IT'S MORE TO US, IT'S PERSONAL
Maximizing Your Compensation: PANAMA CITY CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
Wettermark Keith Is The Personal Injury Law Firm For You
Known for being the "Shipwreck Capital of the South," Panama City has more than its fair share of vehicle wrecks as well. In 2021, Panama City had 65 fatal crashes with 77 deaths reported. In that same year, there were over 400,100 wrecks in the state of Florida: 3,737 of those were fatal and 252,973 resulted in injuries. Car accidents are one of the most life-altering experiences a person can have. If you were involved in a Panama City auto accident and are in need of a personal injury lawyer, Wettermark Keith is the firm for you.
Wettermark Keith has an excellent reputation as an accomplished law firm and is proud of the many million dollar verdicts and settlements our personal injury attorneys have collected over the years. We know the law and our accident lawyers serving Panama City and the surrounding areas have the knowledge and experience you need. Our legal practice offers a free initial consultation to consider your claim and advise you of your options.
WE CAN HELP TELL YOUR STORY.
WHAT ARE COMMON CAUSES FOR A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT?
Numerous reasons exist for the high amount of traffic accidents on roadways. As a driver, it's important to be aware of others on the road and to stay alert and cautious at all times. Car crashes vary in severity and type and while mistakes happen, negligent driving should not be excused. However, an accident isn't always the fault of another reckless driver. Sometimes the cause can be roadway defects such as potholes, obscured or missing road signs or lack of guardrails. Another possibility is a defective or dangerous auto part contributing to a collision. If another driver is at fault, it may be for one of the following reasons:
- DUI Driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
- Excessive Speeding
- Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Driving (such as eating or texting)
- Improper Lane Changing
- Failing to Yield the Right of Way
- Breaking Roadway Rules
Whatever the cause, you need car accident attorneys to help determine the at-fault parties. Wettermark Keith lawyers can evaluate the evidence and then build a case to get you compensation for any injury and property damage you've suffered. Using knowledge of the legal system and years of experience, the office of Wettermark Keith will pursue all avenues to get you the settlement you deserve.
WHAT ARE COMMON CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES?
Car accidents can cause a wide range of life-altering injuries with the physical harm devastating lives in many cases. Although an injury may seem minor at first, always seek medical attention following an accident to check for serious internal trauma. First responders can access any personal injury at the car accident scene, then send you for a thorough evaluation at a nearby medical facility. Common vehicle injuries seen in car collisions include:
- Skull and Bone Fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spine and Neck Injury
- Internal Bleeding and Organ Injury
- Chest and Lung Injury
- Pelvic Injury
- Abrasions and Lacerations
Many car accident injuries lead to long-term or permanent disabilities. A personal injury attorney at the firm of Wettermark Keith knows how to navigate the complexities of the legal system to file your claim. Our lawyers will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve for your life changing losses. We can seek reparations in the event of a loved one's wrongful death as well.
WHAT KIND OF COMPENSATION CAN AN ATTORNEY GET FOR A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
If you are involved in an auto accident caused by another driver, poor road maintenance or defective manufacturer auto parts, you can make a legal claim against the individual, government entity or company that was responsible. They may owe you compensation for your damages which can include:
- Medical Bills and Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Vehicle Repairs
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Legal Fees
The value of your claim depends on many details. Achieving a satisfactory recovery outcome can happen best with guidance from an attorney and the experienced personal injury legal firm of Wettermark Keith.
WHY DO YOU NEED CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS?
It's worth hiring Panama City car accident lawyers to protect your rights to financial compensation from insurance companies and the other parties involved in a car accident. An attorney can best advise you what to do and what to avoid as your car accident case is handled. Without an attorney, you’ll have to learn about all these things when the court action begins in addition to healing from your injuries and working to recover property damages.
Without a lawyer, you can try to negotiate with the insurance company, but you're at a disadvantage financially and legally. Insurance adjusters have methods to thwart your claim and will encourage you to settle for much lower compensation than you may actually deserve. With lawyers on your side, a thorough investigation will take place including the police report, medical records, evidence from the accident scene and eyewitness accounts. Because lawyers are well versed in Florida and local laws, they can build your case step by step ensuring the best possible outcome. During this time, you can be recovering and helping your case by keeping off of social media and getting back to a normal life.
WHAT OTHER HELP CAN A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN PANAMA CITY PROVIDE?
Wettermark Keith can help with more than just auto accidents. Our practice areas include car accidents, truck and motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death claims too. Listed below are additional ways our team of attorneys can assist with your Panama City personal injury cases, vehicle accidents, and more.
If you were injured or your motor vehicle was damaged in a wreck, our experienced car accident lawyers will help you with your injury claim to get you the compensation you need for your medical bills, pain, and suffering, lost wages, etc. Even if you think your motor vehicle accident is minor, you still can benefit with aid from attorneys.
TRUCK AND MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Sharing the road with commercial trucks is necessary but dangerous. Because of their size and often fatigued drivers, 18-wheelers and semi-trucks pose serious threats to smaller autos. The larger size and heavier weight of commercial vehicles, means collisions involving them tend to be more severe and deadly.
Motorcycle accidents, unfortunately, are common in the Panama City panhandle area as well. Unlike automobiles, motorcycles offer little to no protection and have few safety features for their drivers. When involved in an automobile crash, motorcycle riders are extremely vulnerable and their injuries are almost always severe or deadly.
If someone has been involved in a crash resulting in death due to the misconduct or negligence of another driver, survivors and relatives may sue for wrongful death. Compensation might include monies for the deceased person's lost wages, medical and funeral expenses, and possible inheritance bequests.
HOW LONG CAN I WAIT TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
The statute of limitations varies by state and circumstance, however, if your accident occurred in the state of Florida, you only have two years from the date of your accident or injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. The only exceptions to the Florida statute of limitations are:
- If the injured party is a minor, their parent or legal guardian has seven years to file a claim or until the end of the standard statute of limitations for their case, whichever is longer.
- Under special circumstances, the discovery rule could apply to certain personal injury claims. If you didn’t know you were injured, the discovery rule states that the statute of limitations should begin on the date the injury was discovered. Proving the discovery rule can be difficult and requires a highly skilled lawyer.
Historically, Florida had allowed for up to four years to file a personal injury claim, but on March 24, 2023, the statute of limitations was changed to two years instead. While two years might sound like ample time to file your claim, it is best to contact a car accident lawyer right away to represent you. This will allow your lawyer to have more time to build your case and secure your settlement.
Does Florida put a cap on compensation for personal injury cases?
Your attorney can file for two different types of damages in your personal injury claim: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
- Compensatory damages are meant to compensate you for your losses and include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include items such as lost wages and benefits and out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills, medical equipment, and medicines. Non-economic damages include intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disability.
- Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter them from repeating their negligent actions. Your lawyer will need to prove that the party who injured you consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice in order to win punitive damages.
For personal injury cases, Florida caps punitive damages at three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. There is no cap on compensatory damages though.
What is the Florida No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law?
Under Florida's No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law, drivers must maintain two key insurance coverages:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
- Provides coverage for 80% of essential medical expenses, capped at $10,000.
- Encompasses costs like emergency transit, hospital care, surgeries, dental procedures, and nursing services.
- To qualify for PIP benefits, those injured must initiate medical care within 14 days of the accident. Initial treatment must be with a Doctor, Urgent Care, or Hospital.
- Property Damage Liability (PDL):
- Offers compensation up to $10,000 for damages to another's property when you or an authorized driver of your vehicle is involved.
- Covers damages to vehicles, homes, personal items, medical bills, and related towing or storage fees.
While the state mandates a $10,000 minimum for both PIP and PDL, drivers have the flexibility to opt for greater coverage. The essence of the no-fault system is to expedite medical care access for accident victims and reduce potential legal disputes. However, if injuries exceed the insurance limits, legal action against the responsible driver remains an option. This approach ensures fair compensation, irrespective of who caused the accident.
WHAT AREAS IN FLORIDA DO WETTERMARK KEITH LAWYERS SERVE?
Wettermark Keith has a team of compassionate, skilled, personal injury lawyers in Panama City ready to serve you. Our Florida panhandle practice areas include:
- Bay County
- Fort Walton Beach
- Mexico Beach
- Miramar Beach
- Panama City Beach
If you’re looking for a Panama City car accident attorney, we’ve got you covered. We believe in our team so much that you won’t pay anything until we win. Sign up for a free consultation to get started and receive some preliminary legal advice.
WETTERMARK KEITH: THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN PANAMA CITY FOR YOU
If you've been involved in an auto accident, make an appointment for a free case evaluation and hire the team at Wettermark Keith today. Share your situation and we'll make a profile of your case. Then leave the rest to us. You'll be treated with care and respect while an experienced law team handles the legal proceedings of your claim. We work on a contingency basis, so you won't pay a penny unless we win for you.
Engaging qualified attorneys is the best way to get a fair settlement after a car accident. Our firm has an excellent reputation and has won many million dollar verdicts for our clients. Wettermark Keith is a name you can trust. If you have questions, we have answers. After an accident, you can file for compensation from the other driver’s insurance on your own, or a lawyer can handle all that time consuming work and stress for you.
Contact Wettermark Keith’s car accident lawyers serving in Bay County and in the Florida panhandle if you’re in need of an attorney who will fight for you, guaranteed. It's more to us.....it's personal.