Car accidents happen every day in the Tampa area. Many of these are minor incidents that involve property damage and no significant bodily injuries. However, some crashes are severe enough to cause injuries that require significant medical attention, as well as a personal injury claim to seek financial recovery.
Whenever any person is injured in a car accident that is another person’s fault, the injured individual has the right to demand restitution. This can include compensation for the cost of any medical treatment, reimbursement for any time missed at work, and payments for pain and suffering.
A Tampa car accident lawyer could help you structure a lawsuit with which to pursue this compensation. If retained for your car accident case, a professional attorney could work to fully investigate your accident, fit the facts of the case into established Florida laws, and demand an appropriate settlement from defendants’ insurance companies.
Car Accident Laws Applicable to Tampa
There is no such thing as a no-fault accident in Florida. Any time two vehicles crash into each other, someone must be blamed for the incident. To make this determination, a car accident victim can accuse the other involved party or parties of driving negligently. Negligence is a civil cause of action used by injured plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits to place legal liability on the defendant.
To demonstrate negligence, a plaintiff and their Tampa car accident lawyer need to prove three core concepts:
- The defendant owed them a duty of care
- Actions taken by the defendant, or in some situations a failure to act, breached this duty in a way that directly harmed the plaintiff
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused a physical injury
Proving Legal Negligence for Tampa Car Accidents
When negligence law is applied to car accident cases, the first and third elements are almost always present. All drivers assume a duty to protect all other people on the road whenever they drive, including passengers in their own vehicles. Likewise, it is not usually in dispute that the accident caused an injury.
The most complex element of proving negligence in a car accident case is determining whether the defendant driver failed in their duty to protect the plaintiff. A police report—which any officer who responds to a car accident resulting in injury must produce—can be a valuable piece of evidence in these cases.
This report may indicate that the defendant driver was issued a citation such as for speeding or improper lane changes. If this is the case, this can serve as powerful impartial evidence that the defendant was negligent. A Tampa car accident lawyer could work with victims to gather all relevant documented evidence and to place that evidence into the framework of negligence.
It is also important for car accident victims to seek medical treatment quickly, not only for their own sake but also to ensure their compensable injuries are documented prior to settlement negotiations. Photos and videos of the accident scene can also help establish a narrative of negligence on someone’s else part, as can statements and contact information from nearby witnesses.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Today
A car crash can have a profound impact on your life. Even a minor injury may require weeks of treatment and rehabilitation, and all the while you may be missing time at work and enduring severe mental anguish. Fortunately, a car accident lawsuit aimed at a negligent driver could result in you recovering compensation for these losses.
A Tampa car accident lawyer could help you work to maximize this compensation. By gathering evidence, quantifying injuries, and structuring demand letters to be firm and comprehensive, they could help you get back on your feet after an accident and recovery fully for all your damages.
Florida Statutes §95.11 places a time limit of four years on all personal injury cases, so it is generally important to act quickly. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.