Looking for a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer?
Should you hire one?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, I will break down the need for a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s look at what Lakeland car accident lawyers do and why it’s important!
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Does A Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer Do
A Lakeland car accident lawyer is a legal professional specialized in dealing with car accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, or any type of accident involving a motor vehicle in Lakeland, Florida.
The car accident attorney in Lakeland has academic training in law and practical experience in dealing with a wide range of claims and legal actions related to a motor vehicle crash.
A qualified Lakeland auto attorney can represent victims of an accident and claim damages for personal injuries suffered or they can represent defendants accused of having caused damages resulting from an auto accident.
The best lawyers practicing in the area of car accidents in Lakeland, in the state of Florida, are trained to provide you with services such as:
- Conduct a comprehensive investigation of the car crash
- Gather the factual evidence relating to the collision
- Gather medical records and study them for accuracy and completeness
- Work with experts in the field of car accident reconstruction
- Work with medical experts and health practitioners
- Provide you with an estimation of how much damages you may legally claim
- File a claim before relevant insurance companies
- File a car accident lawsuit before the competent court
- Make sure that you are compensated for physical injuries and property damage
Although working with a lawyer does not guarantee the success of your claim, you want to retain the best accident lawyer near you or near the accident to maximize your chances of success.
Why Hire A Car Accident Lawyer Lakeland FL
A question that is asked often is if you should hire a Lakeland auto collision attorney near you?
The fact is that you don’t necessarily need to hire an attorney for car accidents.
Since Florida follows a no-fault system, whether you were involved in an accident or not, you can make a claim and get the compensation that your insurer provides.
However, in other cases, the circumstances of your accident may be complex, you may not be sure how to file a claim with your insurance, or you may have a legal claim against another for negligence, then you should minimally consult with an attorney or eventually hire one.
If your lawyer determines that you do have a valid claim to file a car accident lawsuit in Florida, then your attorney can provide you with valuable legal services such as:
- Comply with the Florida laws when filing a lawsuit for a car crash
- Ensuring you target the right defendant
- Assess your case and tell you how much your case is worth
- Make sure you have the proper evidence to prove your case
- Work with medical experts to get further reports or help you fill in the gaps in your medical evidence
- File a claim with insurance companies and negotiate a settlement with them
- Draft your lawsuit documents and file a legal action against the defendant
- Handle the legal proceedings for you such as discoveries and interrogatories
- Negotiate a fair settlement out of court or proceed to trial
Another important reason to hire a Lakeland car accident law firm or attorney is that they can assess your case and tell you how much your case is worth.
In other words, the lawyers can help you estimate how much you can recover in compensation for your damages by looking at who was at fault, the severity of your injuries, your financial losses, impact on your life, and so on.
What To Do Following A Car Accident
Nobody wants to get into a car accident as it can result in property damage and possibly lead to personal injuries.
However, knowing what to do in case you get into an accident can be very beneficial so that you can not only protect yourself but also ensure that your rights and recourses are protected.
If you are implicated in a car accident in Lakeland, here are the things that you should do immediately after:
- It’s important to stay calm (control your anger and don’t panic)
- Make sure that you are ok or others in the crash are ok
- Make sure you get immediate medical treatment
- Contact the police and file a car accident report
- Do not admit fault to anyone
- Take a lot of pictures of the scene of the accident (and video if you can)
- Collect the name of witnesses or others on the scene
Following a Lakeland car accident, the next important action to take is to call a Lakeland car accident attorney for legal advice.
Whether you were at fault or not, you should consider getting a consultation from a car accident lawyer Lakeland so you are aware of the legal consequences of the accident and know what to do next.
In many cases, Lakeland car accident attorneys offer a free consultation so you can present your story and they provide you with high-level legal guidance and recommendations.
Lakeland Car Accident Report
Under Florida laws, anyone getting into a motor vehicle accident resulting in damage to property or bodily injuries must report the accident to the authorities.
More specifically, Florida Statutes 316.065 requires that a Lakeland accident report be filed when the property damage is estimated to be worth more than $500.
Also, if there are any injuries caused to any person implicated in the accident (driver, passenger, pedestrian, or other), the accident must be reported.
If you get into an auto accident within a Lakeland municipality, then you’ll need to report the accident to the local police authorities.
On the other hand, if the vehicle accident takes place outside of a municipality, then you should report the accident to the Florida Highway Patrol office or the Office of the County Sheriff.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
What are the most common causes of car crashes in Lakeland, Florida?
Although there may be many reasons why someone may get into a car collision, here is a list of the most common causes:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to stop at the red light
- Violating traffic laws
- Bad weather conditions
- Faulty car parts
- Human error
- Negligent driving
- Excessive speeding
- Bad road conditions
- Animals on the road
- Failure to detect crossing pedestrians
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
As you can see from this list, in some cases, the driver of the vehicle may be at fault but in other cases, the car collision or accident may result from factors outside of the driver’s control.
What Are The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
If you’re lucky, a car accident can be minor and you can walk away with minor property damage or injuries.
However, when the accident is a major one, it’s possible to suffer important property damage and severe physical injuries (possibly fatal).
In Lakeland, here are some of the most common injuries suffered by those involved in a car crash:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Facial injuries
- Fractured bones
- Broken bones
- Muscle tissue injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Severe burns
If you have suffered an injury and need to better understand your rights under the Florida laws, you should call a car accident attorney in Lakeland to get accurate information specific to your case.
What Type of Compensation Can You Get After A Lakeland Car Accident
Anyone involved in a car wreck in Lakeland can potentially get compensation for the damages suffered.
Although the information here is general in nature and does not mean that you may actually be entitled to these damages, in general, the victim of a car accident can claim compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital stay fees
- Physical therapy expenses
- Surgery costs
- Prescription medication
- Medical equipment and devices
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Car repair expenses
- Car replacement expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Decreased earning capacity
- Rehabilitation costs
Getting fair compensation is important for the victim of an accident to be able to recover from the consequential financial losses and the potential impact on his or her life.
Who Is Liable For A Car Accident In Lakeland (Florida)
There are many parties that may be liable (or at fault) in the context of a car accident.
The state of Florida is one of the few states where you must carry no-fault car insurance (personal injury protection auto insurance or PIP).
As such, if you get into a car crash in Lakeland FL, whether it was your fault or not, you must report the accident to your insurance carrier for the compensation of your damages.
If a victim of a car accident receives medical treatment within fourteen days of the accident, then he or she may be eligible to receive PIP benefits regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
The victim of an accident may also be entitled to receive PIP insurance benefits over $2,500 if he or she received medical treatment for an emergency medical condition.
When an insurance claim is filed, you will get compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of the Lakeland accident such as the recovery of your medical bills, damages to your automobile, lost wages, and so on.
However, there are certain cases when a driver implicated in an automobile accident in Lakeland may have a legal claim directly against the at-fault driver.
In essence, if the at-fault driver was negligent or reckless causing you serious damages or even permanent ones, you may file a negligence lawsuit directly against the driver to get damages.
Considering the laws in Lakeland can get complex, it’s important that you speak to Lakeland auto accident attorneys to see if you can take legal action against the negligent driver.
Pure Comparative Fault System In Florida
The state of Florida follows a pure comparative fault system in establishing liability between the different parties involved in a claim.
When you have comparative negligence laws that apply, the fault for a car accident will be allocated in proportion to everyone’s responsibility in causing the accident.
For example, if you have two drivers getting into a vehicle crash and where Driver A was responsible for 80% and Driver B was responsible for 20%, then the court will condemn Driver A to 80% of the damages and Driver B to 20% of the damages.
This means that if Driver B had suffered $10,000 in damages, Driver A will need to pay $8,000 to compensate it for its damages and Driver B will need to absorb $2,000 of his or her own damages.
In the case of a “pure comparative negligence” system, each party can claim damages from the other party regardless of the claiming party was the one at fault or not.
For example, if Driver A causes the accident and was found to be 70% responsible, he or she can actually pursue the other driver to recover 30% of the damages it suffered in the accident (even though it was largely caused by his or her fault).
This means that if Driver A suffers $10,000 damages, he or she has a valid claim for $3,000 from the other driver under a pure comparative fault system applicable in Florida.
Car Accident Claim Statute of Limitations In Lakeland
In cases that you may have a possible claim against the driver who caused the accident, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit for negligence as soon as possible.
In fact, under the Florida Statute 95.11, the Florida laws provide you (the plaintiff) a period of four years to file a lawsuit for damages before a civil court.
The legal timeline you have to file a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations.
If you don’t file your lawsuit within four years from the moment you suffered the injury, your suit will be time-barred.
In other words, even if you have a valid claim for damages against the defendant, the court will dismiss your case as you took too long to file your claim.
In some exceptional cases, the statute of limitations deadline can be extended for some time.
To get a proper understanding of the statute of limitations timeline applicable to your auto accident, you must contact an experienced Lakeland auto accident attorney for advice.
The best thing to do following a car accident is to consult with a car accident attorney in Lakeland so you can immediately put the proper statute of limitations timelines in your calendar.
Lakeland Florida Car Accident Statistics
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are over 400,000 motor vehicle accidents every year.
Other interesting statistics are as follows:
- There are over 135 million cars on the roads in the United States
- Driving under the influence of alcohol results in over 40% of the car crash fatalities
- There are many accidents that happen within 3 miles from the driver’s home
- In 2018, there were 403,626 total motor vehicle crashes in the state of Florida where 2,917 of the crashes were fatal and 167,219 injuries recorded
Lakeland Car Accident Lawyers Takeaways
So there you have it folks!
Looking for au auto collision attorney near or in Lakeland?
Should you hire car accident lawyer Lakeland FL?
If you live in Lakeland Florida or you ended up having a car accident there, it’s important to know your legal rights and recourses.
Lakeland (Florida) follows a specific set of laws governing the procedure of how you can recover damages following an accident and how to pursue a claim.
Florida is one of the few states that is a no-fault insurance state where drivers must carry a proper car insurance policy so they can claim their damages directly from their insurer in the event of an accident (no matter who was at fault).
There are instances when the car insurance policy may not cover a particular type of damage or in cases when a victim of an accident suffers severe personal injuries, then a lawsuit may be filed before the courts to get compensation.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Lakeland car accident, it’s very important to reach out to car accident attorneys in Lakeland to get proper legal advice and representation so you can file the proper claim against the right party.
You should also ask your auto accident attorney Lakeland about how long you have to file a claim to recover your damages so you don’t end up losing your claim based on the application of the statute of limitations laws in Lakeland.
I hope I was able to provide you with the essential information you need about dealing with an attorney specialized in car accidents in Lakeland (FL), if it’s worth consulting with one or hiring one, and what to do following a car accident.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Auto Accident Attorney Lakeland FL Overview
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