Car Accident Lawyers in Orlando, FL
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We see car accidents every day on our way to work or the grocery store. Cars go too fast and lose control. People try to merge into heavy traffic and clip the back end of a car. Usually, when we see an accident, we stare for a moment or two and then drive on. All we can do is thank our lucky stars that it didn’t happen to us. A few minutes later, we never give the accident a second thought.
A large percentage of personal injury cases involve car accidents. Most of them involve minor injuries and property damage. Others involve large settlement to compensate the victims for serious injuries. Our Orlando car accident attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. have been handling these types of cases for years.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is in your best interests to retain the services of an auto accident attorney. Even if your injuries seem minor, you’ll need help navigating the insurance system. The insurance company will have a lawyer working for them. You need to have one by your side as well.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Orlando
If you’ve been in a car accident, there are a few things you need to do:
- Make sure you call the police. You’re going to need the police report later on.
- Make sure you get medical treatment. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you need to get checked out. There are certain injuries that aren’t obvious following an accident. Doctors can do the necessary tests to make sure you’re okay.
- Call an Orlando car accident lawyer.
Call The Police
There are a few reasons why you need to call the police. The obvious reason is to document the accident. The police will provide you with a report that contains a lot of important information.
This is information you can’t get later on. Some of the information contained in a police report include:
- Description of the accident scene
- Name and contact info for eyewitnesses
- Pictures of the scene
- The other driver’s insurance information
- Road conditions report
- Statements made by both drivers
- Evidence as to whether either driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
Your Orlando car accident attorney will need all of this information to prove your case. If the other driver insists that you not call the police, you still need to call them. There’s probably a good reason they want to avoid calling them. This could be because they don’t have a license or insurance. Or, it could be because they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. This information is crucial to your case.
Go To The Hospital
Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, you should always go to the hospital following a car accident. Some injuries are invisible, such as a traumatic brain injury or internal injuries. At the hospital, they’ll run all the tests to determine how serious your injuries are. The hospital will also provide proof that you were indeed injured. If the insurance company claims you weren’t injured, you’ll need this documentation down the road.
Call An Orlando Car Accident Attorney
In a perfect world, your car insurance claim will be paid right away. It will also cover all of your damages. However, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where insurance companies need to stay profitable. If they paid out every claim, they’d go out of business. Your car accident attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to settle your claim. They can also file a lawsuit on your behalf if your claim isn’t paid.
You don’t want to wait too long to call an attorney. In Florida, you only have four (4) years to file your lawsuit. If you don’t file within the statute of limitations, your case will be dismissed. Your attorney will need as much time as possible to prepare your case.
Types Of Car Accidents In Orlando, Florida
There are as many types of car accident attorneys as there are types of cars. Some tend to be more dangerous than others. Depending on the severity of your accident, you’re going to sustain certain injuries. For example, a rear-end car accident may only leave you with cuts and bruises. A head-on collision, on the other hand, could leave you permanently disabled. It depends on the impact and how fast cars are going at the time of the accident. The more serious your injuries, the more important it is that you have an experienced car accident lawyer in Orlando by your side.
Some of the most common types of accidents include:
Thankfully, most rear-end accidents cause minor injuries. It really depends on how fast the driver was going. We see a lot of rear-end accidents in parking lots and on local roads. We also see a lot of them while people are in bumper to bumper traffic.
Rear-end collisions are typically caused by the following:
- Broken brake lights
- Driving too fast
- Texting and driving
- Reckless driving
- The rear driver is almost always at fault for rear-end accidents. This gives your car accident attorney little more leverage when dealing with the insurance company.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Accidents caused by alcohol and drugs tend to be the most serious. People under the influence tend to drive recklessly. They lose control of their cars and swerve into oncoming traffic. They tend to cause some pretty serious and life-threatening injuries. The frustrating thing about drunk driving accidents is that they are all preventable. There is no reason why anyone should drive drunk. With the advent of rideshare companies, there is never an excuse to get behind the wheel while under the influence.
- Your Orlando car accident attorney will check to see if the defendant was cited for DUI at the time of the accident. If he was, this can serve as proof that he was at fault. It’ll also help your attorney negotiate a higher settlement with the insurance company. If the defendant is found guilty of drunk driving, the last thing his attorney is going to want to do is going to trial.
Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous. They cause as many deaths as drunk driving. This is because of how fast the cars are going at the time of impact. When a car comes out of nowhere, you have no idea it’s coming.
Head-on collisions are usually caused by:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Reckless driving
- Losing control of a car
- Distracted driving
- Falling asleep at the wheel
Most head-on collisions are caused by driver negligence. Your Orlando car accident attorney will have to prove that the defendant was negligent at the time of the accident. Thankfully, this is not hard to do in most head-on collisions.
Most distracted driving accidents are caused by texting and driving. Even though we know how dangerous it is, almost 80% of drivers admit to texting and driving on a daily basis. However, distracted driving involves more than just texting and driving, however.
Some of the most common distractions include:
- Reading a map
- Putting on makeup
- Talking to other people in your car
- Changing the radio station
- Watching a video on your cell phone
There is never a good excuse for speeding. Every state has speed limits. They’re posted for a reason. Studies show us what speeds are safe on major roads and highways. When people go faster than the posted speed limit, they’re causing a dangerous situation for themselves and other drivers. If the other driver is found guilty of speeding at the time of the accident, he will receive a traffic ticket. Your Orlando car accident attorney can enter this information into evidence as proof of negligence.
No matter what type of accident you’re in, you’ll probably sustain some injuries. Your Orlando car accident attorney will work hard to make sure you are fully compensated for these injuries.
Your Orlando Car Accident Attorney Will Negotiate With The Insurance Adjuster
It’s important that you call a car accident lawyer in Orlando immediately following your accident. You want to make sure your insurance claim is filed properly. If you miss a deadline or fail to submit certain information, your claim will be denied. It’s a good idea to have an experienced Orlando car accident attorney by your side throughout the process.
Even if your claim is submitted properly, the insurance company may deny your claim.
There are several reasons why an insurance company would deny your claim:
- The policy was lapsed or canceled – If there is no valid policy, you will have to file a lawsuit. You may also try to recover under the uninsured motorist’s funds. The limits on these claims are low and there is a good chance they won’t cover all of your injuries.
- The driver was not covered under the policy – If the driver had a suspended or revoked driver’s license, he may not be covered under the policy.
- The insurance company claims you aren’t injured – Your lawyer is going to need to submit your medical records to show that you are injured. This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention after the accident.
- They allege that the accident didn’t cause your injuries – The insurance adjuster may argue that you were injured in some way other than by the accident. This is a matter of causation and you want an experienced lawyer by your side if this happens.
- The insurance adjuster argues that you were at fault – As we will discuss below, Florida is a comparative negligence state. Even if you are partly at fault, you are able to collect against the other driver. As long as you are less at fault than the other driver, you have a viable claim.
What Will Your Orlando Auto Accident Lawyer Do If You Were Partly At Fault?
Very rarely is one driver totally at fault. Most accidents involve fault on the part of both drivers. Sometimes they share fault. Other times, one driver is mostly at fault. The law understands this. That is why there are certain rules when it comes to shared fault.
Even if you’re partly at fault, your Orlando car accident attorney can still negotiate a settlement. In Florida, there is something called comparative negligence. Under this law, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say you’re in a rear-end accident. The rear driver will almost always liable for these accidents. However, let’s assume your tail lights were broken at the time of the accident. The Court may determine that this equates to 20% fault on your part. So, if you were going to be awarded $100,000, this award will be reduced by $20,000.
When you first meet with your Orlando auto accident lawyer, tell him exactly what happened. He’ll eventually find out the truth so make sure you’re upfront with him. If you were partly at fault, tell him. Don’t let him get blindsided later by the defendant’s attorney. You can trust that the insurance adjuster and the defendant’s lawyer know you were partly at fault. It is not something you want to hide from your lawyer.
Your Auto Accident Attorney Will Demand Damages
The whole point of filing an insurance claim is to be compensated for your injuries. If your claim is denied, you’ll have to file a lawsuit. Your lawsuit is intended to make you whole. Your auto accident attorney will demand that you be compensated for your injuries. Just keep in mind, he can only demand compensation for damages you actually suffered. Be realistic when you meet with your attorney. If you only suffered minor injuries, don’t expect to receive millions in a lawsuit.
Car accident cases usually involve the following damages:
- Medical bills – Your Orlando accident lawyer is going to demand that the defendant pay all of your medical bills. This includes past, present and future medical bills. You can easily prove your past and present medical bills by producing copies of your bills. You can show receipts any for monies already paid toward medical bills. Proving future medical bills is a bit more difficult. Your lawyer may have to rely on medical experts to testify as to what medical care you will need in the future. Your lawyer can then estimate what this care is going to cost. He will also want to account for inflation.
- Lost Wages – Even minor injuries can cause you to miss time from work. If your accident has kept you sidelined for a significant period of time, your auto accident attorney will demand that you be compensated for this. You can use timesheets and payroll records to prove that you have missed time. You can also show that you have been forced to use personal time to cover any time missed.
- Property Damage – If your car is damaged in the accident, you will have to get it repaired. You want to keep all receipts for auto repairs and give them to your attorney. Most if not all of these repair costs will be covered by your settlement.
- Out of pocket expenses – If you had to pay for a rental car, you can demand that you be reimbursed for this.
- Permanent Disability – If you have to change jobs or stop working because of your injuries, you are going to want to be compensated. Your car accident lawyer will need to prove that you can no longer do the same kind of work you did before the accident. He can demonstrate the difference between what you will earn and what you would have earned had the accident never happened.
Your attorney will do everything he can to settle your case. Nobody wants to go to trial. It’s expensive and time-consuming. The insurance company knows this too. They’ll be as eager to settle your claim as you are. They just can’t admit this at the start.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney In Orlando, Florida Today
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, contact a car accident attorney in Florida today. Your attorney will work with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. He’ll gather all the evidence to prove your case. They’ll deal with the insurance adjuster and the defendant’s lawyer. They’ll handle the legal side of things while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact an Orlando car accident lawyer today and schedule your free consultation. You’ll get a chance to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer. He’ll review your case and give you an idea of what it’s worth. You can decide together how to proceed. Remember, you pay nothing until you win your case!
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