Statistics maintained by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reveal some interesting figures. Here’s a look at some key facts around car accidents in 2013:
- There were over 315,000 car accidents – a 12 percent increase from 2012 (this equated to about 850 crashes per day);
- Over 2,200 of these car accidents resulted in at least one fatality and 140,000 of them resulted in at least one injury; and
- Alcohol was suspected in over 17,000 crashes, including 789 fatal car accidents.
The truth is this - car accidents happen every day and while you can (and should) do your best to avoid them, sometimes that is just not possible. When you have been injured in a South Florida car crash, recovering from your physical and emotional injuries can require a considerable amount of time and resources and can be an incredibly frustrating process for both you and your loved ones. The road to recovery always seems to take longer than expected. The one thing you should not worry about is your legal recovery. Let our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys help you get you the financial compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your health and well being in the months and years following a car accident. Our attorneys understand the stress you are dealing with and is here to help with every aspect of your case.Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents
Whether this is your first car accident or you have been in one before, you know that there are a number of factors that can contribute to a particular car accident. Getting the compensation you deserve to cover your injuries and other losses (i.e., lost wages) requires you to have the necessary compelling evidence that the other driver or some other person’s negligence caused or contributed to your car accident. One thing many of my clients are surprised to find out is that even where you are partially at-fault for causing the car crash, you may still be entitled to some compensation from the other driver or parties. Additionally, if the at-fault driver did not have insurance, you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim under your own insurance policy if you purchased this type of coverage. The one mistake you do not want to make when it comes to a car accident is trying to work directly with the insurance companies rather than hiring an attorney. Not only will these companies pressure you into taking a settlement amount that is far lower than what you deserve but you will be held to that amount even if your car accident related expenses ultimately exceed that amount. Working with an experience South Florida car accident attorney can actually save you both time and money!
Typical causes of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, and throughout the state of Florida include:
- Inattentive driving or distracted driving: This broad category can take many forms ranging from the other driving texting while driving or even applying makeup. Distracted driving can lead to serious injuries. Whenever a driver gets behind the wheel, he or she has a legal obligation to pay attention to the rules of the road over everything else. There are an ever increasing number of distractions available to a driver at any time and this is an increasing cause of rear-end collisions as well as sideswipe accidents across the country;
- Driving under the influence: Whether it is alcohol or drugs (even prescription and non-prescription drugs can cause a person to become drowsy and dangerous on the road), this is a major cause of car accidents and one that while the police are always on the lookout for. It is often only discovered that a driver is in this state after he or she has caused some type of accident. As you saw from the statistics listed above, alcohol-related car accidents accounted for over 17,000 accidents in Florida in 2013. While it is extremely difficult to avoid given the unpredictable nature of a driver under the influence, the best way to try to prevent these types of accidents is to not drive during peak drunk driving times (immediately after last call, holidays, and sporting events);
- Inexperienced driving: Inexperienced driving does not mean just newly licensed teenagers but can be anyone that does not have a lot of time and practice behind a wheel. The statistics don’t lie- less experience means that a driver is more likely to cause a car accident;
- Failing to obey stop signs, speed limit signs, and other traffic control devices and signs: Traffic laws are in place for a reason. When a driver breaks the rules of the road they are not only breaking the law, but they are also greatly increasing the risk for a car accident. Failing to obey traffic signals can lead to serious accidents including, but not limited to, head-on collisions, rollover car accidents, and side impact car accidents. This is a matter of proving that the other driver’s violation of a traffic law was also the cause of your accident. In cases like running a red light or driving over the speed limit, there are usually witnesses and other pieces of evidence your attorney will gather to help prove your case;
- Deliberately disobeying or ignoring accepted “rules of the road:” Sometimes accidently running a red light is no accident at all. Whatever the mental state of a driver was when he or she broke a traffic law, they will not only deal with the civil (or criminal) consequences of their action due to a ticket, but will also have to pay for the financial injuries that their behavior caused; and
- A car that is poorly maintained or is otherwise unsafe to operate on the road: Collecting and driving old cars can be a fun hobby, to have but there are still requirements that they operate safely on the road. Similarly, if a driver fails to maintain a car in safe working condition, that failure to do so can be a cause of an accident and something the driver will ultimately be held accountable for.
As you can see from the abbreviated list above, there are a lot of ways to get into a car accident. Additionally, a lot of the factors listed above are things even the most vigilant driver cannot avoid. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, staying calm and following the steps below will not only help get you the medical help you need, but will also help with your legal case down the line.Steps to Take After a Car Accident.
- Stay Calm: If you can, take a deep breath in and out and try to get control of all the adrenaline that is rushing through your body following a car accident. Staying calm will help you to not only better evaluate the scene of the accident but also make talking to the other party, the police, and the EMS a lot easier and better for every aspect of your recovery.
- Exchange Information: When a car accident is not your fault, it may be very hard to stay calm with the other party. However, being angry will not get you out of the situation you are in. This is true if you are partially at fault for the accident and the other party is the one doing the yelling. If you are in the position to do so, make sure you get all of the insurance information from the other party. Doing so will help expedite the overall process may shorten the time that it takes to make a financial recovery!
- Call the Police: It may seem obvious, but unless an officer was there when the accident happened, someone will need to alert authorities to when and where the car accident took place. This is especially so in the event of a hit and run accident. Calling the police will also help to alert any medical assistance that you and your passengers may need as well. Make sure that the police come to the scene and fully document the car accident and the extent of the damage. Let the officer know how the car accident occurred, any statements made by the other party, and of any injuries that you may have suffered as a result. You will also want to make sure that you obtain either a Driver’s Exchange or a Case Number from the officer on the scene. Depending on the police agency, it may take some time before the official report is completed, but this will be an extremely helpful piece of evidence to have down the line and something your attorney will know exactly what to do with.
- Take Photos: If you or a passenger is in a physical position to do so, use your cell phone to take photos of the accident scene and the cars involved. Make sure to also get photos of any additional physical damage there might have been. These photos can be extremely helpful to your claim as they show the accident as it looked right after it happened. If you are using a cell phone or digital camera to take the photos, make sure you immediately download them to a computer to preserve them. Another option to look into is keeping a disposable camera in your glove compartment in case you are ever in an accident. Snap as many photos as you can from the various angles. While an attorney can help recreate the scene of an accident (and likely will), real photos taken moments after a car accident has occurred are even better. This is some of the freshest evidence you can provide an attorney and can ultimately serve to be incredibly convincing.
- Obtain Necessary Medical Care: If you are injured in a car accident and are in need of medical care, let the officer know so that he or she can call an ambulance. In many cases, the steps listed above are impossible because of the nature and extent of your injuries and that is fine. However, the main priority after any car accident is getting the medical attention you need as quickly as possible. Ultimately, you will want to get all the documentation around your current and future injuries which will help your attorney come up with a number that best reflects what you need to help with your physical recovery now and for years to come. For many, even a seemingly minor injury (i.e. whip lash, superficial cuts, etc.) can end up being something much bigger down the line. With this medical reality in mind, it is essential that you are working with the best doctors and specialist to fully diagnose all of your injuries and the physical and financial impact they have on your life. When you hire Englander Peebles to represent you, you are ensuring that you are presenting the court and insurance companies with the full financial and medical impact the accident has on your life. Our attorneys want you to make you whole again and part of your recovery is making sure you have all the necessary funds to get the medical help you need!
- Immediately Call Englander Peebles' South Florida Car Accident Lawyers: When you call Gary Englander, you can stop worrying about the legal and financial aspects of your recovery and just focus on yourself and getting better. For many, knowing this major weight is not something you have to worry about can help speed up your recovery because you are no longer worrying about whether you should go to a pricey doctor appointment or trying to work through the pain at work when you should be home resting. Time is of the essence when it comes to any type of car accident case as there are statutes of limitations related to filing and also evidentiary issues that are best collected when memories are fresh. Getting in a car accident can be a scary thing and the legal aspect may seem like too much to handle. Calling Englander Peebles is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family after a car accident.
Every car accident is different. At your initial consultation, we will talk to you about your specific case, the financial impact the accident has had on you and your family, and answer your questions about the legal process as it relates to recovering for a car accident. Everything will be explained to you in plain English (no legal jargon!) and he is happy to answer all your questions. During our initial consultation, we will review the insurance policies of all of the drivers involved in the accident to determine the source(s) of recovery. Below is a look at some of the avenues for financial recovery and one of the first questions that comes out of any clients’ mouth during their initial consultation—what kind of compensation might I receive?What Kind of Compensation Might I Receive Following A Car Accident?
At Englander Peebles, you can feel secure knowing that you are receiving aggressive legal representation and that we are working hard to get you the compensation you deserve. A successful car crash case can result in receiving compensation that will fully cover not only your physical injuries, but also other losses. While every case is as unique, potential compensation could include the following areas of recovery:
- Medical bills and ongoing treatment costs: Working closely with your doctors, you should recover not only for the many medical bills you have already paid (i.e. that first emergency room visit and any follow up doctors’ visits), but also for the ongoing medical and rehabilitative care you will need for the months and years to come. For instance, will you need years of physical therapy? Or will you need surgery down the line? Are you finding that alternative forms of medicine are helping you feel better? What this number should ultimately represent is a comprehensive figure to fully cover and aid in your recovery;
- Time missed from work and lost future wages if you are unable to return to work: It is extremely common to miss at least a few days of work following a car accident. However, a car accident can have you missing work for months or even years and this loss of income is a burden you should not have to carry. For some, the lost wages may be just the time immediately following the accident. For others, the car accident may have caused such extensive damage that you are never able to work again or you have to take a different role with a different rate of pay. Whatever your situation is, we will come up with a number that tries to makes you whole again and fully reflects your new professional reality;
- Damage to your car and other property: Was your car totaled in the accident? Were other things in your car damaged as well as a result of the accident? Did you have to rent a car or find and pay for other forms of transportation for an extended period of time following the accident? Whatever the situation is- this is not something you should ultimately pay for out of your own pocket and something you can fully recover for with the help of an experienced attorney; and
- Mental pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is a broad term that can mean different things for different people. Following a South Florida car accident, many individuals experience a wide range of emotions that can have a major impact on their everyday life and their ability to interact with others going forward. The first thing to know is that this is totally normal and something you can and should seek out professional help for. For instance, PTSD is a very common issue that many people deal with following a car accident and it can take a very long time to ultimately get over. Recovery for pain and suffering is something that many individuals that have been in car accidents are able to receive some type of compensation for and something we can discuss further at your initial consultation.
If you or a loved one is currently dealing with a South Florida car accident, do not hesitate to give Englander Peebles a call today to begin working on your recovery. Our attorneys have helped numerous South Florida residents, including Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, recover much-needed compensation following their car accidents through his knowledge, experience, and aggressive representation. Taking a personalized approach to every car accident case, our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve and allow you to concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery. As with any legal issue, time is of the essence so do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give Englander Peebles a call today at (954) 500-4878 to set up your free initial consultation. Contact our attorneys today for dedicated, compassionate, and skilled representation in your car accident case.