- 1 What can you expect with John Bales Attorneys?
- 2 Why Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney is a Good Idea
- 3 You Need Your Own Attorney
- 4 Your Auto Accident Case: What You Should Look For
- 5 Are you the victim of an impaired or distracted driver?
- 6 The Different Types of Accidents
- 7 What to Do after Your Auto Accident
- 8 Steps to Strengthen Your Case
- 9 Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
- 10 Reasons for Car Accident Lawsuits
- 11 When to File a Claim
- 12 Florida Statute of Limitations Laws
- 13 Car Crash Statistics For Florida
- 14 Hillsborough County Auto Accident Statistics: A State Comparison
- 15 Get the John Bales Attorneys Auto Accident App
- 16 Types of Injuries
- 17 Learn More about Your Auto Accident with These Resources.
Every single year, millions are involved in car accidents, which can cause serious injuries to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Car wrecks are already scary enough without having to worry about the financial, physical, and emotional injuries. You and your family may be experiencing additional hardship as a result of expensive car repairs, lost wages, and medical bills or insurance claim disputes.
If you, or a loved one, are among the nearly 200,000 people injured in Florida car accidents each year, you know firsthand how devastating an auto accident can be—no matter how “minor” it may have appeared. [Source: A Safer Florida: Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report 2012,” October 2012.]
As an auto accident attorney, we have helped countless, innocent victims of car accidents all over Tampa Bay; and we’re ready to help you.
What can you expect with John Bales Attorneys?
Care. Quality. Respect.
At John Bales Attorneys, we do more than simply review your auto accident case.
At John Bales Attorneys, our approach to helping our many clients comes down to three simple words: care, quality, and respect. Your auto accident injuries can have a huge impact on your life, and so we do more than simply review your case; we make you a priority. We do this by taking the time to listen and understand the circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and how this single event has impacted your life and your livelihood.
And because no two car accidents are the same, our approach to your case—including our planning, investigation, and various strategies—is always as unique as you are. Still, our specialized auto accident attorneys have handled every kind of car accident case imaginable, and so there are no case challenges that we won’t be able to resolve in your favor.
Why Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney is a Good Idea
Because of the way automotive insurance works, most car accident cases are fault-based in nature. This means that the at-fault party is almost always immediately represented by their insurance company and its lawyers, getting the jump on any risk management concerns that may arise. This is the primary reason that you need to hire your own auto accident attorney to lookout for your interests.
If you find yourself the injured party through no fault of your own, you do not want to find yourself out there alone. Sure, you might be contacted by someone involved in the case, someone who implies that they’re offering assistance, but this is not so. As uncomfortable a concept as it is, if you or your insurance company is not paying for their services, the interests they’re looking out for are almost certainly not yours. They are most likely looking to uncover something to indicate that their client, the at-fault party, is not to blame.
You Need Your Own Attorney
Very simply, if the at-fault party—the person or persons responsible for your injuries and/or inconvenience—has the full weight of their insurance company and their attorneys behind them, why shouldn’t you be equally represented? Now, if you’re like most people, you’re not looking to become involved in an antagonistic, drawn out, and litigious case, or, for that matter, an exhausting claim process. Still, going into such a situation underrepresented and ill-prepared could be a recipe for disaster.
At John Bales Attorneys, we regularly see people who come to us after the fact, after they’ve already damaged their claim, all because they made the choice to go it alone, without legal representation. By this point, sadly, there’s very little that can be done. It would have been such a simple matter to arrange to have an experienced auto accident attorney by their side.
Your Auto Accident Case: What You Should Look For
Here at John Bales Attorneys, there are certain things we look for when tackling an automotive accident case. The law requires that all drivers must be careful with encountering others on the road. This is called the “duty of reasonable care.” When a driver is not appropriately careful, they are “breaching” the duty of care, and are thus considered negligent. To prevail for you, it’s our job to establish that the at-fault party was negligent.
As mentioned previously, the reason that that the at-fault party’s insurance company wants to talk to you is to uncover evidence beneficial to the defendant’s case, and what’s good for them is almost certainly bad for you. This is why we advise you to not talk to the other party’s insurance company. One of their objectives will be to prove “contributory negligence” on your part—evidence that you yourself could have contributed to the accident. At John Bales Attorneys, it’s our job to establish that the other guy is at fault, leaving you in the clear. Check out John Bales Auto Accident Case Walk-through for an overview of answers to some of the frequently asked questions our clients ask about their cases.
Are you the victim of an impaired or distracted driver?
The car accident lawyers at John Bales Attorneys are skilled at determining whether the driver who caused your accident was under the influence, distracted, or driving recklessly.
The Different Types of Accidents
The world can be a very dangerous place, and nothing epitomizes danger more than our busy byways and highways. At John Bales Attorneys, we understand that the occasional car accident is simply unavoidable—the price of living in a mobile and fast-paced society. For this reason, we specialize in automotive accident cases and bring to the table the experience and expertise needed to deliver big results on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries as the result of a car wreck, we’re here to provide you with all the legal assistance you need. We’ll begin by delving into the details of your accident. We’ll determine the extent of your injuries and ascertain how your accident has impacted your life and your livelihood. We’ll most likely begin by determining the type of accident you’ve experienced.
Intoxicated Driving Accidents
It’s a scary thought, but statistics show that we share the roads with impaired drivers more often than we realize. Needless to say, drunk drivers contribute greatly to the number of car wrecks that occur in the state of Florida, not to mention throughout the nation. But impaired driving is not limited to careless drinking and driving. Countless other drugs, including many over-the-counter medicines, also contribute to impaired driving.
Speeding, Aggressive and/or Reckless Driving
The term “reckless driving” calls to mind someone traveling at a high rate of speed, endangering all those they happen to be sharing the road with, but reckless driving encompasses much more. It’s also about aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is defined as operating an automobile in a hostile manner, making sudden and careless lane changes without signaling and failing to yield the right of way.
Distracted Driving Accidents
For as long as there’s been automobiles to drive, distracted driving has been a concern, but with the increasing amount of technological innovations out there—including, of course, smartphones and GPS devices—the problem has gotten much worse. The concerns of eating, drinking, and changing radio stations while driving has been eclipsed by the menace of texting. On average, over 330,000 accidents a year are caused by texting and driving.
Defective Vehicle Accidents
If you’re like most Americans, you depend on your vehicle on a daily basis, and because of this, you will most likely keep your car serviced and maintained regularly. Still every day, motorists everywhere experience accidents due to defective automotive parts. At John Bales Attorneys, we have first-hand experience representing people who have suffered as the result of defective vehicle parts and holding those at fault responsible.
Dangerous Road Accidents
As Florida’s vast infrastructure continues to age, deteriorating road conditions will continue to be a contributing factor in automotive accidents. Poor road conditions, such as potholes, sinkholes, cracked or broken sections of road, not to mention poor or perplexing street signage, lead to increased car accidents and great chances of you or someone you care about being injured.
When a head-on collision happens to you or someone you love, the outcome is often devastating. With extensive legal knowledge and experience, John Bales Attorneys will utilize all internal and external resources to help strengthen your case against the liable party.
Sideswipe accidents may sound relatively benign, but the result could mean serious damage to both the vehicle and its occupants. A sideswipe collision often occurs when a driver tries to avoid an impending crash or a driver absent mindedly switches lanes. While these are not the only causes of sideswipe collisions, there is always the potential for major damage to one or both parties involved. John Bales Attorneys can help you build a strong legal case against the offending party so that you can recover adequate compensation for your damages.
Hit & Run
A hit and run accident is an extremely serious criminal offense. The outcome of a hit and run accident can be traumatic and typically requires immediate medical attention. If a distracted driver caused an accident and chose to flee the scene you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Rear-end collisions are comprised of a complex mix of factors to determine liability, and the driver following behind is not always at fault. Many factors such as driving slowly, driving while intoxicated, stopping suddenly, and reckless driving determine liability. John Bales Attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to navigate the complexity of rear-end collisions.
It’s important that you start a claim soon after your accident as there are time limitations on how long you have to file a claim. If you wish to discuss your accident with a car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, contact John Bales Attorneys now. If we handle your case, we only get paid if you do.
Call the auto accidents attorneys at John Bales Attorneys now for a FREE consultation at (800) 225-5564, or fill out our online form.
What to Do after Your Auto Accident
The Moments after an Accident Are Crucial—Follow These Steps.
After your car accident, you may be confused, disoriented, and even in shock. Your main concern is the safety of you and your loved ones. But your actions during this time may have a major impact on your chances of getting the money you deserve. The moments immediately following your accident are crucial, and in an attempt to strengthen your possible case, you’re advised to follow some simple steps. By following these steps after the accident, you can protect your health and strengthen your case. These four simple steps include:
Steps to Strengthen Your Case
What you say to police and even the location of skid marks on the asphalt may be used as evidence in your auto accident claim. But if you follow a few simple steps after the accident, you can protect your health and strengthen your case:
- Get medical attention. Even if you do not think you were seriously hurt, see a doctor right away. Car accidents can cause internal injuries that could go unnoticed for days or weeks after the accident, only to cause extreme pain and disability weeks later. That is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately after your accident, even if you do not think you were seriously injured.
- Record the crash scene. Use your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the crash scene. Be sure to capture damage to your vehicle and any accident-related markings on the road. You should also take pictures of any injuries to you or your loved ones.
- Stay silent. If you think you were at fault for the accident, do not admit it to the other driver or the police. The accident may have been beyond your control, but an admission of guilt can potentially damage your chances of getting compensation.
- Call a lawyer.The sooner you talk to an auto accident lawyer, the better. Evidence needs to be collected right away, and if you wait too long, you may give the insurance company a head start building its case against you.
We Can Help You Through This Time
At John Bales Attorneys, we know that the aftermath of a car accident can be a difficult and stressful time. You are in pain and worrying about paying your bills on time and getting back to work—legal paperwork is the last thing on your mind. That is why we want to help build your case and help you and your family get the money you are owed. Call today.
How Much To Expect From A Car Accident Settlement
John Bales attorneys have years of experience handling car, pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, and trucking accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and are thinking about filing a claim to receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses and damages, our attorneys can help. One common question many people have is how much is their case worth. Due to the nature of car accident lawsuits, each case has a different set of circumstances. A good way to determine how much to expect from a car accident settlement is to reach out a John Bales car accident attorney by calling the auto accidents attorneys at John Bales Attorneys now for a FREE consultation at 1-CALL-JOHN (1-800-225-5564), or fill out our FREE initial consultation form.
Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
As we all know, accidents happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,296,000 automotive accidents were reported in 2015. That’s approximately 17,250 car accidents per day! And out of all these, half resulted in injury claims with some going to trial and others being settled out of court.
If you’re injured in a car accident, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to file a claim or lawsuit against the insurance agency of the at-fault driver in order to recover the compensation you need. At John Bales Attorneys, we can help you recover the damages you have coming and get your life back to normal.
Reasons for Car Accident Lawsuits
When the other driver is entirely at fault for your car accident, filing a lawsuit is most certainly a valid option. However, keep in mind that Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning that you typically need to file under your own personal injury protection coverage to get compensation for your medical bills and other expenses—regardless of who’s at fault for the crash.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions to the “no-fault” law. These exceptions allow you to pursue a liability lawsuit against the person responsible for the crash. Very simply, your injuries must meet the requirements for “serious” as defined by the state of Florida. Permanent injury is defined as:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
If you’ve suffered permanent injury because of an accident as outlined above, you may be able to claim both medical bills and lost wages not to mention compensation for pain and suffering. At John Bales Attorneys, we can assist you in determining if your case qualifies.
When to File a Claim
There Is No Time to Waste after Your Accident—Call John Bales Attorneys.
If you’ve been in an accident, the clock is ticking to file a claim for damages. And, if you wait too long, you could lose out on the money you deserve for your medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses.
Let’s talk about when you should file an accident claim and how John Bales Attorneys might be able to help.
In Florida, there are time limits for filing an injury claim. Depending on the nature of the accident, these time limits may vary.
For instance, if you were in an auto accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at fault party. However, if someone involved in that same accident doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured, you have 5 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. John Bales Attorneys can help you determine the appropriate time period.
Although these time limits seem long, waiting to file could be a big mistake.
The insurance company could start building a case against you just hours after an accident, so the sooner you file a claim after an accident, the better. Because memories fade, documents get lost, and photos can’t be retaken, call the accident attorneys at John Bales Attorneys right now. We’ll investigate your case and fight the insurance company for the money and medical care you need.
Don’t take the chance of important evidence being lost forever. Contact John Bales Attorneys today, and we’ll get started on your case right away. The consultation is free and you don’t pay us anything unless we recover money for you.
Because Life Doesn’t Wait, you need John Bales Attorneys.
Your auto accident has left you hurting, unable to return to work, and facing countless medical bills and living expenses that you cannot afford. You know you need to contact a lawyer, but you are hesitant to make the call. However, the longer you wait to contact an attorney, the less likely it is that you will get the full compensation you are owed.
At John Bales Attorneys, our auto accident lawyers are familiar with Florida’s statute of limitations laws. We also know that waiting too long to file an auto accident claim often means evidence crucial to your case may be lost forever. Do not wait to get legal help—call us at (800) 225-5564 or fill out a free initial consultation form today.
Florida Statute of Limitations Laws
Like most states, Florida has a time limit on filing claims for damages. For auto accidents, this law may vary depending on several factors:
- Auto Accidents Involving NegligenceAccording to Florida state law, the statute of limitations for filing a claim for any personal injury caused by negligence—or carelessness—is 4 years from the date of the accident.
- Auto Accidents Involving Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist CoverageIf you are involved in an auto accident with someone who does not have insurance—or who does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for damages—the statute of limitations for filing a claim is 5 years from the date of the accident.
Although it may seem like you have a long time to file a claim, it is important to remember that the sooner we can take action, the better. The insurance company may begin building its case against you in the days or even hours after the accident. Our law firm can help make it a fair fight.
John Bales Attorneys Wants to be Your Auto Accident Lawyer
Our legal team realizes that it is not enough to be fast—we also have to be compassionate and thorough. That is why we strive to learn as much as we can about you, your family, and your accident. And while we are building your case, we will give you regular updates on the progress we are making. Let us put our experience, resources, and knowledge of the law to work for you—call now.
Car Crash Statistics For Florida
- 395,785 car accidents were reported statewide in 2016.
- There were 2,935 fatal crashes in the State of Florida in the year 2016.
- Out of these 2,935 fatal crashes, a total of 3,176 deaths were reported.
- There were 876 fatalities of people wearing safety belts properly reported in 2016.
- 254,155 total injuries were reported as a result of car accidents in the year 2016.
- 57.3% of the accidents reported only resulted in the damage of property. All of the people involved in these accidents walked away with minor injuries or were completely unharmed.
- 15,770 of the accidents reported involved a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist. Collisions within this group accounted for 3.9% of all accidents reported throughout the year.
Hillsborough County Auto Accident Statistics: A State Comparison
- Of the 395,785 accidents reported in 2016 in the state of Florida, 27,660 occurred in Hillsborough County.
- The accidents reported in Hillsborough County accounted for nearly 6.9% of all those reported in Florida.
- 1,145 accidents reported in Hillsborough County involved pedestrians or bicyclists. This number represents 7.2% of all accidents involving a pedestrian or bicyclist in the entire state.
- 2016 saw an increase from the previous year in auto accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians.
- 228 total fatalities were reported in Hillsborough County during the year 2016. These represent 7.1% of all fatal crashes in the state during the year.
- In 2015, 190 automotive fatalities occurred in Hillsborough County. The number of fatalities rose by approximately 20% in 2016.
- 2016 saw more accidents than 2015. 27,660 accidents were reported in 2016. That’s 1,693 more than in 2015.
Get the John Bales Attorneys Auto Accident App
Be sure to download our Auto Accident App for your iPhone or Android today. Our Attorneys Accident and Injury Toolkit app is designed to provide assistance in case you have been involved in an auto accident.
Types of Injuries
Whether it is a high-speed interstate collision or a fender bender in stop and go traffic, all auto accidents can result in injuries for drivers and passengers alike. While some car crash victims may walk away from accidents with just minor scrapes and bruises, others may suffer serious injuries that are life threatening and require immediate medical attention. The speed, weight, and momentum in auto accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries affecting almost every part of the body. The most common types of auto accident injuries include:
Common Types Of Injuries
The speed, weight, and momentum in auto accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries affecting almost every part of the body. The most common types of auto accident injuries include:
- Back and Neck Injuries. The back and neck are vulnerable to injury during an auto accident, which can lead to bulging or herniated discs, pulled muscles and ligaments, and whiplash.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Rollover accidents, head-on collisions, and other types of car, motorcycle, pedestrian, and truck accidents often can cause spinal cord injuries in auto accident victims. Some victims may experience partial or complete paralysis as a result of these injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). While safety features such as seatbelts and airbags can help reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries, the outcome is still far too common. When the extreme force of a car accident impacts the brain, one can be left with severe damage, swelling, and even hemorrhaging.
- Burn Injuries. Many Florida car accidents can lead to serious burns due to metal, steam, fire or even dangerous chemicals. Car accident burn injuries often leave people in extreme pain and sometimes permanently disfigured.
- Facial Injuries. Facial injuries are unfortunately a tragic outcome of many Florida car accidents. These injuries are not only physically disfiguring, they are also emotionally taxing, and even with reconstructive surgery can be difficult to recover from.
- Loss of limbs. Though not as common as many of the other injuries, this disfiguring car accident injury creates a lifelong disability. Many people who suffer from traumatic amputation are left with the mental and physical anguish long after the car accident itself.
At John Bales Attorneys, we know that not all auto accident injuries are obvious right away. In fact, some injuries may be internal and could go unnoticed for days or weeks after the accident, only to cause extreme pain and disability weeks later. That is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately after your accident, even if you do not think you were seriously injured.
Helping You Through this Difficult Time
We know that the aftermath of a car accident can be a difficult and stressful time. You are in pain and worrying about paying your bills and getting back to work. Legal paperwork is the last thing on your mind. That’s why we’re here, to help build your case, ensuring that you and your family get the money you are owed. We’re ready to go to work for you immediately, learning as much as we can about you, your family, and your accident as possible. The entire process can be a frightening one, but you do not have to deal with it alone. Our auto accident lawyers are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses. At John Bales Attorneys, we want to be your auto accident lawyer.
You Are Hurt We Can Help
No matter what type of injury you suffered in your auto accident, the legal team at John Bales Attorneys has the resources and the experience to help you. Our auto accident lawyers know the difficulties you are facing, and we will do everything we can to help you get your life back. Contact us at (800) 225-5564 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
Damages and Compensation in an Auto Accident Case
John Bales Attorneys have years of experience handling car, pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, and trucking accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and are thinking about filing a claim to receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses and damages, a car accident lawyer from John Bales can help.
One common question many people have is how much is their case worth. Due to the nature of car accident lawsuits, each case has a completely different set of circumstances. To calculate the damages or the amount of compensation the injured party may receive, a jury will take into account many factors including the costs incurred and the pain suffering. These factors include:
- The direct financial cost or out-of-pocket cost
- The direct damages are the specific and general damages related to the accident, and they may include the following:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property Loss
- Cost of medical bills
- Pain and suffering, emotional damages, and other indirect damages are harder to predict because they do not have a monetary value assigned to them, making it more a difficult and subjective task. They include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Inability to conceive due to accident-related injuries
- Loss of relationships
- Loss of limbs or extremities
In extreme cases where the defendant was grossly negligent and put lives at risk, a judge may allow a victim to seek punitive damages as a form of punishment for the offending party. However, Florida law makes it almost impossible to recover them.
How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement
John Bales attorneys have years of experience handling car, pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, and trucking accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and are thinking about filing a claim to receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses and damages, our attorneys can help. One common question many people have is how much is their case worth. Due to the nature of car accident lawsuits, each case has a different set of circumstances. A good way to determine how much to expect from a car accident settlement is to reach out a John Bales car accident lawyer by calling the auto accidents attorneys at John Bales Attorneys now for a FREE consultation at 1-CALL-JOHN (1-800-225-5564), or fill out our FREE initial consultation form.
Learn More about Your Auto Accident with These Resources.
After an auto accident, you have many questions: How did this happen? How could it have been avoided? And what do I do now? At John Bales Attorneys, our auto accident lawyers know this is an uncertain time for you and your family, but the following resources may give you insight into the accident and guide you toward recovery:
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)
Find local office locations, request an auto accident or crash report, and renew your driver license using the DHSMV website.
- DHSMV: Statistics, Studies, and Publications
Download 2003 – 2011 crash data compiled by the state of Florida, reports on distracted driving, and reports on which drivers are most vulnerable on the road.
- DHSMV: Vehicle Insurance Questions and Answers
Read answers to common questions about Florida auto insurance, including the minimum levels of coverage you need to stay legal on the road.
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office – Records and Reports
Get information on obtaining a local or Florida crash report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Learn about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, get facts on vehicle safety initiatives, and download new research about the automobile industry from the NHTSA.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
Find out safety information about your family’s vehicles, including crash test ratings and rollover test results from the IIHS.
- Crash Survivors Network
Learn ways to cope with grief and loss after an auto accident, including coping skills for children, adults, and your entire family.