Ocala Car Accident Attorneys
All Florida drivers are required to use reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Yet every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hurt on Florida roads, and many are killed. Tragically, most of these accidents could have been prevented with the exercise of due care. Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and other forms of driver negligence are common causes of these accidents. At Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala car accident lawyers fight to hold negligent drivers responsible for their conduct.
Taking Legal Action if You Are a Car Accident Victim
The most common legal theory under which car accident victims sue the responsible parties is that of negligence. The elements of a negligence lawsuit are: (1) a duty recognized by law that requires the defendant to act in accord with a certain standard of conduct, or in this case, to drive safely; (2) breach of that duty; (3) "proximate" cause; and (4) actual damages or loss. "Proximate" in this context means that the defendant's actions have a reasonably close causal relationship to the plaintiff's harm. A cause that is too remote will not be considered a "proximate" cause. If a defendant can demonstrate that a plaintiff cannot prove one of these elements, the plaintiff's claim will be defeated.
If a plaintiff with serious injuries is able to prove these four elements, he or she may be awarded damages including medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. In certain instances, a plaintiff may also be able to claim punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant, rather than to compensate the plaintiff. Punitive damages are only appropriate if there is clear and convincing evidence of a defendant's intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
A defendant who is able to show that a plaintiff is partly responsible for his or her own injuries may be able to assert the defense of "comparative negligence." This means that a plaintiff's recovery is reduced by the percentage for which he or she, rather than the defendant, was responsible. Unlike some other states, Florida does not bar a plaintiff's claim simply because he or she was at fault to some degree.
After a Florida Car Accident
If you have been hurt in a car accident, your first concern should be to rest and recuperate. Unfortunately, medical bills, lost income, and the needs of your family make recuperation difficult. An insurer for the responsible party may approach you about a settlement immediately after the accident. Often the settlement offer will be lower than what you deserve or need. The insurance company will do their best to settle your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible. You should not talk to an insurer for the other side without first consulting a personal injury attorney who is loyal to you and has your best interests at heart.
In our experience, the full extent of personal injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident may not be known immediately. It may take many months for all injuries to manifest themselves. However, there are time limitations that apply to your ability to bring a claim, so it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Knowledgeable Ocala Car Accident Lawyers Fighting for You
If you have been seriously hurt in an automobile accident, the attorney you choose can make a big difference. You need a personal injury attorney who not only has the experience to handle your case effectively, but who also has the dedication to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our diligent and passionate advocates work hard to recover the greatest compensation possible for clients throughout Central Florida communities including Ocala, Crystal River, and The Villages. All of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay us no fees to represent you unless we are successful in your case. For a free consultation with one of our experienced Ocala car accident attorneys contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form.