Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience no matter whether or not there are serious injuries or damage. Accidents can be especially frustrating when you have suffered from measurable damages and the crash was caused by someone else’s decision to act recklessly or negligently. As your medical bills pile up, you continue to miss work, and you find yourself despairing about how you will be able to manage all of these financial burdens, it can be extremely helpful to know that there is a way forward and that you can get the help that you need and deserve. The best way to make sure that your needs are addressed is by working with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach.
1-800-Injured is ready to connect you with an experienced, aggressive, and compassionate personal injury lawyer in your area who is prepared to take your case. When you are represented by an attorney, you will be able to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track without the distraction of this additional stress. In fact, it has been shown that psychological stress has a serious negative impact on physical recovery, meaning that hiring a legal professional to handle your claims may be one of the best ways to support your own wellbeing.
Read more below to get a better idea of some key details about car accidents in West Palm Beach, such as common types of crashes, what to expect while working with an insurance company, and how an attorney will help you handle all of these issues. Contact us now to get started on the path towards finding the right lawyer for you.
Common Types of Car Accidents
The following are some examples of common accidents, but are only meant to provide limited information about each, and is not a comprehensive list of car accident types. Whether or not your situation aligns with any of the following examples does not mean that you are more or less likely to get the compensation you need. Contact us now to get started on your own situation with a professional.
Rear-end collisions are extremely common, especially at red lights and stop signs. However, these accidents are known to happen on major highways, side streets, and anywhere else that two or more vehicles are traveling behind one another. When there is a crash at a stop sign or red light, one common reason for the collision is that the rear driver was distracted and didn’t realize that there was a stopped vehicle in front of them until it was too late. They may hit the lead car at full speed or may hit their brakes and skid into the crash. In some cases, the crash can be caused by hazardous road conditions such as a wet or slick patch. In colder states, ice is a common factor in rear-end crashes.
These accidents can also occur when a lead car rapidly hits their brakes because of a hazard on the road, like an animal or obstacle. If a driver does not properly maintain their vehicle and keep their brakes and tires cared for, the crash may also be the result of a mechanical failure. There are many other ways that these crashes can happen as well.
Sideswipe accidents are commonly the result of a blind spot on a vehicle, when a driver checks their mirrors and doesn’t see another car and changes lanes, only to collide with the unseen motorist. Depending on a variety of factors, such as speed and the types of vehicles, these crashes can range from minor “fender benders” to fatal accidents, especially when a motorcycle is involved.
Determining who was at fault for this accident varies depending on the specifics of the situation. In some cases, it is very clear who made the improper decision, and police can use tire marks and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct an idea of what went wrong. Often, the responsible driver will admit their fault.
Left-turn accidents can be extremely dangerous for the passengers of both vehicles involved and can be caused in a few different ways. As the name implies, the accident is initiated when a vehicle is making a left turn in an intersection, and an oncoming vehicle collides with them. In many cases, it is assumed that the driver taking the left turn is at fault since they should have given the oncoming traffic the right of way before proceeding with their own passage through the intersection. However, there are many cases where the oncoming traffic may have violated a traffic law by proceeding through the intersection instead of stopping.
Since it is so easy for the turning driver to be blamed for the situation, it is important that the victims work with an attorney to make sure that the actual events and causes of the crash are made very clear before any decisions about settlements and claims are made.
Motorcycles can be a very fun vehicle to drive, especially in the wonderful Florida weather. Unfortunately, Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for motorcycles, meaning that there is a high risk that comes with the reward of the experience. There are many factors that make Florida so dangerous for these types of vehicles, and in addition, drivers over the age of 21 are not required to wear helmets, which increases the likelihood of mortality significantly in even a minor collision.
Wearing proper protection and driving defensively are both great ways to reduce the chances of being involved in a crash while driving or riding on a motorcycle, but sadly it is usually the other drivers’ faults when an accident occurs. Motorcycles are easily lost in blind spots or overlooked as a driver scans for oncoming traffic, and even at low speeds, a motorcyclist can be seriously injured because of the lack of things like a vehicle frame, airbags, and seatbelts.
Although there are many laws, regulations, and protections in place in order to allow pedestrians the ability to safely travel in West Palm Beach, there are many hazards that they must face each time they step onto the public ways. Florida is visited by many tourists each year, and the complicated roadways can be overwhelming for someone who is unfamiliar with multiple lanes while trying to follow directions, but it isn’t just tourists.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Florida roadways are designed in a way that is dangerous for pedestrians, and although the state is taking actions to increase safety, there are still major design flaws that put pedestrians at a higher risk than any other state. If you travel around West Palm Beach as a pedestrian, it is important that you know to call a lawyer if you are ever involved in an accident.
Head-on collisions are extremely catastrophic and occur when one (or both) vehicles exit their lanes and instead drive into oncoming traffic. This can happen on one-way streets and parking lots, but can also happen when a driver unknowingly gets onto a highway from an off-ramp or simply doesn’t realize that they have veered into the wrong lane. Regardless of why the crash happens, though, it is clear that the driver who was heading in the wrong direction is at fault.
These accidents can be extremely dangerous because both cars are moving at the same time and therefore will essentially double the speed of the impact. Modern vehicles are designed to minimize the damage of these types of accidents, but even so, they can cause major injuries.
Rollover accidents are one of the most deadly types of crashes because as the vehicle rolls over the passengers are thrown in unpredictable ways that the safety systems may not be able to control. Depending on the speed that the car was traveling, the geography and topography of the area that the crash took place in, and other key details, these types of accidents can range from a single rollover to the side of the vehicle, or may result in multiple rolls that turn the car completely over a few times in a row.
Rollover accidents are commonly caused by the driver of the vehicle or the actions that they take on the road, such as jerking the wheel to one side at a high speed. However, vehicles can be sideswiped in strange ways, t-boned, hit hazardous conditions, or experience mechanical failure that can also cause this type of crash.
A t-bone collision is referred to as such because when the vehicles collide, they form a “T” as one drives into the other. These happen most commonly when one vehicle disregards the right of way at an intersection and makes contact with oncoming traffic. In some cases, the driver who violated the traffic rules may be the one who hits the side of the vehicle who was rightfully traveling through, but in other cases, a vehicle may cut through an intersection and they may be the ones who are struck on the side of the vehicle.
In order to determine who was at fault, there are a variety of details that the police will need to investigate when they arrive at the scene. If there are eyewitnesses or surveillance tapes, or if the at-fault driver admits wrongdoing, then the process will be simplified.
Hit and Run Accidents
After an accident, it is legally required that each driver involved exchanges important information such as their identity and their insurance policy and contact details. This is an important step whether or not the police are called or any injuries are sustained so that each driver knows that they have taken the necessary steps and will be able to work through their insurance regardless of the outcome. In some cases, people decide to flee the scene.
Someone may decide to leave an accident without providing information for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that the vehicle is stolen, that they are unlicensed or uninsured, that they are transporting illegal substances, or they are intoxicated. Regardless of why they fled, they are breaking the law. If you are able to get a plate number or any other identifying information, this will be very helpful. If you are unable to, then you will need to file a claim through your own insurance company.
Single-car accidents can happen for any number of reasons, and although it may seem like they are always the driver’s fault, this is not necessarily the case. Animals crossing the road can cause a driver to swerve and hit a pole or drive off the road, hazards like oil spills or broken pavement can cause a driver to lose control, and mechanical failure can cause serious harm.
These types of accidents can be especially difficult to handle with the insurance company since they will want to place all fault on the driver, meaning that the driver of this crash will benefit greatly from the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
Working With an Insurance Company After an Accident
After a car accident, you will need to deal with the insurance company in order to file a claim. Once you make initial contact with the company and let them know what happened, they will assign a claims adjuster to your case who will investigate the situation, assess the damages, and ultimately return to you with a settlement offer. During the course of their investigation, they may require you to submit to an independent medical examination, which will be performed by a doctor hired by the insurance company. Make sure that you see your own doctor as well, because the doctor you will see during your independent exam will be looking for every possible opportunity to reduce the damages that the insurance company will need to pay.
Accepting or Rejecting Settlement Offers
The insurance company will make an offer after completing its investigation that is supposed to cover all of your damages. In exchange for this payment, you will be required to waive your rights for any future legal actions against them or their client for this particular accident or any injuries or damages that arose from it. Unfortunately, the amount that they are offering you will be much less than what you deserve.
When you are working with an attorney, this offer will only be the opening of a period of negotiations where you will be able to hopefully reach an agreement about a fair amount for you. You and your attorney will work together to calculate all of the damages that you have suffered in order to come to a fair amount that you are owed, and during the course of negotiation will either arrive near that number and agree on a settlement, or decide to move forward with a lawsuit.
Calculating Damages After a Car Accident
The process of calculating the damages you actually deserve after a car accident is fairly complicated, especially if you do not have any previous experience with personal injury law. Insurance companies will use your inexperience as leverage in order to offer you a low settlement amount in hopes that you are not aware of the wide range of factors that go into calculating a reasonable dollar amount. These damages are divided into two different sections.
Economic damages are the foundation of a personal injury claim because they are the most measurable and tangible. They include all of your medical bills and associated costs like physical therapy, assistive devices, medications, and anything else that you require to help you through your recovery. In addition, they account for your lost income in the form of days missed from work, sick leave or paid time off that you had to use, and any impacts to your earning capacity due to your injuries. In some cases, you may be eligible for long-term disability payments.
Economic damages are fairly straightforward to calculate since it simply requires adding all of the valid costs and losses, even though an attorney will be able to help you identify additional factors that you may have otherwise overlooked. However, non-economic damages are extremely difficult to quantify if you do not have functional experience with this process. They address abstract issues such as the actual pain and suffering that you endured as a result of your injuries, and the feelings of depression or anxiety that you have dealt with since this life-changing incident.
There are many different methods that an experienced car accident attorney uses in West Palm Beach injury cases, but one common approach is with a multiplier. This requires choosing a number along a scale that indicates the severity of these issues that the insurance company, and possibly a judge and jury, can understand and see as fair and reasonable. Once this number has been determined, it is applied to the economic damages in order to convert these damages into a measurable amount.
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Before you begin trying to navigate this complicated process on your own, contact in order to be connected with an attorney who can help you through your case. With confidence in your legal situation, you can focus on your own personal recovery without stress.