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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?

Car Accident

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 IntoxicationDistracted, 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.

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.

Common Injuries in Traffic Accidents

Car accidents can result in all types of injuries. From scrapes and burns to organ damage and other forms of internal trauma, accident victims will often need treatment for multiple serious (and, in some cases life-threatening) conditions. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered in car accidents include:

Bone Fractures and Dislocations

The forces involved in a car accident can be more than enough to break any bone in the human body. Fractures can result from twisting or overextending or from colliding with the dashboard or another firm object. While bone fractures can vary in terms of their severity, a prompt diagnosis is critical, and surgery will be necessary in many cases. Some of the bones that are most susceptible to fracture in a car accident are:

  • Clavicle (collar bone)
  • Femur (in the thigh)
  • Fibula and tibia (in the calf)
  • Humerus (in the upper arm)
  • Phalanges and phalanx bones (in the hands and feet)
  • Rib bones
  • Ulna and radius (in the lower arm)

Dislocations are common car accident injuries as well. A dislocation occurs when two bones separate at a joint. These injuries are particularly common in the shoulders, elbows, fingers, knees and hips. Bone dislocations can be incredibly painful, and treatment needs vary based on the severity of these injuries as well.


Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and they are also among the most common injuries suffered in car accidents. Even if a driver’s or passenger’s airbag deploys, the force of the airbag deployment can be enough to cause a concussion. Concussions also commonly result from impacts with steering wheels, dashboards, seatbacks, side pillars, and other vehicle components.

While concussions are classified as a “mild” form of TBI, they are still serious injuries that require prompt medical treatment. As a result, if you are experiencing headaches, vision problems or any other symptoms of a concussion following a car accident, you should discuss your symptoms with a doctor as soon as possible.

Neck and Back Injuries

Neck and back injuries are also fairly common in car accidents. For example, many car accident victims will experience lower back pain, whiplash or both. Fractured vertebrae and slipped discs (or herniated discs) are common car accident injuries as well. All neck and back injuries need to be taken very seriously, as they can potentially lead to long-term complications without prompt and proper medical care. In addition to pain, common symptoms of neck and back injuries include stiffness, reduced range of motion, muscle weakness, and numbness and tingling sensations.

Severe Burns

During car accidents, severe burns can result from fires, explosions, exposure to extreme heat and even airbag deployment. Along with being extremely painful, severe burns can also cause physical limitations and lead to permanent scarring. In addition to seeking just compensation for their medical bills and lost wages, accident victims who suffer severe burns (and other severe injuries) can also seek just compensation for these “non-financial” losses under Florida law.

Soft Tissue Damage

The human body has several types of soft tissue that connect the joints and protect the body’s vital organs. The three primary types of soft tissue at risk for being damaged in a car accident are muscles, ligaments and tendons.

In many cases, the forces involved in a car accident will stretch soft tissue beyond its limit. This overextension can cause pain, limited range of motion and a variety of other symptoms. When a muscle or tendon overextends, this is referred to as a “strain.” When a ligament overextends, this is referred to as a “sprain.”

If a muscle, ligament or tendon overextends beyond the point of a strain or sprain, it can tear. While strains and sprains can require surgery in some cases, surgery is almost always necessary with a tear—especially if the tear is “complete.” With a complete tear, the torn ends of the soft tissue separate, and surgical intervention is necessary to bring the ends back together so that the tissue can heal.

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.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"The attorneys and staff at Searcy Denney are some of the most compassionate and caring individuals I have met in the legal field. They work tirelessly on behalf of their clients to ensure the best possible outcome. I would highly recommend them for anyone who is seeking excellent legal representation."
Posted By: Lauren Schumacher