court if necessary.
Have You Just Been in a Motor Vehicle Accident in South Florida?
Have you sustained physical injuries or property damage in a motor vehicle accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Broward County? If so, please call our offices or fill out out this brief online contact form.
One of the attorneys of Lawlor, White & Murphey will review your information and contact you. From there, we can discuss the available options for recovering compensation from your insurance company or the person whose negligence caused your accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About South Florida Motor Vehicle Accidents
Even though Florida’s no-fault law requires an insurance company to pay compensation to the insured person who maintains the policy regardless of who caused the motor vehicle accident, Florida car insurance will usually only pay a percentage of your actual costs. Because of this, your insurance award will almost never pay your full damages. Even if the insurance adjuster tells you there is nothing else they can do, call our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers so that we can help explore other avenues for pursuing compensation. In some cases, we can pursue a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or take legal action to begin the process of recovering compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Medical expenses, rehabilitative costs, surgical costs, prescription drug costs…basically, any financial outlay related to treating the injuries you sustained in the motor vehicle accident can be recovered as “economic damages” in your case. Other economic damages include lost wages or salary. We will also pursue a claim for “non-economic damages” for your pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life if appropriate in your case. Every motor vehicle accident claim is different, so the available compensation will depend upon what happened in your case. Punitive damages may be available in especially severe motor vehicle accident cases.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are steps you can take to protect your legal rights and options for compensation. First, after making sure that everyone involved in the accident is receiving medical attention if they need, you should take photos of the accident scene. These photos may later be used to demonstrate how the accident occurred and who was at fault for the accident. You should also seek medical attention for yourself soon after your accident, even if you do not feel like you were hurt; this can help you later demonstrate the injuries that you suffered in your accident. Finally, you should speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney, who can work on your behalf to protect your rights to compensation.
Motor vehicle accidents can occur between any two people who share the streets and roads of Florida. Examples of motor vehicle accidents include car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, taxi accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
In order to file a successful motor vehicle accident claim, you will need to collect documentation that supports your claim that you were injured and that you have incurred damages as a result of your injuries. Therefore, you will likely need copies of the medical records of your treatment. You will also need copies of the bills and invoices for the expenses you incurred in your treatment. If you wish to claim lost wages or income, you will need to provide proof of your income, such as paystubs or income statements.
In order to prove the other party’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident case, you will need to show that all four elements of negligence have been met. First, you must show that the other driver owed a duty of care to you; this is relatively simple as every driver owes a duty of care to all other users of the road. Next, you must show that the other driver breached his or her duty of care through the operation of his or her vehicle. You must also show that the other driver’s breach of his or her duty directly and proximately caused the accident. Finally, you must show that you have suffered some sort of compensable damages.
Motor vehicle accident claims are usually settled by notifying the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Once the at-fault driver’s insurance company investigates your claim and agrees with you that its driver was responsible for the accident, it may offer you compensation in full settlement of your claim. Or you and the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company may need to negotiate what both parties agree is fair compensation of the injured party’s losses. It is important that you first speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney before accepting any insurance settlement; an insurance company’s first offer of settlement is rarely a full compensation of your losses, especially if you have ongoing medical treatment.
Pain and suffering damages are usually based upon the severity and permanency of the injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. The most severe and long-lasting an injured party’s injuries are, the more pain and suffering damages they are likely to receive. Insurance companies sometimes calculate pain and suffering by multiplying the amount of medical expenses the injured party incurred. The more severe and long-lasting the injured party’s injuries are, the greater the multiple that is used.
In Florida, you typically have four years from the date of your motor vehicle accident to file a claim for compensation. Minors injured in a motor vehicle accident have seven years from the date of the accident.
The best way to protect yourself following a motor vehicle accident is to avoid making statements that can later be used by the insurance companies or defense lawyers to reduce the compensation you are entitled to. It may be a reflex to apologize after an accident, but the other party may cite this as evidence that you were at fault for the accident. You are not required to give any statements to the insurance companies. Instead, you can protect yourself by hiring an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to speak with the insurance companies and defense attorneys on your behalf. An attorney can ensure that the other party receives the information they are looking for without accidentally getting any information or statements that can jeopardize your right to compensation.
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you can still file a claim for compensation against the driver. Unfortunately, if the other driver does not have auto insurance, they likely do not have sufficient financial resources to fully compensate you. You may be entitled to pursue compensation from your own insurance company pursuant to any uninsured motorist coverage that you have under your policy.
Yes. If your injuries cause you to miss work and lose out on wages, you may be entitled to claim those lost wages as compensation. If your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job and you suffer a reduction in income, you may also be entitled to pursue compensation for your lost earning potential.