In Florida, the automobile is without question the primary means of transportation for the thousands of individuals that live and visit the state. Think about that for just a moment. Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis, get inside large, heavy, metal objects and move around in them at fast speeds throughout Florida. That seems like a recipe for disaster, accidents, and death, and it is. In 2019 according to Forbes, Florida US 1 was the second to most dangerous road in the United States. Year in and year out, Florida has more tourists fatally injured while visiting on vaction than any other state in the US.
The dangers that exist on the road are not only in Florida. The problem is everywhere. The amount of deaths that occur due to accidents in year 2017 ranked as the 3rd to leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016 over 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents alone. In the same year, 4.6 million people sustained serious bodily injuries. By 2018 that number grew to grew to 5 million and is expected to continue to increase in 2019.
Unfortunately, most motor vehicle accidents are avoidable. The majority of auto accidents are caused because drivers were not paying attention, were using their cell phones, were texting or talking while driving, were driving too fast, were driving while intoxicated, were driving while distracted, or were driving while failing to obey the traffic laws, rules, and regulations that exist for their safety.
When people operate dangerous instrumentalities such as motor vehicles in a negligent manner and fail to recognize the awesome responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle, the sad and fact is that innocent people get hurt, seriously injured, and often times die. Driving a motor vehicle in the state of Florida is not a right, it is not a game, it is a privilege. When one person takes advantage of that privilege and causes bodily injury or death to another, it is important that the injured party make all of the rights and remedies available to them self that the law allows.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, trucking accident, bus accident, or motorcycle accident in the state of Florida, before you talk to a insurance companies and get fooled and trapped by their games, contact one of the attorneys at our office for a free consultation and evaluation of your potential claim. Your failure to consult with an attorney could unfortunately cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please do not make this mistake.
If someone in a motor vehicle, motorcycle, bus, or a commercial truck hit your vehicle or your person while walking or riding a bike, you need to find an experienced and passionate legal advocate that can make all the difference in your case. For the Brevard County auto accident attorneys of The Law Offices of James B. Coulter, adjudicating auto accident cases is personal: Years ago, when Mr. Coulter first began his legal career as a state prosecutor for the 17th Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida, his vehicle was T-boned by a large 18-wheel commercial truck. The collision took place at over 60 miles per hour. It left Mr. Coulter's vehicle looking like a crushed aluminum cup and nearly took his life. Fortunately, Mr. Coulter survived and since that time he has dedicated the majority of his practice to representing others who have been seriously injured as the result of auto, trucking, and motorcycle accidents. Mr. Coulter went through months of treatment and years of rehab for his injuries. He has been through the process as a victim and he can understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the big insurance companies and the difficulties that come with auto trucking and motorcycle accident injuries.
James Coulter of The Law Offices of James B. Coulter cares about his clients. He has given his life to this cause and continues to advocate every day for the rights of victims against insurance companies. Before hiring a large law firm that fails to put you on the telephone with an actual attorney during your first consultation, contact Mr. Coulter and speak directly with him during a free cunsultation about the rights and remedies that may be available to you. In Florida having an expierenced lawyer handle your auto accident case is of the greatest importance. If Mr. Coulter is not available when you call our firm, ask for his time and it will be provided to you. Contact your Florida auto, trucking, and bike accident attorneys today at (321) 586-9944 or send an online message to set up a free consultation with a Florida auto accident attorney who knows what they are doing and will personally be there for you during your time of need and crisis.
We represent victims as well as the loved ones of those of have wrongfully been killed or injured in auto accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Brevard County, Orange County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Indian River County and Osceola County. Our central office is in Melbourne and we proudly serve all of Palm Bay Florida, Viera Florida, Cococa Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral, Mims, Titusville, Sebestian, Grant, Valkaria, and all of the other surrounding areas around Central Florida and the rest of the state.
One of the most important thing to note about Florida law if have been involved in an accident is that Florida is what we call a "no-fault" car insurance state. That means that if you have been injured in a car accident in the state of Florida, your own car insurance, to a certain extent, must offer coverage and compensation for your injuries and other losses stemming from the accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Only in certain cases when injuries are serious enough and the fault belongs to another driver, you can step outside the no-fault system and hold the other driver liable for your injuries. Under Florida Statutes, only car accidents that result in a permanent injury, or significant and permanent scarring and/or disfigurement, will allow a potential plaintiff to take a claim outside of the no-fault system. This is known as the "serious injury" threshold.
A "statute of limitations" is a law that sets a deadline for filing certain kinds of lawsuits. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage cases related to traffic accidents is four years (Florida Statutes Title 8, Ch. 95, Sec. 95.11).
Remember, you cannot usually file a lawsuit over a car accident in Florida unless your claim qualifies under the state's "serious injury" threshold as aforementioned in the previous paragraph. But if your claim does qualify, this four-year window "opens" the day of the accident. Weekends and holidays are included in the count. After four years, you may be barred from bringing your case to court, no matter how strong your arguments are.
Injured people who are involved in traffic accidents need to follow a different procedure if the accident involved a government employee and/or government property. For instance, if you were injured when a city bus hit your car, you'll probably need to file a "notice of claim" with the government agency in charge of public transit, and you'll need to do it quickly in order to preserve your rights.
In Florida, your options for settlements after a traffic accident depend in part on who was the "at fault" party. Meaning, who was the cause of the accident. If your case goes to court, a judge or jury may decide that both you and another driver were to a certain extent "at fault" for the crash. If this happens, how does it affect your ability to receive damages?
Florida uses a "pure" comparative fault rule in car accident cases. The rule requires that each driver is responsible for their percentage of fault. Under the "pure" comparative fault rule, you will receive the total damages amount minus a portion equal to the percentage of your fault. The "pure" comparative negligence rule remains the same even if you are found to be more at fault than the other driver.
Florida law requires drivers to have certain kinds and amounts of car insurance, which can affect their traffic accident settlements. Often times the at fault drivers are under-insured and we are forced to look elsewhere to find proper insurance coverage for our clients. Before taking on an auto accident case without an attorney be sure to consult with someone who understands the different types of coverage and the coverage requirements within the state of Florida.
There are many causes of accidents. Some of the most common are distracted drivers, intoxicated drivers, and defective roadways. There are many different ways an accident can happen. Common types of car accidents in Florida include:
There are many different types of people and vehicles you could get in an accident with, not all of which are cars. Just a few:
There are also different issues to be concerned about, like uninsured or underinsured drivers, or personal injury protection. No matter the circumstances of your accident, we would be honored and proud to fight for justice on your behalf.
An insurance company may have offered you a settlement. Remember, the insurance company is looking out for itself. Please never accept a settlement without first discussing it with an attorney that has experience with auto, trucking, and motorcycle accidents. Make sure that you have someone looking out for your legal interests. At The Law Offices of James B. Coulter, we'll fight for your rights. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you do. Call us at (321) 586-9944 or send an online message to set up a free consultation.