Car accidents are bound to happen. In Manatee County, Florida, home to Lakewood Ranch, there were 6,772 car crashes resulting in 5,129 injuries and 71 deaths in 2021 alone.
Nothing can fully heal the lasting damages a car accident causes. But an experienced attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover. If a collision injured you or a loved one or tragically resulted in death, and you need a car accident attorney, Lakewood Ranch firm James Horne Law will fight for you. Attorney James Horne is an AV-Preeminent-rated aggressive litigation counselor. He has successfully represented clients from case inception through trial and appeals and believes every case deserves his full, undivided attention. When you work with James Horne Law, you are not just another name or case file. You can bank on our team’s compassion, consideration, and know-how to make your claim as strong as possible.
Common Causes of Lakewood Ranch Auto Accidents
Many things can cause a car accident. But most are caused by manufacturing defects, bad weather and road conditions, and human error. Specific circumstances that commonly lead to accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Driving while texting,
- Driving while drowsy,
- Running red lights,
- Running stop signs,
- Tailgating other drivers,
- Road rage,
- Making dangerous lane changes,
- Illegal passing,
- Slick and icy roads, and
- Run down vehicles and tire blowouts.
These situations can all lead to head-on collisions, off-road crashes, and rollover accidents. No matter the type of accident you’ve been in, car accident lawyer James Horne knows every case is unique. His commitment to providing top-notch legal representation can help you get compensation that accounts for your specific injuries.
What Should You Do After an Auto Accident in Lakewood Ranch?
Sometimes, accidents result in harmless fender benders. Other times, the damage is immeasurable. After any automobile accident in Lakewood Ranch, protecting your legal rights and preserving your ability to collect a settlement is essential. To assure you’re in the best possible position after a car crash, take the following steps:
- Assess any injuries. If there’s any chance you or any passengers are injured, stay seated and call 911. Do not move until medical personnel arrive on the scene, or you’ll risk aggravating any potential injuries.
- Make sure you are safe. If you can, move your car to the side of the road and turn your hazard lights on so you don’t risk another accident. If you can’t drive or your vehicle won’t operate, turn your hazards on to alert other drivers.
- Seek medical attention. A physician, EMT, or qualified medical professional should thoroughly examine you even if you think you’re okay. Some injuries take a while to present and can be dangerous if left untreated. Plus, a documented medical assessment can help support your accident claim should you decide to file one.
- Call the police. When the police arrive at the scene, they will write up a crash report, which is helpful during the insurance claim process.
- Make sure law enforcement files a report. Under Florida law, a Florida Traffic Crash Report must be completed and submitted to the Florida Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV) within ten days after law enforcement completes an investigation into an accident that resulted in death, personal injury, or any complaints of pain or discomfort from any parties or passengers involved in the crash. In the event of a minor collision, drivers may report the accident themselves by mail or online.
- Exchange Information. Be sure to exchange insurance information and to take note of the makes, models, years, car colors, license plate numbers, and vehicle identification numbers of everyone involved.
- Take photographic and video evidence. Take photos and video evidence of every car involved. Images can provide information about how the accident occurred, prove property damage, and support injury claims.
- Never admit fault. Limit your conversation with other parties to only exchanging information. Insurance companies will sometimes use second-hand accounts of anxious apologies or offhand comments to deny claims.
- Do not contact your insurance company until after consulting with an attorney. Insurance companies sometimes use manipulative tactics to settle your claim for less than its worth. This is one of many reasons you should never talk to an insurance company or submit written or recorded statements without talking to an attorney first.
To ensure you receive fair compensation, contact Lakewood Ranch car accident attorney James Horne as soon after your accident as possible. He will investigate your crash, review your evidence, and ensure your legal rights are protected.
How Much Compensation Can You Expect From Your Car Accident?
The amount of compensation you can receive from a car accident in Florida can vary widely based on several factors. Florida operates under a “no-fault” insurance system, which means that your own insurance policy, specifically your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, typically pays for your medical expenses and other financial losses, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. However, there are situations in which you may seek additional compensation beyond your PIP coverage:
- Serious Injuries: If your injuries meet the threshold for a “serious injury” as defined by Florida law, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Serious injuries typically include significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, significant scarring or disfigurement, and certain other serious injuries.
- Economic Damages: In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for economic damages, such as medical expenses that exceed your PIP coverage, lost wages, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: You may also be eligible to seek non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, in a personal injury lawsuit if your case meets the criteria for pursuing such damages.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases involving egregious conduct, you may be able to seek punitive damages, which are intended to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate the victim.
The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on factors like the severity of your injuries, the extent of your financial losses, the insurance policies involved, and the skill of your attorney in negotiating or litigating your case. Additionally, Florida’s comparative negligence law means that the amount of compensation you receive can be reduced if you are found to share some degree of fault for the accident.
It’s important to consult with an attorney in Florida who can evaluate your specific case, help you understand your rights, and estimate the potential compensation you may be entitled to. Personal injury attorneys can provide guidance on navigating the legal process and working to secure a fair settlement or verdict in your favor.
Why Should I Hire a Lakewood Ranch Accident Attorney?
After an accident, you want an accomplished attorney who knows how to go toe to toe with insurance adjusters. But you also want a compassionate advocate who can handle everything from filing your claim to going to trial, so you can spend your time recovering. At James Horne Law, we can:
- Explain your options after a crash,
- Assist you in seeking care,
- Request all your medical records,
- Investigate and collect evidence,
- Handle complex insurance claims,
- Negotiate with insurance companies,
- File a personal injury lawsuit if insurance won’t settle, and
- Build a solid personal injury case to help you fight for the compensation you’re entitled to.
Insurance companies count on using a car crash victim’s inexperience against them. Working with James Horne Law will reduce the chances that an insurance company will try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is less than your damages are worth. We pride ourselves on fighting for settlements that accurately reflect the harms our clients suffered. And the bigger the settlement, the more resources you’ll have at your disposal to recover from your injuries.
Contact a Lakewood Ranch Car Accident Lawyer
James Horne Law Firm understands the ins and outs of car accident cases and will work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve. If another person’s negligence caused a car accident that injured you or a loved one, contact James Horne Law Firm online or by phone today to find out how we can help.