Were you or a loved one injured in an auto accident? Was the accident caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts? If so, you may have legal grounds to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact a lawyer.
At Palmer | Lopez, we have more than 35 years of combined experience helping Florida clients just like you. We understand how stressful this experience can be for you. Let us put our knowledge and skills to work for you and help you get the maximum compensation possible.
What Are Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Florida?
Numerous factors can cause an auto accident. Some of the most common ones we deal with in St. Petersburg auto accident cases include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or other traffic violation
- Driving without a license
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Defective equipment
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Following too closely
- Reckless endangerment
- Poorly maintained roadway
- Failure to maintain a vehicle in safe operating condition
Proving Liability in a St. Petersburg Auto Accident
Before you can collect compensation in a St. Petersburg auto accident claim, you need to prove liability. You must be able to meet all the elements or you won’t receive any compensation. The first element of negligence is a duty. The defendant must have owed you some type of duty, such as obeying traffic laws to keep other motorists safe. If a driver runs a stop sign, they’ve breached that duty, which is the second element of negligence.
Next, you must be able to show the breach is what led to your injuries. If someone runs a stop sign, but a completely independent factor causes your accident, it would not be related. Lastly, you must also have damages. You can sustain injuries, but if you don’t go to the doctor, lose time off work, etc., then you have no damages.
Types of Compensation Available in a St. Petersburg Auto Accident
If you can prove negligence in your auto accident, you can collect compensation for your various damages. Some of the most common damages in a Florida auto accident include:
- Medical expenses to date, including hospital, an ambulance from the scene, medical equipment, etc.
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Future medical treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
In select cases, you may also be eligible to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases involving recklessness and intentional acts, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or drag racing. This compensation is not to reimburse you for your losses but to punish the defendant. Courts hope that punitive damages will deter the defendant from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Contact a St. Petersburg Auto Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in an auto accident in Florida, don’t try to handle a personal injury claim independently. Let our skilled St. Petersburg auto accident lawyers help. Contact Palmer | Lopez today to schedule an initial consultation.