All motor vehicle accidents can have a profound personal impact on both the driver and the families involved. Until it happens, most people do not realize the magnitude of the physical, financial, emotional, and collateral damages caused by an automobile accident. Our team of professionals stands ready to help our neighbors in Boca Raton face the difficulties of recovery and pursue fair and just compensation. Collectively, the Boca Raton car accident lawyers at The Shiner Law hold local state and national awards. If you or a family member are facing the aftermath of a car accident in Boca Raton we want you to know you are not alone.
Were You Injured In A Car Accident In Boca Raton?
The need for a Boca Raton car accident lawyer has never been greater. Florida is one of the most populous states and consistently ranks with the highest number of car accidents. In addition, one CNBC study found that five of the fifteen most dangerous cities for driving were in Florida. The enormous number of motor vehicles that travel Florida’s streets translates into congestion and significant traffic hazards.
As a result, the National Safety Council reports that in 2018 an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives in car crashes, 14% increase than 4 years prior. Florida had the third largest rise in traffic deaths in the nation at a spike of 5.8%. Negligent drivers, improperly maintained vehicles, and a variety of other factors cause car accidents in Boca Raton each day.
Table of Contents
1. Car Accident Statistics
2. Types Of Auto Accidents
3. Causes of Boca Raton Auto Accidents
4. Proving Negligence For a Car Accident in Boca Raton
5. Pursuing Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
6. Car Accident Statute of Limitations
7. Personal Injury Protection Insurance
8. Dealing With Insurance Adjusters
9. The Physical Consequences Of Auto Accidents
10. The Financial Impact Of Auto Accidents
11. The Emotional Cost Of Auto Accidents
12. Collateral Damages Following An Auto Accident
13. Hiring A Boca Raton Auto Accident Attorney
14. Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney Frequently Asked Questions
Car Accident Statistics
This year The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, in collaboration with The Highway Loss Data Institute, (IIHS) (HLDI) published data showing motor vehicle fatality facts placing Florida in the top three states for motor vehicle fatalities. While the statistics are frightening, they are in and of themselves are not standalone indicators of the dangerous driving we see on our roadways. The economic impact of all automobile accidents in our country is staggering. Understanding the causes and effects of motor vehicle collisions is an important first step in keeping driving safer for all of us.
Types Of Auto Accidents
- A Head-On collision is possible when a driver travels in the wrong direction or crosses over into an oncoming lane of traffic
- Side Impact or T-bone accidents are often caused when one vehicle turns left in front of a car traveling straight or running a stop sign or red light.
- Rollover accidents, although uncommon, account for a large percentage of catastrophic physical injuries
- Rear-End accidents occur when one vehicle hits the car in front of it. Usually, the result of a distracted driver or one who is following too closely.
Litigation of a motor vehicle accident cannot be effectively pursued based on a standardized one-size fits all approach. Our auto accident lawyers have experience handling a broad range of types of car accidents and have specialized knowledge to build the most compelling auto accident legal claim.
Causes of Boca Raton Auto Accidents
Reckless Driving And Speeding
Drivers who knowingly fail to take into consideration the safety of others may be found guilty of reckless driving. This type of behavior may include:
- Improper or excessive lane changing
- Failure to use directional signals
- Traveling on the side of the road
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Driving an unsafe car
Speeding is reckless, and speeding is a major contributory factor in car accidents, not only in Boca Raton but across the nation. The speed of a moving vehicle plays a significant part in the force of impact. Generally speaking, the greater the impact the more serious the injuries will be.
With data curated from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the National Hwy Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), and the Department Of Transportation (DOT), last year the Zebra reported more than 25% of all traffic-related deaths are the result of alcohol impairment and approximately 800 people are injured each day in a drunk driving crash.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in:
- Problems with depth perception
- Restricted peripheral vision
- Impaired reasoning and poor judgment
- Slowing of reflexes and reduced reaction time
There is a plethora of legal prescription and over the counter medications that can also result in an impaired driver Including:
- Seasonal allergies medicines
- Pain relievers
- Weight loss supplements
- Sleeping pills
This past November the National Sleep Foundation held Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to emphasize the destruction caused by drivers who are too tired to be behind the wheel.
“According to the National Sleep Foundation, about half of U.S. adult drivers admit to consistently getting behind the wheel of a car while feeling drowsy.” (National Safety Council)
Driving drowsy has an effect on reaction time, coordination, and decision-making. Falling asleep at the wheel, even for a moment, can cause the vehicle to drift off the roadway or into the path of an oncoming car.
Driving safely requires visual acuity, manual dexterity, and mental focus. When a driver takes their hands off the wheel, or their eyes off the road, even for a minute, they are distracted. If the operator of a motor vehicle is mentally focused on a personal problem, he or she is distracted. If the noise level in a car is too high it is likely the driver is distracted.
Road Rage And Aggressive Driving
Anyone who has driven on our highways has probably been affected by someone’s road rage and aggression. The best way to avoid being involved in a road rage incident is to recognize the signs and avoid those situations entirely. If you find yourself in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation:
- Keep calm and keep your own temper in check
- Move over if needed and let the angry driver have the lane
- Be courteous at all times and avoid retaliation with gestures o honking the horn
- Keep a safe distance from anyone showing signs of aggressive driving
Preexisting medical conditions may be a contributing factor when determining fault in a car accident. For example:
- Visual impairment
- Cardiovascular disease
- Reaction to medication
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Sudden medical emergencies, such as a heart attack, syncope, nosebleed, or a stroke are also possible causes of auto accidents.
Environmental And Infrastructure Issues
Given the ever-changing weather conditions in Boca Raton such as torrential rain, thunderstorms, and high winds, crashes are probable when a driver is traveling too fast for road conditions or loses control of the vehicle. Other contributory factors include:
- Construction projects
- Debris in the roadways
- Narrow lanes
- Hazardous road designs
- Insufficient maintenance
- Lack of or broken guardrails
- Obstructed intersections
- Lack of warning signs
Some examples of automobile defects responsible for accidents and injury include:
- Gas tanks
- Steering wheels
- Faulty airbags
- Defective tires
Being Unfamiliar With The Area
Travelers are prone to wrong-way accidents and distracted driving while trying to capture photos or find directions using a GPS.
Driver Assistance Technology
Automatic safety systems, designed to reduce vehicle accidents and property damage may actually be confusing, and distracting for older drivers. The problems associated with assistive technology may well outweigh the societal benefits. Without sufficient understanding and training of such features as automatic braking, lane departure, and collision warning there is a high probability of accidents.
Proving Negligence For a Car Accident in Boca Raton
- The other driver had an obligation to safely operate a safe vehicle
- This responsibility was ignored
- The breach of responsibility caused the accident
- The incident caused a verifiable injury or loss
Pursuing Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
If a vehicle occupant is involved in an auto accident, he or she might suffer permanent debilitating injuries or wrongful death. Especially relevant, some of the most common injuries that afflict those involved in car accident include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Severe whiplash injuries
- Brain damage (traumatic brain injuries)
- Spinal cord injuries causing paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Serious burn injuries
- Compound fractures and broken bones
- Injuries involving internal organs
- Dislocations and joint injuries
- Wrongful death
Car Accident Statute of Limitations
The Florida statute of limitations allows for a specific and limited time frame to seek compensation for damages following an automobile accident. Dealing with Florida’s legal system is an arduous task. An experienced Boca Raton auto accident attorney gives you the best possible opportunity to recover just compensation. Have a thorough medical evaluation immediately following the accident and keep a record of all scheduled appointments.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection insurance is mandated in Boca Raton, FL. It is a means by which those injured in a motor vehicle accident can pay for the cost of any needed treatment without having to wait until a case is settled.
Dealing With Insurance Adjusters
Insurance claims adjusters are paid to keep the costs of automobile accidents to a minimum. Their business tactics are self-serving, and their main focus is to undervalue, or even deny, a claim for damages. Make no mistake, they are very good at what they do, but so is an experienced Boca Raton auto accident lawyer. Do not speak to an insurance representative for the other side until you have consulted with an attorney. It is not uncommon for the suspected negligent driver’s carrier to send a representative to the accident scene to take advantage of the other driver’s vulnerability. They may feign concern by asking if you are ok. Now is the time to remain silent. Remember these words, “Anything you say may be used against you.”
Other tactics commonly used by insurance carriers include:
- Offering a low-ball quick settlement
- Failing to conduct a timely investigation
- Delaying communication
- Attempt to disprove injury
- Attempting to shift all or part of the blame to the plaintive
- Adjusters may look at your social media posts to find anything that can be used against you
The Physical Consequences Of Auto Accidents
All physical injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents should be considered serious. Even those injuries that may at first appear to be simple and self-limiting have the potential to become serious and ongoing. Lacerations and broken bones often lead to infections that may take months to fully resolve. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, physical injury can be considered catastrophic and may even result in death.
According to 2020 statistics released by the National Spinal Cord Injury Center, 17,810 Americans suffer a spinal cord injury each year with vehicle crashes being the most recent leading cause. Not all injuries are detectable immediately following a car accident. It is possible for symptoms to occur weeks after the initial impact.
Traumatic injuries usually require immediate medical attention. It is important to remember, following a car accident, multiple body parts can be injured, and not all injuries will be obvious immediately. It is not uncommon for new symptoms to arise days, even weeks later. Some of the more common injuries seen after a motor vehicle accident include:
The Financial Impact Of Auto Accidents
Nationally, the collective costs of auto accidents are huge. According to the National Safety Council in 2019 the annual cost was $1,097.9 Billion. For the average family being involved in a motor vehicle accident can mean:
- Lost wages
- Property Damage
- Current and future medical expenses
The Emotional Cost Of Auto Accidents
Psychological injuries after being involved in a car accident are real and should never be discounted. Unlike the physical effects of an auto accident, psychological trauma is most definitely subjective. A combination of pain and fear can cause:
- Flashbacks, nightmares, post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety and mood swings
- Personality changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Feeling embarrassed
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
It is important to address these symptoms. Seek help from a mental health provider and keep a journal that documents each visit.
Avoidable Boca Raton Auto Accident Injuries
Many people are involved in auto accidents that are completely avoidable if drivers simply focus on their driving. Yet, when motorists leave home they might not realize the extent to which preventable forms of negligent driving cause serious injury or wrongful death. A wide variety of preventable driving practices cause many auto accidents, such as:
- Drunk driving
- Not allowing enough following distance or (tailgating)
- Driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or illegal narcotics
- Using a cell phone to talk and text while driving
- Exceeding the speed limit or failing to adjust one’s speed for traffic or weather conditions
- Red light and stop sign running
- Driving distractions (e.g. grooming, eating, drinking, reaching for an object, adjusting radio, etc.)
- Drag racing or other forms of reckless driving
- Aggressive driving practices
- Failure to yield or observe right of way laws
Collateral Damages Following An Auto Accident
There are many loose ends that begin to unravel following involvement in a car accident. Many families are not prepared to face things like:
- Being unable to return to a chosen profession
- Bankruptcy or foreclosure
- Permanent lifestyle changes
- Loss of professional relationships
- Damage to credit rating
- Higher insurance rates
- Loss of normalcy
Hiring A Boca Raton Auto Accident Attorney
When you suffer this sort of serious injury, it can mean extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. This can also mean long periods of disability from employment, and even permanent inability to engage in gainful employment or to provide for the needs of you and your family. Therefore, we understand when you suffer serious injuries in a collision, you may face monumental challenges as you try to recover and get back to your pre-injury life.
If you were in a car accident in Boca Raton or an auto accident in Florida, it is important to call leading Boca Raton personal injury attorney David Shiner. Our attorneys are committed to aggressively pursuing the maximum compensation for your accident claim. We may be able to help you obtain a broad range of damages, including compensation for some or all of the following:
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Property damage (i.e. vehicle replacement or repair)
- Loss of consortium (i.e. services/companionship of a spouse)
- Funeral/burial expenses (wrongful death)
- Punitive damages to punish particularly reckless behavior
Speaking to a Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
David Shiner is an experienced Trial Lawyer who has represented accident victims for many years. At Shiner Law Group, our experienced Boca Raton car accident attorneys provide a thorough investigation of the facts, knowledge, innovative strategies, effective negotiation, and persuasive advocacy. We are committed to helping victims recover the compensation they need to move past their car accident, so call us 24/7 at 561-368-3363 or online for a free case review to see how we can help.
Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney Frequently Asked Questions
After a car accident in Boca Raton, victims are often faced with many questions with legal importance about whether or not and how they can recover compensation. Whether you suffered an accident at the Glades Road and State Road 7 intersection—one of the most dangerous intersections in Palm Beach County—or you suffered an accident while coming home late in the evening, you could sustain serious injuries and impacts that pose huge financial consequences.
Take a look at the FAQs below to learn more about the compensation you can recover after a Boca Raton car accident, how liability works in Florida car accidents, and more. Have specific questions about your legal rights in your car accident case? Contact Shiner Law Group to learn more about your right to compensation.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Boca Raton Car Accident?
you have been involved in a car accident, you need to report the incident to a police officer. Ask for an auto accident report in case of serious injuries. The testimonies of witnesses prove invaluable in determining guilt regarding a car accident lawsuit. So, you should note down the name and contact details of any witnesses present at the scene of the accident.
You should also request medical help after an accident. Even if you feel fine after sustaining injuries, you should get a medical checkup. This is important since many injuries take time to become visible. The doctor’s report will serve as an official proof about the extent of injuries sustained due to the injury.
Do I Need to Contact Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer?
While you can file a car accident lawsuit yourself, you will have a better chance of obtaining compensation if you hire a professional car accident lawyer. An experienced attorney will make a thorough investigation to determine guilt of the at-fault driver. The attorney will also help you meet legal formalities in filing a car against case in Florida. The expert legal help will help increase the chances of a successful outcome of car injury lawsuit.
When Should I Contact a Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer?
You should contact an accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident. The sooner you hire a professional auto accident attorney, the better are the chances of a positive outcome of a car accident case.
Make sure that you contact an accident lawyer to file a lawsuit within the time specified in the Florida Statute of Limitation. As per Florida law, you can file a case within four years of the accident. You cannot claim compensation after the expiry of the time period mentioned in the Statute.
How can I determine who caused my Boca Raton car accident?
Often, Boca Raton car accident victims can readily determine who caused the accident. A car accident often brings the vehicles involved to a stop, allowing victims to identify the other driver who plowed through an intersection, drove while inebriated, or had their head down looking at his phone while driving instead of paying attention to the road.
Sometimes, however, you may not know exactly what led to the accident that caused your injuries, especially in a multi-car accident, or where fault for the accident wasn’t as straightforward as the driver’s negligence, such as in cases where a mechanic had performed faulty repairs, or where the car suffered from a manufacturing defect. In most cases, though, it’s simply a matter of another driver’s negligence that led to the accident. The police report will often indicate who caused the accident which can be important evidence of liability in bringing a claim later on.
In some cases, more than one person or entity may bear liability for your auto accident. Suppose, for example, that you suffer injuries in an accident with a pizza delivery or commercial truck driver. The driver’s employer may share liability with the driver for the accident.
Regardless of whether you think you know who caused your accident, you should always consult with an attorney to determine fault. An experienced Boca Raton car accident attorney can help review your claim and determine all parties that may potentially share liability for the accident. An attorney can help investigate all the details of the accident, from the conduct of the other driver, to a driver’s company, to a vehicle’s make and maintenance history. By working with an attorney, you can often get a much better idea of all factors that may have contributed to the accident, making it easier to identify all potentially liable parties and recover as much compensation as possible.
What should I do about my medical bills after a Boca Raton car accident?
After a Boca Raton car accident, you should assume that you will need to take care of your medical bills before you can recover compensation from any lawsuit you may bring. You will need to make payment arrangements, from using your own health insurance to finding ways to cover expenses your insurance will not.
In Florida, you will start by using your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover any immediate medical expenses. In general, PIP coverage will cover 80 percent of your immediate medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages, up to the maximum amount of your coverage.
In many cases, however, the cost of your injuries will exceed the coverage offered by your PIP plan. Spinal cord injuries, for example, may leave you with up to $1 million in medical costs in the first year alone, depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life. Traumatic brain injury can also leave you with immense medical costs, especially if you require in-home care.
Your health insurance can provide vital coverage and assistance in dealing with the costs associated with the medical care you need after a serious accident. Contact your health insurance provider to learn more about what coverage you have, including the coverage your medical insurance provider will offer for specific elements of care that you know you will need.
When do I have the right to file a claim after a Boca Raton car accident?
In general, you have the right to file a car accident claim in Boca Raton if the accident was caused fully or in part by someone else’s wrongdoing, you suffered serious injuries, and the cost of treating your injuries exceeds the coverage offered by your PIP insurance. Florida’s no-fault law provides that a driver’s own PIP insurance is to be the primary source of coverage for immediate medical costs.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury in the accident, however, your medical costs will likely quickly exceed the coverage offered by your PIP insurance, especially if you only have the minimum coverage limit of $10,000. When your expenses exceed what your PIP will cover, you should contact an attorney and discuss filing a claim to help cover the rest of your medical expenses and impacts.
Why should I work with Shiner Law Group to handle my Boca Raton car accident claim?
At Shiner Law Group, we believe all our clients should have someone they trust on their side when handling the difficult aftermath of a catastrophic accident. We want to hear your full story so we can serve your best interests and provide the high level of support and counsel you need to get through your claim while dealing with all the other fallout that typically follows a car accident. We have extensive experience in handling a wide range of claims, including car accident claims, in the Boca Raton area.
Having a Shiner Law Group car accident attorney on your side as you manage the claim process can prove incredibly valuable. An attorney from our team can help you determine the full compensation you deserve, investigate all the elements of the accident, represent you against insurance companies and in court, and more.
What tactics do insurance companies use to try to minimize the compensation they pay out?
After a Boca Raton car accident, you may have serious injuries that result in immense medical expenses, all of which can leave you struggling after your accident. Ideally, insurance companies would immediately pay out the compensation you deserve for those injuries, allowing you to pay off your medical expenses and rebuild your life following your injuries.
Unfortunately, instead, many insurance companies deploy a variety of tactics to reduce the amount they have to pay out, which can leave you struggling more than you should to get the compensation you deserve.
An insurance company may try to:
- Get you to accept a low settlement offer (and pressure you to settle fast). Often, insurance companies will contact car accident victims soon after the accident, before victims have a chance to determine the extent of their injuries and what their life may look like following the accident. You may have no idea what your medical bills will look like yet or even how much compensation your PIP insurance will offer. Nevertheless, an insurance company may throw out a settlement offer and try to convince you to accept it fast, before you have a chance to evaluate the extent of your bills or talk to an attorney. In many cases, that offer does not reflect the compensation you really deserve—and accepting it will only serve to prevent you from getting the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
- Pin blame on you for the accident. Proving fault in a car accident can prove difficult, especially if no other witness can come forward to back up your account of how the accident occurred. The insurance company may attempt to claim that you, not their insured, caused the accident. That may mean that you need an expert witness to help recreate the scene of the accident to determine who caused it, especially if you have no video footage of the accident. An attorney can also help establish the events that led up to the accident and how they impacted it.
- Prove that your injuries are not as severe as you originally said. The liable party’s insurance company may try to discount your injuries. Your initial medical costs, since you have a record of what you paid, can prove difficult to contest. Your long-term limitations and potential prognosis, on the other hand, can prove much more difficult to establish. You may, for example, claim that your injuries prevent you from engaging in many of your normal activities or from going back to work. Back and neck injuries can cause immense pain and make it very difficult for you to stand, sit, or take care of any lifting activities at work. Traumatic brain injury may have long-term implications for your personal life, including your social life, as well as your ability to work. The insurance company, however, may try to establish that those issues do not limit you as much as you claim, which would mean that the insurance company might owe less for your injuries.
Regardless of what tactics the insurance company tries to use, having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can make all the difference. At Shiner Law Group, we zealously represent our clients to ensure that they receive the maximum compensation they deserve.
How much compensation do I deserve for a Boca Raton car accident?
Each Boca Raton car accident claim is unique, and the compensation you can receive for your injuries will vary depending on the facts of the accident. Most drivers, for example, carry only minimum liability insurance in the event of a crash, which means that you may receive less compensation from the other driver’s insurer. If you have an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver or a commercial trucker, on the other hand, you may receive a higher level of compensation for your injuries.
Talk to the experienced car accident attorneys at Shiner Law Group as soon as possible to get an idea of what compensation you should expect for your injuries.
In general, compensation breaks down into several key categories.
- Compensation for medical expenses. Medical bills frequently form the base of any car accident claim. Immense medical bills are a routine part of the immediate aftermath of a car accident, especially if you have severe injuries. Keep track of all medical bills related to your accident, from the immediate cost of emergency medical treatment to the cost of long-term care, such as physical therapy, so that you can clearly establish the financial cost you have paid.
- Compensation for lost wages. You may lose considerable income while recovering from a car accident. Many employers do not want their employees to come back to work immediately after the accident, especially if they have serious limitations or liability issues—and in many cases, your injuries may prevent you from working altogether. You can claim compensation for those lost wages as part of your car accident claim.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. In addition to your concrete expenses, you may seek compensation for the pain and suffering you faced because of your injuries. Consult an attorney to learn more about your right to compensation for your pain and suffering.
Will I have to go to court to settle my Boca Raton car accident claim?
Most of the time, you will not have to go to court to settle a car accident claim in Boca Raton. However, in some cases, especially if the liable party’s insurance company is reluctant or refuses to offer you a fair settlement, you may have to go to court to claim the compensation you deserve. If you do have to go to court, having an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side can prove vital in presenting your claim and establishing your right to compensation.
How Can I Find the Best Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney Near Me?
You must read online reviews about a car accident lawyer before contacting one to represent you in the court. The attorney you should select must have received generally positive reviews from customers. In addition, you should consider having an initial meeting with the lawyer before hiring. This will help you gauge professional competency and experience of the lawyer in fighting car accident injury cases.