From a minor tap barely constituting a fender bender to a massive pileup, car accidents have become a norm of modern life (Need a tow? Check out our handy Tow Truck Guide). Florida alone experienced an average of 1,103 car accidents per day in 2017, according to crash statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
Unfortunately, the commonplace nature of car accidents can make it hard to realize how much an accident can impact your life until it's too late. Nevertheless, if you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, a skilled personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases can help.
According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 37,000 people died in auto accidents in 2017. In the prior year, more than 3.1 million people sustained serious injuries in auto accidents around the United States.
Car accidents have the potential to result in significant injuries to all vehicle occupants, some of which have the potential to result in long-term medical complications. People who are seriously injured in auto accidents may incur significant medical expenses, both for the treatment of their injuries and for the cost associated with any ongoing care that may be required. What's more, car accident victims may miss work and have noticeably reduced future earning potential. These physical and monetary costs say nothing of the tremendous emotional pain and suffering associated with being involved in a car accident.
Fortunately, by bringing a personal injury claim against those responsible for their injuries, Florida tort law allows people who have been injured by the negligence of others to recover for economic and non-economic losses via a car accident settlement. Recoverable losses may include, but are not limited to:
The best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve in your car accident settlement is to retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Car accidents can occur for a number of reasons, some of which implicate negligence on the part of a driver. One such example is using a cell phone while driving, which includes talking on the phone, navigating apps, looking something up, trying to find a song, and any other use of a cellular device by the driver. In other cases, vehicle equipment failure may cause an accident, potentially allowing victims to recover losses from the vehicle manufacturer or the manufacturer of the specific equipment thanks to automotive product liability.
Another common cause of car accidents is poor road design or maintenance, a situation that may impose legal liability on the part of the state or a particular city for any losses sustained by victims of a dangerous road accident or defective highway design accident.
Additional common causes of car accidents include the following:
Especially in the case of a negligent driver, car accidents are commonly associated with property damage. In fact, according to motor vehicle crash data from the NHTSA, of the over 7.2 million police-reported auto accidents in 2016, over 5 million of them involved only property damage. However, even if there is no apparent damage to you or your car, there are some types of vehicle damage and bodily injuries that can go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Whiplash, like other soft tissue injuries, is a prime example of a frequently delayed car accident injury that can cause long-term pain and debilitation once it surfaces.
Some of the more serious injuries sustained from car accidents include:
According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI), in 2016, Florida had 2,933 fatal motor vehicle crashes resulting in 3,174 deaths, the third-highest number of each in the nation. Of those, 53% were single-vehicle crashes. When an accident occurs with only one vehicle, it is likely to have been a speeding accident, vehicle roll over accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or another form of property damage.
That being said, the remaining 47% of multiple-vehicle accidents involved many types of vehicles, which may cause any related personal injury cases to be handled differently. In addition to car accidents, here are some common types of accidents involving other vehicles:
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in an auto accident, our dedicated car accident lawyers are here to help you every step of the way, so you can get the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries.
In addition to the increased fuel consumption and certain legal ramifications, speeding is dangerous for both the driver and anyone else in or near the vehicle. Driving at excessive speeds carries an increased risk of severe or deadly injuries.
2016 statistics from the NHTSA state that 27% of fatal car accidents involved speeding. That is in part due to the increased potential to lose control of the vehicle, possibly leading to an intersection accident involving a red light or a head-on collision. It is also due to the reduced effectiveness of safety equipment, which is especially true in the case of a freeway accident, where speeding drivers often exceed 80 and 90 mph.
A personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney who is familiar with handling car accident cases will be able to review the facts of your accident and advise you as to whether you have a legal claim.
Every year, the Florida DHSMV releases traffic crash data as part of an effort to support public safety and inform relevant policy decisions.
In 2017, the DHSMV found that the majority of Florida car accidents involving minimal to non-incapacitating injuries - over 290,000 - occur on local roads. State roads barely surpassed local roads for most auto accidents resulting in incapacitating injuries by 25, totaling 4,895. In contrast, state roads were significantly in the lead for most fatal car accidents.
Unsurprisingly, there are more motor vehicle accidents in counties with larger populations. Six Florida counties had over 20,000 reported auto accidents in 2017:
It may also be unsurprising that these six counties led Florida in auto accident fatalities. However, there were five additional counties with over 100 fatal auto accidents in 2017. Despite having under 10,000 total reported car accidents, Volusia County led the group with 130 fatal auto accidents. The unfortunate deaths in these five counties are proof that serious car accidents can occur in any Florida city or town.
After a car accident, an uninsured motorist accident, or underinsured motorist accident, can leave a lot to be desired for your injury recovery costs and auto repairs. Most recently, in 2015, the Insurance Information Institute (III) estimated that nearly 27% of Florida motorists were uninsured. Not only is that the highest percentage in the nation, but it means that more than 1 of every 4 drivers you encounter fails to meet Florida's minimum requirements for auto insurance.
This ultimately becomes an issue if you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance to pay for the damages they caused. If you, or a loved one, were involved in an uninsured motorist accident in Florida, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to properly recover from the accident.
After a car accident, the drivers and their vehicles are usually the sole focus, while passenger injuries can go overlooked indefinitely. However, there are ways for a passenger to recover damages after an accident to help them fully and properly recover. Determining the best route for your claim can be a complicated and challenging process. A knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney can begin helping you immediately so that your case can be settled as quickly and fairly as possible.
A rear end accident, or rear end collision, is typically presumed to be the fault of the rear driver. While that is often the case, it is not always the case. With all of the distracted driving going on today, the Florida Supreme Court has made it possible for front drivers to be held partly responsible for negligence that led to the accident. Whether you've been rear-ended or are being sued for rear-ending someone, a personal injury lawyer with experience handling rear end accident cases can help you obtain a fair outcome.
Under Florida’s no-fault insurance law, a driver’s own insurance will cover some expenses associated with a car accident up to certain limits. One of the main reasons that these laws exist is to limit the amount of litigation that occurs because of car accidents caused by negligence. In most cases, however, injured victims will be able to win a claim against another party because of a car accident.
To determine whether you have the right to file a claim, you should discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Experienced personal injury lawyers for car accidents can help.
We have been fighting for the rights of injury victims for over 40 years and will take pride in handling every aspect of your case. Call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.