If you are involved in an accident, whether it’s an automobile, a motorcycle, a truck, or at a railroad crossing, you may be left severely injured, and sometimes death may result. Accidents are very common in Florida given the amount of residents and tourists that are traveling each day. Many of these accidents require the involvement of insurance companies, which can be quite stressful and time-consuming for all parties involved. When dealing with an accident of any kind, you need an experienced attorney on your side to advocate for your right to recover.
Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary has been a trial attorney for more than 28 years, and licensed to practice law in the state of Florida. As a civil litigator and criminal defense attorney, she has been involved in more than 350 jury trials. These qualifications are essential to any attorney pursuing a cause of action on behalf of an individual injured in an accident. Trial experience, advocacy skills and the ability to have a close attorney-client relationship are characteristics Beryl Thompson-McClary possesses. All of these skills will allow her to pursue your accident claim with utmost confidence in an effort to help you recover what you have lost.
General Florida Accident Law
Florida law regarding accidents, no matter what type, follows the same negligence standard as a personal injury action, but also typically involves insurance companies. These insurance companies get involved when you and the other party involved in the accident file claims to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicles and also compensation to cover the cost of care to treat injuries that were suffered.
A big problem with insurance companies is that the party at fault is represented by the insurance company’s counsel. Therefore, the insurance company will try and find ways to prove its customer (the insured) was not at fault. This can be tricky and often is not fair, but if you have an experienced attorney with you, you can fight the insurance company and receive the compensation you are entitled to.
If you wish to pursue a personal injury action against the party at fault for the accident, you will be fighting the insurance company as well. Further, if you have settled with the insurance company, but the amount is not enough to pay for your medical expenses that you may incur in the future, you can file a separate action against the party at fault to recover additional compensation you deserve. Please note that if your case goes to trial, the jury will not know anything about whether or not you have settled with the insurance company, because if the jury did know this information, then the jury members may believe you have already been given the compensation you are entitled to.
Specific Areas of Accident Law
Beryl Thompson-McClary primarily focuses her accident-related practice on the following types of accidents:
- Car Accidents
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to never admit fault. The first step is to ensure you seek medical attention to treat your injuries, and then obtain documentation from the hospital and any physicians you see regarding the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident. Then a claim is filed with the insurance companies and an accident investigation is conducted. The accident investigator will determine who may be at fault by recreating the events as best as possible. The most important thing to do if you were not at fault for the accident, is to continuously receive follow-up care for your injuries, because if you don’t, the party at fault may try to say that you were not really injured in the accident if you are not in need of medical care.
- Motorcycle Accidents
It is a little more difficult to determine who is at fault in a motorcycle accident for many reasons. First, if a motorcycle driver is not wearing a helmet, this may prevent the motorcycle driver from receiving as much compensation for injuries, if it is found that he or she is not at fault for an accident. For example, perhaps the motorcycle driver’s injuries would be less severe had he or she been wearing a helmet, and any compensation should be reduced to reflect this. Second, motorcycles are more difficult to see than other motorists on the roadway. It is easier to make a mistake and not see a motorcycle, which results in the other motorist subsequently colliding with that motorcycle. Third, the speed at which a motorcycle driver is going is often faster than a car or truck driver, so this may have an impact on the amount of recovery a motorcycle driver receives for his or her injuries, if it is found that the car or truck driver is at fault for the accident.
- Truck Accidents
It is inevitable that injuries suffered as a result of a truck accident are likely to be more severe for the smaller vehicle. As with motorcycle accidents, it is often difficult to determine fault in truck accident cases. Trucks may rollover for various reasons such as high winds, a truck driver falling asleep at the wheel, or a truck driver going too fast. If this type of conduct causes a collision and injury to another party, then the truck driver will likely be considered at fault for the accident. Further, a smaller vehicle is always in the more vulnerable position so a jury, if the case goes to trial, will tend to rule in favor of the smaller vehicle.
- Railroad Crossing Accidents
Railroad crossing accidents can be caused by both the train’s conduct and the person being hit by the train (whether that person is in a vehicle or walking on foot). It could be that the train derailed, and was thrown of track, causing the train to hit and injure or even kill another person. The situation could also arise where a pedestrian is simply not paying attention and ignores the crossing signs that indicate a train will be crossing shortly. In such a case, the pedestrian’s own conduct may have been the cause of the accident. Further, injuries may occur where crossings are not adequately marked to alert people driving or walking by. This would be the fault of the city or entity in charge of ensuring railroad crossings are safe, and not necessarily of the train or train conductor. As with most cases, you need an attorney to gather the facts and come up with the likely explanation for why an accident occurred, so that a lawsuit can be brought against the party who is at fault.
No matter what injury you may have suffered during an accident, you should speak with an attorney right away to get the investigation started. It is always possible that both parties could share fault as to a particular accident, but this is for the attorney to figure out, and it is not advisable to take on a case without the help and advice of a very experienced attorney.
Contact Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a family member has been injured in a car, motorcycle, truck or railroad crossing accident, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident reports, communicate with insurance companies, and pursue a cause of action against the party at fault. Remember that there are time limits placed on when causes of action can be brought, so it is imperative that you speak with an attorney early on, and not wait four years before deciding that you may have a potential claim. If you want an attorney who will listen to you, respect your wishes and decisions, and pursue your claim vigorously, you should speak with Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary as soon as possible to evaluate your potential claim. To schedule your free consultation, call her office at (888) 640-2999, or you can contact her online and she will get back to you as soon as possible.