There are more vehicles on the roads today than ever before. The influx of vehicles and traffic through Jacksonville has made car accident claims some of the most common we have come through our office.
Unfortunately, even minor accidents can have serious consequences. Our experienced car accident lawyers are ready to help you pursue a claim and recover the compensation you are entitled to.
If you or someone you love was injured or have lost a family member in a car accident, we are here to help. At Zimmet & Zimmet, our experienced attorneys have decades of combined experience. We can help you understand your options and pursue justice and compensation on your behalf.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Jacksonville
Car accidents in Jacksonville are not uncommon. Many things and issues can cause them. Some of the most common causes are found here.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, encompassing a wide range of behaviors that reduce a driver’s awareness, decision-making, or performance.
Some of the most common sources of distractions behind the wheel include:
- Using a smartphone
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system
Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the task of safe driving is a distraction and can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Speeding involves driving at a speed greater than the posted speed limit or too fast for given road conditions. It is another contributing factor to traffic crashes.
If someone speeds, they will find it difficult to safely steer around curves or objects. It will also extend how long it takes to stop their car and increase the distance the vehicle goes in a dangerous situation.
High-speed collisions are often more severe, with a higher likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries due to the intense impact forces involved.
Adverse weather conditions significantly impact road safety, influencing vehicle performance and driver capability. Conditions like rain, fog, sleet, snow, ice, and wind can make driving more hazardous. Rain, the most common weather condition, can create slick, slippery road surfaces, reducing tire traction and impairing a driver’s visibility.
Fog can drastically reduce visibility, making it difficult to see other vehicles, road signs, and signals. Snow and ice can make roads treacherous, requiring careful maneuvering and increased stopping distances. Weather-related accidents often occur when drivers fail to adjust their driving to match the current road conditions.
Legal Rights After a Car Accident in Florida
In Florida, individuals involved in car accidents have specific legal rights crucial for their protection and recovery. These rights include:
Seek Medical Attention
Every party involved in a car accident has the right to receive immediate medical attention for any injuries. This is crucial, as health and safety take precedence over everything else.
File a Police Report
Individuals in car accidents also have the right to file a police report. This is a critical step in documenting the accident. This report can be vital in any subsequent legal proceedings or insurance claims.
Seek Compensation for Damages
Another vital right is the ability to seek compensation for damages. This includes physical injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other related costs. In severe injuries or negligence cases, the affected party may have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver.
However, the unique aspects of Florida’s insurance laws, specifically its no-fault system, significantly influence how compensation is pursued and obtained.
Impact of Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System
Florida’s no-fault insurance system is designed to reduce the number of lawsuits from car accidents. Under this system, each party files a claim with their insurance company after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. This means drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as part of their auto insurance policy.
PIP insurance covers medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and death benefits, irrespective of fault. However, it does not cover vehicle damage or compensate for pain and suffering.
One important aspect of this system is that it limits the right to sue the other driver. A lawsuit is typically only possible in severe cases, such as those involving permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring, or disfigurement.
Why Choose a Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer?
When dealing with the aftermath of a car accident in Jacksonville, the benefits of hiring a local lawyer are substantial. A Jacksonville car accident lawyer possesses specific knowledge of the city’s traffic laws and road conditions.
This local expertise is helpful when navigating the complexities of car accident claims. Our local attorneys understand the dynamics of Jacksonville’s roads and the common issues that lead to accidents, which can be instrumental in building a strong case.
Additionally, familiarity with the local courts, judges, and procedures ensures your case is handled efficiently and effectively. Our local lawyers can anticipate and strategically respond to the local legal environment, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Zimmet & Zimmet’s Proven Track Record
Thanks to our impressive track record, Zimmet & Zimmet stands out as a premier choice for legal representation in Jacksonville. With years of dedicated service in the area, we have developed a deep understanding of the legal landscape specific to Jacksonville. Our experience handling thousands of car accident cases in the city equips us with unique insights and strategies to help with your case.
The firm’s success is in winning cases and securing satisfactory client settlements and verdicts. We have a history of fighting for the rights of car accident victims, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
Zimmet & Zimmet’s commitment to their clients extends beyond the courtroom, providing compassionate and comprehensive support throughout the legal process. Our local expertise and client-centered approach make us an ideal choice for anyone seeking justice and compensation after a car accident in Jacksonville.
The Role of a Car Accident Lawyer
You may be entitled to compensation if you are involved in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness. Our experienced car accident attorneys are ready to learn about your situation and build a solid case.
While each car accident case is unique, we take several basic steps with each client we serve. These include:
Comprehensive Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Our experienced car accident lawyer’s role begins with thoroughly investigating the incident. This involves collecting and examining evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and surveillance footage.
Lawyers also work with experts in accident reconstruction to understand what happened. This detailed investigation is crucial in establishing liability and the extent of damages.
Negotiation with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies is a critical part of a car accident claim. We understand how to negotiate with insurance adjusters to ensure our clients receive fair compensation.
Insurance companies use various tactics to minimize payouts. We understand what these are and how to negotiate with them. We aim to negotiate a settlement covering all our client’s costs and losses related to the accident.
Litigation and Legal Representation
We are prepared to take the case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation. While most car accident cases occur outside the courtroom, we have no problem going to court if necessary. When a case proceeds to litigation, we have no problem representing our clients in court and advocating for the best possible outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
Ensure your safety first. If you can, move to a safe area and call 911. It is wise to get checked out by a doctor even when the injuries are not serious or don’t seem serious.
Document the scene by taking photos and obtaining contact information from witnesses.
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is typically four years from the accident date. However, starting the process as soon as possible is advisable for the best chance at a favorable outcome.
Will my case go to trial?
Most car accident claims are settled out of court. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may advise taking the case to trial to fight for your rightful compensation.
How much will it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?
Most car accident lawyers, including ours, work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront; the fee is a percentage of your settlement or verdict amount.
Can I still claim if the accident was partly my fault?
Yes, Florida’s comparative negligence law allows you to claim damages even if you are partially at fault. However, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Jacksonville
The steps you take after a car accident can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. To protect yourself and your right to compensation, be sure to take the steps here:
Ensure Safety and Call for Emergency Services
Immediately after an accident, your primary concern should be safety. If you can, move your vehicle to a safe spot away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. Check yourself and others for injuries.
Even if there are no apparent injuries, it’s crucial to call 911. Emergency responders will assist with injuries and secure the accident scene, ensuring further safety.
Document the Accident Scene
Once you are in a safe location and have called for help, start documenting the accident scene. Use your phone to take photos of the vehicles involved, focusing on areas of damage.
Capture wide shots of the entire scene, including street signs and traffic signals. If there are any skid marks or debris on the road, photograph these as well. These images can provide critical evidence for insurance claims and potential legal action.
Exchange Information and Gather Witness Statements
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, including names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance companies, and policy numbers. Be cautious not to discuss fault or make any admissions of guilt. If there are witnesses, politely ask for their contact information; their statements could be pivotal in clarifying the details of the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, getting a medical evaluation as soon as possible is important. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal trauma, may not show immediate symptoms. A medical professional can provide a thorough check-up and document any injuries, essential for insurance claims or legal proceedings.
Contact a Local Car Accident Lawyer
After addressing immediate safety and health concerns, contact a Jacksonville car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the complexities of Florida’s legal and insurance landscape.
They can assist in handling insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, pursuing legal action to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries.
Zimmet & Zimmet Car Accident Lawyers Can Help with Your Claim
Understanding your rights and the legal process following a car accident in Jacksonville is essential.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Jacksonville, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal assistance. Contact Zimmet & Zimmet for a consultation.
With our expertise in local laws and a commitment to our clients, they are well-equipped to guide you through this challenging time and help you secure the compensation you deserve. Your road to recovery and justice starts with a call to Zimmet & Zimmet.