Whether you live in Florida or visit for vacation or work, you run the risk of becoming involved in a car accident. If someone injured you in a car accident or killed your close family member through their negligence or wrongdoing, you could obtain compensation to help you with your financial losses as well as your pain and suffering.
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to helping car accident victims fight for fair compensation for their injuries. Our Florida auto accident attorneys offer aggressive representation, bringing more than five decades of collective legal experience to every case.
Our Florida car accident lawyers provide clients with the legal guidance and advocacy they need to seek a fair car accident settlement after a car crash. We also have years of successful trial experience and are ready to go to court and fight for you to help get you what you need. Please contact us to see how our auto accident attorneys can help with your car accident claim or lawsuit.
Why Work with Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers
Backed by more than 50 years of total combined legal experience, the attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, have the knowledge and skills to handle all aspects of your Florida car accident claim or lawsuit. We promise to fight hard to increase your chances of success.
Over the course of our practice, we have recovered more than $145 million in total compensation for our clients, and we are committed to helping you maximize your financial recovery.
Honored for our success in obtaining substantial awards for our clients, our attorneys have earned memberships in the Multi-Million Dollar Forum. We have also received national recognition for our professionalism, ethics, and legal abilities, including the following accolades:
- America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
- Best Attorney designations from Rue Ratings
- Inclusion in the Top 100 Jury Verdicts for All Practice Areas
- Top 100 Trial Lawyer rankings from the National Trial Lawyers
- Recognition from Expertise.com as among the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Spring Hill
As proud as we are of our professional honors, we measure our true success on how we treat our clients, and we have received numerous top client reviews on Avvo and Google along with dozens of client testimonials and referrals. Also, our law firm’s founding partner, attorney James Wayne Holliday II, received Avvo’s Clients’ Choice Award in 2018 along with the site’s Top Attorney designation.
With law offices in Inverness, Brooksville, and Lutz, we have become one of the most prominent personal injury law firms in North Tampa, and we serve Spring Hill and New Port Richey and cities throughout Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, and Citrus counties. This means you are never far away from the professional, personalized, and effective representation you need when you need it the most.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car crash that was not your fault, you can contact our Florida personal injury lawyers Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, at 352-290-7481 or complete our online contact form to request a free consultation.
Florida Car Crash Statistics
As the country’s third most populous state with millions of visitors each year, Florida sees its share of car accidents. In 2022, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported 390,700 traffic-related accidents, with 248,724 injuries and 3,434 resulting from all crashes.
The state also reported 105,314 total hit-and-run crashes, resulting in 22,990 injuries and 268 fatalities. Additionally, reports claim 7,108 total bicycle crashes occurred, with 209 fatalities, and 9,962 pedestrian accidents happened, with 752 fatalities. Accident rates seem to spike around March, which usually coincides with Spring Break and Daytona Bike Week, and again around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Most Dangerous Types of Car Accidents
Virtually all car accidents can cause injuries, but the following types of accidents usually see the highest rates of severe injuries:
- Hit-and-run accidents
- T-Bone accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- SUV rollover accidents
No matter the type of car accident or how severe your injuries are, you can pursue compensation if the other driver was at fault. However, you will need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida because filing injury claims and pursuing compensation are complex legal processes that require legal knowledge and an understanding of how insurance companies operate as well as civil court procedures and trials.
A Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Deal with the Insurance Company for You
Since insurance covers virtually all vehicle accidents in Florida, your attorney will first file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When they file your claim, your lawyer will include a written statement that details the accident and your injuries and why/how the other driver is responsible. Your attorney will also include a settlement amount the insurance company can pay to resolve the matter and close the claim.
If the insurance company responds with a lower offer, your lawyer will haggle with them to get them to pay more. Settlement negotiations can take time, but they are often necessary for getting enough to cover the full costs of your injuries and losses. If your attorney can’t settle with the insurance company, or if the insurance company flat-out denies your claim and refuse to settle, you will have to take them to court and sue for the compensation you need.
Florida is a No-Fault State for Car Insurance
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. Drivers must purchase a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection to cover up to 80 percent of their injuries and lost wages, regardless of fault.
However, this amount may not be enough to compensate you if you suffered serious injuries. Also, if the other driver did not have car insurance, you will have to file an injury claim with your own insurance, and they will then likely sue the driver or take other legal measures to recoup their losses. In some cases, your attorney may have to file suit against the other driver in court.
If you do have to file an accident claim with your own insurance, an attorney can do it for you. Having an attorney handle matters with your insurance company offers many advantages, and you may see results quicker.
Keep in mind that all insurance companies are businesses and are not eager to pay on claims, particularly large ones. You may have had the same insurance company for years and feel comfortable with them, but you may make mistakes filing your claim or inadvertently say something that makes it appear you were responsible for the crash.
A lawyer will understand any tactics the insurance company may use to reduce the amount they will pay or the injuries they will cover. A lawyer will fight to make them honor your claim and pay you what you deserve. A lawyer can also gather all the information you will need and file all the paperwork for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida
Many people believe that injury claims always go to trial, but the truth is, most are settled outside of court. Still, there are times when you will need your attorney to file a lawsuit for you in civil court to get the compensation you need. The most common reasons for filing a lawsuit in court include:
- The insurance company denied your claim and refuses to negotiate
- Settlement negotiations break down and your attorney can’t settle the dispute with them
- The insurance company shows bad faith by refusing to pay your claim or violating the terms of the settlement agreement
- The other driver did not have insurance and you do not have enough no-fault insurance to cover your losses
Even if you are still negotiating with the insurance company, your attorney can still file suit in court. Many times, this will get the company’s attention and show them that you have a strong enough case to stand trial. They may be more likely to respond to your lawyer’s correspondence and settle the matter as quickly as possible.
Regardless, having an attorney file a lawsuit for you may be the only way you can pursue compensation, and you want your attorney to start preparing your claim as if it were to go to trial from the start.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Lawsuit?
For car accident injury lawsuits, Florida allows you four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit in civil court. The statute of limitations drops to two years for wrongful death cases. Your lawyer must file your car accident injury lawsuit within the appropriate statute of limitations for the court to accept your case. If they don’t, you may have no other legal recourse to obtain compensation.
Also, many cities, municipalities, and governments have their own deadlines on when you can file an injury claim. If a city, state, or local government was responsible for causing the accident and your injuries, you will need a personal injury attorney to advise you of your options and help you pursue an injury claim properly and promptly.
Proving Negligence After a Car Accident in Florida
For your car accident lawsuit to have merit, your attorney will have to show the other driver is liable for your injuries by demonstrating each of the following:
- Duty – The defendant owed you a legal duty of care. All drivers have an inherent duty of care to others on the road and must act in accordance with all applicable laws.
- Breach – The defendant breached that duty through their actions or inactions.
- Causation – The breach caused the accident and your injuries.
- Damages – You suffered financial, physical, and emotional losses as a result.
Establishing liability can be challenging, but your attorney will gather all necessary evidence and information to support your claim and hold the other party accountable.
Types of Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident
After a car accident in Florida, you may recover compensation for economic damages to cover your financial losses, such as:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Other related out-of-pocket expenses
You may also recover non-economic damages for intangible losses that do not have a readily defined dollar amount, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or mental distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Sometimes, plaintiffs in a car accident injury lawsuit may receive punitive damages from the court. These damages are awarded only at the court’s discretion, and the court may award them in cases of egregious misconduct or unlawful actions.
Types of Damages You Can Receive in a Wrongful Death Claim
If the accident resulted in a relative’s death, you could potentially seek damages through a wrongful death claim. The types and amounts of damages you may be able to recover depend on your relationship with the person who was killed, as follows:
Each survivor can recover the following damages:
- Lifetime lost support and services – The survivors can recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury until the date of their death, plus interest.
- Lost support and services after death – The survivors can also recover the future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to its present value.
The insurance company or court will consider several factors when determining the value of lost support and services damages, including:
- The survivor’s relationship with the decedent
- The amount of the decedent’s probable net income that would have been available for distribution to the survivor
- The replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor
- The life expectancies of the decedent and the survivor
- How long the survivor would have been a minor, if applicable
The surviving spouse can also recover the following:
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering from the date of injury
If the decedent had a minor child or children, they could recover the following damages:
- Lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Mental pain and suffering from the date of injury
Since minor children cannot file claims on their own, they must have an adult do it for them. Most often, this includes the child’s other parent or legal guardian, but other adults can file on behalf of minor children if both parents died in the accident. An attorney can explain your rights and options if this applies to you.
PARENT OF A CHILD
If the accident killed a minor child, the child’s parents can recover damages for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. If the decedent is an adult child, the parents can recover damages if there are no other survivors than the parents.
PERSON WHO PAID MEDICAL OR FUNERAL EXPENSES
The person who paid for the decedent’s final medical expenses or funeral expenses can recover the cost of these expenses.
The decedent’s personal representative can recover the following damages for the estate:
- The loss of the decedent’s earnings from the date of injury to the date of death, less the lost support of survivors
- Loss of the prospective net accumulations of the estate which would have been expected had a wrongful death not occurred
- Medical or funeral expenses that were charged against the estate and not paid by someone else
Can I Recover Damages in Florida if I Am Partially at Fault?
In some cases, the defendant in your car accident claim may blame you for your injuries. If this happens, you can still recover damages in Florida. Call a car accident lawyer to protect you from accepting more liability than necessary and ensure you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
The Florida car accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC are prepared to fight for your rights if another driver injured you in a car accident. Our Florida car crash lawyers have helped hundreds of car crash victims hold negligent drivers and their insurers accountable for their actions.
Whether it is through a car crash settlement or trial, our lawyers will work to get you the compensation you need to cover your injuries and losses. We work with car accident victims in Brooksville, Lutz, Tampa, Spring Hill, and other nearby communities.