Experienced Daytona Beach Car Accident Attorneys
Florida’s vibrant commuter culture and renowned vacation destinations make our state a fast-paced and beautiful place to live. Unfortunately, as a busy hub for residents and travelers, negotiating packed roads and dense traffic is the unpleasant reality that makes car and motorcycle wrecks regrettably common. When these incidents occur, you need experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyers to help you pursue maximum compensation for your damages.
Communities in and around Daytona Beach sit at the confluence of major thoroughfares such as I-95, I-4, US-1, US-17-92, International Speedway Blvd, US-441, Saxon Blvd, Nova Road, State Road 40(Granada Blvd), State Road 44 and State Road A1A. Some of those roads have been rated among the most dangerous in America. No matter how cautious you are or how many safety measures you take, accidents can happen, and often with devastating consequences. It may take a fraction of a second for a crash to occur, but the physical injuries and emotional pain can last weeks, months or even a lifetime.
Common questions after a Daytona Beach car accident
When you are hurt or a loved one is injured or killed due to someone else’s carelessness, it can be a tragic and confusing time for the entire family. And it’s normal to have questions:
- How will you pay medical expenses?
- If you can’t work, how you will you pay your bills?
- Is your insurance company treating you honestly and fairly?
- How will you pay for your child’s future medical care?
- Do you need a lawyer and, if you do, how do you find the best fit for your case?
Florida car accident statistics
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our Daytona Beach car accident attorneys understand how a car accident can affect your life and we know that unfortunately, drivers and motorcyclists in Florida are particularly hard hit by accident injuries.
A recent study by Dateline NBC put Florida’s interstates and highways “at the top of the list” of the nation’s most treacherous roads and specifically named both I-95 and US-1 among the most dangerous stretches of asphalt in America. Frequently, accidents that happen on these roads can lead to serious debilitating injury, loss of property and even death.
Sadly, numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also named Florida the most dangerous state for motorcyclists in 2007, totaling more fatalities than anywhere else in America. In fact, the number of motorcycle injuries in Florida has been steadily increasing since the Sunshine State repealed its universal helmet law in 2000. Be aware and take driving precautions by knowing the Top 5 types of Car Accidents to avoid in Florida.
Common Causes of Daytona Beach Car Accidents
Car accident statistics have shown that around 94% of all accidents are caused by driver error. This includes things like distractions, driving while impaired, driving aggressively, or not paying attention to what is around you.
While this is true, the primary culprit for many car accidents is drivers who are speeding or engaging in some other reckless action.
Learn more about the most common causes of Daytona Beach car accidents here.
The speed limits in Florida have been set to ensure everyone is safe on the road. If drivers exceed the posted speed limits, reacting safely to road hazards or other unexpected situations is challenging. Being involved in an accident while speeding is also more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities.
There is no question that technology is a huge part of most people’s lives today. With modern tech, it is easier than ever before to remain connected to your family and friends. Unfortunately, there are situations where this type of connectivity is dangerous.
If someone is distracted behind the wheel, they pose a huge risk on Florida roadways.
Not Obeying the Rules of the Road
Florida’s traffic system relies on everyone obeying the rules of the road. If drivers do not adhere to the rules, purposely or accidentally, they put others at risk.
Reckless driving is a top cause of accidents and results in serious consequences in many cases.
Drivers should never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While this is true, statistics have proven that impaired driving cases are increasing in Daytona Beach and across the state.
Florida is known for temperamental weather. This is especially the case during hurricane season. A sunny, cloud-free day can turn into a huge thunderstorm within minutes. This creates slick roadways, limited visibility, and obstructions in the road.
Unstable weather conditions are a huge cause of Florida car accidents. If you are driving in poor weather, be sure to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings. When you do this, you can avoid a serious accident and help to keep others safe.
Our Legal Team Is Here to Help with Your Daytona Beach Car Accident Claim
If you have never been involved in a car accident, you may be surprised to learn how frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive it can be to get your life back to normal.
Most people are unprepared for the disruption a car accident can cause to their regular routine. In many situations, people find they seem fine at the scene but then discover serious and debilitating pain within a few days.
Many clients we represent do not have disability or health insurance and do not know where to go to receive treatment for their injuries and pain or how to cover the treatment costs if they cannot return to work.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our legal team is used to helping our clients through these tough situations. We have skilled professionals to deal with every aspect of your legal case and help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
We will look at your insurance coverage and the coverage of the person who caused your accident. Our team also takes time to explain the law thoroughly and personally, and how it applies to your case so you know what to expect. We take pride in our ability to handle the toughest and most complex cases that other lawyers turn down.
What to Expect When You Hire Our Car Accident Attorneys
For many of our clients, their car accident is the most distressing event that has ever happened to them. Along with the psychological shock of the accident, you may also experience significant pain while you recover.
Getting frustrated and overwhelmed as you work to put your life back together is not unusual. Our Florida car accident attorneys know how this feels and are dedicated to assisting you during this challenging time.
Some of the services you can expect from our legal team include the following:
- Find a doctor to ensure proper treatment for the injuries you experience.
- Getting a rental vehicle and helping with a damage claim for your vehicle.
- Gathering all needed evidence, like photos, witness testimony, and the police report to help you receive the maximum compensation possible.
- Hiring expert witnesses and other experts to help prove your case.
- Handling negotiations and communication with insurance companies to ensure they do not try to intimidate you or get you to accept a lowball settlement offer.
- Handling all paperwork required to file your case and get the claim moving in the court system.
- Going to trial (if needed) and working to help you get the full compensation you need for recovery.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our car accident attorneys have the same goals as you. We will work on your behalf to help you achieve a fair settlement offer.
Some of the more specific services you can expect from our legal team include the following:
Handling All Accident Claim Deadlines
Many elements are time-sensitive when you file a car accident claim to recover compensation. Not only do you have to meet the state’s statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim (which is four years in Florida), but there may also be deadlines related to your (or the other driver’s) insurance policy.
If you fail to file your claim on time or with the necessary legalese, you will lose your right to file a claim. No matter who was at fault for your accident or the severity of your injury, your case will be denied in these situations. We will ensure that you meet all deadlines and maintain your right to recover compensation.
Conduct a Thorough Investigation
It is not unusual for important evidence to disappear after a car accident. Some of the evidence that may disappear includes photos from the accident scene, witness testimony, and footage from nearby security cameras.
Having eyewitness testimony can be a huge asset; however, it is not unusual for them to forget the details of the incident as more time passes. Also, the accident site and road conditions can be altered and changed. Examples include driving conditions (like the weather), or road construction may not be the same later.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies
Some victims do not realize that the insurance company is not acting in their best interest. In some situations, the insurance company will provide you with a lowball offer hoping you will accept it and sign away your rights to file a lawsuit.
Insurance companies will attempt to convince you to accept an offer before you speak to an attorney. This will be problematic when your money runs out, and you do not have enough to cover the full costs of your accident.
The Basics of an Auto Accident Claim in Daytona Beach
When you look at the process, filing a car accident claim may seem simple. However, it is not unusual for these “simple” claims to become intimidating, exhausting, and complicated.
Even simple car accident claims will include the following elements:
- Building a case to present your claim. This often involves photos of the accident scene, gathering witness testimonies, and gathering other evidence to prove what you claim.
- Acquiring bills from medical providers and estimates from car repair services to help build your case and secure a fair amount of compensation.
- Helping you get a rental vehicle and dealing with property damage caused by the accident.
- Communication with the other party who may not cooperate with the legal process.
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters who will be working to reduce your claim or deny it completely.
As a car accident victim, you are expected to handle this process while trying to recover from your injuries. This is almost impossible. That is why our legal team is here. We want to help you with the complexities of any legal situation to help you secure fair compensation.
The Importance of Acting Fast After a Car Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming. You may be unsure how to handle medical bills and what to say to insurance companies that are constantly calling you.
Doing anything besides just getting through the day may seem impossible at this point. However, you must act quickly after an accident and take the right steps to protect your rights.
As mentioned above, Florida law allows you to recoup some of the losses you experience. However, as you wait for the insurance company to investigate what happened, you still have to cover all the related costs out of your own pocket, which may cause a financial burden for you and your family.
Because of how significant the impact of a car accident can be, you need to know what to do and make sure you take the right steps as quickly as possible.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
After an accident, seek medical attention immediately. A doctor or another medical professional can evaluate you and determine what injuries you sustained. Remember, some injuries can take time to develop, so you should be checked out even if you feel fine. Also, a medical evaluation provides proof of your injuries and can be invaluable when building your case.
It is worth noting that in the state of Florida, you have just 14 days to document your injuries and get medical attention. If you do not do this within that amount of time, then your auto insurance policy will not cover your damages or injuries from your PIP benefits.
Report the Accident
You also need to report the incident to the authorities immediately. According to Florida law, you must report the incident when it happens if any of the following are true:
- The accident results in injuries or fatalities
- The accident was a hit and run
- The accident was the result of an impaired or intoxicated driver
- The value of the property damage exceeds $500
In Florida, you must file a car crash report to the DMV within just ten days of when it occurred. The exception to this is if the police are called to the scene. When the police come to a car accident, they will likely create an official report that is sent to the DMV automatically. If you did not report the accident, you should still file a report if you plan to seek compensation. Doing this sooner than later is recommended.
It is important to note that reporting the accident immediately (or as soon as possible) is important for the protection of everyone involved. Witnesses may forget what happened if you wait too long, and evidence related to the incident may disappear or be changed. For example, these issues can be fixed quickly if your accident was caused by improper signage or poor road conditions. This is another reason you should also document the incident and accident scene. The more evidence you have related to the car accident case, the more likely you will receive a fair settlement offer.
Types of Compensation You Can Receive from a Daytona Beach Car Accident
Florida law allows you to collect several types of monetary compensation to help cover the financial losses involved in a car accident. These include the following:
- Economic damages: These damages will compensate you for all the tangible losses you experience due to the car accident.
- Non-economic damages: These damages provide compensation for intangible damages like emotional suffering, pain, and mental anguish related to the car accident.
- Punitive damages: If someone’s serious negligence caused your car accident, you may receive punitive damages (these are often awarded in drunk driving cases and similar situations).
In some situations, you may have to file a property damage claim if you lost valuable property because of the car accident. An example would be if valuable items were inside your vehicle when the accident occurred. A property damage claim will help you cover the financial loss associated with your accident.
Understanding What Car Accident Damages You May be Entitled To
After a Daytona Beach car accident, you may deserve a significant amount of compensation. Most insurance companies will not give you full value for your claim as a first offer. It would be best if you had an experienced legal team to help you know the full value of your accident. This is the only way to prove liability.
Many accident victims only consider the apparent car accident-related costs, such as medical bills, lost time at work, and property damage. Also, they believe that the insurance company will cover all these damages.
If non-economic damages are not considered or factored into the settlement, then you may not receive what you truly deserve.
Being involved in a car accident means that two different claims may have to be filed. The first is an injury claim. The second type is a claim for property damage.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, we can help you file both types of claims and receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
Punitive and Compensatory Damages After a Car Accident
When considering car accident damages, you must consider both economic and non-economic costs. You might also receive punitive damages if your situation occurred because of another driver’s misconduct. It is often challenging to quantify the full extent of your car accident-related damages. However, the three types of compensation will help you handle the financial stress of an accident.
The economic damages in a car accident claim include the value of what you lost during the incident. Your actual financial loss determines the value of this. It includes lost earnings due to the inability to return to work, medical treatment costs, and vehicle repair. Your attorney will request all bills and statements related to your financial losses to determine the economic damages you are entitled to.
Additional costs may be included, too, including your cost of traveling to doctor’s appointments and getting a rental vehicle. Your attorney will also consider the compensation you deserve for future costs. This is common in more serious injuries that require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
If you are in a Daytona Beach car accident, your auto insurance company will likely cover the immediate medical costs. This is provided by PIP (personal injury protection), which covers up to 60% of your total lost wages and 80% of your accident-related medical costs. Unfortunately, PIP does not always cover all your costs, especially if you experience more serious injuries. At this point, our legal team can help you pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
You can also recover non-economic damages after a car accident. These damages cover things like your physical and emotional pain and suffering. They will also cover the substantial or permanent loss of bodily function or disfigurement caused by the accident.
Unfortunately, valuing these damages is more complex than the economic losses mentioned above. Even though no specific price tag is associated with them, they can greatly impact your overall quality of life.
When you hire our legal team, you have someone working on your behalf who understands how to value non-economic damages to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Common Questions About Daytona Beach Car Accident Cases
What do you need to do after being involved in a Daytona Beach car accident?
After a car accident, make sure you seek medical treatment and report the incident to the authorities. You should exchange information with the other driver and talk to witnesses. Document the scene the best you can and get in touch with our legal team for further assistance.
How will fault be determined in your car accident case?
Fault is determined by showing that at least one driver was negligent and that their negligence caused the incident. Legally, negligence refers to someone’s failure to use the proper level of care on the road.
What Does Florida’s No-Fault Law Mean for Your Car Accident Case?
In the state of Florida, you must turn to your own auto insurance policy for compensation first. This is true no matter who was at fault for the incident. If your costs exceed the policy limits, then you can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
What Happens if Multiple People are at Fault for the Accident?
Florida follows the pure comparative negligence statute. This means that if multiple parties are at fault for the incident, then your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
Let our experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyers help you
If you are going to ride or drive, be sure to buckle up and stay safe. But also know that when accidents strike, you have rights under the law. Get the facts, and get legal counsel that is right for your case. For helpful tips, visit “How to prepare for your Consultation with a Daytona Beach Auto Accident Lawyer”.
The Daytona Beach auto accident lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet have 40+ years of experience helping families deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Call us today at 386-255-6400 to discuss your options.