According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 3,000 people are killed in car accidents in Florida every year. Hundreds of thousands of people sustained injuries in collisions as well. The state also is at or near the top of the list when it comes to pedestrian collisions, cyclist fatalities, and hit-and-run crashes. Sadly, car accidents are extremely common throughout the United States. Even though fewer people died in car accidents in 2019 than in 2018, the total number of crash-related fatalities last year was 36,120. Also, unfortunately, in Florida, fatalities increased between 2018 and 2019 even as they dropped overall.
Many of these crashes are the result of dangerous driving behaviors. If you were injured as a result of a car crash that was caused by another driver, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. At the Durham Law Group, our Tampa car accident attorneys are dedicated to representing individuals injured in car accidents in Florida. Call us at 813-333-6250 for a free consultation with one of our experienced car crash lawyers in Tampa, FL.
Common Negligent Actions by Tampa Drivers
To file a successful claim for damages in Florida, you must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent. Negligence involves a failure to behave as a reasonably prudent driver would under similar circumstances. Common causes of car crashes include the following dangerous behaviors:
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Red light or stop sign violations
Many of us drive every day, which means that we are used to being behind the wheel. Not only can we forget how dangerous it can be to drive, but we also might not always remember that driving is a complicated task that requires us to be alert and focused. Clearly, alcohol and drugs will have severe impacts on a person’s ability to safely operate a car. Distracted driving has increased as a problem as well, though, especially with so many motorists focusing on their phones rather than the road ahead.
Negligence and Traffic Law Violations in Tampa
Many car crash causes are also violations of traffic laws that can lead to citations or criminal charges. When a driver breaks the law and causes a car crash, that individual might have to face charges and a civil lawsuit. If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver who was distracted, drunk, or speeding, then you will have some strong evidence of negligence on the part of that motorist.
In some cases, the violation of a traffic law designed to keep people safe will mean that the victims of that accident can claim negligence per se, which allows for a shortcut of sorts in proving that another person was at fault. In these cases, you might have a stronger claim or an easier time holding the other driver liable for your injuries.
Comparative Negligence in Tampa, Florida
Even if the other driver did something negligent, you could still be partly at fault for your injuries. For instance, suppose another driver was looking at their phone, but you were speeding. In that case, perhaps the other driver was more at fault, but you were also liable.
In Florida, the courts follow comparative negligence policies, which allow an injured person to recover a percentage of their damages even in cases where he or she was also at fault. The court will divide the liability and reduce your damages. Assuming you were 40 percent at fault, you would be able to recover 60 percent of your damages from the more at-fault driver.
To learn more about your ability to recover damages following a car crash, contact our car crash lawyers in Tampa, FL.
PIP Insurance and No-Fault Policies
In Florida, every driver is required to carry personal injury protection insurance. PIP policies will cover up to $10,000 in personal injuries following a car accident. However, in many situations, the injuries caused by a car accident will far exceed that which is covered by your PIP policy. If another driver caused your injuries, you would be able to file a lawsuit against that individual to recover additional compensation. If you have questions regarding your ability to recover damages following a car crash, contact a Tampa, Florida car accident attorney.
Damages Available to Injury Victims
In a successful personal injury claim, you will be able to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive damages. The amount that you will be able to recover will depend in part on the extent of your injuries as well as your share of the liability and the behavior of the defendant. For instance, punitive damages, which are used to punish a defendant, will only be available in cases where another driver engaged in intentionally wrongful or particularly egregious conduct. If you were injured by a drunk driver, yours might be a case in which it would be worthwhile to seek punitive damages. If you have questions regarding damages available following your car accident, contact a Tampa, Florida personal injury attorney.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After a Tampa Car Accident
At the Durham Law Group, our attorneys are ready to represent you and fight for the compensation you need to focus on your recovery. We understand the severe impact that a car accident can have on an individual and their family. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to learn how we can help you.