How Long Do You Have to Get a Attorney After a Car Accident?
You should connect with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your South Florida car accident. When you suffer injuries in a crash, you only have a limited time to get medical care, investigate your accident, and file a lawsuit, if needed. Working with a lawyer allows you to focus on your injuries and recovery while your attorney takes care of the rest.
You can speak with a team member about your Broward County collision case at no obligation today. Call Phillips | Tadros, P.A. at (954) 642-8885 for your free case consultation.
What Deadlines Apply to Car Accident Cases in Florida?
Florida’s no-fault car accident laws make pursuing damages in these cases a little different than other personal injury cases. Often, your only option will be to seek compensation through your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. These no-fault policies pay out for minor and moderate injuries after Florida car accidents.
If You File a No-Fault Claim
Under Florida Statutes § 627.736(a), you only have 14 days after your accident to receive medical care for your injuries if you plan to file a no-fault claim based on your PIP policy. Meeting this deadline is essential for recovering compensation from this policy.
If You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have serious injuries, you likely need immediate medical assessment and treatment. You may qualify to pursue a fault-based payout from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy when this occurs. Sometimes, victims need to sue the party legally responsible for their accident. When this happens, Florida Statutes § 95.11 generally sets a four-year deadline.
Exceptions to this law could mean you have more or less time in your specific case. Either way, it’s best to act quickly, as you may forfeit your right to compensation if you miss the deadline.
You May Have a Right to Seek Damages After a Florida Car Accident
You may have options for how to recover money to pay your medical bills, cover lost income, and more following a car accident. This will depend greatly on your injuries, the circumstances, and the applicable laws. Your first step is to consult an attorney to explore your legal options as soon as your injuries allow.
Most law firms provide free case reviews. These confidential, no-obligation discussions of your injuries and legal options are a good way to learn more about your rights and how a South Florida car accident attorney may be able to help you.
If You Have a Serious Injury
While each case is different and the laws are strict, your attorney may be able to help you pursue a fault-based case when your injuries meet the criteria under Florida Statutes § 627.737:
- Caused a significant or permanent injury
- Caused a permanent loss of a bodily function or body part
- Caused significant scarring or disfigurement
You may be surprised by the types of injuries that could allow you to hold the at-fault driver legally responsible. For example, a fractured wrist could qualify under some circumstances. An attorney will assess your case honestly and explain your options.
Compensation You Can Pursue
By filing a liability claim or lawsuit, an attorney may be able to help you recover damages that include:
- Medical bills, current and future
- Lost income from time missed at work
- Reduced earning ability caused by lasting injuries
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Florida Car Collision Case
In addition to assessing your rights and legal options at no cost, a car accident attorney can help you with your case in many ways. In fact, they can handle your insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf while you continue treatment and rehabilitation or get back to work. They can help reduce your stress and make the entire process easier and more effective.
Because they know what it takes to document negligence and liability and show the insurer or court what happened, they will be able to gather stronger evidence and build a more solid case than you could on your own. They also document your damages and often identify expenses and losses that victims overlooked on their own.
While you may feel comfortable filing a claim based on your PIP coverage on your own, you could have other options that pay out more and allow you to hold the at-fault driver accountable.
Proving Fault and Liability in a South Florida Car Accident Case
When Florida law allows a crash victim to pursue fault-based compensation, they need to have solid evidence to show what happened and who caused the crash. When they hire a law firm to manage their claim, their legal team will handle this investigation. They can work to show the four elements of negligence are present:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
This is generally possible when a driver acts carelessly or recklessly and causes a crash. For example, what if the driver who hit you failed to yield while turning left on green?
- The driver had a duty to yield under Florida traffic laws.
- According to witness statements, they failed to do so.
- Accident reconstruction confirms this is what led to the crash.
- Your medical records, bills, and receipts confirm you suffered injuries and unnecessary expenses.
With strong enough evidence to support the insurance claim or lawsuit, an attorney should be able to negotiate a fair settlement or convince the jury that the driver was negligent and caused the crash. This allows them to recover money damages for their client’s injuries, expenses, and losses.
Connect With a Car Accident Attorney at Our Firm for Free Today
You can discuss your injuries and legal case with a team member from Phillips | Tadros, P.A. for free today. Our car accident attorney will assess your case and help you understand your options and next steps. Let us answer your questions today.