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Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer

Auto Accident Attorney Representing Clients in Fort Walton, Cantonment, & Surrounding Areas

People injured in car accidents are entitled under Florida law to compensation for medical expenses, wage loss, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering damages. An insurance adjuster may try to get you to settle your claim right away. Keep in mind that the insurance company’s primary goal is to pay as little as possible for your settlement. Hiring your own car accident lawyer in Pensacola ensures that you have someone to protect your interests and recover as much as possible for your injuries.

Before accepting a settlement agreement, call The Watson Firm at (850) 403-4779 to consult with an attorney.

What to Do After an Auto Accident in pensacola

The first thing to do after an auto accident is to make sure you are okay. After a car accident, increases in adrenaline can mask serious injuries and you may feel fine, but later discover that you sustained injuries. For this reason, it is best to go to the hospital to get checked, even if you don’t see any injuries or feel hurt at all. Extreme forces are involved in car accidents, so it is best to seek medical attention to identify injuries that may require treatment.

At the scene of the accident, you should:

  • Contact law enforcement immediately to help you file a police report
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident, damage to vehicles, skid marks on the road, or any other evidence
  • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Never admit fault at the scene of the accident or before an investigation has been completed
  • Get in touch with a Pensacola car accident attorney from our firm

The investigating officer will probably ask if you are injured. Because injuries may not present immediately, it is best to say you don’t know. After the accident, you should seek treatment at the hospital, an urgent care clinic, or from your primary care physician.

Compensation for Injuries & Property Damage in Florida

Florida is a no-fault state. This means your auto insurance pays for medical bills and other expenses first, regardless of fault. Insurance companies are required to set aside up to $10,000 in No Fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits when you are involved in an accident.

Some of the sources of compensation may include:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - This no-fault insurance pays benefits, regardless of fault. The insurance company is required to provide benefits for medical expenses, wage loss, mileage, and other out of pocket expenses. You must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident or you waive your right to PIP benefits.

  • Medical Bills - Your auto insurance will pay 80% of the first $10,000 of expenses and the at-fault driver will need to cover the remaining 20% and any medical costs that exceed the PIP insurance limits.

  • Vehicle Damage - After the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will call you regarding your property damage claim. Florida law holds the at-fault driver responsible for your personal injury and property damage claim. Your comprehensive and collision coverage may also cover your property damage, but you may have to pay a deductible. You should not sign a settlement release for property damage or personal injury claim without consulting with a car accident lawyer in Pensacola.

The Florida Car Accident Statute of Limitations

Under the statute of limitations established in Florida Statutes section 95.11(3)(a), you have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver in pursuit of compensation. This same deadline applies to property damage lawsuits related to your crash. Wrongful death claims related to a car accident must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person's death, if it is different from the date of the accident.

If you try to file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed, your case will almost certainly be dismissed by the court, thereby permanently barring you from pursing legal action. For this reason, it is crucial you act with urgency after an accident and speak with an attorney from our firm promptly to ensure all filing deadlines are met.

Comparative Negligence in Florida Auto Accident Claims

Florida follows a rule known as "pure comparative fault," also known as "comparative negligence," when both drivers are found to share blame for a car accident. This means that a person's eligible compensation after a crash will be reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault. For example, if you are involved in an accident and suffer $10,000 worth of damages, but you are found to be 30% at fault for the crash, you will only be able to recover $7,000 in damages (or $10,000 less 30%).

Insurance companies know this law well and may use this to minimize your potential settlement after an accident. Our firm can protect your best interests and shield you from this type of unfair treatment.

No Fee Unless We Win

The Watson Firm does not charge for your initial consultation with our Pensacola car accident attorney. If you hire our firm, you will never receive a bill unless we recover money from the person that caused your car accident or that driver’s insurance company.

Contact our firm today at (850) 403-4779 to schedule your initial consultation.

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