Situated just west of Palm Beach along the Intercoastal Waterway, West Palm Beach is a mecca for tourists and residents with beautiful beaches, luxury shopping, and plenty of outdoor activities.
The roads can get quite crowded at times, especially during peak season, and pose an even greater risk than usual of being in a traffic accident. These accidents can result in serious, life-changing injuries. You may recover compensation if you suffered injuries in a car accident. Contact a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., for your free consultation. We can evaluate your case and explain your legal options for financial recovery.
Why Choose Kaiser Romanello, P.A., for Your Car Accident Claim?
At Kaiser Romanello, P.A., we understand that a car accident can be life-altering, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional distress, and overwhelming financial burdens. Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys can provide you with the guidance, support, and representation you need during this challenging time.
With years of experience and a proven track record of success, our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers have established a reputation as relentless advocates for the rights of accident victims. We are committed to obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to discuss your case.
How Common are Car Accidents in West Palm Beach?
According to the latest year-end data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 396,000 crashes occurred on Florida roadways last year, resulting in 251,901 injuries and 3,297 fatalities.
Palm Beach County reports over 20,000 crashes each year, with about 12,800 injuries and 185 fatalities. The latest City Data shows 21 fatal car accidents in West Palm Beach last year, which is about average for the city.
These accidents can have a huge impact on the lives of accident victims and their families. And while no amount of financial compensation can take away these injuries, a fair settlement can provide peace of mind and allow you and your loved ones to focus on what’s important — your recovery.
What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in West Palm Beach?
West Palm Beach is one of the most beautiful cities in Florida — if not the U.S. Unfortunately, its roads can be less than paradise.
Some of the most notoriously dangerous intersections in and around West Palm Beach include:
Okeechobee Boulevard and Military Trail
North Congress Avenue and 45th Street
Palm Beach Lakes and Village Boulevards
Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Executive Center Drive
Forest Hill Boulevard and 411 in Wellington
Do I Have a Car Accident Case?
For a successful car accident case, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove the defendant’s negligence and that their actions led to the accident that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
The four elements of negligence that must be established include:
- Duty of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care toward them. All drivers owe a duty of care to others to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances. This could involve speeding, running a red light, texting while driving, or any other negligent behavior that led to the accident.
- Causation: The plaintiff must establish a causal connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injuries or damages they suffered. In other words, they need to show that the defendant’s negligent actions directly caused the accident and, subsequently, the plaintiff’s injuries or losses.
- Damages: To succeed in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages or losses due to the accident. These damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Who Can You Hold Liable in a Car Accident in West Palm Beach?
Liability in a car accident can vary depending on the specific circumstances. In some cases, accident victims may seek compensation from multiple parties. In general, you can hold the following parties liable in a car accident:
The most common liable party in a car accident is the negligent or reckless driver. This can include speeding, running red lights, texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and more.
If the at-fault driver operated a vehicle as part of their job, you can hold their employer liable under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability or respondeat superior.
If the vehicle owner lent their car to someone who caused an accident, you can hold them liable in some cases, depending on the owner’s negligence, such as if they knowingly lent the car to an unsafe driver.
Sometimes, a vehicle or its parts defect may cause a car accident. If this happens, you can hold the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product liable under product liability laws.
Poor road conditions or inadequate signage can contribute to accidents. In such cases, you can hold the government entity liable for not maintaining the road.
Florida Car Accident Laws
Several Florida laws affect car accidents in West Palm Beach, including:
Fault/No Fault State
Florida is a no-fault car accident insurance state, so when individuals are in an auto accident, their own insurance company must cover their medical expenses and certain other financial losses, regardless of fault for the accident. This system is also known as a no-fault insurance system.
In no-fault states like Florida, drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as part of their auto insurance coverage.
PIP insurance covers policyholders, their passengers’ medical expenses, and other economic losses resulting from a car accident, regardless of who caused it. PIP typically covers medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses (if applicable).
Unlike in fault or tort states, which hold the party responsible for the accident liable for all of the other party’s injuries and damages, in a no-fault state like Florida, each party’s PIP insurance company pays for their own insured’s damages up to the policy limits, regardless of who was to blame for the accident. Florida requires drivers to get treatment within 14 days of the accident to claim this benefit.
Florida law generally restricts an injured party’s ability to sue the at-fault driver or their insurance company unless your damages exceed the other driver’s $10,000 PIP threshold for medical bills and lost income or you suffered permanent injuries as defined by Florida statute.
Florida law also doesn’t allow pain and suffering damages in third-party car accident claims unless the injured party suffered severe injuries that result in:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations for personal injury claims is a legal time limit within which an injured party must file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this specified time frame, you may lose your right to pursue the claim. Statutes of limitations are intended to promote the timely resolution of legal disputes and ensure that evidence and witnesses are still available.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those arising from car accidents, gives you two years from the accident or the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered your injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Some exceptions may shorten or lengthen this timeframe, depending on the circumstances of the case. So, consult a personal injury attorney in Florida as soon as possible after an accident. They can assess your case, determine the applicable statute of limitations, and meet all necessary deadlines for filing your lawsuit.
Comparative negligence determines how to apportion liability and damages when more than one party contributes to an accident. It allows for a fair and proportionate allocation of responsibility and compensation based on each party’s degree of fault. Florida follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a 50 percent bar.
Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence rule, an injured party can still recover damages from another party even if they partially caused the accident. The court or jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident, including the injured party. Your compensation will decrease by this proportion.
If you are 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages from other parties.
Florida’s no-fault insurance system, which requires Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, may cover your initial medical expenses and economic losses, regardless of fault, up to the limits of your PIP policy.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help with My Car Accident Claim?
Hiring a car accident lawyer can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses while relieving the stress and complexities of navigating the legal process on your own. Here are several ways a lawyer with Kaiser Romanello, P.A., can assist you:
Legal Advice and Guidance
A car accident lawyer from our firm can explain your rights and legal options, explaining the complex laws and regulations related to car accidents in your jurisdiction. They can provide you with tailored advice based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Our lawyers can thoroughly investigate the accident, collecting evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records. This investigation can help establish liability and build a strong case.
Communication With Insurance Companies
Your attorney can handle all communication with the insurance company, protecting your rights and that you don’t say or do anything that could harm your claim.
Our car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to secure a fair settlement. They’ll maximize your compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Sometimes, insurance companies refuse an acceptable offer to settle your claim. If negotiations cannot reach a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. They can prepare your case, present evidence, and argue it to a judge or jury.
Your lawyer can ensure you receive appropriate medical treatment and may recommend healthcare providers specializing in treating car accident injuries. They can also explain the potential long-term consequences of your injuries.
Car accident claims involve strict deadlines and paperwork. Your attorney can file all paperwork correctly and on time, preventing potential delays or complications in your case.
Your lawyer can consult and retain expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts, to strengthen your case if necessary.
Protecting Your Rights
Your lawyer will protect your legal rights and advocate for your best interests at every stage of the process, ensuring insurance companies or opposing parties do not take advantage of you.
Contingency Fee Basis
Our car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can make legal representation more accessible to individuals who may not have the means to pay upfront legal fees.
Contact the West Palm Beach Lawyers at Kaiser Romanello P.A., Today
You don’t have to navigate the complex legal landscape after a car accident alone.
The experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Kaiser Romanello, P.A., are here to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. We can provide clarity and direction whether you’re seeking guidance on filing a personal injury claim, understanding your rights, or simply looking for answers to common legal questions. Our mission is to empower you with knowledge and provide the legal representation you need to secure a brighter future.
Contact us today at (844) 877-8679 or through our online form for your free consultation.