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St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer

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If you or a family member have recently been hurt in a car accident in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Whether you’re submitting a claim to insurance or seeking damages from a negligent party, a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can help you maximize your financial award.

When you choose Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, you benefit from a team of award-winning Florida trial attorneys with over 60 years of combined experience. We’re fierce advocates for St. Petersburg crash victims and families who have suffered devastating losses. Since our founding, our top-rated litigators have won tens of millions of dollars for clients just like you.

Don’t walk away with less money than you deserve after your car accident in St. Petersburg. Call Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner and discover how our team can help you navigate this difficult time and make the most of your fight for compensation.

Your initial case evaluation is 100 percent free – so contact our law office in St. Petersburg, FL now.

Car Accident Resources

Why Choose Our Law Firm

  • Our personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We are dedicated to achieving maximum recovery in your legal case.
  • We understand how painful the aftermath of a car accident can be. Our firm will handle all aspects of your legal case on your behalf, allowing you to focus on healing.
  • Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. You will not be charged any fees or costs unless we secure an award in your claim.

Our Results in Car Accident Cases

As previously mentioned, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of those injured in Florida car accidents.  This includes:

  • A $2.3 million settlement for a client who suffered serious head and orthopedic injuries as a result of a car crash.
  • A $1.72 million jury verdict for a client who aggravated a pre-existing back condition in a serious car accident.
  • A $1.55 million jury verdict for a client who needed cervical fusion surgery after suffering a significant injury in a car collision.  The defendant disputed liability at trial and was found by a jury to be 100 percent at fault for our client’s injuries.
  • A $1.25 million settlement on behalf of the family of a motorist who was killed by a drunk driver.  The drunk driver hit our client’s vehicle on the interstate causing it to rollover, killing the driver and seriously injuring the passenger.

Of course, we have helped many, many other clients in St. Petersburg and throughout the state of Florida.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident in St. Petersburg, FL?

An unexpected collision in St. Petersburg has the potential to change your life forever. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs and consequences of your accident on your own – especially when the crash isn’t your fault.

However, insurance companies and negligent parties will work hard to deny liability, shift blame, and limit your financial payout.

Hiring an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a successful outcome.

Put simply, by hiring a lawyer:

  • You’re more likely to win your car accident case
  • You can recover more compensation – as much as 3.5x as much according to some studies
  • You give yourself the opportunity to focus on recovering from your catastrophic car accident injuries
  • You can level the playing field to force insurance companies to act in good faith and ultimately pay benefits in full
  • You can prevent the insurance company from taking control of the claims process and dictating what your case is worth
  • You’ll benefit from the knowledge and expertise of car accident experts and specialists, including medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and more

If you win your car accident lawsuit, you can potentially help to shape the law and prevent other people from suffering the same types of injuries and suffering you’ve experienced.

Without an attorney, you may not understand the full extent of your injuries and damages following your accident. Your car accident lawyer can help identify all potential paths to compensation and calculate the value of your claim, helping you negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company.  Depending on the complexity of your accident, you may need additional help proving certain facts, such as the other driver’s liability or the future costs of your injuries. Your car accident lawyer will have access to resources and expert witnesses that he or she can leverage to strengthen your claim and secure the compensation you deserve.

How Common Are Auto Accidents in St. Petersburg?

On an average day in 2021, there were about 45 car accidents in St. Petersburg and surrounding cities in Pinellas County.

That year, a total of 16,464 Pinealls County auto accidents were reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

6,545 collisions resulted in at least 9,428 injuries. Another 148 St. Petersburg-area crashes were fatal, resulting in no fewer than 158 deaths.

Occupants of passenger vehicles weren’t the only ones involved in these traffic accidents. 2021 saw 546 bicycle accidents, 433 motorcycle accidents, and 499 pedestrian accidents.

Where do car accidents in St. Petersburg happen?

Statistically speaking, these roads and intersections in St. Petersburg tend to see more traffic accidents than others:

  • US 92 and 4th St N
  • US 92 and 9th Ave N
  • US 19 and 34th St
  • Central Ave and 4th St S
  • 5th Ave N and 49th St
  • 5th Ave N and Dr. MLK Jr St. S
  • 5th Ave and 20th St.
  • I-295, especially on-ramps and off-ramps
  • 38th Ave N

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Car accidents can occur anywhere in St. Petersburg. These roads tend to have more traffic, and it can be more difficult to navigate them safely. But, all it takes is one minor misstep or act of negligence to cause a collision in St. Petersburg.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in St. Petersburg

If you file a lawsuit after a car accident in St. Petersburg, you’ll have the burden of proving that someone else is responsible for the collision.

Most car accident lawsuits are based on negligence – the idea that someone else breached a duty of care owed to you and, in turn, caused an accident in which you sustained some type of injury.

Negligent conduct that might contribute to a St. Petersburg collision could include:

Negligent motorists aren’t the only ones who contribute to collisions in St. Petersburg. A government agency could be liable if negligent road design or poor maintenance were a contributing factor in a local wreck. Similarly, vehicle manufacturers could be on the hook for damages if a defective vehicle or component, such as airbags or brakes, caused a driver to crash.

Ultimately, it is important to identify every potential cause of a car accident in St. Petersburg. The more you know about why an accident happened, the easier it becomes to establish liability and seek compensation from those responsible.

Car Accident Claims in Florida

Recovering compensation after a car accident in Florida can be a bit complicated. Here’s what you need to know about how to pursue compensation after a crash.

Florida has no-fault insurance rules

Florida is one of the few states to adopt no-fault rules for car insurance. All motorists are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. When you get into an accident, you are required to submit a claim to your own insurance company for these benefits, regardless of who’s at fault.

Paying for medical bills and lost wages after a car accident

There are a few ways to make sure that your medical bills and related expenses are covered after a car accident in St. Petersburg.

Florida requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP benefits. When you’re in an accident, your PIP benefits will generally cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages after a collision.

However, your insurance will only cover amounts up to your policy limits.

If you only purchased $10,000 in benefits, it’s quite possible that the costs of your injuries and losses exceed what your insurance company is required to pay.

In these situations, you can tap into Med-Pay benefits, your personal health insurance benefits (if you have them), or seek additional compensation from an at-fault third party.

You can file a lawsuit if you’ve suffered serious injuries in a St. Petersburg crash

If your injury is classified as severe, as defined under Florida state law, you reserve the right to file a claim for additional damages against a responsible third party.

In Florida, this means an injury that causes:

  • Significant (or permanent) loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent damage (other than scarring or disfigurement)
  • Significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Wrongful death

If your injuries fall into one of these categories, you can file a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit against a liable party.

Potentially liable parties in a car accident lawsuit might include:

Ultimately, anyone who directly or indirectly causes your St. Petersburg car accident can be on the hook for resulting damages. The catch is that your injuries must be legally classified as severe for you to pursue compensation above and beyond what your Florida car insurance company will cover.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our car accident attorneys in St. Petersburg will carefully evaluate the specific details of your case and work to secure compensation from all available sources.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Florida

One common question after a car accident is whether or not you can recover compensation if you’re getting blamed or share fault.

The answer is yes, as long as someone else is at fault, too.

Florida has pure comparative negligence rules. Sharing responsibility for your St. Petersburg car accident will adversely affect how much money you can recover for your injuries in a lawsuit.

Damages are proportionately reduced based on your share of the blame.

Let’s say that you’re hurt in a head-on collision at an intersection in St. Petersburg. Once you’ve exhausted your insurance benefits, your damages are valued at $100,000. A jury assigns you 10% responsibility for the crash because you were speeding. Your financial award cannot exceed $90,000 once contributory fault is factored into the equation.

It’s important to be prepared to defend yourself against victim-blaming tactics after a car accident in Pinellas County. Insurance companies and negligent parties will be quick to point fingers and try to shift the blame to you. The more liability you share, the less these parties will have to pay for the costs of the trauma you’ve endured.

The best way to protect yourself from these (often unsubstantiated) claims is by making sure that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg immediately after a wreck.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our team includes former insurance defense attorneys who understand these strategies all too well. We’ll anticipate these moves and work to minimize how much, if any, fault is assigned to you.

What Damages Are Available to Car Accident Victims in St. Petersburg?

When you file a third-party insurance claim or car accident lawsuit, you can seek compensatory damages for your financial losses and hard-to-value trauma like pain and suffering.

In Florida, these awards fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

A car accident can put you into a tough financial situation. Economic damages are paid to make you financially whole for the costs and losses you experience because you were in a crash.

Examples of economic awards include:

  • Lost wages and earnings
  • Lost job opportunities
  • Lost job benefits
  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Personal care assistance or nursing care
  • The cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
  • Related out-of-pocket expenses

Economic damages can help make up for your current costs as well as losses or expenses you may have in the future.

Non-Economic Damages

Many times, the consequences of a car accident don’t have a set financial cost. Some of the repercussions don’t come with an invoice or receipt, and the value can vary significantly from one car accident case to the next.

This is where non-economic damages can help.

Examples of non-economic awards include:

  • Chronic physical pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Embarrassment
  • Depression, anxiety, and other types of emotional distress
  • Damage to reputation
  • Loss of consortium

Our St. Petersburg car accident attorneys will work closely with reputable experts and specialists throughout the claims process, particularly as we calculate what your car accident case is worth.

How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?

According to the National Safety Council, the average comprehensive cost of a car accident in 2020 ranged from $52,700 to $1.252 Million, depending on the extent of the victim’s injuries.

The average fatal car accident was valued at more than $11.4 Million.

It’s important to keep in mind that every crash is different, and every victim is unique. So, there’s no standard settlement value or award that’s issued in these types of personal injury cases.

Rather, everything is highly individualized and will depend on a number of factors.

  • Are your injuries classified as severe under Florida state law?
  • Has the car accident interfered with your ability to work and earn an income?
  • How has your earning capacity changed since your St. Petersburg car accident?
  • Do your doctors believe that you will suffer a permanent impairment or disability?
  • Did your negligence play a role in the collision?
  • Did you take the appropriate steps to mitigate your car accident injuries?
  • How old are you at the time of the accident?

The more catastrophic your injuries, the more money you’re likely to recover in a related claim for damages.

It’s also important to consider the impact hiring an experienced car accident attorney in St. Petersburg can have on your financial recovery.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, we’ve helped clients like you recover millions of dollars in life-changing car accident settlements and jury awards. When you trust our team with your car accident case, you’ll benefit from the experience, insight, and resources that have helped us help so many others.

What’s the Statute of Limitations For Car Accident Lawsuits in Florida?

If you were injured in a car accident in St. Petersburg, Florida, you’ll have four years to file a personal injury claim for damages.

If you’ve lost a family member in a fatal St. Petersburg crash, the statute of limitations is two years.

This might seem like a lot of time, but it’ll fly by before you know. Once the deadline expires, you’ll have lost the ability to assert your rights and secure compensation for your injuries and suffering.

How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer in St. Petersburg?

No two car accident attorneys are the same. And not every car accident lawyer will be the ideal fit for your particular situation.

When choosing an attorney to handle your car accident case, it’s important to consider a few different things.

  • How long has the attorney been practicing law?
  • Does the attorney focus exclusively on personal injury law?
  • What experience does the lawyer have handling car accident claims?
  • What other legal experience does the lawyer have that might be advantageous to you?
  • What do current and former clients have to say about the attorney?
  • What results has the attorney gotten in similar cases?
  • What does the attorney charge?

Ultimately, trust your gut when hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you after a collision in St. Petersburg. You’re going to want to choose an attorney with the experience and resources to get you the results you deserve, but also one you’ll be able to confide in and trust during this incredibly stressful time.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our attorneys have 60+ years of experience. Our team includes attorneys who are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and former insurance defense attorneys – which gives you a considerable advantage when you’re fighting for the compensation you deserve after a car accident in St. Petersburg.

Our client satisfaction is second-to-none, and our ability to secure top results has changed the lives of clients just like you.

Call our law office in St. Petersburg, Florida to learn more about our legal services and how our car accident lawyers can help you fight to make the most of your insurance claim or lawsuit.

What Will it Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Petersburg?

The costs of a car accident can be quite high, and you might worry that you simply can’t afford to hire a lawyer to help you pursue compensation. The good news is that our car accident attorneys in St. Petersburg work on contingency.

You pay nothing to hire our law firm to represent you unless we win your case – and our fee (and case-related costs) come directly out of your financial award.

Typically, you can expect to pay an attorney between one-third and 40 percent of your financial recovery. This can vary, based on the lawyer’s experience, how difficult your case is, and the likely value of your claim.

Ultimately, there’s no risk in hiring our St. Petersburg car accident attorneys after a crash. If we don’t get you a settlement or win a verdict at trial, we don’t get paid – end of story.

Our legal team is always available to take your call, answer your questions, and schedule a free consultation – 24/7/365. Contact our law office in St. Petersburg today.

Helping You Seek Maximum Compensation For All of Your Car Accident Injuries

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, we represent car accident victims who are struggling with:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Dental injury
  • Eye injury
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Burn injury
  • Amputation
  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Catastrophic injury
  • Wrongful death of a family member after a fatal car accident in St. Petersburg

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our top-rated personal injury attorneys after your accident. We will listen to your side of the story, explain your legal rights and options, and help you figure out the best steps moving forward. If you decide to pursue compensation, we’ll be there to help you make the most of your claim and work to maximize your financial recovery.

What Steps Can I Take to Strengthen My Car Accident Claim?

There are certain things you can do (and avoid doing) after getting into a car accident in St. Petersburg to help strengthen your personal injury claim for damages.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately

If you’re not transported from the scene by an ambulance, make it a priority to get to the closest emergency room in St. Petersburg after you are involved in an accident.

Get help – even if you don’t think that you’ve been injured.

Some injuries – especially internal trauma – might not be apparent right away. Adrenaline pumping through your veins after a wreck could even mask important symptoms, causing you to delay critical treatment.

By getting to the hospital, you’re prioritizing your health and increasing the odds that all of your car accident injuries are diagnosed and treated right away. This not only mitigates your injuries, but also reduces the chances that you’ll experience serious complications.

A prompt hospital visit will also help to document a formal link between the car accident and your injuries. When you pursue a claim based on someone else’s negligence, this piece of evidence will be an important piece of the puzzle in proving causation.

Think twice before accepting a settlement offer until it’s reviewed by an attorney

You have one opportunity to settle an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident in St. Petersburg. Once to agree to the terms of a settlement, you waive all future claims arising from the collision. Insurance companies know this – and they know that you’re eager to get money in your hands as soon as you can.

So, they might put an early offer on the table and try to persuade you to accept it – through the use of fear, intimidation, or other manipulative tactics. If you accept a settlement before the full extent of your injuries is known, you risk not getting a result that covers all of your crash-related damages.

Once you realize it, it’ll be too late to ask for more.

Don’t try to deal with an insurance company – even your own – by yourself. Hire an experienced car accident attorney near you in St. Petersburg to handle your claim and work to negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf.

Get a copy of the police report

You made sure that you reported your car accident to the St. Petersburg Police Department. Now, make sure that you follow up and get a copy of the accident report.

When the officer visited the scene of the collision, they documented important details about your case – including the time and date, weather conditions, property damage, physical injuries, road conditions, and even preliminary assessments of fault.

The information contained in the police report can be invaluable to your personal injury attorney as we work to investigate your accident, determine causation and liability, and work to recover maximum compensation on your behalf.

You can request a crash report from the St. Petersburg PD online. You’ll need the last name of the driver involved in the collision, the agency report number, and the date of the crash to obtain a copy.

Write down your recollection of the crash

Witness memories begin to fade almost immediately after a car accident. This includes your own recollection – so it can be helpful to record or write down what you remember as soon as you can after your accident.

When you revisit your notes later, the details might help to jog your memory or provide your attorney with an important piece of the puzzle. This information can be used to conduct a more thorough and in-depth analysis of your collision, thus strengthening your claim for damages.

Arrange Your Free Consultation With a Trusted St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer Today

Don’t assume that you don’t need an attorney because you’re submitting a claim to your insurance company. Don’t assume that negligent parties will accept responsibility for the accident and cut you a check for the harm they’ve caused.

Hiring an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a much-needed victory.

Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner is a team of experienced and passionate trial attorneys dedicated to helping crash victims stand up to powerful insurance companies and other tough adversaries. Put our reputation and resources to work to benefit you. Call our law office in St. Petersburg, Florida to learn more. Your first case evaluation is free, so contact us to get started today.

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