On an average day, there are about 68 car accidents reported in West Palm Beach and surrounding towns in Palm Beach County, Florida. That’s more than two collisions an hour. If you live in West Palm Beach or travel there frequently, there’s a chance that you could get into a crash.
After an accident, it’s common to get overwhelmed with tons of questions about the collision and claims process. The good news is that you don’t have to struggle to find the answers on your own.
Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers have taken the time to address some of the questions we receive most often from crash victims like you.
If you have additional questions or want to get started on an injury claim for damages, don’t hesitate to reach out to call at (561) 556-7873 to contact our law office to arrange a time for a free consultation.
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What Steps Should I Take After a Crash in West Palm Beach, FL?
Believe it or not, the decisions you make in the hours and days after a collision in West Palm Beach can have a huge impact on your future. Simple mistakes or missteps can hurt your ability to not only win your car accident injury case but maximize your financial recovery.
After a car accident in West Palm Beach, Florida, it’s important to:
- Remain at or near the scene and exchange insurance information with other parties
- Call 911 or the local West Palm Beach police department to report the accident
- Resist the temptation to apologize for the accident or accept any responsibility
- Seek medical treatment at the closest emergency room in West Palm Beach as soon as you can
- Take pictures of damaged property, physical injuries, and the scene of the accident
- Write down your memory of the accident shortly after it happens
- Refuse to provide a recorded statement to an insurance company – even your own
- Consult an experienced car accident attorney near you in West Palm Beach
Direct all communication about your case to your legal team. Insurance adjusters will have extensive experience handling claims like yours, and they’ll use strategies designed to get you to accept less money than you deserve or walk away with nothing at all.
Who Pays My Medical Bills If I’m in a Car Accident in Florida?
Since Florida is a no-fault state for insurance, you’ll submit a claim to your insurance company to recover Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. PIP benefits cover 80 percent of your medical expenses up to your policy limit.
You can also utilize your personal health insurance benefits to cover the costs of your medical bills.
If your injuries are classified as severe, you’ll reserve the right to pursue additional compensation through a third-party claim. This means that you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person (or parties) responsible for causing your car accident in West Palm Beach.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I’m Going To Submit a Claim to Insurance?
While it’s not required, it’s definitely recommended. Remember, insurance companies handle claims like yours every day. They’ll be represented by skilled insurance adjusters and defense attorneys, ready to implement a playbook that’s designed to limit how much money you receive for your car accident injuries.
The insurance company won’t hesitate to use the fact that you’re stressed out, confused, and overwhelmed against you. They might make it seem like you don’t have a legitimate case or try to strongarm you into accepting way less money than your case is worth.
By hiring an experienced car accident attorney in West Palm Beach, you put yourself on a level playing field. You show the insurance company that you’re serious about not only winning your case but recovering a financial award that reflects what your injuries are worth.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach?
Hiring a car accident attorney after a collision in West Palm Beach is one of the best decisions you can make.
- Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to win. In fact, crash victims who work with attorneys tend to win up to 3.5 times more in compensation than those who don’t.
- You’ll benefit from the law firm’s resources, network of experts, and knowledge of Florida personal injury law and procedure.
- You don’t want the insurance company to dictate what your car accident case is worth.
- There’s a good chance that the insurer will try to blame you for your car accident.
- You need (and deserve) the opportunity to recover from your physical injuries and the emotional distress the accident has caused.
By hiring an attorney, you put your case in experienced hands and give yourself the time to really focus on your road to recovery.
How Can I Afford a West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney?
Car accidents can be expensive, and you might not think that you can afford to hire an attorney on top of it all. That’s why our car accident attorneys work on contingency. Under a contingency fee arrangement, you get our help with no upfront costs. Our West Palm Beach personal injury law firm assumes the risks of your case and only gets paid if we win.
When we negotiate a settlement or win a verdict at trial, our attorneys get paid out of your financial award. So, there’s no out-of-pocket cost to you. Typically, you can expect to pay between 33 percent and 40 percent of your award for winning legal representation.
What Evidence Will I Need To Win a Car Accident Injury Case?
In Florida, plaintiffs in a car accident lawsuit have the burden of proving their case by a preponderance of the evidence.
Your case – that someone’s negligence caused your accident and injuries – has to be more likely true than not. You’ll need evidence to support your allegations.
Helpful evidence in a car accident case can include:
- Photographs of property damage, physical injuries, the scene of the accident, broken glass, debris, and/or tire tracks
- Video recordings from red light cameras, dash cams, ring doorbell cameras, or store security cameras
- Physical evidence from the scene of the accident
- Clothing worn at the time of an accident
- Police reports, which might include preliminary assessments of fault
- Citations or tickets issued to drivers in the collision
- Medical records
- Road design and maintenance records
- Witness statements and testimony
- Expert testimony from medical professionals, appraisers, vocational rehabilitation specialists, accident reconstructionists, and other specialists with knowledge relevant to your case
- Driver cell phone records
Your attorney will carefully investigate your car accident in West Palm Beach and work to obtain critical pieces of evidence throughout the discovery process. The more evidence you have to prove your case, the better the chances of securing a meaningful financial award.
Is There a Deadline To Pursue Compensation For Car Accident Injuries in Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations establishes when lawsuits must be filed by. The state recently adjusted its deadlines for most personal injury cases. By default’ you’ll have two years to submit your claim if your accident took place on or after 3/24/2023, and four years if it took place before that date.
If a family member is killed in a fatal car accident in West Palm Beach, FL, you’ll have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you haven’t filed your claim by the time the statute of limitations expires, you’ll lose the opportunity to do so. This means you won’t be able to get the compensation you need, leaving you to cover all of the damages related to your crash.
Since there are exceptions to these deadlines, we recommend contacting our legal team to confirm the appropriate deadline for your case.
What Happens If the Other Driver Didn’t Have Car Insurance?
Florida ranks 6th in the nation for uninsured drivers, with an estimated 20.4 percent of motorists without coverage. Since Florida is a no-fault state, you’re covered by your own PIP benefits if you get into a car accident.
But what happens if you suffer severe injuries in an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?
Typically, you’d be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability policy. If they’re uninsured, that’s not an option. So, you’d have to take a different approach.
Potential solutions include:
- Filing a claim for Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) benefits with your insurance carrier
- Filing a claim against another third party’s insurance policy
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another third party
Uninsured Motorist Coverage isn’t required in Florida. However, it’s recommended that you add it to your policy in the event that you get into an accident with one of the state’s many uninsured drivers. In the event of an accident, it takes the place of the coverage the at-fault driver should have had.
Get Answers To Your Most Important West Palm Beach Car Accident Questions Today
Car accidents can be stressful. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the complexities of a claim for damages on your own. Whether you’re submitting a claim to your insurance provider or seeking damages from a third party, Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers can help.
Call our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We’d be happy to answer your most pressing questions, explain your legal rights and options, and set up a strategy to help you maximize your financial award.