Tampa Car Accident Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
Were you in an auto accident in Tampa that was caused by another driver? You may have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related losses. However, seeking the money you need after an accident can be challenging.
If this happened to you, contact a Tampa car accident lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger for effective legal representation and advocacy. Our attorneys fight injustice and make a difference in our clients’ lives. We work tirelessly to help our clients seek the financial relief and accountability they deserve.
Contact Paul Knopf Bigger for a free initial case review with a seasoned Tampa car accident attorney. We can review your case and explain your legal options for pursuing compensation and justice for the harm you’ve suffered.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Tampa
Car accidents happen for various reasons, but the most common causes are related to driver error. Some of these driver-related causes include:
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Running red lights or stop signs or disregarding traffic controls
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Not using turn signals or checking mirrors before turning or changing lanes
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding or swerving through traffic
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Other factors can cause or contribute to a car crash, such as:
- Inadequate car maintenance
- Vehicle or auto part defects
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poor road conditions, including slick road surfaces, broken pavement, potholes, or debris
- Low lighting or poor visibility
Common Types of Car Accidents in Tampa
The type of car accident a person is in can determine the severity and extent of any injury and damage. Even minor car accidents can result in serious injuries. Some of the most common types of car accidents that occur in Tampa include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact or T-bone collisions
- Sideswipe collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Multi-vehicle or pile-up accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents
- Uber, Lyft, or rideshare accidents
Types of Injuries Caused by an Auto Accident
Depending on the severity of an auto accident, a car crash victim may suffer various injuries. Some of the most frequently occurring kinds of injuries caused by a car wreck include:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Neck and back injuries, including herniated spinal discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries or internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputation, dismemberment, or limb loss
- Severe lacerations or abrasions
- Degloving injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains or tears
- Muscle or tendon strains or tears
Damages You Could Be Entitled to from a Car Accident
A motor vehicle accident can leave you with various financial and personal losses due to injuries or property damage. In a car accident case, you could pursue compensation for these losses from an insurance company, another driver, or other responsible parties. You could be compensated for the following losses:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation for injuries
- Costs of long-term care and support for permanent disabilities that result from your injuries
- Lost wages/income if you cannot work or earn as much as you did before the accident while recovering from your injuries
- Loss of earning capacity or employment benefits if you develop a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional trauma or distress
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life caused by disabilities or visible, permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Costs of vehicle repair or reimbursement of the value of your totaled vehicle, as well as other property damage
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Crash
After a car crash, your priority should be seeking medical treatment for your injuries. However, there are other steps you can take after a car accident to protect your rights. You should do the following after a motor vehicle accident in Tampa:
- Report the crash to law enforcement and wait until the police arrive. Police will investigate the accident and write an accident report. You should ask for a copy of the report, as it can be helpful should you need to provide evidence of fault or the severity of your injuries.
- Seek immediate medical attention to have your injuries diagnosed and treated. You should see a doctor even if you feel fine or your injuries appear minor. Some injuries take days or weeks to manifest symptoms, and treating them as soon as possible is essential. Your medical records can also be crucial evidence should you file claims.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Keep all follow-up appointments to aid in the healing process.
- Keep all bills, invoices, and receipts of expenses you incur due to the crash, including medical bills or car repair receipts.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements if you cannot work while healing from your injuries or must go on light duty.
- While you heal, keep a diary or journal to document physical pain, emotional distress, and difficulties with daily activities.
- Avoid discussing the accident or posting photos or videos of yourself on social media. Insurance companies sometimes monitor accident victims’ accounts for posts that contradict their official account of what happened in a crash.
Finally, contact a car accident attorney in Tampa as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options and discuss the next steps you should take to pursue financial relief and justice.
Who Could Be Liable for an Auto Wreck?
Florida follows a “no-fault” system regarding auto insurance and car accidents. All motorists in Florida must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of an insurance policy. A driver injured in a car accident will file a claim with their insurance provider to seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages under their PIP coverage, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Thus, it does not matter who is at fault in some car crashes.
However, if you suffer injuries that meet the definition of “serious” under Florida law, you could be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against another driver or other liable parties. Examples of who could be liable for an auto wreck include:
- Another motorist or the motorist’s employer if they were on the clock
- A truck driver or trucking company
- Manufacturers or sellers of defective auto parts
Time Limits for Filing an Auto Accident Injury Lawsuit in Tampa
Under Florida’s statute of limitations, you typically have only two years to file a car accident lawsuit against a driver or another party liable for the auto accident. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline, the court can dismiss your case, causing you to lose your right to seek compensation in civil court. Talk to a Tampa car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car crash to ensure your rights are preserved.
Could You Recover Compensation if You’re Partly to Blame for an Auto Accident?
You could still pursue compensation if you are partly to blame for an auto accident. Florida follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which bars accident victims from seeking compensation when their share of the blame for the accident is greater than that of another driver or liable party. An accident victim must be 50 percent or less to blame to be entitled to pursue compensation. However, under the comparative negligence system, an accident victim’s compensation will be reduced according to their percentage of fault. For instance, a victim who suffers $100,000 in losses but is 20 percent at fault will only receive up to $80,000.
Will It Cost You Anything to Hire a Car Accident Attorney in Tampa?
After an auto accident, you may face mounting medical bills and lost wages if you cannot work while healing from your injuries. You might worry that you cannot afford to hire a car accident attorney to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Fortunately, most car accident attorneys represent car accident victims on a contingency fee basis.
In a contingency fee arrangement, a car wreck victim must not pay any money upfront to hire a car accident law firm. Instead, the attorney only gets paid when they win compensation for their client through a settlement or a court judgment. The attorney receives an agreed-upon percentage of the money they secure for their client. Therefore, contingency fee arrangements align a car accident attorney’s interests with their client’s interests; the attorney only earns a fee when they recover money for their client, and the size of that fee correlates to the amount of financial recovery the attorney secures.