Milton Car Accident Lawyer

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Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Serving Residents of Santa Rosa County

Car collisions cause property damage and injuries to drivers and passengers, which can be frustrating and painful. This emotional, physical, and financial strain is worse when another driver or negligent party is responsible for these damages. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s lack of care, you could recover your current and future financial losses. A Milton car accident lawyer can help you get the most benefit from this claim.

In the country, car accidents are one of the highest causes of accidental personal injury. This is no different in Milton and surrounding communities, and many people are injured and killed in car accidents. Many of these are preventable if drivers and other parties take reasonable care. According to preliminary data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), there were 397,542 car accidents in Florida throughout 2022, which, in total, resulted in 3,583 fatalities and 252,150 injuries.

In Santa Rosa County, there were 2,173 car crashes, which resulted in 21 fatalities across 21 fatal accidents and 1,402 injuries. When reviewing only injury crashes, there were 1,381 injuries in the county across 911 injury accidents. Santa Rosa County also saw 336 hit-and-run accidents out of the state of Florida’s 107,838. There was one fatality and 50 injuries from Santa Rosa County hit-and-run accidents.

If you were injured in a car accident in Santa Rosa County or Milton, an attorney is a useful ally when filing insurance and/or civil claims and protecting your rights.

Protect Your Interests After a Milton Car Accident

Working with a skilled attorney after an accident can be immensely helpful. At Phil Hall, P.A., our team has nearly 20 years of experience in personal injury and other civil claims. Our firm works hard to protect our communities’ rights. We want to help you manage your claim effectively and efficiently following a difficult car accident. Our team understands that even minor injuries can be devastating and frustrating, so we can work closely with you to provide compassionate support.

Our firm has helped many individuals and families after traumatic car accidents, and we know how difficult these cases can be, emotionally and financially. We can determine if you have a viable claim, negotiate with insurance providers, and fight for the compensation that you deserve. We believe that the ideal way to obtain compensation is to submit a claim that gives a true and complete picture of your life and how your injuries affect your ability to live your life.

At Phil Hall, P.A., we know that financial compensation will not fix all the frustration and loss, but we believe that it can provide you with some stability and certainty. We strive for straightforward, communicative, and accessible legal support.

Who Could Be Liable for the Damages in a Car Accident?

Florida is a no-fault car accident state, which means that, when you are involved in a collision, you file an insurance claim with your own insurance provider. If your damages are covered by this claim, you may not need to prove that someone was at fault for the accident. However, in more serious accidents that cause significant property damage, severe injury, and even death, additional legal claims may be necessary for damages that even maximum insurance coverage does not provide.

If you need to file an additional claim, you must determine who was at fault for the accident. An attorney can help you investigate the collision and determine fault. When the at-fault party is determined, they can be held legally and financially responsible for your injuries and losses. The most common parties who may be liable for an accident are:

Other Drivers

If another driver or party on the road was responsible for the accident, you could file a personal injury claim against them. Most car accident personal injury claims are based on negligence. For another driver to be considered at fault due to negligence, the following must be proven:

  • The driver owed you a reasonable duty of care.
  • The driver breached this duty of care by action or inaction.
  • This breach in care directly caused the accident.
  • You suffered an injury or other losses because of the accident.

Negligent actions may include driving distracted, driving while tired, or driving a car that they knew was unsafe. Reckless or intentional misconduct, such as speeding, ignoring traffic laws and traffic signals, or driving while intoxicated, may also be grounds for fault.

Product Manufacturers

Car accidents can also be caused by a defective or dangerous component of a car or other motor vehicle. Product manufacturers, designers, and distributors have a responsibility to create products that are safe for consumers.

Car systems, such as the steering, brakes, tires, and airbags, are essential to the safe operation of a vehicle. These can cause accidents if they malfunction or stop working. The company that made or distributed those defective systems could be liable for all injuries that result from the accident.

Government or Private Agencies

Accidents can also be caused by poor road conditions or badly maintained roads and road signs. When this is the case, the agency responsible for the road’s upkeep could be liable if they knew or should have known about the danger. Hazards that can cause accidents and collisions include:

  • Poor drainage
  • Potholes
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Low or no lighting
  • Covered or hard-to-read road signs
  • Poor construction quality

Each type of civil claim after a car accident may need to be approached differently. It takes a thorough investigation into the accident to determine who was at fault and find the evidence necessary to prove fault. Whether your damages are recoverable through an insurance claim or additional claims are necessary, a Santa Rosa County auto accident attorney can help. They can negotiate with the insurance companies for your car insurance claim and for your civil claim, advocating for maximum compensation.

What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?

Car accidents can be caused by many negligent or reckless actions by other drivers as well as circumstances outside the control of any driver. Some roads have more dangers than others. Between 2018 and 2020, Florida’s most dangerous portion of road was a 4.9-mile-long stretch of U.S.-19 from Denton Avenue to San Marco Drive. There were 28 fatal crashes and fatalities, meaning that there were 5.7 crashes per mile.

Drivers on the road are expected to have a reasonable duty of care for others on the road. Accidents most often occur when drivers fail to uphold this duty of care. Common causes of car collisions because of driver negligence and misconduct include:

Distracted Driving

When drivers operate their vehicles, they should do so with care and focus on the road. There are many actions that can take a driver’s eyes or mind off the road, and this is considered distracted driving. Drivers may:

  • Text
  • Talk with passengers
  • Deal with music or their GPS
  • Call
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Daydream

Distracted driving increases the chances of an accident. It was the cause of 8.1% of all fatal accidents in Florida from 2018 to 2020.

Driving Impaired

It is illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. Driving while drunk or impaired was the leading cause of fatal accidents in Florida from 2018 to 2020, causing 21.2% of all fatal crashes. Driving impaired impacts a driver’s ability to think clearly and react quickly.

In Santa Rosa County, preliminary data for 2022 states that there were 43 crashes that involved alcohol-impaired drivers, seven crashes that involved drug-impaired drivers, and one that involved a driver impaired by drugs and alcohol.

Speeding

When drivers go over the speed limit, they limit the time that they have to react to road changes, making an accident more likely. At the same time, speeding increases the damage in any accident that they are involved in. Speeding is one of the most common forms of reckless driving. It was a factor in 8.9% of fatal auto accidents in Florida from 2018 to 2020.

Reckless Driving

Driving recklessly includes actions such as:

  • Driving past stop lights and stop signs
  • Ignoring road signs
  • Failing to yield to right-of-way
  • Tailgating
  • Aggressive driving

These and other actions harm the flow of traffic and break road laws.

Driving Fatigued

When a driver gets behind the wheel while fatigued, they operate the vehicle almost as dangerously as if they were impaired. Fatigued driving results in slower reaction speeds and limited decision-making capabilities. When drivers are tired and fall asleep at the wheel, they may cause sideswipe accidents and head-on collisions from crossing lanes.

How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?

Every car accident insurance or civil claim will have a different value based on the unique damages involved. When someone else causes the accident due to negligence, you have the right as an injured party to seek full compensation for damages caused by the accident, both economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are damages with set financial values, while noneconomic damages are more subjective but are still significant losses that you have suffered.

Any damages that were not covered by your auto insurance claim can be covered in a personal injury or other civil claim. The damages that could be available in a personal injury claim include:

  • Medical costs, such as transportation, hospital stays, surgeries, prescriptions, and in-home modifications or devices
  • The costs of future complications that are likely from your injury
  • Lost wages from days or weeks off work during recovery or time off work for doctor’s visits
  • Lost income due to diminished earning capacity from a disability or injury that limits or prevents an individual from working
  • Property damage to a vehicle or items in a vehicle
  • The value of any specific services that you must acquire because of your injury
  • Noneconomic damages, such as pain, suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, loss of quality of life, and disfigurement

Any other damages that are considered relevant and resulting from the accident could also be included in a settlement. Calculating noneconomic damages and future economic damages can be especially tricky for those who are not experienced with civil claims. Without an attorney, you could severely underestimate the value of your claim and accept a settlement that will not cover your losses in the long term. An attorney has experience determining the value of these losses.

Some car accident claims may also involve punitive damages. Unlike economic and noneconomic damages, which are compensatory damages, punitive damages do not compensate for any specific loss by an injured party. Punitive damages are assigned by the court when there is clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with intentional malice or gross negligence.

Do I Need an Attorney After a Car Accident in Santa Rosa County?

There are several benefits to working with a qualified Santa Rosa County attorney. These include:

  • Significant legal experience and knowledge, including information about the state and local laws that may apply to your unique claim and how to create an effective claim
  • A thorough investigation of the accident and its cause, using the firm’s resources
  • Calculation of a fair settlement amount based on your economic and noneconomic losses
  • Effective negotiation with an auto insurance or other insurance provider
  • Representation in court, if necessary, to obtain fair compensation

An attorney can make the process of filing and navigating your claim much easier and less stressful. They can explain your options and help you make strong decisions for your well-being.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Civil Car Accident Claims?

As of 2023, Florida’s statute of limitations for car accident personal injury claims has lowered to 2 years from the date when the accident occurred. If you are in an accident, you must file your claim within these two years. If you don’t, you lose your right to obtain compensation for your damages.

Even though you have two years, you typically should file your claim or discuss the possibility of doing so with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. If you wait, witnesses to the accident may be hard to find or not recall what they saw clearly, and traffic footage may be lost. This is all essential evidence needed to determine who was at fault for the accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin an investigation into the accident prior to filing a claim, which can make the case stronger.

Find Your Car Accident Attorney in Milton

After a car accident, you deserve legal support that can defend your rights. At Phil Hall, P.A., we want to help you determine your options for compensation. Contact us today.

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