Port St. Lucie Car Accident Lawyer
Located along the Atlantic coast in the south of Florida, Port St. Lucie is known for its nature and wildlife reserves. Being the 7th largest city in Florida, it has a population of more than 195,000 people, according to a 2019 consensus. With a large population comes greater road traffic, and with that comes the possibility of vehicle accidents, which can lead to permanent injuries or even loss of life.
In the past year alone (2019), there were 268 vehicle-related deaths in St. Lucie County. Car accidents can cause property damage, injure you physically, and cause emotional trauma, but you can make a claim for these damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Personal Injury Lawyers serving Port St. Lucie for guidance on how to proceed with your car accident claim.Leading Cause of Car Accidents
Car accidents occur due to different causes, including reckless driving or circumstantial causes. The top causes for car crashes include:
- Distracted Drivers
- Accidents involving Drunk or DUI Drivers
- Speeding & Reckless Driving
- Drivers Who Fail to Yield
- Aggressive Driving
NHTSA research indicates that distracted driving was the cause of 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone. Distracted driving includes all those drivers who fail to pay attention to the road. This includes talking on the phone, texting, eating or drinking, speaking to passengers in the car, being mentally distracted, and so on. Such drivers may fail to see the possibility of a collision until it actually happens, and the results can be fatal.
Even more dangerous than distracted driving is drunk driving, which claimed 10,511 lives in 2018 , according to the US NHTSA. Drunk drivers are unable to focus properly on the road and have reduced cognitive function, so they are unable to steer their car carefully. Drunk driving causes accidents every day, many of which are fatal and can even lead to death.
The same problems apply to drivers who are under the influence of drugs – they may end up becoming responsible for claiming someone’s life or injuring them permanently.
Speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018 . Many drivers tend to ignore the speed limit very casually, but driving fast makes it difficult for them to stop in dire situations and may lead to car accidents. Apart from speeding, many drivers get reckless on the road and may change lanes constantly and quickly without indication, tailgate other cars at peak traffic hours, and more, all of which can lead to car crashes.
Speeding and reckless driving become particularly dangerous for nighttime drivers, who may fail to see a vehicle, obstruction, or people until it’s too late.
This includes drivers who don’t make proper turns, and those run red lights and stop signs. Drivers that run red lights are breaking the law, and if they kill someone in a car accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. By running a red light, drivers won’t be able to gauge which directions the cars are coming in and may end up being involved in a collision.
Similarly, stop signs should not be ignored. Drivers should stop, look both ways, and then move forward. Failure to do so may lead to side hits, rollovers, and other dangerous accidents.
Many drivers in the US suffer from road rage. While many drivers get angry at others on the road, this needles anger can lead to speeding and other reckless behavior in the attempt to get ahead of other drivers and reach their destination faster. Aggressive driving has become a cause of many avoidable car accidents and deaths.
Car accidents can leave victims with injuries, some of which may impair you for life or even be fatal. Serious injuries caused by car accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Loss of Limb and Amputation
- Broken & Fractured Bones
- Internal Injuries and Internal Bleeding
Head and brain injuries range from minor, short term damage to severe, permanent injuries. Sudden movements caused by a car accident can lead to muscle strains in the neck and land a blow on the victim’s head, leading to brain trauma. Head injuries range from slight concussions to skull fractures and brain damage.
The unexpected force of a car crash can impact your arms and legs. The accident can cause minor scrapes and bruises or may impact your limbs to the point where they are no longer functional. In some cases, these limbs may also become infected or completely severed in the accident.
From fractured and broken ribs to other broken bones in the arms, legs, shoulders, and hips, car accidents can damage the victim’s entire body. Broken bones usually result from car accidents caused by side-end or rear-end impact. In order to recover, extensive bone grafting may be required.
Apart from visible injuries, internal injuries are also a common problem with car accidents. Internal bleeding can often be more dangerous than visible damage, especially if it goes unnoticed temporarily. If a car crash victim suffers from internal bleeding, they’ll need medical treatment immediately to avoid suffering from any lifelong problems like organ failure, or in extreme cases, death.
If you’ve suffered extensive physical and emotional damage or property damage, you can make a claim for these damages and pursue your rightful compensation.
- Past and Future Medical Bills
- Lost Wages and/or Benefits and Reduced Earning Potential
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
If you’ve been in a car accident, your injuries may range from a few scrapes to broken bones, whiplash, neck and back injuries, brain trauma, paralysis, or other issues that can impair you for life. Some injuries may surface some time after the accident, which will require additional medical treatments. Other ailments may require long term treatment, including medical prescriptions, physiotherapy, surgery, etc. Your attorney can help you calculate the costs of these medical expenses, including any at-home medical services. The at-fault party may be held liable to pay for these expenses.
Injuries you may have sustained during a car accident may impair you to the extent that you are unable to resume your job or forced to work at a lower income for a long period of time. In some cases, if the damage is permanent, you may have a reduced earning potential.
Pain and suffering includes both the physical pain from injuries and the mental and emotional pain from the accident such as depression, anxiety, etc. In some cases, you may be able to claim for damages in addition to your physical injuries if the accident has caused you to miss happy moments in your life and has generally left you upset and depressed.
For married couples or those in a relationship, being in a car accident may prevent the victim from being affectionate with their spouse, including loss of sexual interaction. This type of claim can be made by the spouse who wasn’t in the accident as well. If the victim dies, their family may be eligible to claim for the loss of their companionship in a wrongful death suit.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the legal steps in the aftermath of a car crash:Scene of the Crash
If you have been in a car accident, it is important to stay and immediately reach out to 911 or contact the local police department. Get a copy of the drivers exchange and traffic crash report. You may need to reach out to the Port St. Lucie Police Department.
Have any injuries examined by a qualified medical health professional, and if needed, go directly to the local hospital for emergency treatment. Port St. Lucie Hospital has a 24-hour crisis care center to cater to such emergencies.
Make sure to take plenty of photos and videos of the accident scene, including the vehicle/s involved, any traffic signs nearby, and the general scene. Be sure to take photos of your injuries as well.
Gather the necessary information from nearby witnesses, including their contact information, address, etc.After the Crash
After your injuries have been treated, gather your medical records and bills, including emergency room papers, discharge documents, and documents for any other care you’ve received in the hospital or from your treating physician.
Contact a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling car and auto claims. The attorneys at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers will offer guidance and help you understand your legal options.
If you are contacted by an insurance agency on behalf of the at-fault party, you should not give a recorded statement or sign any documents without consulting your attorney first.Florida Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time a victim has to file a lawsuit. In Florida, the time limit for a crash is different depending on the circumstances:
- For those injured in the accident, the Statute of Limitations to file a lawsuit is within 4 years of the date of the accident
- This 4-year limit is also applicable for property damage due to the accident
- If someone dies as a result of the accident, their family can pursue a wrongful death suit for up to 2 years after the death of the victim
You can access the complete Statute of Limitations in Florida for motor vehicles here.Hiring a Dedicated Injury Lawyer for Your Port St. Lucie Car Crash
For the victims of a car accident, the process of establishing a case can be tricky and typically involves a number of different aspects. From collecting medical records to dealing with the insurance company and more. Our lawyers can try to help you make this process as quick and efficient as possible. We’ll help you through all the following steps:Establishing a Claim
The first step will involve a discussion with your attorney to go over important details, including the contact and personal information of the involved parties, the severity of injuries, incurred medical costs (past and future), etc.
From here on, your legal team will begin collecting all the relevant data for pursuing a claim so that they can try to help you establish a strong case.Investigation Process
The investigation process will cover a number of factors, including:
- Your attorney will communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- The attorney will review all the medical documentation accumulated due to the accident – they may speak to your doctors to get an estimate of future medical treatment and costs, etc.
- The attorney will examine the photos and videos from the scene of the accident and if necessary, will try to access footage from nearby security cameras.
- Your attorney will speak to any witnesses to the accident.
In Florida, all drivers need to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP)- Florida has a 14-day PIP rule . If you sustain injuries in a car accident you are eligible for medical insurance coverage if you seek medical treatment within 14 days of the car accident. This insurance covers a percentage of your medical expenses and lost wages. However, this may not cover all of your medical expenses and losses.
Our legal team will help you initiate a claim for your injuries and other damages. Our car accident lawyers will communicate with the insurance company and we strive to negotiate the settlement that you deserve. Claim adjusters may start with a very low offer, and the insurance company focuses on minimizing the payout you receive. If necessary, we are prepared to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and any other liable parties.Mediation
Our lawyers are experienced in mediation and we strive to address that you either receive your rightful compensation or we will proceed with a trial.Get Started with a Free Consultation at Frankl & Kominsky
Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers have a team of attorneys with decades of experience in the field of handling car accident claims. Our team will help you pursue claims for property damage, physical injuries, and mental trauma resulting from a car crash.
We’ll provide you with a free consultation to review your case and offer guidance to help you hold the at fault party liable. Work towards pursuing compensation for the damages incurred in a car accident by reaching out to Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers at 772-800-8000 or contact us online. For additional information on auto accidents and more, you can access our videos here.
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents in the state of Florida. If you are among those who have suffered losses in a car crash, contact Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers.