Tampa Car Wreck Lawyer
Across the country, thousands of people die or get severely injured in car accidents every day. According to Space Daily, the Tampa area saw 29,037 car crashes in 2018—that’s an average of 79.55 wrecks every day. Many accidents are the result of drunk driving and distracted driving. Depending on the factors in an accident, including the size of the vehicles, you could suffer catastrophic injuries or even death.
If you have injuries from a car accident or you lost a loved one in a Tampa car accident, a Tampa car wreck lawyer can help you. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Boohoff Law for a free consultation.
What You Should Do After a Tampa Car Accident
If you are in a car accident, you should take several steps if you are physically able. If it is safe to do so, check on the others involved in the accident while you call 911. While you are on the phone, you can tell the dispatchers if they need more than one ambulance. After you call emergency services, then:
- Get the other driver’s contact, registration, and insurance information. The police will also get this information, but you won’t have to wait for a copy of the police report to get it.
- Get the name and phone number from any witnesses to the accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure you get pictures from all angles and include any marks left on the road. Again, the police will also get pictures, but you won’t have to wait for the police report for the pictures.
- If everyone’s injuries are minor and all of the vehicles involved in the accident are movable, and you are on a high-traffic road, move the vehicles to the side of the road, only if you can do it safely.
- Get medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries do not show up for hours or even days. Additionally, the hospital does tests to make sure you do not have internal injuries. Sometimes, it is difficult for a layperson to tell if he or she has a concussion—the hospital can tell if you have a concussion or other traumatic brain injury.
- Contact a Tampa car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Why You Should Contact a Tampa Car Wreck Attorney
Insurance companies are in business to make money. For every claim they must pay, their bottom line drops. They also have high-paid lawyers to represent them if you should take the insurance company to court. An experienced Tampa car accident lawyer knows the laws and the court procedures, which lowers your risk of getting a low-ball settlement or judgment against the insurance company.
Additionally, if your insurance policy and the defendant’s insurance policy is not enough to cover all of your injuries and losses, you might want to sue the defendant. It is easier to convert from negotiation mode to litigation mode when your lawyer is already working on your case—the process goes faster and smoother since the attorney already knows the circumstances of the accident and the injuries and losses you incurred.
Furthermore, you have a few days to make an insurance claim, but you have two to four years to file a court case, depending on what you file for. For example, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years, while it is four years for negligence. Because negotiations could take some time, the sooner you contact a Tampa car wreck lawyer, the sooner you can recover the compensation you deserve, especially when you have to take your case to court.
Car Wreck Injuries
Sometimes, car wreck injuries are very minor that might not even need medical attention, but in most cases, people suffer at least one major injury, such as a cut that needs stitches or a broken leg. Depending on what hit you and how the other driver hit you, you may even suffer severe injuries such as a mild concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury, or a catastrophic injury that maims you for life.
Injuries you might incur as a result of a car accident include:
- Death, whether you die at the scene of the accident or you succumb to your injuries some time later.
- Traumatic brain injuries such as a concussion, which could be mild or severe, or something impaled your brain, or any other traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries could last a few days, weeks, months, or could even be permanent.
- Internal injuries that you cannot see and may not feel until it’s too late. Sometimes you cannot feel internal bleeding, especially right after an accident.
- Neck, back, shoulder and spinal cord injuries are often connected because everything is close to your spine or directly involves your spine. Certain injuries could cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Fractures include simple fractures where the bone does not puncture the skin and compound fractures where the bone does puncture the skin.
- Infections of open wounds. You could also suffer from sepsis, a blood infection from certain types of injuries. Furthermore, if you are in the hospital, you are at risk for MRSA and other major infections.
- Strains, sprains and other soft tissue injuries. In most cases, these heal within weeks, but if you require surgery to repair a pulled muscle, you open yourself to infection of the open wound, plus physical therapy to repair the muscle damage.
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises might seem minor, but you could require stitches and monitoring to make sure a severe bruise does not cause a blood clot.
If you have underlying conditions, such as diabetes, or you are on prescription drugs, including chemotherapy, that lower your white cell counts, you will most likely heal slower. You are also at a higher risk for infection. Because underlying conditions could significantly affect the time it takes for you to heal, always tell your Tampa car accident lawyer that you have underlying conditions or are taking medications that lower your white and red cell counts.
Physical, Cognitive and Psychological Therapy
In many cases, you may require different types of therapy. For example, you might need physical therapy to strengthen muscles after non-use because of a pulled muscle or a broken bone. You might require cognitive therapy and/or physical therapy if you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Additionally, you might need psychological therapy to help you with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression. Many people suffer from this anxiety disorder enduring trauma, such as a fatal accident or an accident with severe injuries.
Finally, you could suffer anxiety and depression if you feel as though you are a burden on family members and friends if your injuries take a long time to heal or if your injuries are permanent.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?
The compensation you get depends on many factors, including but not limited to:
- The severity of your injuries;
- How much property damage the accident caused;
- Whether your injuries are long-term, permanent or short-term;
- Who is at fault and whether you share in the fault; and
- Whether the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional.
Social Security considers injuries or reasons for therapy as long-term injuries if you have not recovered or you still need therapy after 12 months.
Types of Damages
You could be eligible for three types of damages: Special, general and punitive damages.
Economic damages, also called special damages, are those with a dollar amount attached. They might include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, repair or replacement of property, including your vehicle and personal items in the vehicle that suffered damage, and funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages, also called general damages, are those that do not have a specific dollar amount attached to them. While no amount of money can bring a lost loved one back or take away your suffering, the money does help when you have to start paying bills on your own because you lost a loved one, and when you cannot work due to your injuries. General damages might include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of use of a limb or organ; and
Unlike special and general damages, which the court orders to make you whole again, punitive damages are not to make you whole. A court only orders a defendant to pay punitive damages if his or her behavior is grossly negligent or intentional. Punitive damages are meant to be a punishment for the defendant, in the hopes that he or she does not repeat the behavior that caused your injuries.
Types of Accidents Boohoff Law Handles
The attorneys at Boohoff Law handles all types of vehicle accidents, including:
- Drunk driving accidents: The courts often consider drunk driving grossly negligent behavior because 1) there is no reason to drive while you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other chemical substances; and 2) the drunk driver knew or should have known that he or she would most likely get into an accident, and the accident could cause death or catastrophic injuries.
- Distracted driving accidents: Distracted driving is also a form of negligent behavior, especially with all of the publicity and new laws implemented over the past few years governing distracted driving. Eating, fiddling with the radio, using a cell phone for any reason without a hands-free device, putting on makeup, fixing your hair and reading a book are all forms of distracted driving.
- Rear-end accidents: In most cases, if someone hits you from the rear, the police will not that it is that person’s fault as he or she might be distracted, driving under the influence or following too close. In some cases, rear-end accidents are truly accidents because the driver had a medical emergency.
- Head-on crashes: Head-on wrecks happen when someone is in the wrong lane. The person in the wrong might have been passing a slower vehicle, or might be driving under the influence or while distracted. Poor road conditions or a vehicle malfunction could also cause someone to drift into the wrong lane.
- Wrong-way wrecks: Wrong-way crashes generally happen on one-way streets or highways. If you are not from an area and need to get on a highway at a busy intersection, it is easy to get confused. Sometimes, drunk drivers, distracted drivers and those fleeing and eluding the police drive the wrong way on highways and city streets.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, contact an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer at Boohoff Law by calling (877) 999-9999 as soon as possible. You have just a few days to file a claim with your insurance company and that of the defendant. The sooner you get an attorney, the sooner you recover your expenses, including lost wages.
If the insurance company denies your claim or offers a settlement that is not fair and reasonable, you can make the transition to litigation much smoother. While your attorney might help you gather the documents you need to negotiate or litigate your case, you should bring what you have with you to your initial consultation, including the police report, any pictures you took, all of the contact information you gathered, any medical records relating to the accident that you might have, any medical records showing underlying conditions you might have, and any receipts for medical care and other expenses related to the accident that you paid out of pocket.
The initial consultation is free, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you, even if you are in the hospital.
3351 W. Bearss Avenue
Tampa, FL 33618
Phone: (877) 659-2417