Car Accident Lawyers in Tampa, Florida
Anyone that has had to go to court for car accident in Tampa Bay Florida knows the important role of Tampa auto accident attorneys. Auto accidents of a serious nature can become very complicated. Often an auto accident lawyer will not only get larger auto accidents settlements, car accident lawyers will eliminate a lot of the hassles that the complications of car accident injuries can cause. For example a Tampa Bay car accident attorney can provide the victim of a car wreck peace of mind. An auto accident attorney can often obtain a much quicker settlement for the car wreck victim. If you were involved in a car wreck in Tampa Bay or surrounding areas, contact an automobile accident attorney without delay. Our Tampa Bay law firms have car accident lawyers that have knowledge and experience to get top settlements on the most difficult Tampa car crash accidents.
Tampa is an enjoyable place both to live and visit. More than 358,000 people make Tampa their home and millions more visit the area each year to enjoy the water, sights, parks, and more. Unfortunately, with the booming tourism and growing population, the density of motor vehicles on the roads has quickly increased and can often become dangerous.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), in a single year, more than 194,000 people sustained injuries and 2,444 people died in traffic-related crashes across the state. In addition, a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further analyzed traffic accident data by metropolitan areas and found that Tampa had one of the highest rates of fatal car accidents in the entire United States. Because of the high risk of auto accidents, injuries, and death on the roads of Tampa, everyone should be aware of the most common causes of collisions and of their legal rights should an accident occur.
Tampa Auto Accident Attorneys – Types of Automobile Accidents
Often, the type and severity of injuries sustained in a car accident depend upon the type of collision that happened and the kinds of vehicles involved. For example, the resulting injuries may naturally be more serious in a collision between a small passenger and a large commercial truck on the highway than they would in a crash between two similar-sized SUVs on a residential street. However, every type of car accident has the potential to cause serious injuries no matter what type of automobile accidents, or at what speed the vehicles were traveling. The following are some common types of Tampa Fl car crash collisions that can lead to serious injuries:
- Head-on collision – This crash occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another vehicle. This often results from one vehicle leaving their designated lane and crossing over a double yellow line or median.
- Rear-end collision – This happens when the front of one vehicle runs into the back of another vehicle. Though this type of crash most often occurs at slower speeds, it can still cause severe injuries, especially to the neck and back.
- Broadside – Also commonly known as a “T-bone,” a broadside occurs when the front of one car crashes into the side of another car, which often happens in intersections. The side of a car does not have the same bumpers, crumple-zones, or other protections that the front and back have, so this type of crash regularly leads to devastating injuries.
- Rollover – A rollover accident can result from a collision or from another trigger, such as a tire hitting a curb or blowing out. Certain types of vehicles are more prone to rollover and these vehicles are not always equipped with the adequate roll bars or roll cages needed to protect vehicle occupants from head trauma and other serious injuries.
- Collisions with non-occupants – In many cases, a car accident can involve a vehicle and someone who is not inside another vehicle. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are all regularly involved in serious collisions with cars and trucks. Because these non-occupants have little to no protection from outside forces, the injuries resulting from these collisions are often catastrophic.
Common Injuries In Car Accidents
Whether a person is involved in a rear-end “fender bender” or a head-on crash at high speeds, there is still a high risk that serious and long-lasting injuries may result. Many injuries from car accidents require extensive and costly medical care and can significantly affect the lives of victims, sometimes permanently. The following are brief descriptions of some injuries that often result from various types of car accidents. Car accident injury lawyers can prove beneficial in all Tampa car accidents.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – Traumatic brain injury occurs from a direct trauma to the head or from the brain rattling in the skull from a sudden jolt, which is common in car accidents. When the brain hits the skull, it can damage tissue that disrupts usual brain functioning. Victims of TBI can be left unconscious for an extended period of time and can experience long-lasting physical, cognitive, and/or emotional difficulties. Even victims of mild TBI (such as a concussion) will require immediate medical attention and a recovery period to reduce the risk of further injury.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) – The spinal cord is essential to send messages from the brain through the network of nerves and axons to various parts of the body. After a direct blow to the spine, a victim may suffer a fracture or dislocation of the spinal vertebrae. This can cause bone, ligaments, or other material to damage the delicate tissue of the spinal cord, causing disruption in nerve functioning. Many SCI victims sustain disruption in sensory and movement abilities and while some regain functioning, others are left permanently paralyzed below the point of the damage. This type of injury can be difficult for a Tampa car accident lawyer to prove because the injury may not be apparent.
Fractures – Car accidents in Tampa often result in broken bones. These types of Tampa auto accidents happen every day. Some simply cause pain and inconvenience while the fracture heals. However, bone fractures can be serious and can require significant medical treatment and recovery time. Compound fractures often require surgery to insert screws or pins and victims cannot do any walking or weight- bearing activities for an extended period of time. Lengthy physical therapy is usually needed to recover from such an injury. In addition, victims may sustain facial or jaw fractures that require substantial treatment and may leave victims permanently scarred or disfigured. These are easy cases to prove because any Tampa car accident lawyer need to do to prove the injuries is to obtain medical x-rays of the injuries.
Neck and back injuries – Damage to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, or other soft tissue in the neck or back is common, especially in rear-end collisions. While injuries such as “whiplash” are often considered to be relatively minor, they can cause chronic pain and limitations on mobility. Often, extensive physical therapy and medication are necessary to manage this type of injury and surgery may be required to fully recover from some neck or back injuries.
Internal organ damage – Injuries from car accidents are not always external. Instead, many victims experience internal bleeding or internal organ damage from the trauma of a collision. A punctured lung, ruptured spleen, or damaged kidneys, liver, or bowels can all cause serious complications for an accident victim. Emergency treatment is needed to stop any bleeding, repair organs, and generally stabilize victims.
Amputations – In some particularly serious accidents, a victim may suffer the loss of a limb or digit. However, even if a body part was not completely severed in the crash, the damage to an extremity may so severe that medical professionals decide to surgically amputate. Crushed limbs, completely shattered bones, and other irreparable conditions may lead to the life-changing loss of a body part, and victims will experience substantial limitations and may need costly prosthetics.
Burns – Car accidents can lead to serious burns in several ways. For example, a collision may start a fire or cause an explosion, which can leave anyone nearby with severe burns. Additionally, if a victim is thrown from a vehicle or bicycle or if a pedestrian is knocked to the ground, serious friction burns (also called “road rash”) can result. Even minor burns are painful, can lead to infection, and can cause scarring. Serious burns often require hospitalization and long-term treatment, commonly leaving victims with disfigurement.
Negligence Can Lead To Accidents
Traffic collisions can occur for many different reasons and some accidents may be completely unavoidable. However, a substantial number of collisions happen because a person or party acted in a negligent manner. Negligence is a legal concept that occurs when the following are true:
- A party owed a certain duty of care to the victim;
- The party breached that duty of care through an act or omission;
- The breach of duty caused or contributed to the car accident and injuries; and
- The victim incurred actual losses because of the accident and injuries.
If negligence is identified in a car accident, any injured victims may be able to hold the negligent party or parties liable for the losses they incurred. Some negligent acts that can lead to traffic accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the U.S. due to the rise of smartphones and other handheld mobile devices. In one year, crashes caused by distracted driving led to an estimated 424,000 injuries and 3,154 deaths. Anyone who participates in an activity that is visually, manually, or cognitively distracting while driving can be found negligent.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) – Individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face criminal charges under Florida law, however, they also can face civil liability for any accidents and injuries that resulted from the DUI.
- Aggressive driving – Drivers who allow their impatience to cause them to drive in an aggressive and dangerous manner regularly cause serious collisions and injuries. Some examples of aggressive driving behaviors are excessive speeding, tailgating (following another vehicle too closely), threatening other drivers, obsessive honking or flashing lights, swerving in and out of traffic, passing on the shoulder, and more.
- Violating other traffic laws or signals – Even if a driver’s behavior is not aggressive, any violation of a traffic safety law or traffic signal can lead to a crash. Violating the speed limit, failing to signal, driving without a license, failing to yield, running red lights or stop signs, and more can all cause serious collisions.
- Defective auto manufacturing – Drivers are not the only ones who can be negligent and cause crashes. If a manufacturer makes and sells a defective auto part, the part can malfunction on the road and cause a driver to lose control and crash. Parts that often malfunction and cause accidents include tires, brakes, steering systems, airbags, among others.
- Hazardous road conditions – The party responsible for maintaining a roadway can also be negligent if they fail to properly inspect the roadway for defects, maintain the road, repair any defects in a timely manner, or adequately warn motorists of any potential hazards. Potholes, cracks, sharp curves, dangerous intersections, and uneven roads are examples of road conditions that may be hazardous.
The above are only some of the many acts of negligence that can lead to a car accident and serious injuries to those involved.
Obtaining Compensation For Your Accident-Related Losses
By law, Florida has “no-fault” auto insurance, which means that an individual’s own insurance policy should provide compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and other injury-related losses whether or not they were at fault in the collision. However, this does not stop insurance companies from disputing certain losses, questioning the severity of injuries or necessity of treatments, or using other tactics to limit payouts. For this reason, the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer who understands Florida no-fault insurance laws can be critical in helping to receive the full amount of compensation that a victim deserves. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with an insurance company and provide evidence to support the full value of a claim.
While the no-fault laws limit an injured victim’s right to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurer or a legal claim directly against a negligent party, there are some exceptions. The main exception is in cases involving either of the following:
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring; or
- Permanent injury.
In such cases, losses can be extensive and can include much more than medical bills and lost wages. By filing a claim for personal injury, a victim may seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, and more. The legal process in a car accident case can be complicated, however, and requires the presentation of enough evidence to adequately prove that the other party was negligent. Having an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer handling the case is critical to ensure a victim obtains the full amount of recovery for their losses.
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers and Florida Laws Regarding Car Accidents
In addition to no-fault insurance laws, Florida has additional laws that can be relevant in a car accident case. For example, the law sets out a statute of limitations that dictates how long an injured victim has to bring a legal claim in cases of serious injury. The statute of limitations for claims for personal injury caused in a traffic accident is four years from the date of the accident and injuries, including holidays and weekends. It is important to note that the time to make a claim against the government (such as in cases of dangerous road conditions or involving government- employed drivers) is much shorter, so victims should never delay in consulting with a car accident injury attorney about their rights.
Additionally, once a victim has filed a claim, the other party may attempt to avoid liability by alleging the victim was also partially to blame for the collision. Fortunately, in such situations, Florida’s comparative fault law still allows an injured person to recover even if they partially contributed to the accident. Fault would be attributed to each party by percentage and a victim’s recovery would simply be reduced by the percentage of their own fault. For this reason, no one should hesitate to discuss their accident case with a Tampa car accident lawyer even if they believed that they were also partially negligent in the crash.
Tampa Bay Car Accidents What To Do After A Car Accident In Tampa
Car accidents are stressful and often traumatic events and there is no surprise that victims often do not know how to proceed after a crash. Failing to take certain steps, however, can jeopardize a victim’s chance of full financial recovery at a later date. First, every car accident victim should always seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident. Even if no serious injuries are apparent, a medical professional will be able to conduct tests and diagnose any and all conditions resulting from the collision. This is important because the effects of injuries can worsen over time and it is important to have medical records documenting the diagnosis and further connecting the injuries with the car accident.
In addition, if medically able, an accident victim should gather as much information as possible from other parties involved in the accident, witnesses of the accident, police officers, or anyone else on the scene. Having the contact information of these individuals will be important should a legal claim arise. A victim should also take photos of the scene of the accident, if possible, or make notes of any conditions they recall, including weather conditions, traffic signals, road conditions, and more. Such details can help to identify negligence in the accident if needed.
Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyers – Tampa Auto Accident Attorneys Offer A Free Consultation
Tampa Bay car accident law firms have the best car accident attorneys that handle the tough auto accident cases. By contacting our firm you will quickly learn by talking to a car accident lawyer, we have the expertise and experience to handle any Florida car accident and win the biggest settlement for you. For car accidents that take place on Tampa highways, it is always best to choose an automobile accident lawyer familiar with laws that pertain to the Tampa Bay area. So, of course, choosing an car accident lawyer that is familiar with Florida car accident laws will be your best choice. A Tampa car accident lawyer will help get bigger settlements faster. Our auto accident law firms have auto accident attorneys on board that handle the touch cases.
So if you have had an automobile accident in Tampa Fl, contact one our Tampa auto accident law firm closest to you to speak to a Tampa car accident attorney. If you need car accident legal advice, we have a Tampa car accident injury lawyer that will give you a FREE consultation. Call and speak to a Tampa car Accident Lawyer today let us do the work while you, the victim, can focus on your recovery.