Car accidents can have far-reaching effects on victims for months or years after the event. Even a small collision can cause serious injury or mental distress, especially if the victim had a pre-existing condition or extenuating circumstances.
If you’re filing a car accident claim in Oldsmar, you may have a number of questions about how to file, where to file, and whether you should leave the matter up to an insurance company. Before you make any major decisions, Florin|Roebig wants to offer you more information about whether to seek legal counsel.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents In Oldsmar
Car accidents can occur for any number of reasons, but are usually the cause of one or more of the following errors on the road:
- speed: This is the most common thread between all accidents because it strips a driver of the time they need to react.
- distracted driving: The incessant noises around drivers, whether it’s coming from their GPS or their children in the backseat, can cause people to take their eyes off the road. Distraction can also occur from any factor that causes a driver to look away.
- reckless behavior: Generally characterized as a complete disregard for safety, this is one of the most dangerous causes a victim can encounter.
- substance abuse: Not all people abstain from driving after drinking alcohol, taking a mind-altering prescription, or using street drugs.
- physical impairments: Accidents can be caused by anything from poor eyesight to a blinding migraine.
- weather: The skies in Florida can turn black and stormy in an instant, which can quickly turn into a loss of control over the vehicle.
- road hazards: A single piece of broken glass in the streets of Oldsmar can send a car skidding into another vehicle.
Car accident lawyers in Oldsmar are familiar with these causes and can give you more information about how each one will affect your case. You’ll likely be encouraged to file a claim if one or more of these negligent acts contributed to your accident.
Reasons To File A Car Accident Claim
Seeking legal counsel may seem like a drastic move to some—until they consider the consequences of failing to do so. The majority of people file a car accident claim because they hope to clarify the extent of the mounting expenses they’ve experienced after the accident. An insurance company is unlikely to consider a claimant’s full history (certainly not in the way a court will).
But financial compensation is by no means the only reason to file a claim, especially if the person who hit the victim was a reckless or otherwise dangerous driver. What is the real cost of letting someone with poor eyesight continue to be on the road? Future lives can be saved and injuries prevented when victims take action against those who have wronged them.
In some cases, the only way to hold the at-fault party accountable is to ensure that your story is heard in court. While no driver is expected to be perfect, some simply have made too many dangerous mistakes in their past to be allowed to show the same poor judgment in the future.
Factors That Affect Car Accident Claims
The courts review car accident claims in Oldsmar based on a number of details surrounding their claim.
Factors that may affect a car accident claim include:
- injury/wrongful death: Severe injuries or wrongful death claims are typically given the most consideration under personal injury laws.
- comparative negligence: The state of Florida enforces comparative negligence for all drivers. This term refers to a percentage of blame based on how the accident occurred. (For example, one driver may have been 90 percent at fault while the other driver shared 10 percent responsibility.)
- statute of limitations: Whether it took several years for your body to manifest symptoms or an insurance company was unable to meet your requests after several back-and-forth encounters, you have up to four years to file a claim after the accident occurred.
- stage of life: If the accident prevents you from meeting basic milestones (e.g., advancing in your career, having children, etc.), then the courts will consider the overall impact on your life’s trajectory.
- claim type: You can file a car accident claim under personal injury or property damage. The latter will typically be more straightforward to argue in court because it’s based on direct losses that can be qualified financially.
Car accident lawyers in Oldsmar can tell you more about the exceptions and details for each of these factors. For instance, there may be a way to file a claim ever after the four-year statute of limitations has passed.
How Much Compensation Can You Win?
Compensation for car accident claims in Oldsmar can be unpredictable at times because of the subjectivity of the damages. For example, you’re allowed to file for pain and suffering compensation due to the physical injuries you’ve sustained.
These damages will provide a financial award for the mental stress and anguish you felt after the accident. But because not every person will view the same situation in the same light, this can impact how much you’re awarded.
This is just one of the many reasons why having a professional attorney can be so helpful during the claims process. They understand how to frame your story so the judge understands the true extent of what occurred.
In general, those who were most heavily affected by the accident will be given the most compensation. A young personal trainer who sustained severe physical disability will likely be given more than someone who has been retired for 20 years.
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Types Of Damages Awarded In Car Accident Claims
Individuals may file for damages within their claim based on how the accident impacted their life.
Oldsmar residents can file for any or all of the following damages, depending on their individual circumstances:
- medical bills: This may include surgeries, follow-ups, physical therapy sessions, and specialist consultations. (Please note that accident victims are encouraged to see a doctor immediately after a collision, regardless of the severity of the impact.)
- formal aftercare: From formal nursing homes to at-home care, you may need additional assistance to maintain your daily routine.
- pain and suffering: These expenses are a monetary representation of mental stress suffered due to the impact.
- professional services: If you need a cleaning service to maintain your home or a babysitter to look after your children, you can include professional services needed during recovery.
- loss of consortium: These damages are only allowed to be claimed by a partner or spouse and refer to the loss of support they faced after the accident.
- wages: Florida courts allow you to file for both actual and potential future wages lost due to your physical or mental injuries.
- punitive: These damages are only awarded if the other driver was intentionally trying to cause the collision (e.g., due to road rage, etc.). The financial compensation is not based on your injuries but levied as a punishment against the other driver.
Car (Auto) Accident Rates In Oldsmar
Pinellas County, where Oldsmar is located, has recorded the following car accident statistics:
- In 2017, there were 10,227 property damage claims filed in the county.
- Alcohol was confirmed to be a cause in 404 accidents resulting in 227 injuries in 2017.
- There were 119 fatalities and 11,107 injuries in the county in 2017.
List Of Car Accident Attorneys Serving Oldsmar
Following a car accident, filing a claim may be the single most important thing you can do to help get your life back on track. With such an important task at hand, you’ll want a trusted legal professional by your side, guiding you every step of the way.
If you live in Oldsmar, Florin|Roebig has a group of experienced attorneys serving areas throughout Florida who are ready to fight for you, including:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
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Find Help Filing A Car Accident Claim
You have the right to file a claim in Oldsmar without the help of an attorney. However, it does help to be aware of the risks before you do so. The court system in Florida is not always simple to navigate, especially if you’re dealing with physical injuries or the grief of having lost someone you love.
Scheduling a consultation with Florin|Roebig may give you more control and confidence to face the situation head-on. When you contact us for help in filing your claim, we give the honest advice you need to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. Learn more by calling us today to schedule a free consultation for your claim.