Palm City, FL, is one of the best places in the United States to live. However, there is always a certain risk of car accidents. If your car accident was someone else’s fault, you probably have a personal injury claim against them. Personal injury claims, however, do not enforce themselves. And that is where we come in.
The Palm City car accident lawyers at Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart bring a wealth of legal expertise and a deep sense of compassion to every case. During our 80 years of combined experience, we have won over $200 million for our clients, including many multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements.
There is not much that can happen in a car accident case that our team hasn’t seen and successfully handled before. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation. You can call us at (772) 444-7000.
How Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart Can Help You Win Your Palm City Car Accident Claim
Facing a car accident claim can be daunting, but Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart can make the journey smoother for you. Our combined expertise, along with a deep understanding of Florida’s legal landscape, positions us to fight for your rights. We not only navigate the legal complexities but also strategize using our insider knowledge of insurance company tactics.
Simply ‘winning’ is not enough—we pride ourselves on our ability to blend legal acumen with street smarts to maximize the value of your car accident claim in Palm City, Florida. Here are some of the specific ways we can help:
- Negotiating with the insurance company to press for a fair settlement;
- Gathering admissible evidence to support your claim;
- Demanding non-economic damages such as pain and suffering;
- Finding an expert witness who can provide valuable evidence in your favor;
- Filing a lawsuit, even sometimes for strategic reasons if we still plan to settle out of court;
- Obtaining the event data recorder (EDR) from the at-fault driver’s car to gather data that can prove the driver was at fault; and
- Drafting a settlement agreement.
There are probably hundreds of other ways we can help you, depending on the specific facts of your case. Call us today to set up a free case review with an experienced Palm City personal injury lawyer.
Where Do Palm City Car Accidents Happen?
All of the following Palm City thoroughfares see their share of car accidents:
- SW Martin Downs Boulevard
- SW High Meadows Avenue
- SW Mapp Road
- SW Murphy Road
- SW Citrus Boulevard
- Florida’s Turnpike
Among these, the most serious accidents tend to happen on I-95.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
Take the following steps:
- Move the vehicles out of the road so that there won’t be a second accident.
- Call 911. This will get you both the police and an ambulance.
- Exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver.
- Obtain contact information for witnesses.
- Photograph the scene of the accident and anything that might be useful as evidence.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident until the ambulance arrives. Go to the hospital immediately if your body has suffered any impact, even if you don’t think you are injured.
There might be other actions to take, depending on the circumstances. For example, you might need to perform first aid on someone else insured in the accident.
Is Florida a No-Fault Auto Insurance State?
Yes, Florida is one of about a dozen no-fault auto insurance states. After most car accidents, you don’t even bother concerning yourself with whose fault the accident was. Instead, you file a claim against your own PIP insurance. Remember, however, that Florida is NOT a no-fault state for property damage.
For example, if you want compensation for damage to your car, you need to establish the other driver’s liability. Then, either file a third-party insurance claim against their liability insurance carrier or file a lawsuit against them in court.
You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against them to get additional benefits your PIP policy doesn’t cover in some circumstances (more on this below).
What Is Florida PIP Insurance?
PIP covers you, your household relatives, certain passengers, and others driving your vehicle with permission. PIP coverage is only partial—it covers no more than 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages. The standard policy limit is $10,000.
Is There Any Way Out of Florida’s No-Fault Auto Insurance System?
Yes. You can exit Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system if you suffer a “serious” injury or if another exception applies.
Florida law defines a serious injury as one that causes “a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.”
What Do I Have To Prove To Win a Fault-Based Negligence Claim in Palm City?
You need to prove the following facts:
- The defendant (probably a driver) owed you a duty of care. This is almost certainly the case.
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The accident was caused by the defendant.
- You suffered damages. At the very minimum, you must have suffered a physical injury, although you can recover for psychological harm as well.
You must prove these facts on a “preponderance of the evidence” basis. In other words, you must prove that each of the foregoing assertions is more likely than not to be true.
How Likely Is It My Palm City Car Accident Claim Will Go to Trial?
Not very likely. Your claim will probably settle out of court through negotiation. That doesn’t mean that you won’t file a lawsuit. Sometimes, it makes sense to file a lawsuit even if you still plan to settle your claim eventually.
Remember that a claim is an abstract legal right to compensation, while a lawsuit is a formal legal proceeding designed to enforce a claim. As such, all lawsuits are based on claims, but not all claims become lawsuits.
What Are My Legal Options If Someone Dies in the Accident?
If you are the executor of the probate estate of the person who died in the accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. Normally, you have until two years have passed since the date the victim died (not necessarily the date of the accident).
Damages in a wrongful death claim are different from damages in a personal injury claim. Because a human life was sacrificed, however, wrongful death damages can be substantial.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Florida?
Florida personal injury statute of limitations is two years after the date of the accident. That means that you must either file a lawsuit or finalize a settlement agreement. However, once you file a lawsuit, including service of process, you have beaten the statute of limitations forever, at least with respect to that particular claim.
Miss the statute of limitations deadline, however, and your claim will die–it won’t be worth a penny once the deadline passes. There are a few exceptions that can extend the statute of limitations deadline, however.
Can I Seek Punitive Damages?
Yes, Florida allows personal injury victims to seek punitive damages, but they are difficult to obtain. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for outrageous behavior, and to make an example of them.
To qualify for punitive damages, you must first qualify for compensatory damages (economic damages and perhaps non-economic damages). The court might reject your request for punitive damages even if you win compensatory damages.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Up until March 24, 2923, Florida was a “pure comparative negligence” state. You could still demand 1% of your damages even if the accident was 99% at fault. All that changed on March 24. Now, Florida has become a modified comparative negligence state with a 51% bar.
That means that a driver who was more than 50% at fault for an accident cannot claim even a dime in compensation. Your lawyer can work to minimize the amount of fault assigned to you so that you can collect full value for your claim.
Can I Use a Police Report To Support a Car Accident Claim?
You can in settlement negotiations, but you cannot in court. That is because, in court, the submission of a police report into evidence is generally barred by the hearsay rule.
Nevertheless, you can call the officer who wrote the report to the stand and question them to elicit the same information. The fact that you can do this is what makes a police report useful in settlement negotiations.
How Can I Use Expert Testimony To Prove Liability in a Car Accident Claim?
You can use an accident reconstruction expert to investigate the accident, reconstruct the sequence of events, and assign liability. If you suffered a long-term injury that resulted in anticipated future medical expenses and/or diminished earning capacity, you can use an expert to help you establish the amount of your claim for future damages.
Our Palm City Car Accident Lawyers Work for Free Unless We Win Compensation for You
You’ve probably heard of the notorious “billable hours” scheme by which lawyers rack up huge legal bills that they present to their clients. We don’t work that way. Instead, we work on a contingency fee basis.
You can hire our Palm City car accident attorneys without a penny to your name, and our legal fees (whenever they come due) will equal a certain percentage of your total compensation. If we don’t win, you will owe us nothing.
Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.