Sarasota Car Accident Attorneys
Helping Victims Recover After Serious Vehicle Collisions in Sarasota, FL
Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases in the United States. While most are considered fender-benders, many result in injuries and even fatalities. If you were involved in a car accident in Sarasota, you may be eligible for compensation. At Burnetti, P.A., our attorneys have over two centuries of combined legal experience and have helped thousands of people recover the compensation they deserve after car crashes. We will fight to protect your rights and obtain the most favorable outcome in your case.
Common Types of Car Accidents
A car accident refers to a collision involving one or more vehicles, resulting in damage to the vehicles and potentially causing injuries or fatalities to the individuals involved. Car accidents can occur for various reasons, including human error, environmental factors, mechanical failures, or a combination of these.
Common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end Collisions: These occur when one vehicle hits the back of another. They often happen in traffic jams or when a driver fails to maintain a safe following distance.
- Head-on Collisions: In these accidents, the front ends of two vehicles collide. Head-on collisions are often severe and can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Side-impact Collisions (T-bone): This type occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. Intersections are common locations for T-bone collisions.
- Single-vehicle Accidents: These involve only one vehicle and can result from factors such as running off the road, hitting a stationary object, or rolling over.
- Multi-vehicle Pileups: These accidents involve three or more vehicles and often occur on highways or freeways. Poor weather conditions, low visibility, or sudden stops can contribute to pileups.
- Sideswipe Collisions: This happens when the sides of two parallel-moving vehicles make contact. Sideswipes can occur during lane changes or merging.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents: In these incidents, a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene without stopping to identify themselves or provide necessary information.
- Collisions with Pedestrians or Bicyclists: Accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists and vehicles can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. They often occur at intersections or in areas with heavy foot or bicycle traffic.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can result from various factors, often involving a combination of elements. Here are some common causes of car accidents:
- Distracted Driving: One of the leading causes, distracted driving includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car entertainment systems while driving.
- Speeding: Driving at speeds higher than the posted limits or too fast for road conditions reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.
- Impaired Driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver's coordination, reaction time, and judgment.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and disregarding traffic rules contribute to accidents.
- Fatigue: Driving while tired or drowsy can impair concentration and reaction times, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven surfaces, and poorly maintained roads can contribute to accidents by causing loss of control or damage to vehicles.
- Running Red Lights/Stop Signs: Disregarding traffic signals and signs can lead to dangerous intersection collisions.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Lack of experience, particularly among younger drivers, can contribute to poor decision-making and increased vulnerability to accidents.
- Vehicle Defects: Mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, can lead to accidents. Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial to preventing such issues.
- Tailgating: Following other vehicles too closely reduces the time available to react, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions.
- Failure to Yield: Not giving the right of way when required, such as at intersections or when merging, can result in accidents.
- Incorrect Lane Changes: Failing to signal, not checking blind spots, or making abrupt lane changes can lead to collisions.
- Poor Visibility: Driving at night without proper lighting, using high beams inappropriately, or having dirty or foggy windshields can contribute to accidents.
Florida No-Fault Insurance Laws
Florida is one of a few states that has a no-fault insurance system. Under no-fault insurance, drivers are required to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you are injured in a car accident, your PIP coverage will pay for your medical expenses, no matter who was at fault for the crash. If you were not at fault and your medical expenses exceed your PIP coverage, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance for additional compensation.
PIP insurance covers the following:
- Your medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, and follow-up visits
- Your prescription medications
- Up to 60% of your lost wages if you are unable to work
- Some of your non-medical expenses, such as transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and other essential errands
- Death benefits
PIP insurance does not cover property damage, such as damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you are involved in a car accident and suffer a serious injury, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance for additional compensation.
Florida law defines a “serious injury” as one that results in significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, or significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function. A Sarasota car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine what compensation you may be eligible for.
What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident, it is important to stay calm and take the proper steps to protect yourself and your rights.
Here are some steps you should take after a car accident:
- Check for injuries: If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately and request an ambulance. Do not attempt to move anyone who is injured as you may cause further harm.
- Call the police: Even if no one is injured, you should still call the police and report the accident. They will create an official report that can be helpful if you need to file a claim.
- Exchange information: Get the other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information as well.
- Take pictures: Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle, the other vehicle, and any property. If there are any visible injuries, such as bruises or cuts, take pictures of those as well.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you do not think you are injured, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and soft tissue injuries, may not have immediate symptoms.
- Report the accident to your insurance company: You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. However, you should not provide a recorded statement or sign any documents until you speak to an attorney.
- Contact a car accident lawyer: A car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and what compensation you may be eligible for. They can also help you file a claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Sarasota?
Many car accident victims want to know what their case is worth. However, it is impossible to determine the value of a case without first reviewing all the facts. The value of a car accident case will depend on the severity of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and other factors. In a car accident claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages, which are meant to punish the negligent party for their actions.
Our Sarasota car accident attorneys can review the details of your case and help you understand what compensation you may be able to recover. Let us maximize your entitled damages.
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