Even the most cautious drivers can be powerless to avoid certain types of motor vehicle accidents. Many collisions can cause serious injuries that result in lengthy hospital stays and significant time away from work – not to mention pain and psychological trauma. Contact our car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale today.
While the accident itself may last no more than a few seconds, the financial, physical, and emotional impact of a car accident can last a lifetime. It is not something you should ever have to handle on your own.
From major highways such as U.S. Route 1 (US 1), State Road 870 (SR 870), and Interstate 95 (I-95) to smaller local roads like Prospect Road, Bel Air Avenue, and Terra Mar Drive, car accidents can occur literally anywhere in Fort Lauderdale. Some collisions involve only minor damage to vehicles, but many other crashes result in people suffering serious injuries.
Victims who are seriously injured in car accidents in Florida can frequently be confused about how to recover the money they need for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. The process can become even more stressful when the insurance company for the negligent party argues that the victim was actually the one at fault for the collision.
The Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at the law firm of Englander Peebles represent residents and visitors injured in car crashes all over the Fort Lauderdale metro area. Our firm is ready to fight to make sure that you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to. Call our personal injury attorneys at (954) 231-1384 or contact us online right now to schedule a free consultation that will let our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case.
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Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Fort Lauderdale
In November 2017, WPLG-TV reported that I-95 was the fifth-most dangerous highway in the nation for car wrecks. The interstate saw an average of 0.730 fatalities per mile, although WPLG noted that the study did not show where the deaths occurred (I-95 stretches from Miami all the way to the Canadian border in Maine).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) named Fort Lauderdale the most dangerous highway to drive on in 2011, and six years later, the Sun-Sentinel reported that a WalletHub study found Fort Lauderdale was ranked the least safe of 182 metro areas in the United States (although the study found the city ranked 147th in traffic fatalities per capita).
Some of the notable roads and intersections in Fort Lauderdale that seem to be common locations for devastating crashes include:
- East Las Olas Boulevard & Florida A1A
- South Flamingo Road
- Alligator Alley section of Everglades Parkway (Interstate 75 or I-75)
- Marina Mile Boulevard section of State Road 84
- Florida’s Turnpike (State Road 91 or SR 91)
- Sunrise Boulevard & Andrews Avenue
- NE 26th Street & North Federal Highway
If you were injured in an automobile accident, on any of these roads in Fort Lauderdale you are certainly not alone. However, even if your crash occurred on a smaller road not listed here, we can help you with your case.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
After a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, you should take the following steps to ensure you have a strong claim:
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you initially think that you were not hurt in a car accident, it is always wise to still have your condition evaluated by a medical professional. Certain injuries produce delayed symptoms. Having these injuries properly diagnosed as soon as possible will ensure you receive the treatment you need. Additionally, insurance providers for negligent parties frequently use any delays in treatment to argue that a victim’s injuries are not as severe as claimed.
Call the Police
You will want to have law enforcement investigate and document your incident. Do not honor any requests by the other driver to try to “keep the police out of it.” Police officers can also provide valuable assistance when a negligent driver leaves the scene of a crash (commonly referred to as a hit-and-run crash). In most cases, officers can help you obtain critical information and create an official record of the incident.
In addition to the name and contact information for the negligent driver, victims should also try to get the same information from all witnesses who saw the crash. Statements from independent third parties can often prove to be extremely important when there is a debate about who was at fault for an accident.
Take Pictures of the Accident
Accident scenes will be cleaned up as quickly as possible, so victims should try to take as many photographs of their crash scenes before the evidence disappears. You will want to take pictures of all injuries and vehicle damage. Try to get photographs from multiple angles and distances. Ask someone you trust to do this for you if your injuries prevent you from doing it yourself.
Avoid Speaking to Car Insurance Companies
The insurer for the other driver will generally reach out to a victim very soon after a crash. In most cases, the representatives for the insurance company will seem very friendly and genuinely concerned about your well-being. However, they often use these conversations to get victims to unknowingly make very damaging recorded statements that are later used to reduce injury awards.
Call an Auto Accident Lawyer
As soon as you are able, the first person you should contact to discuss your case should be an experienced attorney. The motor vehicle attorneys at Englander Peebles make themselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist car accident victims.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Florida Car Accident Claim?
Insurance companies have a goal of paying as little as possible to resolve motor vehicle accident claims. Insurers will frequently pressure victims into accepting settlements that are much less than what the victims are entitled to. Valid claims may also be denied for questionable reasons.
You should avoid speaking to another driver’s insurance company until you have legal representation. Englander Peebles can negotiate with insurers to help you recover all of the compensation that you are entitled to. Our firm can file a lawsuit when an insurance company is unwilling to provide an adequate settlement.
With Englander Peebles, you can feel secure knowing that you are receiving aggressive legal representation and that we are working hard to get you the compensation you deserve. A successful car crash case can result in receiving compensation that will fully cover not only your physical injuries and damage to your car but also other losses.
While every case is unique, potential compensation could include the following areas of recovery:
Medical Bills and Cost of Ongoing Treatment
You should recover not only for the many medical bills you have already paid (for example, the first emergency room visit and any follow-up doctors’ visits), but also for the ongoing medical and rehabilitative care you will need in the months and years to come.
Time Off From Work and Lost Future Wages
It is common to miss at least a few days of work following a car accident. However, a car wreck can have you out of work for months or even years. This loss of income is a burden you should not have to carry. For some, the lost wages may be just the time immediately following the accident. For others, the car collision may have caused such extensive damage that you are never able to work again or you have to take a different role with a lower rate of pay.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a broad concept that can mean different things for different people. Following a South Florida car crash, many individuals experience a wide range of emotions that can have a major impact on their everyday life and their ability to interact with others. The first thing to know is that this is totally normal and something you can and should seek out professional help for.
For instance, PTSD is an issue that many people deal with following a car accident and it can take a very long time to ultimately get over. Even if you are never diagnosed with a specific psychological condition, you can still likely recover compensation for your pain and suffering.
Damage to Your Car and Other Property
Was your car totaled in the wreck? Were other things in your car damaged as well as a result of the collision? Did you have to rent a car or find and pay for other forms of transportation for an extended period of time following the wreck? These are not something you should ultimately pay for out of your own pocket.
Florida is one of a dozen states that uses a pure comparative fault system of awarding damages, which means that a victim can recover damages even when he or she was partly at fault. Under this system, the damages a victim is awarded will be proportionately reduced by his or her share of responsibility in the crash. For example, a person who is awarded $10,000 but found to be 25 percent at fault would receive $7,500.
Compensation Available After a Serious Car Accident
Most drivers registered in Florida have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policies and are required to file claims with their own insurers, which should pay their claims regardless of fault. It is not uncommon for such policies to have insufficient limits necessary to cover all of a victim’s medical bills and lost wages, though. In many cases, an injured accident victim may be able to pursue additional compensation from the at-fault driver’s coverage.
When your attorney is negotiating a settlement with the negligent driver’s insurer, discussions may center on various types of other damages. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, property damage to your vehicle, future rehabilitative treatment, loss of earning capacity, and more.
Numerous factors will be considered by an insurance company in determining the proper settlement amount. Some of these factors include your age, your doctor’s prognosis regarding your need for future medical care, your work history, and your pain and suffering, among many other factors.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Florida?
The time limit that a person has to file a personal injury claim is known as the statute of limitations. Under Florida Statute § 95.11(3), an individual has four years to file a lawsuit for a car wreck caused by someone else’s negligence. Failure to file suit within the statute of limitations will lead to courts refusing to hear your case.
While four years can sound like a long period of time to some people, it is important to not delay in taking legal action. Your lawyer will likely need to conduct an independent investigation to collect important evidence. Any delays in contacting an attorney can make it more difficult to complete an effective investigation.
It is critical for any person who has been injured or whose loved one was killed in a motor vehicle wreck to contact our Fort Lauderdale car collision lawyer as soon as possible. Delays in pursuing legal action after a car accident can make it difficult to hold a negligent party accountable.
Also keep in mind that if your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle crash, the statute of limitations is even shorter. Florida allows family members only two years to file wrongful death claims.
Common Causes of Car Wrecks
One of the most contentious areas of car crash claims is the determination of fault. In many cases, there is a dispute between the parties involved as to who was responsible for the crash. Auto collisions can also involve multiple parties bearing some degree of responsibility.
Englander Peebles understands the complexity of these types of investigations and will work tirelessly to determine how an accident really occurred, secure evidence proving a driver’s negligence, and making sure that the party is held accountable.
Some of the most frequent reasons that crashes happen in Fort Lauderdale include:
Speeding Car Accidents
Drivers operating at excess speeds are frequently unable to stop in time to avoid collisions. Speeding drivers are also more likely to lose control of their vehicles. Accidents involving speeding vehicles have a greater impact when crashes occur, usually meaning that injuries are more severe or even fatal.
Violations of Traffic Laws
Improper turns, failure to stop at traffic signs or signals, and failure to signal are some of the more common kinds of violations that can lead to accidents.
Distracted Driving Car Wrecks
People talking or texting on cell phones are much more likely to cause car crashes than drivers who are paying attention. An attorney can subpoena the phone records of such drivers to prove negligence in these cases. In addition to mobile phones, other types of distractions that can lead to accidents include eating while driving, adjusting dashboard controls, putting on makeup, shaving, and brushing hair.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Drunk and drugged driving laws were passed in hopes of reducing the number of wrecks. Offenders not only face criminal consequences for violations but civil liability as well. It is important to note that a driver who avoids a conviction for DUI can still be held liable in a civil claim because the two cases are entirely separate from one another.
Reckless Driving Accidents
Florida Statute § 316.192 defines the offense of reckless driving as a person driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This type of driving is considered negligent when it causes a crash.
Some accidents are not necessarily the fault of a driver, but rather a malfunctioning part of the vehicle, such as brake failure or a tire blowout. Depending on the case, a maintenance company or manufacturer could be liable for injuries in a product liability action.
People who operate motor vehicles for long periods of time or late at night are much more likely to doze off while behind the wheel. Their vehicle may leave its lane and collide with other vehicles. Driver fatigue is perhaps most common among commercial truck drivers, who are often required to spend many consecutive hours on the road.
Inclement Weather Accidents
Rain, smoke, and fog are just some of the types of conditions that can impact a driver’s ability to see other motorists as well as control the vehicle. Motorists are expected to operate with additional caution when such circumstances arise.
Types of Car Accident Cases Our Injury Law Firm Can Help With
Some of the most common kinds of auto crashes that Englander Peebles handles include:
- Car Accident Fatalities
- Head-on Car Wrecks
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
- Rollover Car Accidents
- Side-Impact Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Left-Hand Turn Accidents
- Failure to Yield Accidents
- Distracted Driving Wrecks
- Speeding Accidents
- DUI Car Wrecks
- Uninsured Motorist Car Accident Claims
- Uber Car Accidents
- Lyft Car Accidents
If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed in an automobile accident in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, or any other surrounding area of South Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately get help from a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. Englander Peebles has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for car accident victims all over the Sunshine State.
You should contact our firm before making any statement to a negligent driver’s insurance company. Our lawyers can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options. Call us or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation now. If you need directions to our Fort Lauderdale office, click this link.
Common Injuries Experienced From Car Wrecks
The severity of the injuries people suffer in car crashes often depends on multiple factors, including the speeds the vehicles were traveling, and the type of collision they were involved in. In many cases, victims require medical care that keeps them in a hospital for several days, weeks, or possibly even months.
Certain injuries make it impossible for victims to return to work. Some people can even be permanently unable to maintain any gainful employment because of the nature of their injuries.
Englander Peebles fights to get the compensation victims need for the costs of treating catastrophic injuries such as:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Vertebral Fractures
- Bone Fractures
- Herniated and Bulging Discs
- Burn Injuries
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Amputation of Limbs
We can help you recover compensation for these and any other accident injuries you sustained during an auto collision.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Many people are uncertain about what to do after a car accident in Fort Lauderdale. While the first thing a victim should do is seek medical attention (even if they think at first that they were not hurt), the next thing a person should do is seek experienced legal representation.
It is important to get help from an auto accident lawyer before you speak to the insurance company for the negligent driver. Make no mistake, the negligent party’s insurer will try to contact you very shortly after your crash. You should refuse to talk to them until you have legal counsel.
The first benefit of an attorney handling your case is that you will have someone able to represent you in conversations with the negligent driver’s insurance company. This is advantageous because you can be assured that you will not make any misstatements in recorded statements that may potentially damage your personal injury claim.
Furthermore, your lawyer will have a better understanding of the true value of your case. Insurers frequently attempt to offer victims lowball lump-sum settlements in exchange for them agreeing to not to file lawsuits. While these amounts can seem generous to some people,
in truth, most early settlement offers are for much less than what victims are actually entitled to. Even if the offers seem like enough to cover immediate costs, they rarely account for significant future expenses.
Your attorney can negotiate a full and fair settlement that accounts for all of your past, present, and future needs. If the insurance company proves unwilling to provide adequate compensation, your lawyer will be able to file a lawsuit to seek the damages you are entitled to.
Why Hire An Accident Lawyer?
When you’ve been hurt in a crash, it is a good idea to immediately consult with an attorney about your legal options. You will want assistance from a lawyer who has successfully handled car accident cases. Your attorney can conduct a thorough, independent investigation of your crash. When an experienced lawyer does this, they can determine the true cause of your accident, collect relevant evidence, and identify liable parties.
You will very likely be contacted by an insurance company representative who will encourage you not to hire an attorney. The adjuster may offer you a lump-sum settlement to resolve your case before you hire an attorney. Insurance providers push this option in hopes that victims will not take the settlement offers to attorneys who will very often inform them that they are entitled to much more compensation.
If you handle your own case and accept one of these settlements, you will likely find that the settlement is not enough to cover all costs relating to your injuries and you will be forced to pay those expenses out of your own pocket.
Dealing with a car insurance company is a very important reason for you to have an attorney. Not all insurers immediately try to settle these cases, and some may try to use deceptive tactics to trick victims into unknowingly making damaging statements about their involvement in the accident.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents, your attorney will be able to step in and handle all of these conversations on your behalf and begin negotiating for a fair and full settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future needs.
How Much Does a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Concerns about money should not prevent you from seeking legal representation after a car crash. Englander Peebles represents clients on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay us anything unless and until you receive a monetary award. Even then, the fees are simply deducted from your final settlement, meaning you pay us nothing out of pocket.
Our firm understands that many car accident victims are dealing with considerable financial stress because of the circumstances of their present situations. We advise our clients on the best ways to handle medical expenses, property damage bills, and other assorted costs as they arise while you are working to recover compensation.
Should I Call The Police After a Collision?
Florida Statute § 316.065 establishes that a driver involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any persons or property damage of at least $500 must immediately report the accident to the local police department. When an accident doesn’t occur in a municipality, the crash should be reported to the county sheriff or the nearest office or station of the Florida Highway Patrol. Calling 911 is typically the best way to contact these authorities.
You should always file a police report after being involved in any motor vehicle accident for your own protection. Even minor “fender benders” that at first seem to have resulted in no injuries and less than $500 of damage could lead to additional complications later on when not reported.
An insurance company could drop your policy for failing to report an accident. The other motorist may report the crash to their own insurance company and claim that you were at fault even though they said otherwise at the scene of the accident.
A police report after a car accident often proves to be extremely valuable for purposes relating to personal injury claims later on. Reporting your accident to authorities demonstrates that you are a responsible motorist, and it also puts information about the crash in writing.
Police officers can do things that many average people will not be able to handle on their own, such as getting statements and contact info from any witnesses. A conclusion by law enforcement that another motorist was at fault and any citations that the driver is issued in connection with the crash could also be beneficial in your injury claim. However, keep in mind that the police do not have the final say on civil liability for a crash.
How Do I Know If I Have a Car Collision Case?
You will generally have a car accident case any time that you or a loved one suffers serious injuries. People also have cases when they were not at fault, but insurance companies for negligent drivers are refusing to pay or offering too little. Essentially any car accident in which responsibility is disputed is a car accident case.
Many people worry that they do not have cases because they were partially at fault for their accidents. This is a common concern, but just because you may have had some fault in causing the accident, you may still be able to seek damages from another party in Florida.
Florida is considered a pure comparative fault state when it comes to negligence. Under Florida Statute § 768.81(3), a court must enter judgment against each party liable in a negligence action on the basis of each party’s percentage of fault. Florida Statute § 768.81(2) establishes that “contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as economic and non-economic damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault but does not bar recovery.”
This means that a person who is awarded $100,000 in a car accident case but is found to have been 25 percent at fault would have their damages reduced by $25,000 and ultimately receive $75,000.
What Slows Down Car Collision Claims?
Some claims are slowed down by dealing with a smaller insurance company whose claims adjusters take longer to perform investigations. Some cases are complicated by the nature of the victim’s injuries since it is important to have a full understanding of how the injuries will affect the victim’s life once the injuries have reached maximum medical improvement.
A car accident victim’s focus should primarily be on their physical and emotional recovery. Your attorney will worry about handling the possible settlement to your case.
Review Your Car Accident Claim With Englander Peebles Today
Fort Lauderdale car accidents can have devastating effects on not only those individuals involved in the actual accident but on their loved ones as well. The medical bills alone can quickly mount up and this financial reality is often further compounded by missed work, among many other things.
Working with an experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you get the financial recovery you and your loved ones deserve and let you focus on what’s most important – your physical and emotional recovery following a car accident. If you have recently been injured in a car accident, give Englander Peebles a call today to discuss your options. You can also reach us online.
Directions to Our Fort Lauderdale Injury Law Office
Englander Peebles is located at 2929 East Commercial Boulevard #305 in Fort Lauderdale, near the intersection of NE 50th Street and Bayview Drive. Those coming from west of Fort Lauderdale should take State Road 870 (SR 870) and make a U-turn at Bayview Drive.
For people north of the city, take US 1 before turning left on NE 55th Street, turning right on Bayview Drive, and finally turning right onto NE 50th Street and East Commercial Boulevard.
If you are south of Fort Lauderdale, take I-95 north to exit 32 and then proceed until you reach NE 50th Street and East Commercial Boulevard.
Feel free to ask for more specific directions when you call us or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your legal questions.