Tamarac Car Accident Lawyer
The City of Tamarac has a long history as a growing community that began as a retirement destination. An enterprising residential developer formally incorporated the Tamarac City in Broward County on July 19, 1963, and that developer initially established the community to attract active retirees and to offer the convenience of condominium living with the sought-after privacy that single-family homes typically offer. Today, it is a thriving community with over 62,000 residents, and while most of those residents are fifty years of age or older. Given the city’s growing population, Tamarac has experienced its share of growth in the number of car accidents in South Florida. If you were involved in in a vehicle collision and in Tamarac and sustained injuries, contact the Tamarac Car Accident Attorneys of Englander Peebles today.
The Florida Department of Transportation reports in its 2016 Safety Plan that Tarmac City ranks 68 out 94 as to the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from car crashes between 2009 and 2013 among Florida cities with population numbering between 15,000 and 74,999. Notably, Tamarac city ranks 14 out of 94 Florida cities about speed-related collisions, which puts Tamarac in the highest 25% for a city of its population on its number of speed-related automobile accidents.
The number of vehicle accidents in Florida has increased in recent years. Data reveals some key statistics around Florida car accidents in 2013, including the following:
- Florida experienced over 315,000 vehicles accidents in 2013, which amounted to a 12 percent increase from the previous year (2012). This increase totaled around 850 collisions per day;
- More than 2,200 of vehicle accidents in 2013 in Florida resulted in at least one death, and 140,000 of such accidents caused at least one injury; and
- Alcohol was a contributing factor in over 17,000 collisions, including 789 which had at least one fatality.
Those injured in car accidents must be able to prove that the allegedly liable driver was negligent. Negligence is a legal term that means an individual owed a duty of reasonable care to others that they failed to satisfy. Additionally, victims have to prove that such failure caused their injuries. For example, in the case of a crash caused by a driver who ran through a stop sign, victims who are injured in the crash should be able to prove that the driver had a duty of care because courts recognize all drivers have an obligation to obey traffic laws and posted road signs. If a driver failed to follow the posted speed limits, then they failed to fulfill their duty of reasonable care to other drivers to obey such limits.Speed-Related Collisions in General
The U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that it counts a crash as a speed-related accident if, among other factors, the police charge a driver with a speed-related traffic offense, drag racing, driving the vehicle too fast in light of the road conditions, or for exceeding any posted speed limits. In 2014, 9,262 deaths in the U.S. occurred as a result of speed-related vehicle accidents. This represented a decrease of 4 percent from 2013 where there were 9,696 fatalities from speed-related accidents, and a drop of 32 percent when compared with the number of deaths in 2005. The rate of fatal, speed-related accidents dropped slightly between 2005 (31 percent) and 2014 (28 percent).
The NHTSA also surveyed various speeding behaviors and attitudes. In its survey, the NHTSA discovered that 4 out of 5 drivers held the belief that if they drove at or near the posted speed limit, it was less likely that they would be involved in a car accident. However, more than twenty-five percent of those people surveyed also indicated that they had engaged in speeding without consciously thinking about the behavior at the time and were only trying to arrive where they were headed to as fast as possible. Finally, sixteen percent of the people NHTSA surveyed believed that if they drove over the speed limit, they would not be in any greater danger as long as they were experienced drivers. 4 out of 5 drivers believed that driving the speed limit made it less likely that an accident will occur.Different Kinds of Speeding Scenarios
The NHTSA conducted a naturalistic study in 2013 documenting the various motivations people had for speeding. This study revealed the various scenarios where people engaged in speeding behaviors, which are described below.
- Casual (Passing) Speeding: This scenario is a relatively typical kind of speeding. Casual speeding usually involves speeds that were fast enough so that drivers were probably aware that they were engaging in the speeding behavior. Nevertheless, the duration of this behavior is typically brief because they usually do this when they are trying to pass another vehicle.
- Speeding Near Areas Where Speed Limits Transition: This speeding scenario includes both accelerating and decelerating behaviors when posted speed limits transition from one area to the next. Usually, these speeding scenarios only have short durations, possess a high rate of maximum speed, and occurred on roadways with lower speed limits. In these instances, the environment of the roadway in the slower zone may be close enough to the area with the higher speed limit that drivers feel it supports driving faster.
- Cruising (Extended) Speeding: The primary characteristic of this kind of speeding scenario is its relatively extended duration. Although the longer duration of speeding increased a driver’s exposure to risks to his or her safety, this type of speeding scenario was more likely to occur on high-speed, controlled-access roads, which lowered the likelihood that the driver would encounter unexpected dangers. Another important aspect of this speeding scenario is that only a small percentage of drivers in the country engaged in this kind of speeding behavior.
- Incidental (Occasional) Speeding: The results of NHTSA’s study indicate that incidental speeding was the most common kind of scenario. Incidental speeding involves short-duration, low-exceedance episodes that are most likely indicative of the upper bounds of normal speed behavior by drivers, as opposed to being its own kind of behavior.
- Aggressive (Reckless) Speeding: This kind of speeding scenario was typically characterized by a relatively moderate duration, higher rates of exceeding the speed limit, and a very high level of variability regarding actual speed. This scenario encompassed a small cluster but was represented a riskier aspect of speeding than the other behaviors.
NHTSA’s study also took collected data on the speeding profiles of individual drivers who were surveyed. After analyzing the data regarding the drivers, NHTSA indicated that there were four discrete kinds of speeding drivers as described below. They also determined how frequently each kind engaged in speeding behaviors.
- Drivers who speed situationally : This sort of driver was challenging to identify and categorize. According to NHTSA, situational speeders are distinct because they occupied a significantly higher proportion of the acceleration type of speeding through speed transition zones than the other types of drivers, but engaged in slight amounts of cruising and aggressive speeding. Overall, situational speeders only ended up speeding a little bit more than the unintentional speeders described below, but did not share favorable views on refusing to speed at all.
- Drivers who deliberately speed : The drivers categorized in this grouping occupied a higher proportion of those in the aggressive and casual scenario, but lower percentages of incidental scenarios than the other kinds of drivers. Drivers who occupy this group also found themselves in substantially more speeding scenarios than those drivers in other driver groupings. These drivers were significantly more likely to engage in more deliberate and aggressive kinds of speeding behaviors than the other groups of drivers and possessed the most favorable views regarding speeding.
- Unintentional Speeders : This group of speeders consisted primarily of drivers that engaged in incidental and casual speeding scenarios, but almost did not engage at all in the other scenarios. These kinds of drivers also possessed beliefs and attitudes that were the most favorable toward refusing to speed at all. Although this group may have consisted of non-speeders, most of them still drove at adequately high speeds to exceed the posted speeding threshold on several occasions.
- Typical Speeders : The distribution of scenarios within this group of drivers matched the distribution across all kinds of drivers identified. The typical driver type of speeder represented the largest group of drivers in the study, and engaging in the casual speeding scenario was comparatively more common in this speeder group. Individuals in this driver category also presented a middle range about average speeding profiles and frequency of scenarios.
Speeding may be the most common kind of risky driver behavior in Tamarac. However, there are other behaviors that can cause crashes. These behaviors include the following:
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol : Driving under the influence is a troublesome yet common cause of serious to fatal vehicle accidents. Regardless of whether the offending substance is alcohol, illicit substances, or prescription and non-prescription medication, police are always keenly looking for drivers who may be driving under the influence. If such drivers are involved in car accidents, there is often little dispute as to their liability. In Florida, accidents that involve driving under the influence accounted for over 17,000 crashes in 2013. Although this accident is tough to avoid because of the unpredictable nature those who choose to drive under the influence, the best preventative measure may be to avoid driving during peak DUI hours such as right after the last call for drinks, sporting events, and holidays.
The involvement of alcohol is more common for those drivers who were also involved in speeding-related fatal crashes than in crashes where speed was not a factor. NHTSA indicates that legally impaired drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were speeding at more than twice the rate for those who are not speeding. NHTSA also reports that in 2014, 41 percent of all speeding drivers involved in fatal accidents were legally impaired, as compared with only 17 percent of drivers who were not speeding and were involved in fatal accidents.
Age also played a role in these types of behaviors. NHTSA reports that in 2014, 32 percent of drivers under 21 who sped and who were also involved in fatal accidents had ingested alcohol, albeit not greater than the legal limit. However, 26 percent of drivers in similar situations were legally impaired by alcohol during the accident. In contrast, only 17 percent of minor drivers who were not speeding and were involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol below the legal limit, and 13 percent had alcohol and were legally impaired.
Distracted or inattentive driving : This very broad category of risky driving behaviors can take various forms ranging from using a smartphone while driving, eating while driving, or applying makeup while driving. Accidents caused by distracted driving can lead to severe injuries. When a driver gets decides to operate a motor vehicle, he or she has a legal duty to pay attention to the operation of the vehicle and the conditions of the road above everything else. There are an ever-increasing number of possible distractions that are available to drivers at any time, which has contributed to the rise of distracted driving as a prevalent cause of crashes throughout the country.
NHTSA estimates that in 2014, 3,179 individuals died, and 431,000 sustained injuries in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted driving. Around 10 percent of all drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old who were involved in fatal accidents were apparently distracted at the time of the collisions. NHTSA states that this particular age group has the highest proportion of drivers who were considered distracted during the time of the accidents in question. Additionally, drivers between 20 and 29 years old consist of approximately 23 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions, but are approximately 27 percent of the drivers who are distracted and 38 percent of the drivers who reported using their cell phones during a fatal accident.
- Failing to obey stop signs and other traffic signals : While it constitutes a clear statement, drivers often forget that traffic laws (and corresponding signage) are in place for important reasons. When drivers decide to break traffic laws, they are not only violating rules that can have severe legal consequences, but they are also choosing to put themselves and others at risk of serious injury or even death. Failing to obey traffic signs and signals can lead to severe vehicle accidents such as rollovers, side-impact collisions, and even head-on collisions. Increasingly, law enforcement has surveillance and investigative capabilities that make it easier to determine whether a driver has broken a traffic law.
- Choosing to drive poorly maintained and unsafe vehicles on the road : As part of the duty of reasonable care that drivers owe to others on the road, drivers must ensure that the vehicles they operate are in proper working order and are safe to drive. Failure to do so may result in a finding of liability if a breakdown of the vehicle on the road causes an accident. Establishing liability in such cases will simply be a matter of collecting evidence regarding the maintenance records and accident history of the vehicle in question.
At Englander Peebles, our firm provides aggressive legal representation to advocate for our clients to assist them in obtaining the compensation they deserve for their injuries. In personal injury cases, including vehicle crashes, plaintiffs may receive compensation that may cover the cost of physical injuries and other losses incurred. Each case is unique, but there are particular kinds of compensation available to victims of car accidents:
- The cost of Medical Treatment and Hospitalization : Those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident will likely seek to recover for the cost of medical treatment. This may include physical therapy or future reconstructive surgery, or alternative medical therapies that may help with ongoing pain or other issues. Compensation for medical treatment often constitutes the most concrete form of recovery that plaintiffs can obtain in a car accident case.
- Lost wages and future earning potential : Next to the cost of medical treatment, victims of car accidents also face the mounting cost of being unable to work for extended periods of time. Therefore, compensation for injuries suffered in a car accident may include lost wages due to medical treatment and hospitalization. Additionally, in the case of severe car accidents that cause short-term to permanent disabilities, victims may lose years to a lifetime’s worth of wages. They may also be unable to perform a job and have to take significant pay cuts to continue working.
- Personal property damages : Those involved in car accidents often seek to obtain compensation for damage to personal property – specifically, damage to the vehicle involved. This may involve the cost of replacing the entire vehicle, if it was totaled, and may include the cost of damage to any personal property that was inside the car. Additionally, victims may also be compensated for having to find other means of transportation following the accident.
- Emotional and mental pain and anguish : Emotional and mental pain and anguish are o intangible damages that represent the emotional and psychological impact of a car accident on victims. Individuals may experience such pain and suffering after an accident that greatly impacts their daily lives and relationships, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other anxiety disorders. This may require extensive counseling and therapy for years to come. Recovering compensation for mental pain and suffering may be something that victims of car accidents are entitled to and that an experienced attorney can assist with obtaining.
Obtaining the appropriate compensation for injuries and other losses because of a car accident requires sufficient evidence of the liability of the other driver. Liability depends on upon being able to show that a driver was negligent, and such negligence caused the accident and corresponding injuries. Some clients are surprised to discover that even where they are partially at fault for the accident, they may still be entitled to receive some compensation from the other drivers who were at fault. Additionally, the liable driver’s lack of insurance may not be a bar to recovery because a client may be able to make an uninsured motorist insurance claim under his or her policy, if available.
The one mistake that injured individuals should not make is attempting to work directly with insurance companies instead of hiring a seasoned attorney. Insurance companies will often try to convince injured parties to take a settlement amount that does not adequately cover the compensation that they are entitled to. Once a settlement is reached, and an insurance company is released, injured victims will not be able to get more compensation from that insurance policy even if the costs end up exceeding the settlement amount. Victims should work with experienced a Tamarac Car Accident Attorney to pursue their claims for compensation.
If you are involved a Tamarac car accident, do not hesitate to contact Englander Peebles 'Tamarac Car Accident Attorneys today to begin seeking compensation for your case. Our attorneys have helped numerous Tamarac City residents recover much-needed compensation following their car accidents through his knowledge, experience, and aggressive representation. Englander Peebles takes a personalized approach to every case and will work hard for you to get you the compensation you justly deserve and allow you to concentrate on your recovery. As with any legal issue, time is crucial. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us today at (954) 500-4878 to set up your free initial consultation. Contact Tamarac attorney Gary Englander of Englander Peebles today for dedicated, compassionate, and skilled representation in your car accident case.