Jacksonville car accidents can cause serious and devastating injuries. Under Florida Statute § 627.730, a limited amount of compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages are available through your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage mandated by Florida Statute § 627.736. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to collect additional compensation through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, a Jacksonville car accident lawyer will review your case for free. If we believe you meet the criteria to pursue a fault-based lawsuit, we can obtain copies of your medical records and go to work building a case on your behalf. You could be eligible to recover compensation for damages through:
- A claim based on your own PIP insurance coverage
- A fault-based claim based on the at-fault driver’s auto liability policy
- A personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
You can count on our team to provide the responsive legal care you need. We will always go the extra mile to recover the compensation our clients deserve. We understand the stress and frustration that can be a part of trying to pursue damages after suffering injuries in a Jacksonville car accident.
As a part of handling your case, we will:
- Protect your legal rights by handling all communication related to your case
- Keep you up to date about what is happening in your case
- Gather evidence to prove negligence and liability
- Work with experts when necessary to prove your case
- Counter any allegations of contributory negligence
- Document your accident-related losses and expenses
We understand that the Florida vehicle collision laws are complex, and it can be difficult to understand your rights and the strength of your case. This is where we come in. We offer a free consultation to any Jacksonville car accident victim. We can explain your options based on the facts of your case and how they fit into the state’s no-fault auto insurance statutes.
We also handle these cases on a contingency basis. You never pay any attorney’s fees to our team out of your pocket. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you. You worry about getting better. We take care of everything else.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we can help you navigate the claims process and recover the compensation you need to cover your damages. Contact us today at 1-800-747-3733 to discuss hiring a Jacksonville car accident lawyer and schedule your free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 747-3733
Is It Worth Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
Our team believes it is always worth hiring a car accident attorney to help with your Jacksonville car accident case. This advice is true, no matter the severity of your injuries. Our attorneys can file your PIP or third-party liability claim and fight for a fair payout based on your damages.
When we file a claim against the at-fault driver in a crash, they often attempt to shirk responsibility for the crash damages. One of the most common ways this happens is by denying fault and claiming you were at fault in the accident. We will build a strong case against the liable party and provide evidence to minimize your role in causing the accident and your resulting damages.
We can take action to protect you from this type of tactic commonly used by the insurance companies, ensuring you retain the right to pursue compensation for your accident-related injuries, expenses, and losses. Common allegations of this type include:
- You acted negligently, causing or contributing to your injuries
- Your injuries occurred in another type of incident, not the vehicle collision
- You did not get adequate medical care or did not follow the doctor’s instructions, and this limited your recovery
In some cases, though, you may share in the responsibility for the accident or your damages. Under Florida’s comparative negligence statute, this does not prevent you from collecting compensation, but it does reduce the amount you can recover.
Imagine you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. While this would not have prevented the other driver from plowing into the back of your vehicle at a stop sign, it might have lessened your injuries and reduced your damages. You might be partially at fault in this case. If your total damages were $100,000 and you were 30% at fault, you could only collect $70,000 from the other driver.
When something like this happens, our car accident lawyers can help you understand what to expect and explain how it could affect your case. We will also present evidence to mitigate the impact that comparative negligence has on your payout and uncover as many accident-related damages–including noneconomic losses–as possible to help you recover the money you need to pay your bills and other expenses.
Jacksonville Car Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 747-3733
Should I Hire an Accident Attorney for a Minor Accident?
Jacksonville residents involved in minor car accidents often have difficulty deciding whether or not it is worth it to hire a lawyer. Because Florida is a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance state, some drivers believe accident lawyers cannot help them recover compensation unless the accident is severe, with substantial bodily injuries and property damage. For a fender-bender or minor collision, many believe they simply file a PIP claim and take what they can get.
Here is a refresher on PIP insurance: Florida requires drivers to carry a no-fault insurance policy, often referred to as PIP coverage. This policy pays out to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages no matter who caused the crash. However, PIP insurance does not cover most noneconomic damages, such as mental anguish and physical pain, nor does it pay for many ancillary expenses such as the cost of a tow truck or rental car.
After a crash, you can contact your insurance to file a claim. In fact, you must file for any bodily injuries you suffered before you are able to pursue the other driver or their insurance company. It should pay out to cover your damages up to the limits of your policy, but it will not provide any coverage for pain and suffering damages.
The state requires you carry $10,000 of PIP coverage. Since many vehicle collision injuries are relatively minor, this may be enough to cover all your medical bills. But it often is not—we have represented many Jacksonville, Florida, residents involved in minor car accidents whose damages greatly exceeded $10,000. Because we gathered evidence and put together a thorough claim, we were able to get these clients much more money than with the other driver’s insurance company.
We can help you file this type of claim and prove your losses to the insurance company—both yours and the other driver’s. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we never collect a fee until our clients get paid, and we offer a free consultation. Let us sit down with you, discuss your options, and let you know what to expect in the days and weeks ahead.
To speak with a member of our team in Jacksonville today in one free consultation, call us at 1-800-747-3733.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Because no two Jacksonville, Florida, car accidents are alike, it is difficult to estimate the value of a car accident settlement without knowing specific details about the Jacksonville crash itself. And because settlement values vary so wildly, even coming up with an average is difficult and relatively pointless—your settlement may be much more or much less than an average one might compute.
A few factors that influence the value of your car accident settlement include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The extent of damage to your vehicle
- Whether any other personal belongings were damaged in the accident
- How the accident happened
- Your attorney’s dedication
In addition, assigning fault can influence each party’s settlement value a great deal. Florida is a comparative fault state, which means you can still pursue damages even if you were partly at fault for a Jacksonville car collision, but your damages will be reduced by the percentage you were deemed at fault. For instance, if you had $10,000 in damages but were 20 percent at fault, you would be eligible to recover a maximum of $8,000.
It also matters how diligent your attorney is. A world of difference exists between an accident attorney who files claims and takes what the insurance policy offers, and one who puts together a compelling case, takes on the insurance company, and does not accept an offer that pays less than what their client deserves.
Also contributing to Florida’s expansive range of possible car accident settlement values, the state does not cap noneconomic damages. That means there is no legal maximum to what you can potentially recover for mental and physical pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, economic anguish, and other losses that do not involve actual financial depletion.
Regardless of the circumstances of your Jacksonville, FL, car collision, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will fight for the most in compensation. We will go after both economic and noneconomic damages, taking on the insurance companies and making sure you get paid fairly. Also, we never collect a fee until we recover money for you. To set up a free consultation with a member of our team today, contact us at 1-800-747-3733 about your car accident Jacksonville, FL, today.
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What Damages Can I Collect for a Car Accident?
After a vehicle collision in Jacksonville, Florida, you may be eligible to recover a number of damages, both economic and noneconomic. Economic damages refer to actual financial losses, meaning things that result in quantifiable monetary loss. Noneconomic damages refer to losses that are not material in nature and that cannot be quantified in dollar terms. In Florida, there is no cap on how much you can recover for both types of losses.
The best way to learn the value of your Jacksonville car accident claim is to speak with a legal representative as soon as possible after your crash. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys have helped many clients in Jacksonville recover settlements and awards for their car accident damages. Our law firm can evaluate your case for free and let you know what it is worth.
Our law firm has helped clients recover settlement amounts in the thousands all the way up to the millions of dollars.
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you may have a wide variety of damages. We collect the evidence to prove your expenses and losses and fight for the maximum amount of compensation to cover:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance transportation costs
- Inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient therapy
- Lost wages due to missing work
- Income lost because you cannot return to your previous job
- Property damage to your vehicle and its contents
- Most other accident-related costs
- Pain and suffering
After you select us to represent you, we can collect documentation of your losses and determine an approximate value for your claim. Our law firm can also work with experts to help calculate potential future care needs and other expenses. We never leave any money on the table, and we will fight for the full dollar amount you deserve.
Our attorneys believe they should get paid for results, not for their time. For that reason, we never collect a fee until we recover money for you. That means you never have to worry about being able to afford us out of pocket because you get paid at the same time we do. You have nothing to lose and a potentially large settlement to gain.
To learn more, and to speak with a member of our staff today in a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident in Jacksonville, FL?
After a major vehicle collision that requires emergency transport to the hospital, hospitalization, surgery, and inpatient rehabilitation, you will likely owe much more than your PIP policy will cover. Drivers in Jacksonville, Florida, are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP insurance. It pays 80 percent of your medical bills and 60 percent of your lost wages. That insurance covers not only you but also children and other members of your household, as well as passengers who do not carry PIP insurance because they do not have a vehicle.
If you meet certain criteria, you can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. This strict requirement is sometimes called the “serious injury threshold,” because Florida state laws refer to qualifying injuries as “serious.”
If you need additional compensation above and beyond the payout from your no-fault insurance coverage, we can help you determine if you meet this threshold and help you navigate the claims process.
Some of the injuries that could qualify include:
- Injuries that cause significant impairment to an important bodily function;
- Permanent injuries;
- Scarring or disfigurement in significant areas or causing permanent impairments; and
- Injuries that will lead to death.
If you do meet this threshold, we can file an insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s auto liability policy. Often, insurance companies see the wealth of evidence against the driver they insure and we are able to negotiate a fair settlement. If this is not possible, we can file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still sue to recover damages if your injuries are severe enough to qualify you for compensation. Florida has what is called a comparative negligence statute–also sometimes referred to as a comparative fault law–which allows you to recover damages, even if you were partially responsible. For example, if the damages from an accident added up to $50,000, and you were found 50 percent responsible, you would only be able to collect $25,000. A simplified example, but it still demonstrates how the court subtracts your percentage of liability from the awarded compensation.
Our law firm can also help you collect the compensation your family is entitled to if their loved one passed away in a car crash. A Jacksonville, FL, car accident fatality meets the Florida threshold, meaning we can file a liability insurance claim and hold the at-fault driver accountable for the damages they caused.
Will My Lawyer Deal with the Insurance Companies for Me?
Yes, a lawyer can handle your insurance claim from start to finish. A lawyer can also help you navigate the intricacies of no-fault insurance laws to recover damages for vehicle repair costs and serious injuries beyond what is covered by your PIP benefits.
Everyone in the state of Florida is required to have PIP insurance and carry a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. This means that if you have less than $10,000 in costs associated with your injuries, your PIP benefits will cover the expenses. Your coverage will pay 80 percent of your medical expenses as well as 60 percent of lost wages as a result of the work that you missed because of your accident.
You must seek treatment within 14 days of the accident to get these benefits. Also, if your physician finds you did not have an emergency medical condition, your auto insurance will only pay up to $2,500 in benefits.
Collision insurance, an optional coverage in your insurance policy, will pay for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle.
If your damages go beyond the state’s minimum insurance requirements, you may be able to recover additional compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You may also be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. To qualify under no-fault laws, you must prove that your injuries from the accident were severe and resulted in:
- Physical scarring
- Physical disfigurement
- Permanent bodily injury
If your family member lost his or her life, you automatically meet the criteria for a wrongful death lawsuit and can pursue damages related to your case.
Even when you do have injuries that meet the criteria set by the no-fault insurance laws, the driver’s insurance may still argue that you do not have sufficient proof to show that the accident caused the injuries.
You would need to gather evidence to build a valid insurance claim. Some of the evidence you may need includes:
- Statements from doctors about your prognosis and your future medical care needs
- Statements from friends and family members about how your injuries have altered your life
- Traffic camera video showing that the other party caused the accident
A car accident attorney will deal with the insurance companies and manage this entire process, including demonstrating that the driver breached his duty to drive carefully, that the breach of duty caused an accident, and that his negligent actions resulted in serious bodily injuries.
How Long Do Claims Take to Settle?
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this question because all cases are different, including cases about car accidents. Jacksonville accident claims generally follow the traditional legal process. However, there are factors that could potentially lead to a quick settlement or drag out the process longer than expected if the option for an appeal is taken.
When litigation is necessary, the legal steps that are generally followed from start to finish are:
- The complaint is filed, and the lawsuit officially begins.
- The defendant is served a copy of the complaint.
- The defendant is given a certain time period to file an answer to the complaint.
- Discovery is the exchange of critical information, from both sides, that could be used as potential evidence during a trial.
- A trial takes place.
- There is potential for an appeal that could drag out the timeline if one side or the other does not like how the trial concluded.
There are other litigation steps that can be taken to shorten or lengthen the timeline. Each case is different, and it depends on whether or not the plaintiff or defendant has substantial evidence that proves they are on the winning side of the dispute. If this applies to your situation, either side may file a motion for summary judgment, and a judge will make the decision before the case has a chance to go to trial.
In most cases, the settlement will happen before going to the trial phase. Many times, when information is presented during the discovery phase that shifts favor to either side, a settlement may occur at that time.
However, if liability is particularly hard to prove because of a lack of evidence, witnesses, or professional opinion of the losses, the case can be dragged out indefinitely.
Florida law gives you four years to file a lawsuit for a personal injury or property damage, including qualifying car accident cases. For this reason, you should call us as soon as your injuries stabilize to speak with our legal team. Our law firm may need as much time as possible to prepare and file the insurance claims in your case.
Be aware that some cases have an even shorter statute of limitations. For example, if an employee of a government agency driving the agency’s vehicle struck your car, you may have much less time to notify them of the incident and of your intent to file a claim.
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, there is a chance that you might have to go to court for a car accident. However, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can represent you through the entire course of your lawsuit, including through litigation.
Florida is one of many states that follows a no-fault insurance system. Under normal circumstances, you must file claims based on your personal injury protection policy (PIP) with your insurance provider to cover economic losses such as medical bills and lost wages.
Generally, no-fault insurance rules limit the amount of legal action you can take following a car accident. However, if your damages meet a certain legal threshold, you may be able to file suit in civil court against the at-fault driver. This threshold would add noneconomic losses that will likely make your case more valuable.
Fortunately, in many cases, car accident settlements are achieved without having to go to court. But many factors could result in a trial being a necessary part of the litigation process. Those factors include:
When a party cannot agree on who is liable for the vehicle collision, the case may proceed to a trial where a jury will make decisions on the issues based on presented evidence.
Liability is a big factor when determining if a personal injury case is likely to go to trial. In some cases, when substantial evidence and information would prove liability in court, the liable party would most likely offer a settlement during the discovery phase of litigation.
Other times, the evidence may be significant enough to request a motion for summary judgment where a judge would make a final decision before a trial occurs.
Disagreement on Losses
There could be a disagreement about whether the plaintiff was actually injured during the accident, the extent of your personal injury, and how much compensation they should receive for those losses.
The plaintiff carries the burden of proof when pursuing losses. It may be critical that a medical professional, such as the treating physician, is a witness that provides a professional opinion regarding the extent of the injury harm.
If your personal injury case has a considerably high value, the defendant will most likely give due diligence to the case to reduce or deny any claims for compensation. If the parties involved in a claim or lawsuit cannot agree on a fair settlement, the case may go to trial.
What Happens if the at-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Auto Insurance?
If getting into an accident is not awful enough, learning that the driver who caused the accident does not have auto insurance or is underinsured can be extremely frustrating.
Fortunately, in Jacksonville, Florida, you have options for financial recovery after sustaining an injury in an accident with an uninsured driver. All drivers are legally required to have a minimum coverage policy, including:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): in the amount of $10,000
- Bodily Injury Liability: in the amount of $20,000
- Property Damage Liability: in the amount of $10,000
In most cases, your PIP insurance would kick in to cover a percentage of medical expenses and lost wages up to your policy limits. Usually, this amount is enough to provide relief from the financial difficulties of needed medical attention for simple injuries suffered in a collision.
PIP can also cover up to $5,000 in funeral benefits. That being said, if a family member has passed away as the result of a car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for wrongful death.
Because Florida is a no-fault state, there is not usually an option for filing a lawsuit against the other driver in civil court. However, if your injuries meet the threshold for serious injury as defined by laws in Florida, you may be able to file suit for pain and suffering against the uninsured driver who hit you in Jacksonville.
Florida’s motor vehicle no-fault law describes the thresholds of bodily injury and loss to include:
- Permanent injury
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Besides being personally responsible for your losses, the uninsured or underinsured driver could most likely face penalties, including but not limited to, license suspension, fees, confiscation of the vehicle license plate, and criminal charges.
In Florida, insurance companies are required to offer you uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage. If you opted to add this coverage to your policy, you can file for compensation if you have discovered the driver who hit you is uninsured, underinsured, or if you are the victim of a hit and run.
In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage for property damage is not available as an option with your insurance policy.
How Can I Reach a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney About My Personal Injury Case?
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we understand how stressful it can be to worry about your family’s financial health while also trying to recover from your injuries. We can worry about fighting for the compensation you need to pay medical expenses, cover lost wages, and take care of your family. Call our law firm today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free consultation.
Duval County Car Accident Lawyers
The car accident lawyers in Duval County, FL from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you go after compensation for your damages from an accident in Duval County, FL. We can evaluate your case, gather the evidence to prove your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
To get one free consultation, contact us at 1-800-747-3733. Our law firm does not charge upfront legal fees because we handle car accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our legal fees come out of the settlement or award.
First Steps After a Car Accident in Duval County, Florida
The actions that you take after a collision can affect how much compensation you can collect. All personal injury cases are different, and you should do what makes sense in your situation. Here are some suggestions of things to do after a crash:
Get medical attention. You should get medical treatment right away after an accident. If you have visible signs of injury, a delay in treatment can lead to complications. If you do not have obvious signs of injury, but you were in a significant crash, a professional medical exam can uncover harm like internal bleeding, or a neck or back injury, which do not always have immediate symptoms.
Also, if you wait to get medical treatment, the careless driver’s auto insurance representatives will likely argue that the vehicle crash did not cause your damages. It can be harder to prove that the accident led to the harm you suffered if you do not seek medical care right away. We will use your medical records to link your injuries to the collision.
Talk with a car accident lawyer. Although Florida law does not force you to get a lawyer to represent you in the claims process, it can be to your benefit to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate and handle your injury case.
Claims adjusters are professionals whose job is to pay people as little as they can for their damages. Having a professional on your side, a lawyer, can even the playing field.
Florida law only gives you a short amount of time to file a lawsuit seeking damages for your losses. You should talk with an accident attorney right away so that you do not miss this deadline. Once the time limit passes, you cannot go after compensation for your damages.
Finish your medical treatment. We know that it can be inconvenient to make repeated trips to your doctor’s office or physical therapy, but it is vital that you complete the treatment that your doctor prescribed. If you do not follow the doctor’s orders, the insurance company might say that any residual problems you have are because you did not complete the treatment.
How We Establish Liability in Car Accidents
A lawyer in Duval County, FL must prove all three of these elements to hold the at-fault person responsible for your losses:
Duty of care. The person whose carelessness caused your damages must have owed you a legal duty of care. If another driver caused the wreck, it will be a simple matter to establish the legal duty of care. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on the roads has a legal duty to drive carefully and within the law.
Breach of the duty of care. When someone fails to live up to the standards of a legal duty of care, it is negligence. Let’s say that the at-fault driver struck your vehicle because she did not notice the light had changed at the intersection. She was groggy because of prescription medication and should not have been driving in that condition. Driving in a groggy state while under the influence of a controlled substance is negligence.
Causation. The negligence must be the thing that caused the accident and your losses. The at-fault driver’s carelessness caused to the crash that harmed you, which satisfies all three elements for liability in car accidents.
How Much Your Duval County, Florida Car Accident is Worth
We cannot state a dollar amount for the compensation you will receive without talking with you and investigating your crash. All personal injury cases are different because the facts are unique for each person.
Here are some types of damages in vehicle accident claims:
- Lost wages.You can get compensation for the income you missed out on because of the accident and your recuperation time, including wages, salary, self-employment, and other income.
- Diminished earning potential, if your personal injury caused you to be incapable of making as much money as you could before the wreck.
- Disability, if you cannot maintain gainful employment to support yourself because of your injuries.
- Medical expenses, the reasonable cost of treatment you needed to heal, including things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, x-rays, blood work, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
- Long-term care, if you need daily assistance with medical treatment and personal care because of your physical state
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced.
- Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and a spousal claim for loss of consortium.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Duval County, FL Car Accident Case
Soon after the crash, a claims adjuster from the insurance company might contact you and ask you to give a recorded statement. If you have a lawyer on board, you can tell the adjuster to talk to your lawyer. Your accident attorney can provide the adjuster the information he needs.
You should not give a recorded statement without running it by your lawyer first. Insurance companies can twist your words into something that you did not mean to say. They do this to devalue your claim.
Another tactic that insurance companies use is to offer you a quick, low-ball settlement. They do not explain that all your medical expenses must come out of this check, so it is not “free money.”
We can stand between you and the insurance company to protect you from their strategies. Our law firm deals directly with the insurance companies on behalf of our clients, so that they can focus on their health.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733, for a free consultation in Duval County, FL. There is no obligation.