Car Accident Lawyer in Hollywood
Where would we be without our cars? America has always had a strong car culture, and we find ourselves using them every day. We use them to run errands, drive to work, and travel. But just as cars have been with us for over a century, so have the dangers.
In the U.S., there are an average of 6 million car accidents each year. These crashes cause more than 90 deaths each day and 3 million injuries each year.  From distracted driving to alcohol use, many of these crashes could be avoided if drivers took more care to prevent them.
If you suffered a car accident injury, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm. Schlacter Law, the car accident law firm, helps our clients recover money to help pay for bills, medical care, and pain and suffering. Ranked as a ‘10 best’ personal injury auto accident lawyer, we have established ourselves as a leader in recovering money for car accident injuries and compensation for pain and suffering. Speak to us today so we can help you get the money you need.
What to Do After an Accident in Hollywood
Immediately after an accident, it is all too easy to let the stress of the situation cloud your judgment. Before making any decisions or leaving the scene of the crash, be sure to follow this checklist:
- Seek medical care if needed
- Help the other driver if medical care is needed
- Call 911 for assistance
- Exchange insurance and license information
- Record any vehicle damage
- Inform your insurance carrier of the accident
It should go without saying, but immediately following an accident be sure that you and any of your passengers are not severely injured. If you have any doubt as to the extent of your injuries, wait in your car for medical assistance. Even minor injuries may turn out to be more serious than you realize and, in some instances, leaving the automobile could do more harm than you realize.
If no one in your vehicle was injured, be sure to check on the driver in the other vehicle to ensure that they do not need medical assistance. Florida law requires anyone in an accident to provide reasonable assistance including making arrangements for medical care for the other driver if needed. 
Even if no one was seriously injured, it is recommended that you call 911 and report the accident. In the event that no medical care is required, medical professionals are typically called to the scene to ensure that any minor injuries aren’t serious. Additionally, the Hollywood police will often respond to a crash scene as well. This provides an opportunity to file a police report concerning what happened. Police reports can be useful for a car accident attorney later in the process for negotiating compensation on your behalf.
Once everyone’s medical needs have been attended to, be sure to exchange information with the other driver. Florida requires that, at a minimum, each driver exchange their (2):
- Vehicle registration number
- License or permit number
While the statute does not specifically require each driver to exchange insurance information, be sure to ask the other vehicle operator who their insurance company is, and if possible, their insurance policy number. This information is important for a Hollywood car accident lawyer when it comes time for a settlement negotiation or litigation.
It is important to record any damage done to both vehicles. With the proliferation of cell phones, most of us have a camera with us most of the time. Using your cellphone camera, photograph any damage done to your vehicle as well as any other areas that weren’t damaged, so your insurance company has them for reference. Additionally, photograph any damaged and undamaged parts of the other vehicle, and be sure to photograph the other driver’s license plate number.
Most memories fade much sooner than one would think. As a result, be sure to record any information you can recall immediately following the accident. Again, your cellphone is a useful tool for recording this information. You can text or email yourself or even write the information in your notes app. Write down any recollections including:
- The weather conditions
- The road conditions
- Any traffic signs or traffic lights
- Names of any witnesses
- Names of any other passengers
- The positions of any other vehicles
Once the police have taken down your information and you properly filed a report, you can safely leave the scene of the crash. If you suspect your vehicle is too damaged to operate, don’t take a chance, and call a tow company to have your car towed to a local repair facility.
Most insurance companies require that you contact them to let them know about an accident within a specific time frame. This could be as little as three days or as many as thirty days. Be sure to look through your policy documents to ensure that you let them know about the accident within this time period.
After contacting your insurance company, it’s a good time to contact a personal injury car accident lawyer. Our auto accident attorneys have worked with insurance companies and understand what is required to help get you as much compensation as possible. Call Schlacter Law today so we can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident and help guide you through the claims process.
Common Accident Injuries in Hollywood
Frequently, car accidents in Hollywood result in injuries of some kind. Due to their size and the forces involved these injuries can often be quite severe. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones and sprains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
When two automobiles collide, they are typically designed to absorb the immense forces by the frame of the car. However, not all cars can distribute these forces equally, and some accidents are so serious that regardless of a car’s design, it is almost impossible to completely protect a driver or passenger. These immense forces can easily break bones when parts of the vehicle’s structure enter into the passenger area. Cuts and lacerations are also frequent injuries in car crashes. Drivers can easily hit their heads on steering wheels or glass windows and cut their skin.
Spinal cord injuries are common in Hollywood car accidents as well. The spine is extremely sensitive, and any injury to it can cause serious damage. Whiplash can damage the spine at the base of the skull when the neck is rapidly forced back and forth. Whiplash often occurs when a car stops suddenly, and this often happens when one vehicle is rear-ended by another vehicle.
Any damage to the skull can result in a brain injury. Concussions, skull fractures, and bleeding can all result when the head comes in contact with any part of the passenger compartment. Brain injuries often cause serious debilitating injuries that require long-term care, and if severe enough, can sometimes last years or decades.
If a car catches fire and an occupant is unable to exit the vehicle serious burns or scarring can result. Burns can vary from 1st to 3rd degree, with 3rd-degree burns being the most serious. Serious burns can require expensive and painful skin grafts to repair the damage and more often than not can leave serious lifelong scaring.
Amputations can be caused by a number of factors. Some injuries, while seemingly minor, can develop into more serious problems, such as infections, that can require a limb to be removed. Some cuts and lacerations can be so deep that it’s nearly impossible to heal, requiring the removal of a limb. And in serious accidents, the force of the crash itself can sever part of, or all of a limb as well.
Unfortunately, a large number of accidents result in the death of a driver or passenger. Florida had almost 3,000 fatal crashes resulting in over 3,100 deaths.  Hollywood saw 35 fatal crashes resulting in 19 deaths.  The more serious the crash the more likely someone is to die as a result.
When an injury is the result of a car accident, an auto accident lawyer can help. We understand that an injury can be expensive and cause serious pain over long periods of time. Our car crash attorneys have the skills needed to help you get the compensation you need to get back to doing what you loved before the accident happened. Call us today.
What if I was Partially at Fault?
Often, figuring out who was responsible for a crash is not always easy to determine. In some cases, both parties may be partly to blame. In cases where two or more parties contributed to an injury, compensation might still be possible.
There are two separate doctrines applied to fault when it comes to negligence. Some states follow the doctrine of contributory negligence. This doctrine would completely bar compensation if the plaintiff was responsible in any way for their injuries. This idea unfortunately severely limits compensation even if the plaintiff were only 1% at fault.
Finding this approach to be unfair, most states, including Florida, follow the doctrine of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence more fairly distributes compensation based on the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff. If, for example, a plaintiff was given an award for $100,000, but was found to be 1% responsible for their injuries, they would still receive an award. However, this award would be reduced by 1%. In this example, they would only receive $99,000 instead of the full $100,000.
Helping to determine fault is an important aspect of the legal process. If you suspect you might have contributed to an accident it is important to talk with a Hollywood automobile accident lawyer. We can evaluate the circumstances following a crash and help determine what types and amounts of compensation might be available to you.
Compensation Types in Hollywood
There are three types of compensation a traffic accident lawyer can assist in recovering for an accident victim. These include:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
The costs associated with an injury that are easy to calculate are known as economic damages. This might include the costs of medical treatment including hospital bills, ambulance costs, and doctors’ visits. Additionally, known costs might include the value of lost wages or lost income that resulted from being unable to work following an accident. Any bills you received following a crash would be used to calculate these types of damages.
Some costs associated with a crash are far more difficult to calculate. How does someone put a value on a severe injury, such as a burn, a scar, or an amputation? These costs need to be estimated and are often calculated by taking the known costs and multiplying that amount by a number such as 3 or 5. Additionally, knowing the true costs of an injury can be calculated by looking at how much these types of accidents cost other victims in the past. This is how a car accident personal injury lawyer can help. Having experience dealing with these types of cases allows us to predict future expenses and costs associated with an injury by knowing how much these injuries cost other clients in the past. We can assist in determining the true costs of an injury.
The final type of compensation available following an accident is known as punitive damages. This type of damage is given as a way to punish a defendant whose actions were reckless and in wanton disregard for the wellbeing of others. Punitive damages attempt to prevent this type of behavior from happening again by levying a large award on behalf of the plaintiff. Punitive damages are rare though and are only available when a defendant’s behavior was seriously egregious.
Determining how much compensation is available following an accident requires a careful analysis of the seriousness of the crash and the extent of any injuries. When making these calculations, a car injury lawyer uses prior experience to help estimate how much an injury will cost now and into the future. Talk with our Hollywood car accident injury attorneys today. Our experience puts us in a perfect position to help you get the compensation you need now, and tomorrow.
Some serious accidents not only create serious injuries but can often lead to the death of one or more of the vehicle’s occupants. When someone dies in a crash, there are unique issues that apply when calculating fatal accident compensation. In addition, when someone passes away in a crash someone else must file a claim on the decedent’s behalf. These types of cases are known as wrongful death suits and come with their own unique issues.
Following the death of a vehicle occupant, only certain individuals are able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation. This includes spouses, children of the deceased, parents of children who died in a crash, and siblings.  Additionally, a decedent’s estate may also seek compensation, as well as expenses related to funeral and medical expenses for a survivor who paid for them.
Similar to any car accident injury, a wrongful death lawsuit can seek to recover the same damages that an injury victim could recover. This would include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Determining the appropriate amount of compensation available following a car accident death is equally complicated. Contact a Hollywood auto crash attorney today so we can guide you through the process and help you receive compensation on behalf of a loved one.
- https://www.driverknowledge.com/car-accident-statistics/ ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.062.html ↩
- https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state ↩
- htp://www.city-data.com/accidents/acc-Hollywood-Florida.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.21.html ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any time limits that I need to be aware of?
Florida requires a claim for a personal injury negligence lawsuit to be filed within four years from the time the accident occurred, or four years from when an injury is discovered. It is two years for a wrongful death lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. Failing to file within this time requirement can have a case dismissed by a court, leaving no other avenue for compensation. Be sure to talk to a Hollywood car accident lawyer today so we can ensure that any claim is filed within this time limit.
How can I afford a lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers are often paid through a contingency fee arrangement. This allows a potential client to initiate a claim without having to pay a lawyer an initial fee. Instead, the lawyer’s fee is paid from any money they obtain on your behalf and would usually be between 33.33% and 40%. Call Schlacter Law’s Hollywood attorneys today so we can begin to evaluate the circumstances of your car accident.
How much compensation can I expect to receive?
Determining compensation is difficult without first knowing the circumstances that led to an accident. With numerous factors playing a role in the types and amount of compensation, it is imperative that an automobile accident lawyer evaluate the events that led to your accident to help determine what compensation might be available. Call us today for a consultation.