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Collisions Car Accident Lawyers
Getting hit from behind is a relatively common occurrence in Fort Myers. Preliminary data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) shows over 14,000 crashes in Lee County in 2021. More than 5,500 accidents involved injuries, and 112 were fatal crashes.
Drivers can speed, fail to pay attention or ignore traffic signals, and slam into the back of your car as a result. Even a low-speed crash can potentially result in a chronic or severe injury. If you suffer from a significant injury, expenses can quickly spiral out of control, derail your life, and cause financial chaos. However, if someone else is responsible for the rear-end collision, you should not be shouldering your costs alone.
Morgan & Morgan is here for you. Our tenacious car accident attorneys have been helping injured victims and their families since 1988.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Rear-End Accident?
Generally, seeking legal advice after your accident can be an excellent idea. However, if your accident was minor, you suffered no injuries, and you received an adequate settlement from your personal injury protection insurance (PIP), you may not need to take any further action or work with a lawyer. Whether or not you need a car accident lawyer can depend on the following factors:
Your Injuries and Damages
Depending on the severity of impact, you might only have mild whiplash, or you could suffer a catastrophic and life-changing injury. Generally, if you sustained significant injuries and incurred steep medical expenses, hiring an attorney can help recover what you need to pay your bills and go on with your life. An attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for the full value of your damages.
Your Degree of Fault in the Accident
If the fault in your accident is contested, consider working with an attorney to protect your rights. Since comparative negligence laws apply in Florida, your compensation could be lowered according to your degree of responsibility for the accident. An attorney can protect you and ensure the other side is not unfairly assigning you with a higher degree of fault. Your car accident lawyer can also represent you if your case goes to trial.
Your Insurance Claim Was Denied
As Florida is a no-fault state, you are generally entitled to receive a settlement from your PIP insurance, regardless of who is at fault. However, if you suffered disabling or significant injuries, your PIP coverage ceiling can be reached quickly, potentially leaving you out of pocket. You could then go after the at-fault driver and file a claim with their insurance company.
Insurance companies can be reluctant to pay what you deserve and often delay or minimize claims. In the worst-case scenario, an insurer could deny your claim altogether. When this happens, you need a determined attorney to fight for a fair settlement for your injuries and damages. Your attorney will also know when to file a lawsuit against the insurance company or at-fault party.
Contact Morgan & Morgan for Help Today
Many accident circumstances can make hiring a lawyer essential. For example, if your loved one died in an accident, having an attorney by your side can be critical for getting justice and compensation. Even with a minor accident, legal advice and protection can be helpful and clarify your next best steps.
A lawyer can determine whether you have a case and qualify for compensation. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and no-obligation review of your rear-end collision.
Reasons for Rear-End Collisions in Fort Myers
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) says driver-related behaviors and errors cause most accidents. Such behaviors can include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Following too closely
- Intoxicated driving
Dangerous driving and ignoring traffic signs or signals can play a role in rear-end crashes. In rarer cases, collisions can occur due to environmental factors such as low visibility, heavy rain, and other inclement weather. Car defects, such as faulty brakes or worn wheels, can also lead to crashes.
Who Is Responsible for the Rear-End Accident?
In most rear-end accidents, the driver in the back is responsible for causing the crash. However, in some accidents, the person in front could be liable. For example, the driver in the front could be at fault for the accident if their brake lights were defective or they reversed into the vehicle behind.
Since rear-end accidents can be complex, particularly when involving multiple cars, speaking to a lawyer can help to determine whether you have a case against another driver and could pursue compensation.
When to File a Lawsuit in Fort Myers
If you were involved in a serious rear-end collision, there could be many unexpected issues to deal with, especially if you suffered physical injuries. However, consider speaking to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options for getting what you deserve.
In Florida, according to Statute of Limitations § 95.11, you generally have four years after the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, some factors could shorten this timeline. For example, if you have a case against a government agency, you might have to file a notice to sue within a short period. Failing to adhere to the state’s deadlines could leave you unable to file a lawsuit and receive any compensation. Therefore, timely action can be crucial for getting what you deserve.
Damages You Could Recover After a Fort Myers Rear-End Crash
Depending on the facts of your accident, you could be entitled to the following types of compensation and others:
Car Repair or Replacement
You could receive the full and fair market value of your car if it was totaled in the crash. If your car is repairable, you could qualify for reimbursement of the repair costs.
You could receive compensation for all your medical expenses in connection with the accident, which can include:
- Hospital stays
- Medical devices
- Medication costs
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic testing
- A home health aide
You may also be entitled to future medical expenses for your car accident injuries.
If you cannot work due to accident injuries, you could receive compensation for lost wages and future loss of earning capacity.
If you suffered significant injuries, you could be entitled to a range of non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional distress
- Reduced life enjoyment
Wrongful Death Compensation
If your loved one passed away from rear-end collision injuries, you could qualify for compensation, such as:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering prior to death
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support and services from the deceased
Morgan & Morgan
How Can a Car Accident Attorney From Morgan & Morgan Help Me?
The sooner you contact us after suffering an injury in a rear-end collision, the sooner we can protect your rights and move forward with a claim. We can help you in several ways:
Handle the Insurance Company
While you might be keen to pay your medical bills and get on with your life, accepting the first settlement offer from an insurance company could be an expensive mistake. Most insurers make lowball first settlement offers to protect their profits. It can be a good idea to consult with an attorney about a settlement offer and let them handle negotiations on your behalf. Your attorney knows what your case is worth and how to negotiate effectively for what you deserve.
Gather Evidence to Prove Your Claim
While you are healing from your injury, our lawyers can work hard behind the scenes and collect evidence to build your case. Evidence in rear-end collisions can include:
- Photographs of the vehicles and accident scene
- Traffic camera and dash-camera footage
- Police accident reports
- Medical reports and physician statements
- Proof of wage loss
- Receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses
We have teams of legal staff, accident investigators, and physicians who can work together with our attorneys to analyze your case and help build a comprehensive case against the responsible party.
Fight for Your Best Interests
With America’s largest personal injury firm standing by your side, your best interests are always protected. We want you to have the best legal representation possible. Our car accident lawyers never settle for less and fight for maximum recovery. Moreover, if an insurance company is dragging its heels and refusing to pay, we fight them at trial, if necessary.
Providing You With Peace of Mind
Handling a rear-end accident claim on your own can be time-consuming and frustrating. Moreover, without having a dedicated and experienced lawyer by your side, the insurer or at-fault party could try to take advantage of you. When we take your case, you can count on us. We have recovered over $13 billion in damages for injured victims over the last three decades.
Which Injuries Qualify for Compensation After a Crash?
A catastrophic or disabling injury can result in lifelong medical costs. However, any type of injury could entitle you to compensation, providing another party, such as a reckless driver, caused the crash. Examples of injuries can include:
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Lost limbs
- Seatbelt injuries
- Internal injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The compensation you could qualify for can include medical expenses, loss of wages, future expected expenses, pain and suffering, and many others.
What Should I Do After a Rear-End Collision?
Rear-end accident scenes can be chaotic and traumatizing. Protecting your legal rights is probably not at the forefront of your mind immediately after a crash. However, you can take some important steps to protect yourself in the days after the accident.
Visit Your Doctor
Even if you feel fine, it can be wise to have a check-up after an accident, particularly since some injuries may not show any symptoms for some time. A medical report will also provide you with vital evidence of your injuries.
Get in Touch with Your Car Insurer
In Florida, you are generally covered by your PIP insurance. Therefore, after an accident, you should contact your car insurer about making a claim. Starting the claims process immediately can be crucial for receiving a timely settlement.
Gather Proof of Your Damages
If you got hurt in a car accident, you probably incurred many expenses, such as:
- Medical costs
- Transportation expenses
- Car repair or replacement
- Wage loss
- Miscellaneous expenses
To have a chance of receiving reimbursements for your damages, you will have to gather bills, statements, and receipts.
Refrain From Talking About Your Crash
While your case is ongoing, you should not talk about your accident with friends or acquaintances. The insurance company or defendant may be looking to discredit your claim and could be fishing for information. Therefore, it is also crucial that you do not post any details about your accident or yourself on any social media channels during an ongoing case. For example, if you are claiming damages for pain and suffering, and a friend or relative tags you in a photograph showing you partaking in sports or on vacation, you could jeopardize your compensation.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Getting in touch with us and learning about your legal rights can be an excellent step in the days after a rear-end accident. Our first consultations are always free, and we can clarify your legal options and help you make informed decisions. Our car accident lawyers could also get started immediately and help you move forward with a claim or lawsuit.
Morgan & Morgan Has Your Back
Fighting for what you deserve after getting rear-ended in Fort Myers can be challenging and exhausting. However, you don’t have to fight alone. Morgan & Morgan wants you to have the best chance of getting what you truly deserve after suffering an injury. Our dedicated and experienced attorneys are ready to fight for full and fair compensation on your behalf, so you can focus on recovery and putting your life back together.
Our fee is free. You only pay if and when we win, and you receive compensation. Contact us now to find out for free how we could help you get justice.