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But over 5,000 of those accidents occur in Fort Lauderdale every year. The city is ranked the 14th most dangerous city for pedestrians in Florida by Smart Growth America.

These numbers show how dangerous it is to live and drive in Fort Lauderdale. However, cars are a reality in modern life. We can’t work without them. So, it’s important to know what to do if you have a car accident in the city.

Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath for an expert Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer today. We’ll put your well-being first.

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Most Dangerous Streets in Fort Lauderdale

Highways and intersections are always high-risk areas when driving. The increased speed of highways increases the risk associated with minor accidents. At intersections, multiple vehicles are making separate decisions. If one individual isn’t paying attention or doesn’t follow the rules of the road, they can affect the lives of dozens of others.

In Fort Lauderdale, the highest rate of accidents occur close to the beach. The A1A and Las Olas Boulevard intersection, and the Atlantic Boulevard and US 1 intersection see thousands of accidents annually. Stay alert and use good judgment driving in these areas to avoid a car accident.

Accidents often occur on popular transit routes, such as the I-95 south and the Everglades Parkway. Drivers commuting around South Florida frequent these roads. It only takes one speeding or driving recklessly to endanger the lives of others on the road.

Exercise caution driving on heavily trafficked roads like these. In the event that you are in an accident, call a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer who knows the ins and outs of local traffic violations.

Our Recent Settlements

 

$35,000,000

A Broward County jury awarded Denise and David Brown $35 million in a case against North Broward Hospital District, doing business at Broward General Hospital.

$11,250,000

A catastrophic injury case resolved in less than 10 months for more than the insurance company’s policy limits.

$11,000,000

A product liability and wrongful death case involving a defect in a tire causing a catastrophic car accident.

WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER FROM MY CAR ACCIDENT?


Economic Damages

Economic damages are the things that were physically damaged and required financial investment to repair. In a car accident, economic damages include property damage to vehicles, physical injury to either party, medical bills, lost wages, and car replacement costs.

Ensure you retain receipts of all of these damages to assist in your claims.

If you suffered an injury, not as the result of a car accident, contact one of our Fort Lauderale personal injury lawyers


Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages aren’t physical with a receipt attached. They are emotional harm done to the victim of an accident. These are just as significant and life-changing as economic damages.

Victims of car accidents can have emotional anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, change in the quality of their life, shock, or PTSD as a result of the experience.

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Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are sought when one party is negligent or reckless in a car accident. In Florida, specific standards of neglect are required to qualify for punitive damages, such as driving under the influence.

Punitive damages are capped in civil cases and cannot exceed $500,000.

If you are unsure what type of damages you’re entitled to, call a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What To Do After A Car Crash

If you are involved in a car accident, you’ll be overwhelmed with what to do next. After the impact, the adrenaline can make it difficult to sort through your thoughts or organize yourself.

To help yourself in the event of an accident, write down these 10 tips and keep them in your car so you’re prepared if you are ever in an accident:

1. Stop and Breathe.

Car accidents immediately make people anxious. The adrenaline and fear can lead to hyperventilating, making poor decisions, or even fleeing the scene of an accident.

Before you do something that will negatively impact you, take three deep breaths to calm yourself. It’s important to have a level head to address the situation.

2. Isolate the Space.

Car accidents typically occur in busy areas, like highways or intersections. If you don’t set up barriers or alerts, this can lead to additional accidents. Block off the area with traffic pylons, flares, or your hazard lights to make others aware of the situation.

If you are in an accident at night, be careful of exiting your vehicle. Use a flashlight to help drivers see your position outside of the car. Avoid walking close to the road.

Do not move your vehicle unless it interferes with traffic. For example, if it is in the middle of the highway. If you are unsure whether you should move your vehicle, ask the police in step 3.

3. Call the Police.

Involving the police can be stressful, but it’s necessary to seek damages. The police are required for any accident in Florida with over $500 of damages or injuries. Not only can they ensure that the scene is protected and keep traffic moving smoothly around you, but they can also file a police report. This report is required by most insurance companies to process any claims for car accidents.

4. Share the Facts.

To create a police report, the officers will need to get statements from all parties and witnesses involved. Share the incidents of the accident to the best of your ability. If there are gaps in your memory, be honest. For example, don’t try to guess or speculate when asked about how the accident occurred. If you are unsure if you’re injured, say so. You may not feel anything at the moment, but after the adrenaline has worn off you could become aware of an issue. If the police report says that you had no injuries, this could damage your case later on.

5. Gather Your Own Evidence.

The police will gather evidence for their report, but it’s important to have your own record as well. Take notes, including writing down your recollection of the events, and take photos of the accident. Ensure that you gather the names of anyone present for future reference.

6. Exchange Information.

This is the step most people think to do first at the scene of a car accident thanks to television. However, it shouldn’t be a priority over calling the police. Get the full name, identification, telephone number, address, and license plate number of the other party involved in the accident.

Try to get witness information as well. This is important for Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers to have when they build your case later.

7. Call Your Insurance Company.

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require specific information that you’ll need to gather. Your insurance may also have suggestions for covered treatment or follow-up processes that you’ll need to be aware of.

8. Go to the Hospital.

You may not think you’re injured, but it’s important to have that confirmed by a doctor. You could have a spinal injury or soft tissue damage that you don’t even realize. Go to an emergency room or family doctor to be cleared.

9. Organize Your Documents.

Now that you have your record of the accident, a police report, your insurance information, and medical bills ensure you put them in a safe place. Create a file for the evidence on your computer or in a physical folder. Use this file as your master document to refer to later.

10. Contact a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer.

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get someone who knows the laws and can protect your rights to be on your side. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, lvey & Fronrath, we make sure you only have to focus on your recovery while we get your compensation for you.

Call a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Today

Despite the best efforts of local officials to improve the safety of Fort Lauderdale’s roads, the city sees over 2,000 personal injuries due to car accidents every year. These victims have to struggle to recover from a traumatic incident. It’s not the time to worry about fighting with insurance companies or worrying about getting damages to cover their medical expenses.

Call a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer to take care of your case while you take care of yourself. We put our trial-tested lawyers to gathering evidence, liaising with the defendants, and getting you the compensation you’re owed.

Get a free, no-obligation consultation today to see how we can assist you. We don’t charge you unless we win your case. There’s nothing to lose except the stress of fighting for your rights alone.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Vehicle damage is obvious after a car accident, but physical injuries don’t always manifest as quickly. You might not even know you were injured until days or weeks after the crash (these are known as ‘latent injuries’), especially if you suffered an injury to the head or certain internal organs.

However, some injuries will be immediately apparent. Whichever type you have (visible or latent), it’s imperative that you contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, and Fronrath. Keep reading to learn some of the most common car accident injuries, then contact our office to schedule your case consultation.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Contusions (Bruising) and Hematomas

A contusion, or bruise occurs when blood vessels rupture beneath the skin, causing dark red or purple marks that can feel swollen or tender to the touch. Contusions can occur anywhere on the body, and it is not uncommon for victims of car accidents to experience bruises on their muscles, internal organs, bones, and even brain.

A contusion turns into a hematoma when the body walls off the excess blood, forming a lump beneath the skin. Depending on its location (brain hematomas are very serious), a hematoma may cause death.

Whiplash

One of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury because it affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck.

Whiplash occurs due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck and is most commonly seen in rear-end accidents. That rapid movement causes the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck to bend, stretch, or tear beyond their normal range. These injuries can be extremely painful and usually feature neck stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, and tenderness or pain in the shoulder, arms, or upper back.

Neck & Back Injuries

The forceful, rapid motion that your body undergoes in a car accident can cause other neck injuries besides whiplash. You may suffer an injury at any point along your spine, including the cervical spine located in your neck, the thoracic spine of your middle back, and the lumbar spine of your lower back.

Common car accident-related back injuries include lumbar sprains, spinal stenosis (a progressive disease that adds pressure on the vertebrae and pinches the nerves inside the spinal cord), and herniated disks, which occur when a large amount of force compresses or knocks the disks out of alignment.

These conditions can cause a range of symptoms, including the inability to move your fingers and toes, a tingling, burning, or numb sensation in any part of your body, immediate onset of headache, and the inability to walk or balance. Keep in mind that this is not a full list of symptoms; if you were in a car crash, you should speak with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy.

Head and Brain Injuries

These are perhaps the most serious injuries one can suffer in a car accident. The brain is an extremely delicate organ, and the enormous amount of force generated in a car crash can cause devastating, lifelong damage. Fortunately, some head injuries are mild and can be successfully treated. However, others are life-threatening and may even cause death.

Concussions

Some of the most common car accident-related head and brain injuries include concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A concussion may occur when you hit your head on an object or part of the vehicle, like the dashboard or steering wheel. You might feel immediate pain or confusion, but concussions can cause latent symptoms that appear days or even weeks after the fact.

Other symptoms of concussion include dizziness, memory loss, headache, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, and blurry vision.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Concussions (mTBIs) are grouped separately from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) because TBIs are often more serious. These injuries can cause bruising, bleeding, and other types of damage to the brain, all of which can be deadly.

TBIs feature a wide range of symptoms and complications, some of which include memory or concentration problems, mood swings, depression or anxiety, sensory problems, headache, fatigue or drowsiness, problems with speech, and dizziness or loss of balance.

If you believe you suffered a head injury in your car accident, it’s crucial that you visit a doctor as soon as possible. These injuries can have serious consequences if they are not treated immediately.

Internal Injuries

Internal Bleeding

Unlike other types of car accident injuries, internal injuries are not always easy to spot and diagnose. The trauma of a car accident can cause devastating damage to your abdomen and certain organs such as the liver and spleen, which can cause blood to seep into your bodily cavities.

Unfortunately, some of these cases go unnoticed at first, leading to more severe damage.

Symptoms of internal bleeding include bruising around the navel, pain in the abdomen and chest, difficulty breathing, and nausea and vomiting.

Due to the risk of internal injuries, it’s always a good idea to visit a doctor after being in a car accident, even if you don’t feel hurt or in pain.

Broken Bones

The impact of a car crash can cause your body to hit parts of the vehicle, putting force upon your skeleton that it cannot stand. Maybe your arm is pinned between your body and the car door, causing a fracture. Or maybe your seatbelt restrains you with such force that a few of your ribs break.

Broken bones are common in car accidents and usually aren’t serious, although infection may occur. Infection is dangerous in broken bones because of the risk of sepsis, which is when the infection spreads to the bloodstream.

Rear-End Collisions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions make up 29% of all motor vehicle accidents, making these the most common type of crash by far.

A rear-end collision occurs when the front of one car collides with the rear bumper of another car. These accidents have a wide range of severity, from minor scrapes to serious crashes that total a car and seriously injure its occupants.

Sideswipe Collisions

Sideswipe collisions most often occur when the driver of one vehicle fails to check their blind spot and merges into the side of another vehicle. Although sideswipe accidents are less common than rear-end collisions, they are significantly more deadly.

In 2019, 5,187 people died in side-impact crashes, compared to 1,287 who died in rear-end collisions.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are more deadly than side, rear, and other types of collisions combined. That’s because these types of crashes often occur at high speeds, making it difficult for seatbelts and airbags to properly absorb the impact.

In 2019, 12,785 people died as a result of a head-on collision. These wrecks often involve wrong-way drivers and those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Multi-Vehicle Collisions

A multi-vehicle collision is one involving three or more cars. They tend to occur on busy highways and interstates, especially when cars are traveling fast but suddenly stop for an accident further down the roadway.

Multi-vehicle accidents can be extremely difficult to avoid and can result in severe injuries. Many of these collisions are caused by distracted drivers, so if you’re driving and notice someone beside you texting or otherwise engaging in behavior other than paying attention to the road, you should avoid them and move to another lane if possible.

No matter the type of car accident you were involved in, if you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, you have the right to pursue compensation. Contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer today at (561) 655-1990.

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Car Accident Questions and Answers

Why should I hire a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale?

This is one of the most important things to consider after being in a car accident: insurance companies are not looking out for you. As for-profit businesses, they’re trying to pay out as little as possible. In fact, some insurance representatives will personally get paid more if you receive less, and they’ll succeed if you are not represented by an effective lawyer.

That’s only one of the reasons why you should hire a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer — another reason is because an effective attorney will preserve the evidence that could be integral in your case.

If you don’t hire a lawyer, chances are valuable evidence will be destroyed or overlooked. If you hire a lawyer months after the accident, you may find that the evidence you overlooked would have been greatly beneficial to your case. When you hire a lawyer, one of the first things they’ll do is ensure that the other party and their insurance company don’t destroy evidence. Lawyers know exactly what to look for, and they’ll gather the materials that could lead to a large settlement.

Of course, a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can also help you receive the best medical treatment for your injuries. As a well-established law firm in Florida, the attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have close relationships with some of the best doctors in the area. Our priority is helping you get back on your feet, and that begins with proper treatment.

What should I tell insurance after a car accident?

When the other party’s insurance company calls you, remember this: you are under no obligation to speak with them. If they call you and start asking questions about the wreck and your injuries, tell them that you’ll call them back once you have a lawyer.

No matter what they may say, you do not have to speak with them, and you really shouldn’t. If you feel obligated, you can tell them your name, phone number, and address, but don’t give away any more information. You definitely shouldn’t talk about your injuries and vehicle damage — tell them that your lawyer will discuss those matters with them.

No matter what they may say, and no matter how nice they may sound on the phone, the insurance company is not your friend. They will try to find any opportunity to pay you less than what you are asking for, so don’t give them that opportunity.

I don’t feel injured. Should I still seek medical attention?

Even if you don’t feel injured, you should absolutely seek medical attention after being in a car accident. As mentioned above, many injuries are latent, meaning symptoms appear weeks or even months after the accident occurs.

But just because the symptoms occur later doesn’t mean the injury hasn’t already appeared. Your doctor can do a thorough exam to ensure you did not suffer internal or brain injuries in the accident.

You should not accept a settlement from the other party’s insurance company until your injuries are completely healed. (Your lawyer will not file a lawsuit or claim until your injuries are healed, either.) This will help ensure that you do not receive an amount less than what you need.

It’s always a good idea to visit the doctor after being in any accident. At the very least, you’ll at least have a checkup and will have peace of mind that you are healthy.