Car Accident Lawyer Port St. Lucie, FL
A car accident lawyer Port St. Lucie, FL residents rely on knowing that if you were involved in a car accident in Florida, you might be unsure about what to do, and whether or not you’ve done all that is possible to hold those accountable for their wrongdoings. By hiring a lawyer, you can get the guidance you need to navigate your situation with clarity and direction. They can get to the bottom of your case by conducting an investigation to find out how much you should be compensated for. At Tuttle Law, P.A., we have a team of lawyers who will assist in explaining to you all of your rights and options. We’ll help you to know what you are likely owed and what you might expect to reach a settlement. For a consultation with a Port St. Lucie, Florida car accident lawyer, call our firm now.
Each year there are about 400,000 car accidents in Florida. Up to half of them result in injuries and over 3,000 people will lose their life. These numbers continue to climb, especially as texting and driving become an increasing problem. There are many drivers on the road who are careless, reckless, and have no concern for the drivers, passengers and pedestrians around them. They post a risk to everyone else around them. If you have been a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, it is important to know that you have options. Going to a lawyer for help about your case can be beneficial, since they can point you to the right direction and suggest actions you can take. Knowing what steps to take after an auto accident can provide a sense of security and peace of mind.
Don’t wait one more day to learn about your rights and the compensation amount that you may be entitled to. Learn about your legal options now before it’s too late. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please call a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Florida. In doing so you’ve taken the first step towards recovering compensation.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Every minute there is an auto accident in the country. Car accidents are some of the most common types of accidents that personal injury lawyers handle. The cause of these crashes varies greatly; however, some are more common than others. Driver inattention and reckless driving are some of the leading causes of car accidents. In Florida, we often handle cases that are a result of:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe road conditions
- Bad weather
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Vehicular defects
At Tuttle Law, P.A., our car accident lawyer Port St. Lucie, FL treats every accident case as being unique. At the same time, we rely on our knowledge and experience to navigate the complex court system and applicable laws. Through our due diligence, we have been able to secure fair and just results for cases of all types. Tell us about your legal situation so that we can get started on your case and provide you the assistance you need.
Can I Sue Another Driver if I was Injured?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means each driver’s policy will be responsible for paying the damage. This negates the need to prove fault and keeps the Florida court system from being overwhelmed with minor offenses. In many no-fault states, drivers are required to have protection from personal injuries as part of their auto insurance. If you were seriously injured in an accident, and it was not your fault, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver. In general, your injuries must be serious, for example disfiguring, debilitating, or permanent. You should consult with a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Florida. They can assist you with your case and review the damages you may be able to recover.
What If I Am Partially to Blame?
When an accident results in serious harm and one party is suing another, the defense might argue that they were not completely to blame. If this is true, the plaintiff’s portion or percentage of fault will be deducted from the claim. This is known as comparative negligence. For example, if a plaintiff was 25% at fault, they will lose 25% worth of damages. These cases can be more challenging to resolve. If you believe that you were partially to blame for an accident that resulted in your injuries, then it may be beneficial to reach out to a lawyer. They can form strategies that will improve your chances of obtaining a positive case result, even if you do have partial blame for the accident.
Get Help in a No-Fault State
While Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, it is still possible that you will have a case if your injuries were severe enough. When this is the case and you have decided to move forward with legal help to file your lawsuit, you will need to take measures to ensure you have the evidence you need for your case. Lacking sufficient evidence can be detrimental to your case, and it can affect your compensation amount. For example, if you do not receive medical attention right after the accident, it can make it difficult to argue that you did suffer injuries as a result of the accident. To ensure that you retain all the evidence that you need, it’s crucial that you take the proper measures immediately after an accident. Below, you will find out more regarding what measures you should take after you have been in a serious car accident.
- Stay at the scene of the accident. Regardless of who is at fault, you legally must stay at the scene, otherwise, you may be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident. If you can do so, move your car to safety so that it is not a danger to others on the road. After being involved in an accident, remember to stay calm, make sure you’re in a safe location, and call for help right away.
- Call the local authorities. Especially in the case of a serious accident, you will want to call the local authorities and have them report to the scene of the accident. If you or someone else needs medical attention, the police can dispatch an ambulance. Remember, if there is property damage over $500 or anyone has suffered from an injury because of the accident, you must report it.
- Seek help from a physician. You will want to make sure you get the medical attention you need quickly. This will ensure you are getting the treatment you need and will help make sure everything goes smoothly with the insurance claim. You may have serious internal injuries and have no idea. Medical professionals can evaluate you for delayed symptoms and injuries. A doctor’s medical report is one of the best pieces of evidence in a car accident case, so you should not refuse a medical evaluation even if you feel ok.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. When you first meet with your attorney you may want to bring as much documentation with you that you can gather. This may be contact information for witnesses to the accident, security camera footage, your medical information, and a police report. You can also bring any pictures with you that you took of the scene of the accident. Any information, document, or other piece of evidence that is relevant to your accident can help support your case.
Remember, while Florida state law wants you to work with your insurance company, this does not mean you do not have other options when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. You may want to discuss the timeline for working with your insurance company and filing a lawsuit with your attorney so that you know when to take the next steps. Especially if you have filed a claim with your insurance company and they have denied it, you can begin looking into getting compensation from the responsible party. When you have a lawyer at your side, they can help you find sources of monetary compensation, which can include a percentage of the other party’s wages.
Do I Have To Call the Police After a Car Crash?
In Florida, calling the police isn’t obligatory following a car accident, but it’s a smart move anyway. If you or one of your passengers is injured, calling 911 can help you get the medical attention required immediately. Also, you want to avoid any hit-and-run accusations by the other driver.
There’s another reason to contact police after an accident: so your car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, can build the strongest possible case for you. A police report is a powerful piece of evidence detailing what occurred to your vehicle and when.
Should I Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?
There aren’t any laws requiring you to inform your insurer, but most insurance companies include that requirement in the terms of your insurance contract. If you want to keep your coverage, you need to contact your insurer as soon as possible after an accident.
That said, at Tuttle Law, we urge our clients to be careful what they say when speaking with the adjuster. You don’t want to admit to causing the accident or give the idea that you did something wrong. If possible, speak with a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, on the same day as the accident for helpful tips.
Can I Receive Worker’s Compensation for Car Accidents on the Job?
If you were on the clock when the accident happened, you can qualify for workers’ compensation. This situation also applies to professional drivers, such as truckers and package delivery personnel. Of course, for the accident to be covered, you generally can’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What if your employer falsely accuses you of being intoxicated, perhaps because of a questionable drug test for cannabis? Get a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, to defend your interests and avoid unjust accusations. You deserve to get compensation after a work-related driving injury.
What If Personal Injury Protection Isn’t Enough for My Medical Expenses?
Sometimes, your personal injury protection (PIP) isn’t enough to cover the medical expenses from an accident. In that case, you need to speak with a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, to determine your next steps.
Other insurance programs may cover the remaining costs, such as uninsured motorist coverage or bodily injury coverage. You may also be able to take the other driver to court with a personal injury lawsuit. At Tuttle Law, we’re happy to outline your legal options and explain what you need to know to make the right decision.
Tuttle Law, P.A. Would Like to Help You
A person’s life is often irreversibly changed after an auto accident. Even if a victim only suffers from minor injuries after an accident, the emotional and psychological pain can be just as damaging.
Our firm has an impressive track record of successful cases. We strive to prove the validity of your case and to recover every cent you deserve. Call us now for a case review by a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL.
Find A Car Accident Lawyer to Avoid These Common Mistakes After A Car Accident.
It’s in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, at the Tuttle Law, P.A., who can advocate for you and fight to obtain compensation for your damages – as soon as possible. The decisions and steps you take in the minutes, hours, and days after your car accident can impact your eligibility for compensation or decrease the value of your claim.
A trusted attorney can help you avoid these common mistakes after a car accident.
- Not Calling Law Enforcement to the Scene of the Accident
Some accident victims do not call the police to respond to an accident. Sometimes they figure their car is still drivable, or the damage is so minor, why even bother? Unfortunately, the law requires you to report any traffic accident that involves extensive property damage over $500, bodily injury, or death, meaning you should report every accident unless it’s truly a minor fender-bender. You have 10 days to complete a police report if law enforcement did not come to the scene.
- Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident
Even if you didn’t cause a car accident, you undermine your credibility and potentially damage your claim when you leave the scene of the accident. You can contact a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL from the scene of the accident if you are unsure what to do, but you should never leave. Also, remaining at an accident scene preserves evidence that investigators use to determine liability. Proving fault is key to recovering compensation for losses related to injuries. Your lawyer can use the evidence from the scene of the accident to support your case.
- Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
A common strategy for insurance companies to deny claims or reduce the value of a claim is to argue that a car accident victim had previous injuries or that the injuries are not as serious as a victim claims.
Letting a physician examine you for common car accident injuries soon after a crash makes any pain, discomfort, or physical injuries a part of your medical record.
- Admitting Fault
The at-fault driver is financially liable for damages related to an accident injury claim. Insurance companies and lawyers thoroughly investigate car accident claims to uncover facts to determine liability or at least shift some blame. As soon as a driver admits fault, they help the other side. Let your lawyer and law enforcement uncover the facts of the accident. In situations where you think you are 100 percent at fault, you might find you only share partial liability because of the actions of the other driver.
- Not Gathering Evidence
Some accidents are too severe for car accident victims to gather their own evidence. In these cases, emergency response teams come to the scene quickly, and law enforcement gathers evidence to file a police report. Yet, when accidents occur and drivers can still function after the crash, some fail or choose not to gather evidence at the scene. This is a mistake because sometimes the police get it wrong or miss something.
- Failing to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Car accident victims sometimes choose not to report their accident to the insurance company. In some cases, the driver feels fine and the property damage is minor, so he or she doesn’t want to go through the trouble. In fact, the at-fault driver might have begged the other driver not to report the accident to insurance. In other cases, a car accident victim figures that the other driver caused the crash, so they only need to report the accident to the other driver’s carrier.
Failing to report the accident can result in a denied claim and/or policy cancellation in some situations.
- Posting on Social Media Networks
Investigators from the insurance company and/or their legal team will use every strategy in their playbook to find a way to devalue your claim. This includes extracting information from your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
At Tuttle law, P.A., we advise that posting on social media after a car accident can be a costly mistake. Investigators for the insurance company might use even seemingly innocent facts against an accident victim. The same is true about posting pictures of the accident or any injuries. It’s best to keep all evidence between you and your car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL.
- Trusting Insurance Adjusters
Soon after a car accident, an adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and/or an adjuster from your insurance company will likely contact you to ask questions about the accident. Typically, adjusters record these interviews.
You do not have to be rude to the adjuster, but keep conversation to a minimum, and direct interrogations to your lawyer.
- Accepting the First Settlement Offer
Insurance companies do not like to pay claims, and when they have to pay, they want to reduce their financial liability as much as possible. One tactic many insurance companies use is to offer a quick settlement to car accident victims. Serious injuries prevent accident victims from working, creating financial stress as medical bills roll in on top of the physical pain of injury. These offers are often insultingly low, but enough to tempt victims who are struggling with money as a result of a car accident.
What Happens When a Driver Is Uninsured in Florida?
What If I’m an Uninsured Driver?
A car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, can educate uninsured drivers about Florida’s no-fault mandates. To prevent flooding of civil courts, no-fault states minimize lawsuits by requiring drivers to carry auto insurance to cover their injuries. Individual insurance mandates cover most injury expenses up-front and permit each party to receive compensation regardless of who caused the accident. No-fault laws restrict drivers from pursuing lawsuits with at-fault drivers in most cases. If injuries are severe, however, accident victims can file negligence lawsuits to claim additional compensation from the driver who caused the accident.
Keep in mind, if you are uninsured, you could be responsible for any additional damages awarded in a lawsuit. Purchasing an auto policy soon after the accident will not relieve you of your responsibility to pay because you were uninsured at the time of the accident. Also, any additional damages claimed by the other driver may be out-of-pocket expenses for you.
If you’re an uninsured driver who caused an accident resulting in injuries, contact a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, as soon as possible. Tuttle Law can help you navigate the tricky circumstances you may face during a settlement or lawsuit.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Many Florida drivers are uninsured or underinsured. To prevent financial losses resulting from a car accident involving an uninsured driver, Tuttle law recommends having full auto coverage including bodily injury liability, personal injury protection or PIP and uninsured motorist or UIM coverage. Here is a breakdown of these coverage types:
- PIP covers up to $10,000 for personal injuries. To collect more than $10,000, the injured must meet Florida’s serious injury threshold. This requirement is outlined in F.S. 627.737.
- UIM is an added protection to help cover your injuries if an uninsured driver is at-fault in the accident.
- Bodily injury coverage will protect you by reimbursing the other driver for injury expenses if you were at fault in the accident. Even though bodily injury liability is not required in Florida, most drivers add it to PIP and UIM.
- Underinsured motorist coverage will help you recoup injury expenses when an underinsured driver’s insurance has been exhausted.
Most insurance companies put time limits on filing underinsured or UIM claims. Often, policyholders have to file within 30 days or less from the date of the accident. To get timely assistance for filing a UIM or underinsured motorist claim, contact a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL. Tuttle Law is ready to battle insurance companies to get much-needed compensation for severe accident injuries.
As soon as possible, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL from Tuttle Law, P.A., who can advocate for you, handle communications with the insurance company, and file a car accident lawsuit if necessary. If you wait, evidence will disappear and witnesses’ memories will fade. In fact, waiting too long can even interfere with physical evidence your lawyer might use to support your claim.