Florida Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are almost always the result of someone being careless or negligent while driving. Negligent drivers and distracted driving are the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. The fact is, no one plans on getting into an accident but if they do, the after effects can be life changing.

If you are involved in a auto accident you should seek necessary medical attention, whether it is at an emergency room, urgent care, walk-in clinic or other doctor. Even a car crash that appears to be minor can cause significant pain and injuries.

In addition to pain and injuries, accidents can cause a whole host of other problems such as missing work, paying for medical expenses, car repairs and unnecessary mental stress. After seeking medical attention you should contact a car accident lawyer who can give you the advice and tools you need to overcome the hardships an accident can cause.

Contents

1. Most Common types of Car Accidents
2. What our car accident attorney can do for you
2.1. Trial experience matters
2.2. Our Florida car accident lawyer will answer your questions
3. What to do after your auto accident
4. Common auto accident injuries
5. Types of damages you can recover
5.1. Economic damages
5.2. Non-economic damages
5.3. What are punitive damages
6. Dealing with the insurance company
6.1. The insurance company is not your friend
7. What to ask before hiring an injury attorney
7.1. Ask for an opinion about your case
7.2. Ask how the injury lawyer will handle your case
8. Tips for preventing injuries in an auto accident

two cars involved in a motor vehicle accident

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

There are several types of motor vehicle accidents and  Zervos & Calta, PLLC personal injury attorneys can assist with all of them. Here are some of the most common types.

  • Rear End Collision
  • T-Bone Accident
  • Parking Lot Collision
  • Head On Collision
  • DUI Accident
  • Hit and Run Accident
  • Uber Accidents

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FAQ Videos

How quickly should I contact an attorney in a Florida auto accident case?
What evidence of injury is necessary to recover damages in a Florida auto accident case?
If I was in a motor vehicle accident, will my personal injury attorney help me get my car fixed?

What Our Florida Car Accident Attorney Can do For You

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC we only represent the injured and never the insurance company. With over 42 years of combined experience in representing auto accident victims, you can rest assured that you are in good hands with us. We recognize that being injured in an automobile accident can cause a great deal of emotional and physical stress, along with confusion and problems dealing with the insurance industry. For example, people often tell us they are confused about who will pay to fix their car, can they get a rental car, who will pay for the loss in value now that their car has damage to it, who will pay for the money lost from missing work, etc.

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC we take pride in meeting with each and every client at any of our office locations from the very first meeting, and assure our clients that we are always just an email or phone call away.
Some of the things that the Law Office of Zervos & Calta, PLLC will do for you are:

  • Advise you of your rights and help to make sure they are protected.
  • Investigate the car accident, which includes contacting witnesses, getting photographs of the scene and the cars and sometimes consulting with experts.
  • Guide you on the law for medical care and treatment, and if necessary, provide you with a list of reputable doctors who treat car accident injuries.
  • Communicate with the driver’s insurance adjusters on all issues, so you don’t have to. We will be your voice!
  • Advise you on how to go about getting your car repaired and getting your deductible and rental car expenses reimbursed from the car accident claim. We also can help with recovering reimbursement for any loss of value your car may have sustained due to the damages of an accident claim.
  • Monitor your medical treatment and medical bills and make sure they are or will get paid
  • Prepare a lengthy settlement package, outlining your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and negotiate a settlement for you with the insurance companies, for the compensation you deserve.
  • If necessary, we will file an injury lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial, if it is warranted.

Whether the vehicle accident seemed minor or major, whether you suffered serious personal injury or only minor injuries, navigating your insurance policy and the insurance company can be overwhelming. At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, no client is more important than another. We believe that each and every client deserves to be treated with respect and compassion, and that is why we keep in contact with our clients personally.

Trial Experience Matters

courtroom - court of law

Zervos & Calta, PLLC not only have years of experience in personal injury and car accident injury claims, they also have years of courtroom and trial experience against the insurance industry. More importantly, the law firm of Zervos & Calta, PLLC gives you the legal representation that keeps your best interests in mind, from beginning to end. Our injury lawyers will protect your rights, inform you of your legal options, and assist you each and every step of the way to resolve any issues or problems that are inherently involved in a car accident.

If you, a family member or a friend have been injured because another driver was negligent or careless, you should contact an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as early as possible. Legal issues related to personal injury law, insurance coverage, and injury claims can be overwhelming to handle without proper legal counsel.

Our Florida Car Accident Lawyer Will Answer Your Questions

Zervos & Calta, PLLC, with decades of combined experience, can help answer the most common questions you have, such as:

  • Who will fix my car?
  • I can’t afford my deductible – what do I do?
  • My doctor doesn’t treat car accident injuries – who will help me to get better?
  • I have no health insurance, who will pay my medical bills?
  • What if I miss work?
  • Am I entitled to payment for my pain and suffering from my injuries?
  • How much is a lawyer going to charge me?
  • How should I choose a good attorney in my city?
  • What if I have future medical bills?

What to Do After Your Auto Accident

Whether its your first time being in a car accident or not, there is no denying that the aftermath can be overwhelming and stressful for victims. There are so many things you have to worry about, including how to know whether the insurance company is treating you fairly and more importantly, how are you going to handle all of this on your own?

There are several things you should do right away. The very first one is to find an experienced auto accident attorney that has a reputation for going to trial. In addition, here is a list of other things you should do after an accident to protect your health and ensure you have a strong case.

  1. Call 911 and ask for the police. The police will assess if anyone is safe and contact an ambulance to get there quickly. Give the police a detailed description of how the accident happened and get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses or persons who tried to assist you. Sometimes these witnesses leave the scene of the accident without leaving their information – you don’t want that to happen. Be sure to get the insurance information from the other driver or drivers.
  2. Take photos at the scene. These days our cell phones make for excellent videography and photography, so if you can, get a video and photos of the scene and all the cars that are involved. If possible, look for skid marks and take photos of those as well. Also remember to photograph any injuries you have that are visible such as bruises, cuts and scrapes.
  3. Seek medical attention. Often times, people don’t feel pain immediately or at the scene of the accident. Their adrenaline is rushing and their stress levels are high dealing with the aftermath of the scene. As soon as you start to feel pain, its best to see a doctor earlier, rather than later, for medical treatment. Hidden injuries to the spine or ligaments of the shoulders and knees, can take time to become disabling. It’s best to get looked at early on so the doctor can treat the injury and monitor your treatment.
  4. Don’t speak to the other driver’s insurance company. It is always best to contact a law firm that can help conduct an investigation and make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of your lack of knowledge and vulnerability during this difficult time.
  5. Call YOUR own insurance company. You have to call your insurance company to report the accident and advise of any injuries. Do not allow them to take a recorded statement of you until after you have consulted with a car accident lawyer. Make note of the claim number your insurance company gives you to use for your medical care and treatment.

Common Auto Accident Injuries

Whether you are away on a trip or close to home, having a car accident unexpectedly can cause injuries and pain that could have an impact on you for weeks and years to come. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered in car accidents are:

  • Neck Injuries
  • Scrapes and Cuts
  • Head Injuries
  • Broken Ribs
  • Broken arms, legs, hips and ankles
  • Internal bleeding
  • Herniated disc in the neck or back
  • Tears in the knee
  • Tears in the shoulder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

All of these injuries have the potential to have life-long effects. The treatment for these injuries can take weeks, months or be required for the rest of your life. The after effects of these types of injuries can be temporary or permanent, and may result in compensation to you for various types of damages.

medical injuries suffered in accidents

Types of Damages You Can Recover for Injuries

A car accident can wreak havoc on your life. The losses and damages can be immediate and last a lifetime. The losses can be physical, emotional and financial. Our civil system of justice has established a system that not only recognizes the types of losses an accident can cause, but allows for victims to be fairly compensated for the following types of damages.

Under Florida law, plaintiffs can claim compensation under two separate categories:

  1. Compensatory damages (divided into two types – economic and non-economic), and
  2. Punitive damages

Economic damages

Economic damages are those expenses and costs that arise directly from the accident and include:

  • Past and current medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Home health care services and physical therapy
  • Loss of income and lost wages due to time missed from work
  • Future lost income due to future inability to work
  • Cost of services for assistance (house cleaning, lawn care, etc)

Your Florida car accident lawyer will educate you about what types of damages Florida law permits, and will work closely with you to help you determine your economic losses and try to keep them minimized. Every case is different and the amount of compensation can vary, depending on the nature of the injuries.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are losses that stem from the car accident and are subjective, rather than objective. They are those losses which can’t be calculated with numbers and which are suffered on a personal level. Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages, which are not nearly as common as the economic and non-economic damages mentioned above, are the types of damages that a court permits when the court feels that “a punishment” type element is part of the case. This “punishment” is in the form of a financial penalty used to punish the at fault part for gross negligence or recklessness which caused the accident.

For instance, drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is the type of case that a court allows punitive damages for causing the accident. The jury ultimately decides if punitive damages should be awarded and if so, how much. Florida limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000 whichever amount is greater.

Dealing with the Insurance Company

All insurance companies require that you file a report to them as soon as possible to preserve your rights under your policy. Other than reporting the details of what happened to YOUR insurance company, you should not speak with or give a recorded statement to the driver’s insurance company until after you have consulted with a car accident attorney. Don’t be fooled into believing that the insurance company will act in your best interests. Remember, the insurance industry is “big business” and their goal is to save money and collect premiums.

The insurance company is not your friend

Keep it professional, short and sweet. Remember, the insurance adjuster is not your friend and no matter how nice they are to you, their allegiance is to their company.

Never sign any documents that say you are “waiving”, “giving up” or “releasing” any of your rights. You should always consult a car accident lawyer before signing anything that may affect your rights!

What to Ask Before Hiring an Injury Attorney

Hopefully your first meeting will actually be with the accident lawyer and not an investigator or paralegal. You should ask about their education and professional experience. Here are some sample questions :

– How long have you practiced personal injury law?
– Does your practice consist solely of representing auto accident victims, or do you      handle other types of law, as well?
– On average, how many victims do you represent each year?
– How many injury lawsuits do you settle each year? How many cases do you take to trial each year?
– Have you frequently handled cases similar to mine?
– Which law school did you attend, and when did you graduate?
– Do you belong to any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which  ones?
– Do you have any special experience representing victims of auto accident who have back injuries, neck injuries, or other injuries that may cause lifelong medical problems?
– How many cases have you taken and to trial, and what were the outcomes?
– Can you provide me with the names and case numbers of your cases that went to trial?
– Do you work on a contingency fee?

Ask for an Opinion About Your Case

You should further take time to discuss your car accident and injuries, and ask the car accident lawyer for their opinion of your case. Some questions to ask include:

– What is your assessment of my case?
– What kind of financial settlement or judgment can I realistically expect to receive?
– What are the strengths of my case? What are the weaknesses of my case?
– Will my case have to go to trial?
– How long do you expect it would take to resolve my case?

Ask how the injury lawyer will handle your case

Every lawyer has a different style or approach in practicing personal injury law. Here are some questions to ask the Florida car accident lawyer along those lines:

– How would you describe your philosophy or approach to practicing law?
– What is your approach to handling auto accident cases?
– Will you ask me to make decisions or will you to tell me what I should do?
– Will you personally handle my case, or will another attorney manage it?
– Will you handle negotiations and court appearances?
– Will you be my day-to-day contact?
– What is the best way to reach you? How quickly do you typically respond?

Tips For Preventing Injuries in an Auto Accident

Millions of people are injured in automobile accidents across our country every year. Unfortunately, fatalities often happen. Although you can’t control the carelessness of other drivers on the road, there are things you can do to help keep you and your family safer. In order to avoid losing your life or suffering serious injuries, here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

    • Wear a seat belt. Always having a seat belt on has been proven to help prevent injuries when involved in an automobile accident. Being thrown from a vehicle is a common injury that happens when the driver isn’t wearing a seat belt, and is often fatal.
    • Follow the speed limit. If another car comes out of nowhere or slams on the brakes in front of you it is very difficult to come to a stop in time if you are speeding. People who drive at excessively high speeds cause more accidents and sustain injuries that are more severe than those who drive at the  People traveling at high speeds tend to incur more serious injuries than those who follow the speed limits.
    • Don’t drive under the influence. Not only is drinking and driving against the law, but it is one of the leading causes of car accidents. You and the people in the other vehicle could suffer serious injuries or be killed if your driving is impaired.Be sure to have a designated driver if you plan to drink, or call Uber!
    • Be aware of other drivers. In many cases, an accident may not be your fault. It is important to drive defensively so that you can stop your vehicle or change directions if another person is driving unsafely. Be a defensive driver by looking in your side mirrors and rear mirror.
    • Avoid the use of your cell phone. Use a Bluetooth device or hands free speaker, if you must use your phone. Avoid text messages until you reach your destination or have pulled over.
    • Make sure your car is in good shape. Check your tires and tire pressure, make sure your headlights and brake lights are all functioning properly and make sure your windshield wipers are in top notch condition!
    • Plan your trip. Give yourself plenty of time for your commute in case there are traffic delays.Never engage in road rage. Instead, report another driver’s aggressiveness by calling 911 and staying in your car.

Following the rules of the road and driving defensively are the best ways to prevent a car accident injuries. Watch for other drivers who may be distracted behind the wheel, and take proper precautions.

Call our law firm after an auto accident!

Call us at one of our four office locations to discuss your legal options. Remember, we get paid a contingency fee so there is no fee to you unless we win the compensation you deserve.

Contact us by filling out the form on the right or call 727-937-3171 to schedule a free phone consultation.

Visit us in one of our convenient office locations:

We also work with clients in Trinity, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Westchase, Hudson, Elfers, Holiday, East Lake, Bayonet Point, Seminole, and New Port Richey.