Steinberg Law has successfully helped many clients receive compensation for their injuries resulting from unfortunate car accidents. If you live in the Palm Beach Gardens area and have recently been in a car accident, please consider contacting a Steinberg Law personal injury attorney for a free consultation.
Florida, unfortunately, is a state with some of the most auto accidents. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report that, in 2017, there were a total of 402,385 crashes, with 686,590 drivers involved. That averages to 1,098 crashes daily. There were also 3,116 accident-related fatalities and 254,310 injuries during that same year. In Palm Beach County alone, 192 fatalities resulted from auto incidents in 2017.
Factors involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are a variety of factors that influence the crashes that occur in the Palm Beach Gardens area, including but not limited to:
- Alcohol usage
- Drug usage
- Inexperienced driving
- Failure to obey traffic signs and laws
- Construction zones
- Driver fatigue
- Defective car parts/mechanical issues
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving (texting and driving, etc.)
- Poor road maintenance
- Poor weather conditions
If you have recently sustained injuries due to any of the above factors in the Palm Beach Gardens area, please contact Steinberg Law as soon as you can.
How will a car accident lawyer help you?
The severity, type of impact, and specifics may affect your car accident case. For instance, the loss of a loved one in an accident will drastically alter the outcome of the claim compared to a motor vehicle accident victim’s traumatic brain injury.
Typically, an auto accident attorney will be able to:
- Communicate with the other driver’s claims adjuster.
- Obtain the necessary documents and evidence to prove liability in the claim.
- Collect medical records, including bills, diagnoses, etc.
- Navigate through the settlement process and negotiate for a fair settlement amount.
What to do after an automobile accident
You could be the most responsible driver in the Palm Beach Gardens area, but you could still become a victim an unfortunate accident. If you are ever involved in a car accident, you should immediately:
Stay at the scene
Don’t leave the scene of the accident until it is safe and appropriate to do so. If you leave the accident, especially when a person in the accident is injured or killed, you could face serious criminal charges.
Though it may be difficult, try to remain calm. Steinberg Law recommends, after a motor vehicle accident, to take a deep breath, park safely, and turn off your motor vehicle.
Panicking will only complicate issues, leaving you unable to assess the damage and help passengers/other victims.
Check to see if all drivers and passengers do not require immediate medical attention
Before exiting your vehicle, check your body for any injuries or pain. Adrenaline can numb any pain, so be sure to call 911 immediately if you detect any major injury.
If you are unharmed, then inspect the people involved in the accident. If someone is severely injured, call for emergency medical attention. Avoid moving victims until medical professionals arrive.
Contact the police
If property damage is evident, or if there is death or physical injury in an accident, a police officer needs to be at the scene. After contacting an officer, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights to alert drivers to steer clear of the accident. If possible, set cones, emergency flares, or warning triangles onto the ground. Unless your vehicle is smoking or making unusual noises, move it off the main road. Otherwise, don’t approach your vehicle.
When police arrive at the scene, they will create a report. Be sure to obtain a copy of that report for evidence. The officer will also act as a mediator between you and the other driver and will help determine the cause of the accident (e.g. driver negligence caused by intoxication).
File a police report, no matter how minor the damages seem to be. You may be suffering from a condition not immediately apparent, the damage to your vehicle may require a second opinion, or the other party may attempt to file a false claim against you.
Furthermore, police reports expedite the claims process with the insurance adjuster, leading to a quicker case determination.
Finally, ask for contact information of the officer, just in case.
If no police show – such as if neither party suffers injuries – file a police report at the police station or online (if possible).
Retrieve the names, numbers, addresses, driver license numbers, license plate numbers, and general insurance information from all drivers involved in the car accident. Obtain the phone numbers, names, and addresses of witnesses at the scene.
Take photos of the drivers, the accident, vehicle damages, and property damages. Write down a description of the incident: the time and date the accident took place, what happened, any victims, the descriptions of those involved, weather conditions, road conditions, etc. If you don’t have pen and paper, you can use your cell phone to document this information.
Call your insurance company
Objectively lay out bare information of the accident, and if you are planning to file a claim, begin the claims process immediately (hopefully with the help of an automobile accident attorney). Remember, state only the facts and do not admit guilt or liability.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you’re making the claim against your own insurance company. Your insurance carrier will be paying for a portion of the medical bills, lost wages, etc. regardless of fault.
Seek proper medical attention immediately
See a medical professional, whether it’s at a hospital, a clinic, or an urgent care center. Otherwise the insurance adjuster may deny your claim, potentially arguing that you have pre-existing injuries from an unrelated incident. Furthermore, you could have traumatic brain injuries, knee injuries, and more that may go initially ignored.
Document all medical treatment, including: your diagnoses, recovery time, and medical expenses incurred.
If your injury is chronic or permanently disabling, you may be entitled compensation for future pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
Types of car accident injuries
- Knee injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spine injuries
- Wrongful death
Do I need to hire a car accident lawyer?
You should hire an attorney if:
- Your insurance company has denied your claim with an unfair reasoning
- The offer is not adequate to compensate you based on the extent of your injuries
- You are unable to file the lawsuit and gather the evidence required for your lawsuit
What to consider when hiring an auto accident attorney
The first consultation is typically free. Law firms will usually help you determine if you were wronged by your insurance company.
Experience is king. Consider an attorney with years of experience with auto accidents. Do not seek just a personal injury attorney – seek a highly experienced car accident attorney.
Understand what you’re paying for. Before signing any legal and binding documents, speak to your lawyer about any car accident lawyer fees and what services are included.
Finding a car accident attorney in Palm Beach Gardens
If you’ve been in a car accident and live in the Palm Beach Gardens area, you should seek legal representation with Steinberg Law immediately. Our legal team will help you seek the compensation you deserve, including pain and suffering damages, car repair bills, medical bills, potential funeral expenses, and more.