Fort Myers Car Accident Lawyers

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Being in a car accident is a terrible experience, and we can understand how you would prefer to put off any stressful processes until you have recovered to 100%. For this reason, in this post, we will walk you through everything right from your plan of action right after an accident, all the way down to how you can pick the best car accident attorney in Fort Myers to represent your case.
What to Do After a Fort Myers Car Accident
After you have been in a car accident, we highly recommend alerting law enforcement officials and getting yourself examined by a doctor. After doing so, you should book a free consultation with Fort Myers car accident lawyers. This needs to be done as soon as possible to win fair compensation against medical bills, lost wages, and feel as if justice is served.

With decades of experience, car accident lawyers are well-versed in helping their clients navigate through insurance claims and their litigation process. They have stood up to major insurance companies in the past and know exactly how to maximize your car accident claim. Besides, they are also not afraid to take your case to the court of justice, so that a fair jury can decide how much compensation you deserve.

With that said, if you or your loved ones are now dealing with the aftermath of a car crash, your immediate plan of action should be as follows:

  • Call 911 and gather as much evidence of the 'crime scene' as possible.
  • File an official police report without accepting any percentage of the blame.
  • Visit your doctor (this should be your first priority depending on your injuries)
  • Record whatever you can recollect about the incident in a journal/diary.
  • Schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers in Florida.
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Car Accident Causes and Driver Liability in Fort Myers, FL
Motor vehicle accidents are known to occur almost every day along the Southern Gulf Coast. In 2016, Fort Myers had a population of 70,000 people, and city officials had reported a little over 12,000 car crashes. These resulted in 100 wrongful deaths and 7500 injuries.

Just last year, Lee County alone had collected official reports of 5961 accidents in the first quarter. That being said, the following are some of the most common causes of car accidents in Fort Myers:

  • Human error
  • Medical conditions/medication
  • Unfamiliarity with an area
  • Unorthodox road conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless/fatigued/impaired driving
  • Automobile malfunction/defects

Driver Liability

Florida has been deemed a 'no-fault state', which means that every driver on the road is liable to carry insurance that covers car repairs and medical bills up to a predetermined amount. The benefit of living in a no-fault state is that accident victims wouldn't have to wait for their turn to prove driver negligence in a court of law before they are awarded payments.

However, among the drawbacks of being a no-fault state is that Florida law only requires each driver to be insured for property damage and PIP insurance for up to $10,000. Naturally, suppose your medical bills and car repair expenses exceed this amount (which is usually the case). In that case, you will have to work with your Fort Myers car accident attorney to receive the compensation you deserve.

After discussing your case with a car accident lawyer, you will be required to contact your insurance provider to file an accident claim. After doing so, a customer service representative will guide you through the process. Of course, you mustn't waste time contacting your insurance provider since coverages tend to vary from case to case.

For instance, your insurance provider may deem your case fit to provide you with a rental vehicle until your car is undergoing repairs. Frequently, insurance companies also tend to make attempts at denying your claim, which is where your car accident attorney will step in and set your affairs straight.
Possible Injuries in a Car Accident in Fort Myers
Before we start discussing the possible injuries one may experience after a car accident, we should clarify that some car crash injuries may also be non-physical in nature. Florida law will, therefore, compensate you for all of your losses, both physical and non-physical in nature and they refer to these losses as 'damages'.

Naturally, your damages include physical injuries; however, you can also have non-physical injuries such as:

  • Diminished quality of life
  • Unintentional changes in lifestyle
  • Financial losses
  • Lost wages (present and future)
  • Wrongful death (the suffering of family members)

Taking non-physical damages into account, it may take a little while for your car accident attorney to illustrate just how much you deserve in compensation. Now that you know all about non-physical damages, let's introduce you to the various common physical damages victims report after being in a car crash:

  • Whiplash
  • Internal bleeding
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Soreness
  • Muscle injuries
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding/cuts/lacerations
  • Headaches
  • Concussion
  • Vision impairment
  • Fractured/broken bones
  • Damages to internal organs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head or brain injuries
How to Collect the Evidence in a Car Accident Case in Fort Myers?
You may have come across the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words", and this is especially true when you're trying to maximize your compensation for damages following a car accident. For this reason, some experts even recommend having a disposable camera in your glove-box, even though your smartphone may have a great camera.

Typically, accident photos should clearly depict:

  • The damage received by your car
  • Pictures of skid marks on the road
  • Multiple angles of the accident scene

Taking photos of the scene of the accident is vital because it helps you and other victims remember exactly what transpired on that miserable day. However, more importantly, these photos act as evidence when you file a claim to receive compensation for your damages.

You could also make your case stronger by recording contact information or witness statements. You may also ask to take a picture of the negligent driver's car insurance while allowing them to take a picture of yours as well. You see, oftentimes, having such pictures around while filing a claim with insurance companies can help speed up your case.

In the off chance that you have received injuries that hinder your ability to take photos, Fort Myers car accident attorneys strongly recommend asking someone else to do this for you. Make sure that you explain exactly what kind of picture you are looking for and then review your pictures against our checklist.

  • Try to get pictures of the reckless driver's:
  • Name
  • Driver license number
  • Insurance information (including the name of the carrier, the policy identification number, and their agent's phone number)

It will also be helpful for your case if you try to capture a picture of or make a note of the names and contact information of all the passengers who were witnesses to your car crash. This includes:

  • Driver's license
  • Contact information
  • License plate number

Note: If the police have arrived at the scene, you should personally ask them to file an accident report before asking for their names, badge numbers and contact information. However, it would help if you refrained from making any official statements for police records before contacting a car accident attorney in Fort Myers.
Possible Recoverable Compensation in a Car Accident Case in Fort Myers
When you or your loved ones experience a car crash, it may seem like an understatement to say that your lives may have changed forever. You see, most accident victims don't just experience mental and physical damages, but also incur extensive financial losses. While some of these losses may be experienced immediately, others have a lasting impact on the quality of their lives.

For this reason, Florida law has set up a failsafe system to help accident victims receive compensation for their damages. Ideally, plaintiffs are awarded compensation based on two distinct categories, namely:

1. Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages take into account both economic and non-economic damages to evaluate whether these costs were directly related to the accident or not. The most common compensatory economic damages, according to the best car accident lawyers Fort Myers has to offer, include:

  • Past, present and future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy and/or home healthcare services
  • Lost wages, retirement contributions and benefits
  • Potential future loss of wages, retirement contribution and benefits
  • Cost of lost errands or services (services hired to do your daily chores for you)
  • Property damages
  • Childcare expenses

On the other hand, non-economic damages include losses or injuries that are more of personal suffering than an out-of-your pocket expenses. The most common compensatory non-economic damages, according to car accident attorneys, include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Usually, these types of damages are harder to prove. Still, your car accident lawyer will take into account what these losses mean for you and will strive to maximize your compensation accordingly.

2. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages signify financial penalties that are handed down by the court system to responsible parties if gross negligence was proven as the main cause of the car crash. While these types of damages aren't awarded often, they can become an integral part of the investigation if the driver was:

  • Recklessly driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Driving under the influence

If any of these circumstances leading up to the accident are proven, then Florida law limits compensation to three times the amount awarded in compensatory damages or $500,000.
Contact SOS Accident for a Fort Myers Auto Accident Attorney Today For Legal Representation
Been in an accident? After you receive medical attention, be sure to contact a Fort Myers Car accident attorney.

Even though the law allows up to 2 years for victim's families to file for wrongful death claims or up to 4 years to file personal injury lawsuits, the time frame immediately after the accident is critical since all of the evidence leading up to the crash can still be preserved.

If you contact a Fort Myers car accident lawyer right now, you can help identify witnesses and other pieces of crucial evidence that could play a central role in your case.
FAQs: Car Accidents
Should I accept an early settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurance company?
No, you shouldn't.

Since personal injury cases are so time-consuming and stressful (especially for someone recovering from injuries or trauma), it may seem tempting to accept an early settlement offer from the other party's insurance company or law firm. This offer will, almost certainly, be too low as compared to the compensation you deserve.

Think about it: the negligent driver's insurance carrier wouldn't have taken into account your current medical expenses, lost wages, or how much it is going to take to have you back on your feet. In some cases, accident victims have also been reported to experience pain and suffering for a couple of years before they feel normal again.
What compensation can I receive if I sue for damages?
To be honest, there is no simple answer to this question because every accident and the circumstances following an accident are unique. Still, if you insist, Florida law resources state that most car crash settlements tend to fall anywhere between $10,000 to $60,000.

However, your car accident attorney in Florida will make sure that all of your economic, non-economic and punitive damages are taken into account in the court of law to maximize your settlement.
How can I obtain a copy of the crash report detailing my car accident?
Obtaining a copy of the car crash report in Florida is quite simple. All you need to do is provide the concerning law enforcement department with the following information:

  • The date and time of the crash
  • The exact location of the crash
  • The names of parties or drivers involved in the crash
  • The incident number for the accident (if it was provided to you)

If you have all four, you will make it easier for the recordkeeping department of the law enforcement officers to find the exact report. Also, the incident number is probably the best piece of information to memorize or to keep on your person at all times.
I was hit by a driver in a rental car. Who is responsible for paying for my damages?
Whether it is the rental car's insurance policy that covers your damages or the person driving the car themselves will depend on a couple of factors, for instance, whether the renter had signed a collision damage waiver (CDW).

This waiver is a separate policy that is commonly offered by rental car companies to protect themselves from a possible car crash in one of their vehicles. This particular policy isn't technically considered auto insurance and is offered via major credit card companies, and it is only meant to cover the cost of the rental car.

To sum it all up, if you're hit by a driver in a rental car who also has a CDW, it is quite likely that they will not be held responsible for property damages and personal injuries you suffered from. However, your accident lawyer is going to make sure the rental company's insurance provider is taken to court so you may be granted the compensation you deserve.
How do I find the best car accident negligence lawyer in Fort Myers?
Let's face it, just as there are thousands of accidents across the Southern Gulf Coast, there are numerous law firms and lawyer referral services to choose from. Upon reviewing the best, you'll find it hard to shortlist the best law firm from the ones that have a bad reputation. When deciding which car accident lawyer services to choose to help you with your trouble, we would recommend:

In the worst of circumstances, finding the best auto accident attorney Fort Myers has to offer can mean the difference between being awarded a fair compensation and feeling as if you were cheated. If you choose wisely, you will have already ensured a seamless litigation process, where you focus more on healing and reviving to 100%.
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