Boca Raton, Florida, Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents, unfortunately, are very common in the state of Florida. Official data suggests that there are roughly 450,000 accidents on roadways in Florida each year, or well over 1,000 each day. If you were involved in a car accident, you should be aware of your legal options to address the harms you have likely suffered.
People who negligently cause car accidents are responsible for the damages to the other parties affected by the crash. These damages will often include compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You only have four years to file your lawsuit to recover damages for a car accident under Florida law. Therefore, it is critical that you speak to a Boca Raton car accident attorney immediately if you believe you have a case.
At Jared Newman, Esq., I make it my mission to get you every dime you deserve. A car accident can affect a victim physically, financially and emotionally, and you deserve compensation for each area. To schedule your free consultation, call my offices at 954-329-5955.
What To Do After A Car Accident In Boca Raton
It can be stressful to try to deal with a car accident while you’re injured or still in shock. However, there are a couple of key steps you can take at the scene and immediately afterward that will benefit you down the road.
If you are involved in a car accident, you should immediately remove yourself and your car from the area of danger. If you can, pull over to the side of the road and put your hazard lights on so passing cars can safely avoid you.
Call 911 so the dispatcher will send an officer to write up an accident report, which will be critical information for your insurance claim and potential lawsuit. Try to obtain contact and insurance information from all other drivers or passengers involved. Also, if there were any witnesses to the accident nearby, attempt to get their contact information, as they can be useful for introducing evidence.
You should always seek medical care immediately after a car accident. Not only are health and safety top priorities, but medical care also helps you get your injuries documented.
Negligence For Car Accidents
When car accidents occur, the facts will typically point to one person being responsible. They may have been speeding or driving in some other erratic manner. They could also have been distracted or texting while driving. These are all grounds for suing them for negligence.
Negligence is the legal theory that puts liability on a person for behaving in a way that is unreasonable and ultimately harmful. Someone whose negligence causes damage to a person or property will be responsible for compensating the harmed party or parties for the damages.
In order to prove negligence in a car accident in Boca Raton, a plaintiff must prove four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.
A person can only be negligent if they owed the victim a duty of care, or a general responsibility to prevent foreseeable harm. For car accidents, duty is fairly straightforward. According to Florida law, all drivers owe a duty to other drivers to take reasonable care to avoid accidents.
Breach Of Duty
When proving negligence, proving breach of duty is typically accomplished by establishing what a reasonably prudent person in the defendant’s situation should have done differently. For instance, a reasonably prudent person would follow the speed limit and use turn signals as needed. A driver’s failure to follow traffic laws is clear evidence of their breach of duty.
Proving that the breach of duty caused the crash becomes tricky. Plaintiffs must prove that the accident would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s breach of duty and that no other superseding factors played a role in causing the accident. For instance, if weather conditions causing low visibility prevented the defendant from braking in time to avoid the crash, it’s possible that no reasonable driver could have avoided the crash. However, if the driver was going too fast for the weather conditions, the crash could still be their fault.
The whole point of a personal injury suit for negligence after a car accident is to recover damages. Damages are only available for the direct consequences of the accident, but this can include a wide range of economic and noneconomic harms.
Calculating Damages After A Car Accident In Boca Raton
Florida law allows for victims of car accidents to recover a number of different damages. The most straightforward damage claims will address the direct costs and consequences of the accident. These “economic” damages include medical expenses for personal injuries such as hospital stays, emergency procedures, physical therapy, specialist appointments and prescriptions. Economic damages also take into account the cost of auto repairs to remedy any damage to the vehicle. Plaintiffs can also seek compensation for lost wages from missed work while recuperating from their injuries.
Courts also recognize that the harm suffered may not all be apparent on the surface. The pain and suffering associated with the psychological trauma and chronic pain of an accident can also be claimed as noneconomic damages. These noneconomic damages are typically proven through the victim’s testimony.
Statute Of Limitations For Car Accident Lawsuits In Boca Raton
The statute of limitations (or the time limit for when a car accident victim can file a lawsuit) is four years from the date of the accident under Florida law. However, certain circumstances may extend your filing deadline, including:
- For deadly accidents, a wrongful death suit may be filed up to four years from the time of death.
- If the victim of the car accident is a minor, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the child turns 18.
If you file your lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, the court will discard it entirely, so it is critical to be timely.
Get Help From Me Today
I can work with you to compile evidence, prepare and file your case and represent you in court and in settlement negotiations. Schedule your free consultation today by calling Jared Newman, Esq., at 954-329-5955.