Were you injured in a car accident in Tampa, FL? You might be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. The Tampa car accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can provide the representation you need. Call us today at (813) 223-6200 for a free consultation.
Known as “The Aggressive Attorneys,” our legal team has recovered tens of millions for car accident victims and families in Tampa Bay.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in Tampa, FL
You have a lot to deal with after a car accident. You may not feel like you have the strength and energy to pursue a car accident claim, especially if the insurer is offering you quick money to settle your case. You deserve an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.
Winters & Yonker has 120 years of combined experience in personal injury law. We have represented countless car accident cases and helped injury victims in the Tampa Bay community get the fair compensation they deserve.
Hiring us means that you will get a Florida legal team that will:
- Explain all of your pathways for getting compensation under the law.
- Investigate your accident to gather evidence of the other driver’s fault
- Obtain accident reports and copies of citations related to the accident
- Calculate the full value of your claim
- Work with experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, and finance to strengthen your car accident case
- Conduct all communications and negotiations with the other side
- Take your case to court in pursuit of fair compensation
Contact a Tampa car accident attorney at Winters & Yonker to schedule your free case review and discuss your accident as well as the compensation you may be due.
Why Should I Hire a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer?
You should always consider hiring a car accident lawyer in Tampa to help you with your claim. A lawyer will help you understand all your avenues for pursuing compensation, including filing a claim against your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance and claims against the liable driver.
They can investigate your accident to gather evidence of the other driver’s liability. They can also work with you to track your damages and calculate the value of your case. That way, you leave nothing out during negotiations with the insurance company. Your attorney will also take care of all negotiations and communications on your behalf.
In fact, studies reveal that people who hired an injury attorney obtained up to 3.5x more money than those who did not. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on insurance providers to prioritize your interests. It’s always in your best interest to speak with an attorney with years of experience about your case.
What is My Tampa Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of your case will depend on the seriousness of the harm you’ve suffered and the circumstances of the accident.
A few elements have the biggest influence on the worth of injury cases:
- The cost of your medical bills (past and future)
- The extent of your lost wages
- Whether your earning capacity is diminished
- The pain and suffering you endured after the accident
- Whether you share a portion of the blame
- Available insurance coverages
- The strength of your evidence
The best way to figure out the value of your case is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Tampa. At Winters & Yonker, we can calculate each of your damages to get a sense of your case’s value.
We can even bring in financial experts to help us value your losses, if necessary.
When Should I Consult With a Tampa Car Accident Attorney?
It’s almost always a good idea to consult with a car accident attorney in Tampa after a collision. Although not every case needs the assistance of an attorney, most offer a free initial consultation.
During that meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to review your case with the attorney. They can provide you with some initial legal advice and go over your best course of action at that time. You also won’t be obligated to choose them afterward.
We offer a free consultation to every Tampa car accident victim. Call today to schedule yours.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Florida?
Florida used to give you four years (in most cases) to file a claim after a car wreck. However, a new Florida law has reduced the statute of limitations for general negligence claims to two years. Wrongful death claims are subject to the same two-year time limit.
According to the new law, if you got into an accident before this took effect, you will be subject to the four-year deadline.
The clock will typically start running on the date of your collision. If you fail to file your claim by the deadline, you will be barred from getting compensation in court. An auto accident attorney can help you determine the correct statute of limitations in your claim.
What Damages Are Available to Car Accident Victims?
Injured parties are typically entitled to two forms of compensatory damages.
Economic damages compensate for financial losses and other expenses that can be proven with documentation.
Some examples include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are awarded to recompensate for non-monetary losses that are harder to value with bills and receipts. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
The damages available in your case may largely depend on what insurance coverages are available.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa?
It costs nothing upfront. Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means their fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case. You don’t pay anything unless they win your case.
If your car accident attorney fails to obtain a settlement or verdict for you, you won’t owe any fees. If your attorney is successful, they will take a, previously agreed, percentage of your case as payment for their services (usually 30 – 40%).
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Being Blamed For a Car Accident in Florida?
You can get damages so long as you are not mostly to blame for your motor vehicle accident. Florida now has a modified comparative fault law.
These rules require courts and juries to reduce your damages according to your percentage of blame for the wreck. However, if you are 51% or more to blame for the accident, you cannot receive compensation.
For example, if you have $100,000 in damages but are 50% responsible, you can only obtain 50% of your damages ($50,000). But if you are 51% or more responsible, you will recover nothing.
Insurers are quick to use this to try to diminish the compensation you are due. You should not be surprised if they try to blame you for the car accident.
You should contact a Tampa car accident attorney at our law firm to help you defend allegations of comparative fault.
Will My Car Accident Case Go to Trial?
Statistically speaking, it’s highly unlikely. Most car accident cases, instead, are resolved through settlement negotiations. In fact, the majority of cases don’t even require filing a lawsuit.
That said, it may be in your best interest to take your case to court in certain circumstances, such as if the defendant refuses to offer a fair settlement. Once we file a car accident lawsuit on your behalf, pretrial discovery will take place. This could reveal critical evidence in favor of your claim, potentially leading to a more favorable settlement agreement.
In addition, litigating a case in court requires significant time and resources. The opposing party in your case might not want to make those efforts, and so even the mere “threat” of a lawsuit can increase your bargaining power.
Keep in mind as well that even after a court action is filed, that doesn’t mean your case will actually go to trial. Negotiations can still continue throughout the process.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Tampa?
You should take the following essential steps after an auto accident:
- Call 911.
- Cooperate with the police as they arrive on the scene and draft an accident report.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and eyewitnesses to the collision.
- Take photographs and videos of the scene (if possible).
- Seek medical treatment – by ambulance or by following up with your medical provider.
The final thing you should do is contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney.
Your lawyer can tell you your rights and alternatives for pursuing the amount of compensation you deserve. They can also help you understand the value of your case.
What you do in the days and weeks after the wreck is critical. These important steps can help you protect your health and your potential case.
We Handle All Auto Accident Claims in Tampa
There are many different types of auto accidents in Tampa Bay. Some tend to be more serious than others.
But any crash can cause serious damage and harm under the right circumstances.
We can help with all car accident cases, including:
- Single-vehicle wreck
- Multi-vehicle crashes
- Speeding accidents
- Front-end or head-on accident
- Rear-end wreck
- Rollover accident
- Truck accident
- Accidents with a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist
- T-bone or sideswipe accident
- Drunk and distracted driving accidents
- Hit and runs
- Highway crashes
- Collisions involving an uninsured or underinsured driver
- Fatal auto accidents
You deserve compensation if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle or a bicycle accident. Our Tampa car accident attorneys can help you explore your rights and course of action.
Who Could Be Held Liable for My Car Accident?
There are many different parties that could be liable for your car crash.
The liable driver will likely be determined on how your collision happened.
The following parties might bear some or all of the blame in your case:
- Another driver
- A manufacturer if a defective vehicle part caused your accident
- A state or local agency in the case of defective roadway design or malfunctioning traffic signals
- A truck driver or trucking company in the case of a truck accident
- Uber/Lyft if you were in a rideshare wreck
- An employer if the other driver was on duty during the collision
Everyone who shares blame for the crash is responsible for a proportionate share of the damages. An accident attorney can help you identify all the liable parties in your case.
Common Injuries After an Auto Accident
Car collisions can produce a range of injuries, from minor bruises and scrapes to paralysis. The most common include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck injuries and whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Wrongful death
You deserve compensation if another driver caused your collision. Our Tampa car accident attorneys can help you get the money you deserve.
What Are My Options for Recovering Compensation After a Car Crash?
Florida is a “no-fault” state for car accidents. As a result, one option you have after a wreck is to file an insurance claim against your PIP insurance. You can do so regardless of who caused the crash.
However, there are some situations where you may have other legal avenues, such as if your losses exceed your policy limits or if you’ve sustained a “serious injury” in the accident. In these cases, you may be able to file a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit.
Through these processes, you can potentially get much more compensation than you can through your PIP coverage. For example, PIP doesn’t cover your non-economic damages, such as your pain and suffering.
What Causes Most Car Wrecks?
The most common causes of car accidents that drivers in Florida experienced in 2022 are:
- Distractions (over 100,000 crashes in Florida)
- Drunk driving (more than 5,000 crashes)
- Fatigue or illness (over 15,700 collisions)
- High speeds (contributed to 224 fatal crashes)
- Following too closely (caused over 16,000 injuries)
- Defective vehicles
- Road defects and conditions
You might have more than one contributing cause in your accident. Our attorneys can help you determine each cause and responsible person or entity for your case.
Tampa Car Accident Statistics (December 2023 Update)
Auto accidents can happen to anyone at any time. According to the FLHSMV, Hillsborough County had over 28,356 motor vehicle accidents in 2022. A majority of these were in the Tampa vicinity. These collisions caused 19,273 injuries and 228 fatalities.
Most Dangerous Intersections in the Tampa, FL Area
Although auto accidents take place throughout Tampa, there are some intersections that are more dangerous than others. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office maintains a Traffic Accidents map that is updated on a monthly basis.
According to data for November 2023, the five most dangerous intersections in the county are:
- US-301 and Big Bend Road
- Bloomingdale Avenue and Progress Boulevard
- North Dale Mabry Highway and West Waters Avenue
- Sheldon Road and West Hillsborough Avenue
- East Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
No matter where your wreck took place, we may be able to help you get compensation from the responsible party. Contact us today to book your free initial consultation.
How Do I Choose The Right Car Accident Attorney?
Having the right auto accident attorney to manage your case is critical to get the outcome you deserve.
It’s highly important to make sure your attorney has:
- Sufficient legal experience to undertake your claim, including courtroom experience. Ideally, your lawyer should have experience with the exact type of car crash you experienced.
- A strong track record of recovering compensation for their clients.
- Enough time and assets (legal staff, a network of experts, etc.) to dedicate to your claim.
We have decades of experience helping accident victims. Our Tampa car accident lawyers have the assets and skills to put you in a position to secure maximum compensation.
How Should I Deal With the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are businesses interested in their profits and shareholders. They will go to great lengths to minimize the value of your claim. Accordingly, you should be cautious when you deal with them.
You should take the following precautions with the insurance companies.
- Never agree to give a recorded statement, even if the adjuster says it is a requisite to process your claim. The insurer will ask questions designed to trip you up and then try to use your answers to devalue your claim.
- Do not agree to sign a medical records release. They will ask you to allow them to search your medical records related to the accident. What they really want to do is examine them for “pre-existing injuries.” If they find one, they will try to claim the accident did not cause your injuries or only made them worse.
- Let your lawyer negotiate with the insurance company. In reality, you should let us take care of all communications and interactions with the insurance company. They can save you from saying or doing things that will hurt your claim later on.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Let Winters & Yonker negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
What Are the Legal Elements of a Car Accident Claim?
Most claims are based on negligence.
Negligence means that a person failed to exercise reasonable care and injured another one.
Negligence entails proof of:
- Duty – You will have to prove the other driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers owe this to other drivers, passengers, and road users to drive safely and follow traffic rules.
- Breach of duty – You will have to show the defendant violated their duty of care. That they didn’t act like a “reasonable person.” For example, the other driver might have breached this by following too closely or speeding.
- Causation – You will have to prove that the other driver caused your crash. You must provide evidence showing the crash wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the defendant’s behavior. You must also show your harm suffered was foreseeable.
- Damages – That you suffered some damage as a result of the breach of duty. This includes medical care, hospital expenses, physical and mental harm, etc.
You must prove each element to win your case. Your Tampa car accident lawyer will help you establish these with different types of evidence, including the accident report, medical information, eyewitnesses, and expert testimony.
Contact Winters & Yonker for help proving your negligence claim.
What Does the PIP Insurance Cover?
Personal Injury Protection insurance pays you medical and wage replacement benefits regardless of who is responsible for your wreck. In Florida, a minimum PIP policy will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages.
Under Florida’s no-fault law, this policy will be your only recourse for compensation unless you suffer a serious injury (or your damages exceed your PIP coverage limits). If you were seriously injured, you can opt out of this system and make a claim against the responsible driver or their insurer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need To Have A Lawyer For A Minor Car Accident?
You might not need a lawyer after every accident. For example, if your collision only resulted in minor property damage (like a light scratch), your PIP insurance should cover all of your losses. For just about any wreck more severe than that, however, it may be wise to have legal representation.
Further, since most Tampa car accident attorneys provide free consultations, it’s virtually always worth your time to at least take advantage of that offer. At that time, the lawyer can advise you as to whether you’ll likely need their assistance with your case.
Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?
You may be able to utilize your health insurance and/or your PIP insurance to help cover your medical bills after a collision. Depending on the facts of your case, you could also recover compensation for your medical bills through a claim against the opposing party.
Keep in mind that you must receive medical attention within 14 days of the crash if you intend to use your PIP coverage.
Who Will Fix My Car?
Florida drivers must purchase Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage. Most often, you can file a claim against this insurance to pay for repairs to your car. Alternatively, depending on the facts of your case, you can also receive compensation for property damage in conjunction with your personal injury claim.
Contact Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers For a Free Consultation
You deserve a Tampa car accident lawyer who can help you maximize your compensation while you focus on your recovery.
Winters & Yonker are “The Aggressive Attorneys,” and we’ll use our skills, experience, and aggressive advocacy to help you get the compensation you deserve. We have over 119 years of collective experience helping injured people.
Contact our office, conveniently located in Hyde Park, to schedule your free case review. We are available 24/7 to take your call.
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