Ocala Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident is always an unnerving experience. Even if we are not at-fault and we think that we are not injured, the mere fact that the accident happened can be enough to throw your life into disarray.
The situation may become more serious and complicated still if anyone involved in the accident is injured as a result. From the initial call to the police and trip to the emergency room to follow-up doctor visits and missed time at work, the whole experience is time-consuming and often very stressful.
Fortunately, an Ocala car accident lawyer is here to help. Our aim is to take the stress out of the process and provide peace of mind to our clients while pursuing maximum compensation for their injuries. In addition, our accident lawyers can handle the paperwork and details with the insurance company to pursue your claim against another at-fault driver. Contact us by calling (352) 205-4495 for a free consultation.
When Another Driver is At Fault
In simple terms, another driver is at-fault when they are judged to have caused the accident. From the insurance company’s perspective, this is simply a way to place blame on one of the drivers. The law looks at this question in a slightly different way.
In order to collect compensation from an at-fault driver, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent. This is a multi-step process that involves in-depth legal analysis. To prove negligence, people injured in car accidents must be able to show that:
- They were owed a duty of care by the defendant
- The duty of care was broken or breached
- The breach of the duty of care caused their injuries
The first portion is almost always present in car accident cases since all drivers assume a duty to care for everyone else on the road. This duty extends to other drivers and passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
It is also almost always a given that a breach of the duty of care caused the injuries. While there may be rare instances of plaintiffs attempting to claim preexisting conditions in a car accident case, most claims are backed by solid medical evidence that points directly to the accident as the cause of the harm.
The most contested portion of a negligence claim is whether the duty was broken. In some cases, this question is made moot by a police report citing a driver for a traffic violation. Known as the legal concept of negligence per se, the law states that if a person is guilty of breaking a law and this violation causes an injury, the defendant is assumed to be civilly liable.
However, most cases involve examples of contested viewpoints as to who is at fault. In these situations, Ocala car accident lawyers can perform investigations of the accident by speaking with witnesses, examining the crash scene, and researching case law that deals with similar questions of liability.
The Glover Law Firm handles many kinds of complex automobile accident claims, including:
- Accidents Involving Bad Weather — Florida doesn’t have to deal with the problems caused by snow and ice in colder climates, but Ocala does face occasional tropical storms. Torrential rains and hurricanes can lead to flooding in some areas and create an increased risk of vehicles losing control on wet roads. Inclement weather may make driving more difficult, but a motorist who decides to try and drive in these conditions must try to operate safely and can still be held liable for accidents caused by failure to do so.
- Accidents Involving Cellphones — Distracted driving remains a pressing concern for motorists of all ages. Cell phone use is one of the primary causes of distracted driving accidents. Whether a person was responding to a notification or typing a text message, cellphones are extremely dangerous because they often take a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off of driving safely. An Ocala car accident lawyer may be able to subpoena a negligent driver’s phone records in order to prove they were using a cellphone at the time of the crash.
- Drunk Driving — Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance is a criminal offense in Florida. A conviction for DUI could entitle a victim to punitive damages in some cases, but it is important to keep in mind that a criminal case is completely separate from a civil action. This means that even if a drunk driver is acquitted, they can still be held civilly liable. You will have to file a civil suit to recover compensation from the reckless driver even if they are convicted in a criminal court.
- Failure to Yield — Failing to yield the right of way can result in devastating accidents because the driver who has the right of way does not expect to encounter another vehicle. Some of the most common kinds of failure to yield accidents involve four-way stops, flashing traffic lights, left turns, and parking lot driveway exits. Failure to yield accidents are not limited to just other vehicles, as pedestrians and bicyclists can also be injured because of a driver’s failure to yield.
- Head-on Collision — When two motor vehicles collide front end to front end, the injuries are much more likely to be fatal. Head-on crashes at high speeds are especially catastrophic, but even lower speed accidents can still carry devastating consequences. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), only 2 percent of all crashes in the United States in 2015 were head-on collisions, but these types of accidents accounted for 10 percent of motor vehicle fatalities.
- Highway Accident — Some of the major highways that run through Ocala include Interstate 75 (I-75), U.S. Route 27 (US 27), U.S. Route 301 (US 301), U.S. Route 441 (US 441), Florida State Road 40 (SR 40), Florida State Road 464 (SR 464), and Florida State Road 200 (SR 200). These roadways generate high amounts of traffic and are thus very frequent sites of crashes. Major highways can be extremely stressful settings to try and collect important information after an accident, so victims should try to retain legal counsel as soon as possible to do so on their behalf.
- Hit and Run Accident — Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida is a misdemeanor when the crash only involves property damage, but any hit and run crime resulting in injury or death is a felony offense. An experienced Ocala car accident lawyer can not only work with law enforcement to locate the hit and run driver, but also assist you in filing a claim with your own insurance company if the driver cannot be found.
- Major Road Accident — In addition to the highways listed above, Ocala has a number of other streets that have fairly high volumes of traffic. Other roads on which accidents are common include Northwest 35th Street, Northwest 27th Avenue, Old U.S. Highway 301, West Anthony Road, Southeast 25th Avenue, and Southwest 42nd Street.
- Parking Lot Accident — Parking lots are especially common sites for collisions because negligent drivers fail to spot other vehicles while pulling into or out of parking spots. Crashes also frequently occur at the entrances and exits of parking lots. In most cases, negligent drivers are at fault, but parking lot facilities may be liable in some cases involving improper signs or lack of directions.
- Rear-End Collision — Many rear-end accidents are the result of one driver not stopping in time. In some cases, the negligent driver may have been speeding, but other cases may involve distracted driving. While low-speed collisions are usually limited to property damage, higher-speed crashes can result in serious injuries. In some cases, the force of these collisions may be enough to throw people from vehicles.
- Side Impact Collisions — Also known as T-bone accidents, these types of crashes involve one vehicle striking the side of another. These types of accidents most commonly occur at intersections, usually when one driver has violated a stop sign or signal. The occupants seated closest to the side impacted by such accidents often suffer severe injuries.
- Rollover Accidents — The types of vehicles most prone to rollover accidents are usually sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Other kinds of automobiles may roll over though, and the types of injuries victims can sustain are often debilitating. The causes of these accidents can vary. Some rollover crashes occur because of defective parts, but others might involve defectively designed vehicles themselves.
- Teen Driving Accident — Teenagers with learner’s permits or provisional licenses are still learning to drive and are subject to certain restrictions. Teen drivers can be involved in crashes caused by the negligence of other motorists, but insurance companies for the negligent drivers will often use a teenager’s supposed inexperience to try and argue they were somehow at fault. Any teenager or parent of a teenager will want to be sure to quickly contact an Ocala car accident attorney following any accident involving a teen driver.
Our firm also handles isolated crashes not involving other vehicles that may be the result of defective parts or improper repairs.
What are the Potential Categories of Compensation?
All car accident cases that rely upon negligence as a cause of action must be rooted in a physical injury. However, there are many other forms of damages that can be just as severe.
For example, victims of car accidents often are forced to miss significant time at work due to pain and months of rehabilitation appointments. A thoroughly constructed demand package may insist upon compensation for both physical injury and other less direct—but no less valid—harms.
Let Ocala Car Accident Lawyers Take the Lead
Every stage of a car accident claim can be a confusing mess and potential detriment to the case if not handled properly — from knowing how to obtain a police report of the incident, to obtaining proper medical documentation, to dealing with aggressive insurance companies.
Ocala car accident attorneys help clients to properly and skillfully gather information, present it in a persuasive manner, and demand proper compensation for their injuries. Most cases, properly framed and negotiated, never need to go to trial and result in fair settlements.
Let an Ocala car accident lawyer help you move forward in your life with the compensation that you deserve. Contact us at (352) 205-4495 today.