Were you involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach?
Car accidents are very common in West Palm Beach. If you or someone you know was injured in an auto accident in West Palm Beach, you should hire the best West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to help you understand your legal rights and litigate a full and fair settlement. West Palm Beach personal injury attorney David Shiner and his top-rated injury lawyers represent crash victims who suffer from injuries as a result of a negligent person’s actions.
If you have been injured, call our personal injury firm at 561-777-7700 for a free consultation. Our attorneys can help with finding treatment, collecting medical records and bills, and other vital information to support your personal injury claim.
Table of Contents
2. Distracted West Palm Beach Auto Accidents
3. Car Accident Case In West Palm Beach
4. West Palm Beach Car Accidents at Intersections
5. I-95 Car Accidents in West Palm Beach
6. 8 Questions to Ask A West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
7. Consequences of Not Hiring A West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney
8. Speaking With A West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
Causes Of West Palm Beach Car Accidents
Distracted driving at high traffic intersections causes more serious injuries than previously reported. According to local statistics, the most dangerous road intersections are located at Military Trail and 45th Street, Okeechobee Boulevard and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Okeechobee Road and the Turnpike, and throughout Jog Road and other highly trafficked areas in West Palm Beach.
As you might think, the combination of congested areas and distracted driving causes a significant amount of car wrecks. These wrecks leave people injured, out of work, with increasing medical bills, and other damages.
Distracted West Palm Beach Auto Accidents
Florida law is relatively permissive when it comes to distracted driving and cell phone limitations. Cell phone laws fall into the broad categories of primary laws and secondary laws. In primary law states, law enforcement can issue a ticket for using a cell phone.
By contrast, law enforcement officers in secondary jurisdictions like Florida must have an independent basis for stopping a motorist. This could be speeding or failing to stop. Further, motorists are permitted to talk on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle in West Palm Beach and elsewhere around the state.
In our law firm, we encounter situations where distracted drivers cause not only auto accidents but their actions result in pedestrian injuries, bicycle accidents, and even can cause wrongful death cases.
Car Accident Case In West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach, FL residents do not even benefit from this level of protection from distracted drivers. This state’s texting law is among the weakest in the nation:
“A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols. Or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device. For the purpose of nonverbal interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods. Known as texting, emailing and instant messaging.”
Texting behind the wheel has been referred to as the “new drunk driving” because of the impact of this form of distracted driving. Studies have found that driving skills exhibited by texting drivers is as severe or even more dramatic than intoxication. A survey by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found that texting motorists are more dangerous than alcohol-impaired drivers.
The researchers determined that texting drivers have slower reaction times by 35 percent. Drunk driver reaction times were only impaired twelve percent. Drivers under the influence of marijuana exhibited reaction times 21 percent slower than normal.
West Palm Beach Car Accidents at Intersections
Intersections constitute one of the most prevalent locations for collisions involving distracted drivers. Motorist engaged in texting on a cell phone in violation of Florida’s texting and driving laws experience distraction on three separate levels: mental distraction, visual distraction, and manual distraction. Motorists texting have their eyes diverted while their mind is occupied with understanding the information.
This type of multi-level distraction creates a high risk of crashes at intersections. A vehicle can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to compose a text message. Due to this drivers should never engage in this type of activity, especially near intersections.
The car accident attorneys at the Shiner Law Group have been representing injured victims of car wrecks for over 15 years. Our trial lawyers have handled different types of automobile accidents that have occurred throughout Florida and Palm Beach County.
I-95 Car Accidents in West Palm Beach
What is interesting is that recently, the West Palm Beach accident attorneys at Shiner Law Group have received a higher volume of calls from injured individuals who were hurt in accidents in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas. Specifically, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers have observed an increase in car crashes near I-95 and Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach, the Florida Turnpike and along Federal Highway.
What’s more, in our legal opinion, there has been an increase of rear-end accidents and “t-bone” accidents near the Florida Turnpike or City Place and the nearby streets such as Flagler Drive in Palm Beach County — our experienced trial lawyers conclude that this may be a direct link to drinking and driving or distracted driving.
Of course, it has been proven that drinking and driving (DUI or DWI) can cause more serious injuries such as spine injuries, back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, and even death.
8 Questions to Ask A West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
1. Should I speak to the other insurance company?
One of the common questions people ask of our law firm after a car accident is whether they should speak with the insurance company directly. In our experience, it is always preferable that you allow your lawyer (or representative) speak with the insurance company on your behalf. Car insurance companies hire people who know how to ask questions in order to elicit information that may end up being harmful to your claim. If you haven’t already spoken with the insurance company, it is advisable that you call an auto accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
2. How soon after a car accident should I hire a lawyer?
After a car accident you should immediately start looking to hire a qualified lawyer to represent you. Accident happen throughout Florida and right here in Palm Beach County we have one of the highest number of accidents on the road throughout the entire state. In most cases, after a car crash, you will be sore or hurt which will make dealing with the aftermath of the accident difficult. In most cases, the law firm you decide to hire will assist you in dealing with car repairs, doctor referrals, medical bills, etc. Thus, it becomes important to hire the best West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to help you navigate the insurance claim process.
3. What do I do if I was hurt in a car accident in Florida?
You should know your basic rights under the law. The first question that you should ask is, how bad was the traffic accident? If the accident was significant and you were hurt then you should immediately seek medical attention. Frankly, whether the accident was severe or minimal, it is always advisable to seek proper medical care after any type of accident or injury. Medical documentation will significantly assist your West Palm Beach car accident attorney in seeking to obtain the best financial recovery.
4. What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
One of the important benefits under Florida law is PIP insurance. Every private car in Florida is required to have a special insurance that is called personal injury protection insurance or PIP for short. Personal injury protection insurance will pay for and covers the following list of items under Florida law:
- PIP will pay for 80% of your reasonable, necessary, and related medical bills. These types of medical bills include orthopedic doctors, hospitals, surgery, prescription costs, dental expenses, etc.
- Personal injury protection coverage will also apply to any lost wages. If you are able to establish any lost wages then PIP will cover 60% of those lost wages.
- There is also a $5,000.00, death benefit that applies which is in addition to the other costs PIP is responsible for.
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from your doctors.
5. What should I tell the police?
Florida law encourages you to be honest and open with the police when they show up to the scene of the auto wreck. There is an “accident report privilege” that will apply to anything you discuss with the police officer at the scene of the accident. The purpose behind this law is to allow the police and investigators to secure as much information as possible in order to complete their accident report.
6. What do car accident lawyers charge as Fees?
Car accident attorneys in west palm beach are limited by law as to how much money they can charge someone to work on their case. As a matter of fact, all car accident law firms in Florida are limited as to the maximum they can charge by law if they charge based on a contingency basis. Generally, the Florida Bar limits the amount a lawyer can charge to 33 ⅓ % of any recovery up to 1 million dollars before a lawsuit is filed. After a lawsuit is filed, a lawyer can charge 40% of the gross recovery whether that occur from settlement or trial. If you have questions about how much money you should be charged after an accident contact the lawyers at the Shiner Law Group to discuss your questions during a fee no cost consultation.
7. How much time do I have to file a car accident lawsuit? What are the Statute of Limitations in Florida?
Florida law limits the time period you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. Specifically, the Florida statute of limitations are cover by Florida statute section 95.11 (2018).
Generally you will have four (4) years after an automobile accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file that legal action before the statute of limitations expires then you will be forever barred from bringing a claim for your injuries. This is just one more reason that it is important to hire a local West Palm Beach car accident law firm to best protect your financial interests.
8. How many car accident cases has the attorney’s office handled?
The lawyers at Shiner Law Group have represented thousands of people who have been hurt to no fault of theirs. The professionals in our auto accident law firm have specialized skills and knowledge to give you, our client, the best chance of winning the most amount of money for your case. Our law firm’s reputation is important to us and we strive to make sure that we receive the highest reviews for top rated car accident attorneys in West Palm Beach and throughout Florida. If you need to speak with a lawyer immediately because you think you may have a case, then call our group of professionals now for a free case consultation.
Consequences of Not Hiring A West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney
Whether to hire a lawyer or not is the first question that comes to the mind of a victim after a car accident. Some people hire car accident lawyers to fight their case, while others don’t hire them for different reasons. The top reason for not hiring an attorney for legal representation is the expenses that come with it. Most individuals aren’t ready to bear additional expenses while they are already struggling with medical and financial expenses.
Just focusing on the legal costs and overlooking the plethora of benefits of hiring car accident lawyers in west Palm Beach is a myopic approach. In fact, this approach can actually put them in deeper financial problems than you already are in. Wondering how?
1. May Not Get the Compensation that You Deserve
Although the law gives you the right to seek compensation for your losses (if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence), the amount you will get depends on how you fight and pursue your case. Without any legal experience, knowledge and skills, you may not be able to factor in the value of compensation that you are entitled to receive or build a solid case with crucial evidence to support the amount in compensation that you desire.
2. Have to Settle for a Low Ball Offer
After the accident, you are likely to be approached by an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster will use all kinds of stealthy tactics to limit their liability and present you with a low ball offer. Furthermore, they will convince you into believing that it is best to settle the case; otherwise you may not even get the offer that they are presenting you with.
In some scenarios, you may not even get an offer and your claim may be denied completely as the insurance adjuster may manipulate and use your statements against you.
However, if you have a lawyer by your side, they can negotiate aggressively with the insurance adjuster to make sure that your rights are protected and that you get a fair settlement for the injuries and losses incurred.
3. Go through a Stressful Legal Experience
The legal formalities involved in pursuing a car accident case are too many. Without a seasoned lawyer, navigating the legal process can become complicated. Furthermore, evidence collection, filing of paperwork and fighting your case on your own can make your journey extremely stressful in every possible way—mentally, emotionally and physically.
But with car accident lawyers, you don’t have to go through all that stress. That’s right; once you hire a lawyer, you can focus on getting better while they manage all aspects of your case, from start to finish, ensuring that you enjoy a stress-free legal experience.
So, if you have been in a car accident, it is advisable that you hire a lawyer. At Shiner Law Group, we offer legal representation to car accident victims on a contingency basis. This means that you will only have to pay us after you get compensated. We will not charge you a dime before you get your compensation. For a free case evaluation and initial consultation, contact us today.
How a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
With years’ experience representing personal injury victims and their families in West Palm Beach, Florida, our law office has a proven results-driven approach to overcoming insurance companies’ tactics and getting you the most money our clients deserve. Did you search for a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer near me, if so, look no further – at the Shiner Law Group our experienced trial attorneys know how to handle your personal injury case.
At the Shiner Law Group our car accident attorneys will provide a free consultation to discuss your case with you and will spend the time you deserve to answer your questions related to your accident. Our clients have told us that when they searched for a car accident lawyer the law firm of Shiner Law Group is at the top of the list and our attorneys want to keep up our reputation.
Speaking With A West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
If you or a loved one is hurt and are searching for an injury using the term lawyer near me, and you found our law firm, then you are like several of our clients – all Now. Call a West Palm Beach injury law firm now to discuss your issues immediately and ask to speak with David Shiner today. Give Shiner Law Group a call today!
Have you or someone you love been injured because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another? Call us at (561) 777-7700 or contact us online for a free case review.
Traffic accidents are a major source of injury in Palm Beach County, with more than 22,000 crashes a year resulting in more than 12,000 injuries and more than 150 fatalities, according to data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department. If a car accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions injured you, you may feel overwhelmed by the expenses of your injury and how it has affected your ability to work and to live as you did before your accident.
An experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help you understand the process of obtaining compensation after a West Palm Beach car accident. Below are answers to the questions we frequently hear about regarding West Palm Beach car accidents. For answers to questions about your specific case, be sure to contact Shiner Law Group today for a free case evaluation with one of our car accident attorneys.
How Can a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Help Me After an Accident?
Hiring the services of the auto accident lawyer will greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome of a car accident case. A car accident attorney will guide you meet the court requirements. Moreover, the attorney will gather the required evidence, interview the witnesses, and assess the damage caused by the accident.
With the help of a professional attorney, you will be able to prove the guilt of the at-fault driver beyond any reasonable doubt. The attorney will make sure that you get the highest possible compensation amount that eases the financial burden due to car accident injuries.
When Should I Contact a West Palm Beach Auto Accident Lawyer?
You should contact an experienced vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. Consider hiring a lawyer right after the accident to increase the chances of a successful car accident claim. Make sure that you hire the lawyer before the time period mentioned in the Florida Statute of Limitation. According to the Florida Statute of Limitation, you can file a lawsuit four years after the accident. Not contacting a vehicle accident attorney before the specified time period will prevent you from getting compensation from the guilty party.
How Can I Find a Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
Make sure that you contact a local car accident lawyer. Find out whether the attorney will handle the case personally or assign it to an associate. You should read online reviews about a car accident attorney. Reading online reviews will help you gauge the quality of legal services provided by the attorney.
Read reviews of past clients to know whether the lawyer is thorough in preparing personal injury cases. You should hire a lawyer with a good reputation for handling personal injury cases. Hiring experienced and reputable lawyers will increase your chances of a successful outcome of the case.
Why and When Should I Hire a West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney?
Getting the help of an expert car accident lawyer will help you in obtaining the required compensation from the at-fault driver. An experienced lawyer will collect all the evidence that can implicate the driver in court. The lawyer will try to obtain video footage of the scene and contact witnesses. A professional attorney can also advise you when to negotiate with the guilty party and when to take the party to court.
How can I obtain compensation for injuries I suffered in a West Palm Beach car accident?
Individuals who register their cars in Florida are required to purchase a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical expense coverage. PIP provides at least some compensation for medical expenses and lost wages after a car accident, regardless of fault. PIP, however, often is woefully inadequate to cover West Palm Beach car accident victims’ full expenses.
Those who were injured by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, and who have reached their PIP policy limits or have met the state’s serious injury threshold, may bring a claim against the at-fault party and their insurance provider, seeking compensation for the expenses and quality-of-life impacts that PIP doesn’t cover.
What can I receive compensation for through a West Palm Beach car accident claim?
In civil cases, the word “damages” refers to a payment made in compensation for harm. Florida allows car accident claimants to seek recovery of economic damages — which refer to compensation for concrete expenses of your injury — as well as non-economic damages, which refer to compensation for intangible impacts your injury has, such as on your quality of life.
Damages won in West Palm Beach car accident damage claims often include:
- Medical expenses, including all treatment costs, such as transport to the hospital, hospitalization, prescription medication, physician and surgical services, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and the provision of assistive devices such as prosthetic limbs, a wheelchair, or crutches.
- Lost wages resulting from being too injured to work or missing work to attend a medical appointment to treat accident injuries.
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injury results in permanent disabilities and you can no longer make as much money as before the accident.
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, if your injury resulted in the inability to participate in hobbies and activities you previously enjoyed.
- Loss of consortium, for loss of physical intimacy and companionship that often results from serious injuries.
What type of car accident can result in a lawsuit in West Palm Beach?
Any traffic-related accident can give rise to a lawsuit in West Palm Beach, including those involving passenger cars, pickups and SUVs, rideshare vehicles or taxis, buses, commercial trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Risky driving behaviors cause traffic accidents in West Palm Beach, including:
- Alcohol impairment: Around 5,000 traffic accidents occurring on Florida roadways each year result from drinking and driving. These accidents result in more than 400 incapacitating injuries and more than 300 fatalities. Alcohol impairment creates dangerous deficits to the skills needed for driving, including the ability to track a moving target, pay attention to multiple tasks, brake effectively or to maintain a single travel lane, respond appropriately to emergency driving situations, and exercise good judgment.
- Speeding: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has been a factor in more than a third of all traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways for two decades and was the cause of more than 9,300 deaths in one year. Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to perceive danger and respond by braking. It also increases the distance the vehicle needs to come to a safe stop, increases the severity of a crash, and decreases the effectiveness of the vehicle’s safety equipment, such as seat belts, airbags, and the steel frame.
- Distracted driving: As explained by the Florida Department of Transportation, distracted driving involves anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. There are three types of driving distractions: manual distractions, which cause the driver to take his or her hands from the wheel; visual distractions, which divert the driver’s eyes from watching the road; and cognitive distractions, which result in the driver not thinking about driving safely. Texting and using cell phones in general are particularly dangerous while driving, as it presents all three types of driving distractions. Per Florida law, a person may not operate a motor vehicle in West Palm Beach “while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”
Other risky driving behaviors that can result in a car accident lawsuit in West Palm Beach include wrong-way driving, failure to yield the right-of-way, fatigued driving, unsafe lane changes, improper passing, and tailgating. If an accident resulting from someone else’s carelessness or recklessness injured you, contact a West Palm Beach car accident attorney from Shiner Law Group to help you understand your legal options.
How do I prove who was responsible for my West Palm Beach car accident?
Liability—legal responsibility—is proven by showing:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care refers to how a reasonable person would act in a similar set of circumstances to protect the safety of others. A driver owes a duty to other roadway users to operate their motor vehicle safely and legally.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that violated the duty of care, such as distracted driving, impairment, speeding, or one of the other risky driving behaviors listed above.
- The breach resulted in the accident that caused your injuries and subsequently caused you to incur expenses and impacts on your quality of life.
What happens if someone who did not have insurance caused my West Palm Beach car accident?
An accident caused by an uninsured motorist can complicate your efforts to obtain compensation for your injury. Insurance pays most car accident settlements and awards. While you can file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver and obtain a judgment in your favor from the court, you might never collect compensation, as most people who don’t carry insurance can’t pay accident expenses out-of-pocket.
If you were in an accident that an uninsured driver caused, explore your options with an attorney. You may look to your own insurance policies such as PIP and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Depending on the details of your case, there could also be potential sources of liability other than the uninsured driver and insurance resources for those other persons or entities that can provide compensation for you.
What is the average settlement for a West Palm Beach car accident lawsuit?
A settlement amount depends on the unique expenses and impacts that the claimant experienced and their willingness to accept the amount of compensation offered by an insurance provider. This means there really is no average settlement.
Several factors, however, can affect the value of your case, including:
- The amount of insurance the at-fault party carried.
- Your level of liability. You can be partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries and still seek compensation from other liable parties.
- Your patience during the settlement negotiations. While it is not impossible to obtain a settlement offer from an insurance company, obtaining an offer that fairly reflects the expenses and impacts you have incurred or will likely incur in the future often takes time, but is typically worth the wait.
- Your career and life circumstances at the time of the accident. Many of the damage categories revolve around wages and wage loss. Because of this, a claimant at the peak of their career when the accident occurs may recover more than a young person with no work experience or an older person who has retired and no longer earns an income. Other circumstances of your life that make the impact especially devastating can also increase the amount you recover.
Will the IRS tax my car accident settlement or award?
For the most part, no. The Internal Revenue Service does not consider compensatory damages obtained through a car accident settlement or court award to be income, and therefore does not tax it. However, if you obtain punitive damages in your case, the IRS may tax that portion of the award, because punitive damages do not compensate for injury expenses and impacts but punish a defendant for gross negligence.
Additionally, you should be aware that if you deduct your medical expenses from your injury in one year and then subsequently obtain damages for medical expenses, you will must return the amount you deducted.
What can a West Palm Beach car accident attorney do to help my case?
A West Palm Beach car accident attorney from Shiner Law Group can help you recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you in your case.
- A free case evaluation, which is time that you can speak with our attorney about your case and obtain answers to your legal questions.
- A determination of all potential sources of liability and all insurance resources that can be accessed to compensate you.
- A valuation of your case that is based on the expenses and impacts you have already incurred because of your injury as well as those you will likely face in the future.
- Skilled negotiations with the at-fault party and their insurance provider to secure a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
- Timely filing of all court-required paperwork and representation in all court proceedings.
- Collection and organization of evidence and witness testimony that can be used to prove your case.
- Litigation, including making opening and closing arguments as well as presenting evidence and examining witnesses.
- Assistance collecting your settlement or award.
Let the experienced car accident attorneys at Shiner Law Group fight for your rights after a West Palm Beach car accident. For your free case evaluation, call today.
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