Auto accidents happen every single day, and if you’ve ever been in one, you know just how traumatic they can be.
If you find yourself seeking compensation after an auto accident, contacting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney may be the only way to obtain what you rightfully deserve and need to recover. This is because, in many cases, the driver at fault or the insurance companies will do whatever they can to pay out as little as possible – a number almost guaranteed to be lower than your actual costs.
If you’re lucky, you’ve never been in an auto accident or had to deal with claims and compensation. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. By knowing some of the most common causes of car crashes, you can better avoid getting into an accident and having to through such a frustrating ordeal.
Distracted Driving. Everyone is guilty of it from time to time. We’ve all driven without our full attention on the road before – looking for our lip gloss, talking to a kid in the backseat, changing the station on the radio, or gawking at an accident. Whatever it is that causes the problem, if you are in an auto accident while driving distracted, you are unfortunately liable for your own injuries and any damages you inflict.
In contrast, if you are hit by a distracted driver, it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney that can investigate what caused the distraction. Finding that the driver was texting or using a cellphone during the accident is a sure fire way to ensure you get compensated, because texting and driving in the state of Florida is illegal. This can result in court fines and penalties for the driver, as well as higher compensation for your injuries and even potential damages.
Drunk Driving. Unfortunately, drunk driving and driving while under the influence of drugs is still a huge problem. In Florida, strict drunk driving laws tend to prevent a lot of people getting behind the wheel, but alcohol and drugs are not known for making people think clearly. Sometimes, a drunk or drugged driver still gets behind the wheel. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you definitely need to contact an attorney and seek immediate help for the court case against them.
If a drunk driver hits you, that person is likely going to face jail time and high fines. In Florida, if this is a repeat offense, the driver will have increased sentencing and fines, and possibly lose their license and/or right to own a vehicle. You, as the victim, would easily be entitled to higher damages by both the driver and the city or state if the driver was a repeat offender (and therefore not properly sentenced before).
Careless Driving. A lot of driving behaviors fall under the category of “careless.” For example, speeding, failing to yield, and switching lanes erratically all count. Road rage, improper turns or stops, and general inability to stay within the lines can all get you a ticket for careless driving. If you’re hit by someone who is driving carelessly, a police officer will most likely add this to the list of crimes the driver committed.
When you are in an accident due to careless driving, it’s very important to file a crash report with the Bureau of Motorist Compliance after getting the initial report done by police. This way, you have police files, your own insurance claim, and hopefully a crash report filed. This increases your odds of successfully earning compensation for your injuries and expenses.
Speeding. While speeding is a branch of reckless driving, it is also its own issue by itself. If you are hit by a driver that is speeding, odds are the driver and his or her car will leave marks showing just how fast the car was moving. This can be helpful in your case, because you can ask police to document tire marks and damage based on the speed of both vehicles. If it is found that the other driver was in fact speeding, your odds of winning restitution go up exponentially.
Vehicles in Poor Condition. Everyone hates taking their car to a mechanic, but keeping your car in tip-top shape is a priority, not just an annoying thing you might need to do once in a while. For example, if you’re hit by a car that didn’t have headlights on in the middle of the night, or if the car doesn’t have properly functioning brakes, that makes the driver and his or her insurance company liable, and possibly even the manufacturer. This is something that needs to be documented and evaluated properly, which is all the more reason to submit a case review to a Florida personal injury attorney to see if your claim is worth pursuing.
About the Author:
Attorney Julie Schrank Luhrsen attributes her successes both as a lawyer and also as a leader to the training and experience she obtained while serving as an active-duty Army JAG lawyer. Beyond the many cases she tried, she learned invaluable lessons about leadership and teamwork that she uses daily at her firm and on behalf of her personal injury clients. While proud to hold a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, her most gratifying accomplishment was to be the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Legal Assistance for Military Personnel award. In practice in Florida for over 15 years, Julie focuses on representing the injured and providing them the support and legal guidance needed to attain the best result possible. She welcomes the chance to help Florida families recover after serious accidents and from legal wrongs.