Tampa Car Accident Attorney
On the busy roads and highways of the Tampa area, car accidents are a common occurrence. While some crashes are minor fender-benders, many other accidents can leave a victim with life-altering injuries and put them in a bad financial position.
In these cases, it is essential for people injured in Tampa car accidents to speak with a lawyer who can help seek the maximum compensation available under the law.
The Tampa car accident attorneys of Brooks Law Group are ready to help you understand your rights and legal options, and we’ll help you seek justice. We know that you did nothing to deserve the pain you’ve endured, nor should you struggle financially in the aftermath of this crash.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you during a free case evaluation.
How Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Tampa, Brooks Law Group can help you navigate the minefield of dealing with insurance companies and filing a claim.
Unfortunately, insurance companies work hard to limit the amount of money they pay out for car accident claims. They are not looking out for your best interests.
Our car accident lawyers have experience dealing with insurance companies. We know the tactics they will likely use to avoid making a fair payout on your claim. We will work to negotiate a settlement to fully compensate you for your medical expenses, repairs or replacement of damaged property, pain and suffering, and any future expenses you’ll incur.
If the insurer won’t agree to a fair settlement, we will be ready to take your case to court and vigorously advocate on your behalf to pursue a verdict in your favor.
Compensation for Car Accident Victims in Tampa
If you are the victim of a car accident, you may be entitled to several types of compensation for losses you’ve suffered. Compensation for personal injuries sustained in a car accident fall in two categories of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses – Medical expenses can include emergency room visits and hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, physical and occupational therapy, surgery, durable medical equipment, prescription medication, and more.
- Lost income and wages – You may be entitled to recover income you lose out on due to work missed as a result of your injuries. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work at the same pay as before, you may also collect compensation for future lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate a car accident victim for the physical and emotional or mental anguish caused by their injuries. It also compensates for the loss of quality of life caused by injuries, such as if an injured party is unable to do activities they enjoyed before their accident.
- Loss of consortium and companionship – Your spouse and family may be entitled to claim damages for the loss of your companionship, society, and services to the family.
In addition to personal injury compensation, you may also be entitled to compensation to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the crash, such as your vehicle or any contents of your vehicle.
Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida
The law imposes a time limit for filing a lawsuit for compensation for a car accident. This time limit is called the statute of limitations.
Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for a lawsuit for personal injuries or property damage suffered in a car accident is four years from the date of the accident. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, you have two years from the date of their death to file a lawsuit for compensation.
Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations means the court will dismiss your case in virtually all situations.
Under limited circumstances, a court will pause or extend the statute of limitations, known as “tolling”. One of the most common circumstances for tolling the statute of limitations is called the discovery rule, which says that the limitations period does not begin running until a claimant knows or reasonably should know of the facts giving rise to their claim.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Car Crash
If you have been hurt in a car accident, there are steps you can take to protect your legal claim to compensation, including:
- Seek medical attention – You should visit an emergency room, urgent care center, or your doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Symptoms can worsen days or weeks after your accident. Prompt medical attention may make your recovery quicker and improve your prognosis.
- Contact the police – If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should call the police to investigate the accident, even if the other drivers insist on not getting the police involved. A police accident report may provide important information about who is responsible for the accident.
- Take photos – Use your cell phone to fully photograph the accident scene. Waiting too long to take pictures may mean that you lose evidence of critical details about the crash. Details you should photograph include the lighting and weather conditions, skid marks, damage to the vehicles, injuries you have suffered, and anything else that seems relevant.
- Collect insurance information and eyewitness contact information – You should exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident. If they decline to give their insurance information, the police will collect it. If there were eyewitnesses to the crash who are still on the scene, try to get their contact information.
- Get help from a lawyer – Most importantly, you should also speak with a Tampa car accident attorney who can advise you as to your legal rights and options and what kind of compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and damages.
How Will Florida’s No-Fault Law Affect My Case?
Florida is known as a “no-fault” state. Under the no-fault car insurance system, if you are involved in a car accident, your own insurance coverage initially pays (up to your policy limits) for your medical bills and other economic damages under what is known as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
If you wish to file a lawsuit against the driver or other party responsible for the accident, your injuries must be deemed “serious” under state law. Florida law considers an injury to be serious if it involves one of the following characteristics:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fracture
- Permanent limitation of organ or member
- A significant limitation of a bodily function or system
- Substantial full disability for at least 90 days
If your injuries meet one of these criteria, you are not limited to obtaining compensation solely from your own insurance company. Instead, you may also file a lawsuit against the responsible parties for not only economic damages but also for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Tampa
Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft-tissue injuries
- Joint damage, especially in the legs, caused by crushing injuries or hyperextension
- Broken bones, including ribs, ankles, legs, hips, shoulders, arms, and wrists
- Internal bleeding or perforation of internal organs
- Herniated discs and other back injuries
- Lacerations (scrapes and cuts)
- Contusions (bruises)
In addition to physical injuries, a car accident can also inflict psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), development of phobias, and survivor’s guilt.
Common Causes of Accidents in Tampa
Car accidents are unfortunately all-too-common, especially in a densely-populated region such as the Tampa area. The majority of car crashes are caused by some form of human error, such as:
- Distracted driving, usually caused by cell phone use, eating, self-grooming, or turning to talk to other occupants of the vehicle
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding, changing lanes without signaling, and other aggressive, non-defensive driving styles
- Running red lights or otherwise failing to heed stop or yield signs or lights
- Poor lighting condition, especially at night
- Design or manufacturing defects in the vehicle
- Tire failures
- Potholes or other defective road conditions
Your lawyer will be able to investigate your accident to determine the precise cause. From there, they will be able to identify the liable party, which may be another driver, vehicle manufacturer, or government responsible for maintaining the roadway.
Talk to a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Now
If you have been involved in a car accident in Tampa that was not your fault, you may have rights to compensation.
Contact Brooks Law Group today to schedule a free consultation to talk to a Tampa car accident lawyer about your case. We can discuss your legal options and explain how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.