A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney offers more than just sound legal advice and compensation for your injuries. At Chalik & Chalik, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers will always put your needs first. Traffic collisions are one of our nation’s leading causes of death each year, and Fort Lauderdale is no exception. Throughout Broward County, motorists lose their lives daily or incur serious injury as a result of car accidents. Distracted driving, operating a vehicle under the influence, or inclement weather can all play a role in motor vehicle accidents.
It is imperative that you contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney as soon as possible after being in a car crash. This will set the proper process into motion and give you the best chance of being successful with your claim. Chalik & Chalik is dedicated and fights for not only you – but your family. We have worked with clients on a range of different car accidents cases and we treat every case unique. Contact the Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik and speak to an experienced car accident lawyer now to have a consultation about your case, free of charge ( 855 ) 456-4817.
The hours, days, and even weeks after a car accident can be a confusing time. You may be unsure of your financial future and how to proceed. Your actions following a motor vehicle accident can have a significant effect on your claim. If you are considering filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your car accident, it helps to have a basic understanding of the car accident lawsuit process you’ll be going through. Take the following steps to ensure fair compensation:
First and foremost, you’ll need to file your suit within the legal time limits, known as the statute of limitations. Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases such as car accidents is four years. Some exceptions apply for minors. This means you have four years from the date of injury to bring your claim. This may seem like a long time, but it’s imperative not to wait until the last minute. Should you miss the deadline, you’ll be barred from compensation for your injuries. One of your first steps following an accident should be informing your insurance company. Be honest about the nature of the accident and tell them about any injuries. Obtain a copy of the police report and give it to your insurer.
But also keep in mind that if you’re pursuing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance, you must seek initial treatment from a doctor within 14 days.
Never leave the scene of an accident until a police officer says it’s okay to do so. Remember, leaving the scene, especially when someone’s injured, is a criminal offense.
Check on all the drivers and passengers, and call emergency medical services for those who need it. If you suspect a head or neck injury, don’t move until help arrives. Call the police so they can conduct an on-scene investigation and file a report, which could prove valuable to your case.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive – and if you are able, collect important information from the other drivers, including:
Possible types of evidence you may use.
Be cordial and cooperate with other drivers, but don’t admit fault. Be careful not to apologize for any of your actions, as this could be admitting legal liability.
If you sustain an injury during an accident, seek immediate medical care. Keep track of all the doctors, physical therapists, and other practitioners you see. Ask for copies of your medical records, bills, and other reports that may help you keep track of your economic losses later. If you incur a serious injury, try to keep a record of how your injuries impact your daily life (such as a journal or a list of activities you used to enjoy). These records may help your attorney determine damages from “pain and suffering.”
If you miss appointments or don’t follow your doctor’s orders, the defense can use your lack of treatment to refute the severity of your injuries.
Victims of negligence-based car accidents are entitled to receive a fair and proportionate amount of financial compensation for their injuries. It’s important that you select a car accident lawyer who will pursue the highest settlement to which you are entitled. Granted, negotiations are important and may result in a settlement prior to judgment, but you should absolutely not settle for much less than you deserve.
The first step in estimating the value of your car accident claim is totaling all the monetary losses you’ve accumulated. These types of damages, referred to as special damages, are relatively straightforward to calculate using bills, financial statements, receipts, and pay stubs. Below are some of the items you’ll want to include when you calculate your monetary damages.
Also include any expected future damages related to your injuries.
The value of your car accident claim should also include pain and suffering damages. These non-tangible damages, often referred to as non-economic or general damages, are generally calculated by using a multiplier.
Step two is to estimate a dollar amount for your non-economic damages. To do this, multiply your monetary damages by a figure, often between 1.5 and five.
The specific multiplier for each case is somewhat discretionary and based on several factors, such as those listed below.
For example, if you were severely injured but your injuries aren’t catastrophic, you might multiply your special damages by two or three. So, if your special damages totaled $200,000, you could multiply that amount by three, for example, to estimate the total value of your claim ($200,000 x 3 = $600,000).
Florida law does allow drivers to collect compensation from an at-fault driver, assuming they meet certain criteria. This is called the “serious injury threshold” and applies when you experience at least one of the following as a direct result of the accident:
If any of these conditions apply, you may file a third-party claim against an at-fault driver. Unlike your PIP benefits, these claims allow you to receive compensation for general damages such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Victims of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale often wonder if their settlements are taxable. The simple answer is that it depends. Certain types of damages, such as pain and suffering damages, may be subject to taxation. However, federal law protects those who seek economic damages for injuries. You won’t be taxed for compensation for medical bills and lost wages. If you have any questions about taxation in Fort Lauderdale, ask your attorney.
Being involved in a car accident is stressful, and we’re here to help. When you contact Chalik and Chalik, you’re getting one of our partners – never an associate. We’re committed to helping victims of car crashes gain compensation for their injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. Let us provide a risk-free and confidential review of your legal options.
Florida law requires anyone registered to drive a vehicle in the state to carry certain minimum amounts of insurance coverage. When you or a loved one experience a car crash, you’ll look to your insurance company for help paying for medical bills, compensating for lost wages, and covering other applicable expenses. Fort Lauderdale has no-fault insurance, which limits the available legal recourse for injured victims of motor vehicle crashes. Despite these laws, some in Fort Lauderdale don’t carry the insurance the law requires. Choosing the best Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyer can guarantee you will be compensated for your losses.
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