Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers
Helping people throughout South Florida after a car accident changes their lives forever
Even the most minor car accident, the bumper tap or the headlight crunch, can leave drivers feeling shaken. When car accidents are more serious, comprising more than physical damage to your car or vehicle, finding the highest level of recovery possible requires outside help. That help comes in the form of:
- a medical doctor assessing for injuries
- a physical therapist helping you regain mobility
- in the form of a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer to assist you in making sure your insurance company pays their fair share of your bills
Reinforcements and collaboration are essential after a car accident. At Yeboah Law Group, P.A. our skilled Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling accident cases in the Fort Lauderdale area and throughout South Florida. Retain our guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
What to do immediately after a car accident in South Florida
Immediately after a car accident, your health and physical wellbeing come first. Seek medical treatment, phone your family to let them know what happened, take photographs of any damage or surrounding circumstances, notify your insurance company. Many people stop then and there, presuming these steps encompass the whole of their duties. But after seeing to your health and family, what of your emotional and financial wellbeing?
Due to the complexities of the Florida car insurance system we strongly suggest that contacting a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney be an early consideration as well. A car accident that leaves you physically unharmed but unable to drive to work due to the damage to your vehicle is still a grave issue. When you can’t get to work, the lack of income can have repercussions that affect your entire family. Knowing your rights and being able to effectively advocate for them is a challenge in the modern legal system, but that’s where choosing the right car accident lawyer makes a tremendous difference in the outcome for you and for your family.
Insurance companies are for-profit
In an ideal world, every driver would carry adequate insurance to cover any car accident they might encounter, and every insurance company would swiftly pay the needed funds without question.
We do not, however, live in this utopia. Insurance companies work on a for-profit model, not a benevolent one. Victims who deal directly with insurance companies can be persuaded or bullied into accepting far less than the fair amount of funds their situation entitles them to. This can be due to lack of knowledge, excess stress, or even fatigue. That’s why we always recommend working with a legal professional, to make certain you receive what you are owed after a car accident.
Complicating issues in car accidents
The type of car accident you’re in dictates many things about the outcome of your situation, from insurance payment to medical issues. In addition to collecting evidence about the car accident you were in, it’s important to consider the following issues as well:
- Type of car crash. Was your collision between two vehicles of roughly the same size, or was a truck involved? When insurance companies and judges alike examine the facts of the case, these factors weigh heavily on the outcome and judgment returned.
- Cause of the incident. Whether the issue was a roadway hazard or a drunk, distracted, or otherwise impaired driver makes a significant difference in regards to what types of compensation victims may be eligible for.
- Share the road. Motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicycles and runners all have specifically mandated roadway access rights in regards to legal cases and personal injury lawsuits.
- Construction zones. Improperly delineated work zones or hazardous work practices on the road can all have dire consequences for drivers. Every road construction worker, driver, or flag waver has a very clear obligation to make certain that existing traffic is imperiled by their actions or inaction.
- Injury classification. It seems cold, but the type or category of an accident victim’s injury has a significant impact on their personal injury case. Visible, traumatic, life-altering injuries obviously make a weighty impression, but injuries that are less overt still deserve compensation.
- Seatbelt usage. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for front-seat passengers in Florida, in any vehicle manufactured since 1968. If a victim wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, there is still a strong basis for a personal injury suit, but it is critical that this issue is disclosed as soon as possible to counsel.
- Uninsured or underinsured drivers. Sadly, Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the US. As a result, it is all the more vital that responsible drivers carry appropriate insurance for their own benefit as well as for the wellbeing of those around them.
Common Problems That May Lead to Injuries
Auto accidents can be the result of driver negligence, faulty car upkeep, or bad weather conditions. While most drivers know the inherent danger of hitting the road, no one expects to be in a serious accident. When you’re hurt because of someone else’s reckless behavior, do not hesitate to seek full and fair compensation.
After a wreck of any severity, you should be focused on healing and taking care of your family. The Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers at Yeboah Law Group, P.A. can help you get justice. We’re here to determine the cause or causes of your accident and doggedly defend your rights in a personal injury suit. Here, we’ll break down some of the main issues our attorneys come across in an auto accident claim.
Even with the best maintenance and care that money can buy, cars and their various components have a limited lifespan. When an owner isn’t diligent in making all necessary repairs in a timely fashion, the consequences can be disastrous—for that driver and everyone else on the road. Some types of mechanical issues at the root of auto accidents are:
- Worn or underinflated tires
- Design flaws or recalled parts
- Brake failures
- Lack of upkeep of head and tail lights (leading to poor visibility)
- Steering system breakdown
Driver error encompasses all types of driver impairment, as well as operators who disregard proper driving regulations, often leading to heartbreak and substantial physical damage. Driver oversight can include:
- Distracted driving, including texting
- Substance based incapacitation, drunk driving, or drowsy driving
- Reckless driving or speeding
- Disregard for stop signs or lights
- Lane changing or turns without proper precautions
- Tailgating and road rage
Sometimes an accident occurs when the driver is conscientious and all vehicular maintenance is up to date. While these ‘out of the blue’ type of collisions are less common, they certainly still occur regularly. Perhaps Mother Nature is to be blamed for issues like blowing dangerous debris into drivers’ fields of vision, or sudden animal appearances. Even new or well cared for tires can have blowouts without warning. Environmental factors in our area, like high winds or fog, can wreak havoc for even the most experienced drivers in the safest vehicles. These are the unavoidable accidents, the incidents we all just hope to come out of with a minimum of damage to ourselves and those around us. That’s not to say that all outside factors come without blame. Issues such as hazardous roadways and poorly maintained signage or driving surfaces cause preventable accidents.
Types of Injuries from Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Being involved in a car accident is one of the most traumatic experiences the average person can go through. One moment you are driving to the mall and the next thing you know you are being wheeled away on a gurney to a waiting ambulance. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of personal injury in the U.S., and there are many different types of injuries that you can sustain in a car wreck from cuts and abrasions to a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury that has a lasting impact on your life and health.
At Yeboah Law Group, we understand the trauma, pain, and financial hardship that can come from being involved in a car accident. We are an accessible team of Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers whose goal is to make sure that our clients feel supported and confident that they have an advocate who will fight for their right to compensation for their injuries from a car accident.
What are some of the most common injuries that occur in a car accident?
Given that every car accident is different, we are going to share some general examples of the types of injuries that can occur in various kinds of motor vehicle collisions. In keeping with the general rules of physics, the faster the vehicles are traveling at the moment of impact, the more severe the injuries are likely to be. The severity of injury also depends on the size and type of vehicle, how it is constructed, and what safety mechanisms are in place such as front and side air bags, seat belt use, and other factors.
When we travel in a vehicle that is moving through space at 60 mph, and that vehicle collides with an object that forces it to stop moving abruptly, the body will continue to move through space until it meets something to slow it down. The seat belt and airbags are designed to work together to slow down the acceleration of the body, but if the seat belt is not used and there is no airbag to curb the body’s forward motion, there is nothing to keep it from crashing through the windshield head first.
Head injuries in a car accident can be open or closed injuries and can result in a traumatic brain injury. Even when the skull remains intact, the malleable brain tissue can crash into the inside front of the skull and then the back of the skull causing massive damage to the neurons that communicate with the rest of the body. Head injuries can be a mild concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury that can have a lasting negative impact on the victim’s life.
Back and neck injuries
The tremendous g-forces present in a collision can do considerable damage to the back and neck. Whiplash is a common car accident injury that occurs when the neck is snapped back quickly when the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop. Back and neck injuries can cause severe pain and limit the range of motion that can greatly diminish the person's quality of life.
Spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord is both strong and delicate and a serious injury can cause partial or full paralysis or death. With paralysis, the injured person may no longer be able to care for himself/herself or do the work he/she once did, and it can shatter dreams for the future.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries are muscle sprains and strains, pulled muscles, a sprained neck and upper back which can cause pain and make movement difficult. These types of injuries will sometimes resolve with some treatment, medication, rest, or an ice-pack.
Depending on the nature of the crash, sometimes the leg, knee or foot can become broken due to the high impact of the crash.
Emotional or psychological Injuries
The trauma of a car accident, seeing a loved one severely injured or killed, seeing other people severely injured or just replaying the accident over and over in the mind can cause psychological injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can sometimes occur. Depression and other mental health issues must be addressed as well as physical injuries after a car accident.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accidents
Being involved in a car accident can shatter your sense of normalcy and create chaos in your life for a while. You may be dealing with a hospital stay or visits to the doctor for your injuries, dealing with the property damage to your vehicle, and worrying about all the time you are losing from work.
At Yeboah Law Group, our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are here to make sure that you receive the compensation you need when you have been injured due to the negligent actions of another driver.
We want to share the answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked by new clients, to help you feel better informed about what to do after you have been involved in a car accident. Here are just a few of the questions that almost everyone asks.
Q: What is the first thing to do if I am involved in a car accident?
A: Take a breath and try to remain calm although this might be a frightening situation. First, remain at the scene of the accident and seek medical attention if you need it. If you can, find out if the other people involved in the crash need help or medical assistance. After you have attended to any medical needs, you will assess the damage to your vehicle and gather information about the other drivers involved in the collision. Do not say anything to anyone about who was at fault in the crash, do not sign anything or speak to an insurance claims adjuster after the crash if you have suffered a serious injury until you speak to your car accident lawyer.
Q: What kind of evidence do I need to collect at the scene of the accident?
A: It is vital that you collect as much evidence as you can as to what caused the accident, the extent of your injuries and the property damage. You can take pictures or video of the scene and your injuries if you can do so safely. Are there any skid marks on the pavement? Take a picture of it. Are there people around who saw the accident who would be willing to give you a witness statement? Get their contact information.
Q: Do I need to call the police after a car accident in Florida?
A: You must call the police immediately if there is bodily injury after a car accident, and if the property damage appears to be $500 or more. The law enforcement officer will create an accident report which you can get a copy of later for your records.
Q: Am I required to report a car accident?
A: If there are any injuries or property damage, you must call the police. If the police do not come to the accident scene or file a report, you have ten days from the date of the accident to file a crash report with the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles. You must also inform your insurance company of the crash.
If you hit an unoccupied, parked car you are obligated to try to find the owner(s) of the vehicle, let them know about the accident, and give them your contact information and the name and policy number of your auto insurance. If you are unable to find the vehicle's owner, write your information down on a piece of paper and slip it under the windshield wiper. Failure to do so could result in you facing hit-and-run charges.
Q: What information do I need to collect from the other driver involved in the crash?
A: You will need to collect the other driver’s contact information: name, address, phone and email address, the make and model of the vehicle, license plate number and driver’s license number. You will also need the name and policy number of his/her car insurance company.
Q: What happens if the other driver does not have car insurance?
A: Florida law requires motorists to carry PIP/PDL (personal injury protection and property damage liability) insurance. If you are involved in a traffic crash with a driver who does not have car insurance, and you have uninsured/ underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage included in your policy, your medical expenses and injury related damages damage should be covered. If you have difficulties with your insurer denying a UIM claim, a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney from Yeboah Law Group can make sure that you receive the compensation you are owed according to your policy.
Q: When do I need to talk to a car accident lawyer?
A: If you sustained a serious injury that required a hospital stay and surgery which caused you to lose time at work, you will want to contact an experienced car accident attorney from Yeboah Law Group who will help you to prepare an accident claim and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve after your injury. Do not sign anything, make any statements or admit to anything until you have been able to consult with an attorney who will investigate the crash, review the police reports and any other available evidence to determine who is at fault in the crash. We will hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence and you will not pay any attorney fees until we have recovered compensation for you.
Accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers
If you were a passenger in a Lyft or Uber vehicle that was involved in a crash, you can make a claim for damages. Both Uber and Lyft carry policies worth up to a million dollars, though how much you are entitled to recover will be determined by your specific case. If you were driving another vehicle and were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, we can help you make a claim for compensation, too.
All advocates are not created equal
Once you’ve realized or decided to request assistance from a car accident attorney, there are still some issues to take into consideration. You don’t want some slick ambulance chaser who is only working with you in order to profit, regardless of whether he or she is actually providing you with assistance. Upfront you should ask or be informed about the attorney’s payment system. A reputable, reliable lawyer will work on a contingency basis, first evaluating your situation for no cost, before deciding whether your case is appropriate for their office. Will you have to pay, even if you don’t receive a settlement or go to trial? These types of predatory legal practices continue to deceive the vulnerable, so it’s imperative that you ask questions if you are able, or look to a family member or friend for aid in the process of selecting the right injury lawyer in South Florida for your needs.
The car accident lawyers South Florida residents and visitors can trust
Dealing with the effects of a crash can be hard; choosing the right lawyer for your needs shouldn’t be. Our Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys have the skills, resources and experiences to help you when you’re suffering. Call us at 954-764-2338 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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