Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
The automobile may be one of the most useful inventions of the 19th century, but its ubiquity has unfortunately made it one of the most deadly, too. Indeed, car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death throughout the nation, and Tampa is no exception. If you have been involved in a crash caused by the fault of another party, you may have a claim for damages. Our Tampa auto accident lawyers at the office of Trombley & Hanes can help. Reach out to us directly today for your consultation.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Auto accidents are almost always preventable and are the result of the negligence or wrongdoing of one of the parties involved. Common causes of auto accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Performing illegal maneuvers
- Aggressive driving
While driver negligence is the most common cause of auto accidents, car crashes can also happen as a result of dangerous road conditions or vehicle defects.
Auto Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries
When an auto accident occurs, it can leave those involved seriously injured, particularly when the crash happens at high speeds. Common injuries in a crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck, and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Bruises and lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
Injuries are painful, disabling, and expensive to treat. A person who is harmed in a car accident may suffer both economic and noneconomic losses, including medical expenses, property damage expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
State law provides for a right to recover for personal injury and damage to property caused by the negligent operation of a motor vehicle. A vehicle operator who starts a chain of events may be held responsible for a misfortunes which are the result of the negligent conduct, even where there may be an intervening cause. Negligence generally means failing to follow the law of the road. The mere occurrence of an accident does not automatically give rise to liability without evidence of negligence. But, even where recovery is not available from another driver because of a lack of negligence or one’s own fault, one may be able to recover some benefits from one’s own insurance carrier. It is necessary to seek medical evaluation and treatment within fourteen days of an accident or you will waive entitlement to compensation.
Punitive damages are not normally recoverable in negligence actions. However, a defendant may be held liable for punitive damages if the plaintiff establishes at trial, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Fla. Stat. § 768.72(2). Intentional misconduct means that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness of the conduct and the high probability that injury or damage to the claimant would result, and, despite that knowledge, intentionally pursued that course of conduct, resulting in injury or damage. Fla. Stat. § 768.72(a). Gross negligence means the defendant’s conduct was so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of persons exposed to such conduct. Fla. Stat. § 768.72(b).
Liability for a Car Crash in Tampa
Florida is a no-fault car accident state. This means that after an accident, each driver involved in a crash will file a claim for damages against their own insurance policy’s personal injury protection coverage, regardless of fault. In the event that the claimant’s injuries meet the serious injury threshold in Florida—found in the 2021 Florida Statutes Section 627.737—then the injured party can step outside of the no-fault system and file a claim for damages against the other driver/the other driver’s insurance.
Statute of Limitations in Auto Accident Claims
All personal injury claims are governed by a statute of limitations—a legal limit on how much time can pass before the right of a plaintiff to file a lawsuit is forfeited. The car accident statute of limitations in Florida is four years from the date of the cause of action.
Take Action to File Your Claim Today – Reach out to Our Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident, you deserve to be compensated in full for your harm. Our lawyers can investigate your case, build your claim, file a demand letter, negotiate your settlement, and even represent you in litigation. To learn more about our Tampa auto accident lawyers and your options after a crash, call us directly or send us a message online to schedule your free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis.