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How Can a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Understand the legal options available after your car crash in Florida

Car accidents often occur in West Palm Beach, Florida. Whether it’s a rear-end accident on Belvedere Road, a distracted driving accident on Australian Avenue or a speeding accident on I-95, all it takes is one small mistake by another driver to cause a bad car crash.

Knowing what to do after a collision caused by another driver in West Palm Beach might not be clear. Even knowing what your rights are might be confusing. This is why it’s critical that injury victims talk to a car accident attorney familiar with the area and its laws as soon as possible.   

How common are car accidents in West Palm Beach, Florida?

Serious car accidents happen often in West Palm Beach and throughout Florida. Each year, there are about 27,000 motor vehicle accidents that result in more than 16,000 injuries in Palm Beach County, which includes West Palm Beach, according to statistics compiled by Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). That’s one accident every 19 minutes and one injury every 32 minutes.

Traffic fatalities happen in West Palm Beach as well. On average, 177 people die each year in motor vehicle crashes in Palm Beach County, according to crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Negligence is usually a factor

Motor vehicle accidents happen for many different reasons in West Palm Beach. Car accident statistics compiled statewide by the FLHSMV found that drunk driving is a common cause of fatal accidents. On average, 47.8 drunk driving fatalities (27 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities) are recorded each year in Palm Beach County.

Speeding also remains another common cause of car accidents in West Palm Beach. Each year, 15.7 percent (27.8 deaths) of all motor fatalities in Palm Beach County occur on average due to drivers who are speeding.

Other common causes of auto accidents in West Palm Beach include distracted driving, including texting while driving; running a red light and other forms of reckless driving; and fatigued/drowsy driving.

Dangerous intersections in West Palm Beach

Intersection accidents are also common in West Palm Beach. An average of 74.4 people are killed every year in crashes involving two or more vehicles at an intersection in Palm Beach County. That’s more than 42 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in the county.

According to accident statistics from Palm Beach County’s Engineering and Public Works Department, the intersections where the most car accidents happen in West Palm Beach include:

  • North Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard
  • North Congress Avenue and 45th Street
  • North Jog Road and Okeechobee Boulevard
  • Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Village Boulevard
  • North Robbins Drive and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
  • Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Executive Center Drive
  • Okeechobee Boulevard and Wabasso Drive
  • Southern Boulevard and Lyons Road
  • Okeechobee Boulevard and Haverhill Road
  • Okeechobee Boulevard and the southbound Interstate 95 exit

Recovering compensation for your losses

Where the money for your accident-related expenses comes from depends on many different factors. First, it’s important to understand that Florida has a “no fault” auto insurance system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means you will likely need to first file an accident claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

But you may also be able to seek financial compensation from other sources aside from your insurance company. This is especially true if your claim adds up to more than what’s covered by your insurance policy and if your collision was caused by another driver. In situations like this, you may be able to step outside Florida’s no-fault system and file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for damages (the legal term for your accident-related expenses).

Many times, injury victims who file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company do so for non-economic losses, which are generally not covered by the victim’s insurance policy. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering and other losses which do not have a specific dollar amount tied to them, such as medical bills or lost income.

However, most Florida motorists are not required to carry liability insurance, so those losses may not be covered by the other driver’s insurance policy. An experienced attorney can analyze the situation around your car accident and find the most viable source of compensation.

Who determines fault?

Determining who caused your collision can often be a very complicated, contentious issue.

Insurance companies often have a lot to say about who caused the accident. That’s why they tend to hire investigators and attorneys in support of their position. This is especially true if they represent the at-fault party. That’s because the at-fault party’s insurance company may be responsible for paying you the bulk of the compensation you’re entitled to.

You can be part of these conversations, especially if you have an experienced attorney on your side, advocating for your best interests. Your lawyer can present evidence in support of your claim and demand the money you deserve.

How much is my case worth?

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to car accident claims in Florida. The bottom line is you should be financially compensated for all past, present and future expenses related to your accident.

Insurance companies often only consider short-term expenses, like the cost of receiving emergency medical care at Good Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Room or another West Palm Beach hospital. That’s a deliberate strategy to minimize the payout.

Instead, your injury claim should include all future, anticipated expenses related to your accident, including lost future income if you cannot work due to a permanent disability and long-term physical therapy due to a serious injury or mobility issues.

West Palm Beach, FL Car Accident Settlements and Verdicts

$15 million for car accident Florida

Confidential post-trial settlement for bad faith car accident claim. David Glatthorn Law recovered this settlement for the injured person.

$1.85 million for car accident Florida

Financial award for spinal cord injury sustained in a West Palm Beach car accident. David Glatthorn Law recovered this settlement for the injured person.

$1.5 million for car accident Florida

Financial award for person injured in rear-end car accident. David Glatthorn Law recovered this settlement for the injured person.

How much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?

Attorneys who handle car accident claims typically do so on what’s called a contingency fee basis. That means the injury victim only has to pay for legal services if the lawyer obtains a financial settlement or verdict on the victim’s behalf. If no money is secured, the injury victim does not have to pay legal fees.

If a contingency fee lawyer obtains a financial settlement or verdict for the injury victim, the attorney receives a percentage of the compensation for their legal fees. The percentage charged by lawyers for legal services can vary, as can the client’s responsibility for other expenses such as court costs and filing fees. It’s best to discuss the attorney’s contingency fee agreement in detail before you hire them.

Why should I hire a West Palm Beach car accident attorney?

There’s a lot at stake after a serious car accident. Your health and financial future could be on the line. That’s why it’s important that you get the medical care you need and the financial support you deserve to give yourself the best opportunity for a full recovery.

When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, you can let them advocate for the financial compensation you deserve. Your lawyer can also take care of other complex legal matters that may arise after a serious accident, whether it’s filling out paperwork, obtaining a copy of your official police accident report, or negotiating with insurance companies for an appropriate financial settlement.

Laws can also vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney who is familiar with how the legal system works in Palm Beach County, who knows the judges and the jury pool, and who understands how insurance companies assess and value claims in the county.

You only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after a car crash in Florida. That deadline (known as the statute of limitations) can vary depending on the circumstances, and only a lawyer can tell you which deadlines apply to your case. Moreover, the longer you wait to take legal action, the harder it can be to find the evidence you need to build the strongest possible legal case.

Talk to a West Palm Beach car accident attorney to learn more about your legal options. Most offer free case evaluations. Schedule an appointment with an attorney near you right away.

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