West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyers
Top-rated Palm Beach County personal injury attorneys
Were you injured in a Florida car accident?
The road to recovery begins here...
By Joshua Winegar | Winegar Law, P.A.
September 15th, 2023
When the unexpected happens on Florida’s roads, you need a trusted advocate by your side. Our firm specializes in representing those involved in car accidents throughout the state. Whether you’re dealing with injuries, property damage, or insurance claims, our experienced team of Florida car accident lawyers will help secure the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Winegar Law West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can help
After a car accident, injury victims often face uncertainty about their next steps. One of your initial actions following medical treatment should be reaching out to a reputable Florida car accident attorney. Our experienced team will:
- Obtain police and accident reports on your behalf
- Assist with reconstructing the accident scene
- Interview Witnesses to understand the accident’s cause and responsible party
- Analyze medical records to assess your compensation needs
- Review the at-fault motorist’s records and driving history
- Engage expert witnesses for comprehensive evidence evaluation
- Negotiate a fair settlement with insurance adjusters on your behalf
You can rely on our dedicated attorneys to work tirelessly with your best interests at heart. We understand the importance of obtaining rightful compensation to help you rebuild your life after an accident.
Securing compensation after a West Palm Beach car accident
As a no-fault state, Florida Law requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability. After an automobile accident, injury victims can seek compensation from their own insurance provider, regardless of fault.
Florida Statute 627.736 outlines the benefits that PIP should offer:
- Disability benefits: PIP covers 60 percent of lost income or earning capacity for individuals unable to work due to their injuries. It also covers reasonable expenses for services that the injured person would have otherwise performed themselves.
- Medical benefits: For emergencies, the injured party should receive reimbursement for 80 percent of the initial medical expenses incurred within 14 days of the accident, up to $10,000. This also applies to additional medical care recommended by the healthcare provider. If the injury does not qualify as a medical emergency, the compensation for medical care is limited to $2,500.
- Death benefits: PIP provides $5,000 in death benefits per individual, in addition to any medical and disability benefits.
Damages covered under the PIP policy are capped at the limits of the policy and not accessible through a lawsuit. Punitive damages will not be awarded if they exceed policy limits, but provisions under Florida law provide ways to seek additional damages if your accident involves:
- Permanent loss of bodily function
- Permanent scars / injuries
What are punitive damages and how they impact West Palm Beach car accident cases
Punitive damages are permitted to punish the person who engages in willful and wanton conduct. However, Florida courts have long held that there is no insurance coverage for punitive damages and does not permit the insurability of punitive damages. The rationale is that it is against public policy to allow gross negligence to be insurable.
Examples of gross negligence include:
- Extreme Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds well above the posted speed limit or in a manner that is clearly dangerous for road conditions.
- Driving Under the Influence: Operating a vehicle while heavily impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
- Reckless Racing: Engaging in street racing activities on public roads.
- Wrong-way Drivers: Entering a roadway in the opposite direction of traffic
- Excessive Tailgating: Following another vehicle at an unreasonably close distance
- Intentional Dangerous Maneuvers: Performing dangerous stunts or maneuvers, like intentionally swerving into oncoming traffic or passing multiple vehicles in a no-pass zone.
- Hit-and-Run: Leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury or death.
- Texting or Distracted Driving: Prolonged and deliberate texting, browsing, or other distracting activities while driving.
- Driving Without a License: Operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, especially after previous license suspension or revocation.
If you've been affected by gross negligence, or have questions if your case qualifies for punitive damages, give us a call or complete our online case evaluation form. Winegar Law may be able to pursue additional compensation on your behalf.
Steps to take immediately after a West Palm Beach car accident
Move to a Safe Location
Leave the path of oncoming traffic as soon as possible. If possible, use your hazard lights and any other warning devices available to alert other drivers.
Exchange Contact Information
Share insurance details, vehicle information, and contact info with all parties involved, including witnesses.
Seek Medical Help
Even if you feel fine at first, adrenaline masks pain and symptoms, and some injuries may not be obvious immediately. If there are serious injuries, call 911 or ask someone nearby.
Contact Law Enforcement
Florida law requires a crash report to be filed with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles if there has been a death, an injury, or property damage exceeding $500. This is usually done at the scene by the responding officer and filed for you.
Take Pictures of the scene
Get photos of the vehicles involved, their positions, any visible damages, road conditions, traffic signals or signs, and the license plates. These photos will support your case for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Seek Legal Advice
To obtain maximum compensation, it’s important to reach out to a car accident attorney like Winegar Law as soon as possible. Assessing the strength of your case only requires a short call, and we only charge fees if we win. Call 24/7 or complete our online free.
Maintain Medical Treatments
Attend all follow-up appointments, therapy, and rehabilitation sessions as necessary. Keep a record of your injuries, symptoms, and treatment progress to help prove the extent of your injuries, conditions, and the expenses you’ve paid.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
Florida’s comparative negligence system relies on evidence to determine each party’s share of responsibility, making thorough evidence preservation crucial. Proper documentation can include photos, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and more.
Common mistakes to avoid after a car accident in West Palm Beach
Failing to seek medical attention
Even if you don’t feel immediate pain or injuries, it’s important to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and delaying treatment can negatively affect your case.
Neglecting to gather evidence
Collecting evidence at the accident scene is crucial. Take photos, gather witness statements, and obtain copies of police reports and medical records to support your claim.
Speaking to insurance companies without representation
Insurance companies may offer a small settlement that is much lower than what you should receive. You may also be asked questions or have conversations that could be used against you later. You can avoid being exposed to legal pitfalls by contacting Winegar Law first.
Waiting too long to file a claim
Time limits exist for filing a car accident claim, called statutes of limitations. Waiting too long may result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.
West Palm Beach - 2023 Crash Statistics
Year-to-date cumulative totals based on preliminary data
Lane Departures: The leading cause of accidents and traffic fatalities in West Palm Beach
When comparing West Palm Beach to Palm Beach County 2023 Year-to-date:
- Palm Beach County has more crashes reported due to intersections and aging drivers
- West Palm Beach reports more accidents related to lane changes
- 3,051 Total Crashes in West Palm Beach compared to 26,632 for all of Palm Beach County
- 11.4% of accidents in Palm Beach County occur within the city limits of West Palm Beach
Top 7 causes of car accidents in West Palm Beach
- Lane Departures
- Motorcyclists / Scooters
- Pedestrian / Bicyclists
- Speeding / Aggressive Driving
- Aging Road Users
- Teen Drivers
When should you hire a West Palm Beach car accident attorney?
We know the initial experience is overwhelming, and hiring a car accident attorney might not be the first thing you think of but it’s important to act as soon as possible. Evidence can be lost or destroyed, memories fade, and you have to act before the statute of limitations passes.
If you are experiencing any of the following due to a Florida car accident, don’t hesitate to call on us.
- Loss of income and financial stress
- Any injury due to a preventable accident
- Fault is unclear or hard to prove
- If you are facing resistance
- Negotiating settlements with insurance companies
How to choose the right West Palm Beach car accident attorney
Choosing the right lawyer for your car accident case is crucial to the outcome of your claim. Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:
1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and has a proven track record of success in car accident cases.
3. Communication: Ensure that the lawyer is responsive and communicates effectively. You should feel comfortable discussing your case and asking questions.
4. Resources: Consider the resources available to the lawyer. A well-established firm with a team of experts can provide additional support and expertise.
5. Fee structure: Discuss the lawyer’s fee structure upfront to avoid any surprises. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case.
By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a lawyer who is not only qualified but also the right fit for your specific needs.
Benefits of hiring Winegar Law for your car accident case
Legal Expertise: We understand state traffic laws for precise case handling.
Maximized Compensation: We secure the highest possible settlements by identifying all compensation sources and negotiating with insurers.
Evidence Gathering: We can help collect vital evidence, including accident reports, medical records, road conditions, and driving records of the at-fault party to bolster your case.
Case Valuation: We can accurately assess your claim’s worth, factoring in medical costs, property damage, lost wages, and suffering.
Negotiation Skills: As skilled negotiators, we know what your case is worth and fight aggressively to achieve a fair outcome.
Litigation Support: We’re ready support you in or out of court.
Reduced Stress: We handle the entire process from communications on your behalf including discussions, paperwork, and fulfilling all deadlines so you can focus on your recovery.
Contingency Fee Arrangement: No fee unless we win. If we take your case on, we’re committed to winning it.
Fair Insurance Assessment: We deal with insurance companies. You won’t risk accepting less or have to question settlement offers without legal advice.
Expertise in Complex Cases: From the simple to the complex, our experience will guide you every step of the way.
How to get started and what to expect during your free consultation
The first step is to simply reach out. We understand this is a challenging time, and we’re here to offer support and clarity.
During your initial consultation:
- You can share your account of the car accident, detailing the events and any injuries you sustained.
- Our experienced attorneys will listen attentively, assess the potential strength of your case, and provide an initial evaluation.
- We will explain your legal rights and the options available to you based on the specifics of your situation.
- You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns you may have regarding your case.