Call Today For Your Free Consultation
No Fee Unless We Win (941) 954-4000

Sarasota Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced firm to help you navigate the complex legal system and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Shapiro | Delgado is Sarasota’s leading car accident personal injury firm with a track record of helping clients recover damages for their injuries. Our team of experienced attorneys has the knowledge and experience to handle even the most complex car accident cases. With over $100 million in successfully litigated or settled cases, we know what it takes to win your case.

If you’re ready to take the first step in your recovery, we offer a free consultation to all new clients. During this consultation, we’ll listen to your story and provide you with an honest assessment of your case. We believe that every client deserves individualized attention and a customized legal strategy.

Contact our Sarasota car accident attorneys today to schedule your free, no-obligation car accident case review and learn how Shapiro | Delgado can help you get the justice you deserve.

Statistics About Car Accidents in Florida

As one of the most populous states in the United States, Florida is home to many drivers on the roadways every day. Unfortunately, this also means that Florida sees a high number of car accidents each year.

In Florida, there were 401,540 crashes statewide in 2021, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). 252,973 individuals were injured in these crashes, and 3,741 perished on Florida roads. This fatality rate is an almost 20-year high for the state.

Sarasota County had 6,632 crashes in 2021, resulting in 3,841 injuries and 61 fatalities. As the data sheet research points out, a single “crash event” can produce multiple injuries and fatalities. So while counts of car-related incidents can be helpful, they’re not fully portraying the story of what occurred.

At Shapiro | Delgado, we understand the devastating impact a car accident can have on a person’s life. That’s why our Sarasota car accident attorneys are dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation to those injured in Florida in car accidents.

Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents are common in our state, and understanding the types of car accidents that could happen can help you stay safe on the road and make informed decisions if you’re ever involved in an accident.

A car accident can happen almost anywhere there’s a paved surface: intersections, parking lots, freeways, highways, driveways, and city and county roads.

If you’re here because you’ve been in a car accident in one of these locations, you may have been involved in one of the following:

  • Multiple Vehicle Collision
  • Head-On Collision
  • Side-Impact Collision
  • Side-Swipe Collision
  • Vehicle Rollover
  • T-Bone

We know any of the above accidents have life-changing consequences for the victim and their family.

Common Injuries in Car Accidents

At Shapiro | Delgado, we’ve seen firsthand the devastating injuries that can result from car accidents in Florida. Even a seemingly minor fender bender can result in serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

After a car accident, individuals may experience a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, neck and back pain, dizziness, and fatigue. Other common symptoms include numbness or tingling in the extremities, difficulty concentrating, and changes in mood or behavior.

While these are some very common symptoms in car accident cases, car accidents can also cause more challenging and serious injuries that need long-term rehabilitation and support, such as:

  • Concussion and Whiplash
  • Broken Bones and Fractures
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Trauma
  • Burns and Lacerations
  • Disfigurement and Scarring
  • Amputation
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Other Mental Health Conditions
  • Wrongful Death

Even if you or your loved one’s specific car accident-related injury is not listed above, you still may be eligible to bring a case against the person who caused the accident. Florida has very specific eligibility requirements for who is allowed to bring car accident-related suits, depending on the severity of the injury.

Additionally, to be eligible to bring a Florida car accident wrongful death case, you will need to be one of the officially designated executors of the deceased’s estate. Without this designation, you will likely be unable to file a wrongful death claim on the behalf of your deceased loved one.

car accident with ambulance on scene with the caption "get compensation for your injuries"

Statute of Limitations in Sarasota Car Accident Cases

If you seek to bring a suit against a negligent third party who caused your injuries from a car accident, you have four years to do so. Under Florida’s statute of limitations, most personal injury victims have this timeframe to bring a case.

One of the major exceptions to this is if the victim of a car accident died due to their injuries. If this is the case, the executors of the deceased’s estate have two years to bring a wrongful death case, starting at the time of the victim’s death.

Understanding The No-Fault Concept in Florida Car Accidents

Florida is a no-fault state regarding car insurance. Essentially, anyone in a car accident can recover losses from their insurer, regardless of fault. It takes an individual receiving serious injuries as defined by statute to pursue a liability claim outside the no-fault system.

No-fault insurance systems are designed to provide drivers with quick and easy access to compensation for their losses without the need for lengthy and costly legal battles to determine fault. However, some critics argue that no-fault systems can result in inadequate compensation for injured parties and may incentivize insurers to deny or underpay valid claims.

In Florida, you must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage of at least $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). Insured drivers can add additional coverage on an ad hoc basis.

To access the PIP benefits, an individual must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident. As long as an individual receives care within that time frame, you would be eligible to receive a payment of 80 percent of your medical expenses.

If, during that medical appointment, you are found to have “serious bodily injuries” (as defined in Florida statute), you will be able to pursue a suit against the person who was responsible for the accident.

Defining Permanent Injury In Florida

As previously discussed, if you are found to have permanent bodily injuries from a car crash, you will be able to obtain certain damages including non-economic damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish in addition to payments for your outstanding medical bills.

Florida Statute 627.737 does not define “permanent medical injury.” However, in order to prove you have a “permanent medical injury” a trained and qualified medical professional must state that to “a reasonable degree of medical probability” the injury you sustained is permanent. Florida Statute 627.737 also provides for non economic damages for motor vehicle accidents involving “Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function” and “Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.”

A “permanent medical injury” does not have to be as severe as an amputation or fracture. Soft tissues injuries to the neck and back, a common injury in a car accident, can also be considered permanent.

So while in many states, individuals can claim non-economic damages relating to pain, suffering, and emotional distress without any of these serious injuries, that is mostly not the case in Florida. A victim will need a permanent bodily injury first to claim any examples above of non-economic damages.

Sarasota Car Accident Attorneys

If this seems overwhelming, that’s completely understandable. Florida car accident law and claims are complicated. That’s why it is our professional recommendation to seek out an experienced car accident attorney in Florida as soon as possible.

A good car accident lawyer will know how to work through the nuances of the Florida legal system. They will be able to understand your exact situation and give great recommendations as to you or your loved one’s next steps.

So why do we recommend seeking an experienced car accident law firm like Shapiro | Delgado?

  • The law is complicated. With an experienced attorney, you can trust that your situation is being handled with care.
  • Documentation and filing are exceptionally complex. An incorrect filing could potentially ruin your case. Whether you were considering going through your car accident case representing yourself or choosing an inexperienced firm – don’t. Don’t waste time, effort, and money working with a firm that may not win your case.
  • The defendant in your case will likely have representation. If the defendant has opposing counsel, they will likely try to do everything within their power to discredit you and misrepresent the facts in your case.
  • Injured victims receive more money on average when they hire an attorney versus when they do not according to a study done by a big insurance company.

It’s important when you’re thinking about getting legal representation in your case to make sure that you are selecting not just an ethical and skilled lawyer but someone you can work with over the months or years it takes to settle your case. Choosing a legal partner you are comfortable with will help your case be more successful.

Even if you are not found to be “seriously” injured as detailed under Florida statute, a stalwart legal partner like Shapiro | Delgado can help you navigate issues surrounding negligence, insurance, and compensation.

Damages For Serious Injuries in Florida Car Accidents

In Florida, like many states, individuals eligible to bring suit against the negligent third party and can potentially receive three types of damages in their Florida car accident case: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages are financial damages with an obvious dollar amount. For instance, lost wages, future earnings, medical bills, and financial costs can all be considered economic damages.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible types of damages that also come from your bus accident case. For instance, these can be pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are difficult to prove in Florida because punitive damages are the only damages intended to punish the defendant for their supposed wrongdoing or negligence. To make a claim for punitive damages, a claimant must show that the at-fault third party acted with intent, extreme recklessness or gross negligence. In Florida, there is a cap on punitive damages amounting to three times the economic and non-economic damages or $500,000.

lady justice holding a balance beam with the caption "the justice we pursue is yours"

Pure Comparative Negligence in Florida Car Accidents

Comparative negligence can affect the financial damages you receive in your case.

For example, if a jury determined that you were liable for 25 percent of the car accident in which you were involved, you will only be awarded 75 percent of the damages that you are claiming to have suffered as a result of the incident.

Comparative negligence also works the other way. The defendant in the car accident case can also receive damages proportional to the amount of fault they are responsible for. As Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, not a modified comparative negligence state, individuals can almost always be eligible for damages even if they were overwhelmingly at fault for the accident.

Count On Shapiro | Delgado, Sarasota’s Choice For Car Accident Law

At Shapiro | Delgado, we understand that a car accident can be a traumatic and life-changing event. That’s why we provide compassionate and personalized representation to each client.

We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case, whether negotiating a fair settlement or taking your case to trial. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury.

Our attorneys are experienced in personal injury law. We know the statutes in Florida, inside and out. That’s why we can provide extensive legal coverage and insight into your car accident case.

If you’re curious about our track record of excellence, we’ll just let the numbers of our client’s monetary settlements speak for themselves:

  • $1.2 Million auto accident case settlement with only $50,000 in insurance coverage
  • $750,000 car accident case settlement
  • $500,000 car accident with fractured leg settlement
  • $200,000 drunk driver car accident settlement
  • $5,775,000 trucking accident with a tire defect

Throughout our careers, we’ve gotten our clients over $100 million in settlements and successful trial verdicts. We’re confident in our work and our ability to get similar results in your Florida car accident case – which is why we never take any financial compensation from our clients unless we win their case.

Get in touch with a Sarasota car accident attorney Sat Shapiro | Delgado today. Scheduling your free, no-obligation car accident case review is simple and straightforward. We’re standing by so that we can help.