Motor vehicle accidents injure millions of people in the United States each year, sometimes seriously. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that 2.24 million people were injured in traffic accidents in 2010 alone. A significant number of these accidents occur on highways, where higher speed limits and other factors can make them particularly dangerous. Highway accidents are capable of causing serious injuries, some of which may leave victims with lifelong medical complications or disabilities.
These issues may result in significant current and future medical expenses, and may result in victims being unable to work or even perform basic daily tasks. Fortunately, these and other losses may be compensable through a Florida personal injury claim. An attorney will be able to help you determine whether and against whom you may have a claim after a Florida highway accident, and will also be able to help you maximize your chances of recovering for your losses.
Highway accidents can occur for a number of reasons. As in any other case alleging personal injury, a plaintiff must establish that some other party’s negligence caused the accident. While there are almost innumerable ways that a Florida accident can occur, some are more common than others. These common causes include:
It is essential for victims to determine how their accident occurred in order to be able to establish legal liability. In addition, people who are involved in highway accidents should record as much information about the accident as they can. If possible, pictures of the immediate aftermath of the accident can be extremely helpful in piecing together what occurred. Finally, you should be sure to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you do not believe that you have sustained any serious injuries. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not become symptomatic for days or even weeks after an accident occurs.
While the majority of motor vehicle accidents occur because of driver error, many do not. A significant number of accidents are the result of poor highway design or negligent maintenance. Issues such as rundown bridges, overgrown vegetation, poor signage, or worn-out pavement can all cause serious accidents. Generally speaking, state agencies and local governments are responsible for highway design and maintenance, so any claim arising from an accident that was caused by defective highway design or maintenance will be against the government. While the Florida Tort Claims Act authorizes tort claims against the state and its various subdivisions, these actions are much different than tort claims against private parties.
For example, you must file a claim with the particular agency that you believe is responsible for your injury and have that claim denied prior to initiating a lawsuit. In addition, there are caps on the amount that victims can recover as well as strict time limits regarding when a claim may be filed. As a result, it is advisable for anyone injured in an accident that they believe was the result of poor highway design or maintenance to discuss their case with an attorney familiar with handling similar cases. You can call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.