Traffic Accidents 101
If You’ve Been Injured in a Crash, Let our Florida Traffic Accident Lawyers Help
Recovering after a traffic accident is a much more complicated process than most people understand. From determining whether your losses will exceed your PIP coverage to determining who was at fault in the collision, there are multiple issues that need to be addressed – and overlooking any aspect of any of these issues could mean that you end up settling for less than you deserve. As Florida auto accident lawyers, we routinely hear from people who have learned this the hard way.
So, if you have been injured in a traffic accident in Florida, what do you need to know? What do you need to do? What costly mistakes must you avoid?
1. Common Causes of Traffic Accidents in Florida
Many different factors can cause and contribute to traffic accidents. In a typical scenario, a crash will involve two vehicles, and one of the drivers will be to blame. However, crash scenarios can also become far more complicated, and it is not unusual for multiple driver-related and non-driver-related factors to combine to cause a serious accident. For example, the following are all common factors in serious and fatal vehicle collisions in Florida:
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving – As you might expect, aggressive driving and reckless driving are among the leading causes of traffic accidents in Florida. Speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, and ignoring traffic signs and signals can all be extremely dangerous.
- Distraction, Fatigue and Intoxication – Distracted, drowsy and drunk driving are all alarmingly common factors in traffic accidents, and they all involve similar risks. Drivers who aren’t paying attention and who aren’t capable of responding when faced with an emergency situation are putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
- Road Rage – According to an ABC I-Team Investigation, Florida has the highest rate of road rage incidents in the country. There is no excuse for reckless driving and drivers who lose control and intentionally injure or kill other motorists deserve to be held legally and financially accountable.
- Road Design, Construction and Maintenance Issues – Issues with the road that can cause and contribute to accidents include faulty design (i.e. offramps with bends that are too sharp), faulty construction (i.e. use of substandard construction materials), and maintenance issues (i.e. failure to repair cracked pavement or potholes).
- Vehicle Maintenance Issues and Defects – Vehicle maintenance issues and vehicle defects are common factors in traffic accidents as well. Defective components (i.e. airbags or tires) and faulty maintenance work (i.e. negligent brake repairs) can create liability for vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, repair shops and other companies.
2. Common Legal Issues After Traffic Accidents
So, these are some of the most-common issues that can cause traffic accidents. But, what about issues that come up after accidents? While there is often nothing that unsuspecting drivers can do to avoid serious collisions, there generally are steps injured drivers and passengers can take after accidents to make sure they receive just compensation for their losses. Some examples of issues our Florida car accident lawyers handle on a regular basis include:
- Establishing liability in multi-vehicle accidents – Multiple vehicles means multiple potential causes, multiple insurance companies, and multiple additional challenges when it comes to recovering your losses.
- Overcoming allegations of comparative fault – If the insurance companies accuse you of playing a role in the accident, you will need to overcome these allegations in order to fully recover your financial and non-financial losses.
- Dealing with uninsured and underinsured drivers – Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation, and drivers who purchase only minimal coverage often will not have the insurance required to fully cover accident victims’ losses.
- Dealing with hit–and-run accidents – Recovering after a hit-and-run accident presents many unique challenges as well. While you may be limited to relying on PIP, our lawyers may also be able to help you find another source of financial recovery.
- Establishing third–party liability – Recovering financial compensation from vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, road contractors, drivers’ employers and other third parties requires a strategic approach and skilled legal representation.
3. Our Florida Auto Accident Lawyers Offers Tips for Maximizing Your Recovery
Tip #1: Determine What Insurance Coverage is Available
Are you limited to filing a PIP claim? Are you entitled to fault-based compensation under another driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy? Do you have (and need to use) uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage? These are all critical questions you need to answer.
Tip #2: Know How Much You are Entitled to Recover
When dealing with the insurance companies, it is absolutely essential that you know how much you are entitled to recover. You cannot expect the insurance companies to voluntarily pay the full amount to which you are legally entitled under Florida law.
Tip #3: Avoid Mistakes that Could Jeopardize Your Recovery
Do not ignore your doctor’s advice. Do not return to work before you are ready. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance company. These are just a few examples of all-too-common mistakes that prevent many traffic accident victims from recovering full compensation.
Tip #4: Talk to a Traffic Accident Lawyer Sooner Rather than Later
Another common mistake traffic accident victims make is waiting too long to speak with an attorney. If you have been injured in an accident, you have no reason to wait before you consult with a lawyer. On the other hand, trying to handle your claim on your own could make it more difficult for you (and your lawyer) to recover full compensation later on.
Tip #5: Make Sure You Decide When to Resolve Your Claim
Finally, you cannot afford to let the insurance companies dictate the outcome of your accident claim. You need to take control of the process, and you need to decide when is the right time to settle. Once again, hiring an experienced car crash attorney is the best way to make sure this happens. To get started with a free consultation, contact us today.
Contact the Florida Traffic Accident Lawyers at Searcy Denney
Do you need help recovering financial compensation for losses you sustained as a result of a traffic accident in Florida? To speak with our experienced Florida auto accident lawyers at Searcy Denney for free, please call 800-220-7006 or request an appointment online now. No recovery? You owe us nothing.