Car Accidents

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Florida Car Accident Law Firm

At the Disability Law Firm, Zephyrhills and Dade City personal injury attorney Robert C. Alston aggressively brings cases on behalf of his injured clients.

Florida has one of the highest rates of car accidents in the United States. Each year, there are approximately 400,000 car crashes in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, causing close to 250,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths. 

A car accident can suddenly and drastically change your life. Following a severe car crash, you may face debilitating injuries that prevent you from working and enjoying your life the way you used to. Add to that the combination of missed paychecks and accumulating medical bills, and you may have an overwhelming amount of physical, mental, and financial stress.

The Disability Law Firm is ready to help. Our attorney, Robert Alston, and his trusted team have advocated for the rights of people injured in car crashes for over 20 years. We treat every client the way we want our own family members to be treated: with respect, honor, and integrity. Our client testimonials and reviews provide proof of our commitment to these values. We have an office located in Dade City and serve all of Pasco and Polk counties. 

Why wait any longer to learn about your legal rights after a car crash? You will pay nothing for our services until we recover money for you. Call us or contact us online now for a free case evaluation to learn how we can help you.

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Dade City Car Accident?

Some people mistakenly believe they do not need a lawyer after a car accident. They may think that getting the money they deserve should be straightforward as long as they and the at-fault party are insured. However, that is unfortunately not always the case. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and the insurance adjuster’s main goal is to pay as little as possible. 

If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you deserve the opportunity to demand the full compensation you need to recover. Here is how an experienced Dade City personal injury attorney can help you pursue the best possible outcome in your case:

  • Pursuing a claim that adequately covers your losses – An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to accurately assess and calculate current and future damages. While economic damages like medical bills may be easy to calculate, non-economic damages like pain and suffering can pose a more significant challenge.
  • Helping you determine and prove fault – Car accidents happen quickly, and it is often difficult to determine who was at fault. A skilled Dade City car accident lawyer can use their knowledge and resources to independently investigate the accident, gather evidence such as witness statements and police reports, and determine how local laws apply.  
  • Helping you gather evidence – A successful claim requires that you provide adequate evidence of your losses. When you are recovering from physical injuries and shock from an accident, gathering evidence can be overwhelming. A Dade City personal injury lawyer can guide you through this process to help you build a strong claim.

Representing you in negotiations with the insurance companies – Insurance adjusters use various tactics to find reasons to reduce your settlement amount. Anything you say to an adjuster can be used against your claim. An experienced car accident attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to maximize your chances of receiving full compensation.

In Florida, drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists

This duty requires drivers to obey all traffic signs and laws, but also that they operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. However, lapses happen.

Every Year IN FLORIDA THERE ARE OVER

Car accidents suddenly and drastically change the lives of the people who are affected by them. Following a serious Tampa Bay car accident, those involved in the accident often suffer debilitating injuries, keeping them from working and enjoying their life in the same way they used to. Not only that, but the combination of the missed paychecks and the increasing medical bills can place significant additional stress on injured motorists and their families.

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402,500

Car Accidents
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254,000

INJURIES
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3,100

FATALITIES

Do I Have a Car Accident Case?

When a driver’s negligence causes a Florida car accident, anyone injured as a result of that driver’s negligence can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Florida personal injury claims are premised on the theory of negligence, which requires an injured motorist present proof of four elements:

01

The defendant owed the injured motorist a duty of care

02

The defendant violated that duty of care through action or inaction

03

The defendant’s breach of that duty resulted in the harm suffered by the injured motorist

04

The injured motorist suffered compensable damages

PROVING YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CASE

DUTY OF CARE

DUTY OF CARE

Under Florida law, all drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists. This duty requires drivers to obey all traffic signs and laws, but also that they operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. However, lapses in judgment occur, and when they do, other motorists are put at risk.

In the majority of Florida auto accident cases, duty is not an issue because it is commonly understood that all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely.

BREACH OF DUTY
CAUSATION
ACTUAL DAMAGES

PROVING YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CASE

Duty of Care

Under Florida law, all drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists. This duty requires drivers to obey all traffic signs and laws, but also that they operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. However, lapses in judgment occur, and when they do, other motorists are put at risk.

In the majority of Florida auto accident cases, duty is not at issue because it is commonly understood that all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely.

Breach of Duty

Each of the remaining three elements, including breach of duty, require an accident victim to present supporting evidence.

For example, if you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you may present evidence of the defendant’s conviction for DUI. This will help prove that the other driver violated his or her duty to operate a vehicle in a way that would not harm others.

Causation

Causation can be tricky to understand. The Florida Standard Jury Instructions explain that a defendant’s negligence is considered the legal cause of another’s injury if the defendant actions “in natural and continuous sequence produces or contributes substantially to producing such injury, so that it can reasonably be said that, but for the negligence, the injury would not have occurred.”

In other words, you must prove you would not have been injured but for the negligence of the defendant.

ACTUAL DAMAGES

An injured party must establish that they suffered actual damages to recover in a Florida car accident lawsuit.

Damages are often proven by presenting evidence of medical treatment, missed work, and testimony regarding the effect the accident had on the injured party’s life.

Common Types of Car Accidents

Common types of car accidents that occur in Dade City include:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • T-bone collisions
  • Sideswipe collisions
  • Intersection crashes
  • Lane-change crashes
  • Single vehicle accidents
  • Pile-up accidents
  • Rollover accidents

Common Causes of Car Accidents

The causes of Florida car crashes vary. However, to better understand the statistics, experts group accidents with similar causes together when studying traffic safety. Often, accidents involve more than one cause. For example, a distracted driver may also be under the influence of alcohol at the time of an accident. Below are some of the most common causes of Florida car accidents:

01

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Aggressive Driving

AGGRESSIVE DRIVING

Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors are a leading cause of accidents. Speeding alone contributes to approximately 27 percent of all traffic fatalities. Other aggressive driver behaviors include tailgating, irresponsible lane changing, failure to yield right of way, and running a red light or stop sign.

speeding statistics

02

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Distracted Driving

DISTRACTED DRIVING

This is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from driving, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, operating a vehicle’s GPS or infotainment system, or eating and drinking. When a driver takes their eyes off the road for just five seconds while driving at 55 mph, they effectively go the length of a football field with their eyes closed.

50000 distracted driving accidents in florida each year

03

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Failure to Yield

FAILURE TO YIELD

Accidents involving a motorist’s failure to yield include left-turn accidents, merging accidents and many accidents that occur in intersections controlled by stop signs. These accidents can be complex, especially if there is some evidence that multiple drivers – including the injured motorist – are at fault.

failure to yield statistics

04

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DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

This includes drunk driving and driving while under the influence of drugs. Alcohol or drugs can slow a person’s thinking and muscle coordination, impairing their ability to drive safely.

florida drunk driving rate

05

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Drowsy Driving

DROWSY DRIVING

Fatigue impairs a driver’s brain function, slowing their decision-making abilities and reaction times. Drowsy driving crashes occur most frequently between midnight and 3 a.m. or in the late afternoon. They are most common on rural roads and highways.

deadliest time to drive midnight 3am

06

hazard

HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS

HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS

These can be caused by extreme weather, such as heavy rain and winds, or construction zones, which may include narrowed lanes, sharp turns, and uneven road surfaces. Hazardous road conditions can reduce a driver’s visibility and create road conditions that increase the likelihood of a crash.

FREE REPORT:

5 Mistakes That Will Cost You After Your Accident

Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Some of the most common types of injuries caused by car accidents include:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Burns
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Head and traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Soft-tissue damage

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, which means accident victims must typically turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their medical expenses, up to the limit of their policy. 

If an accident victim suffers a serious injury, however, they may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance in a third-party liability claim. In this instance, the injured person can seek compensation for additional losses not covered by PIP, such as pain and suffering.

In a third-party injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Property damage

A qualified car accident attorney can estimate what your car accident case may be worth once they understand the specifics of the crash, your injuries, and their impact on your life.

Those injured in a Florida car accident should meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss their situation and how they can proceed with a claim for compensation.

 

 

Car accidents in Pasco County

The deadliest times to drive are between midnight and 3:00 am and between 6:00 and 9:00 pm. In 2016, there were over 1,000 fatal car accidents occurring during these periods.

Pasco County Car Accidents
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Everyone needs Robert Alston and his team on their side.

- Ron

If you want an attorney to work hard for you this is the man you need to hire.

- Lori

I can't thank The Disability Law Firm employees and Robert Alston enough.

- Gary

This was such an easy decision to go with this law firm, they treat you like family.

- Rosemarie 

This legal team is the best I have ever used.

- Bryan 

Amazing experience with outstanding professionals.

- Robin 

This law firm was the best call we ever made. I highly recommend them.

- David

Excellent law firm. Compassionate and caring staff.

- Susette

Mr. Alston helped with my disability case when no one else would listen or help.

- Marcia

This firm goes above and beyond to help their clients.

- Orenda

You can’t ask for any better.

- Howard

From day one they treated me as if I was the most important person in the world.

- Ron

Comparative Fault in Florida Car Wreck Cases

Many car accident cases present unique issues that require extensive legal knowledge, skill, and experience.

Accidents involving multiple parties, especially when the injured motorist is claimed to be at fault, raise important issues that must be properly addressed to ensure a full and fair recovery.

Florida law employs the doctrine of comparative fault to determine which parties can bring a case to recover for their injuries. Under Florida’s comparative fault statute, the fact that a plaintiff shares some responsibility for the accident will not preclude them from recovering for their injuries. Instead, a plaintiff who is partly responsible for an accident will have their total damages award reduced by their percentage of fault as illustrated in the example.

A distracted driver clips a motorist, causing damages that total $500,000.

total damages

The jury determines that the distract driver was 90 percent and the motorist 10 percent a fault.

fault determination

The motorist would be able to recover 90 percent of the $500,000 damages award, or $450,000.

total award

Can I Recover Damages if I Was Not Wearing a Seatbelt?

Fortunately, under Florida law, the answer is yes.

Florida law requires all motorists wear a seatbelt, and for good reason. Studies have repeatedly shown that seatbelt use can reduce both the chance and severity of injury in a Florida car accident. However, Florida lawmakers recognize that wearing a seatbelt cannot cause or prevent a crash. Thus, a defendant in a car accident case cannot use the fact that the plaintiff was not wearing their seatbelt to prevent the plaintiff’s recovery. Notably, evidence of seatbelt nonuse is admissible to show a plaintiff’s comparative negligence. However, a defendant must be able to show that the plaintiff’s injuries could have been lessened or prevented had they worn a seatbelt.

Six Things to Do After a Florida Car Accident

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01 | Stay At the Scene

Leaving the scene of an accident – even one caused by another driver – is considered a Florida hit-and-run accident. All motorists involved in a collision must remain at the scene, exchange information and help those who need it obtain medical treatment.

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02 | Call the Police

Assess your own injuries, as well as those of others. If anyone has serious injuries, call 911. Even if no one was seriously injured, it is important to call police to report the accident. When police arrive, state the facts without speculating or exaggerating.

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03 | Protect & Document the Scene

Make the accident visible by setting up flares or leaving emergency flashers on. Disabled vehicles may need to stay in the road, but people should wait in a safe location. Take pictures of vehicle damage(s), the positioning of the vehicle(s), and make notes if possible.

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04 | Exchange Information

Get the name and insurance information for all drivers involved in an accident, even if police are on the scene.  Additionally, if there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, obtain their names and contact information.

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05 | Do Not Admit Fault

Accidents occur in a split second, and an injured motorist may not know what started the chain of events that led to the collision. It is important not to admit fault that may be based on incomplete knowledge.

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06 | Get Follow-up Care

Even if the accident seemed minor, seek follow-up care. Car accident injuries can go undetected for weeks. Take proactive steps to ensure you get proper care and create a record of medical treatment.

Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney for Immediate Assistance

At the Disability Law Firm, we understand the devastating effects a car accident can have on your physical, mental, and financial health. We are here to help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

We offer a free meeting at which we provide an honest, up front case evaluation and discuss how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation.