Managing a car accident claim on your own, especially if you’re injured, can be a stressful experience. With medical bills and other expenses piling up, you may not know where to turn. If this sounds like you, it might be time to call a Brooksville car accident lawyer you can trust. Attorney Wendy Doyle-Palumbo is an experienced trial lawyer equipped with the knowledge necessary to help pursue the compensation you need to recover.
While it’s not always necessary to hire a car accident attorney for your case, there are a few indications that it might be helpful. In crashes involving no injuries or little property damage, there may be no reason to retain a Brooksville car accident lawyer.
However, some cases are much more complicated, especially if they involve:
If any of these factors apply to your situation, we recommend reaching out to our car accident lawyer in Brooksville, Florida. Wendy Doyle Palumbo, Esq. offers free initial consultations where she can answer questions and discuss your claim with you.
With car accidents, there are three types of damages that victims may receive: economic, non-economic, and punitive. The first two sets of damages reimburse the victim for any losses they incur due to the incident. In contrast, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for intentional acts or wanton negligence.
Economic damages are based on actual monetary losses resulting from your injury. In other words, you can easily calculate these damages using bills, receipts, or other financial documentation. This includes things like hospital fees, medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and future treatment costs. For example, if you have $10,000 in medical bills and an estimated car repair of $5,000, your total economic damages are $15,000.
Non-economic or general damages are a little more difficult to estimate. Instead of covering financial losses, non-economic damages primarily cover physical or emotional losses. In essence, victims request these damages when a monetary value can’t summarize the loss.
Does your injury cause you chronic pain? Do you have any mental trauma from the accident itself? What if your injury prevents you from participating in a cherished hobby? These are the types of losses that non-economic damages are meant to address.
Every auto accident attorney in Brooksville has a different way of measuring non-economic damages. Many use a whole number to represent these losses, usually between 1 and 5.
They then take that number and multiply it by the economic damages to get a total damage amount. So, if you have $15,000 in economic damages and your Brooksville auto accident attorney assigns a multiplier of three, your total damages are $45,000.
What’s unique about punitive damages is that they are not particularly common. That’s because they only apply in cases of severe negligence or intentional harm.
A good example of this is a repeat DUI offender causing an accident. If it’s their second or third offense, the court may find punitive damages appropriate as a means of punishing the defendant’s repeated misconduct.
The hope is that this punishment will discourage the defendant from driving drunk in the future. However, it’s much harder to pursue punitive damages, so it’s best to consult with our Brookville car accident lawyer if you think they apply to your case.
One of the major factors that can affect the value of a car accident case is negligence. Under Florida Statutes 768.81, all personal injury claims follow a pure comparative negligence doctrine.
This means that a victim may pursue compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident. However, the catch is that the court reduces the total award by their percentage of fault.
Let’s see how this might play out in a fictional scenario. Suppose you get into a car accident at a stop sign and have a total of $50,000 in damages.
The evidence shows that you did a rolling stop at the intersection, and the other driver ran the stop sign. The insurance company or court finds that you are 20% at fault for not coming to a complete stop. This means your award is reduced by 20% to a total of $40,000.
Proving the fault of the other driver is crucial to getting a desirable outcome for your case. This is why it’s best to reach out to a motor vehicle accident attorney in Brooksville if there are any disagreements about who is at fault.
While most claims settle before ever reaching trial, there are some that go all the way to court. In this case, it’s essential that you remember the statute of limitations or time limit for filing a lawsuit.
In Florida, claimants have four years from the date of the accident to file. If you don’t bring an action before this time limit expires, the court will likely dismiss your case. Thankfully, a Brooksville car accident lawyer will make sure you don’t miss this deadline.
Wendy Doyle-Palumbo has over 30 years of legal experience assisting victims of car accidents throughout Florida. Whether you need help gathering evidence, finding witnesses, negotiating with the insurance company, or making case filings before the statute of limitations expires, Wendy will help you every step of the way. Contact us today for help.