Car Accident Claims
Our Tallahassee Car Crash Lawyers Help You Understand Your Options
Our Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyers Can Help Your Recover Losses After a Car Crash
As both the geographic and cultural center of the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee sees more than its fair share of car accidents. From permanent residents to students, and from visitors to truck drivers passing through on I-10, all types of drivers are at risk for being involved in serious collisions in and around the Tallahassee area.
Tallahassee is well-known for various reasons. While sports fans know Tallahassee as the home of Florida State University, the city also has a bustling economy, and its historical and ecological significance attract visitors from across Florida and the entire United States. As Florida’s capital and seventh largest city by population, Tallahassee is home to several notable Florida residents, and it has been featured in several movies and television shows as well.
Involved in a Vehicle Accident? You Need a Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyer.
Each year, there are thousands of car accidents in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas of Leon County. According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more than a third of these accidents result in bodily injury. If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation, and you should speak with a Tallahassee car accident lawyer about filing an insurance claim as soon as possible.
At Searcy Denney, we provide experienced legal representation for auto accident victims in Tallahassee. We offer free initial consultations, and we do not charge any legal fees or costs unless we obtain you compensation. Our Tallahassee auto accident attorneys will provide you with a thorough assessment of your legal rights (including how much compensation you are entitled to recover); and, if you choose to move forward, your Tallahassee car accident attorney will seek maximum compensation for your injuries on your behalf.
Accident Lawyers with Decades of Success in Insurance Claims and Lawsuits
Our team have been fighting for car accident victims in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas for more than 45 years. We have recovered million of dollars for our clients’ losses by using aggressive settlement tactics and providing vigorous representation at trial. While most motor vehicle accident claims settle, you need a lawyer who is prepared to take your case to court. When you choose Searcy Denney, you can feel confident knowing that we will do whatever it takes to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
We represent clients who have suffered severe traumatic injuries and lost loved ones in accidents involving all causes. This includes accidents resulting from:
- Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
- Failure to yield
- Fatigued driving
- Impaired driving (alcohol and drugs)
- Reckless driving
- Reliance on self-driving technology
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Road defects
- Vehicle defects
- Other common driving mistakes and non-driver-related causes
Drunk Driving Accidents
It should come as no surprise that drunk driving is against the law in Florida and elsewhere throughout the country. Despite this fact, too many people choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drunk driving can lead to serious accidents that can result in severe injuries and even death. And the bottom line is that drunk driving is negligent driving. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
In the event of an accident, the driver who was driving while intoxicated is usually charged with DWI and is prosecuted. It’s important to understand that this does not mean that you cannot pursue a personal injury claim. In fact, you can still pursue a claim even if the criminal charges against the driver are dismissed, they are found not guilty, or they plead to a lesser charge. A personal injury claim is judged according to a lower standard of evidence, which means that it might be easier for you to prove your claim than for a prosecutor to prove that they are guilty.
Additionally, the criminal prosecution will not result in compensation for your injuries. While the driver may be ordered to pay restitution, there are no guarantees. The best way to protect your rights is to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and other losses. A Tallahassee car accident lawyer can help you understand your options.
Drugged Driving in Florida
Driving while under the influence of drugs is similarly illegal and also negligent. Driving while under the influence of drugs includes the following:
- “Serious” illegal narcotics such as heroin or cocaine.
- Prescription medications taken under the direction of a physician. Some prescriptions prohibit people from driving while taking them due to certain side effects. In other cases, the medication may have an intoxicating effect when combined with alcohol or other medicines.
- Marijuana. Changing attitudes toward marijuana have led to an increase in driving while high. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal and negligent.
- Over-the-counter medications. Even though these can be purchased legally, over-the-counter medications can have an intoxicating effect when taken in certain doses or in combination with other substances.
Driving while under the influence of drugs is negligent behavior that can cause an accident. If you’ve been injured and believe that the other driver was under the influence, you should speak with a Tallahassee car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyer Handles Distracted Driving Cases
Distracted driving is another common source of negligence in car accident cases. Smartphones are the most well-known example, but anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or your hands of the wheel can be considered distracted driving:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking with passengers
- Dealing with children
- Adjusting the radio or other controls
Driving while distracted means that the driver has less time to react to a situation. Such drivers are also more likely to run red lights and stop signs, rear-end a stopped vehicle, or drift into another lane or oncoming traffic.
Understanding the Impact of Florida’s “No-Fault” Insurance Law
Many accident victims assume that Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law means they are limited to filing a claim under their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. If you have been severely injured, this is not correct. While Florida law limits accident victims to seeking PIP coverage if they have only suffered minor injuries, victims with severe permanent injuries can seek full compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Additionally, it is important not to assume that driver negligence was the only factor involved in your accident. Faulty road construction, vehicle defects and various other issues can cause and contribute to dangerous accidents as well. With our nationwide experience in product liability litigation , our Tallahassee car accident lawyer can identify all of the factors involved in your accident and seek just compensation from all of the parties that are responsible for your losses.
How Do You Prove That the Other Driver was Negligent?
If you have a claim for driver negligence, how do you prove it? Proving driver negligence requires a comprehensive on-scene and off-scene investigation. At Searcy Denney, our Tallahassee car accident attorneys work with experienced local investigators who can use their expertise to determine the cause of your (or your loved one’s) crash. Our seasoned legal experts can also request phone records, credit card records, surveillance camera footage and various other forms of evidence to prove that the other driver is responsible for your accident-related losses.
5 Signs You May Need a Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyer
1. You Were Injured
If you were involved in a minor fender bender and no one got hurt, then you may be able to successfully handle your insurance claim on your own. However, if you were injured, you may need help from an attorney. Even filing a successful “no-fault” personal injury protection (PIP) claim can be difficult, and filing a successful fault-based auto accident claim will almost certainly require experienced legal representation.
2. The Insurance Companies are Fighting Your Claim
If you are attempting to handle your claim on your own and you are facing resistance from the insurance companies, this is a sign that you may need a skilled Tallahassee auto accident attorney as well. This could mean that you don’t have a claim to pursue, but it could also mean that the insurance companies are trying to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. In either scenario, an experienced lawyer can help you understand your situation and explain the options you have available.
3. The Other Driver Fled the Scene of the Accident
If the other driver fled the scene of the accident, your case will present some additional challenges. In order to ensure that you have every opportunity to secure the financial compensation you deserve, you should speak with a Tallahassee car accident lawyer about your case as soon as possible.
4. The Other Driver Said He or She was Uninsured
Dealing with uninsured drivers also presents unique challenges. Our auto accident attorneys can confirm whether or not the driver was insured (some drivers are mistaken, and some falsely claim to be uninsured in hopes of avoiding claims against their policies), and we can seek just compensation from all available sources.
5. Some Factor Other Than Driver Negligence Caused Your Crash
If a factor other than driver negligence (i.e. a road or vehicle defect) caused your crash, then your case will involve a claim outside of the usual auto insurance claims process. You will need an auto accident attorney to establish liability and secure just compensation on your behalf.
Tallahassee Car Accident Data
Unfortunately, Tallahassee’s growth and popularity mean that car accidents are a common occurrence in and around the city. Each year, thousands of people are injured in collisions in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas of Leon County. According to the latest data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV):
- On average, there are more than 7,000 car accidents in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas of Leon County each year.
- Of the accidents that occur in Leon County each year, more than 4,000 result in serious but non-fatal injuries.
- Each year, between 30 and 40 people die in car accidents in Leon County, including fatal accidents within the Tallahassee city limits.
- Alcohol and drug use are factors in more than 100 serious and fatal car accidents in Leon County each year. More than one accident every three days in Leon County is attributable to a driver being impaired or intoxicated behind the wheel.
- In addition to collisions between motor vehicles, there are also hundreds of motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Tallahassee and the rest of Leon County each year.
- Due to Tallahassee’s location near I-10, there are approximately two accidents per day in Leon County involving large trucks and other commercial vehicles.
- Approximately half of all vehicle collisions in Leon County involve teen and young adult drivers (under the age of 24).
What Do You Need to Know After a Car Accident in Tallahassee?
If you have been involved in a car accident in Tallahassee, the most important thing you need to know is that it is up to you to make sure you receive the insurance coverage (and potentially additional compensation) you deserve. While the insurance companies will investigate your accident once you file a claim, the purpose of their investigation is not to help you recover your losses. Rather, the purpose of their investigation is to find any possible grounds to deny your claim, and the insurance companies will utilize various tactics to try to minimize the amount they have to pay.
It is also important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of Florida’s “no fault” insurance law. Under this law, you are limited to obtaining personal injury protection (PIP) coverage unless you can prove that you have suffered a “significant” or “permanent” injury. If your injuries qualify you for liability-based compensation, then you must also be able to prove that the other driver was at fault in the collision.
Given these challenges, when seeking to recover your losses after a car accident in Tallahassee, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you. At Searcy Denney, our Tallahassee lawyers include James Gustafson, Jr., Cameron Kennedy, and Carter Scott each with decades of experience helping accident victims recover. We can use our experience to help you. Not only will our lawyers deal with the auto insurance companies on your behalf, but we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether you may have a claim for a road defect, vehicle defect, or other non-driver-related issue as well.
What Losses Can You Recover After a Car Accident Under Florida Law?
When dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident in Tallahassee, one of the most-important questions you need to have answered is: How much can you recover for your losses? Until you know the value of your claim, you will not be able to make an informed decision about settlement. Unfortunately, the insurance companies know this, and they will often try to pressure accident victims into settling before they realize the full extent of their losses. For this reason, it is extremely important that you not settle your claim until you speak with an attorney.
The value of your case will depend on factors including the extent of the damage to your vehicle, the nature of your injuries, and the impact your injuries have on your life (not only now, but in the future as well). Generally speaking, however, accident victims in Florida are entitled to the same types of financial compensation. These include:
- Property damage
- Diminished value of your vehicle
- Medical treatment, therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Prescription and other out-of-pocket medical costs
- Loss of income and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Post-traumatic stress
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life and other types of non-financial losses
When Should You Consult with an Attorney about Your Car Accident?
Unfortunately, some people think that they should only hire an attorney if they run into an issue when dealing with the insurance companies. However, waiting this long can be a costly mistake.
In order to protect your legal rights, there are several important steps you need to take as soon after your accident as possible, and you need to rely on the advice of an experienced attorney every step of the way. Your attorney will need to conduct an investigation as well, and he or she will need time to assess all of the potential grounds for recovering just compensation. As a result, if you have been injured in a car accident in Tallahassee, we strongly encourage you to contact us right away.
Discuss Your Case with a Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyer at Searcy Denney
For more information about protecting your legal rights after a car accident in Tallahassee, call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free, and you do not pay any fees or costs unless we recover just compensation.
Your Tallahassee Auto Accident Lawyer is Sure to Answer All of Your Questions
We believe in helping people make informed decisions; and, as our client, we want you to feel confident that you are on the road to recovery. Understanding your legal rights is complicated. So, to make it easier, our Tallahassee accident attorneys have prepared these FAQs:
When can you seek financial compensation for an accident in Florida?
Under Florida law, there are two main grounds for seeking financial compensation after a car accident: (i) negligence, and (ii) strict liability. Most accident claims involve negligence, including mistakes like driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely and texting while driving. However, if your accident resulted from a product defect, then you may have a strict liability claim as well.
How long do you have to file a personal injury claim in Florida?
Typically, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim for financial compensation. If you attempt to file your claim after this “statute of limitations” expires, it may be barred.
What are the risks of waiting to speak with a Tallahassee car accident lawyer?
In addition to the risk of losing your right to file a claim after two years, there are a number of other risks associated with waiting to file a claim as well. For example, even a delay of a few days or a week could make it far more difficult to collect the evidence required to prove your claim for damages.
How long will your car accident case take?
The answer to this question depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved. If the evidence clearly points to liability and the at-fault party’s insurance company handles your case in good faith, the whole process could be over fairly quickly. On the other hand, if the facts are in dispute, or if the insurance company simply does not want to settle, then it could take a year or longer to obtain justice at trial.
When should you accept an insurance settlement?
In order to decide whether to accept an insurance settlement, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your current and future losses. When you hire one of our accident attorneys to handle your case in Tallahassee, your attorney will make sure you know the full amount you are entitled to recover.
Is it worth it to hire an accident lawyer?
Yes. If you are entitled to financial compensation, you will need to hire an auto accident lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and take your case to trial if necessary. Additionally, with our fee promise, you pay nothing out of pocket, and we only get paid if we help you collect the compensation you deserve.