Fort Lauderdale, FL – There are thousands of people who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents in Florida each year. Many of them will only sustain minor injuries and file an insurance claim to have their vehicle repaired. However, anyone who requires medical treatment after an accident should look into getting help from an attorney to pay for their losses. Legal professionals who assist accident victims can use their skills and expertise to make sure that victims are compensated to the fullest extent allowed by state law.
Preserving evidence for the attorney
After an accident, the driver should immediately contact the local police, ask for medical help if necessary, contact the other drivers involved, and start to document what happened. They can take pictures of the scene, ask the police for their formal accident report, and see if any witnesses nearby saw the collision. All of these steps are crucial, as everything from the insurance claim, to the accident report from the police, to verbal testimony, to pictures of vehicle damage can be used as evidence if a civil case is filed later.
The lawyer’s job after the accident
A client will first meet with the lawyer to present what they have collected and review some info related to when and where the collision took place. One of the most important things is for the victim to summarize all of their losses during an initial consultation. These will become formalized as damages in the complaint that starts the lawsuit. These financial consequences are usually related to property damage and repairs, medical treatment and doctor’s visits, hospital stays right after the collision, and any continued or chronic medical conditions that must be handled after the accident. In some cases, the victim cannot work as normal and these lost wages are also considered.
Negligence cases in Florida
Most accident lawsuits are brought as a standard negligence case. The four elements of negligence are a duty of care, breach of the duty of care, actual and proximate causation, and damages. Plaintiffs in Florida are also able to file a negligence action even if they were partially at fault for the accident. This doctrine is called comparative negligence, and it allows fault for the accident to be divided between all drivers and parties involved. This is in contrast to the doctrine of contributory negligence still used in some states, which says that a person involved in an accident cannot recover if they are found to be even one percent at fault for the collision and damages.
Learning more about the process to get help through a civil lawsuit
USAttorneys.com is a directory that lists lawyers in each state by practice area. Anyone who needs legal assistance after an accident can browse the site to find a lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale area or anywhere else in Florida.