Multiple Car Accidents. Will the Second Accident Affect My First Case?

Cars are an essential part of American society. A car can be a convenience, necessity, or luxury, depending on your circumstances. Most people rely on their vehicles to commute, work, and run daily errands. Others prefer driving because they need to reach their destination faster than public transit. 

Although vehicles offer a sense of freedom, they also have various risks. According to the CDC, car accidents claim over 35,000 lives and cause millions of injuries annually in the United States. 

Florida is one of the most dangerous states for motorists nationally. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports over 250,000 injuries annually from car accidents in Florida. 

With these alarming statistics, you may find yourself getting involved in multiple car accidents on Florida motorways. The crashes could be caused by a wide range of issues, such as a series of storms or just bad luck. 

If you were involved in multiple car crashes, consult a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer for advice on how to build a solid case for compensation.

What Should You Do Immediately After a Florida Accident?

The first thing you should do after a Florida car crash is check yourself and other involved parties for injuries. If you and the accident scene are safe, call 911.

Collecting evidence from the accident scene is essential to establishing a compensation claim. As you wait for the police to arrive, take photos of the scene and any property damage. Also, take good pictures of any visible injuries. 

Ensure to exchange contact and insurance information with other involved drivers. You should also get the names and contact information of any witnesses. 

Keep your comments about the accident brief at the scene and only stick to the facts. Even something as innocent as an apology might be considered an admission of fault and used against you to deny the claim. 

Florida Is a “No-Fault” Jurisdiction

Florida’s no-fault system means you must first turn to your insurance policy to receive compensation for accident-related costs. In Florida, all drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP). PIP covers medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limit.

However, PIP has policy limits and doesn’t cover non-economic losses like pain and suffering. You’ll need to meet the injury threshold to step outside the no-fault system and file a liability claim or third-party lawsuit. 

Injuries that meet the injury threshold include injuries that cause significant physical disfigurement, loss of bodily functions, permanent injuries, and fatal injuries.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence in Florida?

Comparative negligence is the legal standard used to allocate damages for an accident where many parties are at fault. This concept means that all involved parties are responsible for a share of the financial compensation in proportion to their percentage of fault. 

If you are partially at fault for the injuries sustained in an accident, you can file a claim and get compensation for the part that wasn’t your fault. For example, if you were 70% responsible for the accident, you can still pursue compensation for the remaining 30%. 

How Do Multiple Accident Claims Affect the Outcomes of Initial Accidents?

When the negligence of another party causes your injuries, you are entitled to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. However, you could get injured in another unrelated accident.

Suppose you suffer subsequent injuries from multiple accidents. In that case, your accident attorney will convince the jury to try to separate the damages caused by the two events and award you money for all damages caused by the defendant. 

The jury will award all damages they can’t separate.

Will the Second Accident Affect Your Initial Case

Multiple car accident cases that occur in quick succession may raise various issues. Based on circumstances, the jury may hear about the second accident after the initial car crash. However, this may reduce the value of your injury case.

The jury may find that the subsequent accident was the primary cause of your injury. Insurance adjusters use this and many other factors to evaluate the case. 

Although you can still have a strong case after getting involved in a second accident, the subsequent car accident case may complicate the proceedings and weaken your compensation claim. 

All things equal, personal injury cases are worth more if you have had no subsequent accidents after the first case. The insurance company adjusters always like anything that may decrease your case value.

How Do Multiple Claims Affect Insurance?

Causing an at-fault accident can significantly impact your car insurance costs. This is particularly true if you have more than one at-fault accident on your record. 

Other than high insurance costs, the insurance company can even drop you. But the threshold for canceling car insurance after multiple accidents varies by:

  • Car insurance carrier
  • Type of claim
  • Amount of compensation paid
  • Number of claims in 3 years

Can You Get Compensation for Aggravation of an Old Injury or Condition from a New Accident?

Most people have suffered injury or had a pre-existing physical issue at some point. Whether from a prior accident or health condition, you may have to deal with some compromise on your body with time. 

Luckily, just because you have a prior injury or pre-existing condition, you can still receive compensation if the negligence of another party worsens or aggravates the injury. 

Florida laws allow you to seek compensation for the aggravation of an existing injury through a personal injury claim. When you suffer additional injuries due to someone else’s carelessness, such as in a trip or slip and fall, a car accident, or any other incident, you have the burden of proof. 

You might feel like your chances of winning the claim are slimmer because of your history of injuries or that you’ll have to accept for less money. However, in certain cases, it may be easier to understand how you were injured in the first place if you had an injury or pre-existing condition that was exacerbated. 

Remember that you might have a weak spot on your body that has been injured in the past or that is more prone to further harm because of your history of injuries. A healthy back might be unfazed by a minor hit, but an injured back might be completely damaged.

Contact an Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida, Today

Filing one claim can be overwhelming, but filing multiple claims requires planning and caution. If you have a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer on your team, you have a better chance of building a solid case and increasing your chances of success. Our dedicated team will help you seek the compensation you deserve. 

Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 or fill in the online contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation. 

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