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Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyers

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by | Nov 4, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Tampa Car Accidents

Based on the latest statistics, a death occurs as a result of a motor vehicle accident on average every 16 minutes. An injury occurs from a motor vehicle accident every 14 seconds.

The primary causes of these injuries and deaths are impaired driving (alcohol and drugs), speeding, running red lights, fatigue and distracted driving.

On average, over 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Additionally, speed is a contributing factor in approximately 30% of all fatal crashes in the U.S.

An injury occurs from a motor vehicle accident every 14 seconds.

While the dangers of impaired driving have been known now for years, the incidents of alcohol-related deaths are still on the rise. Another disturbing trend contributing to automobile accidents in the U.S. is the rise of cellphone use.

A recent study found that among drivers aged 18-29, almost half (48%) accessed social media while driving. Obviously, this type of distracted driving can lead to disastrous consequences.

Determining the cause of a motor vehicle accident is not always straightforward. Oftentimes, there is conflicting eyewitness testimony and recreating the events that led to the accident can be difficult. At Burnett Law, P.A., our attorneys have consulted with numerous accident reconstruction experts over the years and, if necessary, we will retain the expert services you need to prove your case.

What To Do After A Florida Car Accident

The moments following a car accident can be traumatic, stressful and confusing. Your immediate concern (of course) should be your safety and the safety of your passengers.

If the accident occurs in the middle of the street, try to move to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. You should only leave an injured victim in the middle of the road if you suspect spine or neck injuries, as moving such an individual can result in additional injuries.

If possible, set up road flares or markers alerting other drivers of the accident and summon emergency medical help. If the car accident occurred because of the carelessness of another driver, motorcyclist, or bicyclist, you and any passengers of yours who are injured may be entitled to compensation.

To assist your Florida car accident attorney in preparing and presenting your case – and to increase your chances of a favorable outcome – you should take the following steps after a car accident:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as it is practical, even if you feel okay or do not believe you need assistance. Sometimes symptoms of serious injuries may not appear for hours or even days after a car accident. The sooner you seek out medical attention and are diagnosed with an injury, the easier it becomes to prove that your injuries were in fact caused by the accident.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, if you are able to do so. Sometimes accident scenes and injury victims are cleaned up before photographs can be taken. This can result in an accident reconstructionist, a judge, or a jury making a wrong assumption about the cause of the accident or the extent of your injuries.
  • Refrain from admitting fault. Even simple phrases like “I’m so sorry” or “I didn’t see the light change” can be used against you to establish that you were responsible – in part or in whole – for the accident. This can result in a reduction of your compensation award. In some extreme cases, you may be precluded from obtaining any compensation at all because of your words.
  • Write down important details, including how the accident occurred, who was involved, statements admitting fault made by the other driver, and injuries you and your passengers sustained. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. These important details can help you prove your case but can become difficult to remember accurately after a period of time.

What Are The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?

Did you know that the State of Florida had 401,482 motor vehicle accidents in 2021?

We’ve seen our share of car wrecks here in Tampa, Florida. Whether the driver was distracted while driving on Interstate 275, Bayshore Boulevard, or Columbus Drive, it’s a common occurrence.

Distracted driving, speeding, running red lights, and poor road conditions are often among these common causes of Tampa auto accidents:

  • Rear-end accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Drunk driving
  • Wrong-way accidents

Below, we will discuss each of the most common causes of car accidents in greater detail.

Rear-End Accidents

The car behind the leading vehicle has a duty to keep a safe distance. If the trailing car behind hits the leading vehicle, this is a rear-end accident. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 29% of motor vehicle accidents are rear-ended collisions.

Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision is when two vehicles are traveling on opposite sides of the road and collide. However, a vehicle crashing into a light pole or tree is also considered a head-on collision.

Drunk-Driving

The Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 5,090 alcohol-impaired driving crashes occurred in 2021.  Florida car accidents involving a drunk driver can be devastating. The drunk driver is negligent and at fault.

Wrong-Way Accidents

Driving in the opposite direction of traffic can cause horrific accidents. Entering the highway via the off-ramp instead of the proper entrance causes many wrong-way accidents each year.

From 2015-2018, 135 people were killed in wrong-way accidents in the state of Florida.

We understand that suffering from a motor vehicle accident can be life-changing. But having an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer that has years of expertise in getting the compensation you’re entitled to is important.

What Are The Most Frequent Types of Injuries Associated With Auto Collisions?

Tampa auto accidents are a leading cause of personal injury, from minor bruises to serious injuries like broken bones, fractures, whiplash, and back injuries.

However, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to mild concussions can cause significant and permanent injuries.

FAQs

We understand that you probably have many questions about Florida law and auto accidents in the Tampa area. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.

If your question is not listed, we can assist you. Please contact us to arrange a free consultation.

What Damages May I be Entitled to Due to My Tampa Car Accident?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “How much is my car accident case worth?” Here, we will provide a detailed explanation of each of the factors taken into consideration when seeking damages.

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of a loved one

Medical Expense

The medical attention you may need includes current and future expenses. These expenses include medication, medical transportation, hospital costs, and rehabilitation.

Lost Wages

Loss of current income suffered by the injured party.

Future Lost Wages

You may be entitled to future wages if you lose significant time from work or cannot return to your place of employment.

Pain and Suffering

Emotional trauma is pain and suffering. It is not uncommon among car accident victims to feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fear.

Loss of Consortium

If your car accident injury caused damage to your intimate relationship, this is a non-economic loss that can be compensated.

Loss of Loved One

If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to funeral expenses, other death-related costs, and wrongful death damages.

We recommend contacting one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to determine the value of your Tampa car accident case.

Who Can I sue?

You can sue the negligent driver who caused the accident, also known as the at-fault party. The at-fault party can be a driver or a government agency that failed to maintain roadways and proper signage.

Manufacturers and auto part suppliers can also be sued if it is proven their design or vehicle component was defective and caused the accident.

Do I Need To Call The Police After A Tampa Car Accident?

It’s best to err on the side of safety even if the car accident is minor. Here in the sunshine state of Florida, the reporting requirements (Florida Statue 316.065) are:

  • A crash resulting in an injury or death
  • Damage to any vehicle or property $500 or more
  • A hit and run or if the driver fled the scene
  • The driver is intoxicated, impaired
  • If the driver requests you don’t call the police

It’s recommended you take pictures and/or video at the scene. Call 9-1-1. Refrain from communicating partial fault or admissions of negligence. A formal police report often states the determination of the cause of the accident.

Do I Really Need To Get Medical Attention?

It is always better to be safe than sorry! Pain may be delayed in symptoms associated with internal bleeding, whiplash, or back injuries. A medical professional can provide the diagnostic testing and diagnosis you may need to prove the negligence of the at-fault driver.

Should I Take Notes At All Of My Doctors Appointments?

It is crucial to keep a record of all conversations with your doctor after a car accident. A timeline of days you missed work to go to medical appointments, physical therapy, and other medical treatments adds to the legitimacy of your injuries.

How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid After A Tampa Car Accident?

Medical bills can quickly pile up, and if you’re out of work because of your injuries, it will be difficult to keep up with the costs. No matter who is at fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers 80% of your medical expenses when added to your automobile insurance.

What Makes Up A Bodily Injury Claim?

Car accidents can have devastating effects on your body. Injuries may leave permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of functionality. You can learn more about the process of a bodily injury claim by contacting one of the personal injury lawyers at Burnett Law.

Who Covers The Cost Of Damages To My Car?

Florida law requires every driver to carry property damage liability insurance of at least $10,000. PIP coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) may be the only way to protect yourself against the other driver’s uninsured status.

The other driver’s insurance company can be sued for property damage costs if the other driver is negligent. If you are at fault, your insurance is the only option to seek payment for damages to your vehicle.

What If I Was Working At The Time My Car Accident Occurred?

If you were working when you were injured in a car accident in Tampa, Florida, filing a supplemental worker’s compensation claim is optional. This process can be overwhelming and complicated.

If you would like more information about this process, please contact one of our qualified personal injury attorneys at Burnett Law, P.A.

What If My Initial Car Accident Claim Is Denied Or Inadequate?

If your Florida car accident insurance claim was denied or deemed inadequate, do not get discouraged. Seeking compensation that you are entitled to is our goal. At your free consultation, we would review and discuss:

  • The insurance company’s grounds for denying your claim
  • The insurance company’s appeals process
  • Review police reports and photographs/video of the scene
  • Review the driving history of the other driver
  • Review repair estimates
  • Identify strategies for obtaining additional evidence and documentation

Why Should I Hire A Car Accident Attorney To Help With An Insurance Claim?

When you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is insurance paperwork and researching Florida auto accident laws. Burnett Law can take the burden off your shoulders.

Whether your insurance claim was denied or if the assigned insurance adjuster proposed a lowball settlement offer, you deserve the best legal representation.

We have years of experience negotiating with insurance adjusters, lawsuits against insurance companies, and at-fault drivers. We will work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.

Contact Us Now To Receive The Help You Need

Because Florida is a “comparative negligence state,” even if the injured party is partially at fault for the accident, he or she can still recover a percentage of the total damages. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death as the result of a motor vehicle accident and you believe that the negligence of another is at fault, we encourage you to call the attorneys at Burnett Law, P.A., for a free consultation at 813-221-5000.