West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Fight for Injured Clients in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and all of South Florida
Perhaps you were driving down Hibiscus Street. Or maybe it was a quick trip up Olive Avenue. Either way, you’ve found yourself in a car accident in West Palm Beach. An experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. can help. We have represented clients for more than 20 years and understand how your life can change in an instant. We can assist in obtaining compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damages, and other expenses caused by the crash.
As one of the oldest incorporated municipalities in South Florida, West Palm Beach hosts its fair share of traffic accidents. Oftentimes, these are major inconveniences. But sometimes, they can result in a totaled vehicle or serious injuries.
If either happens to you, it could lead to financial struggles due to unexpected large bills and missed work. Additionally, it can be very difficult to recover all the compensation you need from your car insurance company following the car accident.
Common Causes of Car Accidents In Florida
The best way to acquire all the compensation you deserve after a West Palm Beach, FL car accident is by determining the fault of the other parties involved. If you are unable to assign fault you will have trouble recovering compensation.
Some car accidents can be easy to assign fault because they involve just one other driver. But, when there are multiple vehicles involved, things can get a bit more complicated. A West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from our firm can represent you if you’ve been injured in any of the following types of car accidents:
- Poor road conditions
- Bad weather
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Forgetting to check blind spots
- Driving and texting
- Defective vehicles
- Blown tires
- Ignoring traffic rules
Sometimes, car accidents are caused by a combination of driver errors and other events. This can result in liability to be divided among two or more people. When that happens, comparative negligence comes into play.
Determining Negligence Following a Car Accident
Each state has its own way of legally handling situations when one person isn’t 100% responsible for an accident and the subsequent injuries. Practically all states will have either contributory negligence or comparative negligence legal procedures in place.
Contributory negligence refers to situations where any amount of fault will prevent any type of legal recovery. This means if you were just 1% at fault for causing an accident, you can’t recover anything. This is true even if the other driver was 99% at-fault
As you can imagine, contributory negligence is an extremely harsh rule. Luckily, most states do not follow it. Think about a situation where a speeding drunk driver blows through a stop sign and T-bones another driver. But because that other driver was traveling at 39 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone, a jury decides they are 2% at fault for the accident. It doesn’t matter if they are paralyzed from the neck down and have a totaled vehicle. They get nothing from the drunk driver in a contributory negligence state.
Fortunately, most other states, including Florida, apply comparative negligence rules. There are typically two types of comparative negligence frameworks in place.
In a modified comparative negligence state, a plaintiff can recover damages, but only if the plaintiff’s level of fault doesn’t exceed a certain level. In most modified comparative negligence states, this threshold is 50% or 51%.
The other type of comparative negligence is pure comparative negligence. Florida follows this model. With pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff’s level of fault will reduce their damage award. However, it will never fully bar the plaintiff from obtaining a recovery unless they are 100% liable.
So if you deserve $10,000 and a judge or jury says you’re 20% at fault, your damage award is reduced to $8,000. If you’re 99% liable and have $10,000 in damages, you’ll still be able to collect $100.
Types of Damages You May Be Able to Recover After a Traffic Colliosion
The precise amount and type of damages you can recover following a West Palm Beach car accident will depend on the specific facts of your incident. But generally speaking, there are three types of damages potentially available in a car accident case.
First, there are economic damages. These are damages that cause specific economic harm to the victim and are relatively easy to calculate. Types of common economic damages from a car accident include:
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs costs
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Next, there are non-economic damages. These refer to damages that are not directly financial in nature. They are usually intangible and can be quite subjective. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support
- Funeral expenses
Finally, we have punitive damages, which aren’t designed to compensate victims. Instead, they’re designed to punish wrongdoers.
Punitive damages aren’t very common in car accident cases because they only apply when the at-fault driver acted extremely badly. This might include a driver purposely trying to cause the accident or acting especially recklessly.
Because Florida is a “no-fault” state, only economic damages can reliably be recovered. To sue for punitive or non-economic damages, you must have endured a “serious” injury.
An injury will be deemed serious if it results in:
- A broken or fractured bone.
- Substantial disfigurement.
- Full disability for several months.
- A permanent loss in an organ or body member.
- A significant limitation in a bodily function or system.
Without a serious injury, your recovery will usually be limited to medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair or replacement costs.
Contact An Experienced West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer At Gonzalez & Cartwright For A Free Consultation Today
If you’ve suffered an injury in a West Palm Beach car accident, then you’ll need the experienced guidance of a West Palm Beach, FL car crash attorney as soon as possible. We can help defend your right to full and fair compensation.
The West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. are dedicated to providing clients with honest, compassionate, and skilled legal representation. We understand that after an accident you’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed.
At your earliest convenience, call one of our offices in West Palm Beach Beach or Lake Worth. Alternatively, you can fill out this online contact form to schedule an appointment about your case.
The initial consultation is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose. For maximum flexibility, we speak both English and Spanish. And if you can’t make it to one of our offices, we can come to you to talk about your injuries.
About West Palm Beach, FL
West Palm Beach is a city in and the county seat of Palm Beach County, Florida. According to statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Department, Palm Beach County had an average volume of 26,666 collisions per year from 2015 to 2017. That’s the equivalent of over 500 collisions a week and 73 per day. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident in Palm Beach County, contact our offices for a free consultation today.
Car Accident Legal Services in Areas Nearby
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Claims in West Palm Beach, FL
What Should I do if I’m in a car accident?
I was hit by a car, what should I do?
Should I talk with my insurance company if I was in a car accident?
How are black boxes utilized in new cars in accidents?
Do I have a car accident claim?
How long do I have to file a car accident claim?
How long will my case take to resolve?
How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my car accident case?
How do I Choose a Car Accident Lawyer?
Can I file a car accident claim if I’m undocumented?
What is a good settlement offer for my car accident?
Who is at fault in a car accident?
Can I sue if I was a passenger in a car accident?