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Highlands County Car Accident Attorney

LOOKING FOR AN EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY NEAR YOU IN HIGHLANDS COUNTY, FL?

Car accidents happen every day and it’s important to know your rights if you’ve been injured in one. In Highlands County, Florida, there are many factors that lead to an accident such as driver negligence or mechanical failure. When someone is injured in a car accident it’s important for them to understand their rights so that they can receive the compensation they deserve

Pinellas County Car Accident Attorney
The top-rated Highlands County car accident attorneys at the Cloud Law Firm have decades of experience fighting insurance companies on behalf of auto accident victims throughout the state of Florida. Following an auto accident, your life is turned upside down, trying to recover the cost of repairs to your vehicle and any property damages that exist are difficult enough. When you’re injured you now have to deal with medical bills and lost wages, in addition to the actual pain and suffering you experience as a result.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the number of car accidents in Highlands County has increased by 8% in the last year. The increase is mostly due to careless driving on the part of drivers who are not taking care when they are behind the wheel.

Highlands County is one of the counties in Florida with a high rate of car accidents. In 2016, there were over 4,500 reported car accidents in Highlands County alone. And it doesn’t seem like this trend will change anytime soon.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, please contact our winning team of car accident attorneys, and put the Cloud Law Firm to work for you.

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Call us now for a free consultation: (855) 408-5100.

We can get to work on your case immediately, and we never charge attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. We are here for car accident victims in Highlands County who have suffered a personal injury as a result of another driver’s – or pedestrian’s – negligence.

Come see us at our Sebring location, or call us to discuss your case over the phone.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU’RE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

If you’re in a car accident in Highlands County or the surrounding area, here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re protected:

  • If you suffered an injury or feel any pain, go to the doctor immediately! Even if you’re not experiencing any pain at the moment, going to the hospital or visiting your doctor is a good idea.
  • Do NOT admit any fault whatsoever.
  • Obtain all of the necessary information from the other party – license, insurance, registration, and contact info – don’t rely on the police report to provide this for you.
  • Take photos of the scene, individuals, and any vehicles or pedestrians involved (or have someone else do it). Keep the photographs in a safe location, not just on your cellular phone.
  • Obtain the contact information of any eyewitnesses – name, address, & phone number.
  • Do not talk to anyone other than the police officer, your physicians, and your attorneys about the accident or your injuries.
  • Talk with an experienced Highlands County car accident attorney near you to help you through your car claim – BEFORE you sign anything.
  • Report the car accident to your auto insurance company.

A car accident is a traumatic event, for all parties involved. When you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence that prevents you from being able to work, take care of yourself or your family, or require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, you should be compensated.

Speaking to an experienced car accident lawyer in Highlands County you can help make sure you have the best chance of receiving maximum compensation.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Highlands County

The Cloud Law Firm represents Highlands County residents who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. In an area like Highlands County, there are many causes to those accidents but in our experience of being one of the top-rated local car accident attorneys, there are definite trends. Many accidents between cars, trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrians, commonly occur at intersections, stoplights, highways, and everywhere in between.

Most of us drive or ride in some type of motor vehicle (be it a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle), on a daily basis. Because of this, we often forget just how dangerous automobiles are and how serious car crashes can be.

Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents here in Highlands County, Florida:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Time of Day
  • Weather or Road Conditions
  • Drinking and Driving
  • Head-on collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Truck Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents

Whether in combination with the aforementioned causes or devoid of them, some of the most common car accidents in Highlands County are rear-ended collisions. A rear-end accident can have a high likelihood of causing whiplash, and the neck pain caused by whiplash is not always immediately noticeable and could take up to 3 days after the accident to notice. This is why it’s so important to seek out a qualified personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer following any car wreck, but a rear-end collision in particular.

Did you know that insurance adjusters typically claim that whiplash injuries are not real?

Seeking prompt treatment following any motor vehicle accident makes it much easier for a car accident lawyer to prove that the accident victim didn’t decide to fake an injury long after the actual accident occurred.

Common Car Accident Injuries

In any car accident, there exists the possibility of injury, even minor ones. This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention any time you are involved in an auto accident. Many types of injuries – like whiplash – will only appear days or even weeks after the accident. Injuries that accident victims sustain can lead to loss of time at work or make it difficult to move around and tackle day-to-day tasks.

Here are some of the most common types of injuries incurred in car accidents include:

  • Neck injuries — in particular, whiplash primarily caused by rear-end collisions
  • Broken bones — arm, leg, and rib fractures are the common
  • Head injuries — including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Joint injuries — knees are particularly vulnerable in car crashes
  • Disfigurement — glass from broken windshields can cause facial scarring
  • Amputations — lost limbs or feet can result from serious crashes
  • Spinal injuries — broken vertebrae and ruptured disks are painful, while a severed spinal column can cause paralysis
  • Organ damage — crush and/or impact injuries from a rolling car or overturned motorcycle can damage kidneys, lungs, and other organs
  • Eye injuries — flying glass & debris in an auto accident can cause loss of vision
  • Hearing loss — about 17% of car occupants suffer hearing loss when airbags inflate
  • Muscle injuries — torn or stretched muscles in the back, shoulders, and other parts of the body can cause years of chronic pain
  • Ligament injuries —ligaments in ankles, knees, and wrists are vulnerable to injury in crashes
  • Nerve damage — nerve injuries can cause long-lasting pain that is difficult to treat

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Florida Statutes Concerning Operation of Motor Vehicle

The Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law, codified in Chapter 316 Florida Statutes, contains many of the statutory laws which govern the rules of the road in the State of Florida. Within this Chapter, are many of the rules concerning the operation of motor vehicles, such as the right of way, yielding, stopping, parking, passing, use of lights and signals, the interaction between cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, etcetera.

Car Accident Victims Are Generally Entitled to PIP/No-Fault Insurance Benefits

Under Florida law, every motor vehicle owner is required to maintain $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage that pays 80% of his or her own medical bills and 60% of his or her lost wages, up to the $10,000 PIP benefit limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. § 627.733, Fla. Stat. Irrespective of who was at fault for the accident, pedestrians and bicyclists qualify for PIP: (1) from your own auto insurer if you have auto insurance; (2) if you do not own a vehicle, from a resident relative’s auto insurer; or (3) if the foregoing are not applicable, and you were a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, from the host driver’s auto insurer.

You should also know that in order to qualify for PIP benefits, you must seek treatment within fourteen (14) days following the accident. Treatment during that period qualifies a person for $2,500 PIP benefits. To qualify for the full $10,000 PIP benefits, a doctor must certify that you have suffered an “emergency medical condition.”

Florida Statutes Concerning Operation of Motor Vehicle

The Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law, codified in Chapter 316 Florida Statutes, contains many of the statutory laws which govern the rules of the road in the State of Florida. Within this Chapter, are many of the rules concerning the operation of motor vehicles, such as the right of way, yielding, stopping, parking, passing, use of lights and signals, the interaction between cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, etcetera.

Car Accident Victims Are Generally Entitled to PIP/No-Fault Insurance Benefits

Under Florida law, every motor vehicle owner is required to maintain $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage that pays 80% of his or her own medical bills and 60% of his or her lost wages, up to the $10,000 PIP benefit limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. § 627.733, Fla. Stat. Irrespective of who was at fault for the accident, pedestrians and bicyclists qualify for PIP: (1) from your own auto insurer if you have auto insurance; (2) if you do not own a vehicle, from a resident relative’s auto insurer; or (3) if the foregoing are not applicable, and you were a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, from the host driver’s auto insurer.

You should also know that in order to qualify for PIP benefits, you must seek treatment within fourteen (14) days following the accident. Treatment during that period qualifies a person for $2,500 PIP benefits. To qualify for the full $10,000 PIP benefits, a doctor must certify that you have suffered an “emergency medical condition.”

Frequently Asked Questions Our Highlands County Car Accident Attorneys Can Answer

For additional information, please read the frequently asked questions presented below:

Car accident lawyers Pinellas County FLWhat should you do if you are involved in an auto accident?

This is a non-exhaustive list of things you should do if you are involved in an accident:

Should you hire a car accident lawyer?

Absolutely. The average person does not have the experience necessary to value a personal injury case, to prepare the case, or to negotiate the intricacies of personal injury law. For example, do you know how to obtain and evaluate how much insurance (e.g. BI, UM, PIP, etc.) is available to resolve your claim? Do you know which, if any, of your collateral source providers (e.g. a health insurer) must be reimbursed from your personal injury settlement or what to do if the collateral source isn’t being responsive or reasonable? An experienced Highlands County car accident attorney is familiar with applicable state laws and how they apply to your particular circumstance, this will be a great benefit in helping you obtain maximum compensation.

What does a car accident attorney do for clients?

This is a non-exhaustive list of things a car wreck attorney handles for clients:

1. Investigates the claim, such as: interview witnesses, obtain the police report, obtain photographs the scene and vehicles; obtain and analyze all of the client’s medical records, obtain and evaluate all applicable insurance policies, and research applicable law.

2. Advance all the litigation costs incurred in pursuing the claim. Litigation costs generally include things like charges for copies of medical bills, costs charged by the Court, court reporters, and process servers, and costs charged by experts. In cases that go to trial, litigation costs are often tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Represent the client in dealings with the client’s own insurance company, including PIP claims, property damage claims, and UM claims.

4. Represent the client in dealings with the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

5. Represent the client in Court.

6. Negotiate any settlement.

7. Negotiate payment of outstanding liens and medical bills following settlement.

When should I contact the Cloud Law Firm about my auto accident claim in Highlands County?

Immediately! We will provide a Free Consultation and get to work immediately on your case.

How long do car accident cases last?

This depends on a lot of variables outside the client and attorney’s control, including the client’s injuries and course of treatment, the amount of insurance coverage available, the number of insurers involved, and the insurers’ willingness to discuss a reasonable settlement. With those factors in mind, a standard personal injury case usually takes anywhere from three months to two years to complete. One of the reasons it takes so long is because it is unwise to settle before the accident victim substantially completes their treatment as you only get one bite at the apple and cannot go back for more later if it turns out you need additional treatment. Also, if the case goes into litigation, it can take more than a year to get the case through the congested court system.

What types of damages are car accident victims entitled to?

Car accident victims are entitled to recover the following types of damages:

1. MEDICAL BILLS: You are entitled to recover payment for all of your medical bills which are reasonable and causally related to the accident. This includes future medical costs which are necessitated by your injuries.

2. LOST WAGES: You are entitled to recover payment for all of your lost wages which are causally related to the accident. This includes wages lost in the past, as well as loss of future earning capacity.

3. PAIN AND SUFFERING: You are entitled to recover payment for all of your pain and suffering related to the accident, both past, and present. Pain and suffering damages should not be considered lightly. Depending on the circumstances, pain and suffering awards can sometimes be quite significant.

4. OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES: You are entitled to recover all of your out-of-pocket expenses, including mileage to and from treating physicians and the costs associated with prescription medications. Be sure and keep track of these amounts as they can be difficult to reconstruct.

5. PROPERTY DAMAGES: You are entitled to recover property damages, such as vehicle repair costs, diminution in value to your car, and loss of use of your vehicle.

6. PUNITIVE DAMAGES: Under some circumstances, such as the case of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a wrongdoer for gross negligence and/or intentional acts. The Florida legislature has passed several statutes which serve to define punitive damages and limit the award of punitive damages. However, you should know that under proper circumstances, punitive damages are recoverable.

How much is your case worth?

The value of your case depends on numerous factors, such as the following: the facts of the accident (inflammatory facts makes the value go up), the degree to which you may share comparative fault in causing the accident, the credibility and likeability of the parties and witnesses, the victim’s injuries, course of medical treatment, and future prognosis, the total medical bills, liens and write-offs, and many other factors. An experienced car accident attorney will consider the circumstances of your case and help you evaluate the settlement value of your case. Your health is your top priority, if you are in pain, you should seek immediate medical treatment regardless of the potential positive or negative effects on the value of your claim.

Do you have to go to Court?

No. Many clients want to avoid going to court and we are generally able to secure a reasonable settlement offer without filing a lawsuit. However, insurance companies can be stubborn, and sometimes a lawsuit must be filed before the insurance company makes a reasonable settlement offer.

How much are the Cloud Law Firm’s fees?

The Cloud Law Firm provides services to car accident victims for a “contingent fee.” We get paid only if we win your case by obtaining a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. If we win your claim, the fee is 33.3% to 40% of the recovery depending on whether we had to file a lawsuit to resolve your claim.

What are Personal Injury Protection Benefits (PIP)?

Under Florida law, every driver is required to maintain $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (a/k/a PIP) auto insurance coverage. If you are in an accident, your own insurance company is required to pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, up to the $10,000 PIP benefit limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Unlike most other collateral source providers (an entity that pays some of your losses), your auto insurer cannot assert a lien for PIP benefits paid, and PIP benefits are not required to be repaid at the conclusion of your case. However, the at-fault driver is entitled to a setoff for all PIP benefits paid or payable (e.g. if your auto insurer paid10,000 PIP benefits and the jury awards you $20,000 the at-fault driver is entitled to have your award reduced $10,000 for the PIP benefits paid by your insurer).

What if the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance?

We see this all the time. Under Florida law, drivers are required to purchase PIP coverage to cover their own injuries but are not required to purchase bodily injury coverage to cover the injuries of a person they harm in a motor vehicle accident. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, there is very little an attorney can do to help you, unless you purchased Uninsured Motorist (a/k/a UM) from your own auto insurance carrier. UM insurance covers your injuries caused by the fault of an uninsured, or underinsured, driver. Due to the prevalence of uninsured drivers in Florida, it is very important that you purchase UM coverage to protect you and your family.

Contact Cloud Law Firm, Your Trusted Car Accident Attorneys in Highlands County, FL

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States. It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by car accident lawyers and auto accident attorneys in Highlands County.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, talk with a Highlands County car accident attorney near you, and put the power of the Cloud Law Firm to work for you. We offer free initial case consultations and are here to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

The insurance companies have a team of lawyers working on their behalf, you should too.

We also help Highlands County residents with motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip & fall accidents, and more personal injury cases.

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See What Our Clients Have To Say About Us:

“Mia Cloud and her assistants were always there for any questions I had. They were professional, kind and attentive. I would recommend Mia to anyone who has gone through a car accident and needed help. They were thorough from day one. Any time I had questions Mia would actually call me personally to answer them. I appreciate everything they did for me. Would highly recommend!

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