Questions About Auto Accidents

Questions About Auto Accidents

Mausner Graham Injury Law

Auto Accident Injury Law Firm in Miami, Florida

As any Miami auto accident attorney will tell you, when you have a car accident you not only have to deal with the physical and emotional trauma, you also have all sorts of legal and insurance ramifications to consider. Majusner Graham Injury Lawyer, a car accident lawyer based in Miami, provides a comprehensive guide to all the facts and figures of road accidents. Read to know the answers for some common questions about auto accidents.

Table of Contents

  • Car Accident Statistics
  • Common Causes of Car Accidents
  • State of Florida Laws for auto accidents
  • Insurance claims
  • How to choose a car accident lawyer
  • Involved in an Auto Accident?
  • When can I sue for a car crash?
  • Getting compensation for car accident injuries
  • How Can a Personal Injury Law Firm Help?

Miami Car Accident Statistics – Florida Department of Highway Safety

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there is an average of around 400,000 crashes on the state’s roads every year. In 2018, there were 255,353 car accident-related injuries and 3,135 fatalities. These include motor vehicle accidents, as well as bicycle crashes, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian collisions.

Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Most motor vehicle accidents in Florida are rear-end accidents. In this type of accident, one motorist doesn’t maintain a safe distance from the car in front, and an accident results when both vehicles need to stop suddenly. Other common types of vehicle accidents are left-turn accidents, head-on collisions, side-impact accidents, sideswipe accidents, single-vehicle crashes, and multi-vehicle accidents.

Common Causes of Auto Accident Collisions in Miami-Dade County

Car accidents can happen for several reasons, but the most common causes for collisions in Miami-Dade county are as follows:

  • Use of drugs and alcohol is a primary factor in road accidents. Around 15 people are killed in drunk driving accidents each year in the county
  • Reckless driving and road rage
  • Improper lane changes
  • Failure to yield to other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Speeding
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Texting and Driving

What Do I Need To Know About the State of Florida Laws for Car Accidents?

Every Florida motorist should know the basics of the state’s car accident laws. For example, all road users must know that they are legally required to stop at the scene of an accident and provide what help they can. Accidents don’t always have to be reported to local law enforcement – this is only necessary if someone is injured or if there is damage in excess of $500. Other essential matters to educate yourself about are the state’s regulations with regard to insurance, in particular, personal injury protection (PIP).
What Does PIP Insurance Cover?

PIP is legally mandated in Florida, and it covers each individual car owner, as well as the members of their household, other people who drive your car, passengers in your vehicle, and pedestrians struck by your car.

In the event of an accident, PIP will cover 80% of necessary medical costs, including ambulance, doctor’s bills, surgery, X-rays, nursing, dental and prosthetic devices. It will also cover 60% of lost wages if you are unable to work due to the accident. Death benefits are $5,000 per person and are paid in addition to the medical and disability benefits.

How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident In Florida?

The state of Florida requires that you report the accident within ten days from the date that it occurs.

What Are My Rights After A Rear-end Auto Accident?

Florida law requires that drivers maintain a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them. The two-second rule is recommended as a means to judge this distance. If a rear-end accident occurs, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver in the rear is responsible. If you are the driver in the front vehicle, you do not need to prove negligence; you only need to prove that the other driver did, in fact, rear-end you. You then have the right to claim compensation.

However, it is not necessarily always the case that the rear driver is at fault. It is possible that the front driver did something wrong. The rear-end driver can then contest the assumption of his/her liability. Courts often follow a concept called ‘comparative negligence,’ where they assign a percentage of the blame to everyone involved.

Insurance Claims / Legal Claims

Most questions surrounding car accidents usually relate to matters of insurance. Here are answers to some Common questions about auto accidents:

Can I Sue The Insurance Company After An Auto Accident?

Should the insurance company not honor your claim or provide only partial cover, or offer any other obstacles in the process of claiming compensation after an accident, you can file a suit against them.

What Should I Tell My Insurance Company After My Car Accident?

You are legally bound to disclose all details of the accident to your insurance company. Start with the straightforward facts of what happened, where and when. Then report all damage, provide details of all involved parties, including any witnesses. Finally, report any possible red flags that may indicate a fraudulent accident.

Do Minor Vehicle Accidents Need To Be Reported In Florida?

Minor vehicle accidents, in which nobody is injured and where the damage is worth less than $500, do not need to be reported to law enforcement.

What Happens If I Am In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?

Florida law mandates that all drivers must have car insurance. Drivers who are not insured may be personally liable for damages to persons and property. If you have a collision with an uninsured driver, you should start with filing a claim with your own insurance company. We recommend retaining our law firm to assist you with this process because dealing with insurance carriers can be complicated.

How Do You Respond To A Low Insurance Settlement Offer?

If you feel that your insurance company is lowballing you, you can respond with a counteroffer in writing. Formulate an argument for the figure that you think is fair: cite your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Make sure that your counteroffer is reasonable. If you have trouble getting a favorable response from your insurance company, contact a personal injury lawyer to help you pursue the compensation you think you deserve.

How do I choose an Auto Accident Lawyer

There are a few factors to consider when choosing an auto accident lawyer. First, personal injury lawyers have various focus areas: make sure you are dealing with a lawyer who focuses on car accidents, and who has considerable experience in the field. Check up on their reputation and disciplinary history, and finally, get to know them a little and decide if this is someone you want to work with. It is essential that you and your lawyer can work well together.

What Questions To Ask A Car Accident Lawyer?

To make sure you have indeed chosen the right lawyer for the job, ask them the following questions:

  • What areas of law do you focus on?
  • Have you taken cases similar to mine in the past, and how did they turn out?
  • Who will be handling my case?
  • How long do you think my case will take?
  • Do you work on a contingency basis?
  • Can anything be done to improve the chances of success?
  • How often do you go to trial?
  • If there is a disagreement between us over accepting a settlement, will you go with my wishes or yours?
  • Can you provide references from past clients

What To Do If You Were Involved In An Auto Accident In Miami, FL

If you are in a car accident in Miami, start following these steps before you even leave the scene:

  • Do not admit fault. Things happen fast and it isn’t always clear who is responsible for the accident when you’re in the middle of it.
  • Call emergency services. If there are any injuries and/or significant damage, call 911 and get law enforcement and medical care workers to the scene immediately.
  • Take photographs of any damage, as well as the license plates of all vehicles involved.
  • Speak to witnesses on the scene if you can and get their contact details.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Fill out a police report.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Contact a car accident lawyer if necessary.

Witnesses can be vital to your case. In order to get as much essential information from them as possible, ask the following ten questions:

  • Explain what you saw, in your own words.
  • What were you doing just before the accident?
  • Where were you in relation to the accident?
  • Can you provide further details about what you saw?
  • What did you do after the accident?
  • Did you see any other witnesses who might have information?
  • Do you know anyone involved in the accident?
  • Do you have any expertise that may be relevant?
  • Is there anything else you want to say about the accident?
  • Can you please provide your contact details?

When Can I Sue for a Car Crash in Miami, FL?

Does The Wearing Of Seat Belts Affect An Accident Injury Claim?

While you can still successfully pursue an accident injury claim if you were not wearing a seatbelt, it does make the case more difficult. The at-fault driver’s insurance company and/or lawyer will argue that you are at least partially responsible for your injuries. The amount of compensation you can claim will thus be diminished.

What Happens When You Have A Car Accident And It’s Your Fault?

The answer depends on whether you are in a fault or no-fault state. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that each person’s insurance company, whether the individuals are at fault are not, covers their damages.

If you have an accident in which you are at fault, remember to stay at the scene of the accident and do not leave until you have spoken to the police. Otherwise, you can be charged with a hit and run. Report the accident and document the scene as you would if you were not at fault.

Can I File A Personal Injury Case If I Have Severe Injuries And I Am Partially Responsible For The Accident?

The court will most likely judge liability on a percentage-based scale and hold you responsible for a proportional amount of damages. For example, if you are found to be 40% responsible for the accident, your compensation will drop by 40%.

I Only Have Minor Injuries, Can I Still File A Lawsuit?

Yes, you can still claim compensation and even file a lawsuit if you have only minor permanent injuries. You may not have high medical bills or even significant damages to your vehicle, but you can still claim for the costs that have been incurred as a result of the accident. Even a minor accident will include a “pain and suffering” component, which can be included in your claim.

What Is The Difference Between A Personal Injury And Property Damage Claim After A Vehicle Accident?

Personal injury claims are intended to cover any injuries you have suffered, and the resulting medical costs. Property damage, on the other hand, refers to any damage to vehicles and other property affected by the accident.

Getting Compensation For Your Car Accident Injuries

Types of Compensation Available to Car Accident Victims

Anyone who is injured in a car accident has the potential to claim the following types of compensation:

  • Medical costs: These are all the calculable costs of doctor’s consultations, surgery, and other treatments that you incur as a result of the accident.
  • Pain and suffering: aside from the definable medical costs, you can also claim for the pain that has resulted from your injuries, and that has affected your ability to live your life as you did previously. Any instance where the injuries affect your quality of life can be claimed for under pain and suffering.
  • Loss of income: If you are unable to work because of the accident, you can claim for the resulting loss of salary or wage payments.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: if there are long-term effects on your ability to enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Take From The Settlement Payout?

Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they deduct their fee from the final settlement. This means that, as a client, you will not have to make any payments to the lawyer while the case is ongoing. The average fee deducted by the lawyer is usually in the range of 33 1/3% to 40% of the settlement figure, unless you negotiate a different agreement.

How Can A Miami Personal Injury Accident Law Firm Help You?

A Miami personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve in your car accident case. They ensure that all the procedures are followed correctly, that all the necessary paperwork is filed correctly, and they can represent you in mediation and in court.

Filing A Lawsuit And Litigation After An Auto Car Accident

A personal injury lawyer will help you decide whether filing a lawsuit is the right course of action for your case. In some situations, it may be best to settle. Your lawyer will assess all the facts and help you proceed accordingly. Should you decide to proceed with a lawsuit, your lawyer will file the complaint and all attendant paperwork, handle any opposing motions made by the other party or insurance company, represent you in mediation, and they will also gather all the necessary evidence to get the best result for your case.

Negotiating And Mediation With Insurance Companies

Most car accident cases don’t actually go to trial, but are settled in mediation. Mediation is a court-ordered procedure in which the claimant and the insurance company reach an agreement on the final settlement amount. It is a lengthy process of offers and counter-offers in which your lawyer will argue your case and push the representatives of the insurance company towards a settlement that will satisfy you.

Mausner Graham Injury Law, Experienced Miami Car Accident Attorneys

MAUSNER GRAHAM INJURY LAW PLLC is an auto accident attorney that can help you if you’ve been in a car accident. Call a personal injury and accident lawyer today – 305-344-HURT (4878). Consultations are free.

Last updated Thursday, November 9th, 2023

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