From minor accidents that ruin your day to life-changing catastrophic injuries, car and truck accidents are unfortunately common occurrences in a busy area like Brandon. Car accidents happen for various reasons in Brandon and the surrounding communities of Florida each year. The aftermath of any accident can be difficult to navigate and presents several complex legal questions the average person will not be able to answer on their own. Additionally, navigating any civil suit in Florida is likely to mean encounters with specific legal terms you may have trouble understanding. Ultimately, attempting to handle recovery from any car accident in Brandon can be overwhelming when you consider the complex legal topics you must address while recovering from painful injuries.
If you find yourself in this situation, or if a family member was injured in a serious accident that someone else caused, it is natural to wonder how you can ensure accountability for the incident and how to recover recompense for the losses you suffered.
Florida upholds the “no-fault” rule for car accidents, meaning all drivers are expected to use their own auto insurance to recover their damages from accidents regardless of fault. However, this does not mean you cannot pursue legal recourse against the driver who hit you. If insurance alone cannot compensate your losses and you have sustained a serious injury, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident. Success with this claim will be more likely if you have an experienced Brandon car accident attorney representing you.
The Frank Santini Law Firm is an experienced legal team in Brandon ready to provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need on your side to navigate the aftermath of a car accident as successfully as possible. We take time to develop individualized legal strategies in every case we accept, addressing each client’s unique needs and concerns. You can count on our team to guide you through the insurance claim filing process, and if this does not yield full compensation for your damages, we can help build a compelling personal injury suit against the driver who hurt you.
Florida’s no-fault rule for car accidents may appear as an impediment to your recovery if another driver has caused an accident with you, but this is not necessarily true. If you experienced a minor accident and you can fully recover through insurance alone, then proving fault will not be a concern in the aftermath of your accident. However, if your damages exceed the scope of available insurance coverage, then proving fault will be essential for a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver.
A few ways that car accidents might happen in Brandon and generate personal injury cases include:
No matter how your recent accident happened, your Brandon car accident attorney can be invaluable for gathering the evidence and witness testimony needed to firmly establish liability for the incident. Your recovery process is likely, to begin with an auto insurance claim, and if you meet the criteria for a civil suit after exhausting the compensation available from insurance, you can rely on your attorney to guide you through the process of filing your case.
As residents, we may not think about it, but Brandon is densely populated as a result of its proximity to Tampa. There is quite a lot of traffic in the area from workers commuting to and from downtown Tampa, suburban families running errands every day, and various other forms of local travel. The most recently available Florida State Highway Safety Report is from 2021, which reported more than 3,700 traffic fatalities throughout the state for that year, an all-time high for the state of Florida. So far in 2023, Hillsborough County alone has reported 127 fatalities from crashes and 12,558 injuries from crashes. The most commonly reported type of accident in Brandon and across the US is rear-end collisions.
Every driver in the state is required to have motor vehicle insurance that includes at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and at least $10,000 in coverage for property damage liability (PDL). If you have an accident in Brandon, your PIP will cover your own medical expenses, and PDL can cover the other driver’s repair costs if you cause the accident. You have a limited time in which to file your auto insurance claim, and nothing guarantees that the insurance carrier will handle your claim in good faith.
Unfortunately, recent changes to the car insurance laws of Florida have made it harder for accident victims to recover compensation for their accidents by making it easier for insurance carriers to push back against valid claims. Many recent accidents in Brandon and throughout Florida have led to complex legal disputes between injured car accident victims and the insurance companies responsible for covering their losses.
Your Brandon car accident attorney can help compile your auto insurance claim and resolve any disputes that might arise from the insurance carrier. The Frank Santini Law Firm has extensive professional experience confronting insurance companies on behalf of our clients in the Brandon area, and we know the tactics they often use to try to justify the lowest possible settlement offers. We can help file your claim and, once the insurance company delivers its response, ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer.
If you have suffered a serious injury in your recent accident and your damages exceed the scope of insurance coverage available to you, you can proceed with filing a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident. To succeed with this claim, you must identify the defendant who caused your accident and then prove the full range of damages they caused. You must also be prepared to establish “causation” between the defendant’s actions and your claimed losses. This means you must show that your damages solely resulted from the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and not some other cause.
The endpoint of your personal injury case is to hold the defendant accountable for their actions and to secure the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible. Most personal injury plaintiffs in Brandon have the right to claim more compensation than they initially expected, and a good attorney can help their clients uncover all avenues of compensation available to them.
Florida law allows the Brandon car accident victims in a personal injury suit to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. It’s important to understand that the term “damages” does not strictly apply to the physical damage inflicted on your vehicle in your recent accident. This is a legal term that defines all of the losses you suffered in your recent accident. “Damages” in any civil suit can be either economic or noneconomic in nature. Economic damages are losses that can be proven in solid figures with the appropriate documentation. Noneconomic damages are intangible losses that the average person may find difficult to assess without an attorney’s help.
The economic damages the plaintiff can seek include the direct financial impact of a personal injury, including:
The average person may be able to identify immediately recognizable economic losses but might struggle to assess the full long-term impact of a car accident. When you choose The Frank Santini Law Firm to represent your case, our team can review all the details of the accident and examine the scope of its effects on your life. Our goal is to maximize your recovery from your economic damages, but your recovery does not end there.
Florida places no limits on pain and suffering compensation in most civil cases, including motor vehicle accident claims. The purpose of pain and suffering compensation is to address the plaintiff’s intangible losses they sustained due to the defendant’s actions, namely their physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma. It may sound as though it would be difficult or impossible to assign a monetary value to these intangible losses, but the right attorney can assist you in determining an appropriate amount of compensation to reflect the severity of your experience.
Attorneys usually use one of two possible methods to calculate pain and suffering recompense for their clients. First is the multiplier method, most often used for plaintiffs who have suffered severely damaging injuries that entail some level of permanent harm. The attorney multiplies their client’s total economic damages by one to five in most cases, so it is likely for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering compensation to amount to more than the total of their claimed economic damages if they suffered a life-changing injury. Second is the method whereby their attorney calculates a suitable daily compensation rate and then multiplies this amount by the number of days it takes them to fully recover. This “per diem” method is typically reserved for plaintiffs expected to make full recoveries and bases their pain and suffering compensation on the time it takes for them to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries.
The fault may not be a major point of concern after a minor accident that can be resolved through insurance, but the fault does play a central role in a personal injury claim. It is possible for a plaintiff to share fault for their damages and still recover compensation from the defendant, but only to a point.
Florida previously upheld the pure comparative fault rule, which basically meant that a plaintiff could still recover compensation for a personal injury even if they shared fault for causing the injury. They would simply lose a percentage of the case award that reflected their shared liability. This rule has changed, and now Florida upholds the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that any party who shares fault for a personal injury is assigned a fault percentage that dictates how much of the total damages they are accountable for repaying. As long as the plaintiff’s fault is less than 50%, they can still recover compensation. However, if they are found 50% or more at fault, they receive nothing.
While the plaintiff’s shared fault will diminish their recovery, there are other factors that might enhance it beyond their economic damages and pain and suffering compensation. For example, if the defendant caused the accident through some illegal or intentional misconduct, they could owe punitive damages or restitution along with the plaintiff’s other claimed damages. Your Brandon car accident attorney can advise you as to how the illegal or intentional nature of the defendant’s actions could impact your final case award.
If you must file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident, it is natural to wonder how long this process will take and what you can expect in terms of the final outcome. If you are worried about going to court, the truth is that most of the personal injury cases filed each year are not resolved through litigation. When litigation is necessary after a car accident, it is typically between an injured driver and their own insurance carrier pushing back against their legitimate claim.
Many personal injury claims filed in Brandon are settled privately as the private settlement negotiation process saves all parties involved in a case time, stress, and extra expense. They can also keep their proceedings out of the public record and ultimately have more control over the outcome.
During settlement, both parties and their respective attorneys meet privately to discuss terms for resolving the case. As long as both parties are willing to compromise, it is possible to settle a car accident case in a fraction of the time that litigation would require. However, litigation may be necessary if the defendant refuses to accept liability, disputes the scope of compensation sought by the plaintiff, if the plaintiff’s insurance carrier fights their claim, or if settlement negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant prove fruitless for any other reason. When a civil case proceeds to litigation, the judge overseeing the case has the final say on the outcome.
An experienced legal team can make a significant difference in the outcome of your recovery following a car accident in Brandon. Instead of attempting to deal with difficult insurance claim adjusters and court filing requirements on your own while you struggle with the medical effects of your accident, your Brandon car accident attorney can handle your legal affairs on your behalf so you can focus on recovery.
When you choose The Frank Santini Law Firm to represent your case, you are investing in a dedicated legal advocate ready to provide the guidance and support you need to approach your case with confidence and peace of mind. In every case we accept, we take time to learn about our client’s individual needs and concerns, helping them feel more confident about the proceedings ahead. Our goal is to help our client recover as fully as possible as quickly as possible.
Time is a crucial concern after any car accident in Brandon. The sooner you secure legal counsel you can trust, the sooner you can recover your losses and ensure accountability for the harm you suffered. The Frank Santini Law Firm is ready to provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need in this situation. Contact us now and set up a free consultation with a Brandon car accident attorney and start working toward your recovery.
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