If you have recently been involved in a car accident in Lakeland, Florida that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be wondering how to file a lawsuit. A lot goes into car accident cases in the Sunshine State — and knowing what to do is essential.
Tonya Stewart and her legal team are here to help. We are the go-to legal experts for residents in Lakeland and the surrounding communities — especially when it comes to car accidents.
Below, we’re going to discuss everything you’ll need to know about car accidents in Florida, including what to do and when to contact a car accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida:
One of the reasons car accidents in Florida are so complicated is because the state has adopted a “pure comparative negligence” rule, which means that all parties involved must share fault for the accident. In some cases, the other driver may be entirely to blame for the accident — and if this is established, the other party may be liable for compensating you for your injuries through their insurance.
But what if your accident is also your fault? Whether you were less or more liable for the accident than the other motorist, you will still have to appear in front of a jury to have your damages calculated if the case goes to trial. The percentage of fault assigned to you by the jury will be deducted from your total damages. Say, the jury awards you $500,000 in damages but only holds you 50% liable for the accident. In that case, you will only walk away with $250,000.
Another thing to remember is that not every car accident qualifies for a court case. Only those who meet specific criteria can file a lawsuit — which is why Florida requires drivers to carry at least $10,000 in property damage and personal injury coverage. If you are ever in a car accident, this will cover your medical bills and emotional distress, but it is important to understand that you will not receive the total $10,000. Personal injury insurance does not cover damage to your car — you will need to buy collision insurance if you want that coverage..
Now that you know what to do if you are involved in a car accident in Florida, there are things you can do to strengthen your case.
If possible, the first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is call 911. The police will write a report that includes all the facts of the accident, which your car accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida can use later.
Even if you do not have any apparent injuries, you should seek immediate medical attention. This will benefit your health and safety if something goes wrong internally — and medical records can also be used as evidence in court.
Lastly, do not forget to photograph the scene. Take pictures of your car, the road, any obstructions that may have contributed to the collision, and any injuries you sustained. A picture speaks a thousand words — and your Lakeland car accident attorney will be able to use them to help bolster your case.
You should also collect the other driver’s contact information so that you can speak with them later for insurance purposes or if you need to file an injury claim against them. Make sure they provide you with their name, car color, make and model, and any relevant insurance details.
Eyewitnesses are also worth speaking with since they may be able to testify for you in your case if they saw the whole thing from start to finish. If they are present at the time of accident reporting, the police may collect a statement from them, and you can request their details to speak with them later.
Have you recently been involved in an auto accident? Looking to partner with the top-rated car accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida? If so, Tonya Stewart and her legal team are here to help. Contact Tonya Stewart Law PA today at (863) 279-4473 to schedule a free consultation.