Miami Car Accident Lawyer
Have you sustained injuries in an auto accident? Whether you were doing highway driving on I-95, taking a scenic route through the Everglades, or heading home on a smaller Miami neighborhood street, car accidents can lead to very serious personal injuries. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 281,340 traffic collisions were recorded in 2012. That number represents a 23.4% increase from 2011, in which 227,998 accidents were reported. Contact our experienced Miami car accident lawyers.
After a car accident, it is important to gather evidence and to find witnesses to the crash. Technology has provided us with substantially more information about auto accidents than in years past. Now, we can rely on Event Data Recorders (or Black Boxes), cell phones, and security cameras to determine what happened during a traffic collision.
A Miami car accident can happen almost anywhere, and it’s difficult to plan for an automobile crash or a dangerous truck accident. However, it is important to know that you do have rights, and if another driver’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. You will need to have an experienced advocate on your side throughout this difficult process. At Pita Weber Del Prado, we know how devastating a Miami car accident can be. Do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with an auto accident lawyer serving Miami.
Why You Should Work with a Miami Car Accident Lawyer
Many people hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyer after a car accident, wondering whether or not working with an attorney is really necessary. While you have no legal obligation to contact a lawyer, doing so can improve your chances of recovering the maximum amount of money that you are owed, and can also provide you with a sense of confidence and comfort throughout the process. Here are some important ways that our Miami car crash attorney helps you after a car accident:
- Investigating your accident. Fault in a crash is not always clear, and even when it is, the right evidence must be collected to prove it. Fault, or negligence, can have a big impact on the amount of money that you receive in a settlement offer, and unless you prove the negligence of the other driver (or other at-fault party), you may be unable to recover compensation at all. The investigation starts as soon as we learn around your accident, collecting all evidence. This includes physical evidence, pictures of the accident scene, police reports, video footage, witness statements, and more.
- Filing your claim. Filing can be confusing. You may not know how to file your claim after an accident, or against whom. This is especially true if the accident was caused by a party other than another driver, such as the manufacturer of a defective auto part. Our Miami car accident attorneys help you file your claim against the appropriate party in a timely manner.
- Proving damages. If you are injured in a crash and suffer losses, you may assume that the insurance adjuster responsible for processing your claim will recognize this and you’ll be compensated. Unfortunately, you will need to prove the full extent of your losses in order to recover any compensation. Our Miami car crash attorneys can assist you in gathering medical bills, working with experts, and proving damages.
- Negotiating for a fair settlement offer. Often, insurance adjusters offer claimants less than they deserve, hoping that the claimant will take the money in desperation and frustration. When your settlement offer does not address the full amount of damages you have suffered, we will aggressively negotiate for a more suitable settlement amount.
- Taking your claim to court. When a settlement cannot be reached, our Miami car accident attorneys will be prepared to take your case to court.
Types of Car Accident Claims
Most car accidents happen because of negligence, which is the failure to exercise a certain level of caution while operating a vehicle. The Miami car crash attorneys, along with your insurance company, will conduct a preliminary investigation to identify whether you were negligent or not.
To have the best chances of winning the case, the experienced Miami car accident attorneys must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. Some examples are negligent drivers, reckless drivers, intoxicated drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and those who text and drive.
If your vehicle, or the defendant’s vehicle had a defect contributed to the accident, the injured party may have a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its many parts. If the vehicle had a faulty manufacturing issue, the manufacturer can be held responsible regardless of who was actually at fault for the accident.
The Miami auto accident attorneys must prove that you were not at fault for the accident, and that the defect happened due to the manufacturing process. Usually they bring in expert testimony and analysis as evidence to prove that the defect caused or contributed to the accident. Successful lawsuits will require the plaintiff to show:
- The defective car or part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The vehicle was being operated safely
- The vehicle’s performance had not changed since purchase
Then there’s faulty construction, design, or maintenance of roads. This can contribute to car crashes and have nothing to do with the drivers. This type of claim will prove the plaintiff and defendant not guilty due to circumstances beyond their control.
Types of Car Accident Injuries and Compensation You May Be Entitled To
The extent and severity of injuries suffered will be different with each distinct case. In some cases, treatment for injuries will not be covered by insurance. The Miami auto accident attorneys help cover costs of injuries that include:
- Burns and scars
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Joint, muscle, back, neck, and bone injuries
- Knee damage
- Permanent disability
If you are seeking further compensation for damages, your attorney will approach the negligent party’s insurance company in an attempt to recover compensation to cover your remaining costs. Your claim will be submitted for approval to the insurance company, which will have led an investigation of its own.
The success of your claim will likely depend on the ability of your attorney to collect, analyze, and present evidence. It can be particularly challenging considering the opposing insurance company will clearly want to minimize their disbursement.
Providing your attorney with as much information as possible can help your odds of winning the case. If your attorney and the insurance company cannot agree on a settlement, often the case may proceed to trial.
In addition to these, our experienced Miami car accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
Miami Car Accident Lawyers Assist with Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, the family or survivors of the victim must prove that their loved one was killed as a result of another’s negligence. You can gain economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Miami Car Accident Statistics
How often do auto accidents take place in the Miami area? According to the Miami-Dade County Health Department, 164 traffic-related accidents occurred in Miami between 2005-2007. Of those crashes, pedestrian deaths occurred most frequently (coming in at 44% of all recorded fatalities), with vehicles occupant deaths coming in at a close second (at 40% of all recorded fatalities).
What causes Miami auto accidents? Based on data collected by the Miami-Dade County Health Department, the following causes of vehicular deaths tend to be the most common:
- Violating right-of-way laws
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs, including failure to stop at a red light or a stop sign
- Reckless or careless driving
Filing a Miami Car Accident Claim
After you’ve sustained injuries in a Miami auto accident or truck accident, it is important to seek advice from an experienced Miami auto accident lawyer. The sooner you file a lawsuit, the sooner you’ll be eligible for compensation.
Each state has its own statute that governs how long you’ll have to file a claim from the time of your accident. If you have sustained serious injuries in a Miami truck accident or an automobile crash, Florida law stipulates that you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file your initial complaint.
Compensation for a Miami Auto Accident
Many car accident victims want to know what type of compensation they might be eligible to receive. In general, accident victims can be eligible for compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate you for your losses. These take two different forms:
- Economic damages: this type of damages is based on a specific monetary loss, such as the exact cost of hospital or medical bills, or lost wages when a serious injury prevents you from working.
- Non-economic damages: this type of damages is not based on a specific monetary amount, and non-economic damages are difficult to calculate objectively. For instance, non-economic damages include compensation for such experiences as pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life.
In some cases where the at-fault driver was particularly reckless, you may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, aren’t intended to compensate a victim for a loss. Instead, they’re meant to punish a negligent driver’s especially bad behavior and to deter other drivers from similar actions.
Contact a Miami Auto Accident Lawyer
Have you sustained injuries in a Miami auto accident? Depending on the details of your accident, it will be important to speak with a Miami truck accident lawyer or a Miami car accident lawyer. At Pita Weber Del Prado, we have significant experience handling auto accident cases and can discuss yours with you today.