Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to helping car accident victims fight for fair compensation for their injuries. Our Florida auto accident attorneys offer aggressive representation, bringing more than five decades of collective legal experience to every case.
Our accident attorneys provide clients with the legal guidance and advocacy they need to seek a fair car accident settlement after a car crash. If you were injured in an accident, please contact us to see how our auto accident attorneys can help with your car accident lawsuit.
Florida Car Crash Statistics
According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Florida had more than 17.7 million licensed drivers. The DHSMV reported more than 400,000 crashes for the most recent year for which data is available. These motor vehicle crashes caused 3,185 fatalities and more than 236,000 injuries.
Car crashes are particularly dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. For the most recent year reported, pedestrians were involved in nearly 10,000 crashes. More than 7,800 were injured and 734 were killed. The same year, over 6,200 bicyclists involved in crashes suffered injuries and 156 were killed.
Florida is a No-Fault State for Car Insurance
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. Drivers must purchase a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection to cover up to 80 percent of their injuries and lost wages, regardless of fault.
This amount may not be enough to compensate you for serious injuries. By filing a car accident lawsuit, you can recover the compensation that is appropriate. You may also recover compensation if you were hit by an uninsured motorist.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida
If you are injured in a car wreck, you have the right to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the parties you believe are responsible for your injuries.
Your car accident lawsuit must be based on a legal theory of liability. In auto accident cases, that theory is usually negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances.
Causes of Car Accidents Involving Negligence
All drivers in Florida, from teenage drivers to elderly drivers, have a duty to exercise care when they drive. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Speeding and disregarding potential hazards
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to maintain lane
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
Proving Negligence After a Car Accident in Florida
As the plaintiff, you must establish that the defendant in your case was negligent by showing that:
- The defendant had a legal duty to conform to a standard of care;
- The defendant failed to conform to that standard of care; and
- Your injuries are a result of the defendant’s failure to conform.
Types of Car Accidents that Usually Involve Negligence
Can I Recover Damages in Florida if I Am Partially At Fault?
In some cases, the defendant in your car accident claim may blame you for your injuries.
Several states do not allow a person to recover damages if they contributed to, or are more than 50 percent at fault for, their injuries. Florida, however, is a comparative fault state. It allows a person to recover damages irrespective of his or her degree of fault.
A court will apportion fault among the parties, and a plaintiff may recover to the extent he or she is not responsible for causing his or her injury.
Pursuing Compensation After a Car Accident in Florida
If you can establish liability in your car accident case, you can seek damages from the party responsible for causing you harm.
Types of Damages After a Car Accident
After a car accident in Florida, you may recover compensation for:
- Car accident injuries
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
If the accident resulted in a relative’s death, you can potentially seek damages through a wrongful death claim.
The types and amounts of damages you may be able to recover depend on your relationship to the person who was killed, as follows:
Each survivor can recover the following damages:
- Lifetime lost support and services – The survivors can recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury until the date of their death, plus interest.
- Lost support and services after death – The survivors can also recover the future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to its present value.
Several factors are considered when determining the value of lost support and services damages, including:
- The survivor’s relationship to the decedent
- The amount of the decedent’s probable net income that would have been available for distribution to the survivor
- The replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor
- The life expectancies of the decedent and the survivor
- How long the survivor would have been a minor, if applicable
The surviving spouse can also recover the following:
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering from the date of injury
If the decedent had a minor child, the minor children can recover the following damages:
- Lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Mental pain and suffering from the date of injury
The damages above can also be claimed by any adult children of the decedent if the decedent did not have a surviving spouse.
Parent of a Child
If the accident killed a minor child, the child’s parents can recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. If the decedent is an adult child, the parents can recover for the mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors than the parents.
Person Who Paid Medical or Funeral Expenses
The person who paid for the decedent’s final medical expenses or funeral expenses can recover the cost of these expenses.
The decedent’s personal representative can recover the following damages for the estate:
- The loss of the decedent’s earnings from the date of injury to the date of death, less the lost support of survivors
- Loss of the prospective net accumulations of the estate which would have been expected had the wrongful death not occurred
- Medical or funeral expenses that were charged against the estate and not paid by someone else
Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents in Florida
Florida has a four-year statute of limitations on most types of personal injury claims, though a two year period applies to wrongful death claims. Speaking with an experienced car crash lawyer can help to ensure that you file a car accident claim in time to assert your rights.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers
The Florida car accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC are prepared to fight for your rights if you were hurt in a car wreck. Our car crash lawyers have helped numerous car crash victims hold negligent drivers and their insurers accountable for their actions.
Whether it is through a car crash settlement or at trial, our lawyers will work to get you the compensation that is appropriate for your injuries. We work with car accident victims in Brooksville, Lutz, Tampa, Spring Hill, and other nearby communities.
- Determining Fault After a Car Accident
- Car Accident Facts and Statistics
- Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
- Rideshare Accidents – Uber & Lyft
- Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Texting While Driving
- Line of Sight Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Uninsured / UnderInsured Motorist Accidents
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Failure To Yield Accidents
- Common Injuries In Car Accidents
- T-Bone Accidents
- Failure to Maintain Lane Accidents
- Road Hazards
- Elderly-Related Car Accidents
- SUV Rollover Accidents
- Teen Driver Accidents