Gainesville Car Accident FAQs
There’s a lot to know when it comes to car accidents in Gainesville, Florida. If you’ve been involved in a car crash in the area, you might be wondering what your rights are and whether you’ll be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
While Florida’s insurance rules complicate matters, it’s possible that you’ll be able to pursue a monetary award for things like your pain and suffering, repair costs, medical bills, and more. The Gainesville car accident lawyers with Allen Law Firm, P.A., are here to help you understand your legal options.
In this article, we’ll discuss the answers to some of the most common questions we see regarding car accidents in Gainesville.
How Can Allen Law Firm, P.A., Help After a Car Accident in Gainesville?
The aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be scary, confusing, and overwhelming, all at the same time. These accidents can cause serious harm; sometimes, it isn’t obvious who is responsible and how you’ll be made whole again. In these situations, it is critical that you understand what your legal options are. Allen Law Firm, P.A., can help.
Our Gainesville personal injury lawyers have a combined 100+ years of experience, and we’ve collected hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients since we were founded in 2007.
We’re led by Attorney Bill Allen, who is one of the most well-regarded attorneys in all of North Central Florida. He currently holds an AV-Preeminent Rating from the prestigious legal organization Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating available. The National Trial Lawyers also named him a Top 100 Trial Attorney.
Our personal injury law firm can help you by:
- Thoroughly investigating your car accident to find the evidence necessary to prove your claim and to articulate all of your damages
- Negotiating with the other party to arrive at a fair settlement, with the threat of litigation in court if they do not negotiate with us in good faith
- Bringing your case before an Alachua County jury at trial if the circumstances demand it
To begin forming an attorney-client relationship, contact us today in Gainesville, Florida, at (877) 372-9030. We offer a completely free consultation to go over your case.
What Should I Do After a Gainesville Car Accident?
The things you say and do immediately after an auto accident in Gainesville can heavily impact your subsequent claim for compensation. Here are some quick pieces of advice to keep in mind:
- Remain at or near the scene of the accident because fleeing could hurt your case.
- If it is safe, take pictures and videos of the accident scene, especially those that show your damages. Evidence will be necessary to prove your claim.
- Do not accept blame for the accident, and do not make any apologies. Statements like these could hurt your claim as well.
- Receive medical attention, regardless of whether you are obviously hurt. Not all injuries present themselves immediately, and medical evidence will be a significant part of your claim.
- Contact 911 to alert the proper authorities. This is required by Florida law if the accident involves an injury, death, or at least $500 in property damage.
You might also promptly reach out to a Gainesville personal injury attorney, as a lawyer can provide you with helpful advice on how to proceed, given the facts of the situation.
Do I Have a Car Accident Case?
The short answer is that it is possible, but it will depend on the circumstances involved in the accident. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” insurance system. This entails that drivers in the state must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage provides limited financial assistance in the event of an automobile accident, regardless of whose fault the crash was.
The downside to this system is that, by default, you cannot sue the at-fault driver for compensation in a Florida car accident. Instead, you must file an insurance claim with your PIP provider. A claim is different from a case; in this context, by “case,” we mean a case in a court of law as opposed to an insurance claim.
But what if your damages amount to more than the limits of your PIP policy? PIP only provides limited compensation, so it might not be enough to make up for all of your losses. Fortunately, in some instances, Florida law allows you to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to collect additional compensation – so long as you meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold.
The best way to know whether you have a case is to set up your free consultation with one of our seasoned Gainesville auto accident lawyers. We can provide personalized insight and legal advice at that time.
How Often Do Car Accidents Occur in Gainesville?
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides statistics for car accidents across the state, broken down by county. There were the following numbers of car accidents in Alachua County over the past five years:
- 2022 (as of November): 4,306
- 2021: 5,193
- 2020: 4,617
- 2019: 5,878
- 2018: 5,846
These numbers indicate that there are roughly 15 car accidents per day in Alachua County, Florida.
What if I Am Partially at Fault for My Car Accident in Gainesville?
You can still collect compensation even if you share some of the blame for your Gainesville car accident – at least up to a point. That’s because the State of Florida operates under a modified comparative negligence framework with a 51% bar to recovery.
Under a modified comparative negligence framework, you will be assigned a percentage of the blame for the car accident, and your compensation could be adjusted accordingly. So if you are assigned 25% of the blame and are awarded $800,000 for your injuries, that award could be reduced by 25% to $600,000. And if you are assigned 51% or more of the blame, you cannot receive compensation.
The other party to your case will most likely try to pin as much of the blame as possible on you. If they are successful, you might walk away with severely limited compensation. If you hire Allen Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys will work hard to protect you from such allegations. Contact us today to learn more.
How Do I Obtain My Car Accident Report in Florida?
You can obtain your Florida car accident report in two ways, assuming you are requesting 10 or fewer reports: online or in-person. You’ll visit FLHSMV’s website to retrieve your report online, and the base fee is $10.
To obtain your report in person, you must visit the closest Florida Highway Patrol Troop Station to where the accident occurred. You must also bring a signed Sworn Statement to Obtain Crash Report form.
Feel free to reach out to our law office in Gainesville if you have any questions about obtaining your car accident report. We can help you every step of the way.
How Much Time Do I Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Gainesville, Florida?
Florida law only allows you a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident per its statute of limitations. If you file your lawsuit too late, you’ll forfeit your option to pursue compensation.
Florida changed its statute of limitations for personal injury cases recently. If your car crash took place on 3/23/2023 or earlier, you will have four years to file a lawsuit. If it occurred after that date, Florida law allows you two years instead. However, there are exceptions. For instance, you could have less time than that if you need to sue the government.
It’s best to err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure whether you can still file a lawsuit in your situation. Our attorneys would be happy to sit down with you and make that determination during your free initial consultation.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Gainesville Car Accident Lawyer?
Allen Law Firm, P.A., works on a contingency fee basis, so it won’t cost you a penny upfront to hire us to represent you. Instead, we will receive our attorneys’ fees as a percentage of the financial award we collect for you at the end of your case.
We will discuss the percentage with you ahead of time, so there won’t be any surprises. The percentage varies from case to case depending on various factors, but it will usually be around 33%.
We believe that this system benefits everyone. We’ll be incentivized to maximize the value of your claim, and you’ll be able to hire a lawyer when you might not otherwise be able to. A car accident can place you and your family in a tough financial spot, but that shouldn’t preclude you from obtaining the legal representation you need and deserve.
Schedule a Free Case Review With an Experienced Gainesville Car Accident Lawyer
Allen Law Firm, P.A., has been helping personal injury victims in the Gainesville, Florida, area for 15 years. Our Gainesville car accident lawyers have the experience necessary to stand up for your interests regardless of the severity of the incident. We understand the tough time you’re likely going through, and we want to be there to help as best we can.