Melbourne, Florida is an easygoing metropolitan area southeast of Orlando for those with a desire to live the coastal lifestyle. Despite the small-town appeal, residents can still be affected by car accidents. Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the U.S. for car accidents due to congested streets, narrow roadways, and reckless driving.
A negligent driver can cause catastrophic injuries and leave you having to pay for expensive damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You need a Melbourne car accident attorney that understands the dangers posed by the specific roadways in Melbourne to help you file your car accident claim. The Melbourne car accident lawyers at Russo Law Firm have the local experience and car accident claim expertise that can put you in the best position to receive compensation for your damages.
Why Choose Russo Law Group for Your Melbourne Car Accident Claim?
Let’s say you were driving down Babcock Street on your way to work when another driver behind you blows past the speed limit, crashes into you, and causes a rear-end car accident. The rear of your car is severely impacted, and you start to feel pain forming in your neck and back from the whiplash. You’re looking at possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages. What do you do now?
The Melbourne car accident lawyers at Russo Law Firm can help you determine the path toward financial restitution. For decades, we have helped car accident victims file claims with insurance companies to recover damages caused by negligent driving. Our car accident lawyers believe in constant communication with our clients, so they can centralize their concerns and address them in the legal proceedings during the claims process. If you need guidance following a Melbourne car accident, contact Russo Law Firm for a free consultation.
Russo Law Firm Case Results
Attempting to negotiate a settlement for compensation with an at-fault party’s insurance company can be a tough ask for someone without a legal background. The insurance company will use its resources to find information that can limit your settlement to keep its profits up. You need a car accident lawyer with experience in negotiating with insurance companies to handle this vital part of the claims process.
At Russo Law Firm, our car accident lawyers have experience in settlement negotiation, with a proven track record in earning our clients compensation. We will work with and for you until you receive a fair settlement offer, never settling for a low early offer just to get the claim over with. Our goal is to get you fair compensation, whether that means going to court or not.
The following are some of the case results Russo Law Firm has earned for clients:
- 3.3 Million for Automobile Accident Against a Drunk Driver
- $2.4 Million for Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis
- $2 Million for Wrongful Death Trucking Accident
- $1.75 Million Product Liability Jury Award for Crushed Hand
- $650 Thousand Automobile Accident Jury Award for Reconstructed Knee
Florida Car Accident Laws
Car accidents in Melbourne are subject to Florida state statutes which dictate laws about how accidents are handled, liability, and post-accident procedures. These statutes add uniformity to the aftermath of an accident, so there is no confusion over what to do following such a traumatic event. The laws also clarify insurance requirements in Florida, which can provide some economic damage relief following a car accident.
The following are some of the laws concerning Florida car accidents:
- Florida drivers must purchase personal injury protection (PIP). This is known as Florida’s no-fault laws and it is not optional. PIP insurance can cover up to $10,000 worth of medical costs and lost wages. Be sure to read our full breakdown of Florida’s no-fault laws for more information.
- Drivers must contact the police in car accidents that cause severe injury, death, or at least $500 worth of property damage.
- A fault-based claim can be filed by car accident victims to pursue compensation for bodily injury damages (Florida Statute 627.737).
- The time you have to file, otherwise known as the statute of limitations for a Melbourne car accident claim is four years (Florida Statute 95.11).
- The statute of limitations changes to two years if a wrongful death occurred.
Where Do Melbourne Car Accidents Commonly Occur?
Melbourne is in Brevard County, which ranks as the tenth-most populated county in Florida. Located along the east coast of Florida and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, it comprises the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metropolitan area. In 2021, Brevard County saw 9,498 motor vehicle crashes, with 4,404 injury cases and 96 fatal crashes.
Melbourne itself has seen its fair share of car accidents caused by negligent driving. Accidents most commonly occur in Melbourne at busy intersections, with distracted, drunk, or speeding drivers not obeying right-of-way laws and crashing into other vehicles.
The following are some of the most dangerous intersections in Brevard County and Melbourne:
- Babcock Street and Palm Bay Road
- U.S. 1 and Eau Gallie Boulevard
- Minton Road and Emerson Drive
- Wickham Road and Sarno Road
- Babcock Street and Malabar Road
- U.S. 192 and Wickham Road
- Malabar Road and San Filippo Drive
- State Road 520 and South Courtenay Parkway
- Wickham Road and Lake Washington Road
- South Patrick Drive and Eau Gallie Boulevard
Causes of Melbourne Car Accidents
Negligent driving behavior can result in Melbourne car accidents. There may be road conditions, such as slippery roads, flooded roads, or construction debris, that can cause accidents. More often than not, car accidents are caused by a driver refusing to exercise caution behind the wheel. Even in the case where there are adverse road conditions, a driver must stay focused and be prepared to drive defensively to mitigate the impact of these negative conditions.
Failing to drive safely is negligent and can lead to a car accident. Negligent and intentionally reckless drivers can be held liable in a car accident claim for the damages their behavior caused.
The following are some of the negligent driving behaviors that can cause a Melbourne car accident:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Road rage
- Reckless driving (ignoring road rules)
- Not using turn signals
Types of Melbourne Car Accidents
Cars can be struck from the side, front, or back, each of which can provide a different level of danger for drivers and passengers. A car has safety measures that can protect people inside the car from impact, but not all areas of the car provide the same level of protection.
A head-on collision, for example, can leave a driver’s lower extremities exposed to direct impact from another vehicle. The severity of the injuries a person can suffer depends on the location of the impact point, the speed the car was going, and whether the car accident brings them into dangerous contact with another hard object on the road.
The following are some of the types of Melbourne car accidents:
- Single car accident
- Rear-end collision
- Sideswipe accident
- T-bone accident
- Head-on collision
- Multi-car crash
- Rollover accident
Severe Injuries Caused by Melbourne Car Accidents
Your body can be exposed to impact during a car accident, with the pressure generated possibly leading to a severe injury. You can receive direct blunt force trauma, suffer from whiplash, have your body flung into other hard objects in the car, be crushed between two hard objects, and suffer from a penetrating injury caused by shattered glass.
The following are some of the types of severe injuries that can result from a Melbourne car accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Knee injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Shoulder injuries
- Facial injuries
Each of these injuries can cause long-term complications, affecting the way you live your life on a daily basis. They also require significant medical treatment to bring you close to the physical condition you were in before the accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help you assess your damages, determine how much your severe injuries could cost you both now and in the future, and help you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover compensation for damages.
Liability in a Melbourne Car Accident Claim
To recover compensation for a Melbourne car accident claim, you need to identify the liable party that caused the car accident through negligent behavior. You also need to be able to prove this party behaved negligently and that negligence had to do with the severe injuries and damages you suffered.
The other driver in a car accident is the most typical party held liable for car accident damages. If they cause the car accident through negligent driving behavior, such as distracted driving, speeding, and not using turn signals, you can file a car accident claim with their insurance company.
A car accident can also result from a defective car part that causes a car to malfunction. A car part designer, manufacturer, seller, or distributor can be held liable for their negligence that led to a defective car part hitting the market. You can file a product liability claim to pursue damages caused by the defective car part.
Comparative Negligence in Florida Car Accident Claims
Comparative negligence is a law theory that involves the court determining how much each party involved in a car accident contributed to the accident. The court can also assign blame to the plaintiff. Comparative negligence allows victims who also contributed to an accident to pursue compensation for damages.
An example of how comparative negligence works in a real-world example would be the following: one driver in a car accident was distracted and ran a red light, while the other was speeding. Both drivers committed negligent driving behavior that contributed to the accident. The court will decide what percentage each person contributed to the cause of the accident. The plaintiff will have their percentage of blame deducted from their settlement or award.
What to do After a Melbourne Car Accident
Following a Melbourne car accident, there are certain steps you should take to address your medical situation and put yourself in a better situation to file a car accident claim. The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful, but addressing these steps can help simplify the process.
The following are some of the steps you should take following a Melbourne car accident:
- Contact the police: Florida law indicates that a driver must contact the police following a car accident if there is an injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500. The responding officer can take notes regarding what happened, who was involved, where it happened, and what damages occurred that you can find later in a traffic crash report.
- Receive medical attention: You should prioritize your health in the aftermath of a car accident, even if you feel you were not seriously hurt. A healthcare provider can check for injuries, determine if you have delayed symptoms, and begin to provide medical relief.
- Collect evidence: You can also collect evidence at the scene of the accident, such as photos and videos of the damage, your injuries, road signs, etc. Once you have received medical attention and are days out from the accident, you can also try to get a hold of your medical records to prove the car accident caused the injuries you are claiming.
- Hire a car accident lawyer: An experienced car accident lawyer can take over the claims process to ensure everything is handled properly and with care. Contact a local Melbourne car accident attorney to see how they can use their local experience to aid your car accident claim.
Filing a Melbourne Car Accident
If there was a negligent party that caused the car accident resulting in your damages, you can file a car accident claim to pursue compensation. A car accident attorney can help you file the claim by assessing your damages and determining liability.
To receive compensation for damages, you will need to prove the liability of the at-fault party. Florida operates under the theory of negligence, which means you will need to prove each of the following:
- A duty of care was owed by the at-fault party
- They breached the duty of care
- You incurred car accident damages damages
- The damages you incurred were a direct result of the breach of duty of care
A Melbourne car accident attorney can help in the process of proving the four elements of negligence by collecting tangible proof. Some of the evidence that can help prove the at-fault party was negligent include photos and videos of the accident, medical records, traffic crash reports, vehicle accident reconstructions, witness statements, etc.
What Damages Can You Pursue After a Melbourne Car Accident?
Damages are losses associated with a car accident caused by the negligence of the at-fault party. These losses can include those that are immediately apparent and those that can crop up later in life. A Melbourne car accident attorney can help to assess your damages and determine what costs you may incur later in life due to the impact of a car accident.
You can pursue compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, like medical bills, property damages, and lost wages, are those with an economic value attached in the form of a bill. Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium, are intangible costs that encompass how the car accident has negatively affected your life.
The following are some of the damages a Melbourne car accident lawyer can help you pursue:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How Can a Melbourne Car Accident Lawyer Help With Your Car Accident Claim?
Following a Melbourne car accident, the last thing you should worry about is representing yourself in settlement negotiations and a possible court case. The at-fault party’s insurance company will have help in the form of lawyers and insurance adjusters, so why shouldn’t you? Hiring a Melbourne car accident lawyer can help simplify the claims process and mitigate obstacles to receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
Car accident lawyers can handle all of the in-depth legal procedures you do not have the experience or expertise to handle effectively. They can assess your damages, determine liability, draft the demand letter, collect evidence to prove your case, negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and represent you in court.
Contact Russo Law Group for Help With Your Melbourne Car Accident Claim
Melbourne car accident victims may be unsure of how to approach a car accident claim to pursue compensation for damages. A car accident victim’s lack of understanding of how to handle the complex legal processes of filing a car accident claim can affect their potential compensation. Hiring a car accident lawyer can help ease the stress of this process and allow victims to focus on their recovery.
The experienced car accident attorneys at Russo Law Firm have experience helping victims in Melbourne seek financial restitution. We have specific knowledge of the streets, intersections, and state roads where accidents occur. Our car accident lawyers combine this knowledge with our vast experience in Florida’s car accident laws to provide specific legal advice that can put victims in the best position to recover compensation for damages.
Contact Russo Law Firm today for a free consultation. We want to provide a free diagnosis of how we can help Melbourne car accident victims. Contact us at (321) 373-8800 or leave a message on our online contact page.