Auto Accident Injury in West Palm Beach, FL
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in West Palm Beach? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around West Palm Beach, FL that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in West Palm Beach, Florida
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 400,00 traffic crashes in Florida in 2019. A sobering 3,185 deaths and 236,753 injuries resulted from these crashes. Additionally, there were almost 9,000 motorcycle crashes, resulting in almost 8,000 injuries. In Palm Beach County alone there were 174 deaths and 16,787 injuries from a total of 26,817 crashes. The leading causes of car accidents in West Palm Beach are distracted driving, speeding and impairment. Fortunately, West Palm Beach has embraced Vision Zero, a city-wide initiative to create safer streets for multiple uses.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
West Palm Beach accidents involving injuries, fatalities, alcohol, or a hit-and-run, must be reported immediately to the police. You must stay at the crash scene and call 911. Drivers in minor crashes which do not require a police report may be eligible to self-report online or by mail. You can obtain a copy of your West Palm Beach crash report through the West Palm Beach Police Department.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the yearly cost of auto accident fatalities in Florida is more than $4.4 billion. In addition, Florida has one of the highest rates of auto accident deaths in the US. For non-fatal accidents, the National Safety Council reports that the average costs for injury and property damage range from $12,000 to almost $100,000 per accident. In Palm Beach County, 15,550 crashes resulted in property damage. This represents almost 60% of all crashes. A West Palm Beach attorney can help you assess all the costs from your accident, including property damage, medical bills and even lost wages or reduced quality of life.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in Florida
Liability Laws for West Palm Beach
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
Under Florida’s no-fault law, West Palm Beach drivers must carry at least $10,000 personal injury protection and $10,000 property damage liability coverage as part of their auto insurance. This insurance typically pays the insured’s bills, regardless of fault, up to the specified coverage. In addition, the personal injury protection includes $5,000 in death benefits. The no-fault law is supposed to make it easier for those injured in a car accident to seek medical treatment. However, West Palm Beach drivers may sue for severe injuries, but only if the case meets the threshold of tort liability, as specified by Florida law.
Statute of Limitations in West Palm Beach
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for auto accidents is four years. This means if you live in West Palm Beach, you only have four years from the date of your crash to file a claim for damages.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near West Palm Beach, FL
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct. We can even help you connect with legal help across Florida state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!