While all car accidents are serious, some of them tend to be more devastating than others. Head-on crashes - those in which the vehicles are approaching each other at the time of impact - are amongst the most harmful of all motor vehicle collisions. If you or a loved one has been involved in a head-on collision in South Florida, the Pembroke Pines car accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help you pursue the financial compensation to which you may be entitled.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable After a Head-on Collision
Automobile accident cases, including head-on collisions, generally unfold under the principles of negligence law. In these claims, a person seeking to recover damages is required to meet a four-prong test. First, did the defendant owe the claimant a legal duty? If the defendant was operating a motor vehicle in the state of Florida, the answer to that question is usually yes because the law imposes a duty of reasonable care upon drivers. This means keeping a proper lookout, obeying the speed limit, and generally following the rules of the road.
The next prong of the test concerns whether the defendant breached the duty of care that he or she owed to the claimant. This is often a hotly contested issue in a car crash case, and having an experienced attorney to help with this step is critical. It takes time and dedication to fully investigate and document the cause of an accident. In some cases, a professional reconstruction expert may be needed. The expert will prepare a written report giving his or her opinion on the cause of the crash and, if the case is not settled, may be called to give testimony at trial.
If duty and breach are established, a judge or jury must consider whether there was a causal connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident in which the claimant was hurt. Sometimes, it is obvious that the claimant in the case does have some type of physical harm, but the defendant may argue that the injury was pre-existing or otherwise not related to the crash. This element usually requires the claimant to prove that, but for the accident, he or she would not have been hurt.
The last step in the four-prong negligence test asks whether the claimant suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. There must be some proof that the claimant was harmed during the accident, and that actual costs and losses were incurred. Typical damages include items such as medical expenses, lost wages, repairs to a vehicle, and pain and suffering. All reasonable and necessary doctor and hospital fees as well as the costs of future treatment may be included in the medical expenses element of damages. Lost wages may include both the work that the claimant missed due to the accident in addition to wages that the claimant will not be able to earn in the future because of a disability resulting from the accident.Time Limits for Filing Suit
There are strict time limits for seeking compensation in negligence and wrongful death cases, so it is imperative that a potential claimant avoid delay in obtaining legal counsel. In most negligence cases in Florida, the statute of limitations is four years. In wrongful death cases, however, the law only allows two years for the family to file a claim. Failure to take action within the allowable time will usually bar any recovery, regardless of fault.Explore Your Options with a Pembroke Pines Lawyer
The injury attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help head-on collision victims in Pembroke Pines and beyond who are dealing with the financial consequences of a crash. We understand that you may have medical providers to pay, as well as other mounting bills due to missed work resulting from your injuries. Our compassionate legal team is experienced in helping people who have been hurt, either physically or through the loss of a loved one. Call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online for a free initial consultation with an attorney. We have represented many individuals in Pompano Beach, Aventura, and Weston, among other Florida cities.