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Pinecrest Car Accident Lawyer

Serving Palmetto Bay Residents

We represent motor vehicle accident victims throughout Miami-Dade

Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country when it comes to auto accidents. In 2022 alone there were 390,700 crashes reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This included 63,303 in Miami-Dade County that resulted in 315 deaths and 28,638 injuries.

Even a small village like Pinecrest, which is bordered on the west by US-1, sees its fair share of car accidents every year. And obtaining compensation following a car accident is often more complicated than car accident victims realize. In many cases, a person’s own insurance company is expected to pay their medical bills. But when the accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, they may also be held liable for any damages sustained by the victims.

At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, a personal injury law firm, our experienced Pinecrest car accident lawyers can help you in seeking such compensation. We help accident victims throughout Miami-Dade in dealing with insurance companies and fighting for the compensation that our clients are entitled to under the law.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Pinecrest, Florida?

Like other parts of the sprawling Miami-Dade metropolitan area, Pinecrest has a lot of drivers passing through its roads on a daily basis. And it only takes one reckless or negligent driver to cause a serious accident. In terms of why accidents tend to occur, these are the most common causes our Miami car accident lawyer sees in our personal injury cases:

  • Drunk driving. Everyone knows it is against the law to drink and drive. Yet plenty of people still do it. Under Florida law, a person is considered legally intoxicated if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater. But the truth is that even just one or two drinks can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a car even if they do not meet the 0.08 threshold. Additionally, a driver may also be impaired by the use of drugs–legal or otherwise–which can have similar or even more detrimental effects than alcohol.
  • Speeding. Again, we all know you need to obey the speed limit. But that doesn’t stop–or slow down–certain reckless drivers. Even when staying within a posted speed limit, driving too fast reduces the amount of time that a driver has to react to changes in road conditions, including other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Distractions. Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road at all times when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, too many drivers are distracted drivers. Common behaviors such as looking at a phone or talking to passengers can divert a driver’s attention at a critical moment and lead to a horrific crash.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signs. Running a red light or stop sign is a good way to cause a crash at a traffic intersection. Similarly, drivers who ignore one-way or other street signs can seriously injure or kill someone.
  • Failing to Keep a Lookout. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. This means keeping a constant watch for not only other cars, but also motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. 
  • Reckless Driving. “Aggressive” driving is usually reckless driving. This includes behaviors such as changing lanes without signaling, passing cars too quickly, and even failing to slow down when driving in poor weather conditions.
  • Defective Vehicles. Sometimes an accident is not the fault of the driver so much as their car. If a motor vehicle has a latent design defect or contains a defective part that fails at a critical moment, that may cause a driver to lose control and trigger a serious crash.

Regardless of how an accident happens, the victims are often left with serious–and in many cases fatal–injuries. This can range from minor cuts and lacerations to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage, which can lead to paralysis. And beyond physical damage, victims also commonly suffer from serious psychological impairments as well, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

What Steps Should I Take Following a Car Accident in Pinecrest, Florida?

Many people try to move past a car accident too quickly without stopping to take stock of their situation. Due to the sudden and unexpected nature of a car crash, it is understandable that you want to get back on the road and try to act as if nothing happened. But this is a mistake for many reasons. Instead, you should take the time to do the following:

  1. Stop and Exchange Information. By law, you must stop at the scene of any auto accident and exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. You can be charged with a crime for leaving the scene of an accident. While you do not–and should not–need to admit liability for the accident itself or apologize, you do need to provide your name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and any details of your insurance policy.
  2. Render Aid to Injured Persons. If anyone appears injured at the scene of the car accident, call 911 immediately and seek emergency medical attention.
  3. Report the Car Accident to the Police. Even when there is no evidence of a crime, such as drunk driving, you still need to report a crash to the police if anyone is injured or the accident resulted in substantial property damage. A police officer can take down and prepare an official accident report, which is often useful when later filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
  4. Gather Evidence at the Scene. If you are carrying your smartphone, use it to take pictures of the accident scene. If there were any bystanders who may have witnessed what happened, take down their names and contact information. Again, this information can later prove useful when seeking compensation.
  5. Notify Your Insurance Company. You do have to notify your own auto insurance company following any accident. But if an insurance adjuster asks you to “make a statement” on the record, do not do so until you have a chance to consult a qualified Pinecrest, Florida, car accident lawyer.

How Does Florida’s “No-Fault” Insurance Law Affect My Compensation Following a Pinecrest Car Accident?

Florida is one of a few states that relies on a “no-fault” insurance system when it comes to car accidents. In simple terms, this means that all drivers in Florida must purchase their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to protect them in the event of an accident. By law you only need to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.

Following a car accident, your PIP coverage will pay for 80 percent of your emergency medical expenses up to the limit of your policy. If your injuries are not considered an “emergency” condition, however, PIP will only cover up to $2,500 in medical expenses. You can also receive compensation for some of your lost wages if you are unable to return to work right away following your car accident.

However, if you sustain more serious and permanent injuries in a car accident that exceed the scope of your PIP coverage, you can take direct legal action against a negligent driver or other at-fault party (such as a car manufacturer) by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Through such a lawsuit you can obtain a much wider variety of damages including compensation for the following:

  • all of your past, current, and estimated future medical and rehabilitation expenses;
  • long-term disability, including disfigurement or the loss of a limb;
  • damages to your car and other personal property;
  • loss of future wages and diminished earning capacity;
  • pain and suffering;
  • loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • mental anguish and post-traumatic stress.

It is especially crucial to work with an experienced Pinecrest car accident lawyer when you may have a potential personal injury claim. Such cases require careful investigation and planning. And while many personal injury claims are resolved through a negotiated settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you stand a much better chance of obtaining favorable terms if you have a qualified attorney acting on your behalf.

FAQ’s from car accident victims in Pinecrest:

What are Some Tips for Dealing WIth Insurance Adjusters After a Car Crash in Pinecrest?

The vast majority of car accident injury claims in Pinecrest are handled by insurance companies. You may be dealing with your own no-fault insurer or another party’s liability insurer. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on the side of victims and families. They fight to resolve legal claims for less. Here are five actionable tips that you can use when dealing with insurance adjusters after a car crash in Pinecrest, Florida: 

  • Be Prepared: Before speaking with an insurance adjuster. Gather all pertinent information including pictures of the damage, medical records, police reports, and witness statements.
  • Be Cautious in Providing Information: Limit the information you provide to basic facts. Avoid giving recorded statements without consulting with a Pinecrest car crash attorney.
  • Do Not Accept the First Offer: The initial settlement offer will typically be lower than what you deserve. Be ready to negotiate for full and fair financial compensation. 
  • Document All Communication: Keep detailed notes of all conversations with the insurance adjuster, including the date, time, and topics discussed.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consult an experienced Pinecrest, FL personal injury attorney right away after a serious crash. Your attorney can protect your rights and interests. 

What Does Comparative Negligence Mean and How Could It Impact My Claim?

Comparative negligence, as described in Florida Statutes § 768.81, is a legal legal principle where both parties involved in an accident may share fault. Florida operates under a modified comparative negligence statute. Though, prior to 2023, Florida was a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. Under current law, an injured victim can recover financial compensation for a car crash injury as long as they were responsible for no more than 50 percent of their own accident. 

Here is an example: Imagine that you were involved in a multi-car crash at an intersection in Pinecrest. In total, you sustained $30,000 in damages. However, you were cited for distracted driving at the time of the crash and held liable for 30 percent of your own accident. Under Florida law, you would be responsible for 30 percent of your own damages—or $9,000. A comprehensive investigation of every crash in Pinecrest is a must. You do not want to face unfair blame. 

Can a Vehicle Manufacturer Be Held Legally Liable for Accident?

Yes. Although they are not the most common defendants named in motor vehicle accident claims, a manufacturer can be held legally liable for a car accident if a defect in their vehicle caused the accident or contributed to the victim suffering more severe injuries. These types of cases fall under  product liability laws. In Florida, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers have a legal duty to ensure the products they produce and sell are safe for use. If a defect in a vehicle, such as faulty brakes or a malfunctioning airbag, leads to a car accident, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable for the resulting damages. If you have any specific questions or concerns about trucking accidents caused by vehicle safety defects, contact our experienced Pinecrest, FL product liability attorney for immediate help.

What Does It Mean That Florida Is a “No-Fault” State for Car and Truck Accidents?

All licensed Florida drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their standard auto insurance policy. This is sometimes referred to as “no-fault” coverage. Florida is among a minority of U.S. states that follow a so-called no-fault scheme when it comes to compensating car and truck accident victims.

Essentially, no-fault rules mean that in Florida, a driver must first seek compensation from their own PIP coverage before pursuing a potential personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was responsible for the accident. The system is “no fault” in that your insurer is required to pay PIP benefits regardless of who caused the accident.

Will PIP Coverage Pay for All of My Medical Bills and Other Accident Losses?

No. Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, Florida’s no-fault insurance benefits only provide partial coverage of an insured party’s losses. Specifically, PIP coverage will provide compensation for up to 80 percent of “reasonable medical expenses” arising from a car or truck accident and 60 percent of lost income.

When Can I Sue a Negligent Driver for Causing a Car Accident in Florida?

Florida law requires proof that an accident victim sustained a “serious injury” before they can step outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver or their insurance company. A serious injury typically requires proof that the victim suffered a “substantial and permanent loss of a bodily function,” or a significant and permanent injury such as scarring or disfigurement.

What Is the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Following a Florida Car or Truck Accident?

In 2023, the Florida legislature reduced the statute of limitations from 4 years to 2 years in “general negligence” actions, which includes personal injury claims arising from a car or truck accident. The 2-year limitations period applies to accidents that occurred prior to the date the new law took effect, which was March 24, 2023 . This change did not affect the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims, however, which has always been 2 years.

Our Pinecrest, Florida, Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help

We understand that many car accident victims are reluctant to even speak with a lawyer. There is often a misconception that hiring an attorney is too expensive or will only make dealing with an insurance company more difficult. But our approach is simple: We help clients regardless of their current financial situation.

Our team works on a contingency fee basis. That means we never charge any upfront fees or demand upfront payment of costs. Any fee that we recover comes as a percentage of any settlement or court judgment that you receive. We do not get paid unless you get paid.

So if you have been recently injured in a car accident in Pinecrest or anywhere in Miami-Dade County, call Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, today at 305-371-2692 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our personal injury team.

Highly Qualified Legal Representation

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