Car Accident Lawyer

Vero Beach, FL



Auto accidents can wreak havoc on your health, your livelihood, your family, and your finances. Insurance companies today work tirelessly to protect their own interest and to avoid paying victims the fair compensation they deserve. Our attorneys are committed to putting our years of experience to work fighting for you.

Our car accident injury attorneys leverage their detailed medical knowledge, utilize the latest technology and practice modern trial techniques to further a tireless commitment to excellence. Financial resources, paired with decades of actual trial experience, are critical elements in the firm’s mission to hold auto insurance companies and negligent drivers accountable for catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.


Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Florida

Most people will be in at least one car accident in their lifetime. In 2022, The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department reported a total of 390,669 car crashes in the State of Florida; that’s over 1,000 a day! A car accident may occur due to factors concerning the person driving, environmental conditions, or the vehicle itself. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents in the state of Florida:

  1. Distracted Driving – This includes activities that may cause a driver to not give their full attention to the road. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting makeup on, or fiddling with the radio could all cause a driver to look away. Distracted driving may be the simplest to solve, but it is by far the biggest cause of accidents in the United States.
  2. DUI – in 2020, the NHTSA reported 32 alcohol impaired driving fatalities per day. While this number has gone down in recent years, it still remains a main cause for accidents due to human error.
  3. Reckless Driving – This differs from distracted driving because reckless driving is usually intentional. It can include things like speeding, running red lights and stop signs, switching lanes too quickly, or using aggressive driving tactics to purposely cut off other drivers.
  4. Fatigue – Accidents can also be caused by fatigue, causing the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. Interestingly, large commercial truck drivers have laws regulating how many hours they can drive at a time to avoid accidents caused by drowsiness.
  5. Weather/Road Hazards – Inclement weather like strong winds, rain, fog or hail can cause roads to become unsafe for driving as they can impair your ability to see or your vehicle’s ability to function properly. In addition, road hazards including pieces of tire, fallen objects, or even wild animals can cause a driver to intensely swerve or slam on their brakes.
  6. Mechanical Defects – It’s not uncommon for a motor vehicle to not function properly due to a malfunctioning part or improper upkeep.

Why You May Want to Consider Hiring An Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer


During such a trying time, it’s important to have a knowledgeable and experienced Florida auto accident lawyer on your side. The laws surrounding motor vehicle accidents can be complex, and it’s crucial to hire someone who can educate you on Florida law and what damages you’re entitled to recover. Doing so can give you peace of mind, and give you more opportunity to focus on your physical and mental recovery.


Detailed Medical Knowledge


Cutting-Edge Technology

Modern Trial Techniques


  • No Fee Until We Win
  • $150M+ in Recent Personal Injury Verdicts & Settlements
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms for 10 Consecutive Years

Our firm is here to take that burden off of our clients and handle their claim completely. We will help you get the compensation you deserve.

Notable CAR ACCIDENT Settlements and Verdicts

We’ve recovered over $150 million for our clients. These are real case results from real people who came to us for help. And we got them what they were owed.

Plaintiff was operating a small motorcycle/scooter when a 91 year old man turned left in front of him hitting him essentially head on. As a result of the collision, the Plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries to his lower body, including snapped femurs and fractures to the spine and pelvis. After a two week trial the Indian River County jury returned an award totaling $9.381 million.

A Brevard County Jury awarded Plaintiff $6.4M against Defendant State Farm, following an accident that resulted in numerous catastrophic orthopedic injuries, including a below knee amputation of the Plaintiff’s left leg.

Plaintiff sustained numerous orthopedic injuries as a result of the negligence of a driver working for the State of Florida Department of Agriculture. At trial, the case resulted in a verdict of $5,582,776.82. Because the government’s damages are statutorily limited to $100,000 under Sovereign Immunity laws, Gould Cooksey Fennell’s Personal Injury Group was forced to fight in the Legislature for several years to pursue the passage of a Claims Bill. Ultimately a Bill was passed for 40 times the statutory limitations.

Indian River County crash resulting in significant injuries to a husband and wife. This matter was resolved prior to filing a lawsuit.

Obtained a Trial Verdict of $1.64 million dollars for injuries sustained by an 86 year old woman in a rollover auto accident on SR 60 in Vero Beach, Florida. After prolonged hospitalization, Mrs. Koebele never fully recovered and an Indian River County Jury awarded $1,170,130 for her injuries and $475,000 for her husband’s consortium claim.

Automobile crash in Vero Beach, FL resulting in cervical injury, including disc herniation to a 22 year old tennis professional.

While stopped at the intersection of US Hwy 1 and Vista Royale Boulevard, the Plaintiff’s vehicle was struck from behind with such force that the rear of his SUV was lifted off the ground and his vehicle slammed into the rear of the vehicle in front of him. As a result of the violent impact, Plaintiff sustained permanent injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine. An Indian River County jury awarded the Plaintiff $1,487,412.99.

While stopped at the intersection of 43rd Ave and 8th Street, Plaintiff was rear-ended by the Defendant, launching her vehicle into another vehicle in front of her. Plaintiff sustained permanent injuries to her right knee and cervical spine, both requiring surgical intervention in the years following the collision. After a nine day trial, an Indian River County jury returned an award of $1,259,090.73.

Indian River County jury awarded verdict against Defendant State Farm following an automobile accident where the defendant Driver was underinsured.


Our Fee's: FREE!
(unless we win)

Some car accident cases can take years and cost thousands of dollars, but we don’t charge a dime until you get paid.

An Auto Accident Lawyer Will Help You Prove Driver Negligence

Your attorney can use their firm’s resources to thoroughly research your case. An experienced personal injury and car accident attorney will know how to evaluate crash scene evidence and black box data from your vehicle in order to prove the other party at fault. They also assist you with gathering your medical records, negotiating with insurance adjusters, communicating with your doctors, and bringing in specialists as needed.

Attorneys Can Gather Information Relevant To Your Case

A man in a ties with clip board and pen reviewing list with a man with arms crossed and car accident behind them

Sometimes, it takes some extra research to fully prove the opposite party at fault in an auto accident. There may be inconsistencies with the crash reports, gaps in data, or other factors that need to be uncovered so we can determine the amount you are ultimately entitled to. We are trained to look closely at these details and see inconsistencies. We also take into account Florida law, local laws, and any related federal regulations so we are fully prepared to bring your case.

Attorneys can review every detail about the accident to get a clear picture of what exactly happened. These details include:

  • Accident scene – The who, what, when, and how in regards to the scene of the accident. If we are hired early on, we are often able to have experts examine the car as well as the accident scene and request preservation of any video or “black box” data relating to the crash.
  • Witnesses – It is important to identify and get statements from any witnesses before memories fade.
  • Police and accident reports – With appropriate written requests, we are able to obtain all formal accident reports to help build your case.

Assistance With Getting You The Compensation You Deserve

An experienced attorney will be able to take a look at your case and let you know what kind of damages you could be entitled to. Not only can an auto accident result in physical injury, but it can also result in severe monetary damages and emotional consequences, affecting your overall quality of life. You may be entitled to compensatory damages, whether they be monetary, serious injury, or punitive damages.

Monetary Damages

When you get into a car accident, you may be entitled to certain monetary or economic damages. These may include:

  • Medical Expenses – Any medical expenses you may incur as a result of your auto accident. These may include any medications you may need to take to cope or hospital bills.
  • Physical Recovery Cost – These include any costs associated with your long-term physical recovery from the car accident, such as physical therapy.
  • Loss of Wages or Employment – If you get in an auto accident, you may have to take time off from work. You may be entitled to monetary damages associated with your loss of employment and/or wages.
  • Property Damage – After a car accident, you may be entitled to receive damages associated with your vehicle and other personal belongings affected by the accident.
  • Family Care – You may be unable to care for your family in the same capacity after your car accident. We can help you receive monetary damages associated with these losses.

Serious Injury Damages

If you incurred a serious injury due to an auto accident, you may be entitled to serious injury damages. These include serious or permanent injuries that are difficult to quantify, including:

  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic physical pain
  • Loss of limb or disfigurement
  • Loss of normal function
  • Brain injury

Even if you aren’t dealing with serious injury damages, navigating these complex legal matters on your own can be extremely difficult. Even more so if you are focusing on your recovery, which is why we strongly advise hiring an experienced law firm to take on your case. Our lawyers offer years of expertise and compassion for your unique situation. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are damages that the defendant has to pay on top of compensatory damages if they are found guilty. In Florida, there are limits to the amount that can be awarded. Most of the time, people receive punitive damages only when there is proof of gross negligence. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case will help determine whether or not you are entitled to receive punitive damages.


How We Can Help You After A Car Accident

The main purpose in hiring an attorney after a car accident in Florida is to provide legal representation and counsel to assist you in seeking compensation for any injuries or damages you may have sustained as a result of the accident. The auto accident lawyers of GCF have been demanding justice for car accident victims for over 70 years in the Treasure Coast and Space Coast Communities.

woman on cell phone with a two car accident behind her

At Gould Cooksey Fennell, our attorneys provide passionate representation and personal attention to work relentlessly on your behalf. Our car accident attorneys are committed to putting that experience to work fighting for your rights in automobile accident cases. In 2023, GCF’s personal injury trial team of Jason Odom, Dane Ullian, and David Carter earned a $3.9 million jury verdict in Indian River County on behalf of a deserving client whose own insurance company treated him unfairly.

  • Accident Reconstruction – We typically hire accident reconstruction experts to examine the cars involved in a crash and surrounding areas of the accident scene. In most cases, we can also inspect and download data from vehicle “black boxes.” These reconstructive efforts can prove to be invaluable in overcoming denials of liability in causing the accident.
  • Finding All Available Insurance – Holding the at-fault driver responsible for an accident may at first seem straightforward. You may even be contacted by an insurance adjuster who will say that their company is accepting responsibility for the accident. However, that does not mean that they will treat you fairly or that there is not more insurance coverage available. Sometimes, complex corporate structures are put in place to avoid responsibility. A good car accident lawyer will know exactly how to find every available dollar of insurance coverage.
  • Communication with the insurance companies – One of the most stressful things many clients describe following a car accident is their communication with insurance adjusters. While the conversations may seem friendly, it is hard to know whether those adjusters are giving accurate information or whether the information they are requesting is valid. In most instances, the adjuster on the other end of the line has handled hundreds or thousands of accident claims, and it is not their job to look out for your interests. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we take on all communications with the insurance company adjusters, so that our clients can focus on their physical and emotional recovery without worrying about whether they are being taken advantage of by an insurance company adjuster.

While the auto insurance companies and big corporations sometimes seem to have all the advantages, our resources, paired with decades of trial experience, are critical elements in the firm’s mission to hold auto insurance companies and negligent drivers accountable for catastrophic injuries, sky-high medical expenses, and wrongful death.

Common Types of Automobile Accidents

An automobile accident can happen anywhere, and can range from a mild side swipe in a parking lot to a head on collision in an intersection. Some of the most common kinds of motor vehicle accidents are:


Unfortunately, any one of these types of automobile accidents could result in a fatality, or wrongful death case. In addition to common types of automobile accidents, there are also highways and roads where there is a higher likelihood of an accident in the Vero Beach and Treasure Coast community. 

These include, I-95, US Highway 1, Route 60, Highway A1A, Oslo Road, and several large intersections.


Injuries Commonly Caused by Car Accidents

Nearly any type of injury can occur in a car accident, even in mild car accidents like fender benders. The most common type of injuries for car accident victims are neck and back injuries.

woman sitting on a couch reading book with neck brace and arm in sling

Broken Bones

Bone fractures can range from minimal to severe. Broken legs, arms, and hips are common in car accidents. Anytime a person is in a car accident, the collision puts an unnatural amount of force on their body. When the force is more than a person’s bones can withstand, they can suffer a painful fracture.

There are various types of bone injuries, but compound fractures are among the most serious. Depending on the injury, the victim may need to undergo multiple surgeries and have rods placed to stabilize the bone. Recovering from a bone fracture can be painful and challenging. The victim may not be able to return to work because of the bone fracture, resulting in a significant loss of income. Some victims of severe bone fractures never recover the full use of their limbs.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are very common in serious car accidents and truck accidents. Anytime a bone in the spinal column becomes broken or the nerves in the spinal cord become separated, there is a risk that the victim will become paralyzed. The location of the spinal cord injury determines the extent of the paralysis. For example, when someone suffers a spinal cord injury in the upper back, he or she may be paralyzed from the upper back down and not be able to walk or move his or her arms. Spinal cord injuries require significant medical attention and could require full-time medical care.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries also occur in auto accidents. Traumatic brain injuries can happen when the victim slams his or her head into the window, headrest, or airbag. In other cases, a foreign object will penetrate a person’s skull, such as glass or debris. But, as has been seen in soldiers and professional athletes, traumatic brain injuries can happen without the head striking anything at all. Anytime a person’s brain undergoes tremendous force, the brain can collide with the skull, causing bleeding. Traumatic brain injuries vary in severity, but they often require significant medical intervention. Even mild traumatic brain injury symptoms can last for the rest of their lives.

Florida Car Accident Statistics

  • In 2022, there were 390,669 car crashes in the State of Florida.
  • Of the 390,669 car crashes in 2022, 64% (248,809) resulted in an injury of some kind.
  • 3,454 crashes in Florida resulted in a fatality.



Request a Free Car Accident Consultation

Whether you were in the car, or your family member was, dealing with a car accident is an upsetting and stressful experience. Especially if there are serious injuries as a result. We understand that choosing the right personal injury attorney for your car accident is an important decision, and one that you don’t take lightly.

Florida Auto Accident FAQs

Florida insurance laws are complex and confusing. Our team of top-rated lawyers answer your most frequently asked questions about car accidents.

In the state of Florida, “no fault” means that all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is a type of insurance that helps cover their own and their passengers’ medical bills, regardless of who was at fault. Unfortunately, this type of insurance may not be sufficient in covering your medical or other expenses. At Gould Cooksey, we’re determined to fight on your behalf and help you receive proper compensation for any ordeal you’ve endured.

After experiencing something as stressful as a car accident, navigating Florida law and insurance claims may only add to your stress and anxiety. Recovering your out-of-pocket medical costs and car repair costs from the insurance companies can be difficult and time consuming without someone fighting on your behalf. Hiring a seasoned auto accident attorney will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also help increase your chances of earning the compensation you deserve. Our expert attorneys will educate you on how your personal injury protection benefits work to efficiently navigate these confusing waters so you can focus on recovery.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Florida, an insurance claims adjuster will likely begin calling you soon after the car accident. Car insurance adjusters are notorious for trying to get the car accident victim to provide a recorded statement as soon as possible after the accident. We recommend discussing your case with one of our experienced car accident lawyers before providing the insurance company with a statement. 

Even if you were speaking to your own insurance company, they can and will use your testimony against you. We can help you prepare to give an accurate statement that protects your legal right to compensation.

We will handle the negotiation process for you so you can focus on your recovery. Insurance companies typically offer a low settlement amount initially. They hope that car accident victims will accept the low amount because they are desperate and need to pay medical bills. Our legal team will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, seeking the best settlement amount possible. When insurance companies engage in bad faith practices, we hold them accountable by taking them to court.

Florida is a no-fault insurance state, requiring drivers to purchase at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Drivers can file a claim with their own insurance company for 80% of their medical expenses and 60% of lost income, up to $10,000. Injured victims can file for compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the injury.

What happens if you have a severe injury from your car accident that exceeds the $10,000 minimum? In that case, you can recover additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver whose negligence caused the car accident. Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that you have suffered a serious injury. Specifically, you will need to prove that your injury meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • You experienced significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • You have a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring and disfigurement
  • You experienced significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Your loved one died as a result of the car accident

Whether you’ve been in an accident or you just want to be prepared, this checklist of automobile accident do’s and don’ts will help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Created by the attorneys at Gould Cooksey Fennell, this guide highlights some of the common things that could impact an automobile accident recovery.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows you to collect non-economic losses. When you file an insurance claim through PIP, you can only claim a portion of your medical expenses and lost work time. On the contrary, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering. You can also file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, allowing you to recover the compensation you deserve.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, the best thing you can do is consult with a personal injury attorney. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we offer our potential clients a free initial consultation so they can learn more about our firm and ask us questions about their cases.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Cases We Handle

In addition to general auto accident claims, Gould Cooksey handles personal injury cases related to the following practice areas:

Our Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys




Recent Personal Injury Verdicts & Settlements



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* Our attorneys and staff value your privacy and will not share your personal information with any third-party entities.