With copious amounts of tourists and busy highways, Florida is the perfect storm for car accidents. On average, there are about 350,000-400,000 car accidents per year in Florida. While fewer than one percent of accidents result in deaths, almost half result in injuries. If you are a victim of a car accident in Florida and want to review your legal options, contact Callejo Law, an experienced Florida car accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
While each car accident is different, there are some common reasons why many car accidents occur, including:
- Speeding: Speeding can not only cause accidents by reducing the reaction time a driver has to avoid a collision, but it can make accidents worse. Car accidents that occur when a vehicle is going 20 mph or lower only cause fatalities for pedestrians around 5% of the time. If a vehicle is going 40 mph or higher, a pedestrian is at least 50% likely to be killed due to the impact of the collision.
- Disregarding Traffic Signals: It might seem obvious, but traffic lights and signs are there for a reason. Some of the most common causes of car accidents are when a car runs a red light or does not fully stop at a stop sign. Never assume you have the right of way, and always look to prevent a collision with a driver running a red light.
- Distracted Driving: Texting while driving has become a serious problem in recent years. Other forms of distracted driving include eating, driving while intoxicated or high, or socializing with other passengers in the car. While teenagers are especially susceptible to distracted driving, there are roughly 9 fatalities due to texting and driving each day in the United States.
- Driving Under the Influence: Driving while intoxicated or on other types of drugs can prevent the driver from being able to appropriately adjust their speed while monitoring the road in front of them. It is estimated that in the United States, over 10,000 people die in car accidents related to alcohol or drunk driving every year.
- Adverse Weather Conditions: While it does not normally snow in Florida, the state does get intense thunderstorms and hurricanes. Speeding during a rainstorm or on wet roads can cause a vehicle to lose its grip on the road, causing unnecessary danger to the driver and others on the road. It also takes longer to brake on wet roads compared to dry roads, so it is important to stop at an earlier time while driving in the rain.
What Do You Do After a Car Accident?
There are several important steps you can take shortly after a car accident to minimize damages, and help you should you decide to file a personal injury claim.
- Seek Medical Attention: While it might not initially seem like you are injured, some injuries take several hours or days to present themselves. When in doubt, call 911 and seek medical attention. This documentation could be helpful in the event of a personal injury claim.
- Gather Evidence: Try to gather the contact information of the other driver and photos of the cars and/or property involved in the accident. If possible, try to ask witnesses what they saw during the accident. If you need emergency medical attention, it is wise to get medical care as soon as possible instead of gathering evidence.
- Incident Report: The police officer at the scene must create an incident report and upload it to the Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. Once this process is completed, which could take up to a week or two, ask for a copy for your records.
- File an Insurance Claim: Many drivers receive at least some compensation from their insurance company to cover medical costs and vehicle damage. If the compensation is not enough for your needs, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to recover more damages.
Q: How Common Are Car Accidents in Florida?
A: Florida is quite a populous state with over 15 million licensed drivers. Due to its large population, it is also home to over 350,000 traffic accidents annually. Many of these crashes are due to distracted driving, bad weather or road conditions, speeding, or failing to follow traffic lights or posted signs. Due to the common occurrence of car accidents in the state, attorneys regularly assist those who were injured in an accident.
Q: Where Do Most Crashes Happen in Florida?
A: Surprisingly, most car accidents occur within 25 miles of a driver’s home. Neighborhoods and parking lots are common areas for accidents due to the abundance of other cars within close proximity. There are also more crashes in the late afternoon, evening, and during rush hour due to an increase in distracted driving. Contrary to popular belief, more accidents occur in rural areas compared to more urban areas.
Q: What Happens After a Car Accident That Is Not Your Fault in Florida?
A: Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that when you purchase car insurance in Florida, it automatically covers your expenses for injuries and vehicle damage, regardless of who was more at fault in causing the accident. If an accident was severe enough to cause severe damage that exceeds the coverage limits of your car insurance, you might be able to recover further damages by filing a personal injury claim if the other driver was at fault.
Q: Is Florida a No-Fault Auto Accident State?
A: Florida is one of 12 states that are no-fault states. This means that Florida drivers cannot receive insurance benefits from the other driver’s car insurance unless they file a personal injury claim against them. If there is property damage involved, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering the cost of repairing said property, including the damage to your car if the other driver is at fault. For more information, contact a Miami car accident attorney.
Spanish Speaking Attorney
Car accidents are stressful for everyone involved. It can be difficult to know what to do next after an accident. To receive timely assistance and advice on your car accident, contact Callejo Law. Karen Callejo has decades of experience representing clients in traffic accidents. She is fluent in Spanish and takes cases from all around the Miami area from her office in Coral Gables. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.