Located along the Gulf Coast just south of Tampa, Clearwater is a popular destination for tourists as well as people and businesses who want to call Florida home. It’s one of the fastest-growing communities in the state. While this growth has brought many benefits, it’s also caused some problems, including an increase in auto accidents.
According to the FLHSMV’s Crash Dashboard, there have been almost 8,000 auto accidents in Pinellas County so far this year. 3,425 of these accidents have resulted in injuries; 45 have resulted in fatalities. Some of the area’s most dangerous roadways include:
- Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and South Belcher Road
- US-19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard
- U.S. 19 Alternate & Sunset Point Road
- U.S. 19 Alternate & Drew Street
- Eastland Boulevard & McMullen Booth Road
Have you been injured in a car accident in Clearwater that was the fault of another driver? Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact Clearwater car accident attorney Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group immediately. We’re here to provide the experienced legal guidance you need to collect the full compensation you deserve for the damages caused by your accident-related injuries.
Types of Car Accidents in Clearwater, FL
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Clearwater, FL, it’s important to understand your rights under state law. If the negligent acts of another driver caused your accident, then Florida state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the personal and property damages resulting from the accident. There are legal procedures for obtaining this compensation; recovering full compensation for your damages can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t familiar with Florida’s accident laws.
Factors like negligence and liability play a big role in the outcome of any Clearwater car accident claim.
- What is negligence? Under Florida law, negligence occurs when an individual or entity fails to exercise reasonable care in their actions and these actions cause harm to others. Speeding is an example of a negligent act.
- What is liability? Liability is about who is responsible for an accident and by how much. In Florida, both parties can share liability for an accident. How much liability you share for your accident will impact the amount of compensation you can collect for your damages.
In Clearwater, car accidents can occur at any time of the day or night, under any kind of condition. There are several causes, including:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
Types of car accidents in Clearwater include rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, and side-impact crashes. They can involve other cars, motorcycles, big trucks, and pedestrians.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Clearwater
The steps you take immediately following a car accident in Clearwater can have a significant effect on any subsequent personal injury claims.
- The first thing to do after a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay. Contact 911 if there are any injuries.
- Call the local authorities. The police report can be helpful when it comes to proving your case later.
- Exchange information (name, driver’s license number, insurance information, phone numbers, etc.) with the other persons involved in the accident. Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, including photos of the other vehicles involved, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
- Seek medical attention for yourself, even if you think you haven’t been injured. The symptoms of some injuries may not manifest immediately. By refusing medical attention, you may have trouble establishing that your injuries are accident related.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident, providing them with all the necessary details.
- Protect your rights by consulting with a Clearwater personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Recovering Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Clearwater, you may be able to collect compensation for economic damages (property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, etc.), non-economic damages (pain, suffering, anguish, PTSD, loss of consortium, etc.), and even punitive damages. Surviving family members of a person killed in a Clearwater car accident may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death.
How much you collect is impossible to predict. Every case is different, with its own unique details that influence the potential compensation. Factors that determine how much you’ll be able to claim include the extent of your injuries, how much liability you shared for the accident, and the expertise and dedication of your attorney.
You don’t have to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim after a Clearwater auto accident, but it’s a smart move. Accident victims who hire experienced legal representation overwhelmingly see better outcomes than those who don’t. A Clearwater car accident attorney can help you at every step of the personal injury claim process, from filing your claim and collecting the evidence you’ll need to support your claim to assessing the total costs of your damages and negotiating on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in Clearwater
How much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?
Tania Rivas and other Clearwater auto accident lawyers typically accept cases on a contingency basis. This means there are no retainers or other upfront charges if they decide to represent your case. Legal fees are paid for as a (predetermined) percentage of your final cash settlement.
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Clear Water?
Under Florida’s statutes of limitation laws, you have two years from the date of your accident or two years from the date you became aware of your accident-related injuries in which to file a claim. Generally, the sooner you file a claim, the better the outcome.
What if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured?
Your PIP policy covers injuries up to your policy limit, regardless of if the other driver is insured or not. You may have to file a lawsuit against the other driver. In some cases, such as in a situation where an accident was caused by a defective part, you may be able to seek compensation from a third party, such as the manufacturer of the defective part. You may want to consider extending your coverage to uninsured driver insurance.
Why Choose Rivas Law Group?
Rivas Law Group is dedicated to helping you recover the total compensation you are due for the pain, suffering, and economic losses stemming from your accident. We provide personalized and compassionate legal services to car accident victims throughout the Clearwater area.
Clearwater, FL car accident attorney Tania Rivas has been protecting the rights of Florida accident victims for nearly 20 years. She’s successfully represented residents injured in a wide range of Clearwater car accidents, recovering millions of dollars in settlements for her clients.
Contact Rivas Law Group online or call us at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Clearwater car accident attorney Tania Rivas.