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Has a reckless or negligent driver turned your world upside down? Were you injured and wondering how you’ll pay your bills? You may be able to receive compensation for your losses and damages from the at-fault driver, but you must act now to protect your rights.

The other driver’s insurance company will do all it can to avoid paying you what you deserve. Insurance companies are known for devaluing or outright denying valid claims, and they have teams of attorneys working on their behalf.

You deserve a team of legal professionals working for you to level the playing field. Every Florida car accident lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has the skill, resources, and experience you need to help you receive total compensation for your auto accident.

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Steps to take after being in a crash

The aftermath of a car accident can be a horrifying and confusing time – especially if you’ve suffered an injury. If you can remain calm and take the following steps, you can protect your health and help improve your chances of obtaining full compensation.

1. Move your vehicle to a safer location

If your vehicle is drivable and you wouldn’t further injure yourself or someone else, it’s generally recommended to move it to a safer location such as to the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot. This helps to clear the roadway and reduce the risk of additional accidents.

When moving your vehicle, it’s important to follow the rules of the road and use your turn signals to indicate that you are changing lanes or turning. If you’re unable to move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.

If you’re in a busy or high-traffic area, it may be safer to stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Also, if the vehicle is at a dangerous spot such as on a highway, it’s better to stay in the vehicle until the authorities arrive.

2. Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries

After an accident, it’s important to make sure that everyone involved is safe. Checking for injuries is an important step in ensuring the safety of yourself and your passengers. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not show up immediately after the accident. Checking on everyone involved right away can help identify the immediately apparent injuries so that information can be related to the 911 dispatcher.

3. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance

Call 911 right away even if you aren’t sure if anyone is seriously injured. This is the best way to ensure that everyone receives prompt medical attention. The police will investigate and document the accident, then file a report. This report will be essential for insurance claims, legal proceedings, and determining liability.

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4. Relay your story to the responding police officer

Be honest and accurate in the statements you provide to the responding officer. Also, remember to be polite and respectful. Don’t admit guilt or fault because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will use those statements against you.

5. Gather evidence at the scene

Gathering evidence after a car accident is important to help establish liability and support any insurance or legal claims. Here are ways to gather important evidence:

  • Take photos and videos – Use your cell phone to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident, including any damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road, and any other relevant details.
  • Get witness information – Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident and the other drivers along with their insurance information.
  • Keep all the documents – Keep all relevant documents such as the insurance policy, the registration of the car, the driver’s license, and any medical bills or receipts related to the accident.

6. Visit an urgent care clinic or your primary care physician

Even if you feel fine, you may have injuries that aren’t immediately apparent such as a concussion. Additionally, seeking medical attention can help document any injuries for potential insurance claims. It’s also a good idea to get a checkup after an accident to ensure that you don’t develop any symptoms later on.

7. Notify your insurance company

While you should be honest and accurate in your statements to the insurance company, again, never admit fault, as this could negatively impact your claim. Instead, simply provide a factual account of the accident and any damage or injuries that occurred.

8. Consult with a Florida car accident attorney

A car accident attorney in Florida can provide you with guidance and advice on the best course of action. They’ll help you determine if you have a valid claim for compensation, understand the legal process, and understand your rights and the potential outcomes associated with your case. An attorney can also negotiate with the insurance company and represent you in court, if necessary.

File your claim in time

Like all other states, Florida places a deadline by which victims of negligence must file a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to take legal action. If the statute of limitations expires, you won’t have any further legal recourse.

But that doesn’t mean you should wait. The sooner you hire a Florida personal injury lawyer, the better your chances are of having a strong case. Your lawyer needs to investigate the wreck as soon as possible before essential evidence disappears.

Possible damages you can claim

Your damages in a personal injury lawsuit are the financial losses that occur due to the injury you’ve suffered. Here’s a quick look at the two main forms of damages – economic and non-economic.

Economic

Economic damages can include losses such as:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, and therapy
  • Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Cost of rehabilitation or long-term care
  • Any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident

Economic damages are intended to make the injured party “whole” again financially, to the extent possible. They are typically easy to calculate and can be proven through bills, invoices, and pay stubs.

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Non-economic

Non-economic damages are intangible, non-monetary losses such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Non-economic are more subjective because they can’t be proven through bills or invoices, so they’re not easy to calculate. You need an experienced Florida car accident attorney to ensure that you obtain maximum compensation.

Parties who may be liable for your injury

Parties that may be liable include the following:

  • The driver of the other vehicle
  • The owner of the other vehicle, if they weren’t driving
  • The employer of the other driver, if the accident occurred while the driver was on the job
  • The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle parts that caused or contributed to the accident
  • A mechanic who performed inadequate repairs

How our Florida attorneys prove negligence

A car accident lawyer in Florida with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will work to prove negligence in many ways. For example, we’ll gather evidence to prove that the defendant had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care. We’ll also show that the defendant failed to fulfill this duty, and that this failure was the direct cause of your injuries.

To prove negligence, we’ll typically gather evidence such as:

  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Medical records and bills
  • Documentation of lost wages and other economic damages
  • Information about any prior accidents or safety violations involving the defendant.

We’ll use all the evidence gathered to establish that the defendant’s actions or inactions caused your injuries and that the defendant should be held financially responsible.

We fight the insurance company to get you full compensation

Our attorneys have a long track record of success in fighting insurance companies, no matter how large they may be. Insurers provide extremely formidable opposition, with a team of highly skilled, well-compensated adjusters and attorneys. But our Florida car accident lawyers have just as much skill, if not more. We won’t be intimidated, and we’ll always fight to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Car accidents are frequent and dangerous

Between 2020 and 2022, an average of 3,491 people lost their lives on Florida roads each year, and another 237,569 were injured. The story is just as horrible for the US as a whole. Nearly 43,000 people died in US traffic accidents in 2021 alone. This was the highest number of fatalities since 2005.

If cars are supposed to be safer these days, why are so many passenger car occupants still being hurt and killed? One theory is that people are driving more than ever before, and they’re faced with more distractions than ever. Smartphone use is viewed as one of the biggest culprits, with far too many people paying attention to their texts, phone calls, and emails rather than watching the road as they should.

Common car accident injuries

Common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Amputations
  • Soft tissue injuries (such as sprains and strains)
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries (such as organ damage)
  • Psychological injuries (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)

Dealing with insurance after a crash

Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the amount of compensation paid out on claims. They may ask you to give a recorded statement or sign a release, both of which could be used to reduce or deny your claim. For example, an adjuster might use your statements against you, twist your words, or use them out of context to deny or reduce your claim.

Also, you may inadvertently say something that weakens your case or give them information they can use against you later. Your Florida car accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Refer all insurance company calls, emails, and texts to your legal representative.

Cost of hiring a Florida car accident attorney

Our firm won’t charge you a dime out of pocket to represent you. If we’re successful, we’ll receive money out of whatever you’re awarded. This allows you to focus on your recovery.

Why work with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath?

When you turn to a Florida car accident lawyer with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, you’ll have a true legal expert on your side. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain maximum compensation for the suffering you’ve experienced.

Contact us online or call (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation.

Areas we serve

West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

Boca Raton car accident lawyer

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

Port St.Lucie car accident lawyer

South Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

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