Car accidents are a frequent cause of life-threatening injuries and have resulted in many fatalities to date. In St. Petersburg, there were 55 vehicles involved in fatal accidents, culminating in 33 personal injuries during the year 2019. The roads where the most accidents happened include the U.S. Route 19, 1-275, and Ulmerton road. St. Petersburg is in a county that has a higher car accident fatality rate than other neighboring counties. Many of these accidents are due to the neglectful actions of other drivers, such as drunk driving or distracted driving. If you believe your auto accident is the fault of the other driver, you can seek the help of St. Petersburg car accident lawyers who can fight for your right to compensation.
While Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, you can still seek damages from the other party if they are to blame. St. Petersburg, Fl lawyers can provide help and guidance to help you obtain a settlement for your auto accident. Contact LCPA Law for a free consultation.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
After a St. Petersburg auto accident, you may be suffering from minimal to extreme injuries based on the severity of your crash. Some of the most common injuries that you can include in your settlement compensation are the following:
When your car suddenly gets hit from behind, this can cause pressure on your neck. Because your neck snaps in the opposite direction after a high-impact collision, the movement can hurt your neck and cause a “whiplash” injury. This can range from a minor ache to nerve damage, leading to some auto accident victims requiring a neck brace.
Broken or Crushed Bones
The sternum of a driver or passenger is vulnerable in a car accident. The ribs can get broken when airbags get deployed or when the passengers are thrown around the vehicle. If the vehicle was heavily deformed in the accident, it could cause damage to the ribs and sternum of the vehicle’s occupants. The bones in the wrists, arms, and legs of the driver and passengers could also be heavily damaged in a vehicular accident.
Often, broken bones can be bent inward and injure the internal organs. For example, the lungs can be punctured because of broken ribs during a car accident.
This can happen when an accident victim hits their head during a car accident. It could also happen during whiplash injuries. Brain trauma can range from concussions to hemorrhaging.
Spinal Cord Damage
Injury to the spinal cord is known to cause long-term damage. Sometimes this can also result in the paralysis of the limbs, torso, or lower body. It depends on the level of the cerebral column that was affected.
Victims of a car accident can get severe wounds due to flying debris inside the car, broken glass, or the car being bent out of shape. These wounds can result in severe blood loss or death if they are not treated promptly.
When you receive severe wounds, they can leave scars that require surgery to fix. Facial scarring can happen if you get injured because of glass, burns, or abrasions.
Cars sometimes catch fire after a collision because the fuel tank may begin leaking and get ignited by sparks. This can result in first, second, or third-degree burns.
If you or other passengers get caught between vehicles or crushed by the vehicle you’re in, this can result in permanent damage and limb loss. When the bones are crushed beyond repair, this requires amputation.
What Happens in a No-Fault State for a St. Petersburg Car Accident?
In Florida, your car insurance’s personal injury protection coverage covers medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits regardless of who caused the accident. According to your insurance agreement, your losses are covered up to a certain amount when you pay a deductible. However, you can file a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit when the driver who caused your personal injury is at fault. This is especially if your damages go far beyond the provisions in your insurance policy. For a case of wrongful death, you will want to get a St. Petersburg car accident attorney to help you initiate a settlement claim against the other party.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
Car accident attorneys are capable of obtaining additional evidence that you may not have access to. They also coordinate the negotiation of your settlement on your behalf.
Your St. Petersburg car crash attorney can scrutinize all of the evidence from your car accident, including the following:
Traffic Camera Footage
If there were traffic cameras present, your lawyer could find the footage they recorded and analyze it to see how the accident occurred. They can observe if the other driver performed any dangerous maneuvers that led to your accident. This will be used as evidence in your claim.
Vehicle Black Box
Newer cars typically have an electrical box that stores data on the car’s performance. Your attorney can get access to this information and analyze what the car was doing right before the accident. They can find out if the driver was speeding, when they braked, and other useful information that can help your case.
Lawyers can pull up information on the other driver to determine if they have a history of poor driving. Driving records can contain several infractions that reveal a pattern of accidents. With this proof, your attorney can use this in your claim against the other driver.
Your St. Petersburg attorney can get drug test information from police records and the hospital the driver may have visited. This includes urine samples, breathalyzers, and blood tests. If the other driver has a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08% or has heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana in their system, then this is considered illegal. However, there may also be legal drug abuse, such as the misuse of prescription medicines. Your attorney can make a case against the driver if the substance can show that they were impaired when they were on the road.
Attorneys use the contact information you collected from eyewitnesses and contact them on your behalf. They will incorporate their account of what happened in your claim and use this information as additional evidence. You don’t have to worry about chasing down witnesses and documenting their testimony, as personal injury lawyers can perform this task for you.
Your car accident lawyer can subpoena the other driver’s cellphone provider to obtain their phone records. Their phone service company can reveal if the other party used their cell phone or texted while driving. Distracted driving could be proof that the other driver caused the accident.
When it is hard to tell who caused an accident, your attorney can work with additional professionals to help you build your case. They may request the help of an accident reconstruction expert to figure out how the accident occurred.
Insurance companies typically want to save money and try to reduce the settlement amount. Your attorney will prevent the other party’s insurance company from undercutting the amount of compensation they are responsible for. They will negotiate a fair and accurate settlement and will use all of the losses you have endured to calculate the amount you need. Your attorney will provide updates and continuous communication as they negotiate with the insurance company.
Your attorney will represent you in court should you have to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit may become necessary if the insurance company rejects your settlement offer or makes an offer that is too low.
What Do I Include In My Settlement?
Your settlement can include any losses that you suffered because of your damages. Any of the car accident injuries and damages caused by the other driver is eligible for compensation.
Your medical bills, lost wages, and any property damage are examples of economic damages. You can include clinic visits, surgeries, ongoing physical therapy sessions, lab tests, imaging scans, pharmaceuticals, and any other healthcare priorities you had to pay for because of your St. Petersburg car accident. When you become injured, you may have suffered income loss because you were unable to work full-time or part-time due to severe pain and limited mobility. You can include the future amount of wage loss you expect to experience while you recover from your injuries. You should also include repairs or replacement costs to your vehicle and other damaged property.
You will include any pain and suffering you endured because of your car accident in your settlement. This includes any emotional turmoil and physical pain you experienced. Emotional pain matters too, such as PTSD, depression, sadness, grief, and other negative feelings. Most attorneys apply the use of a multiplier to estimate how much you are owed for your pain and suffering. The economic damages are multiplied by a specific amount to calculate the non-economic damages; the more severe the injuries, the higher the multiplier.
These damages are for special cases that occur in court when the other driver was grossly negligent or intentional in their actions. Punitive damages can increase your settlement amount, but the court can only award them in specific circumstances.
Work With St. Petersburg Car Crash Attorneys Today
Once you get into an accident, get immediate medical help and take pictures of the scene. You can then reach out to a St. Petersburg lawyer to get additional guidance on the next steps. If you wait too long, you risk delaying the negotiation process as well as weakening the evidence showing that the crash caused your injuries. Attorneys can also help prevent you from making common errors that reduce settlement amounts. You can work with a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer who will support your right to a full settlement. Contact LCPA Law for a free consultation.