Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer
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What are your legal rights after a motor vehicle accident? Whose insurance company do you need to contact? How much compensation are you entitled to recover, and how can you make sure you don’t settle for too little too soon? Is it worth hiring a Pensacola car accident lawyer to represent you?
If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident, You Need to Stand Up for Your Legal Rights
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful. In many respects, it can be downright painful. Even setting aside the issue of liability, you need to get your car repaired (or replaced), you need to get treatment for your injuries, and you need to figure out how you are going to get around while you don’t have a car or you are too injured to drive.
Then, you add the insurance companies into the equation, and things get even worse. You can’t get a straight answer no matter how many times you ask, and you can’t help but feel like they don’t really have your best interests in mind.
Let an Experienced Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer Handle Your Claim for You
At Searcy Denney, we help car accident victims recover just compensation. When you hire our firm to represent you, our lawyers and staff will deal with the insurance companies for you, and we will guide you through everything you need to do in order to maximize your financial recovery. We will help you avoid costly mistakes, and we will answer all of your questions in language you can understand. As your personal injury attorneys, we are your advocates and your advisors, and we will make sure you are making informed decisions while we are fighting for just compensation on your behalf.
Dealing with the insurance companies after a car accident in Florida is different from dealing with the insurance companies in many other states. This is because of Florida’s “no fault” auto insurance law, which is designed to ensure that all accident victims have coverage for at least the basic financial costs of their injuries. Unless you can prove that you have sustained a significant or permanent injury, then you will be limited to this no-fault coverage. This makes Florida car accident insurance claims particularly challenging, and it makes it especially important to hire a Pensacola car accident lawyer to represent you.
We help auto accident victims in Pensacola and the surrounding areas seek full compensation for their losses. This includes losses sustained as a result of injuries including:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye, ear, nose and facial injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Pensacola Auto Accident Attorney for Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are among the most serious car accidents that can result in severe injuries and even death. When both vehicles collide when traveling in opposite directions at a high rate of speed, the forces exerted on the occupants of the vehicles are catastrophic.
Sometimes head-on collisions are the result of factors behind the drivers’ control. One driver may have lost control of their vehicle due to dangerous weather and poor road conditions. Alternatively, one driver may have swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid colliding with another vehicle or avoid debris in the roadway. Unfortunately, however, most head-on collisions are the result of a driver’s negligence:
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe passing
- Aggressive driving
If you’ve been injured in a head-on collision, you should speak with a Pensacola auto accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation if the other party’s negligence caused your accident.
Side-Impact or Broadside Collisions (“T-Bone” Accidents)
While they may not be as explosive as head-on collisions, side-impact collisions can be just as serious. This is especially the case for the occupants of the vehicle that is struck broadside. A side-impact collision exerts tremendous forces on the side of the body where the auto is hit, which can result in serious injuries:
- Broken arms, legs, hips, and/or ribs
- Organ damage
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Broadside collisions are often the result of negligence:
- Failing to yield at a yellow light
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Distracted driving or driving while intoxicated
An experienced Pensacola auto accident attorney can help recreate the accident to determine exactly what happened. They can help you prove that your accident was due to the other driver’s negligence so that you can get the compensation you need to make a full recovery from your injuries.
A Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer Can Help After a Rear-End Collision
Most rear-end accidents involve a situation where the car that is hit was stopped when it was rear-ended. As a result, the occupants of the rear-ended vehicle are subjected to massive forces that can result in serious injury.
The most common injury suffered in rear-end accidents is whiplash, which is caused by the violent whipping motion of the head due to the accident. Whiplash is a severe strain or sprain of the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Severe cases could require extensive treatment and a lengthy recovery. If left untreated, whiplash could result in a permanent injury.
In addition to whiplash, other serious injuries are common:
- Nerve damage
- Spinal injury
- Broken limbs
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Facial fractures
- Organ damage
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
Some accident victims also report emotional or psychological trauma due to their accident, manifesting in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, or crippling anxiety.
Rear-end accidents are almost always the fault of the other driver. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to document your case carefully. An experienced Pensacola auto accident attorney can protect your rights and help you get the compensation you need.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving in Florida
Most car accidents are the result of carelessness on the part of the other driver. Perhaps they neglected to check their blind spots or were distracted by their children in the back seat. Reckless or aggressive driving, however, often involves driving a conscious disregard for the safety of others. In the state of Florida, aggressive driving is a crime referred to as “aggressive careless driving” and includes the following:
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Improper or unsafe lane changes
A traffic citation for aggressive careless driving or one of the related offenses can be significant evidence of the other driver’s negligence. In turn, this can help you pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries and other losses. A Pensacola car accident lawyer will know how to obtain copies of the accident report and determine whether any citations were issued. More importantly, they will know how to use these to build your case.
Our Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Punitive Damages in Your Reckless Driving Case
In addition to your compensatory damages for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, you may be entitled to punitive damages if you were injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault driver and dissuade other people from driving recklessly.
That said, courts do not award punitive damages often – they are typically reserved for cases where the other driver’s behavior was particularly egregious. As a result, you may not be entitled to punitive damages even though the other driver was cited with aggressive careless driving or committed some other traffic infraction. Here are some examples where punitive damages may be awarded:
- The other driver was exceeding the speed limit by an unreasonable amount
- The other driver was driving while intoxicated
- A trucking company knowingly has trucks in operation that need maintenance and a mechanical failure causes an accident
We should note that some courts have begun to award punitive damages when the driver was using a smartphone and caused an accident.
Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Pensacola
Like all cities, Pensacola has some roads and intersections that prove to be particularly dangerous for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. While a significant number of accidents occur on major highways, a large percentage occur on local byways, downtown streets and in residential areas as well. Here are some of the most-dangerous roads and intersections in Pensacola and the surrounding areas:
- Interstate 10 (I-10)
- State Road 98 (SR 98)
- State Road 90 (SR 90)
- U.S. Route 29
- U.S. Route 29 and SR 98
- East Gregory Street and North 9th Avenue
- East Main Street and South Jefferson Street
- Gregory Street, Bayfront Parkway and 17th Avenue
- Highway 97 and Highway 92
- Pine Forest Road and Wilde Lake Boulevard
What Happens After a Car Accident in Pensacola?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident in Pensacola, what happens next is largely up to you. You need to take steps to protect your legal rights, and this starts with hiring an experienced Pensacola car accident lawyer to help you. Here is an overview of what will happen when you contact us for help:
1. We Will Help You Get the Treatment You Need
If you aren’t sure where to go for medical treatment, we can help you get the treatment you need. Our Pensacola accident lawyers have working relationships with many local doctors, and we can refer you to specialists in your areas of need.
2. We Will Deal with Your Insurance Company for You
Since Florida has a “no fault” insurance law, you will need to contact your insurance company. Our lawyers can handle this for you, and we can continue to deal with your insurance company throughout your claim.
3. We Will Investigate the Accident
We will investigate your accident as soon as possible. Conducting a thorough investigation is crucial for determining who was at fault and gathering the evidence we need to prove your right to just compensation. A Pensacola car accident lawyer at Searcy Denney will carefully examine all of the evidence and identify the party (or parties) responsible for your losses.
4. We Will Assess Your Legal Rights
In addition to determining who was at fault in your accident, we will also determine how much you are entitled to recover. If you were seriously injured and someone else was at fault, you should be able to file a claim outside of your “no fault” insurance coverage.
5. We Will Seek Just Compensation on Your Behalf
Regardless of how much you are entitled to recover, we will fight to secure just compensation on your behalf. We will work diligently to secure a favorable settlement; and, if you don’t receive a settlement offer you are willing to accept, our Pensacola accident lawyer will take your case to trial.
How Does Auto Insurance Work After a Car Accident in Pensacola?
As we mentioned above, Florida is a “no fault” auto insurance state. This means that your first (and potentially only) option after being injured in a car accident is to file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. PIP is “no fault” insurance, which means that you are entitled to coverage regardless of who caused your collision.
However, if you were seriously or permanently injured in an accident in Pensacola, then you may be able to file a claim outside of PIP. In most cases, this means filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, although it could also mean seeking coverage under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy (if you have one). In order to ensure that you are seeking the maximum coverage available, you will want to work with an experienced Pensacola car accident lawyer.
FAQs Answered by Our Pensacola Accident Lawyers
How do I know if I am entitled to financial compensation after an accident?
After an accident, determining if you are entitled to financial compensation requires a prompt investigation. This is one of the most-important reasons why we encourage all accident victims to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Based on the evidence that is available, your attorney will be able to assess both (i) whether you have a claim, and (ii) if so, how much you may be entitled to recover.
How much will it cost to hire a Pensacola accident attorney?
Our injury law firm does not charge any up-front fees or costs, and we handle all accident claims “on contingency.” This means that you only pay if we win. This applies to our legal fees as well as any costs we incur on your behalf in the process of pursuing your claim.
Can a Pensacola car accident lawyer help me if the accident was partially my fault?
In cases in which multiple parties are to blame for injuries sustained in an accident, Florida follows the rule of “pure comparative fault.” This means that the amount of your financial recovery will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault (i.e. if you were 10 percent at fault, you would be entitled to recover 90 percent of your losses). However, before assuming that you were partially at fault – or making any other assumptions about your legal rights – you need to discuss your case with our Pensacola accident lawyers.
What if I didn’t call the police from the scene of the accident?
That’s okay. While having a police report helps, there are many other ways that our Pensacola accident lawyers can prove your right to financial compensation. Once again, it is important that you contact us promptly so that we can begin our investigation as soon as possible.
Resources You May Need After a Car Accident in Pensacola
There are several resources you may need after a car accident in Pensacola. While our lawyers and staff are more than happy to answer your questions and deal with the aftermath of your accident on your behalf, you may find the following resources useful if you want to try to handle any aspect of your situation on your own:
- Escambia County Clerk & Comptroller
- Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
- FLHSMV Traffic Crash Reports
- Florida Department of Health in Escambia
- Florida Highway Patrol
Speak With a Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer for Free
To discuss the details of your car accident in confidence, please contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. To request an appointment with a Pensacola accident lawyer at Searcy Denney, call 800-780-8607 or get in touch online now.