Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. From a simple fender bender to a catastrophic accident, car accidents can cause serious injury or death, lost wages, large amounts of medical bills, stress on a person’s marital and family life, and overall disruption of a person’s personal and professional life. Florida Law allows you to recover money for these types of losses.
Car accidents are a common and serious problem in Florida. Although the Sunshine State provides legal remedies for those injured in auto accidents, navigating the Florida legal system can be difficult. Dealing with insurance companies is yet another challenge. Obtaining compensation for your automobile accident injuries is no easy task.
A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can work to obtain the legal compensation you deserve for your Florida car accident. In the aftermath of a car accident, dealing with insurance companies and legal issues is the last thing to be handling on your own. At the Maus Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys can evaluate your case and step in to fight for your legal rights.
What to Expect After a Car Accident in Florida
Immediately after being involved in a car accident, the most important thing is to seek medical attention if needed. The best course of action is generally to call 911 and allow paramedics to examine you at the scene of the accident. Depending on the seriousness of the incident and extent of injuries, police and fire rescue may also respond. You should also contact your own insurance company as soon as reasonably possible.
There may be instances where an insurance company for another driver offers you a quick settlement amount in exchange for a waiver of liability. While this settlement offer might seem very attractive at the time, it is virtually always less than an appropriate amount. Do not sign such a waiver without first consulting with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney.
Role of a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident in the Fort Lauderdale or Miami area, it is best to get a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer involved as quickly as possible. Your attorney can help in the following ways:
- Medical Treatment: Your attorney should ensure you are receiving proper medical treatment for your injuries.
- Communication with Insurance Companies: Your attorney can communicate with the insurance company of any at-fault driver on your behalf. Your lawyer can include settlement negotiation on your behalf, either before or after a lawsuit is filed.
- Accident Investigation & Evidence Collection: Your auto accident lawyer should also investigate the accident and collect relevant evidence. This procedure would include examining the scene of the incident, obtaining any photographic evidence, obtaining witness statements, and obtaining and evaluating any police reports.
- Evaluation of Injuries and Overall Case: A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can also evaluate your potential compensation for injuries through review of medical records. An attorney may also retain experts on your behalf to support your claim further. In conjunction with accident investigation and evidence collection, this will allow the attorney to evaluate your overall case.
- Filing Lawsuit and Litigating Case: Depending on the strength of the case and the status of settlement negotiations, you and your attorney may opt to file a lawsuit and pursue litigation. The statute of limitations for most Florida auto accidents is four years from the date of the accident. If a victim dies as a result of the crash, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death.
Stages of a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit
When you retain an attorney to recover compensation in a Florida car accident lawsuit, it is helpful to know how the litigation process will generally unfold.
Settlement negotiations with the insurance company of the at-fault driver will generally begin before filing any lawsuit. A lot will depend on the nature of your injuries and the strength of the evidence against the other driver. Also crucial are the policy limits available to cover any damages. Any lost wages or loss of future earning ability will also come into play. A settlement can occur at many instances in the lawsuit, and your attorney will help you understand your options.
The negotiations with the insurance company often continue past the point of filing the lawsuit. In fact, settlements can be negotiated right up to the moment of a trial, and even during the trial. This is the moment where your attorney’s litigation skills will be crucial. The insurance company will need to be concerned about you prevailing at trial to offer serious settlement money.
Filing the Lawsuit and Discovery
If your car accident attorney is not able to obtain a reasonable settlement, he or she may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver on your behalf. As noted above, settlement negotiations are likely to continue with the insurance company. However, after filing of the lawsuit, both parties will have the right to engage in the discovery process.
The discovery process is the name for the formal exchange of information between the parties before trial. This information exchange concerns the witnesses and evidence that will be presented at trial and generally includes the following:
- Police reports about the accident
- Medical records regarding your accident injuries
- Medical records regarding your health before the accident
- Medical examinations of the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) by the defendant’s medical experts
- The taking of your deposition (an examination under oath) by the defendant’s attorney
- Depositions of other witnesses
Trial, Verdict, and Appeal
If the case does not settle during the discovery process, it will likely proceed to trial before a judge or jury. Both sides will question witnesses before the judge or jury, some of whom will be expert witnesses retained by the parties. The judge or jury will then render a verdict, stating who is liable for the accident and stating the full amount of damages. If either side is dissatisfied with the judgment, they may have the right to appeal.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer at the Maus Law Firm
If you have been injured or suffered property damage in a car accident in the Fort Lauderdale area, contact our firm today. The Florida legal landscape is tough terrain, and insurance companies are likely to play hardball. A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer at the Maus Law Firm can navigate the legal system for you and battle to obtain the compensation you need. Complete our contact form or call us at 1-855-999-5297 for a free consultation.