As the summer season begins, many of you are looking forward to fun times at backyard barbecues, observing art and artifacts at museums, hiking through mountain ranges, visiting theme parks, or catching some sun rays on one of Florida’s pristine beaches. These adventures begin with travel and in the Sunshine State, which means the annual traffic gridlock on highways and state roads that, when coupled with distracted driving or slick surfaces from the nearly daily thunderstorms, can lead to traffic accidents that cause serious bodily injury—or death.
If you find yourself in an accident, be it a minor fender bender or a major crash with significant damages, your first step should be to contact a local lawyer, like the attorneys at Fasig | Brooks. We would be delighted to meet with you at one of our offices in Tallahassee, Destin, or Jacksonville for a free consultation so that you can better understand your rights.
During an initial meeting, our lawyers can explain:
*Medical care: In the immediate aftermath of an accident, even if the adrenalin rush from the frightening experience leaves you believing that you are unharmed, you should definitely present to an emergency room or walk-in clinic to get examined! The stiffness that invariably occurs hours or even days after an accident could signal serious risks that emergency care providers can detect and treat by prescribing the right medications—or by recommending chiropractic treatment and physical therapy.
*PIP: Florida auto owners are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage, which according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, means that 80 percent of medical expenses up to $10,000 is covered, and that vehicle damage is covered up to $10,000 as well.
Pre-suit litigation process: Whenever the Firm’s automobile accident clients finish their initial rounds of rehabilitative treatment with medical professionals, our lawyers typically send a settlement demand letter to the insurance company of the automobile owner responsible for the accident. We do so only after carefully considering the professional opinions of the law enforcement officer(s) that investigated the case—and after reviewing all of the medical records, treatment notes, and professional opinions of the treating medical providers. Demands usually hinge upon the amount of coverage that is available for personal injury and property damage, and whether any umbrella or excess coverages exist that would ensure maximum recovery for the damages suffered by our clients.
Litigation: If your case is not resolved during the pre-suit process, our lawyers have decades of experience filing complaints for damages in Florida courts to ensure that our clients receive all of the compensation that they deserve for their injuries and damaged property. Under Florida law, claims of negligence require plaintiffs to establish four components: (i) a duty, or obligation, recognized by the law, requiring the [defendant] to conform to a certain standard of conduct, for the protection of others against unreasonable risks; (ii) a failure on the defendant’s part to conform to the standard required: a breach of the duty…; (iii) a reasonably close causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury, i.e. “legal cause” or “proximate cause”; and (iv) actual loss or damage. See Clay Elec. Coop., Inc. v. Johnson, 873 So.2d 1182, 1185 (Fla.2004).
After a lawsuit is filed, our lawyers then participate in the Discovery process, one in which information is exchanged between the parties that is used at later proceedings, such as mediation or trial. While many filed cases eventually settle before or at mediation, our firm has a well-earned reputation for being aggressive and phenomenally successful in securing favorable jury verdicts across Florida.So, while we wish you a safe and memorable summer, do know that the lawyers at Fasig | Brooks are here 24-hours a day should you suffer from damages relating to an automobile accident in Florida!