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Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Florida is a beautiful place to call home. The sunny weather, white sandy beaches, amusement parks, and plenty of entertainment locations make it a hotspot for both residents and tourists alike. Unfortunately, it is one of the most congested states for traffic in the nation. The more cars on the road, the more accidents there will be. If you’ve been involved in an incident, don’t hesitate to call the expert Florida car accident lawyers at Dennis Hernandez & Associates P.A. With nearly 25 years of experience, we will fight to get you paid.
Florida has an enormous population of more than 22 million people. On top of that, in the first six months of 2019, 68.9 million people visited Florida. There is no shortage of people in the state, which means there is also no shortage of traffic congestion and auto accidents.
Florida is not alone in this constant battle against car crashes; however, it is among the most dangerous states to drive in the entire country. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Florida has the most fatal car crashes behind only Texas and California. Drivers are aggressive and traffic is plentiful, this makes Florida one of the deadliest states to drive in America.
Our legal team has won car crash cases throughout the state. We’ve helped locals and tourists across Florida with our accident injury teams in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Lakeland (by appointment only). We can send a representative to meet you anywhere in Florida to begin working on your case. Submit a free case evaluation below, and one of our skilled attorneys will review your case with you at no cost. Don’t go through the process alone, we can help you collect the money may be owed.
FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENT STATISTICS
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is responsible for recording accident statistics throughout the state. As one of the most prolific states for accidents, these statistics can be eye-opening.
- Each year, nearly 3,000 people lose their lives on the roads in Florida
- There is an average of 1,100 crashes every day throughout the state
- On average, these accidents will cause more than a quarter of a million injuries
- Due to the fair weather, there is an average of 9,900 pedestrian accidents each year
- On average, 574 motorcyclists are killed each year
- In 2018, 1,162 people were killed by drunk drivers in Florida, that is the third-most in the U.S
- Florida is neglectful with seatbelts. More than 700 people a year are killed in unrestrained auto accidents
The statistics should not be ignored, Florida is a dangerous place to own and drive any type of vehicle. That’s why obtaining a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer is in your best interest.
WORST FLORIDA CITIES FOR AUTO ACCIDENTS
As mentioned previously, Florida is synonymous with traffic and accidents all over the state. Of course, major cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa are largely responsible for those high rates. In general, the state of Florida has a reputation for being a terrible place to drive. Yet, there are a certain few cities that make up a large part of all Florida auto accidents.
Most of these cities have the highest population in the state, which plays a major role in the number of accidents. The more people on the road, the more accidents there are going to be. Whether you’re a tourist visiting one of these iconic Florida cities, or have been a resident for years, Dennis Hernandez & Associates can help you no matter where you are. It is not if Florida auto accidents happen, it is when Florida auto accidents happen.
FLORIDA’S DEADLIEST ROADS
I-4 runs East and West across Florida from Tampa to Daytona. It is one of the busiest highways in the country, and also one of the deadliest. It is responsible for an average of 183 deaths annually.
I-95 has the highest amount of deadly road sections, totaling 240 fatalities across just 108 miles. Though it does not only reside in Florida, a great deal of it spans the entire East Coast of Florida.
At more than 2,400 miles, I-10 is the longest interstate in America. Naturally, it is also the deadliest.
I-75 runs from Michigan to Miami. It goes directly through the center of Florida and is home to some of the most aggressive driving in the country. 161 lives are claimed each year on the interstate.
U.S. Highway 1
US-1 spans the East Coast of Florida from Jacksonville to the Florida Keys. It claims 150 lives per year.
There are thousands of miles of roadway in the state of Florida, every one can be dangerous if you don’t take the correct precautions. However, these few highways and roads are the deadliest due to traffic, population, high-speed limits, and the number of negligent drivers. If you’ve been involved in a crash on any of these roads, call the expert Florida car crash attorneys.
INJURIES CAUSED BY FLORIDA AUTO ACCIDENTS
Every Florida auto accident is unique and presents its own set of challenges. Automobiles are two-ton death traps moving at high rates of speed. Auto accidents are nothing to mess with. Even at the slowest speeds, they can cause severe bruising and whiplash. Severe car crashes can lead to death on impact. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. Some of those injuries will reside within days, however, some can lead to permanent disfigurement.
Experiencing an injury in a car accident can bring emotional, physical, and financial repercussions. Victims of Florida car accidents commonly suffer from injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Scrapes or lacerations requiring stitches
- PTSD or trauma
- Whiplash injury
- Soft tissue damage
These injuries can be expensive to treat and require healing and recovery time in most cases. Many victims may not be able to return to work and may experience a loss of wages. In addition to your physical injuries, you may also experience mental or emotional distress. This can also lead to anxiety; which victims must treat as well. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, we consider the emotional and financial repercussions of your car accident as well as the physical. By understanding the full effect of your car crash, we can better calculate the true cost of your injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN FLORIDA
Florida crashes can be incredibly dangerous and can occur as a result of several factors. Every situation presents its own set of problems. Most often though, auto accidents in Florida are caused by negligent drivers. Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing something. Today, there are more opportunities to be careless than ever before.
Negligent driving includes, among other things, distracted driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and even driving while tired. Additionally, ignoring signage or Florida driving laws can lead to a serious car accident.
The NHTSA says that almost 3,000 lives per year are lost to distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from the road. Most often, this entails texting, eating or drinking, and messing with the radio. Next to drunk driving and speeding, distracted drivers claim the most lives.
Drunk or impaired driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents and injuries. It costs the United States $132 billion a year. The most shocking statistic is that on average, two out of every three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
Car accidents caused by speeding happen more than any other type of car crash. In 2018, 9,378 people were killed as a result of speeding. Life is busy and schedules get tight, but speeding is no excuse. Limits are posted for a reason, to protect the public. Speeding is the ultimate form of negligent driving.
Reckless driving can be a number of things. Speeding of more than 15 mph over the limit is considered reckless driving. Most often, it is defined as driving that showed irreverence or indifference to the safety of the drivers around you. Reckless driving can include any number of things such as: Racing, passing on blind curves, swerving in and out of lanes, and passing school buses.
Bad weather is a leading cause of vehicle accidents. Especially in Florida, where it rains more than 50 inches every year. During the warm summer months rain is a daily occurrence. This creates wet and slick roadways which cause many car accidents.
While red-light cameras that will ticket drivers have slowed down the number of red-light running drivers, it is still an enormous issue. In 2018, 846 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver who ran a red light. Tens of thousands more people were injured due to red-light runners.
Nighttime driving is far more dangerous than some people would think. Rural country roads are where most nighttime Florida auto accidents occur. These dark and curvy roads create an issue for drivers and can cause severe injury.
Florida is well-known for its aggressive driving or road rage. People are generally in a hurry in the state, and the numbers reflect that. It has been proven that 65% of all traffic fatalities are caused by some sort of aggressive driving behavior. Road rage can include following too close, brake-checking, flashing headlights, “beating” red lights, and honking horns often.
Dennis Hernandez and Associates believes in holding negligent drivers responsible and providing financial compensation to victims. Contact us for a free case evaluation and to begin the car accident claim process.
MOST COMMON TYPE OF FLORIDA CAR CRASHES
Car accidents occur in a myriad of ways due to an unfathomable number of situations. No two Florida auto accidents will ever look identical. That’s why it’s essential that you talk to one of Florida’s best car accident lawyers at any of our locations. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our past clients and if you’ve been injured in a Florida auto accident that was no fault of your own, we can help you with your case. You can submit your inquiry on our online chat, or you can call us now at (855)-LAW-DENNIS. Chances are you were involved in a more common car crash like one of the following:
Rear-end collisions usually don’t result in life-threatening injuries and the rear driver is almost always found at fault. However, they often cause whiplash to occur. Maybe they were distracted by texting and driving or were driving too fast to slow down on a wet road. Maybe they just couldn’t react quickly enough. When it comes to these types of accidents, you should be eligible to receive compensation if the driver is found at fault.
Being involved in a head-on collision can lead to severe or catastrophic injuries. Two cars colliding head-on creates incredible force which can cause blunt force trauma and soft tissue injuries. The higher the speed of a head-on collision, the greater damage it will cause. These accidents often happen when a driver is behaving recklessly on the road. Damages from a head-on crash can quickly escalate. Therefore, you must hire a Florida car accident law expert that will fight for you to obtain the compensation you’re eligible for and make sure your bills are paid by those at fault.
Drivers Under the Influence
Drunk driving accidents are sad and unnecessary. Florida car crashes that occur because of intoxicated drivers leave an extensive path of damage in their wake. Our experienced Florida accident lawyers will take on your case and work to get the maximum possible compensation you’re eligible to receive.
Encountering a wrong-way driver on the road is both confusing and terrifying. Drivers experiencing such a thing are always caught completely off guard. A car heading right at you in the opposite direction paralyzes a driver’s ability to quickly react and try to get out of the way of danger. The National Transportation Safety Board states that about 360 lives are lost annually to wrong way driving collisions.
Other types of Florida car accident cases we work on are:
- Defective auto parts
- Injured drivers and passengers
- Hit and run accidents
- Fatigued driving
- Driving recklessly
- Aggression/Road rage
- Traffic violations
- Poorly maintained roads
- Poorly maintained cars or equipment
No matter what type of Florida car crash you have been involved in, our job at Dennis Hernandez & Associates is to fight to get you paid. We have been successful in doing so for more than 24 years, and there is no stopping now.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A FLORIDA AUTO ACCIDENT
Every car accident, severe or minor, can turn a good day into a dreadful one. If you feel stressed and stunned, don’t worry, that is completely natural. The process following the incident can be as alarming as the accident was; to help you after the wreck occurs, here are six things to do:
Contact Law Enforcement
Immediately call the local police after a Florida auto accident. No matter where you are in Florida, it is crucial to get the police involved to determine who will be deemed at fault. Other drivers who may have been involved, could beg you to not get insurance and law enforcement included; but you need to do it anyway. These drivers will often be uninsured, or under-insured, so they don’t want to be caught in the act. Police will make a report that your attorney will need later in the case.
Calling the police will also get emergency medical services to the scene as speedily as possible. If your insurance claim is denied, having a report from a police department will benefit you while you try to appeal your denial.
A correctly made police report will include the following information:
- Both driver’s statements
- Description of the accident scene
- Witness name and contact info
- Pictures of both the scene and the vehicles involved
- License and insurance information from both drivers
- Description of the road conditions
- Proof of drug/alcohol intoxication at the time of the crash
Pursue Medical Attention
Don’t be fooled; walking away from an accident doesn’t mean you’ve not sustained any injuries. Adrenaline will be pumping through your body for a long time after the accident. Always get checked out after an accident, even if you don’t feel any pain. We urge people to always be safe rather than sorry; precautionary measures will never hurt anyone.
Hospitals and medical professionals play an important role in the auto accident process. They will be responsible for:
- Prescribing medicine you may need as a result of the crash
- Necessary tests to evaluate if you have any injuries
- Determining if a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is suspected
- Providing evidence of injuries in the form of medical documentation
- If necessary, they can testify at trial to explain the severe nature of your injuries
Never Admit Fault of Any Kind
Admitting fault, even if you are fully or partially at fault, is something you should never do. In nearly every circumstance, fault can only be determined after a full police investigation. No matter who is asking – police, witnesses, or other drivers; you should always wait to consult a Florida car crash attorney before you admit fault.
Consult with a Florida Auto Accident Attorney
As previously mentioned, prior to signing or agreeing to anything, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Florida crash lawyer first. Insurance companies are greedy corporations who want to arrange settlements as quickly as possible. This will allow them to pay out the least amount of money and get away from a full-court proceeding. You mustn’t agree to settle a claim or sign any papers before you speak with an attorney.
Take Pictures of the Scene
If the Florida auto accident has not rendered you incapable to move freely, you should take as many pictures as possible. Capture everything – vehicles involved, damages, the scene surrounding the accident, roadways, street signs, and streetlights. Any details that you think could be relevant in the future, deserves a picture. Try taking a video instead of hundreds of pictures; that could work to your benefit.
Collect Eyewitness Information
Witnesses will be important in every case. Assuring that you have the contact information and other pertinent information from all eyewitnesses will benefit your case in the future. If no motor vehicle drivers were around to see the accident, check with local businesses who may have seen the incident.
WHY YOU NEED A FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
In the state of Florida, you’re legally able to file a claim for damages by yourself, without the help of a lawyer. However, you will quickly find out how difficult that process is. Dealing with a case is better suited for an expert in car accident law in Florida. Based on Florida Law, you must file an auto accident claim within four years of the date of the incident. Once that statute of limitations expires, you’ll no longer be able to file a case in the state.
Something else to consider is that insurance laws are highly complex already. Toss in Florida specific rules, and the knowledge you need becomes even more complicated. Insurance companies are prepared legally as well. They pay their lawyers substantially large amounts of money and have full legal teams at their fingertips. It is simple for them to have a compensation claim dismissed over tiny legal issues. If you’re trying to represent yourself, you will be outmatched. Your capability to counter a large insurance corporation, will likely be too overwhelming to handle. The insurance companies will try to push for settlements that are much smaller than you truly deserve. You may think you’re getting a good deal in the long run; but by not having a Florida auto accident attorney on your side to represent your best interests, you wouldn’t know the amount of money that you should be getting.
Hiring a Florida car accident law firm has many rewards over attempting to handle a claim yourself. Attorneys that specialize in personal injury law, particularly an auto accident law firm like ours, will know exactly what to expect out of the insurance companies. We know what questions they will ask and how they will deceivingly word those questions to get the exact answer they want from you. Even if you answer in the proper way, the insurance company will twist your words to deny your claim.
At Dennis Hernandez & Associates; we assure that the correct evidence is gathered in a timely manner, and we negotiate directly with the insurance companies. We also make sure that you’re going to have the ability to meet the requirements before your claim is filed. Most injury lawyers will only ever settle with insurance companies. They will do everything in their power to avoid going to trial. We are never afraid to go to trial and will do so whenever it is deemed necessary. Making sure you’re compensated correctly for your injuries, is our highest concern.
Something that is important to remember, is that after a Florida car accident, the insurance company is not your friend. The defense will begin to build a case against you, and it will use anything it can find to undermine the severity of your injuries. Contrary to insurance advertisements, they are not on your side. Instead, they are like every other business, they want to make as much money off of you as possible.
To avoid being taken advantage of, you need the guidance and understanding of a personal injury law firm to collect evidence and prove negligence. We know how to contest the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.
CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED FLORIDA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
You may be tempted to tackle a seemingly straightforward car crash claim on your own, but it is so easy to be taken advantage of by large insurance companies.
Working with our attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates means being supported through the whole process. We will build your case to demonstrate your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the car accident in Florida.
Our seven offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Orlando, Fort Myers, and Lakeland (by appointment) enable us to represent car crash victims across the state of Florida. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.
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If you’ve been injured at the hand of another, contact us 24/7 for a free case evaluation. One of our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your claim with you at no charge. Call us at (855) LAW-DENNIS
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