Pompano Beach Car Accident Lawyer
South Florida experiences a multitude of car accidents every day because of its growing population and high-traffic highways from both residents and tourists. The experienced Pompano Beach Car Accident Attorneys at Englander Peebles understand the frustrations that accident victims experience when waiting to receive an offer of settlement from an insurance company. This frustration is even worse when a victim receives a lowball over that will not sufficiently cover the damages and suffering incurred.
Pompano Beach car accidents can vary widely from minor fender benders to much more serious accidents that result in long-term treatment, or even permanent disability and death. Our Pompano Car Accident Attorneys have assisted many clients in obtaining the justice and compensation that they deserve. Pompano Beach car accidents happen all of the time, and unfortunately, people can get seriously injured. Englander Peebles aggressively advocates for our clients against large insurance companies every day. We have helped relieved the stress and frustration of the claims process for many of our clients.
Types of Car Accidents
1. Rear-end Car Accidents
The National Safety Council stated that each year, there are more than 6 million vehicle accidents in the country. Of those accidents, 2.5 million are the rear-end kind of collision. All drivers have a legal duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner. This legal duty means that drivers are required to follow local traffic laws, drive carefully and not recklessly, maintain a proper lookout for oncoming traffic and pedestrians, and maintain their vehicles properly, so they do not cause accidents.
When a driver fails to fulfill the duty of care, that driver is considered negligent. Negligence, regarding a rear-end collision, may occur when a driver fails to properly maintain the car, such as getting regular brake fluid checked or brake pads replaced, follows to closely, or negligently executes a driving maneuver. These would all be considered actions that may make a driver liable for a rear-end collision. There are several common causes of rear-end auto accidents, including:
- Weather and road conditions. Precipitation such as snow, rain, ice, or slush, or other inclement weather events such as fog and high winds may impact a driver's ability to be able to see the traffic in front, to stop in time, or to maintain the vehicle within the lane. Road defects such as bent stop signs, potholes, or malfunctioning traffic signals may also cause such collisions.
- Tailgating. Tailgating is a major issue when it comes to rear-end accidents. When a driver is unreasonable and tailgates, that driver is unlikely able to stop fast enough if the vehicle in front must stop suddenly.
- Impaired driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly reduces a driver's reflexes. It can impair a driver’s ability to judge distances. It can also cause a driver to fall asleep, which then will likely result in a rear-impact crash.
- Driver distractions. Distractions can occur through cell phone use, conversing with passengers in the vehicle, listening to loud music, eating, putting on makeup, and otherwise looking away from the road frequently. Other distractions may include the sudden appearance of construction workers or other construction and commercial vehicles suddenly entering into traffic and causing unexpected stops for other vehicles. When radar guns or police cars appear, or when a police officer stops a vehicle on the side of the road, these can also cause major distractions for drivers.
- Vehicle issues. When a car directly ahead suddenly gets into an accident, everyone behind has to come to a very quick stop and may not be able to do so on time. Additionally, cars ahead who have broken brake lights also fail to provide enough notice to the drivers behind regarding a stop. Finally, cars that unexpectedly breakdown in a traffic lane may cause rear-end incidents, particularly when the driver fails to warn oncoming traffic.
2. Head-on Collisions
A head-on collision is the most dangerous kind of car accident. Although these types of accidents make up only 2 percent of all crashes, they account for over 10 percent vehicle accident fatalities. These collisions may be catastrophic even at slow speeds. Victims who survive head-on collisions often bear incredible costs for medical treatment, medicines, therapy, hospitalization, lost wages, and permanent disability. Head-on collisions can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Driver failure. There are many ways that driver failure can cause deadly head-on collisions. For example, driver fatigue and sleepiness may affect sleep-deprived individuals such as night shift employees and long-haul truckers. Such fatigue also increases the chances that a driver will fall asleep at the wheel or operate a vehicle with greatly diminished reflexes. Another form of driver failure is using a cellphone while driving, which includes texting, dialing, or speaking on a cellphone. Such distractions may cause the driver to veer the car into oncoming traffic. Finally, certain older drivers may have slower reflexes or have become incapable of driving in general. Incidents involving senior drivers may include driving the wrong way on busy highways, getting off of highways on the entrance ramps instead of the exit ramps, or otherwise experiencing confusion while driving and thus colliding with another car.
- Poorly maintained roads, faulty traffic signs, and signals. Broken guardrails, insufficient illumination, road debris, faded lane dividers, and large potholes can all cause a driver to veer into oncoming traffic. Additionally, broken traffic signals can also facilitate drivers colliding with each other. These defects become particularly dangerous in intersections when drivers have to turn in front of each other and potentially crash in the middle of an intersection.
- Multi-car collateral accidents. When a vehicle accidentally collides with another, it might result in other cars bouncing off of others, resulting in one or more vehicles being pushed into the oncoming traffic lane.
- Driving under the influence. The greatest number of head-on crashes involve either drug use or alcohol. So far, the most common factor involved in head-on collisions are alcohol and drug use.
3. Side-impact or T-Bone Collisions
The National Safety Council indicates that side-impact crashes rank second next to head-on collisions in the number of fatalities and serious injuries they cause each year. In a side-impact collision, one vehicle crashes into another in a perpendicular manner. The human body then has a split-second to accommodate the force of the collision, which causes the body to be subjected to a sudden, whip-like snap. The force tosses the vehicle’s driver from one side to the other and back and forth. The human body can only take so much force, and when the side-impact collision occurs with enough force, it can cause minor to severe injuries and even death.
The side-impact crash may also cause a vehicle to get into secondary collisions with other cars and large stationary objects. The car may end up slamming into concrete lane dividers, bridge abutments, trees, etc. as a result of a side-impact accident. Such a crash, if strong enough, may also cause a vehicle to rollover. There are various potential causes for side-impact collisions as outlined below.
- Failure to follow traffic signs and signals. When a driver fails to obey certain traffic signs, it increases the likelihood of a severe side-impact crash. For example, if a driver engages in a rolling stop at a stop sign, or fails to come to a complete stop altogether, the driver is at a higher risk for a side-impact crash particularly if the sign is at an intersection. Sometimes, this can happen in inclement weather, and the driver can’t see the sign because of fog, rain, or snow. If a driver ignores ad runs through a red light, and, even more dangerous, increases his speed to get through a light before it turning red, then the resulting side-impact collision may carry the force that can cause a fatality. Driving past a stop sign or a red light makes a vehicle much more likely to get into a side-impact collision.
- Turning negligently. Drivers in turning lanes must wait until it is safe to turn before doing so. Additionally, drivers must carefully watch traffic coming from the other direction when making a right turn at an intersection. It is often difficult for drivers to see speeding vehicles coming from the side, which can cause a side-impact crash.
- Distracted driving. The use of cellphones while driving is a dangerous activity. One way in which cell phone use can result in a side impact collision is when a driver is entering or leaving a public parking lot that has no stop signs or traffic lights. The driver is often unable to see oncoming vehicles from the side until it is too late. Vehicles entering and leaving such parking lots are required to yield to oncoming traffic, and distracted driving can cause them to be liable for a side-impact crash.
- Recklessness and aggressive driving. Aggressive driving and reckless behavior usually go hand in hand. Some drivers use their cars inappropriately for the sake of making a point. They can, on purpose, ignore those other vehicles that are legally present in an intersection. However, such a reckless tactic can result in a side-impact collision, and the driver trying to make a point may be liable.
- Driving under the influence. Any form of intoxication serves to impair the driver’s sight, reflexes, and ability to think. Those who are intoxicated may fail to see oncoming traffic from the side properly. Even if they do see such oncoming traffic, being intoxicated may cause them to fail to judge properly an oncoming vehicle’s location and speed, thus resulting in a side-impact crash.
- Failure of braking or steering mechanism. A failure in a vehicle’s mechanism can cause an accident, particularly if it occurs mid-traffic. It is no different when it comes to side-impact collisions. When a car’s braking or steering function fails, it takes away a driver’s ability to stop. As a result, that driver may get into a side-impact crash when entering an intersection with oncoming, speeding traffic.
4. Rollover Accidents
When a vehicle rolls over, it is one of the most dangerous kinds of accidents on the road. Rollovers consist of only 3 percent of all serious car accidents. However, rollovers account for 30 percent of crash fatalities. Rollovers do not need to be such deadly events. Some vehicles have rollover-avoidance mechanisms, employ improved vehicle design with enhanced safety features, and the simple use of safety belts may reduce the number of fatalities and the number of serious injuries due to rollovers.
There are a variety of causes of rollovers, and with the right set of circumstances, any vehicle can rollover. Certainly, narrower, taller vehicles such as pick-up trucks, sports utility vehicles (SUV), and vans are more prone to rollovers because they are top-heavy and have a higher center of gravity. When such vehicles drive around curved roads, sideways forces can cause the vehicle to shift its center of gravity to the side, which then has a severe effect on that vehicle’s balance. These lateral forces increase as a vehicle speeds up, and may also occur when a vehicle changes direction quickly, such as making a very sharp turn one way and then overcorrecting the other way. These kinds of abrupt transitions can create a pendulum effect, which causes greater and greater swings and, eventually, results in the loss of control.
It is also possible for a vehicle to trip on an object, such as when a vehicle swerves into a pothole, curb, or a soft road shoulder. A large number of rollovers result from a car tripping on such objects. When a vehicle leans in a way that its tire’s sidewall gets deformed, and the rim of the wheel strikes the pavement, it can cause the start of a rollover.
Tire grip can play an opposite role during a rollover accident. A vehicle with strong tire grip would ideally maintain contact on the road without any of its wheels losing its grip on the ground no matter the circumstance. However, excessive tire grip may result in an excess of lateral forces building up which may eventually cause a vehicle to rollover. Before that takes place, vehicles should predictably and gradually lose a bit of its lateral grip. However, certain tires, such as performance tires for SUV's and pickup trucks, can provide excessive lateral grip and increase the likelihood of rollovers during certain maneuvers.
One other possible cause for a rollover incident is a defect in the vehicle or a vehicle part. Blowouts of tires and other similar malfunctions can result in a driver losing control of the vehicle lead to a rollover. Additionally, as discussed above, certain vehicles have an increased chance of a rollover accident because of their high center of gravity. These vehicles (SUVs, minivans, and pick-up trucks) must be equipped with sufficient roll cages or roll bars to prevent the roof of such vehicle from collapsing in case a rollover accident takes place. Without these safety features, these tall and narrow vehicles in rollovers may result in more severe injuries for passengers. Additionally, if a defect causes failure in deployment for side airbags during a rollover, a passenger can also suffer more severe injuries than they normally would have the airbags worked properly.
5. Multi-vehicle accidents
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a vehicle accident takes place once every minute, which amounts to almost six million accidents per year. One-third of these accidents involves multi-vehicle crashes or pile-ups. Multi-vehicle crashes are notoriously deadlier than two-vehicle collisions, and can also cause more severe injuries. In such crashes, multiple cars can hit one vehicle many times from different directions. With each vehicle involved, more and more bent steel, broken glass, and leaking gas take part in the crash. There is a greater possibility of vehicle fires in multi-vehicle crashes, which may make it impossible for passengers to exit a vehicle after the collision. These fires create a deadly scenario for those involved. Additionally, even if a passenger can leave the vehicle, they are often in shock because of the sheer number of collisions and may not be aware of oncoming traffic, making them prone to pedestrian injuries. Multi-vehicle accidents can also result in roadway blockages, which make it harder for emergency rescue vehicles to get to the accident site in a timely manner.
A multi-vehicle collision can be set off by a single distracted driver. At that moment, a massive chain reaction of vehicles can come crashing into each other. The likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries is far greater in multi-vehicle collisions.
Determining liability in a multi-vehicle collision can be a very complicated endeavor with several nuanced legal questions. Each driver involved in accident the must exercise reasonable care with regard to other drivers on the road. Failure to exercise such due care is the hallmark of negligence or recklessness, depending on the circumstances involved. If such reckless or negligent action becomes the direct cause of someone else’s injuries, then the injured party can hold the other driver liable and obtain compensation. However, in multi-vehicle collisions, identifying the liable party or parties becomes more difficult. Investigators have to determine whether one or more parties was speeding, or following too closely in traffic, or were distracted by cell phone use. With the possibility for more than one reckless or negligent driver, establishing liability often requires extensive litigation.
Filing a Pompano Beach Vehicle Accident Claim
Regardless of whether you are intimidated of fighting large insurance companies, or are unsure of your legal options, Englander Peebles is here to assist you in your time of need. The claims process can be an intimidating and complicated process. Often the adjusters who work for the insurance company may appear idle when processing your claim through its normal processes. Also, insurance companies may not offer a fair and just settlement when you particularly need it the most. With experienced Pompano Beach Car Accident Lawyer Gary Englander, you will have an advocate who will not hesitate to fight for your legal rights. Englander Peebles will work to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our law firm understands that you deserve to get justice for your injuries caused by the negligence of others.
Compensation for Vehicle Accident Injuries
Personal injury cases involving multiple parties can be complicated and not as black and white as they may initially appear. It is crucial to retain an experienced Pompano Beach Car Accident Attorney that you can trust. Every car accident and injury are different from the rest. Multiple parties, injuries, and insurance companies, as well as varying testimony, can create an intricate and tangled matter that must be organized and presented effectively. Liable parties can also extend beyond other drivers and may include bar or restaurant owners, and even construction companies.
Contact Our Pompano Beach Vehicle Accident Attorneys
In addition to being able to recover compensation for the medical treatment bills, physical therapy, medicine, and other costs, you may also be able to recover for your pain, suffering, and loss of wages. Englander Peebles understands that a car accident does not always directly result in damage to your motor vehicle -- it can also ruin your life and well being. You only have a limited amount of time so don’t delay. If you have sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence, contact our seasoned Pompano Beach Car Accident Lawyers as soon as possible by calling (954) 500-4878 or completing our online form for a free initial consultation to talk about your options.