Pembroke Pines Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident Attorneys Pembroke Pines, FL

Car accidents can be horrifying and traumatic experiences, resulting in serious permanent injuries and even death. Every 11 seconds, someone in the United States is injured due to a motor vehicle crash or collision.

People injured in car accidents must endure pain, suffering, and a loss of income in addition to substantial medical bills and permanent limitations in how they have grown accustomed to living their lives.

Rehabilitation is often required to assist in returning an injured person to a semblance of life as he or she once knew it.

When someone is severely and permanently injured in a car accident, they will have to make complex and significant changes in their everyday life that will affect them and their loved ones for the remainder of their lives.

Florida Auto Accident Causes

In the State of Florida, car accidents can be caused by:

  • poor weather conditions
  • poor road conditions
  • driver fatigue
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances
  • failing traffic lights
  • hard to read traffic signs
  • obscured traffic signs or signals
  • failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • driving above or below the posted speed limits
  • driver distraction caused by a cell phone, passenger, radio, or another source
  • failure to obey traffic laws regarding turn signals, right-of-way, and other rules

This is by no means an all-inclusive list. Nonetheless, even though various reasons can cause auto accidents, the most common sense is due to driver negligence. All too often, drivers act carelessly, recklessly, and irresponsibly while operating their motor vehicles.

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Drivers often don’t pay enough attention to how they are driving and are utterly indifferent to using caution, entirely disregarding their safety and the safety of others. When operating a vehicle this way, the odds are stacked against the driver as he may narrowly escape calamity for some time. Ultimately, his negligent conduct will have an impact not only on his vehicle but on the lives of others as well.

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Injuries that commonly occur from car accidents include but are not limited to the following:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Head
  • Knee
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist
  • Spinal cord
  • Orthopedic
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Soft or connective tissue, which includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles

By their very nature, these injuries usually cause varying degrees of physical pain and limitation in movement and mobility. They can undoubtedly hinder one’s ability to work and earn a living and can often be unpredictable. When a person is injured in a car accident, their ability to work and pay for medical and day-to-day expenses is greatly encumbered. Furthermore, the accident may have left them without transportation, affected their relationship with their loved ones, and reduced their ability to participate in the activities they once enjoyed.

Soft-tissue injuries are injuries to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, nerves, and surface layers of the body. Many people suffer these injuries, even in minor car accidents. In many instances, the injuries may not be apparent during the accident. Stiffness, swelling, and pain may occur days later, causing pain, inflammation, or cycles of pain caused by nerve and tissue impingement. Soft tissue injuries can limit your day-to-day activities, well-being, and quality of life.

Attorney Erika Garnes is thoroughly familiar with a car accident’s vast array of effects on a person and his family. We also understand the technical and procedural requirements and internal workings of insurance companies, the law, and the court system. Severe and catastrophic injuries can involve complex legal, factual, and evidentiary issues. Insurance coverage may be in dispute. The insurance carriers may question your claims of injury and how these injuries affect your income and earning capacity presently or in the future. These and many other potentially complicated factual and legal issues may arise that will require the legal experience and working knowledge that Attorney Erika Garnes has been dedicated to providing and continue to provide to all our clients daily.

Auto Accident Fatalities

Every 12 minutes, someone is killed in a car accident, according to accident fatality statistics. It is shocking and devastating when someone is killed in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. Surviving family members forced to endure the wrongful death of a loved one, not only experience emotional pain and anguish but are also left to deal with legal and financial consequences at that moment and well into the future. Grief accompanying the sudden loss of a loved one can be overwhelming, debilitating, and unbearable. Suppose you have lost a family member in a fatal car accident. In that case, you must obtain legal representation from lawyers who are skilled, caring, and committed to providing understanding, attentive and thoughtful support.

At Garnes Injury Law, our car accident lawyers and staff are committed to helping our clients through this most complex and challenging process. We have successfully represented surviving family members in their times of extreme hardship in South Florida. We work diligently to secure the compensation our clients are entitled to receive to help alleviate the financial burden of losing a loved one and provide some comfort by seeing justice served.

Regardless of the injury sustained, recovering damages and benefits from insurance companies is no simple task. The formal and specific procedures, required documentation, and supporting materials can overwhelm even accomplished legal professionals unfamiliar with this ever-changing area of the law. It is essential that after an accident, you consult with an experienced personal injury law firm like Garnes Injury Law as soon as possible to help protect your rights and develop the legal strategy that will be most advantageous and effective. Based on the unique facts of your case, the car accident attorneys at Garnes Injury Law will help you develop and pursue the most sensible legal course of action that will allow you to obtain the most favorable results possible.

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After the Accident – What’s Next?

Time is of the essence when it comes to hiring an auto accident attorney. By consulting with Attorney Erika Garnes as soon as possible after the accident, you will gain the advantage of possibly obtaining and preserving more recent relevant physical evidence. Your memory of your accident’s facts, conditions, and circumstances will be more transparent and easier to recall and describe. The sooner Attorney Erika Garnes is involved in a case, the sooner we can help you. This means the resolution of your issue can conceivably occur sooner as well.

While you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting better, Attorney Erika Garnes will convene our team of experts to attain all the medical support, benefits, and compensation that is rightfully due based on the specific facts of your case. We will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case as needed to obtain all the relevant information, factual data, and pertinent case law required to properly evaluate your case and identify the potential value of your damages. Because of our vast experience in South Florida in this area of law, we can also assist you in locating and choosing the appropriate medical care providers for your particular injuries. We will ensure that a team member is always available to speak with you and keep you informed throughout every process. Here is how the process begins once you have hired our law firm.

  • A complete and thorough investigation is conducted as needed
  • All potential defendants are identified
  • Liability is established
  • Insurance coverage is researched, and carriers are notified of legal representation.
  • All damages that you and your family are and may be entitled to are identified and discussed

We have the resources and experience to protect your rights and pursue any course of legal action that may be required, including litigation and a jury trial. Even though many personal injury cases settle before trial, we will not hesitate to aggressively protect your rights in a courtroom to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. For a free evaluation of your case, please call or e-mail us today. There is no fee for our services unless there is a financial recovery in your case.

At-Fault, Negligent, and Aggressive Drivers

You may know who is at fault when you are in an auto accident. However, fault and causation issues can be complicated by who acted when and which laws ultimately govern the situation. If the other driver was negligent, you might have to prove that the driver breached a duty of care owed to you by law and that the breach caused your damages. Hiring Attorney Erika Garnes to represent you will enable you to have the ability to sort through these and any other issues that may surface and allow you to come up with the soundest conclusion and relevant course of action. Many different sources of information for car accident cases can and will reveal what happened and why. These sources include but are not limited to:

  • Police reports
  • Witnesses and witness statements
  • The condition of the vehicles involved in the accident
  • Road conditions
  • Physical evidence
  • Investigative Techniques and Procedures
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Accident reconstruction

Sometimes an at-fault driver is more than just negligent; he or she may have acted recklessly or even deliberately. A reckless driver acts with a conscious disregard for the probable consequences of his actions. Road rage incidents often involve reckless behavior and can escalate into more severe intentional behavior. Road rage, in particular, can be extremely dangerous, leading to injuries and criminal charges. Simply stated, aggressive drivers are a serious threat to the safety of everyone on the road with them. Speeding and taking other unnecessary risks also significantly affect the number of traffic crashes and the extent of the resulting injuries. It is essential to avoid confrontations with road-rage drivers and aggressive drivers. You have a better chance of staying safe if you:

  • Get out of the way
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Refuse to make or return obscene gestures
  • Don’t challenge the other driver
  • Report the aggressive driving to authorities, stopping somewhere to use your cell phone if necessary.

Drunk Driving and Florida’s Dram Shop Act

In the United States, a person is killed every 30 minutes due to an alcohol-related traffic crash; and someone is non-fatally injured every two minutes. Drunk driving can lead to both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. Additionally, the business that sold the alcohol to the drunk driver may be liable if the drunk driver was under 21 or a person the business knew was habitually addicted to alcoholic beverages. Social hosts can also be held responsible in the same way.

However, either scenario does not take any responsibility away from the driver who drove while under the influence. Garnes Injury Law has successfully obtained settlements and jury verdicts against bars, restaurants, and other places where alcoholic beverages were sold and a drunk driver injured our clients. If you believe the accident you or a loved one has been involved in was caused by a drunk driver who was served alcohol violating Florida’s Dram Shop Act, contact Attorney Erika Garnes to determine if you have a case.

Auto Accidents Not Caused by Drivers

Products Liability & Sovereign Immunity Cases

Sometimes, an accident cannot be avoided, no matter how carefully we drive. In these particular cases, a manufacturing or design defect in the vehicle may have caused or contributed to the accident. If the brakes on your car failed or the airbag did not deploy when it should have, the laws of automotive products liability may apply to your case. The design and production of an automobile involve many complex processes and mechanisms. Automobile manufacturers design and develop a product that consists of approximately 7,000 to 12,000 interdependent parts that must carry people and their cargo safely for an indefinite period. Also, cars must be inexpensive and capable of mass production, so manufacturers will continue to create and viably sell them.

Automotive products liability cases can deal with several types of evidentiary issues, including the admissibility of prior similar incidents, the existence or absence of prior lawsuits involving the vehicle or its components, the manufacturer’s compliance or noncompliance with safety standards or industry customs and standards, or/and subsequent remedial measures. Unfortunately, damage to a vehicle involved in an accident can also be caused by the activities required to remove the occupants or by the towing company when removing the vehicle from the accident scene. Separating damage done to the car in the collision from post-collision damage is essential in successfully pursuing this type of legal case.

If a defect in your car has caused or contributed to your injuries, you may have a case against the designer, the manufacturer, and/or the distributor. Other responsible parties could include the mechanic who caused or contributed to your accident by improperly repairing your car. Contact the auto accident lawyers at Garnes Injury Law to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION and find out if you have a potential automotive products liability legal cause of action.

Other factors that can cause or contribute to an auto accident include but are not limited to:

  • poorly maintained roads or roadway lighting
  • cluttered and confusing roadway construction areas
  • wrongly or improperly protected or marked roadway construction areas
  • unclear signage
  • roads with improper or inoperable lighting

Government entities are typically responsible for the roads and highways. Therefore, they may be liable for a car accident caused by certain specific acts or omissions defined by law in limited circumstances. Special rules apply to lawsuits against government entities protected by “sovereign immunity.” Cases in which government entities may be ultimately held legally responsible are extremely fact specific and can often involve complex issues of proof and causation. Any of the lawyers at Garnes Injury Law will be able to discuss with you what is required to hold a government entity accountable for your damages and help you determine if you have a potential case.

Damages in Auto Accident Cases

Compensation for Your Losses

An individual injured in an automobile accident may be able to collect monetary compensation for his injuries and other costs or losses associated with or related to the injuries. These items are designated as damages. Damages include physical injuries like broken bones, spinal cord and head injuries, and the pain and suffering caused by physical injuries. Other types of damages include but are not limited to:

  • Medical bills that are incurred as the result of an accident
  • Costs associated with future medical care
  • Rehabilitative services such as physical therapy
  • Prosthetic devices
  • A ramp leading to the home and other necessary accessibility modifications
  • Modified transportation
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Compensation for damage to personal property

While the costs associated with the damages listed above can be calculated with relatively little difficulty, determining an amount of money to associate with a person’s mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairment, and permanent disfigurement is more challenging to quantify or assess. If the injured person already suffered from a previous injury, monetary recovery is not necessarily precluded, as the accident may have aggravated or worsened the existing injury. Also, the new injury can be treated separately from the original one.

Suppose you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident. In that case, we recommend keeping a daily diary of the problems being caused by the injury, both physically and emotionally. This is a tremendous aid when it comes time to document the effects of the accident.

Spouse’s Damages: Loss of Consortium

Even if the spouse of an injured person was not in the car at the time of the accident, he or she might also experience a substantial loss as a direct result of the crash. Loss of consortium refers to the damage that the accident has caused to the spouse of an injured party due to someone else’s negligence. Since the marital relationship is commonly associated with certain benefits, such as companionship, comfort, assistance, sexual relations, and affection, the spouse of an injured person may be entitled to compensation for the loss of consortium on a temporary or permanent basis, which was caused as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Amount of Financial Recovery or compensation

The damages an injured party, spouse, or surviving family member may be entitled to depend on many legal and factual factors. Florida law, the type and extent of the injuries, the ability to prove and the admissibility of the facts, and even the injured person’s actions will affect the amount that is capable of being recovered. Other factors that will affect the amount of compensation obtainable are the type and length of medical treatment required, both past and future, the insurance coverage of the at-fault parties, the effect of the accident on the injured person’s income, and the permanency of the injuries.

Bad Faith Litigation

In some cases, if either the negligent driver’s insurance company or your uninsured/underinsured insurance company does not act in good faith by deciding not to settle your claim for the policy limits when based on all the relevant conditions and requirements, it could and should have done so had the insurance company acted fairly and honestly with due regard to your interests; you may also be able to recover more than in the insurance policy limits by pursuing what is called a “bad faith” cause of action. In addition to receiving more than your policy limits, a successful bad faith case may provide you with interest on unpaid benefits, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and any damages caused by violating the Florida “bad faith” law.

Aggressive Advocacy at Your Side

Even minor auto accidents can cause painful and permanent injuries. Although sometimes these injuries don’t become apparent until well after the accident, these seemingly minor or soft tissue injuries can disrupt your life and require extensive and ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. While other law firms may not be interested in pursuing your rear-end collision, red light crash, or other seemingly minor auto accident case, the personal injury lawyers at Garnes Injury Law are committed to helping you by thoroughly investigating your case and determining if it may have caused an injury that will have long-lasting effects on you and your loved ones, despite the characteristics or size of the impact.

Many drivers believe that insurance coverage will provide sufficient protection in an accident. However, that is often not the reality. Despite Florida’s mandatory automobile insurance laws, many drivers do not carry enough or any coverage. Please see our injury protection and uninsured/under-insured pages for more information on these critical topics. Typically, auto accident victims or their surviving family members who recover in court or via settlement are paid by an insurance company. It is always in the insurance company’s best interest to pay as little as possible despite the injuries sustained. They may not even offer enough money to cover medical bills or funeral expenses. They will likely make contact promptly after the accident to get information and attempt to coerce a settlement immediately. Hastily accepting an initial offer from an insurance carrier may save time. Still, it may also mean that you are not adequately and fairly compensated under specific laws enacted to protect you. A hurried settlement may not consider long-term medical needs and expenses or even fully cover the cost of preliminary short-term medical care. At Garnes Injury Law, we know insurance companies’ tactics to minimize your claim or deny you money. Call us at (954) 905-2683, or contact us online for your FREE CONSULTATION; we can help you avoid these and other costly pitfalls.

Adverse or objectionable tactics insurance companies may use include but are not limited to:

  • Taking a statement at the scene of the accident or shortly after that.
  • Advising you not to hire an attorney and getting you to sign a release as part of a payment. Sometimes you will be sent a check with confusing language, and if you cash the check, you may be prohibited from pursuing any further action or claim for your injuries.
  • Suggesting that your entire claim is fake to deny payment, regardless of the evidence.
  • Using policies that are written confusingly and are difficult to understand to deny or limit coverage when a claim is made ultimately.
  • Misrepresenting insurance policy benefits, coverage, and effective dates.
  • Prolonging payment of claims using delay tactics coerce you into unfavorably low settlements.
  • Prolonging payment of a claim by elderly injured victims until the victim dies, thereby attempting to avoid any claim payment.
  • Acting as your friend and offering advice to make it appear like they are looking out for your best interests.
  • Placing you and your family under surveillance makes your injuries appear less severe.

Attorney Erika Garnes strongly recommends that you do NOT talk to insurance company representatives! Talk to a car accident attorney first! Do not give any statements without consulting an attorney; the insurance carrier taking your statement can later use any statement you make against you to decrease the compensation you may be lawfully entitled to receive.

Seriously Injured In An Auto Accident?

If the answer is “yes,” it is vital that you understand that you have options, mainly if the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. What should you do if you or a loved one has been forced to endure injuries from a car crash? Do not face the insurance companies alone. Suppose you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident. In that case, you must hire a competent and aggressive advocate to ensure that you receive total compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Garnes Injury Law is a highly knowledgeable, experienced, and determined team of car accident lawyers, investigators, and supporting staff.

We have been successfully representing accident victims in all areas of South Florida, including, but not limited to, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Aventura, Hallandale, Ft. Lauderdale, North Miami Beach, Miami, Sunny Isles, Cooper City, Dania Beach, Broward County, Dade County, and Palm Beach County.