Sarasota Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents in Florida have reached 400,000 a year and climbing, resulting in over a quarter million injuries and nearly 3,000 deaths according to the state’s 2017 crash statistics. Traffic deaths are on the rise nationally, with Florida leading the way as the state with the most auto accident fatalities. Closer to home, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office reports a staggering 12,534 crashes and 44 tragic fatalities in 2018. The increase in distracted driving may be the main force behind the rise in Florida car wrecks, but other perennial negligent behaviors like speeding and drunk driving are not going away either.
- Amputation Injury
- Bicycle Accidents
- Brain Injury
- Burn Injury
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents
- Head-On Collision
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Rear-End Collision
- Rollover Injury
- Soft Tissue Injury
- Spinal Injury
- T-Bone Collision
- Truck Accidents
- Uninsured Motorist
- Wrongful Death
When drivers choose to speed or drive drunk or look at their phones instead of the road, they can and should be held liable for the serious accidents and injuries they cause. Patrick Hale is an experienced Sarasota car accident attorney with a long record of success helping victims of auto wrecks in Sarasota and Bradenton recover compensation for serious injuries caused by negligent drivers. Learn more about Florida auto accident law below and how Hale Law can help when you’ve been hurt on the road as a victim of another driver’s negligence.
Florida no-fault insurance helps after a car crash, but only a little
The first place most drivers turn to after a crash is their no-fault insurance policy. This policy provides a measure of compensation in the form of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), but the benefits it offers are very limited. For instance, no-fault benefits only pay 80% of your medical expenses, and they only cover 60% of your lost wages if your injury caused you to miss work. A basic policy will provide benefits up to $10,000, but if you didn’t seek treatment for an emergency medical condition within 14 days of the accident, your benefits are capped at only $2,500. Even with PIP only paying a portion of your damages, this low monetary limit is typically insufficient except in cases with the most minor injuries.
There is a way to go beyond the limits of your no-fault policy, but only if you suffered a serious injury as defined in Florida law. These limited circumstances include when a car wreck has caused any of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Hale Law can help with serious injuries in Sarasota auto accidents
If you unfortunately did suffer a serious injury that takes you outside the no-fault system, you’ll need an experienced attorney to help you recover compensation for the full amount of your claim. If negotiating a settlement with the other driver’s liability insurance, you’ll need a thorough understanding of your needs and the factors which go into determining the value of a car accident claim. If obtaining full compensation requires going to court, you’ll need a lawyer who has taken cases to trial and argued successfully in front of Sarasota County juries. Attorney Patrick Hale is a former insurance defense lawyer who knows how insurance companies go about valuing claims, how they determine the settlement value of a case, and when they’ll go to court rather than settle. At Hale Law, we’ve gone up against all the major insurers in Sarasota and Bradenton and recovered significant amounts for our clients. Count on Hale Law to obtain a full and fair amount of compensation after the most serious auto wrecks and injuries.
Florida Car Accident FAQs
In addition to physical injuries, car collisions often leave victims in a shocked state of confusion, wondering what to do next and who to turn to. It is entirely understandable to have questions about when to file a lawsuit, what type of compensation you can receive, and the timeline of it all. The Sarasota car collision attorneys at Hale Law are here to answer any questions you may have about a crash in which you or a loved one were injured, and are available to take on your personal injury case when you are ready.
Should I Negotiate With the Other Party Myself?
No. Never discuss your claim with the other party directly, or with the other party’s insurance company before speaking to a personal injury attorney of your own. Anything you say can be used against you to harm your claim.
How Do I File a Lawsuit?
With the assistance of an attorney, you can file a lawsuit or “personal injury claim” against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations in Florida for a personal injury tort or lawsuit is four years under Florida statute 95.11.
Who Will Pay For My Damages?
The negligent party who caused the collision should be held liable. This may be another driver of a personal vehicle, multiple drivers, a commercial driver, or a municipality. There may be multiple insurance policies to pursue damages from, including your own bodily injury or property damage policies, as well as any UM coverage you may have.
What if I Get Blamed For Contributing to the Crash?
Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the degree to which you are found at fault will be deducted from your claim’s value. For example, if you were found liable for 20 percent of the collision because you were speeding, and the other party was 80 percent liable for running a stop sign, you would only be able to receive 80 percent of your total damages (100 – 20=80). As such, it is important to limit comparative negligence completely or as much as possible.
How Much is My Claim Worth?
Your claim’s value is based on your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage, etc. The amount you receive depends greatly on the insurance policy of the negligent party. While Florida has the nation’s highest liability insurance costs, at $903 per year according to the Insurance Information Institute, it is one of the highest underinsured and uninsured motorist states.
How Long Does it Take to be Paid?
Anywhere from a few months to a few years. The more serious your injuries and damages, the longer the process takes. If your case goes to court, it will take even longer than a settlement through negotiations or mediation.
How Do I Know if My Attorney is Qualified?
Your insurance needs to have strong negotiating skills and experience in the courtroom. Your attorney also needs to take into account your wishes, goals, and energy level throughout this process, and must have your best interests at heart.
Call an Experienced Sarasota Car Accident Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Sarasota or Bradenton, it’s important to call a local attorney who can go to work right away investigating the accident, communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, and building a strong case for maximum compensation. Call Hale Law at 941-735-4529 to find out how we can help. Your consultation is free, and there’s never any fee unless and until we recover for you. Get the help you need after a serious Sarasota auto accident. Call Hale Law today.