You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve recently been injured in a car accident in Clearwater, Florida. But, insurance companies will fight tooth and nail every step of the way. The experienced Clearwater car accident lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. can level the playing field and set you up to get the financial win you deserve.
We’re the first and oldest personal injury law firm in Clearwater, FL. Our lawyers have more than 300 years of combined experience, and we’ve won $675 Million (and counting) for crash victims and their families.
We have the experience, resources, and passion you deserve to have in your corner after a crash. Contact us to get started with a free case evaluation at (727) 796-8282. Our team is always standing by to take your call.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After an Auto Accident in Clearwater
The consequences of an accident – financial, emotional, and physical – can be overwhelming. The fact that considerable time and energy will have to be invested into a personal injury case won’t make things any easier on you. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight for compensation on your own.
Hiring Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. to handle your case will not only set you up for a much-needed win, but also give you the time you need to focus on getting better.
Our Clearwater personal injury lawyers have been serving car accident victims in Clearwater, Florida for more than 66 years. Our team includes Board Certified civil trial experts and has received some of the highest honors and awards in the legal field.
When you turn to us for help after a wreck in Pinellas County, we will:
- Make sure your case gets the time and attention it deserves
- Coordinate an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident
- Work closely with experts to identify important elements of your case – like causation, liability, and value
- Handle all negotiations with insurance companies and other third parties
- Have our accomplished trial lawyers bring your case to trial, if necessary.
Our goal is to not only win your case, but to make sure that you walk away with every last cent you deserve. Call our Clearwater law office today to learn more and set up a free initial case evaluation.
Clearwater, Florida Car Accident Statistics
Clearwater is one of the most popular places to live and visit in the Sunshine State. However, with popularity comes danger. Car accidents are anything but uncommon here and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
Pinellas County Crash Stats: 2020 Update
According to crash stats published by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were a total of 14,313 car accidents reported in Clearwater and surrounding towns in Pinellas County.
That’s between 39 and 40 collisions every single day over the course of a year.
How does that compare to other years? The total number of auto accidents has fluctuated significantly over the past decade.
- 2013: 16,069 collisions
- 2014: 9,758 collisions
- 2015: 10,071 collisions
- 2016: 19,098 collisions
- 2017: 17,968 collisions
- 2018: 17,875 collisions
- 2019: 17,079 collisions
As you can see, 2020 saw a decline from total crashes in most recent history. However, Clearwater still had more car accidents during the year of a worldwide pandemic than it had seen just a few short years ago.
How Serious Are Car Accidents in Clearwater?
Florida ranks as the third most dangerous state in the nation for drivers, based on the number of fatal crashes and car-accident-related deaths. Statistics show that Pinellas County is home to a fatal crash about once every three or four days.
In 2020, there were 105 fatal auto accidents – resulting in 112 deaths – in and around Clearwater. Area collisions also caused 8,414 non-fatal injuries that year.
While the total number of wrecks might have declined between 2019 and 2020, the same isn’t true for fatal crashes and deaths. In 2019, there were 105 deadly accidents and 109 fatalities.
What Are Clearwater’s Most Dangerous Intersections?
Car crashes can happen anywhere, but most happen at or near an intersection.
In Clearwater, these crossroads tend to be the most dangerous:
- Gulf to Bay Blvd & S Belcher Rd
- US-19 & Sunset Point Rd
- US-19 & Drew St
- Eastland Blvd & McMullen Booth Rd
Can you always avoid these intersections? Maybe not. But, you can use extra care when traveling these parts of Tampa Bay.
I Was Injured in a Wreck: What’s My Case Worth?
A lot of different things will influence what your car accident case is worth. Ultimately, the most telling factor is the seriousness of your injuries. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of accidents in 2019 ranged anywhere between $12,500 (for no injury observed) to $98,400 (disabling injury sustained).
The more serious your injuries, the more your related personal injury case will probably be worth.
Other factors that can affect what your case is worth include things like:
- How long you’re unable to work after getting hurt.
- If you’re able to return to the same job or have to shift gears and find a new line of work.
- How much income you lose as a result of your accident and injury.
- What it costs to replace or repair property damage.
- How you’ve been affected emotionally and psychologically.
Keep in mind that your case is worth more than just what you have to spend out of pocket to get better. Its true value should also reflect the distress, anguish, and suffering you’ve had to endure because you’ve been hurt.
What Damages Are Available to Crash Victims in Clearwater?
Car accident settlements and verdicts typically include two distinct types of damage: economic and non-economic. These are paid (a) to make sure that injured victims are financially whole after an avoidable accident and (b) to help them recover from trauma that doesn’t have a set financial cost.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are paid to cover an accident victim’s crash-related financial costs and losses. This includes those expenses you have right now and those you’re likely to incur in the future.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages and income
- Temporary and/or permanent disability
- Costs associated with a funeral and burial or cremation.
Demands for economic damages must be supported by documentation – like hospital bills, pay stubs or tax forms, and receipts.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for consequences of a car accident that don’t have one specific financial value. Rather, these are consequences that affect people in different ways and on different levels.
Examples of non-economic damages, which are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages, include:
- Mental anguish
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of limb
Often, there’s a lot of dispute over what pain and suffering damages are worth. That’s why our lawyers bring in experts during the valuation process. We rely on medical professionals, forensic specialists, and other experts to help us understand the extent of trauma and suffering, and to better project how it is likely to affect a client’s life. The more we know, the better prepared we can be to fully advocate for maximum compensation.
What About Punitive Damages?
There are times when punitive damages can also be awarded in a car accident lawsuit. However, these are only in cases where there’s clear and convincing evidence that a defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional. A drunk driving accident – particularly one that’s fatal – is a good example of a case where punitive damages might be applicable.
The Insurance Company is Blaming Me: Can I Still Recover Compensation?
Yes, as long as someone else also contributed to the accident, too.
Florida operates under a pure comparative fault system, which means:
- Everyone who contributes to an accident shares liability, and
- Your financial award will be reduced to reflect your contributing role.
It’s important to defend yourself against allegations that you are responsible for causing a car accident in Clearwater, Florida.
Insurance companies may try to blame you for a crash – it’s their preferred strategy for denying claims and minimizing payouts. The more blame that’s assigned to you, the lower your take-home award. If you’re assigned all of the blame, you’ll find yourself walking away with no money, at all.
Our car accident attorneys in Clearwater know these tactics all too well – we’ve been challenging them for more than 66 years. We know how to protect you and set you up for a win – even if you do happen to share some of the responsibility for causing a wreck. We know the best practices to help you limit your liability and maximize your recovery.
What Causes Most Car Accidents in Pinellas County?
Statistically speaking, there are between one and two car accidents an hour in and around Clearwater. That’s a lot of collisions. What typically causes these motor vehicle accidents to happen?
Leading causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Speeding (or not going fast enough)
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Aggressive driving behaviors, like sudden lane changes or slamming on the brakes
- Not paying attention to other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians – particularly at intersections
- Defective vehicles or safety equipment
- Faulty traffic signals or hidden signage
Sometimes accidents are the result of more than one of these things. Trust that our legal team will conduct an investigation to get to the bottom of what caused your car accident. When we know why it happened we can begin to seek compensation from anyone who shares blame.
Representing All Crash Victims in Clearwater
No two car accidents are the same. You need an attorney who has extensive experience handling a wide range of car accident-related cases. The Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. have been representing crash victims for more than 66 years. We’ve handled just about every type of collision you can imagine – and we’re ready to put our experience and insights to work for your benefit.
We represent clients who have suffered injuries as a result of:
- Rear-end collisions
- Front-end or head-on collisions
- Side-impact accidents
- Highway accidents
- Interstate accidents
- Hit and run car accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Multiple vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Accidents involving bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists
- Crashes involving uninsured and underinsured motorists
- DUI crashes
- And more.
Contact our law offices to discuss your personal injury case and set up a free initial case evaluation with our team.
How Do I Get Compensation After a Car Accident in Florida?
After a wreck, you’ll probably have two ways to get money for your injuries. The first involves submitting a claim to an insurance provider, and the second involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against at-fault parties.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
Florida currently has “no fault” car insurance laws. Drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage before they can hit the road. If there’s an accident, injured parties have to submit an insurance claim with their own provider to recover these benefits – regardless of who caused the accident.
However, things might be changing in the Sunshine State. Lawmakers recently passed legislation to abandon the no-fault PIP system in favor of an “at fault” system, which is much more common nationwide. If Florida does adopt a fault-based insurance law, it means that the company insuring the person who caused the accident would be on the hook for damages.
Serious Injury Threshold Exception
There is one major exception to Florida’s no-fault insurance law: the serious injury threshold. If your crash related injuries are so severe that they cause significant or permanent impairment, disability, or death, you’re permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident.
Since the cost of a catastrophic injury tends to be much greater than insurance policy maximums, this helps to ensure that injured motorists have a path to get the compensation they need.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
There may be other instances when you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries – above and beyond what your insurance provider will pay.
You could potentially seek damages from:
- The negligent party’s employer (if the crash happened while they were working)
- Companies responsible for designing, manufacturing, or selling defective products (like airbags or brakes that might have contributed to the collision)
- Government agencies (if they knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it, and your accident happened as a result).
Knowing how to get money after an accident can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s smart to hire a seasons car accident lawyer to handle your case for you. After your accident, contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. for help – our team is here to take your call 24/7/365.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Motor Vehicle Accident in Florida?
Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for most car accident lawsuits is four years. The clock begins to run on the date of the accident or when an injury is reasonably discovered, whichever is later.
Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this general rule. If an accident is fatal, families will have just two years to file a wrongful death claim. If a government agency is involved, claims are subject to accelerated timetables – meaning a matter of months, not years.
There are also times when victims might have more time to pursue compensation after getting hurt in a wreck. The statute of limitations might be tolled – or paused – if a victim is a child or if the person responsible for causing the accident can’t be located.
What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?
Any car accident injury can turn your world upside down – in the short term and for years to come.
That’s why our lawyers will fight to get maximum compensation for all of your crash-related injuries, including:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Joint injury
- Burn injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Crushing injury
- Chest injury
- And more.
Our wrongful death attorneys also represent families who have lost a loved one in a fatal Clearwater car accident. Give our compassionate team a call to learn about how we can help you today.
What Should I Do After a Car Crash in Clearwater?
Here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) do after you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident in Pinellas County.
- DO: Stay at the scene of the crash. You’re legally required to stay if there was an injury, death, or property damage. Leaving can be considered a hit and run.
- DON’T: Apologize or admit fault. Doing so could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
- DO: Call the police to report the accident and request emergency medical responders, if necessary.
- DO: Seek medical attention as soon as you can, even if you don’t think your injuries are that serious.
- DON’T: Make a recorded statement for an insurance company or feel pressured to accept an early offer (it’s probably way less than you deserve).
- DO: Call a lawyer to learn about your rights and have them handle all conversations with insurance providers and other parties.
It’s important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can after you’re involved in a wreck. That’s the best way to protect your rights and put yourself in the best position to secure the compensation you deserve.
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Clearwater Auto Repair Shops
C Jay’s Auto Repair – 1890 N Hercules Ave # D, Clearwater, FL 33765
Coachman Automotive – 1717 Coachman Plaza Dr, Clearwater, FL 33759
Esquire Auto Repair – 1955 Calumet St, Clearwater, FL 33765
R & C Auto & Truck Repair – 1426 N Hercules Ave #3, Clearwater, FL 33765
Service Masters Total Car Care – 2627 Harbor Cir, Clearwater, FL 33759
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.