Lakeland Car Accident Attorneys

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David C.Dismuke Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

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How Do I Know if my Claim is Worth Pursuing?

No two car accidents are the same, and neither are the resulting injuries or hardships. Traveling speed, force of impact, collision angles, and reaction time all play a role in the severity and effects of a car crash. The amount of compensation you can expect to receive after an automobile accident can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the crash.

These are a few key factors that come into play when determining the value of a personal injury claim:

Establishing Liability

The first is that you have to be able to establish liability. This essentially means that you must be able to prove that someone else’s negligence led to your injury.

For example, if you were struck by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign, then you likely have a worthwhile claim. The driver neglected to pay attention to the stop sign, which led to them hitting your car. Since their carelessness led to your injury, you should have the ability to claim damages and recover from the losses that they caused.

Demonstrating Loss

Additionally, you have to be able to show that the incident caused significant losses. It is important to consider all forms of losses:

  • Injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses, etc.

Your lawyer will work with you to assign a monetary value to these losses, and that value is a big indicator of whether a lawsuit is worth pursuing or not. There are costs and fees that come along with such action, and it is important to determine whether the potential payoff will be worth the expense.

Determining How the Accident Relates to Your Injuries

Another important thing to consider is the extent to which the accident caused your injuries or aggravated pre-existing ones. You have to determine how serious your injuries are, and what amount of treatment you need. If you will have to miss work to recover, if you will no longer be able perform the same type of work, or if you will no longer be able to work at all, this should also be taken into account.

Also, if you sustain an injury that you will never be able to fully recover from, this can have a great effect on the value of your case. This means that it is also very important that you are under the care of a qualified doctor that will honestly and accurately diagnose, treat, and document your injuries.

Additionally, they should maintain regularly updated documents of your treatment progress and changes in your condition. It is vital to your case that the jury can see and understand the expenses you’ve incurred as well as the extent and ramifications of your injuries.

Trust a Qualified Attorney at Dismuke Law

At the end of the day, a case is only worth as much as the judge or jury will award. This is where the importance of a qualified, reliable attorney is the greatest. An experienced trial lawyer will present the evidence in your case in a way that the jury will understand, allowing them to make a clear and informed decision.

If you’ve been involved in a crash, you most likely still have questions about your rights and legal options. Give our auto accident attorneys a call at 1-800-ASK-DAVE to receive your free consultation. We’re here to help!

Florida Is a No-Fault Auto Insurance State

Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that most car accident victims will need to file claims under their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to recover compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and other losses, regardless of who was at fault for causing the collision. There are exceptions, however.

It is possible to file a third-party claim or lawsuit against the driver that caused your accident if you have experienced injuries that qualify under Florida law. This may include:

  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Significant, permanent loss of a key bodily function
  • Permanent injuries
  • Death

Filing a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver also opens the door to the recovery of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which are not available in a no-fault insurance claim.

Contact our offices today to get started. Call (863) 292-6922 today!

Determining Fault in Car Accidents

One of the biggest factors in the outcome of a car crash case is the determination of which party was at fault for the accident. Drivers often have very different opinions of who should be held responsible for causing the crash.

Since there are always two sides to a story, it is usually up to a judge or jury to make the final decision regarding who was at fault in an accident. Different states have different systems of determining fault. In Florida, we operate under a system known as “pure comparative negligence.”

What is Pure Comparative Negligence?

Under the pure comparative negligence standard, each party can be, and often is, partially responsible for the accident. In this system, each party is assigned a percentage of fault depending on the role they played in the crash.

This percentage is determined by details such as

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Driver statements
  • Vehicle damage
  • Any available photo or video evidence

Florida goes by this method because the fault is not always black and white, and many times both parties were partially in the wrong.

An easy example of this can be found in rear-end collisions. At first glance, it seems like the person who rear-ended the other party would clearly be at fault. However, this is not always the case.

These are a few scenarios in which the driver who was rear-ended could also have played a role in causing the accident:

Sudden reversal

It is expected that drivers on the roadway are traveling in a forward direction, and traveling in reverse when it could be a danger to other drivers does not uphold that expectation. If you reverse on a roadway and are rear-ended, it is likely that you would have some degree of fault for that accident.

Failure to signal

Drivers are expected to signal that they will soon be making a turn, and failure to do so can put themselves and others in harm’s way. Imagine you’re driving down the road, and just as you are approaching an intersection you realize that you are about to miss your turn. Instinctively, you slam on your brakes and attempt to make the turn before it is too late. In your haste, you failed to use your blinker and stopped very suddenly, giving the driver behind you no indication that you would be stopping to make a turn. This would likely result in you being found to have a fault in the accident if the driver behind you collides with your vehicle.

Brake lights not functional

Drivers are expected to ensure that their brake lights are working properly, as they are essential to their own safety as well as others on the roadway. Brake lights indicate to the driver behind you that you are slowing down, and driving without them is hazardous. If a driver is rear-ended while driving without functioning brake lights, they will likely be found to have fault in the accident.

Can I Still Make a Claim if I Was Partially At-fault?

Unlike other standards of determining fault in car accidents, the pure comparative negligence system allows both drivers to file a claim to recover damages even if they were not equally responsible for causing the accident. This is a huge advantage over other systems of fault determination since they often do not allow drivers who were 50% at-fault or more to recover any damages.

Certain states even have a system in place that bars drivers who hold any amount of fault in an accident, even 1%, from seeking damages. Under the pure comparative negligence standard, the damages that each driver is able to recover are limited by the degree to which they were at fault.

For example, let’s say that Bob was in an accident and he was determined to be 70% at-fault. He can still seek to recover 30% of the damages he incurred as a result of the accident. Even if Bob was found to hold 99% of fault in the crash, technically he would still be legally entitled to seek recovery for 1% of damages he incurred.

Contact Our Lakeland Car Accident Lawyers Today

Car accidents are extremely stressful, and their effects can be devastating. At Dismuke Law, our mission is to help our clients rebuild their lives after serious auto accidents.

We accomplish this by handling each claim with care and competence, securing the highest possible settlement or award. Our team of highly-qualified personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to pursue the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Why Choose Us?
  • We are led by a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
  • Our team has a former insurance defense attorney
  • We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements
  • We work on a contingency fee bases, meaning there are no fees unless you win

We also offer a free initial consultation to help you understand your options and whether you need legal counsel in the first place. You can count on our honesty when we assess your case.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, find comfort in the fact that our attorneys are committed to recovering the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 1-800-ASK-DAVE, or contact us online. We’re here to help!

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WHY DISMUKE LAW?

Decades of Experience

Dave has dedicated 15 years and a significant portion of his practice to auto accidents and has well-trained staff in place to help you.

We Treat Clients with Excellent Personal Service, Respect & Dignity

Our core belief is that every detail must be studied, that every adversary must be out prepared and outworked and that every client must be treated like they are family.

Personal Injury is All We Do

Dave is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and focuses his practice on automobile accidents.
David C. Dismuke

We Remove the Fear

of Going Through the Process of a Personal Injury Claim

The team at Dismuke Law understands how our clients are affected by accidents and brings that empathy to the courtroom and settlement table every day.

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