"This firm is by far the best in the business. They are well respected, professional, and thorough! They take the time to listen and really understand who and what they are defending. They remain open and honest about the legal process and do everything in their power to help navigate you and your family through some very stressful situations. If you need legal representation, they are the BEST!" - Nicole Wilson
If you've landed on this page, chances are you or a loved one were recently involved in a serious car crash which resulted in extensive personal injury, property damage, missed time at work and other damages. For many people affected by a car accident, the injury and recovery are only half the battle. Dealing with insurance companies and trying to get adequate compensation for accident injuries can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting.
It's extremely unfair that someone's recklessness behind the wheel ended up with you, the innocent party, getting injured—or worse, seriously injuring or fatally wounding your loved one. To make things worse, perhaps one of the following statements are true:
- The careless, at-fault driver has no car insurance,
- The insurance company denied your claim, or
- The insurance company gave you a low-ball offer or was taking too long (a common delay tactic).
Our recommendation: Don't wait!Free, No Obligation Consultation
Do you need to hire a car accident attorney in Tampa, FL?
Not sure you need to hire a car accident lawyer just yet? Think hard on it. Even if you're unsure, be sure not to settle your car accident claim without at least consulting an attorney first.
Insurance companies aren't looking out for you. When it comes to auto insurance claims, hiring a lawyer can significantly increase your settlements.
On average, the insurance payout for car accident victim with a lawyer doubled or tripled, compared to those who settled without a lawyer.
with a lawyer
The right accident attorney can make all the difference.
Your medical bills are piling up. You may end up losing your job because of your injury. These negligent parties need to know they cannot get away with their negligent behavior. We will fight to secure your maximum compensation.
When you or your family are facing the financial burden after an auto accident, whether it's a hit and run, a head-on collision or worse, wrongful death, it's time to contact our lawyers.
Time is running out on your opportunity to receive compensation. At the Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, we will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you need and deserve from those liable for your accident.
And don't worry, presenting arguments to the judge and jury for a car accident lawsuit is just one of the many skills our experienced injury lawyers have.
We won a large (undisclosed) settlement for our client, whose son was seriously injured in a driving accident with Hulk Hogan's son.
Justice served — maximum car accident payouts for injury victims
$400,000 settlement for a client who was rear-ended and required disc herniation surgery
$300,000 settlement for a client who suffered a broken bone in her wrist as a result of a motor vehicle accident
Confidential settlement for our client, who was catastrophically injured by the reckless driving of Nick Bollea, son of wrestling icon Hulk Hogan
You should know that you're not alone.
Allowing a Tampa car accident attorney to represent you can provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing someone is fighting for you.
It allows you the opportunity to focus on your own physical and emotional recovery and well-being, knowing that you have help from an experienced injury attorney in getting the financial compensation you deserve for the suffering you have endured.
How much is my car accident claim worth?
Calculating the value of your car accident claim is complex and involves a number of factors, such as the type of collision, the injuries you've suffered, who was at fault in the collision, what evidence has been gathered, and more.
Every car accident case is unique, which is why our Tampa attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss the important details of your claim with our knowledgeable team. Any lawyer who says they know how much your claim is worth without understanding all the facts and details of your case is not being honest and shouldn't be trusted.
Attorney Peter Tragos' tips for choosing an injury lawyer
- …Ask the attorney how many cases they have taken to court and all the way to trial.
- …We assign an attorney to your case from beginning to end.
- We care about EVERY SINGLE ONE of our cases.
Help! I've been in a car accident. What should I do?
Call 911. Never admit fault. You don't know all the facts. A lawyer's investigation can pinpoint who was really at fault.
Seek medical help. You may not feel any pain now, but go see a doctor anyway to make sure there's no internal injuries. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask pain or injuries until much later.
Gather evidence. If you're able to do so safely and without hurting yourself, gather information before leaving the accident scene—or ask someone else to do it for you. Take pictures and video of everything using your phone or a camera, including the road, the vehicles involved, the surroundings and weather, etc. Write down the names and contact information of eyewitnesses.
Notify your insurance company. Report your accident to your insurer as soon as possible after the crash. Again, don't admit fault until you know the facts and don't accept an offer until you've had a chance to talk to an attorney.
Call an attorney. There's no harm in discussing your case with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos since we offer free consultations.
Understanding Florida accident law
Under Florida Law, all vehicle owners are legally required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which may cover up to 80% of the insured claimant's injuries and as much as 60% of their lost wages resulting from the accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, in serious accidents, PIP may not be sufficient to cover the full extent of damages and it may actually limit your ability to take legal action.
For instance, if you fail to seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident, typically, PIP will not cover any of your medical bills. If you suffer an “emergency medical condition,” only 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of lost wages will be covered by PIP, and compensation for non-emergency medical conditions are usually capped at $2,500.
For this reason, it's extremely important that you contact an experienced lawyer immediately following a car accident.
Outside of PIP, Florida law allows car crash victims to sue those responsible for additional expenses. There are three types of damages that accident victims may seek via a personal injury lawsuit:
Economic damages. This includes objectively verified monetary losses such as property damage (replacing or repairing a car), lost wages from missing work, and bodily injury (past and future medical bills).
Non-economic damages. This includes non-monetary losses that are subjective but can still be assigned a dollar value such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, impairment, etc.
Punitive damages. This includes damages awarded with the aim of deterring intentional or especially reckless behavior by punishing the offender; rare in personal injury cases.
It's also important to know that car accident cases have a deadline. Under Florida statute of limitations, you have 4 years from the date of the accident, or from when the accident-related injury was discovered, to file an injury claim in civil court. Exceptions to this deadline are rare, which is why you should act swiftly when pursuing a case or else you may lose your chance to receive compensation.
How to prove fault in a car accident
How can you prove who was at fault in a car accident? Determining liability in a car crash can be difficult because everything happens so quickly, but this step is essential to the compensation process. In some cases, it seems as if the accident simply couldn't have been avoided. However, almost every auto accident has driver error at its core.
Negligence is more easily determined when a crash involves one of the following conditions:
- Drunk or impaired drivers (DUI)
- Distracted drivers
- Inexperienced drivers
- Texting while driving
- Failure to yield
- Falling asleep at the wheel
In each of the above circumstances, an accident could have been avoided if the driver had taken responsibility for safe driving: getting a sober ride home, staying focused on the task of driving, obeying traffic laws, not driving while drowsy, etc.
Sometimes, liability may be less obvious initially. Having the representation of a skilled attorney can help you determine all sources of liability, which may include employers, auto manufacturers, parents, bar and restaurant employees, and more.
In addition, Florida follows a pure comparative fault system. This means that your compensation will be reduced if you're determined to be partly at fault in the accident. Even if you're partly responsible, you may still be able to recover monetary compensation. It's important to consult with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer to calculate how much compensation you're eligible for.
Let's say you're involved in a T-bone collision with another car. The driver ran a red light and the police at the accident scene determine that they were intoxicated. However, you also admit that you were driving 20 miles over the speed limit and distracted by your phone. The officer determines that the other driver was 75 percent liable for the accident for running the red light while drunk, and you were 25 percent responsible for speeding and driving distracted.
If you file a claim for damages that total $100,000, and are successful, then your award amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault—25 percent. Therefore, you final award would be no more than $75,000.
Common car accident injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of unintentional injury death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents were ranked as either the first or second leading cause of accidental injury death among all age groups.
Injuries associated with car crashes range in severity from minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Injuries such as whiplash or concussion are common, and even though a person eventually recovers from these injuries, recovery can be painful, resulting in lost wages and missed work. Medical expenses for emergency treatment and follow-up care can add up.
Other injuries are much more severe. Serious car accident injuries, which may not be covered under PIP and warrant contact with a car accident lawyer in Tampa, include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Eye injury
- Burn injuries
Wrongful death & fatal auto wrecks
Sadly, some crashes are so severe that it results in the death of a person or multiple people. In such cases, under Florida's Wrongful Death Act (768.16, 768.26), the surviving loved ones of a deceased victim may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.
If negligence is properly established, damages can be awarded for economic losses (medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, etc.) and non-economic losses (loss of consortium, pain, suffering, etc.). In rare cases where extreme recklessness or intentional criminal conduct played a role, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Before you leave this page, make sure you have enough information to make the best possible decision. If you still have questions left unanswered, don't hesitate to give us a call. We want to help. Let's talk further about your case.