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Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Attorney

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Injured in an Auto Accident in Fort Walton Beach? Contact Us to Learn Your Legal Options

When you get injured in an auto accident, you may not assumes you need a Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney. You are supposed to report the accident to your insurance company as a first step. Your insurance company is supposed to investigate the cause of the accident, and it is supposed to work with the other driver’s insurance company if it appears that he or she was at fault in the crash. Once this process is complete, you are supposed to receive just compensation for your injury-related losses, and you are supposed to be able to get back to your normal life.

If only it were really this easy. Unfortunately, the insurance companies make the process of recovering just compensation after a collision much more difficult than it should be. If you try to deal with the insurance companies on your own, you are almost certainly going to receive less than what you are rightfully owed. In order to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the full amount to which you are legally entitled under Florida law, it is essential that you have an experienced Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney fighting for you.

A Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Attorney from Our Firm Can Recover Maximum Compensation for Our Clients' Losses

At Searcy Denney, our attorneys bring decades of experience to helping auto accident victims in Fort Walton Beach recover maximum compensation for their losses. Our firm has been serving local residents and visitors for over 40 years, and our attorneys have had substantial success winning compensation for our clients from the insurance companies. Overcoming the insurance companies’ tactics is difficult, but it can be done, and our attorneys have the skill, knowledge and resolve required to ensure that our clients receive the full financial compensation they deserve.

Importantly, while most vehicle collisions cases involve auto insurance claims, many cases involve claims against vehicle manufacturers, construction contractors and other companies for road and vehicle defects. Our firm has a national reputation for securing favorable results in product defect cases, and in every case we explore all possible sources of financial compensation for our clients.

Punitive Damages in Florida

Like many other states, Florida limits the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded in a car accident case. Punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. For example, if you were awarded $300,000 in compensatory damages for medical expenses and lost wages, you could be entitled to as much as $900,000 in punitive damages. On the other hand, you would be limited to $500,000 in punitive damages if you were awarded only $100,000 in compensatory damages. 

In cases where the other driver was motivated by financial gain (such as in trucking accidents or other common carrier cases), the cap is higher -- you can seek up to four times the amount of your compensatory or $2 million, whichever is greater. A Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim for punitive damages. 

Decades of Experience Handling All Types of Auto Accident Claims

In our firm’s 40-year history, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients who have been injured and lost loved ones due to:

  • Drowsy, drunk and distracted driving
  • Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and forms other aggressive driving
  • Merging without looking, failing to yield, turning without the right of way, and other common driving mistakes
  • Brake, tire, engine, transmission, drivetrain and other vehicle defects
  • Defective road design and construction, and inadequate road maintenance

What You Need to Know About Hiring a Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, finding the right Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney to handle your case can seem overwhelming. This is an important step in your case, so it’s important to understand how to move through the process. 

Auto accident cases are pretty common, but that doesn’t mean that any attorney can handle your case. You need a lawyer specializing in auto accident cases and has experience handling cases similar to yours. When choosing an accident lawyer, consider how many cases they’ve handled and how long they have been in practice. 

Don’t Wait to Meet with an Accident Attorney

Many people aren’t sure if they should pursue a claim and so they decide to wait. While this is understandable, the problem is that the days following your accident can be critical to your success if you need to pursue a claim. Your attorney can help you navigate the process to ensure that you get the treatment you need and have the necessary evidence if you need compensation. 

Come to Your Consultation Prepared

The initial consultation serves two purposes: 

  1. To determine whether the attorney is a good fit for you; and
  2. To allow the attorney to assess your case and determine whether you have a claim. 

Many people focus on the first purpose and neglect the second. You want to bring any evidence and documents you may have to the initial consultation so that your attorney can make the best possible assessment of your case. They can then provide you with a solid strategy for moving forward, predict the potential outcome of your case, and provide a firm estimate of what your claim may be worth. 

Be Honest

Fortunately, most people do not intentionally lie to their attorneys. However, to provide accurate legal advice and get you the compensation you deserve, you need to be completely forthright about any circumstance surrounding your accident. Even if you contributed to the accident in some way, you might still be entitled to compensation. However, if you withhold information from your lawyer, it could do irreparable damage to your case and jeopardize your claim. 

Understand Your Options

Don’t assume that the only option is to file a lawsuit or simply accept your insurance company’s compensation offer. An experienced Fort Walton auto accident attorney should explain all of the options applicable to your case. If you aren’t clear about how those options apply to your case, ask questions so that you can make an informed decision. 

Follow Your Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Lawyer’s Advice

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t realize that they have an important role in their own cases. Your lawyer’s advice is intended to help you build the strongest claim possible. If you’re not sure what to do or are simply overwhelmed, let them know - an experienced Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney will likely be able to let you in whatever way you need. 

Some Notes About Whiplash Claims, A Common Car Accident Injury 

Closely related to concussions or other mild traumatic brain injuries, whiplash is a common neck injury after a car crash; often caused by rear-end car accidents. That said, whiplash can be caused in a wide variety of accidents, including sports injuries and falls. The injury’s name comes from the head’s whip-like motion that occurs when the victim is struck from behind, resulting in strained muscles and ligaments in the neck. While whiplash is not typically a life-threatening injury, it can cause considerable pain and discomfort. If left untreated, it could result in a permanent injury or chronic pain. 

It may not be immediately apparent that you have suffered whiplash. However, you should seek medical attention if you begin to experience any of the following symptoms: 

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Persistent headaches, especially those that originate at the base of the skull
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms and hands
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Pain and/or stiffness in the shoulders and upper back
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears

Your doctor can diagnose whether you have suffered whiplash and prescribe the appropriate treatment to help you recover. Cases can range from mild to severe - some injuries can heal in a couple of weeks with medication and exercise, while others may result in chronic pain that requires extensive treatment and physical therapy. If you’re suffering from whiplash, you may be entitled to compensation, and a Fort Walton Beach car accident law firm can help. 

Are You Entitled to Financial Compensation for Your Accident? Contact a Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Attorney to Find Out

If you have been injured or lost a close family member in an auto accident in the Fort Walton Area, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our highly-experienced attorneys. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, call a Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney at 800-780-8607 or tell us how to reach you online today.


Tallahassee

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley Logo The Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Toll-free: (888) 549-7011
Phone: (850) 224-7600
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006


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