Were you recently involved in a car accident? The experienced Clearwater car accident lawyers at Roman & Gaynor can help you fight to maximize your recovery. Contact our Clearwater, Florida law office at (727) 787-2500 for a free consultation.
You may have the right to take legal action against those responsible for your injuries and suffering. By filing an insurance claim and/or lawsuit, you could potentially obtain a sizable financial award.
We offer a free consultation, so there’s absolutely no risk in reaching out and setting up a time to discuss the details of your case.
How Roman & Gaynor Can Help After a Car Accident in Clearwater
While you may have the right to pursue and collect a financial settlement or award, actually getting money in your hands isn’t as easy as it should be. Insurance companies – yours or a third-party provider – will fight tooth and nail to deny or minimize your claim.
At-fault parties will, in all likelihood, refuse to accept responsibility. They might even try to blame you. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on this fight on your own.
Having a Clearwater personal injury lawyer from Roman & Gaynor on your side can make all the difference in the world.
At Roman & Gaynor, we’re known for being tough and passionate advocates for motor vehicle accident victims like you. Since 1996, our personal injury attorneys in Clearwater have gone head-to-head against powerful adversaries – including insurance providers and multi-national corporations with deep pockets – and secured life-altering results for our clients. To date, we’ve successfully recovered more than $100 Million in settlements and jury verdicts.
When you enlist our law firm for help after a crash in Clearwater, expect us to:
- Be compassionate and empathetic to your needs during this difficult time
- Provide accessible and transparent legal service throughout the process
- Coordinate with accident experts and specialists to ensure that your crash is subject to a detailed and exhaustive investigation
- Handle the administrative aspects of your claim from start to finish – including making sure that all procedural deadlines are met on time
- Minimize the impact of any claims that you are responsible for or share fault for your auto accident and resulting injuries
- Negotiate fiercely on your behalf, working to secure a settlement with terms that are favorable to you
Mark Roman and Morgan Gaynor, our founding attorneys, are both Board Certified specialists in civil litigation by The Florida Bar – something less than 2% of all attorneys in the state of Florida can say. This means that they’ve demonstrated superior knowledge and skills handling complex civil litigation issues – just like your car accident case. Insurance companies know this well, and that can factor into how they approach your personal injury claim for damages.
Contact our law office in Clearwater to discuss your rights and options. Your first consultation is free.
Florida Car Accident Statistics
Clearwater has become an increasingly popular place to not only visit, but also live. Since 1990, the city’s population has grown exponentially. Today, more than 119,000 people call Clearwater, Florida home. Clearwater’s roads have seen a considerable increase in traffic, as a direct result. In turn, car accidents have happened more frequently.
Back in 2013, there were 16,069 car accidents reported in Pinellas County. By 2019, the number of crashes rose to 17,078. That’s an increase of between 2 and 3 car accidents every single day in just a few short years.
Accidents aren’t just happening more often, they’re also causing more death and devastation. In 2013, 83 fatal car accidents in the county. In 2019, there were 103 fatal crashes that resulted in causing 105 deaths. Thousands of other collisions cause victims to suffer a wide-range of injures.
What Are the Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Clearwater, Florida?
There are between 46 and 47 car wrecks on an average day in Clearwater and Pinellas County. That’s nearly two collisions every single hour, many of which cause injury and death. While these traffic accidents can happen for a multitude of reasons, there are certain factors that tend to contribute such as distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigue, speeding, tailgating, defective vehicles, or roads.
Distractions come in many forms – texting and driving, checking your email while stopped at a red light, engaging in an in-depth conversation with a passenger, and even daydreaming. When a driver is distracted, vehicle collisions and accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians are much more likely to occur.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were at least 50,200 distracted driving car accidents in the state in 2017.
Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol are significantly more likely to get distracted, fall asleep behind the wheel, and simply experience difficulty concentrating and navigating a vehicle. Unfortunately, drunk driving is all too common in Clearwater and across the state. In 2017, there were at least 5,125 alcohol-related crashes in Florida.
Did you know that driving while you’re tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk? It’s true, at least according to some studies.
There’s no doubt that Clearwater has its fair share of traffic. In fact, Clearwater ranks 62nd in the nation when it comes to congestion. When a driver finally emerges from a traffic jam or bumper-to-bumper congestion, they might feel to urge to speed to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, that tends to lead to collisions – many of which are deadly. In 2018, speed was a factor in more than a quarter of all fatal accidents in the United States.
Many rear-end collisions that take place in Clearwater are a consequence of tailgating or following too closely. When drivers fail to leave an adequate cushion of space between vehicles, crashes are more likely to occur. Why? The driver in the rear simply has less time to react to changes in traffic patterns and less real estate to bring their vehicle to a complete stop.
Defective Vehicles and Safety Equipment
Sometimes accidents happen, despite the fact that everyone personally affected by the collision exercised an appropriate level of care. Faulty brakes, defective airbags, and other vehicle defects can, and sometimes do, cause accidents in Clearwater.
The state of Florida, Pinellas County, and the city of Clearwater all have a responsibility to design safe roads and maintain them so that they’re in a reasonably safe condition. Drivers shouldn’t have to be overly concerned about road conditions or being on the lookout for obstructions or hazards while they’re traveling around the city. Unfortunately, potholes go untended and trees are allowed to grow in front of and obstruct road signs. These road conditions can lead to crashes.
Road defects together with speeding can cause fatal accidents. In 2018, driving “too fast for conditions”, caused many fatal accidents across the country. These were the conditions that caused them:
- 16% – dry roads
- 19% – wet roads
- 37% – roads with snow or slush
- 37% – roads with moving or standing water
- 41% – roads with ice or frost
- 45% – roads with mud, dirt, or gravel
Contact Roman & Gaynor if you’ve been injured in a crash. Our Clearwater car accident attorneys will work to get to the bottom of what happened and determine why your collision happened. With this information, we’ll be able to set the stage for recovering compensation from those who are responsible.
We Represent All Car Accident Victims in Clearwater
When you’re injured in a motor vehicle collision in Clearwater, you deserve to be represented by an attorney with extensive experience handling cases like yours. At Roman & Gaynor, we have 60+ years of combined experience representing clients in car accident injury matters. This includes clients who were injured as a result of:
- Frontal/Head-on collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Side-impact collisions
- Single vehicle accidents
- Multi-vehicle collisions
- Intersection accidents
- Red and yellow light accidents
- Truck accidents
- Accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians
- Hit and run car accidents
- Accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists
- Lane change accidents
- Highway accidents
- And more
We work on contingency, which means there’s no fee unless we win your case. Call our law office in Clearwater to discuss your situation today.
What Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Rule Means For Me After a Crash in Clearwater?
Florida has no-fault insurance laws. This means that you are required to file a claim with your own insurance provider after you are injured in an accident in the state – regardless of who is at fault. State law requires that all vehicles are covered by a car insurance policy, including mandatory minimum amounts of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This PIP coverage serves as the primary source of compensation when you get hurt in a crash.
I’ve Exhausted My Insurance Benefits – What Now?
There are times when the cost of your injuries – and other crash-related damages – will exceed your car insurance policy limits. When that happens, you can then turn your attention to a civil legal action against other parties. This might involve submitting a claim to another party’s insurance company or filing a civil personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida state law, anyone who contributes to an accident can be on the hook for the financial consequences. This might include:
- Drivers of other passenger vehicles
- Uber and Lyft drivers
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Bus drivers
- Mass transit companies, both private and public
- Employers of at-fault parties
- Government entities
- Manufacturers or retailers of defective car parts or vehicles
How do you know when you can file a lawsuit and who to name as a defendant(s)? This process can be daunting. The good news is that you don’t have to attempt to navigate it on your own. Call Roman & Gaynor. Our car accident attorneys in Clearwater would be happy to help you identify all avenues for recovering the money you need.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Partly to Blame for My Clearwater Car Accident?
Yes – as long as someone else shares at least 1% of the blame. Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence system. Simply, this means that fault is allocated to everyone who plays a role in causing an accident – directly or indirectly. Being allocated blame won’t bar a financial recovery, but it will affect it.
Your damages will be reduced to the degree to which you are at fault. And, you’ll be financially liable for other victims’ damages to that degree, too.
Example: You suffer $100,000 in damages as a result of a car accident in Clearwater. You’re allocated 30% of the blame because you were speeding at the time of the wreck. Your financial settlement or award will be capped at $70,000 – your total damages less 30%. If someone else also suffered $100,000 in damages because of the collision, you (or your insurer) could be liable for up to $30,000 of their costs.
Insurance companies love to use this law to their advantage. In fact, they love to use it as a way to scare accident victims into accepting way less money than they deserve or walking away with nothing. If you don’t stand up for yourself – or have an experienced attorney stand up for you – you might end up leaving money on the table.
Our Clearwater auto accident attorneys are known for being fierce advocates for injury victims like you. We’ll stand up to insurance companies and work to neutralize their manipulative strategies and tactics. Our team will gather evidence to disprove the claims that you share fault or work to minimize your role. Call us for legal advice and assistance today.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Clearwater
Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries to drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Our legal team appreciates the importance of a financial recovery for all injuries – mild and catastrophic. Call our law office in Clearwater if, as a result of a crash, you or a loved one have suffered:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Back and neck injury, including whiplash
- Concussion or head trauma
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage, including strains and sprains
- Chest injury
- Lost limbs
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Injuries to the eyes or face
- Wrongful death
We understand that you might not be able to take the time to come to our Clearwater law office to discuss your case. If your injuries are severe, our team can arrange a time ot visit you at home or at the hospital. Just give us a call to discuss your options today.
How Much is My Clearwater Car Accident Case Worth?
According to the National Safety Council, the average out-of-pocket costs and financial losses of a car accident range, on average, between $12,200 (no injury observed) to $1,659,000 (death of victim). Those are just the economic costs. When you factor in the intangibles, like pain and suffering, the value of a claim can be significantly higher. Generally speaking, crash victims in Clearwater are entitled to seek both economic and non-economic damages.
There are many different factors that will affect the valuation of an injury claim after a car accident in Clearwater. Among other things, these factors include:
- The extent and severity of the injury
- Whether you are forced to miss time at work and generate an income – temporarily or permanently
- If you require assistance to complete everyday tasks, like bathing or driving
- How the accident and resulting harm have affected you emotionally and psychologically
- The cost of replacing and repairing property damaged in the crash.
Compensation that’s commonly awarded includes money for:
- Present medical expenses
- Future medical bills
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost income and wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress, including PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Funeral and burial costs, if an accident is fatal
There are times when punitive, or exemplary, damages might be applicable. While these are awarded in a very limited number of cases, our team will carefully consider the details of your case and determine if they might also be an option for you.
Statute of Limitations For Car Accident Lawsuits in Clearwater, FL
Your right to file a civil action after an accident in Clearwater is not without limitation. Florida state law imposes a strict four-year clock on most personal injury lawsuits. This means that your right to seek compensation from at-fault parties expires four years from the date of your crash.
There are some exceptions to the rule – but they’re few and far between. While four years might seem like a lot of time, there’s considerable value in getting started on your legal case right away. By contacting an attorney promptly after a crash, you’ll not only effectively guarantee that you meet applicable deadlines, but you’ll also give your car accident lawyer the opportunity to investigate and gather relevant evidence not long after the crash. This can make a huge difference in the success of your claim and in how much money you’re ultimately awarded for your injuries.
What Should I Do After a Clearwater, FL Car Accident?
An accident can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you or a loved one are involved in a car accident in Clearwater. These easy steps can help to keep you safe and support any future actions for damages you decide to pursue.
- Remain at the scene, but move to a safe location away from the wreckage
- Call the police and report the accident
- Answer basic questions and exchange insurance information, but do not admit fault or apologize
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as you can
- Obtain a copy of the accident report when it is available
- Resist the urge to accept an insurance company’s early settlement offer – it’s probably for way less money than your case is really worth
- Direct all conversations to your personal injury attorney in Clearwater
Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call Roman & Gaynor after you are involved in a car accident in Clearwater, Florida. Our team is always available – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Clearwater Car Accident Lawyers
At Roman & Gaynor, we get results for our clients. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Clearwater, make our law firm your first call. Our car accident lawyers in Clearwater will fight to hold at-fault parties fully accountable for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Your first consultation with our team is free, so give us a call to arrange a time to discuss your case today.