Common Questions About Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
After a serious crash, having the right information can help you decide what to do next. Our lawyers at the Law Office of Alexander Alvarez know that knowledge is the first step toward fairness. We can guide you through questions involving insurance, fault, compensation and the legal process.
What should I do after a car accident?
In the moments after a car accident, make sure that you and anyone else who has visible, serious injuries receive urgent medical attention. After ensuring that first responders have addressed any medical emergencies, exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. You may also take pictures or even video of your vehicle and the crash scene as evidence to support your claim later.
It is also important to see a doctor in the days following the accident – even if you do not notice any injuries. Some injuries take time to appear, but a doctor might be able to identify them before you have symptoms. In addition, you can consult with an attorney to know about your legal options to recover from your injuries and vehicle damage.
How are damages for pain and suffering determined in Florida?
“Pain and suffering” is a unique type of damage in a motor vehicle accident claim. Unless your doctor diagnoses you with a permanent or severe injury, such as brain damage or disability, proving the need for compensation for pain and suffering is challenging.
Because the amount of pain and suffering is not as obviously quantifiable as a medical bill, for example, courts use several factors to decide how to award pain and suffering damages. These factors include how significantly your injury could impact your life as well as your health before the injury. Courts may also evaluate how much your long-term finances could change due to the injury.
Can I still recover compensation if I was partially at fault?
While fault laws vary from state to state, Florida uses the pure comparative negligence model to award compensation. This means that each party involved may claim damages, but the amount of recovery will be based on the party’s degree of fault.
For example, if you had the right of way but failed to use your turn signal and a truck driver who ran a red light hits you, both drivers are at fault. However, the truck driver’s negligence contributed more to the accident. In this case, both you and the truck driver can seek compensation for damages. The truck driver is likely to receive much less compensation than they would have if they had obeyed traffic laws.
What is the potential outcome of my case?
Every case is unique, and the value of an auto accident case depends on factors such as:
- The medical costs and other damages you suffered
- The insurance coverage of the other driver as well as your own
- Whether you choose to settle and the value of the settlement amount
- The evidence and trial strategy, as well as the credibility of the parties and witnesses, if your case calls for litigation
- The makeup of the jury in a trial
You will need to review your case with an experienced attorney to estimate your damages. However, what you choose to do next can affect the compensation you receive.