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Home | Lake City, FL Car Accident Lawyer

Lake City, FL Car Accident Lawyer

Lake City Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents are a leading cause of accidental injuries and fatalities throughout Northeast Florida each year. When an accident happens in Lake City, a car accident attorney is the ideal resource for the victim to consult to determine their most viable options for recovering from the incident. Under state law, the party responsible for the accident must compensate a victim for the damages they have caused if the victim’s damages exceed their insurance coverage. However, the actual process of proving fault and collecting compensation can be far more challenging than the average person is ready to handle on their own.

Lake City, FL Car Accident Lawyer

Experienced, Reliable Legal Counsel for Car Accident Cases in Lake City, FL

Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need in this challenging situation. Our firm has years of professional experience helping clients recover from all types of personal injuries, including car accidents. The average person will have many pressing legal questions in the aftermath of an unexpected accident, and they face a long series of difficult legal proceedings if they want to recover as fully as the law allows. If you are struggling with the effects of a car accident that another driver caused, our team can help you recover as efficiently as possible.

Proving Liability for Your Car Accident in Lake City

Car accidents can happen in many ways, and the first challenge you face in recovering from a collision is proving the exact cause of the accident. Most of the auto accidents reported in the Lake City area result from negligence, or failure to uphold a duty of care behind the wheel. A few examples of acts of negligence that can cause serious accidents include:

  • Distracted driving, which is responsible for most of the auto accidents reported in the United States each year. Whenever a driver is inattentive behind the wheel they significantly increase their risk of causing an accident. Texting while driving is the most common example of distracted driving, but anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the safe operation of their vehicle can easily cause a devastating crash.
  • While it’s relatively common to see drivers slightly exceeding posted speed limits, any speeding can potentially result in severe consequences. Speeding reduces how much time and distance a driver has to avoid crashing. If a driver causes an accident while excessively speeding, they may face prosecution for reckless driving along with their liability for the damages they cause other motorists.
  • Traffic violations. Any time a driver disregards traffic signals or negligently commits any moving violation that breaks the flow of traffic they can cause an accident. Illegal turns, running red lights, and failure to yield the right-of-way are just a few of the commonly cited forms of moving violations that often cause serious accidents.

Proving negligence for any civil suit in Lake City requires accurate identification of the party at fault for the incident, proof of the damages they caused, and evidence showing a clear causal link between their actions and the plaintiff’s claimed damages. Ultimately, to succeed in securing compensation for the damages you suffered, you must prove the defendant is responsible for them and they did not occur from some other cause.

It is also possible for a driver to cause a serious accident through intentional and illegal misconduct. Driving under the influence (DUI) is the most common example of this seen. Whenever a driver breaks the law and causes an accident, they face criminal charges as well as responsibility for any civil damages they cause others. If this applies to your case, your Lake City car accident attorney can advise you as to how the at-fault driver’s illegal misconduct may influence your recovery.

How to File Your Auto Insurance Claim After an Accident in Lake City

Florida upholds the no-fault system for car accidents, meaning every driver must have their own personal injury protection with their auto insurance. When an accident happens, drivers claim against their own insurance for compensation for their damages, regardless of how the accident happened or who was at fault. However, proving fault becomes necessary when one driver is clearly to blame for the accident and the victim’s damages exceed the scope of their insurance coverage.

Most insurance companies train their representatives to look for any and all reasons they can find to deny claims or justify the lowest possible settlement offers. Some will even engage in bad faith tactics to avoid paying out on claims, but hiring a Lake City car accident attorney can significantly reduce the chances that you will experience such treatment in your impending car accident case. Your legal team can draft your demand letter to your insurance carrier and help recover a settlement as quickly as possible. When you have outstanding damages, you have the right to sue the at-fault driver and seek compensation for the remainder that insurance did not cover.

Building a Personal Injury Case for a Car Accident

The state’s personal injury laws allow the victim of another party’s negligence or illegal actions to hold them accountable for the economic losses they caused. A personal injury claim seeks compensation the plaintiff needs to be whole again after the incident in question, and there are several types of compensation the plaintiff can seek with this civil action.

Once you have identified the party responsible for your car accident and secured as much compensation as you can through insurance, the next step is filing your personal injury suit. You must prove the defendant owed a duty of care that they breached through negligence or an intentional illegal act, prove the damages they caused, and prove causation between their actions and your claimed damages.

Having the right attorney assist you with your personal injury claim significantly increases your chance of success with the claim. Not only can they be very helpful in proving the full scope of the damages the defendant caused, but they can also potentially uncover forms of compensation you may not have known were available to you. Under the state’s personal injury laws, the plaintiff has the right to claim compensation for:

  • The cost of any and all medical care they need to fully recover from their accident. The defendant is liable for both immediate and future medical treatment costs resulting from the accident if the plaintiff experienced severe injuries. Therefore, if you need hospital care, multiple surgeries, and ongoing rehabilitative care after your accident, the defendant is liable for all medical expenses.
  • Property damage. Insurance may not provide much coverage for repairing or replacing your vehicle. Any property losses that you cannot recover through insurance can be added to your personal injury claim.
  • Lost income. When you are unable to work while you recover from your recent car accident, the defendant who caused the accident is liable for any income you could not earn during this time. If you were left permanently disabled from your injuries, a Lake City car accident attorney can potentially help recover compensation for future income you are no longer able to earn.
  • Pain and suffering. When another party has injured you and diminished your ability to work and overall quality of life, you have the right to hold them accountable for the pain and suffering they have inflicted. Florida law only limits pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice claims, so there is no cap on how much you can claim for car accident injuries. Your Lake City car accident attorney can determine an appropriate amount based on your condition after the accident.

Other factors may also come into play and enhance your recovery. Therefore, if the defendant caused the accident through any illegal misbehavior they may face punitive damages or restitution in addition to your other civil damages. Conversely, if you share fault for causing your car accident, it could diminish your recovery.

Working with an experienced Lake City car accident attorney is the optimal way to ensure a positive outcome to your recovery efforts. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed in the aftermath of a damaging accident, especially one you did not cause. Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys has helped many North Florida clients in this situation, and we can help better understand the challenging legal issues you are likely to face after your accident. The faster you reach out to our team, the sooner we can start helping you recover from your accident.

Florida Car Accident Lawyer FAQs

Q: Why Should I Hire a Lake City Car Accident Attorney?

A: While it’s technically possible to handle your recovery from a car accident on your own, investing in trustworthy legal counsel makes the recovery process easier to manage and more likely to generate positive results. You could make mistakes in filing your auto insurance claim or building a personal injury case, resulting in less compensation than you legally deserve. You’re more likely to succeed with all the legal issues you must address after your accident and more likely to maximize your recovery with an attorney’s help.

Q: How Soon Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

A: The more time your attorney has to work on your case, the more likely they are to maximize the compensation you obtain at the end of your recovery efforts. You have a very limited window in which to file an auto insurance claim after your accident, and the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in the state is four years. While this may seem like plenty of time to file your civil suit, you can recover some compensation relatively quickly through auto insurance if you have the right attorney assisting you with your claim.

Q: How Much Compensation Can I Recover for a Personal Injury in Lake City?

A: Under the state’s personal injury laws, the party responsible for your personal injury is responsible for the full scope of economic damages you incurred from their actions. You can also hold them accountable for the pain and suffering you experienced. Many variables can influence the total potential value of any personal injury case, so it’s advisable to consult an experienced Lake City car accident attorney as soon as possible for an estimate of your case’s value.

Q: Can I Still File a Civil Suit if I’m Partially Responsible for My Car Accident?

A: The state recently shifted from a pure comparative fault rule to a modified comparative fault rule that will come into play in any civil case in which the plaintiff shares fault with the defendant. Under this new rule, the plaintiff’s fault threshold before they lose the right to claim compensation from a defendant is 50%, so if their fault is more than 50%, they cannot claim damages. If their fault is less than 50%, their fault percentage will be taken from their final case award as a penalty. For example, a 10% plaintiff fault means the plaintiff loses 10% of their award.

Q: How Much Does a Lake City Car Accident Attorney Cost to Hire?

A: It’s understandable to have concerns about legal fees when you are already facing an expensive car accident and all the related financial issues raised by the incident. Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys makes legal counsel accessible to those who need it most with a contingency fee billing arrangement. Under a contingency fee agreement, the client only pays a fee if their attorney wins their case, and the fee they pay is a portion of the total compensation won by their attorney. If our team cannot secure compensation for you for any reason, you owe nothing in legal fees.

Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys has helped many North Florida clients recover from motor vehicle accidents. We know how the largest auto insurance carriers in the state handle claims and avoid paying out on settlements whenever possible. We can help our client maximize their insurance claim settlement and build a compelling personal injury case that seeks as much compensation as state law allows. If you are ready to learn how a Lake City car accident attorney can help you recover from your recent car accident, contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our team.