Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer

The growing area of Lakeland, FL in Polk County has quickly gained a larger population. People are drawn to this beautiful slice of Florida landscape and are eager to call it home. Unfortunately, this means that car accident cases are on the rise.

If you have recently been in a car accident, you likely have medical bills for your injuries and property damage that require repairs or replacement of your vehicle. Serious injuries could also keep you out of work for the foreseeable future. Your lost wages can cause further financial fallout for you and your family. 

Injured victims in Lakeland, FL can pursue compensation for their financial losses in a car accident case. Since Florida’s laws can make the process complex, it is wise to have a Lakeland car accident lawyer represent you. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service that can connect you to a car accident attorney. Find a Lakeland car accident attorney today and schedule a free case review.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Lakeland, FL

Car crashes are caused by a variety of reasons, though human error is most common. Here is a look at the causes of car accidents that Lakeland car accident attorneys often see.

Distracted Driving

A car accident caused by distracted driving may be the result of a driver texting, searching for an address with GPS, changing the music on the stereo, eating, drinking, grooming, or talking to other passengers in the vehicle. There are more distractions than ever but car accident victims have the right to hold the negligent drivers accountable for distracted driving.

Reckless Driving

When drivers disregard traffic laws by speeding or engaging in other dangerous behavior on the roads, they can cause a car wreck. An at-fault driver who causes a motor vehicle accident by driving erratically may be held liable for your injuries in a car accident in Lakeland. You should contact Lakeland car accident lawyers at a personal injury law firm to find out more about your legal options.

Drunk Driving

Auto accident cases that involve intoxicated drivers often leave victims with life-threatening injuries. A car accident lawyer can help recover damages and may even be able to have punitive damages applied to further punish the negligent driver for their gross misconduct.

Other Car Crash Causes

Some car accident cases may be extremely complex, making hiring a seasoned Lakeland car accident lawyer a necessity. The Lakeland area is no stranger to wild weather with torrential rains and the potential for tornadoes. When weather conditions deteriorate, every driver needs to be on high alert.

While no one can control the weather, every driver in Lakeland, FL has a duty of care to drive safely according to the conditions on the road. During extreme weather events, even the posted speed limit may be too dangerous for heavy rains. Drivers who fail to slow down could be to blame in a car crash on wet roads.

Keeping your vehicle in prime operating condition is also important. If someone neglects to have vehicle maintenance, particularly for brakes or tires, it could lead to a tragic car accident. In some car accident cases, the parts used may be faulty, which would mean that a third party is liable for your car accident claim.

You can find Lakeland auto accident lawyers through 1-800-Injured, an attorney and medical referral service. 

Florida Highway

Car Accident Injuries 

Beyond vehicle damage, you could get rushed to the emergency room to get medical attention for your injuries. Even in a relatively minor collision, broken bones or fractured bones are a possibility. These injuries may heal easily or they could require extensive surgeries and bone grafts.

Other injuries that are common in Florida car accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Burns
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputations

You should not be stuck paying medical expenses for someone else’s careless actions on the road. With 1-800-Injured, you can connect to a Lakeland, Florida legal team that can advocate for your rights in a car accident lawsuit.

The Role of the Insurance Company in Car Accidents

Florida law follows a no-fault model for insurance. This means that if you are in a car accident, regardless of fault, you will contact your insurance company to file your claim. It should be a simple process but it is usually much more complicated. 

Most drivers in Florida purchase the bare minimum personal injury protection (PIP) from auto insurers. The minimum mandated by Florida law is $10,000 for PIP. Your insurer should pay for your medical care up to the limits of your insurance coverage. Polk County accident victims are often offered too little for their medical bills.

If the accident was not your fault and you have sustained severe injuries, you could pursue financial compensation through the other driver’s insurance company. This is likely when the insurer will try to use the new modified comparative negligence law in Florida to lower your payout.

Previously, Florida used a pure comparative negligence model for car accidents. In 2023, the law changed to modified comparative negligence. As your accident is investigated, the insurance companies will determine who is at fault, which could mean that you may be assigned some of the blame.

If you are deemed 50% or more responsible for the accident, you will not be permitted to recover compensation for your damages. Lakeland car accident lawyers are seeing this tactic becoming more prevalent in injury claims. The insurers shift the blame to protect their bottom line, all the while leaving you to flounder financially. 

You can find personal injury lawyers near you in Lakeland, Florida through 1-800-Injured, an attorney and medical referral service. 

Compensation for Your Car Accident in Lakeland

If the other driver did not follow traffic laws and caused your accident, you may be able to fight for your fair settlement with the help of a personal injury attorney. In personal injury law, you can recover damages for your medical expenses, property damage, and other expenses related to this event.

In addition to the economic damages, you may also claim non-economic damages such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Since personal injury law can be complicated, especially if there are several other drivers involved in this incident, it is in your best interest to secure legal counsel through a diligent and established law firm in the local area. 

You can find a personal injury attorney to represent you through 1-800-Injured. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, allowing you to have the representation you need with no upfront cost. Additionally, you can find a Florida Bar-certified car accident attorney who will provide a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal options. 

Protecting Your Legal Rights in Polk County

After an accident, there are a few steps you can take to help you with your personal injury claim. 

Call the Police

Calling the police is required for any accident that causes at least $500 in damages. Vehicle parts and repairs are very expensive, and it is best to err on the side of caution. If anyone is injured or there are fatalities, the police must be notified. If you’re not sure whether or not to call the police, it can work to your advantage by procuring evidence in the form of a police report. If the officer finds that the other driver broke the law, they will indicate that they issued a citation in their report.

Police Car

Get Medical Treatment

Many people in car wrecks often do not notice their injuries in the moments following the crash. When adrenaline kicks in, it can mask the symptoms, which is why you are urged to see a medical professional even if you feel fine. Some injuries can become life-threatening when left untreated, making it critical to get treatment immediately.

By seeking treatment, you will have medical records that show the cause of your injuries in your claim. Make sure that you keep every follow-up appointment and follow the instructions provided by your doctors to aid in your accident recovery. 

Exchange Information

You also must be sure to exchange insurance information with all parties involved in the crash. The law requires that anyone involved in an auto accident take these steps. If you were rendered unconscious from your injuries, your Lakeland car accident attorney can make sure to collect this information, along with other evidence.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

Victims of crashes should try to take photos or videos of the aftermath. It can be helpful to note the weather at the time, if there was any debris in the road from construction, or anything else that could have played a role in the accident. If anyone saw what happened, they may be able to provide valuable testimony in your case. Always try to get their contact information if you need to reach them for their eyewitness account.

Contact a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer

Lakeland car accident attorneys can help you even in the early stages of your claim process. You may run into issues with your insurer if they try to deny your claim or offer a low settlement. Attorneys have a clear understanding of how to calculate damages. They think about the future impact of your injuries and factor in all of the losses you have experienced. 

If you’ve already been offered a settlement, it is wise to have a car accident attorney take a look before you sign the release. Once you sign a release, you cannot go back and seek more money for your injuries. You must make sure the sum offered is adequate to cover the expenses caused by your injuries and damages in the wreck.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Lakeland Car Accident

When you are in a car accident, you will need to contact your insurer as soon as possible. It does not matter if you were not the one at fault in this incident. You need to do so whether you plan to file an injury claim or not. The ideal timeframe for contacting them is within 24 to 48 hours. In Florida, you have 14 days to make an injury claim with your auto insurer.

If the claims process results in a denial, a low settlement, or your injuries are extreme, you will want to make sure you have a car accident lawyer help you take the next steps for filing a car accident lawsuit. This action must be taken quickly because there is a statute of limitations imposed that limits your time.

In 2023, Florida updated its laws on the statute of limitations. The time limit was once four years from the date of the accident, but now it has been shortened to two years. This may seem like plenty of time but by the time you realize your claim isn’t going right with the insurer, you won’t have a moment to spare.

Photo of Heavy Damaged Cars

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You in Lakeland, FL

When you have painful injuries that someone else caused in a crash, you shouldn’t try to handle the claim on your own. You need to rest and recover, and allow an attorney to take over the legal process. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service that can connect you to legal counsel in Lakeland, Florida. 

By using this service, you can find an established, knowledgeable, and aggressive attorney to help you throughout your lawsuit. Most attorneys provide a free consultation that allows you to privately discuss your case and learn more about the potential legal recourse you may have. You can also use this free discussion as a chance to decide if the lawyer is the right fit for you. Start today and get closer to putting your car accident behind you.