Every year, thousands of drivers are injured in motor vehicles accidents across the nation. Tens of thousands more will suffer a fatality. In 2022, an estimated 42,795 people died because of a motor vehicle accident. 

Florida ranks as one of the most dangerous states for motorists. In 2022,  there were 381,156 total accidents across the state. Miami is the state’s most dangerous city for car accidents. Jacksonville follows, and Tampa comes in third with a recorded 16,989 car accidents in 2021.

Were you injured in a car accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, now.


Should I get a lawyer after a car accident?

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you know the stress and frustration that can follow. If you sustained serious injuries because of another driver’s negligence, you might not know what rights you have. 

Working with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney can help you navigate Florida’s auto insurance, motor vehicle, and personal injury laws. Most importantly, an experienced lawyer will fight diligently to recover the compensation you deserve. 

When should I get an attorney for a car accident?

The outcome of a car accident in Tampa, Florida depends on the circumstances and parties involved. A victim can suffer mild discomfort caused by bruising and whiplash or more extreme injuries including broken bones, disfigurement, or traumatic brain injuries. 

If your car accident resulted in minor injuries or property loss, it might not seem as pressing to work with an attorney. However, if you suffered severe injuries or significant property loss, a car accident attorney can help you recover compensation. 

If your car accident involves multiple parties, including a commercial vehicle or semi, you may be able to hold more than one entity accountable for your damages. Speaking with an experienced car injury attorney can help you determine liability so you can seek justice. 

Florida’s statute of limitations

Under Florida’s recently passed House Bill 837, individuals who suffered a personal injury after a car accident must bring forward their claim no more than two years after the date of their injury. If you don’t file a claim within this time, you may lose the right to seek compensation for your personal injury. 

Florida adheres to a no-fault auto insurance system, meaning that all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In the event of an accident, drivers turn to their PIP for payment of property damage and medical bills associated with their injury. Unlike “at-fault” states, Florida does not take into consideration who caused the accident when determining insurance payouts.

When filing a claim with your insurance company, you’ll need to bring your claim within 14 days of your accident. Waiting beyond this 14-day period could keep you from recovering the compensation you’re entitled to from your insurance company. 

Although all Florida drivers are required to carry PIP insurance, this does not absolve drivers of liability if they cause an accident. Victims, especially in severe car accidents, can also seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Is it wise to fight with the insurance company alone?

When filing a claim with your insurance, you might be overwhelmed by the process. In most cases, when you submit a claim with your PIP insurance, your policyholder will either approve your claim, deny your claim, or approve your claim but offer a lower compensation than you might be entitled to.

If your property loss or damages are not severe, it can be relatively easy to gather evidence, defend the claim, and convince your insurance company to negotiate with you. 

In cases where there’s been substantial property loss, severe injuries, or an accident involving multiple parties, especially a corporate entity, it might be harder to work with the insurance company alone. 

Your insurance company’s ultimate goal is to resolve your case as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. This may mean they’ll deny your claim or offer a much lower settlement. In cases where there are multiple parties involved, an insurance company may be more likely to pass off the blame to another party to cover the cost of your damages. 

A car accident injury attorney can help simplify the process by working with all parties involved, communicating with your insurance company, and defending your rights. 

Reasons to hire a car accident lawyer

Whether you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit or dealing with the insurance company directly, there are many benefits an experienced car injury attorney can bring. 

Determine damages fairly

Your attorney will bring a fresh perspective to your case and have the legal experience to determine what damages you’ve sustained. For example, property loss and pain and suffering fall under the legal concept of damages and you may be entitled to more than you know. 

They understand the laws

An experienced attorney will have a detailed understanding of the law. Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, have outstanding experience in state and local laws and can apply those laws to your case to give you comprehensive representation. 

A lawyer handles the leg work

A lawyer will speak with all parties involved to get a thorough picture of what happened. Speaking with the legal counsel of other parties involved, communicating with car insurance companies, and petitioning law enforcement agencies for relevant evidence takes a great deal of work. Having a dedicated legal team can help with this process.

Gather evidence and witness testimony

The legwork of building a robust case involves the collection of evidence, including photographs, surveillance footage, and witness statements regarding the accident. 

Determining negligence is another critical part of gathering evidence. Proving negligence requires that you can show that four elements exist:

  • The defendant had a duty of care
  • The defendant violated that duty of care (negligence)
  • The plaintiff sustained injuries
  • The injuries were the result of negligence

When determining negligence, turning to things like a police report can help support your claim. Bringing in expert witnesses who can break down complex topics can also help build a successful case.

Negotiating a settlement

An experienced attorney will know how to negotiate with the parties involved to help you recover the compensation you’re entitled to. Insurance companies may try to get you to sign documentation or agree to a settlement offer that’s much lower than you deserve. Having an experienced lawyer look over any documentation first can keep you from agreeing to terms that are not in your best interest. 

Professional advocacy and court representation

A car accident attorney will represent you at each step of the claims process. They can offer professional negotiation tactics that you may not have access to otherwise. If your case goes to trial, an attorney will offer comprehensive legal representation when defending your case in front of a judge or jury. 

You can focus on your recovery

Working with an experienced attorney allows you to focus on healing and recovery while they focus on building your case. An attorney will also help you keep up to date with important deadlines and tasks that you need to complete to keep your case moving forward.

How much is your car accident case worth?

All car accident cases are different, and the more severe or extensive your injuries are, the more you should expect to recover from your insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. 

Approximately 94% of all civil cases are resolved through settlement, with average car accident cases settling at around $31,000. 

Car accident victims can collect compensatory damages following a car accident injury. These damages are designed to restore an individual to their original financial standing before the accident occurred. 

Economic damages

Economic damages refer to the calculable losses sustained following an accident:  

  • Property damage
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Cost of medical equipment 
  • Loss of income and lost wages 

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate and are designed to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering they’ve endured:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement or scarring 

In certain cases, an individual may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish a responsible party for their negligence.

How a car accident attorney can help

Two car accident attorneys in Tampa, FL, working on a car accident cade together. In front of them is paperwork and a laptop.

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident in Tampa, Florida, turn to the legal team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, to understand your legal rights and options. See how our team can help you recover the justice and compensation you deserve following your car accident. 

Get the legal representation you deserve with Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation. 

Sources:

Bieber, C. (2022). Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts.

FLA. STAT. § 627.736.

FLA. STAT. § 627.7407.

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Dashboard. (2023).

Florida’s Most Dangerous Cities for Car Accidents. (2019).

NHTSA Estimates for 2022 Show Roadway Fatalities Remain Flat After Two Years of Dramatic Increases. (2023).

House Bill 837.

Tampa Car Accident + Personal Injury Lawyers

Jack Bernstein Personal Injury Attorney

For more than 40 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Throughout his career, Bernstein has been a strategist thoroughly dedicated to the idea of protecting the rights of his clients. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

Mr. Bernstein has the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of injury cases. Among the types of plaintiffs Mr. Bernstein represents are individuals involved in car accidents caused by drunk drivers or other exhibiting negligence, medical complications resulting from carelessness caused by a physician or a medical facility, including brain injury, bicycle, motorcycle, moped and truck accidents, admiralty law and cruise ship accidents, accidental drownings, all types of wrongful death lawsuits, along with most injury, catastrophic occurrences and legal malpractice issues.

Our firm handles every type of personal injury and accident case, using negotiation and litigation tactics effectively. We handle cases throughout Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL. With a staff of approximately 40 people, including six lawyers and 34 support personnel, we have the legal resources to get the justice you deserve and the maximum recovery for your losses. Schedule your free consultation today; we are always here to help.

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