From minor fender benders on rural roads to deadly head-on collisions on the highway, car accidents injure Orlando drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists every day. These injuries can lead to significant physical damage and pain and suffering. Fortunately, if you’ve suffered an injury, an Orlando car accident lawyer may be able to help you get the money you need to put your life back together and route you on the road to recovery.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you want to find a law firm that works for you. At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A., our Orlando car accident lawyers draw on their years of experience to help you get the best results possible. We represent people injured in vehicle collisions caused by negligence, and our team of top-rated attorneys has more than 100 years of combined experience holding negligent parties responsible, from catastrophic injuries to wrongful deaths.
Important Steps to Take After an Orlando Car Accident
Car accidents can be a confusing and frustrating time for you and your family. However, you can help the situation run more smoothly by following a few easy steps. Here are five to keep in mind:
Assess the Situation
If you’re medically able, exit your vehicle and evaluate the safety and security of the scene. If at all possible, you’re required by Florida law to remove your vehicle from the roadway. However, don’t attempt this maneuver if there are injured people still in the car. Call 911, and treat those with medical emergencies first to the best of your abilities.
Gather witnesses and others to both help you secure the scene of the accident and gather the facts of what happened, such as:
- Names, contact information, and insurance information of any drivers and passengers involved in the accident, as well as witnesses who saw it happen
- The name and contact information of the police officer and the report number
- Types of cars involved in the crash, including license number, year, model, and make
- If your vehicle needs to be towed away, write down the location of where it’s being towed
Likewise, try to take photographs of your car, any other cars involved, and the accident scene. You may also want to draw a picture and write down how you think the accident happened, which may later help you recollect facts you may otherwise have forgotten.
Cooperate with First Responders
Once police and emergency vehicles arrive, cooperate with them and provide information of which you’re 100 percent sure. However, it’s crucial that you never admit fault. This is vital because you don’t know all the facts. Even if you think you may be guilty, you also have to consider that you’re confused and dazed by the wreck. Admitting fault now may hurt you in the long run.
Get a Medical Evaluation
Receive treatment for any injuries you may have received. Although you may not feel any symptoms at the scene, it’s still important to go to the doctor anyway. Some medical conditions may not appear immediately following the accident, but a doctor will know how to diagnose and treat these injuries.
Talk to a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer
Before reporting the incident to your insurance company, consider talking to a lawyer as soon as possible. Gaining the help of an attorney may protect your rights and best interests. When choosing an attorney, it’s important to base your selection on their credentials, history of successful car accident cases, and the comfort level they bring to you and your family during this difficult time.
Note, as well, that if you talk to the insurance company, you have the right to refuse to have your conversation recorded. We recommend doing so because anything said may only hurt you down the line.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can lead to severe injuries to nearly any part of the body. The severity and type of injuries suffered depend on factors such as whether you were wearing a seatbelt, whether the car had airbags, and if it was a low-speed crash or a high-speed collision. Injuries you may sustain in a motor vehicle accident include:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Neck or back damage
- Joint or muscle injury/damage
- Loss of limbs
- Damage to the spinal cord
No matter the type or extent of your injuries, it’s imperative that you contact a medical professional after the events of the crash. Likewise, get in touch with a seasoned Orlando car accident lawyer as soon as possible who may be able to get on the road to recovery. In some cases, injuries from a car accident allow the injured party to pursue a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, doing so through the negligent party’s insurance company may be problematic as they’ll likely be looking out for their own interests.
At this time, it’s crucial to work with an Orlando car accident lawyer to make the best of this challenging situation. An attorney will represent your claim and work to ensure you receive a fair outcome.
What Does Florida No-Fault Insurance Coverage Mean?
If you live in Florida and drive a car, you’ve probably heard the phrase “no-fault state.” But what exactly does it mean, and how does it affect you if you’re involved in a car accident? In simple terms, in the event of a car accident, both parties turn to their car insurance policies to file a claim regardless of who was at fault.
The Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law is an element of a car insurance plan that covers health care expenses associated with the crash. PIP, which covers medical expenses for both injured policyholders and passengers, helps to ensure that car insurance companies pay for 80 percent of the medical bills for injuries arising from the accident. PIP may also cover 60 percent of lost wages from an accident. You can only pursue an accident claim outside of this system if you have permanent or life-altering injuries. Note that many doctors will wait to collect the remaining 20 percent until after all legal proceedings finish.
Keep in mind that Florida’s PIP laws are subject to change. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s crucial that you contact your insurance provider or schedule a free consultation with an Orlando car accident attorney who would have the most current information.
How to Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable for Damages after an Orlando Car Accident
Once your claim has been filed and the car accident is investigated, you may be wondering if seeking legal aid for your claim is even necessary. Securing the help of an Orlando car accident attorney can benefit you in many ways, and doing so may increase the chances you’ll recover damages and receive compensation. Perhaps most importantly, a lawyer will help you establish fault in the accident, which can help hold the negligent driver liable. There are four essential elements to establishing fault in a Florida car accident case. They include:
- Duty of care: The at-fault driver held a legal duty of care for the injured party’s safety and wellbeing.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached their duty of care, either through intent or negligence.
- Causation: This breach of duty was the reason for the accident.
- Damages: The accident resulted in expenses and losses.
An Orlando car accident attorney may be able to establish the at-fault party’s duty of care, illustrate how their actions led to the accident, and pursue compensation for the injured party’s resulting damages. This can be done through police reports, witness statements, photo and video evidence from the accident scene, damage reports, and more.
Likewise, the injuries and damages from a serious car accident can quickly exceed the maximum compensation allowable under Florida’s no-fault insurance policy. In this case, the injured party may seek compensation from the at-fault driver through a third-party claim. An experienced lawyer will help you determine the best course of action.
How Can You Benefit from Working with the Orlando Car Accident Attorneys at Wooten Kimbrough?
At the law firm of Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, we serve as advocates for car accident victims who have suffered severe injuries. Our experienced Orlando car accident lawyers will fight vigorously before the judge, jury, and other attorneys on your behalf to help you secure the full and appropriate compensation you deserve. Among other forms of support, we may be able to help establish fault, recover damages, and assist with insurance benefits such as no-fault coverage, health insurance, liability insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage.
We’ve spent decades establishing our firm as a trusted partner for victims of Orlando car accidents. But in a competitive world of Orlando law firms, why choose us as your trusted partners?
- We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients from auto accident cases
- We have over 100 years of experience in personal injury law
- We work on a contingency fee basis – no recovery, no fee
Likewise, if your family isn’t already on the Florida Highway Patrol’s DAVID database, our firm highly recommends it. In the event of a severe accident, your loved ones would receive immediate notification. Adding your name to the database is free, and you can register online by visiting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. The personal information you provide is private and only available to law enforcement agencies. Our auto accident attorneys recommend that all of our clients register with DAVID.
Our Orlando Auto Accident Attorneys Explain the Basics of Choosing a Repair Shop
After a car accident, you may need to get your car repaired. Yet, even a seemingly unassuming task like this can still generate many questions. For instance, which auto body shop should you take your vehicle? Do you have to use the repair shop that the car insurance company recommends? The bottom line is that your carrier can’t force you to use a particular body shop for repairs.
Many insurance companies partner with shops and intervene if a problem occurs. It’s crucial, in this case, to use caution when working with an insurance-approved shop. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll run into an issue, it’s important to note that insurance companies try to keep your repair costs as low as possible.
The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource to see how many complaints have been lodged against the repair shop recommended by your insurance company. Gaining the assistance of an insurance lawyer may also ensure the law upholds your rights if you feel your insurance company may be acting in bad faith.
Call an Experienced Orlando Car Accident Lawyer Today
After you’ve been involved in a car accident in Orlando, it’s crucial to enlist a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Fortunately, the Orlando car crash lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. have over 100 years of combined experience holding negligent parties responsible for the damage they’ve caused, and we provide free consultations to all families suffering from wrongful deaths or catastrophic injuries. We help our clients stand up to powerful insurance companies and deep-pocketed adversaries every day.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in or near the Orlando area—even if you’re visiting from out-of-state or out-of-country—we have a great deal of experience helping those who are involved in roadside crashes or other auto accidents. In addition to partnering with someone who can help you collect compensation, you deserve a compassionate legal representative who will empower and encourage you throughout the legal process. When you need legal assistance, give us a call to find out how we can help. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (407) 843-7060 or submit a contact form online today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in Orlando, FL
How do you calculate pain and suffering in a car accident?
Pain and Suffering are divided into two categories: (1) past pain and suffering and (2) future pain and suffering. Past and future pain and suffering include inconvenience, emotional anguish, physical pain, humiliation, trauma, aggravation, and loss of enjoyment of life. In order to collect on damages for pain and suffering in an auto accident, there must be some sort of permanent injury resulting from that auto accident. A permanent injury may be a lifetime impairment, disability, or significant scarring or disfigurement. Once it is shown that there is a permanent injury, then damages for past and future pain and suffering can be evaluated. Although, it is important to note that pain and suffering are subjective and individualized, so damages vary on a case-by-case basis.
Who will pay my medical bills while my car accident case is still pending?
Typically, your medical bills will be paid with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) through your car insurance policy first. PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to the limits of coverage for bodily injuries sustained as a result of an auto accident. The State of Florida requires that every car owner has a minimum of $10,000 of PIP. Any remaining medical expenses would be paid through the patient’s own health insurance; however, some people may also have Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay). MedPay is elective insurance that would apply to an insured’s medical treatment for auto accident injuries. It is important, however, to read your insurance policies so that you know which insurance would pay your medical expenses first, your personal health insurance or MedPay. Also, any expenses not covered by insurance would be your responsibility to pay
What kind of damages can I recover after a car accident in Orlando?
There are six (6) types of damages that you may be able to recover from a car accident: (1) past medical expenses; (2) future medical expenses; (3) past lost earnings; (4) loss of future earning capacity; (5) past pain and suffering; and (6) future pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are recoverable only where there is some sort of permanent injury. Other than personal injury, a person could also recover for damage to his or her vehicle as well as other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the car accident.