There are some motor vehicle accidents which involve multiple drivers and cause large amounts of injuries and property damage. A Palm Beach County accident sent six victims to the hospital.
Because multiple cars and drivers were damaged, there will be issues regarding insurance claims and victims who need to get their medical bills paid. Lawyers who work for these victims will attempt to make sense of who is at fault and how financial matters related to the accident will be decided. Personal injury lawyers focus on fixing these kinds of issues for their clients and trying to get payments for them through lawsuits and settlement agreements.
Multiple victims were extracted from a three car pileup
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue arrived at the intersections of 10th Avenue North and Rudolph Road to find a three vehicle crash just outside of a Walmart parking lot. They saw that the vehicles had all sustained large amounts of damage and were pinned together. Despite the severe damage, all occupants of the cars involved were able to be removed without issue. Six people in total were sent to local hospitals with various injuries. One adult victim and a child needed to be rushed to a trauma center for immediate treatment. A helicopter was also on the scene to airlift some of the victims who could not be transported by an ambulance.
Law enforcement advised drivers in the area to avoid the accident scene and traffic backups by taking an alternate route if possible. No definite cause of the incident was given by law enforcement and it is still unclear who or what was at fault.
The accident occurred just south of West Palm Beach in the village of Palm Springs.
Accidents where multiple parties may be at fault
Florida is a jurisdiction that uses a pure comparative negligence standard for personal injury lawsuits. This means that regardless of who is at fault and their contribution to an accident, the jury is able to decide a percentage of fault for everyone involved. If someone is found to be partially at fault, their damages are only decreased by this amount of fault. They can still collect damages and bring their case.
In other words, someone who is half at fault for the accident will only get half as much as they would have gotten if they were not at fault at all. This is beneficial to plaintiffs because many other states around the country do not allow individuals who are partially at fault for an accident to collect any money at all. The doctrine that limits a plaintiff’s ability to collect is called contributory negligence. This is still used in some jurisdictions, but not Florida.
A person’s total damages or losses related to the accident form the basis for a negligence lawsuit. When a lawyer files their initial pleadings, they will ask for an amount that totals their client’s medical expenses, property damage, missed time from work, and other losses. It is also possible to argue for non-economic damages related to the trauma and emotional pain that stays with a person long after the accident. While the exact total varies with each accident, severe injuries are usually more valuable cases than instances where the victim was only slightly harmed. Your attorney should be able to give a closer estimate based on the specific facts surrounding your accident.
Personal injury lawsuits and contingent fees
Lawyers generally either work on a contingent fee or a retainer fee. A retainer fee is when a lawyer charges a certain amount for their services up front, regardless of the outcome of your case. This is common in criminal cases. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee. This means that they are only paid out of your winnings and if they do not win your case or come to a settlement agreement, you will not have to pay anything at all.
While it is understandable that clients are concerned about losing a percentage of their winnings to pay for legal services, keep in mind that some settlements or verdicts can be in the thousands or millions of dollars and a large portion of that will still go to the plaintiff rather than their lawyers.
Any lawyer who focuses on personal injury and accident cases will explain more about how their fee structure works before you commit to their services. It is crucial to understand both the financial aspects of your case and any legal doctrines that are relevant.
Talk to an injury attorney in your city
To get help after any kind of motor vehicle accident in the West Palm Beach area, contact Smith and Vanture. The attorneys at Smith and Vanture have a record of almost thirty years of winning verdicts and settlements for their clients in Florida.