West Palm Beach Auto Accident Attorney
Experiencing physical and emotional pain after a car accident in West Palm Beach? If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida
At Steigner, Greene & Feiner, our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers have helped thousands of victims get the full compensation they deserve. Since 1997, our team has recovered over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients.
Our team is here ready to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t let money keep you from contacting us. You don’t owe us a dime until we win your case. So give us a call at (561) 566-5021 or reach out to us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Our past settlements include:
$13,000,000 Settlement for a car accident involving a bicyclist
$11,500,000 Settlement for death resulting from an auto accident
$10,000,000 Settlement for death resulting from an auto accident
Because every accident and injury is different, a West Palm Beach car accident attorney will take the time to investigate the unique details of your case. We’ll help you work through the legal details and stress of your accident so you can concentrate on getting better.
AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS
How a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Will Help
After you’ve been in a car accident in West Palm Beach, you may need medical treatment, you could miss work due to your injuries and you may have other expenses to take care of. In Florida, the no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance system automatically covers many of your expenses, including medical bills, lost wages and funeral/burial costs.
However, PIP only covers a portion of your expenses, namely 80% of medical costs (less if your treatments aren’t considered “emergency care”). However, Florida law does let you file a personal injury lawsuit after receiving compensation from your PIP coverage if your injuries are considered severely disfiguring and/or permanent, or they result in death. In addition, if your medical bills exceed $10,000, you may sue for the amount above $10,000. An experienced car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can help you explore your legal options and determine if you should file a lawsuit.
My case couldn't have been handled better. It was handled in a timely manner - it wasn't rushed. If something ever happened again and I needed an attorney, Steinger, Greene & Feiner would be the first place I would go.
Types of Compensation Available After a Car Accident in West Palm Beach
As mentioned previously, you can seek compensation for your injuries after a car accident if your medical costs exceed $10,000. This type of compensation, or damages, is called economic. Economic damages are intended to help you recover the financial loss you suffered after a wreck. This includes:
- Medical Bills: You are entitled to compensation for the medical bills you have now as well as projected or anticipated medical costs depending on the severity of the accident. If, for example, your medical practitioner has informed that there will be X number of therapeutic visits, surgeries, or follow-ups required all of those costs can be factored into the compensation.
- Lost Wages: If you sustained injuries that prevent you from working as you normally would. In these situations, you can receive compensation for any missed work and the income you lost as a direct result.
- Property Damage: Property damage refers to any damage to your vehicle, to your property inside the vehicle, or your physical property if an accident takes place in your driveway.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Out-of-pocket expenses refer to things like prescription medications, medical equipment, hotel fees if you had to seek medical treatment out of town, rental car expenses, parking fees, or transportation services if you were not able to drive.
The other main type of damages is called noneconomic. These damages are intended to compensate you for the non-financial losses you suffered. These include:
- Pain and Suffering: To calculate pain and suffering, your actual damages are multiplied by a specific figure in order to evaluate how much compensation you may receive. Effectively, with certain injuries it’s presumed that it’s going to be painful and you should get compensation for the physical pain and the suffering you will.
- Mental Anguish: Like pain and suffering, mental anguish—anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other mental ailments–can be harder to prove than physical injuries. Your car accident lawyer can help determine and prove whether you suffered mental anguish from your car accident.
- Loss of Enjoyment in Life: Your West Palm Beach car accident attorney can pursue compensation for a loss of enjoyment in life, especially in situations where your injuries are severe enough that they prevent you from continuing with the activities that once brought you joy. Paralysis or severe injuries might prevent you from enjoying hobbies you once had or cause you to spend less time with friends and family.
Punitive damages may also be assessed. These are intended to punish the defendant and prevent similar behavior in the future.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After Your Accident
Dealing with insurance companies is best left to your West Palm Beach car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters have one goal, and that is to minimize financial loss for the company by reducing the settlement amount you receive. They may even deny your claim altogether.
The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend
Though they seem friendly, insurance adjusters are not your friend. They are specifically trained to identify the car accident cases that could cost the insurance company a lot and offer low settlement amounts early on.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement Without Consulting a Lawyer
You should absolutely avoid giving a recorded statement to an insurance company without consulting a car accident attorney in West Palm Beach. The more information you reveal, even seemingly innocuous details about your medical recovery or your symptoms or past medical conditions, the higher the likelihood that the company will fight you tooth and nail to deny your claim. This is something best left to an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney.
How an Investigation Helps Build Your Case
Once a car accident attorney in West Palm Beach decides to take your case, they will launch an investigation into your car accident. One of the first steps your lawyer will take is getting a copy of the police report. This report will contain all of the pertinent details of the accident, including where and when it happened, road and weather conditions, who was determined to be at fault, and more.
With this report, your attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist to help build your case. An accident reconstructionist uses the laws of physics and engineering to recreate exactly what happened in your accident. This helps determine exactly who’s at fault and how the collision happened.
Your attorney may also hire other experts, like doctors and psychologists, to further build your case by investigating your injuries, physical and mental, and other aspects of the incident. They will also investigate all the documents and photos you provide to ensure they come up with a realistic number for the compensation you deserve.
What Part Does Negligence Play in a Car Accident Case?
One of the most important aspects your West Palm Beach car accident attorney will investigate is if negligence played a role in the accident. In order for you to receive compensation, the other driver must have intentionally caused the accident, or acted negligently — that is, in a way that another reasonable person wouldn’t.
In order for negligence to be proven, you must show that the other driver breached their duty of care to drive safely, following all traffic laws and avoiding causing injury. You must also show that their actions caused your injury and that their actions weren’t caused by an unforeseeable incident (such as swerving to dodge a tree falling in the road). Finally, you must show you suffered real monetary loss as a result of the accident.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. This means you can receive compensation for your injuries, even if you were partially at fault. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be lessened by the amount you are at fault. For instance, if the total compensation awarded is $10,000, but you are found 30% at fault, you would only receive $7,000.
Types of Car Accident Cases Steinger, Greene & Feiner Handles
Whether you are stuck in traffic on the highway, driving through your small neighborhood, or sitting in a parking lot, car accidents can take place. Our law firm has successfully litigated a variety of car accidents, including:
- Rollovers. Vehicle rollovers are one of the most violent types of crashes and have the biggest impact on the vehicles involved, the area in which the accident takes place, and the drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association found that 15% of fatalities from rollover accidents involve multiple vehicles.
- Rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions take place when one driver crashes into the back of a car in front of them, and most of the time these are a result of distracted driving. When drivers are tailgating, distracted, or speeding before change lanes, it can result in a rear-end collision. In parking lots, for example, rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents, even at low speeds, and they can still bring about serious injuries.
- Side-impact collisions. Side-impact collisions are also called T-bones. These often take place at intersections, when cars are passing one another on a road, or in parking lots. One-fourth of all fatalities resulting from car accidents are side-impact collisions. Depending on where the car is struck, the injuries can be severe, especially if one car impacts the side of another driver.
- Head-on collisions. Head-on collisions involve the front end of two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction that hit one another. These types of accidents are typically fatal, especially when one or more driver is speeding.
- Single-car accidents. As the name suggests, single car accidents involve one vehicle. Most of the time this type of accident is a situation where one car was run off the road and collides with an object. This can also happen when a driver comes across falling debris that causes a collision, a rollover, or animals crossing the road that results in single-car accident. If you believe another party was at fault for your accident, such as a property owner, you may have a valid claim.
- Multi-car accidents. Multi-car accidents obviously involved more than one vehicle and these cover almost every other type of car accident listed here. The more cars involved, the more dangerous the situation is and the higher the likelihood of serious injuries.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in West Palm Beach
There are different causes of car accidents and some carry heavier sentences than others. The cause of the car accident can also play an influential role in the severity of the accident and subsequently in any injuries sustained.
- Drunk driving. Drunk driving is a serious issue in Florida, with 350 people dying as a result of crashes involving alcohol in 2018 alone. In Palm Beach County there were 298 alcohol-related crashes in 2017, which resulted in 167 injuries and five fatalities. While these figures are dropping incrementally on an annual basis, it’s still a serious problem and a cause of many car accidents with severe ramifications.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that draws the attention away from the road and results in a cognitive, visual, or manual distraction–or all three. This means anything that takes away your mental focus, takes your eyes off the road even if just for a split second, or takes your hands off the steering wheel as you reach for something in the car.
- Improper lane changes or turns. Failing to adhere to street signs or traffic signals can all lead to serious car accidents involving improper lane changes and turns.
- Running red lights or stop signs. Running red lights or stop signs can result in serious car accidents involving other vehicles and/or pedestrians.
- Speeding. Speeding is the second highest cause of accidents, so it’s imperative you stay within legal speeding limits, even if you are running late.
- Tailgating. Tailgating prevents drivers from being able to react adequately to sudden turns or immediate stops and is a common factor in rear-end collisions.
- Mechanical failures or tire blowouts. Mechanical failures or tire blowouts can cause vehicles to swerve unexpectedly. Failing to keep calm and stay in control of the vehicle can cause a multi-vehicle accident.
Common Injuries After a Serious Car Accident
The type of injuries you may sustain is usually a direct result of the type of car accident you experienced. Your injuries may include:
- Cuts and bruises. Cuts and bruises are incredibly common in serious car accidents. Anything inside your car, like a cell phone, a GPS device, sunglasses, or a metallic water bottle, can be thrown about the car in an accident and strike passengers, causing deep lacerations, minor scrapes and cuts, and bruises.
- Whiplash. Whiplash can be incredibly minor or severe. It’s the most common injuries sustained in rear-end accidents as a result of the neck muscles moving in unexpected ways. It can result in neck stiffness, pain, and headaches. It can also manifest in the form of chronic neck pain and, in the worst of cases, head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
- Head injuries. Head injuries are a common result of car accidents because of the unexpected change direction the car takes or the jarring movement from the impact. This causes the head to go into an unnatural movement very quickly that strains the muscles in the neck, the back, and the head. At high enough speeds it can result in concussions and subsequently brain damage, especially if the head hits a part of the car, such as the steering wheel or the windshield.
- Broken and fractured bones. Your bones are at a very high risk of being broken or fractured during a car accident as they hit against the car door or the steering wheel at high enough speeds. Depending on the location of the break and the severity, it can take months to heal fully. In the interim, it may be difficult to complete any of your daily tasks or return to work.
- Internal Bleeding. Internal organs are at a serious risk for internal bleeding, especially if the center of your body took the brunt of the impact. This may occur if you were pushed forward into the dashboard or the steering wheel.
- Herniated discs. Herniated discs are one of the most common back injuries sustained in a car accident and can produce muscle weakness, regular pain in the arms and legs, and tingling sensations.
Pedestrian Accidents in West Palm Beach
A pedestrian accident victim or loved ones who lose a family member in a crash can pursue a claim from the driver responsible for the accident. To make a successful pedestrian accident claim, the injured victim will need to show:
- That the driver was unreasonably negligent or careless. You can show this by demonstrating that a hypothetical average driver would have been more careful or by proving that the motorist broke a safety rule or regulation.
- That the carelessness or negligence was the cause
- That some type of harm such as injury or death resulted from the driver’s behavior
- That the driver or insurance company has the means to compensate
Evidence from the scene of the accident, a police report, witness statements and expert testimony from an accident reconstruction specialist can all be used to help you prove these elements of your case. A West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer will work with you to maximize your compensation.
Car Accident Statistics in Palm Beach County
In 2017, there were 402,385 total collisions in the State of Florida — nearly 1,100 per day. Comparatively, there were 27,273 total car accidents in Palm Beach County. This was the fifth-highest amount of all counties, behind Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange and Hillsborough.
Those collisions resulted in 15,912 injuries and 162 deaths. Though many of those wrecks were caused by distracted driving, speeding and other common reasons, alcohol and drugs did play a major role in some wrecks:
- There were 298 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 165 injuries and 5 deaths
- There were 41 drug-related crashes, resulting in 48 injuries and 2 fatalities
- There were 9 accidents in which drugs and alcohol played a role, resulting in 10 injuries and 5 fatalities
Speak to a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Today
The laws surrounding compensation for injuries after a car accident can be complicated. Even knowing if you meet the criteria to file a car accident lawsuit can be confusing. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a West Palm Beach car accident attorney as soon as possible.
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we’ve helped recover over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. Call us today at (561) 566-5021 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how much we can get you!