If you or a loved one was injured in a car collision, you might be wondering what you should do next. However, if the negligence of another person caused the crash, you may be able to pursue a legal claim with the help of a St. Johns County car accident lawyer.
Before signing any insurance documents or accepting a settlement offer, consulting with a well-versed attorney might prove beneficial. By working with a legal professional, you could understand your rights and have an ally to evaluate your claim and guide you through each step.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in St. Johns County
There are many important steps that an injured individual should take following an auto collision. These steps might be crucial for the validity of a potential claim for compensation, including:
- Reporting the accident to the police
- Taking photographs of the crash scene and any injuries or property damage
- Seeking medical care
- Maintaining medical records, hospital bills, and other accident-related expenses
- Taking notes on accident-related details
Because providing evidence is crucial to a civil claim, maintaining proof and documentation is essential. Furthermore, by contacting a proactive St. Johns County lawyer, a person injured in a car crash could have help in documenting their losses.
Pursuing Compensation in St. Johns County
For a successful claim, an injured plaintiff must be able to prove that another motorist was negligent. This is done through a series of steps, including:
- Duty of care—every motorist has an obligation to drive safely and obey the rules of the road
- Breach of duty—if a driver speeds, texts while driving, or operates a vehicle while under the influence, they have breached their duty of care
- Causation—the driver’s breach of duty led to an accident
- Damages—the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the accident
However, even when injuries are apparent, legally proving fault might be difficult—especially as a person tries to recover from their injuries. A seasoned car crash attorney could help a claimant to gather evidence in order to pursue a persuasive claim.
What Happens if the Injured Party is Partially At Fault?
Each state handles issues of comparative fault differently. In Florida, an injured individual might still be able to recover damages even when they are partially at fault for a wreck. However, if it is determined that an injured claimant is partially at fault, their recovery would be reduced to match their percentage of liability.
For example, if a plaintiff is 20 percent at fault, they would only be able to recover 80 percent of the awarded damages. However, while some car collision cases do not involve comparative fault, a defendant may attempt to demonstrate that an injured driver was also negligent. Because of this, a claimant might benefit from having an experienced St. Johns County lawyer on their side to protect their rights.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Crash Claims
In Florida, there is a four-year time limit from the date of the accident in which an injured motorist may file a claim. This is outlined in Florida Statutes Annotated § 95.11, commonly known as the statute of limitations. While there might be exceptions to this timeframe, anyone seeking compensation runs the risk of facing a dismissal if they do not file a timely claim.
Talk with a St. Johns County Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in an automobile accident, you might be traumatized and overwhelmed. Along with physical trauma, the costs of medical treatment and missed time from work may leave you feeling as though your situation is hopeless.
However, if the negligence of another driver caused your injuries, you have legal rights and might benefit from reaching out to a St. Johns County car accident lawyer. By enlisting a dedicated attorney, you could rest assured that a legal professional is helping seek compensation for your losses. Call today to learn more and schedule a consultation.