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It is rare when watching the news, reading the paper, or browsing the internet, that you won’t see or hear about a car accident. At times, it is right down the road from where you live, or in the intersection, you drove through just minutes before impact. We are all too often just seconds away from an automobile accident that could change our lives forever, or take it.
If you’ve experienced an auto accident, contact the Burnetti Law Firm for a free consultation.
Auto accidents can occur at any time, in any location. It has been said that most car accidents happen just minutes from your home. The reason is thought to be due to drivers having a false sense of security in their own neighborhood, with knowing the roads, lights, and their surroundings. They tend to be slightly less careful when they feel at home. It is also a time when people tend not to wear seatbelts when otherwise they would. The person behind you, or heading your way, might not know the area at all. And, if they cross the line, run a red light, or are busy looking at the street signs, it doesn’t matter how well you know the area if you get in their way. An auto accident attorney might tell you that a false sense of security could easily be a common thread among a client base.
Regardless though, near home, or far away, there are a few common reasons behind a cause of auto accidents. If you find yourself a victim of a car accident in Tampa, contact Burnetti, P.A., an experienced Tampa team of attorneys specializing in auto accidents.
However, trying to avoid an accident is important, no matter who might be at fault. And, to avoid an auto accident, it makes sense to know some of the more common reasons they occur.
Texting While Driving Can Cause A Car Accident
There have been numerous reports and articles for quite some time now just how distracting and dangerous texting while driving can be. Yet, it still happens. It doesn’t take long to see someone who is texting on any road, at any given time. You can easily spot it, the driver’s head looking down or to the side, crossing over the lines, speeding up or slowing down for no apparent reason. Despite people saying they can drive while texting, it is distracting. It can also be deadly.
And, Tampa is the 2nd highest county in Florida for distracted-driver accidents in 2016. The laws are cracking down, and officers are looking for it. So, if you want to avoid an accident or a legal fight, pull over to text, or turn the phone off. If you are a victim of an accident involving the other driver’s texting, call a Tampa auto accident attorney to help recoup some of your loss.
More Distracted Driving
Playing with the music channels might get you to your favorite song. But, it can also get you in trouble if you don’t notice the car suddenly stopping in front you. Or, crossing the line, even for just a split second, can lead to a deadly crash. Other means of distraction include:
- Picking up something that dropped
- Eating or drinking
- Turning to talk to the kids in the back seat
- Reading a map
- Gawking at a car pulled over, for whatever reason
So many things can be distracting. If you find yourself being distracted by something or someone, pull over until it subsides.
Seems like common sense. But, yet people speed all the time. Speed limits exist for reasons other than making our lives complicated. Going too fast and losing control, or even too slow and forcing others to go around you, is a common cause of auto accidents. Pay attention to the speed limit signs and stick to them unless the weather or conditions of the road are bad.
Florida isn’t notorious for snow. So, Tampa drivers don’t have to worry about ice too often, or tracking through deep snow. However, rain, fog, and the wind can also wreak havoc on the roads. If the weather is questionable, adjust your speed or pull over. If others are not slowing down, and it’s making you uncomfortable, pull over for a while.
Just as with texting and driving, driving under the influence continues to be a problem, despite the multitude of information on it available to all drivers. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows down the reactionary ability. Quick decisions are slowed down, such as the ability to stop, turn with the curves in the road, or stop at a red light.
Want to go out for a drink or two? Have a designated driver, or call a cab. Never get behind the wheel after drinking, even if you feel you are still in control of your faculties. If you are a victim of a drunk driving auto accident, call the attorneys at Burnetti, P.A., of Tampa.
It seems everyone is in a hurry these days. Our lives are packed full of various activities such as jobs, sports for the kids, school events, and more. But, taking curves faster than we should, passing when we shouldn’t, riding another car’s bumper, changing lanes quickly without checking, won’t always get us where we are going quicker.
In fact, it rarely does. Even if you aren’t pulled over, or crash, studies show that all that effort is for naught. If you get there quicker, it might be seconds, not minutes. Have you ever had someone fly by you on the road, only to see them at the same red light as you within the next few minutes?
Every car has them, and they make it difficult to see everything around you while driving, especially when changing lanes. It’s best to check both side mirrors and the rear-view mirror before making a lane change. Turn your signal on, look, wait for a second, look again, then change when it is safe to proceed.
Also, try not to drive in the blind spots of the cars around you, except for passing and moving out of their blind spot quickly.
Driving While Tired
Operating a vehicle while overly tired is similar to drunk driving. It will slow down your senses. There are several suggestions as to what one can do if feeling drowsy behind the wheel; however, the best advice is to pull over immediately if you are tired. It could save not only your life, but also the lives of innocent others with which you are sharing the roadway. Drowsy driving is dangerous and can result in considerable damages.
Lack of Maintenance
A lack of maintenance can pertain to the vehicle or the conditions of the roadway. Hitting a pothole going down the highway can cause a driver to lose control, especially if it causes damage to the car. But, your vehicle should also be properly maintained to help prevent car accidents. There are several other factors to proper maintenance for a vehicle, all of which could potentially create a dangerous situation if not addressed properly in a timely fashion. Brake pads, proper fluid levels, tire tread, clean windshields, and properly replaced belts and hoses are just a few of the items on a vehicle that can contribute to an accident if not maintained before getting on the roadway.
These are some of the more common causes of auto accidents in Tampa. And, if you find that you are a victim of one, and the other driver was at fault and careless, consult with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney to learn about your rights. The attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. are ready to help with your car accident.
Every single month you pay your insurance policy. You budget for it; you make sure it is paid. And then the unforeseen happens, and you do not have the money to pay the installment. Car insurance is short-term insurance, which means that you pay for the month in the month. If you don’t pay, you don’t have cover for that month.
In 2011, the Insurance Research Council found that almost 14% of drivers in the United States do not have insurance coverage, which means that the likelihood of being in a car accident without insurance held by both parties is much higher. If you do have car insurance, there are six basic aspects that are covered in the policy. It is important to first understand these before you can understand what happens if you are uninsured.
Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, Florida.
What does car insurance cover?
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that are caused to the driver and the passengers during the accident. Next up is property damage liability. This covers the repairs to the other vehicles involved, as well as buildings, fences, etc. Collision insurance covers the damage that is caused to your vehicle and property. This pays out regardless if it was your fault or not. Personal injury protection is the cover that pays out for the injuries that you and the passengers in your car sustained. Comprehensive cover is there for when the damage to your vehicle is caused by incidents other than accidents. These incidents include vandalism and natural disasters. The last component is the coverage for the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This covers costs and damages that are caused by a hit-and-run driver, a driver without insurance or a driver who does not possess adequate insurance coverage. Can you imagine the financial consequences if you are uninsured and you get sued for all the above mentioned?
Florida is a no-fault state.
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. It means that if a motor accident happens, each driver’s insurance must pay for the damages regardless of who is at fault, which can be tricky as well as frustrating.
If you are uninsured and you are the one to cause an accident, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for that damage to that driver’s vehicle. If the other driver that is involved is also uninsured or underinsured, it is a good positive thing for you, as they are then responsible for their repairs and the cost attached.
Auto insurance policies cover the basics such as damage and medical bills. If the accident has caused permanent physical damage, injury or disability, then they can pursue a civil lawsuit against you. It is best to seek legal advice immediately.
If you are uninsured and you are in an accident with another vehicle whose driver is also uninsured, then you have a bit of problem. You will then be liable to pay for the damages to your car. Medical expenses, wages lost, and other property damage will also be out of your pocket. Even if you have another form of insurance, it will not be covered because you did not have motor vehicle insurance.
There will also be a penalty that you will face because you drove without insurance. This penalty is usually a fine or a suspension of your driver’s license. When you want to reinstate your driver’s license, it will cost you about $150. After that, it is $500 for every subsequent violation. If you do not have the funds to pay for the reinstatement and is caught driving without a license, you will face more penalties and even jail time.
When you have sustained serious injuries or are left permanently disabled, you can file a civil lawsuit against the other driver. The driver who is at fault. With this lawsuit, you will be able to recover, among other expenses, pain and suffering and medical expenses. To determine whether you have a case concerning a car accident without insurance, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer.
What is comparative fault law in Florida?
In the state of Florida, they have a comparative fault law. This means that both parties can be at fault and both can be held financially responsible for damages done, especially in a car accident without insurance coverage. When you are in an auto accident with another driver that decided to disregard a red light, you would probably think that the other driver is 100% at fault. However, if it is found that the other driver’s vehicle was not fully functioning, that driver can also be held at fault for damages. The driver that disregarded the stop light might argue that if the other driver’s vehicle was functioning at 100%, the impact of the accident might have been smaller. A judge might then come to the conclusion both parties were responsible for a portion of the damages.
It is incredibly dangerous to drive without insurance, even if you live in Florida where you will be liable for your damages. The problem does not just exist with the actual damages of the vehicles; the problem lies with the civil suits that could potentially be brought against you. As mentioned, the driver, as well as all the passengers involved, can hold you personally responsible for permanent injuries or disability. This comes at great cost, and you can even lose your home. Also, a legal defense in these type of lawsuits can be costly.
To Insure or Not to Insure?
Lastly, if you do not have insurance, you are on your own. The same can be said if you are in a car accident without insurance. The medical bills alone will bankrupt you if you are seriously injured. Lawsuits take a long time to come to a conclusion and reach a verdict. You cannot bargain on getting any form of compensation from a civil suit. Your life can be ruined by not having insurance on your vehicle in an accident. There are multiple policies that offer affordable car insurance on the market. If you do the research, you will be able to find insurance that falls into your budget. The bottom line is that you do not want to be the unfortunate person that is in a car accident without insurance.
Our client was involved in a serious automobile crash where the at-fault driver swerved into the lane behind them on the interstate, hitting the vehicle behind them. The collision caused that vehicle to hit our client’s car so hard that it flipped and landed on the roof. Our client suffered serious injuries to her wrist, elbow, neck, shoulders and back requiring several epidural steroid injections. She continues to receive follow up care for her injuries.
Our client, a police officer, was involved in a hit and run while he was on the side of the road helping a woman with car trouble. While offering his assistance, our client was severely injured by a negligent driver and spent weeks in the hospital. We settled with our client’s uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance for $100,000.
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was going the wrong way on a highway. When the driver attempted to pull off the shoulder, another vehicle rear ended them.
An at-fault driver turned in front of our client who was riding a motorcycle, causing our client to collide with the vehicle. Our client flew over the vehicle’s hood and landed on the pavement. Burnetti, P.A. was able to obtain $100,000 for him.
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that ran a stop sign and t-boned another vehicle. We were able to obtain $100,000 on her behalf.
Many significant settlements obtained by Burnetti, P.A. for its clients are governed by confidentiality agreements and are not listed.