Motor Vehicle Accidents in Northeast Florida
Operating a vehicle is one of the most dangerous activities many of us undertake on a daily basis. Over three million people are injured every year in a vehicular accident in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of those injured suffer permanent damage.
Those of us living in the Jacksonville area are at higher risk for vehicular accidents than most other places in the region. Believe it or not, Jacksonville is actually the most populous city in the state of Florida. It is also the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. Major interstate highways, including I-10 and I-95, pass through Jacksonville, along with I-295, which encircles the city. If you live in or around the Jacksonville area, you or someone in your family may be impacted by a vehicular accident at some point in your life.
Obviously, vehicular crashes can often result in serious injuries – anything from neck sprains to death, and almost everything in between. Frequently, our clients suffer neck and back injuries; ligament and tendon tears in the knees or shoulders; hand and wrist tears; even brain or spinal cord injuries. Some of these injuries even require surgery. Treating these injuries may lead to substantial medical bills and other costs. You may be facing long hospital stays or even permanent disabilities that can make it difficult to maintain a job. If you have been the victim of a vehicular accident, you should be free to focus on your physical and mental recovery, instead of worrying about how you will pay the unexpected, high medical bills. A Jacksonville motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you recover your medical bills and other expenses and get back on the road to financial stability.
What Types of Cases Does The Alexander Law Practice Pursue?
If you have been the victim of any of the following types of vehicular accidents, the Alexander Law Practice can file a claim on your behalf and represent you in negotiations with an insurance company (or in court) to seek compensation for your injuries.
- Car Accidents – We cover a wide variety of car crash claims, including accidents involving drunk drivers, rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, side-swipes, t-bone collisions, and hit-and-run accidents. Because Florida law operates under a “no fault” insurance system, if you are involved in an accident, you will file an initial claim with your own auto insurance company (known as PIP insurance) to cover your own medical expenses, and sometimes, loss of income. Your insurance carrier is supposed to be working on your behalf, but you should be wary that your insurance carrier’s agents will sometimes prioritize the company’s own financial interests over yours. Your insurer may refuse to provide the full amount of coverage your injury merits, or it may deny coverage altogether. To recover the compensation you deserve, it is critical to retain your own lawyer who is experienced in negotiating with insurance companies.
- Truck Accidents – Accident claims involving large commercial vehicles can be more complex than other vehicular accident cases because of the number of potentially liable parties and the numerous state and federal regulations that govern the trucking industry. Our lawyers have experience representing clients in personal injury claims against truck drivers, trucking companies and government entities, and we can effectively navigate these complicated cases to ensure you receive the maximum recovery to which you are entitled. If you have been injured in a truck accident, the Alexander Law Practice understands the unique issues associated with these cases and can help navigate the Florida and federal U.S. laws that govern such accidents.
- Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents – Many drivers fail to stay alert and safely share the road with motorcycles and bicycles. They are at particular risk of injury on the roads due to drivers who fail to notice them, do not yield the right-of-way, tailgate or underestimate the cyclists’ speed. We represent clients who have been injured in motorcycle and bicycle accidents and help them recover all available costs.
- Pedestrian Accidents –Pedestrians are susceptible to serious injury from negligent or reckless drivers who fail to observe safety rules when encountering pedestrians on the road. We represent pedestrians who have been injured in all types of vehicle-related accidents.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a claim? In Florida, you must immediately report to law enforcement any vehicular accident that results in injuries, death, or property damage over $500.00. Call the police and get an accident report. If you are reading this and didn’t notify the police at the scene, it is not an insurmountable obstacle, but it is always best to call the police and make a report.
Following this initial report, it’s important for you to know that Florida also has a no-fault insurance system (known as “PIP”), which means that each driver's medical bills and related expenses are covered first by his or her own insurance carrier, regardless of fault. The PIP statute requires that you treat with a medical provider within fourteen days of your car crash or you lose your benefits--benefits you pay for with every premium. Likewise, the PIP statute also requires that a doctor must determine they have seen you for an "emergency medical condition".
Any personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver or third party must be filed within four years from the date of the accident--if the accident occurs in Florida. A claim against an uninsured motorist policy must be filed within five years if you were insured here in Florida. If you are filing a claim for wrongful death associated with a vehicular accident in Florida, your lawsuit must be filed within two years of your loved one’s death (not necessarily the date of the accident). However, filing deadlines (known as a “statute of limitations”) differ from state to state. If it occurs in another state, that state’s filing deadline applies. You will not be able to recover for your injuries if you fail to meet ALL applicable filing deadlines.
As you can see, dealing with all these deadlines can be complicated. Seeking advice from one of our attorneys is crucial in order to protect your claim and avoid missing these vital deadlines. A Jacksonville motor vehicle accident attorney can assist with all required paperwork to ensure that you do not miss important deadlines.
What can I recover? If you have been injured in a car accident, you can recover what is known in the law as “damages.” You will first attempt to recover property damages, which involves repairing your vehicle. Sometimes, your car is "totaled", which simply means that it suffered enough damage that it would cost more to repair than the vehicle is worth. Property damages are usually resolved early in the case.
As with other types of personal injury cases, your “injury” damages will include past and future medical costs, past and future loss of income, and past and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, mental anguish, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
In some cases, such as claims involving drunk or drugged drivers, you may also be able to recover “punitive” damages in addition to the compensatory damages listed above. Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for particularly reckless or malicious conduct and to act as a deterrent against future similar behavior.
Can I still recover if I was partially at fault? Yes. In Florida, if it is determined that you bear any fault for the accident, your financial recovery will be reduced in proportion to your contribution of fault. For example, if a jury determines that you are 30% at fault for the accident and your damages are $100,000.00, your award will be reduced by 30% or $30,000.00, and you would only be able to recover $70,000.00. Determining fault is a subjective calculation. It is important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville motor vehicle accident lawyer who can help ensure you recover the maximum damages to which you are entitled.
Why Should I Hire a Jacksonville Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer?
In order to win compensation as a victim of a vehicular accident in Florida, you must make a legal claim, either through an out-of-court settlement or by proving your case at trial. This process can be stressful and intimidating. A knowledgeable and experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can guide you through every step of the process.
Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to minimize your recovery. They will not hesitate to take advantage of unrepresented victims who may not be savvy to the pitfalls of insurance claims or the value of accident related injuries. By hiring a Jacksonville motor vehicle accident lawyer, you will force the insurance company to take your claim seriously.
Navigating your way through insurance claims and court proceedings is stressful. We have handled hundreds of cases and know what to do to get you the best result. If you have questions, we have answers. Our attorneys at the Alexander Law Practice are intimately familiar with all of our cases. We are here to ease some of that worry and stress by providing you with answers to any questions you may have about any aspect of your case- whether it be the initial claims process, filing suit, or finding a medical provider. Our job is to turn that stress into confidence and give you one less thing to worry about on your road to recovery.
Finally, we focus on this area of law. It is all we do. While every case has its unique properties, we have handled hundreds of different types of accidents and injuries--both familiar and unfamiliar. We have the knowledge and experience to know the value of your case and what it will take to get you your best result.
The Alexander Law Practice is here to advocate zealously for your interests. If you have been the victim of an accident involving a vehicle, contact us online or by phone to discuss your rights with a Jacksonville motor vehicle accident lawyer.