With a population of around 70,000, Fort Myers is by no means one of the larger cities in the state of Florida. In 2016, however, Fort Myers and the surrounding areas within Lee County experienced approximately 12,000 crashes, with 7,500 injuries and 100 deaths. Those are staggering numbers for a city of this size. The unfortunate reality of these statistics is that no matter how safe and cautious you are while you are out on the road, you are never going to be 100% safe from an accident.
If you are one of the thousands of people who have been injured in a car accident in Fort Myers, we can put you in touch with a competent, professional car accident lawyer who can pursue your rights under the law. Call 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney for free, and skip the hassle of trying to track down an available attorney who can help you move forward from this terrible and costly experience. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.
Read more below about car accidents in Fort Myers, and how you can move forward as effectively as possible to get your life back on track with the money that you rightfully deserve after an accident that someone else is responsible for.
WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
The following steps are meant to give you some general guidelines of what to do after an accident. Of course, no two car accidents are alike – this means that your situation may not fall in line with these steps, and you will need to determine the appropriate actions necessary for your own safety.
It is absolutely essential that you or someone else at the scene call 911 as soon as possible. Once the 911 operator dispatches the emergency responders, you will be able to get the care and attention necessary to help you get through the initial phase of this accident. Firefighters will address any hazards that could cause potential additional injuries or damages, police will secure the area, divert traffic, and produce an accident report, and EMTs will be able to provide emergency medical care.
Take Your Health Seriously
Being in a car accident with injuries is traumatic, and you may not be thinking clearly in the minutes after the crash. If paramedics instruct you to go to the hospital, don’t take the advice lightly. While first responders can offer a number of lifesaving treatments at the scene of the crash, they aren’t able to give you the type of full medical examination that your doctor or the emergency room staff can. Your doctor may discover injuries that went unnoticed by the paramedics on the scene, and a timely medical report can have a positive impact on your recovery strategy and your claim for damages.
Document the Accident
If possible, take pictures and video of the scene of the crash. These images may be difficult for you to revisit, but they will be extremely important as you are trying to recover damages from the insurance company. In addition to your own documentation, try to get the contact information of any eyewitnesses, and make sure that you are able to provide your own statements about what happened to the police as they are drafting their accident report. NEVER make any statements that could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt, such as an apology; however, make sure that you do not lie or provide false information, as this will seriously complicate any steps you will take in the future.
Contact an Attorney
Many people believe that they should file an insurance claim on their own, and only hire an attorney if the claims investigation does not go well. Here is the reality: from the moment you file a claim, the insurance company will go into action to identify every possible way to limit your final payment, and every communication you have with them will be reviewed under a microscope to find ways to place blame on you. When you have an attorney representing your case from day one, they can handle these communications for you and use their legal know-how to provide statements that will not come back to haunt you.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida
The following are just a few examples of the many ways that car accidents happen in Florida every day. Whether or not you see your own situation here, contact us now so that you can be connected with an attorney who will help you make sense of your options and allow you to understand a clear path forward.
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Road rage and aggressive driving
- Distractions like texting, eating, phone calls, etc.
- Blind spots (these are especially dangerous for motorcycles)
- Mechanical failures
Remember that this list is extremely limited when you consider the seemingly-infinite ways that an accident can occur, and the number of details that you will need to unravel with your attorney in order to truly understand what went wrong.
Common Injuries After Car Accidents in Florida
Again, this following list is comprised of just a handful of the MANY injuries that people can sustain after a car accident. No two car accidents are alike, neither by cause or consequence, and it is important that you work with an attorney who helps you to understand your truly unique situation, and build a strong case for the damages that you deserve.
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bruising and hematomas
- Internal bleeding
- Seatbelt injuries
- Sensory loss
- Emotional trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Whether or not you see any or all of the injuries that you or a loved one has sustained following an accident, contact 1-800-Injured now so that you can connect with an attorney who will fight for compensation for every injury that you have suffered.
THE TRUE PRICE OF RECOVERY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
In addition to the damage to your vehicle and your initial visit to the doctor or hospital, you could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in expenses to make a full physical and emotional recovery. Costs can include:
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Medical tests
- X-rays and MRIs
- Medical equipment (crutches, wheelchair, et cetera)
- Follow-up appointments
- Lost wages
- Emotional counseling
Most personal injury attorneys will agree that the costs of a car accident far exceed the sum of the medical bills that you’re charged for your treatments. Many car accident victims have diminished work capacity, reduced quality of life, and experience short-term or long-term pain and suffering. A Fort Myers car accident lawyer can tabulate your costs and determine a fair and full settlement that will make you whole.
What Does My Insurance Have to Pay?
Under Florida law, both vehicle owners and drivers must have $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP benefits are paid by your own insurance, and not the at-fault party. That’s what’s meant when Florida is referred to as a “no-fault state.” PIP will pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% or your lost wages up to $10,000. The rest is recovered from the at-fault driver and their insurers.
Motorcycle and Truck Accidents
When vehicles of significantly different masses collide, the damage to the smaller vehicle is usually much greater. That also means that the occupants of the smaller vehicle are in more danger. With motorcycle accidents, the rider is usually struck in the initial impact and then also hits the roadway, causing additional trauma. On the other hand, when a large commercial vehicle strikes a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, the immense size of the vehicle can cause injuries even at low speeds. A car accident lawyer knows how to put these types of accidents in the proper context to make certain that you get the appropriate settlement or jury award.
Drug-Related and Alcohol-Related Crashes
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another and alcohol or drugs were a factor, you need to speak to a car accident lawyer about the incident. DUI-related accidents are usually avoidable, and you shouldn’t be financially responsible for someone else’s poor judgment. A car accident attorney can review police reports, obtain arrest records, depose witnesses, and subpoena blood records to determine the other driver’s blood alcohol content levels.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Car Accidents and Florida Car Accident Lawyers
The following are just a few of the most common questions that victims of car accidents may have about their legal rights and path towards fair compensation. Remember that these questions are simply meant to give you a general sense of your own situation, but the only way that you will be able to get a true answer is by working with a lawyer.
How much is my car accident claim worth?
In order to calculate the actual amount that you are entitled to after any personal injury, you and your attorney will need to take an extensive look at your situation and account for both the economic and non-economic impacts you have suffered. Economic damages are the basis of your claim and include the obvious damages that are measurable by dollar amounts. They include things like your medical bills, any lost wages or impacts to your earning, and all other expenses and financial losses.
Non-economic damages are typically the more contentious of the two because they seek compensation for “abstract” damages, such as the actual pain and suffering that you experienced as a result of your injuries, and the emotional trauma that you must endure as you move forward with your life. An experienced attorney will know how to calculate these damages in a way that will stand up during the aggressive negotiations that will take place once the claims investigation has been concluded.
Will I need to go to trial to get the money I deserve after a car accident?
There is no way to truly calculate how many cases are settled, since settlement agreements do not necessarily need to be disclosed, but by some estimates as many as 95% of all personal injury claims are settled before reaching trial, and as many as 50% are settled before a lawsuit is ever filed. While these statistics do not guarantee your own experience, they do show that there is a lot of room to work with the insurance company directly before you need to begin to prepare for a trial.
Do I really need a lawyer, or can I handle an insurance claim on my own?
There is no law on the books saying that you are legally obligated to hire a personal injury attorney for a car accident. That said, the only one who benefits from you representing yourself is the insurance company because they will be able to take advantage of the fact that you are injured and overwhelmed at the same time that you are trying to navigate this complicated process.
When you work with an attorney, you can focus on the things that are the most important—such as your mental and physical health, and getting your life back on track—while your attorney is fighting for what you deserve with the insurance company.
LAWYER AND MEDICAL SERVICES IN FORT MYERS, FLORIDA
Most insurers will try to get you to settle for the cost of your car repairs and your initial medical bills, but a seasoned car accident lawyer knows that initial offers don’t usually come close to the cost of a full recovery. At 1800injured.care, we refer you to attorneys who will review your case by compiling police reports, medical records, and any other available information that pertains to your accident or recovery. Then they will advocate for you as they pursue a full insurance settlement or a jury award. All car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis and your initial consultation is free. You don’t have to pay any money out of pocket. Contact us to discuss your Fort Myers car accident.