Car Accidents  Help Is Just a Call Away

Port St. Lucie Car Accident Lawyer

Ships sink, planes crash, and trains derail. But there are car accidents. The A-word implies that the incident was inevitable and no one was at fault. In almost all cases, that’s not true. Driver error causes over 90 percent of the vehicle collisions in Florida. In most areas of life, where there is an error, there are consequences. So, an error which caused a vehicle collision, even if the error was unintentional, has consequences.

At Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers, our tough Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers hold negligent drivers responsible for the mistakes they make. We also take on large insurance companies and force them to fairly compensate injured victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Evidence in Car Crash Claims

In a car crash claim, an injured victim must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Furthermore, there is usually a direct relationship between the amount of proof presented and the amount of compensation awarded. Finally, solid evidence helps a Port St. Lucie car accident lawyer refute some common insurance company defenses. More on that below.

Commonly, evidence in a car crash claim includes witness statements, the police accident report, and medical bills. Frequently, however, there are gaps.

Wrongful death claims and the police accident report are a good example. If the victim did not survive and give a statement to first responders, the police report only contains one side of the story.

Electronic evidence, like a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, often fills in these gaps. Much like the black box flight data recorders in commercial airplanes, EDRs measure and record things like:

  • Steering angle,
  • Engine RPM,
  • Brake application, and
  • Vehicle speed.

A Port St. Lucie auto accident attorney must act quickly to preserve this critical evidence. Frequently, insurance companies destroy wrecked vehicles within a few days. To prevent the loss of evidence, including the loss of an EDR, an attorney must send a spoliation letter to the insurance company. This letter establishes a legal duty to preserve any potential physical evidence in the case.

Insurance Company Defenses

It’s not enough to build a claim for damages. An attorney must also be ready to refute some common insurance company defenses in car crash claims.

The contributory negligence defense is perhaps the most common insurance company defense in these situations. Essentially, this doctrine shifts part of the blame for the crash from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim. For example, the insurance company might admit that its driver changed lanes illegally, but blame the wreck on the victim’s excessive speed.

Once again, evidence is key. If the evidence shows that the victim was only traveling 55mph in a 50mph zone, most jurors would not say that the speed was high enough to cause a crash.

In situations like these, the jurors must apportion fault between the parties on a percentage basis. Florida is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor is still liable for a proportionate share of damages.

Other insurance company defenses include the last clear chance doctrine, the sudden emergency rule, and the seat belt defense.

Count on an Experienced Port St. Lucie Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.

What Sets Us Apart

Committed to Fighting for Justice for the Injured
  • Over $100 Million Recovered

    Our results speak for themselves, and our team is dedicated to winning for you.

  • AV-Rated With Martindale Hubbell

    We are ranked by the most prestigious peer review rating an attorney can receive for high ethical standards and professional ability.

  • Over 65 Years of Experience

    With over 65 years of combined experience, our attorneys know what it takes to win for you while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

  • Award-Winning Attorneys

    Our attorneys are committed to excellence and are recognized for their hard work with many accolades from the legal community.

  • We're Not Afraid to Litigate

    We're trial lawyers at heart and don't shy away from the courtroom; we'll put our compassionate tenacity to work for you.

  • A Florida Firm With Extensive Resources

    No case is too big; we'll utilize our large network of experts, connections in the legal community, and deep well of resources to help you win.

Real Reviews from Real Clients

We're Deeply Committed to Every Case
    Working with Mr. Baez and Kimberly was a wonderful experience.

    “Working with Mr. Baez and Kimberly was a wonderful experience. Anytime that you need to enlist legal services there is a certain degree of uncertainty and anxiety.”

    - Kevin M.
    Nothing short of AMAZING.

    “If you are reading this there is no need to look any further! Nelson Baez, Kimberly Simpson, and the team have been nothing short of AMAZING.”

    - Darlene H.
    I will always call on Smith, Ball, & Baez, honest, fair, and family.

    “Called looking for a lawyer and was treated more like family. The first person that actually cared about my case other than myself. Marci Ball Elordi exceeded all my expectations, got me back everything I was owed, and more.”

    - Jeff B.
    Great recovery and excellent to work with!

    “Mr. Smith and his staff were amazing every step of the way during the intimidating legal process to those of us who are not used to it.”

    - Maryann V.
    If I could give them ten stars I would!!

    “The Law Offices of Smith & Ball were awesome from start to finish. They walked me through what was going to happen step by step. Communicated well all the time.”

    - Ryan S.
    Vicki handled my case flawlessly.

    “Vicki handled my case flawlessly. Took care of all negotiations and made the process very easy for me, and ensured I received the most compensation possible.”

    - Cody K.
    These kind folks are highly recommended.

    “Scott Smith was very responsive to my case and kept me well informed about the progress that was being made on my behalf.”

    - Neal H.
    Amazing firm.

    “Amazing firm. Marci Ball & her team handled my case. They made sure everything was taken care of.”

    - Jose C.
    Highly Recommend

    “Always available, any emails that were sent were promptly answered, we never felt that we were a burden to them. Would highly recommend this firm to anyone seeking a positive outcome.”

    - Tony B.
    Scott and his team are truly amazing and will work hard for your rights.

    “Scott and his team are truly amazing and will work hard for your rights. From the time you walk in you are welcomed at the reception with a warm smile by Isabel, then the legal team in the back is always ready to help you.”

    - Juan L.

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