Miami Car Accident Lawyer
Hire a Miami Car Accident Lawyer
If you where involved in a car accident in Miami or nearby counties you may want the help of a personal injury lawyer. The following info will help answer some of the more common questions that car accident victims usually need answers to.
Miami is often thought of as the home of some of the most dangerous drivers in the United States, in a state that already sees more than its fair share of traffic accidents. Statistics don’t bear this out, however – Mami drivers are no likely to die or be seriously injured in a traffic accident than other Florida drivers.
Nevertheless, due to the high population of the Miami metro area, traffic accident numbers pile up quickly. In fact, Miami-Dade County sees more than 50,000 accidents a year, including around 300 fatalities. If the odds have caught up with you, you have my condolences. If you believe that the accident was someone else’s fault, however, I might be able to do far more than sympathize with you
What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
Civil claims do not enforce themselves – they must be asserted forcefully on the basis of applicable law. Personal injury law is based primarily on Florid state law, although federal law and Miami Dade local ordinances do figure in from time to time. A car accident lawyer in Miami can assist you by:
- Gathering admissible evidence. In a lawsuit or in settlement negotiations, the truth only matters to the extent that you can prove it with admissible evidence!
- Combine evidence with legal principles to formulate a coherent legal claim on your behalf.
- Calculate the true value of your claim, so that you cannot be taken advantage of.
- Negotiate a private settlement with the insurance company, backed by a carefully drafted settlement agreement.
- File a lawsuit if necessary. Filing a lawsuit alone might just motivate the opposing party to offer more reasonable settlement terms.
- Litigate in court until a decision is reached. A settlement can take place at any time before the court reaches a final decision.
Can I still win my claim if the driver was acquitted of DUI in a criminal court?
Yes, you can, because the standard of proof for a personal injury claim (“preponderance of evidence”) is lower than the standard of proof for a criminal charge (“’beyond a reasonable doubt.”). The O.J. Simpson case is a famous example of how you can win a civil lawsuit even against a defendant who was acquitted in a criminal case alleging the same conduct.
According to this Florida Statute, a person is driving under the influence if they meet one or more of the following descriptions:
- When the persons normal faculties are impaired by alcoholic beverages or possess with intent to breathe, inhale, or drink, any compound, liquid, or chemical containing toluol, hexane, trichloroethylene, acetone, toluene, ethyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, trichloroethane, isopropanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, ethylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate, cyclohexanone, nitrous oxide, diethyl ether, alkyl nitrites (butyl nitrite), or any similar substance for the purpose of inducing a condition of intoxication or which distorts or disturbs the auditory, visual, or mental processes.
- The person has a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more per 100 milligrams of blood
- The person has a great-alcahol level of .08 or more grams per 210 liters of breath
Is there a deadline for filing a car accident claim?
Yes. A personal injury lawsuit must usually be filed within four years of the date of the accident, while a wrongful death claim must usually be filed within two years of the date of death of the victim. Be careful – exceptions apply under certain circumstances.
According the this Florida Statute, here are the deadlines for filling these different type of personal injury related claims:
- Negligence (involves car accidents): 4 Years
- Medical Malpractice: Within 2 years of the incident or within 2 years since the incident was discovered (or should have been discovered). Medical Malpractice claims shall not be claimed past 4 years from the date of the occurence unless the case involves a child of 8 years of age or younger.
Can I negotiate with the insurance company on my own?
Yes, you can, but it’s not a very good idea unless you negotiate auto accident claims for a living (as I do). Insurance company executives rub their hands with glee when they manage to convince a claimant that they “don’t need a lawyer for this claim”. It’s not just whether you win or not – it’s how much compensation you walk away with.
Is Florida still a “no fault” auto insurance state?
Yes, Florida is still a no-fault auto insurance state, although a strong effort to repeal this system was recently defeated by the state legislature and the no-fault system will likely be challenged again. At present, however, the no-fault system work like this:
- All Florida drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance with limits of no lower than $10,000 for personal injury and $10,000 for property damage liability.
- In the vent of an accident, each driver will first look to his own PIP insurance for compensation, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Compensation does not include damages for “pain and suffering.”
- If your injuries are serious enough to meet the legal “injury threshold”, you can go ahead and sue the other driver for your damages, including non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. An experienced car accident lawyer in Miami can help you establish that your injuries meet the legal threshold.
If I was injured by an on-duty commercial driver, can I sue the company he works for?
Yes, you can, as long as the driver was an actual employee of the company. A private company is responsible for the negligent acts of its employees under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. If the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee (as most commercial truckers are) you cannot win a lawsuit against the company unless you can prove that the company itself was negligent.
I was injured in a collision with an ambulance that ran a red light. Is my claim barred simply because the vehicle was an ambulance?
Not necessarily. Although Miami-Dade ordinances on traffic and motor vehicles allow an ambulance to run a red light when responding to an emergency call, the ambulance driver is still required to “drive with due regard for the safety of all persons” and is not protected from the “consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.”
Can I sue the City of Miami or Miami Dade County for the negligent acts of one of its employees (an ambulance driver, for example)?
Yes, you can. The local government is responsible for the negligent acts of its employees in the same way that a private company is. Special rules apply to lawsuits against a city, county or state government, however. You must notify the government first, and then wait at least six months to file a lawsuit.
My Services are Free Unless You Win
I don’t charge by “billable hours” – my legal fee is based on a percentage of the amount of compensation you eventually receive. Additionally, your fee will not become due until your case is won and the defendant has already paid the compensation. If I don’t win, you don’t pay – it’s just as simple as that.
Now is the Time to Start Pursuing Your Claim
If you have been injured in an auto accident in the Miami Dade area, you are going to need a skilled car accident lawyer in Miami. Contact DLE Lawyers today at (305) 775-6689 or fill out my online contact form, for a free initial consultation where I can answer your questions.