Car Accident Lawyers
An automobile accident can be a life-changing event. It's a very difficult time for those involved. The very last thing individuals want to worry about and deal with is the financial problem caused by the accident or speaking with an insurance company. This is where we can help.
We have been handling automobile accident claims throughout the country since 1955 and have earned a reputation as one of the most successful law firms in the nation, winning more than $40 billion dollars in jury verdicts and settlements.
We are located in downtown Pensacola, and our forty attorneys live in the Pensacola community. We have handled more accident claims in Northwest Florida for injured persons than any other law firm.
Types of Compensation in a Florida Auto Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, damages include past and future physical pain and suffering; mental pain and suffering; medical expenses; wage loss; and loss of the ability to earn income.
If you were married at the time of the accident, then your spouse is entitled to loss of consortium damages; which is the loss of services, assistance, aid, and companionship of the injured spouse.
If the accident results in death, then a wrongful death claim is filed. The damages in this type of case include medical and funeral expenses; mental pain and suffering for the surviving spouse and minor children; loss of support; and loss of future estate.
If the company or person causing your harm acted in an intentional or reckless manner, you also might be entitled to recover punitive damages.
What Will I Have To Prove To Succeed In My Florida Auto Accident Claim
If your accident occurred in Florida, you will need to prove three things to succeed in your claim: (1) the other side acted in a negligent, reckless, or intentional manner; (2) the other side caused your injury; and (3) the amount of your damages.
In regard to the first thing you need to prove, negligence is the failure of the other driver to use reasonable care, which is the care that a careful driver would have used under the same circumstances.
- The other driver ran a stop sign or red light.
- The other driver became distracted; for example, texting, reading emails, making a phone call, eating, looking for something.
- The other driver was speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.
- The other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The other driver was operating a vehicle that was not well maintained; e.g., the lights or brakes were not working properly.
- The other driver crossed into oncoming traffic.
The second thing you need to prove is causation, which means the other driver's negligence caused the accident, or substantially contributed to causing the accident. The third thing you need to prove is your damages.
It's our job to gather all the evidence to prove your claim, and then present your best case possible to the insurance company; and if necessary, to a judge and jury.
What Will Levin Papantonio Rafferty Do To Maximize My Auto Accident Claim in Pensacola
Immediately after you retain our services, we will begin taking the following actions in order to prove your claim and damages, and prevent the insurance company and opposing side from minimizing your claim.
- We will take photographs and video of the scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries.
- We will collect police, fire, and EMS records.
- We will question and record statements of witnesses.
- We will reconstruct the accident, including the speed and movement of the vehicles, and each driver's actions and reactions.
- We will analyze medical records and bills, and speak with your treating doctors.
- We will calculate your loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- We will speak with the insurance companies on your behalf, and negotiate your compensation.
- We will retain expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- If we can't settle your case to your satisfaction, then we will file your lawsuit, conduct discovery, and present your case to a judge or jury.
What Should I Do After An Auto Accident
First and foremost, if you or anyone else has sustained a personal injury in an auto collision, call 911 to get law enforcement and medical help! Health and safety are of primary importance.
If you or someone with you is capable, try to do the following:
- Write down all the details of the other vehicles involved in the accident (for example, make, model, year, license tag number).
- Get the other driver's name, contact information (telephone and e-mail), license number, and insurance information, as well as the name and contact information for all passengers.
- Write down anything the other driver and passengers say (for example, I'm so sorry; I didn't see you; I was in a hurry).
- Get the names and contact information (telephone and emails) for all witnesses to the vehicle accident.
- Take photos and video of the accident scene and all vehicles involved (remember, you likely have a cell phone with these capabilities).
- Make a list of all your personal injuries. Many times, an injury will not show up until days or weeks later; be sure to write them down as they occur.
- Keep a list of all your doctor and hospital visits and all other medical expenses. Write down the dates, the name of the doctor, and the nature of the visit.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
- If you receive a call from anyone associated with the other automobile or insurance company, it is best for you not to provide them any statements without first consulting a personal injury lawyer who focuses on auto accident litigation. Remember, auto accident lawyers should not be charging you for a consultation. Take advantage of this, even if you choose not to hire an injury lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Florida Auto Accident Claim?
There is no easy answer to this question because it depends on many factors, such as where the accident occurred, the type of injury, and who caused the accident.
If an accident occurs in Pensacola, Florida, the injured person has four years to file a lawsuit for injuries, but only two years if the accident causes death.
If the accident is caused by a governmental entity, there are papers that need to be filed at least six months before the lawsuit is filed. These papers must be submitted within three years of the accident in an injury case, and two years in a death case or in a case involving the federal government or its employees.
The most important thing is that you immediately seek free legal advice when you become aware of a potential injury after an accident, even if you decide not to hire a lawyer. It costs you nothing, but provides you much protection.
Motor Vehicle Accident Legal Resources
Florida Laws Involving Traffic Accidents
This website provides links to the various Florida traffic laws. Department of Motor Vehicles
Filing and Requesting a Florida Accident Report
This website provides links to filing and obtaining traffic accident reports. Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
Viewing Live Florida Traffic Information
This website posts live information regarding traffic events presently being investigated and monitored. Florida Traffic 511