Florida Car Accident Lawsuits & Lawyers
Florida has been a popular tourist destination for decades. Whether families traveling to Disneyworld and Orlando or honeymooning couples heading toward a romantic, more laidback destination, Florida drivers are accustomed to sharing the road with travelers from other states. Given Florida’s large tourism industry and the fact that the state has 19.5 million residents (according to a 2013 census), to say that Florida’s highways and roads can be congested at times might be an understatement.
By some measures, Florida may have some of the most accident-prone drivers in the entire country. It may be safe to say that getting into a crash in Florida is not a matter of “if” such an accident will occur, but rather “when” such an accident will happen. When a crash does occur, you may be left with serious injuries, expensive medical bills, and significant time you must miss from work to recuperate. In some cases, however, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses.
Car Accidents in Florida
The Florida government maintains the FIRES (Florida Integrated Report Exchange System), a database that the public can access to learn information pertaining to public safety issues in the state. This database is also where statistics concerning car accidents are contained. In 2015, data stored on the FIRES system shows that:
- There were over 374,000 car crashes of every type – about 1,000 car crashes and collisions each and every day.
- More than 159,000 of these collisions resulted in some injury to at least one person involved. In fact, a total of 243,315 people were injured in car crashes;
- Nearly 3,000 people – 2,939 to be precise – died in fatal traffic collisions.
These statistics may appear to be indicative of an out-of-control epidemic, but in fact many Florida car crashes and traffic injuries and fatalities occur because one driver or the other made a careless or negligent decision while driving. Deciding to text while drive is one such careless decision, as is drinking while driving and disobeying traffic laws, signs, and signals. If drivers in Florida would commit to exercising additional care while driving, these statistics would surely decline in future years.
Florida is a “No-Fault” Insurance State
Florida and about 12 other states require resident drivers to purchase and carry a “no fault” insurance policy with sufficient policy limits in order to be able to legally drive. A “no fault” insurance policy benefits the policyholder. After a crash has occurred, an injured motorist can simply file a claim for compensation with his or her own insurance company and the insurance company will pay the claim without concerning itself with who was “at fault” in causing the crash. This usually results in injured motorists receiving compensation for their injuries and losses much more quickly than in the traditional, fault-based insurance states.
One drawback to no-fault insurance states is that, in exchange for the ability to recover compensation from one’s insurance carrier without the need to show fault or prove that one did not cause a crash, an injured motorist’s ability to seek compensation through a car crash lawsuit is limited. Where a lawsuit is permitted, however, Florida law would permit an injured motorist to recover compensation from the other driver even if the injured motorist is primarily responsible for causing the crash. So long as the other driver was at least one percent responsible for causing the crash, the injury victim will be able to receive some compensation (the precise amount received would be reduced to account for the injured motorist’s own fault).
File Your Florida Lawsuit Quickly
Florida gives car accident injury victims who are able to file a car crash lawsuit and who choose to do so a period of four years in which to file their case (measured from the date the accident occurred). This is usually more than enough time for injury victims to thoroughly investigate their cases and potential claims and make an informed decision about how best to proceed. Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, he or she may even be able to make a full recovery before filing his or her lawsuit. All this being said, a victim who fails to abide by this four-year deadline will likely have his or her untimely-filed lawsuit dismissed without the court even considering the merits of the allegations.
How Stern Law, PLLC Can Assist After a Crash
It is normal to be confused and to have questions after a car accident. Stern Law, PLLC is here to help answer your questions and determine what steps you need to take to obtain compensation for your injuries. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help you get on the road to recovery. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today by calling (844) 808-7529 and let us assist you as part of your accident recovery team.