Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
Serving Fort Lauderdale, FL Residents
We Help Car Accident Victims and Their Families Throughout South Florida Deal With Their Car Accident Injuries
Fort Lauderdale is home to more than 180,000 residents. Located in the heart of Broward County, Fort Lauderdale is also the second principal city in the Miami metropolitan area, which boasts a combined population of over 6 million people. This means that Fort Lauderdale car accidents are still common.
With all of those residents–not to mention tourists–traversing Fort Lauderdale’s highways and main road on a daily basis, the city sees more than its fair share of car accidents. Indeed, in 2021 there were approximately 42,000 motor vehicle crashes reported in Broward County, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These motor vehicle accidents produced 280 fatalities and over 23,000 non-fatal injuries.
If you are among the people who have been seriously injured in a car accident, it is important to seek out timely legal advice regarding your right to compensation. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP, our experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers have obtained over $1 billion in settlements and trial verdicts on serious auto accident cases on behalf of our clients. We can sit down with you, assess the facts surrounding your accident, and advise you on the best legal strategy for our personal injury attorneys pursuing a claim for damages.
How Do Car Accidents Happen?
A car accident can happen anywhere in Fort Lauderdale, in parking lots and on the road. Some of the most common accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions. Two cars collide when the car coming up behind fails to stop in time. We see rear-end collisions most often at intersections and in parking lots. A distracted or speeding motorist can’t hit the brakes in time, and they go straight into the car in front.
- Head-on collisions. Two vehicles can collide head on when one is going the wrong way, or a motorist crosses the centerline, often because of fatigue or chemical impairment. These are deadly wrecks at high speeds.
- T-bones (side impact crashes). Most often seen at intersections, a T-bone involves the front bumper of one car crashing into the side of another. The two vehicles form the letter “T” when joined. These are serious accidents because many cars lack adequate protection at the side, and occupants can suffer disabling injuries.
- Rollovers. A car will roll onto its side when there is an unexpected shift in the center of gravity. These accidents sometimes happen after a collision, or where a motor vehicle trips on something, like gravel or road debris.
- Sideswipes. Two cars traveling in the same direction might collide, usually because one tries to merge when there is insufficient space. After a sideswipe, both cars can go flying off the freeway.
- Single vehicle wrecks. A car sometimes crashes even when it isn’t struck by another motor vehicle. As an example, a motorist might suddenly swerve to avoid a drunk driver who is going the wrong way. The car then slides off the road and crashes into a mailbox or house. In other accidents, a motorist might lose control due to a road defect, like a pothole.
- Pileups. We see pileups on the highway where traffic is congested. A single accident can lead to a chain reaction involving dozens of vehicles.
We want to hear from anyone injured in these or other accidents so that we can help get you back on your feet with the help and compensation you need!
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Car accident cases are based on negligence in Fort Lauderdale car accidents. Put simply, negligence occurs when a driver fails in their duty to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Negligence does not require proof of intent or a criminal act. Even an unintended violation of Florida’s traffic laws is still considered negligent if it results in an accident.
Some of the more common causes of Fort Lauderdale car and motorcycle accidents that we see at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP, include:
- Excessive Speed: South Florida drivers are often in a hurry to get somewhere. When combined with the high concentration of traffic in a place like Fort Lauderdale, excessive speed frequently leads to preventable car wrecks.
- Fatigue: A tired driver is unlikely to drive safely. They could easily drift into oncoming traffic or nod off and plow through a red light at an intersection. Fatigued drivers also have delayed reflexes, which increases the risk of an accident. Fatigue is often combined with chemical use, like cold or flu medication, which exacerbates the driver’s tiredness.
- Driving Under the Influence — It is against the law in Florida for anyone to be driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of the two. Even if a driver does not meet the “per se” standard for DUI–i.e., a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher–they can still be found civilly liable if the use of any amount of intoxicating liquor or drugs impaired their judgment prior to a crash.
- Distracted Driving: While DUI tends to get more public attention, we actually find that driving while distracted is a far more common cause of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other areas of South Florida. When a driver is looking at their smartphone, talking to a passenger, or even trying to eat breakfast while commuting, their eyes are not on the road. And even a moment of a diverted attention can be enough to cause a fatal crash in Fort Lauderdale.
- Defective Roads: A motorist might crash because of a road defect, like a pothole, or because a work zone is not set up properly. A driver might fail to slow down because there are no signs warning of a construction zone, or because cones and sawhorses are set up improperly. Other motorists crash after colliding with construction debris, like tools left in the road.
- Other Traffic Violations: Failing to obey a stop sign or red light, making an illegal turn, or trailing a vehicle in front of you too closely are all commonly observed traffic violations that constitute negligence in the event of a crash.
Our car accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale advise drivers need to exercise reasonable care–and simple common sense–when driving around the area. This is especially true in known high-traffic areas like Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway. Drivers need to remain constantly vigilant for changes in traffic conditions and adjust their expectations–and driving habits–accordingly.
How Serious Are Car Accident Injuries?
Injuries range for minor abrasions or strains which can heal on their own within weeks to dramatic, life-altering catastrophic injuries. Never assume your injuries are too minor to seek legal help.
We have negotiated settlements for clients who suffer from:
- Burns, cuts, and abrasions. Skin injuries might seem minor. But they have many complications, such as infection or permanent scarring and disfigurement. Imagine a burn or big scar on a person’s face. They might never feel the same whenever they look in the mirror and refuse to go out in public.
- Fractures. A fracture can leave someone sidelined as they wait for the bone to heal. Some complications include malunion, as well as nearby nerve damage. A rib fracture makes it harder for people to exhale, which increases the risk of pneumonia.
- Head injuries. Motorists often suffer concussions or other head injuries. They might bump their head on something or suffer a traumatic brain injury from violent shaking. Some complications include memory loss, physical impairment, and behavioral change.
- Neck injuries. Whiplash is a common injury for rear-end collisions and T-bones. Other neck injuries include compressed nerve or fracture in the neck. A painful neck injury disrupts sleep and makes it hard for many people to go into work.
- Back injuries. A motorist can suffer various back injuries, such as nerve damage, herniated discs, or back strain. Spinal column injuries often result in chronic pain or loss of sensation. A motorist suffering spinal cord damage could end up permanently paralyzed.
- Catastrophic injuries. Our clients are sometimes permanently disabled due to third-degree burns, amputations, crush injuries, and severe brain injury. Catastrophic injuries may require ongoing medical care.
We also should mention the most serious injury of all: death. Some motorists are killed immediately in a devastating high-speed or head-on collision. Meanwhile, other victims expire after struggling to overcome grave injuries while in the hospital. Either way, family members are left behind to grieve. Call our firm to discuss whether you can bring a legal claim for a wrongful death.
Who Pays for My Medical Bills Following a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
Florida’s rules governing auto insurance and car accidents often confuse many residents. The main source of confusion is the state’s so-called no-fault rules governing minor auto accidents. Basically, if you own a motor vehicle in Florida, you need to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance. This coverage includes what is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This coverage is often called “no-fault” because it will pay you certain benefits following an accident regardless of who was actually responsible for causing the crash.
Most Fort Lauderdale car owners only carry the minimum amount of required PIP coverage. This provides up to $10,000 in coverage for 80 percent of your “necessary and reasonable” medical expenses following a Fort Lauderdale car accident. If you or one of your passengers only sustained minor injuries, this may be enough to pay the bulk of your future medical expenses and bills when combined with health insurance.
But if someone is killed in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, or the victim sustains serious and life-altering injuries, it is possible to step outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the negligent driver and their insurance company. A “serious” personal injury claim is defined in Florida law as one that results in:
- the significant loss of an important body function;
- the permanent loss of a bodily function;
- a permanent injury such as disfigurement;
- injuries severe enough to create a medical probability of death; or
These kinds of car accident injuries generally far exceed the amount of benefits covered by PIP (personal injury protection). But a negligent driver and their insurance company can be held accountable for the full amount of your medical bills and other accident-related losses, including your lost income and the costs of long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation. You can also seek non-economic damages to compensate you and recover compensation for your pain and suffering, which is not possible through no-fault coverage.
Do I Need to Talk to the Other Driver Following a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
Any car accident–even a seemingly minor “fender bender”–can leave you shaken up and unsure of what to do next. A common question our car accident attorney law firm gets is, “Do I actually need to stop and talk to the other driver?” The answer is yes, but with an important caveat.
Under Florida law, anytime that a car accident results in bodily injury or property damage, all drivers involved must stop and exchange basic information with another. This includes their name, address, and vehicle registration number. Drivers must also render aid to any person who appears to be injured, typically by calling 911. A driver who leaves the scene without taking these steps can be charged with a criminal offense in Florida.
But while you are required to exchange basic contact and vehicle information with the at fault driver, you do not have to volunteer any additional information about what might have caused the accident itself. You should never admit or accept responsibility for the car the accident occurred. In many cases, people reflexively apologize before they even know what happened. This can work against you later if it turns out the other driver was at-fault and you need to seek compensation from them or their insurance company.
Some other steps you can take following a Fort Lauderdale car accident can include:
- Seek Medical Attention: The adrenaline rush following a sudden car crash can mask pain and other signs that you sustained potentially serious injuries. So even if you get up and walk away from the scene of an accident, go see your doctor or visit a primary care clinic as soon as you can. In no case should you let more than 24 hours elapse without seeking some form of medical attention.
- Document the Accident Scene: If the police attend the accident scene they will prepare an official police report. But you can also document the scene yourself in your own accident report, assuming you are physically able to and do not require emergency medical care. Take pictures of both vehicles and the crash site with your smartphone. If there were any third-party witnesses, take down their names and contact information. And if there is a police report, make sure you obtain a copy to provide your car accident attorneys when it is ready.
- Contact a Qualified Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer: Many car accident victims make the mistake of assuming they will not need an attorney since their own insurance company will pay for any medical bills or car damage. This is a mistake. An experienced car accident attorney can assist you not only with conducting a complete investigation into what happened, but also represent you in dealing with insurance companies.
- Avoid Accepting a Settlement without an Attorney. Some insurers quickly offer a settlement to the accident victim. You might even receive a phone call at home within a week. We can guarantee that an initial settlement offer will be for less than you deserve. This is another reason to contact an experienced lawyer at DDRB as soon as you can following your accident. We will review the proposal and negotiate to increase the amount of financial compensation offered.
Misconceptions about Fort Lauderdale Car Accidents
Our lawyers have read many myths and misconceptions on the internet about car accident cases. We set the record straight:
- You cannot receive compensation for a hit and run. The reality is that many hit-and-run victims receive compensation. You can certainly use PIP benefits following a hit and run because they are no fault. You might also have uninsured motorist coverage, which can cover a hit and run accident.
- The driver who hit you is always at fault. Actually, car wrecks are analyzed based on negligence. Sometimes, a motorist who is struck could be the party at fault. For example, a driver could run a red light and get struck by someone who had a green light. The driver who refused to yield is liable for the accident.
- You cannot receive compensation if you weren’t wearing a seat belt. Your failure to wear a seat belt can definitely impact your case. A jury might find that it constitutes negligence. However, the Florida Supreme Court has said that it is not negligence “per se.” Instead, a jury will decide how much fault you bear.
- Every case goes to trial. Very few do, in reality. Our law firm has enjoyed success over the past 30 years reaching mutually agreeable settlements for our clients.
- Lawyers are too expensive for the average person. This misconception has kept too many people from hiring a lawyer to represent them. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, we represent our car accident clients on a contingency fee basis. That means we agree to represent car accident victims without requiring any retainer. Instead, we only get paid legal fees if we win your case. This type of agreement helps our clients obtain the services of an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney without any upfront commitment of resources.
Contact our firm to get the facts about your legal rights. We believe in empowering our clients by providing accurate, timely advice related to car accidents.
Fort Lauderdale Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions:
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Injury Claim in Florida?
For many years, our state had a four-year statute of limitations for fault-based personal injury claims, including car accident cases. However, the statute of limitations was recently reduced to two years. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 95.11), you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. It is crucial to adhere to this deadline. What happens if you fail to do so? Most likely, you will be unable to recover any compensation for your injuries. Do not wait to get started with your case. Consult with a top Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after a major crash.
Note: Florida has a 14-day rule for no-fault insurance claims. In effect, this means that you have a duty to notify your own no-fault insurer of your accident and your injuries without 14 days of your crash in Fort Lauderdale. If you fail to do so, you risk invalidating your PIP coverage.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover in a Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Claim?
It depends. The compensation recoverable in a Fort Lauderdale auto accident claim varies on a case-by-case basis. Along with other types of losses, you may be able to recover economic damages—such as property damage, medical bills, and lost wages—as well as non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. The exact amount will depend on the severity of your injuries, the specifics of the accident, the extent of your damages, and your ability to prove fault and effectively navigate the claims process.
In order to maximize your financial compensation, your damages must be properly documented. Even when liability is clear, the insurance company will try to find any reason that they can to settle a car accident claim for less. If you have any specific questions about the amount of financial compensation that you can recover in a motor vehicle accident claim, contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney for help.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Company After a Car Crash?
No—at least, you should not give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney. It is crucial that you understand the role of insurance adjusters. They work for the best interests of their employer. Insurance companies want to resolve claims for less and they may use your words against you to minimize your compensation or deny your claim altogether. Here are some actionable tips for dealing with an insurance company after a serious crash in Fort Lauderdale:
- Do not admit fault or make statements that could be interpreted as an admission of liability;
- Only provide basic information such as your name and address;
- Politely decline to give a recorded statement until you have spoken with an attorney; and
- Keep a record of all communications with the insurance company.
Can I Negotiate My Own Car Accident Settlement?
You could try, but we don’t recommend it. Insurance companies are excited to see someone without a lawyer because they think you will accept a smaller settlement than if you had legal representation. Most people do not understand how much they are entitled to under Florida law for a car accident. Specifically, many victims discount the dollar value of their pain and suffering. An insurance company will be tempted to offer little, if anything, if you do not have a lawyer.
There are other challenges when representing yourself in car accident negotiations:
- Finding evidence—you might not know how to get critical evidence like copies of the other driver’s cellphone records or the maintenance history on a vehicle. Our lawyers have handled hundreds of cases, and we can put a defendant on notice to preserve evidence.
- Filling out paperwork—you should focus on recovery and healing, not filling out endless forms and answering insurance adjuster questions whenever they feel like calling you at home. We help our clients heal by taking over all the legal work.
- Meeting deadlines—you don’t want to go past any deadline, because it’s possible to forfeit your rights to compensation. We have seen some people without lawyers end up with no financial compensation, even when another driver is clearly at fault.
- Filing a lawsuit and litigating a personal injury case—few people know how to do this properly. A car insurer will gladly take you to court because they believe they can win due to some error you make.There is no reason to try and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Instead, call DDRB today to schedule a free consultation. We can explain what other steps we will take to protect you.
Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
In car accidents resulting in serious bodily injury or death, the victims and their families are often entitled to substantial compensation under Florida law. The Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP, can help you in securing such compensation. Our track record includes a number of record-setting jury verdicts and settlements, such as:
- $9.8 million in compensation for a 40-year-old mother of two was rendered a quadriplegic after being struck by a driver who sped through a stop sign;
- $9.5 million for a man struck from behind by a rental car driver, leading to the partial amputation of his left leg.
- $5 million for a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
- $4 million for the family of a 63-year-old man killed by a distracted driver.
Of course, every auto accident and personal injury case is unique. That is why it is important for us to sit down and learn more about your car accident settlement and how we can best help you and your family. Call us today at (305) 371-2692 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Practice AreasSEE ALL AREAS
– Allan P.
Have had and currently have many cases shared with this firm as a plaintiffs’ attorney and find them to have the highest legal and ethical competence in their field of practice.