Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you may see the medical bills piling up and wonder how you’ll pay them while you’re out of work recovering. You deserve to have a legal advocate on your side to ease this burden.
As soon as your injuries are stable after a car accident, we recommend calling a personal injury law firm to learn how a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you. Our team at Meldon Law works hard to stand up for the rights of injured car accident victims. We understand how to seek the compensation you deserve under Florida law, so please contact our office today for more information by calling (352) 373-8000.
The Legal Process After a Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale
When you suffer injuries in a car accident, Florida law allows you to seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties. You can accomplish this by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit against them in civil court.
The legal process is complex and requires that you prove the other party was negligent in causing your accident and injuries. This is a specific legal standard, and your attorney should always have extensive experience handling this type of case.
At Meldon Law, we will take on your fight like it was our own. Our personal injury attorneys are a force to be reckoned with inside and outside the courtroom. We promise to offer each client compassion, accountability, reliability, excellence, and a drive for success. We’ll take the necessary time to get to know you and ensure you understand the legal process. Serving injury victims isn’t just our job—it’s our calling.
Fort Lauderdale Auto Accidents Can Result in Serious Losses
If you were in a car accident in the Fort Lauderdale area, you should take several critical steps. First, remain at the scene and call 911 or law enforcement. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you suffered any injuries, no matter how mild they may seem.
Next, you should explore your legal options to seek compensation, as the losses arising from car accident injuries can be devastating and life-changing – such as a paralyzing spinal cord injury. Whether you sustained a concussion or suffered catastrophic injuries, treatment costs can devastate you financially.
Medical bills often cause economic hardship, especially when combined with other losses you may incur. Your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can pursue the following losses on your behalf:
The extent of your medical costs will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. Examples of treatment that victims may require after an auto accident include emergency care, hospitalization, surgical procedures, doctor and specialist visits, medication, physical therapy, home health assistance, medical equipment, and more.
If your injuries will require ongoing treatment, the cost of those future treatments may also be compensable, and your Fort Lauderdale car wreck attorney can help you estimate your future medical-related losses.
Injuries from car accidents can force you to miss work for a significant time. Some injuries require extensive medical care, including surgery, and may be so severe that they require a strict rest period for days or weeks. Other injuries may prevent you from performing at your job, especially if your duties involve heavy lifting or physical activity.
If you suffer permanent impairments, you may be unable to return to the same job and must seek a lower-paying position. We can include all these past and future lost wages in your car accident losses.
In addition to financial losses, car accidents can cause many intangible or subjective losses. These can include the physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma from your injuries and the accident.
You may experience a temporary or permanent loss of enjoyment of life if you had to limit your everyday activities significantly or change jobs , or if you experience any long-lasting disabilities, disfigurement, or impairments.
Because financial and personal losses can be so extensive, working with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can be highly beneficial. They can help you pursue fair compensation for all the damages you sustained in your accident.
Wrongful Death Damages
Per Florida Statutes §768.21, the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate may file the claim on behalf of any surviving family members. Those who may benefit include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and dependent blood relatives.
Common damages in a wrongful death claim include medical costs, funeral and burial costs, lost income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one in a Fort Lauderdale car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death attorney can help you understand how Florida’s wrongful death laws apply to your situation.
Proving Negligence and Liability After a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident
To be successful in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you must prove the at-fault party was negligent. To prove negligence in a Fort Lauderdale car accident case, your lawyer must establish the following four elements:
- Duty of Care: The potentially liable party owed a duty of care to the injured party. In car accident cases, all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and adhere to traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: The injured party must demonstrate that the potentially liable party breached their duty of care. This involves showing that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care by engaging in negligent actions such as speeding, running a red light, distracted driving, etc.
- Causation: The injured party must show that the potentially liable party’s negligent actions directly or proximately caused the car accident.
- Damages: The injured party must provide evidence of damages or harm resulting from the car accident. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other quantifiable losses.
One or more responsible parties may be liable for the losses sustained in a personal injury case involving a car accident. Proving another party’s negligence requires critical investigative tasks, such as gathering evidence, including accident reports, witness testimonies, photographs, expert testimony, and medical records.
Potentially negligent parties in a Fort Lauderdale car accident case may include the following:
- Drivers, when engaging in unsafe or inattentive behavior such as speeding, driving distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, disregarding traffic laws, or being reckless.
- Employers, for improper hiring or training of an employee who causes an accident while driving in the scope of their employment.
- Vehicle manufacturers or distributors, when a defect in a vehicle or one of its components, such as faulty brakes, causes an accident.
- Government entities responsible for designing, constructing, or maintaining the road, when an accident occurs due to hazardous road conditions, a lack of signage, or inadequate road maintenance.
When you consult with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer from Meldon Law, they can help you identify the negligent parties and pursue a legal compensation claim. They will examine your case’s specific facts and advise on how to proceed. Our lawyers know how to prove negligence and determine liability, and we will give you as much relevant information as possible.
Car Accident Insurance Claims in Florida
Car accident claims in Florida are different than in many other states. Before you can file a lawsuit or claim with another party’s insurance company, you must first seek compensation from your own no-fault insurance, called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), per Florida Statutes § 627.7407. You should file this claim with your policy, no matter who was at fault in the accident.
PIP claims can be complicated, and having a Fort Lauderdale car wreck lawyer on your team throughout the process can be beneficial. Per Florida Statutes § 627.736, PIP only covers up to 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your lost income. Your attorney can identify when your coverage is inadequate to cover the costs of serious injuries and when you have the right to take additional legal action.
Meldon Law has handled many car accident cases in the Fort Lauderdale area, and we fully understand the procedures, laws, and steps involved in the legal process. Your Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney will explore every option to obtain proper compensation for you, and we won’t back down.
Types of Fort Lauderdale Motor Vehicle Accidents
Various types of motor vehicle accidents can occur on Fort Lauderdale roads. Some common types and possible causes include the following:
- Rear-end collisions: These occur when one vehicle hits another from behind, often due to unsafe driving, including tailgating, distracted driving, or sudden braking.
- Head-on collisions: These car accidents occur when the front ends of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. They often result when one driver crosses into opposing traffic or drives the wrong way on a one-way street.
- Side-impact collisions (T-bones): These accidents occur when the front end of one vehicle impacts the side of another. They often happen at intersections when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way or runs a red light.
- Sideswipes: When the sides of two vehicles come into contact while traveling parallel to each other, this is called a sideswipe accident. These accidents often happen during lane changes when drivers fail to check blind spots or improperly merge into another lane.
- Rollover accidents: Rollovers occur when a motor vehicle flips onto its side or roof and often involve larger vehicles with a comparatively high center of gravity, such as vans, trucks, and SUVs. They are commonly associated with speeding, aggressive maneuvers, abrupt swerving, or any accident that causes a vehicle to lose balance.
- Multi-vehicle pileups: These accidents involve multiple vehicles and often occur on highways or freeways. They frequently result from unfavorable weather, poor visibility, or chain reactions following an initial collision.
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents: These accidents involve a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclist. They often occur at crosswalks, intersections, or when drivers fail to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists who share the road.
- Hit-and-run accidents: Hit-and-run accidents refer to collisions in which one or more drivers leave the scene without stopping to provide information or assistance. This is illegal, per Florida Statutes § 316.06.
It’s important to remember that each accident is unique. Irrespective of the type of accident you’ve experienced, consulting with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney may benefit you. They can investigate the facts of your case and provide you with feedback regarding your legal rights and options.
Common Car Accident-Related Injuries
Car accidents are associated with nearly endless potential injuries, varying in severity depending on factors such as how fast each vehicle was traveling, the points of impact, and if those involved were wearing seat belts. Accidents involving high speeds, exceedingly large vehicles, and reckless or impaired drivers often cause the worst collisions and most severe injuries.
The following are some common types of car accident injuries and their causes:
- Whiplash: According to the Mayo Clinic, this injury occurs when a person’s head is forcefully jerked back and forth, causing strain on the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms include stiffness, neck pain, headaches, and a limited range of motion.
- Broken bones: The impact and force exerted during a collision can lead to fractures, especially in the wrists, arms, legs, and ribs.
- Back injuries: The sudden impact of a car accident can result in back injuries, including herniated discs, spinal fractures, and strains. These injuries can result in severe pain, limited mobility, and long-term complications.
- Head injuries: These range in severity from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. Even with seat belts and airbags in place, a person can hit the dashboard, window, steering wheel, or other objects, potentially breaking the skull or causing bleeding in the brain.
- Soft tissue injuries: These injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can include sprains, strains, and bruises. They can result in pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
- Cuts and lacerations: Broken glass, sharp metal, or objects inside the vehicle can cause skin cuts and lacerations. Severe injuries may require stitches or even surgery.
- Internal injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause damage to internal organs, leading to internal bleeding or organ damage. These injuries are not always apparent initially and can be life-threatening if not addressed promptly.
- Psychological injuries: Car accidents can result in significant, long-lasting psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Even if you don’t believe you are seriously injured after a car crash, getting medical assistance immediately is crucial. In some cases, injuries may not manifest symptoms right away, and prompt medical attention can help identify the injury and provide effective treatment. If you don’t go to the emergency room, follow up with a medical professional to assess and treat your injuries as soon as possible.
How Can Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys Assist You?
Per HB 837 / SB236, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the accident date or your loved one’s death. If you fail to file your lawsuit by this deadline, the court will likely dismiss it.
This is just one reason you should contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible after your accident. Building a solid case takes time, and there is not a moment to lose.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Our Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys at Meldon Law can evaluate your car accident and advise you on your best financial recovery options. Car accident injuries can change your life, and you should not have to bear the burden of your financial losses alone. Call our office at (352) 373-8000 or contact us online for a free consultation today.