Causes of Florida Motor Vehicle Accidents Outlined by Our Automobile Accident Lawyers
Although South Florida is a beautiful places to visit and live, getting from here to there can be a dangerous activity. Auto accidents are common in the Fort Lauderdale area, resulting in many injuries and deaths. With the complexity of Florida motor vehicle laws and confusing legal processes, recovering compensation for injuries can be an intimidating process. The Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyers at the Maus Law Firm are experienced with these accident claims and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Fort Lauderdale’s Dangerous Roads
Florida has one of the highest car accident rates in the nation. Broward County and the city of Fort Lauderdale have more than their share of these Florida accidents.
The dangers of the roads in the Fort Lauderdale area are demonstrated by the statistics from 2017:
- Broward County had the second-highest number of reported auto accidents in the State of Florida, with over 41,000 reported accidents.
- Auto accidents in Broward County resulted in over 24,000 injuries and 225 fatalities.
- In Fort Lauderdale alone, there were over 5,400 car crashes and 26 fatalities.
With high tourism and a reputation as a spring break destination, South Florida poses many risks for drivers. The 12 million tourists who visit annually tend to be unfamiliar with the roads. Additionally, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is persistent problem. Reckless and distracted driving are also common.
Types of Impacts in Fort Lauderdale Car Crashes
Car accidents can be the result of many different types of collisions. Some of the most common accidents our Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyers handle includes the following:
These accidents occur when slow or stopped vehicles are struck from behind. The injuries and property damage can be serious, especially for the rear-ended vehicle.
While head-on collisions are less common than other types of accidents, they are far more deadly.
Collisions between the sides of vehicles can occur when the cars are moving in the same or opposite directions.
Highway wrecks with cars driving at high speeds typically have a devastating impact.
Often resulting from failing to see traffic signals or yield the right-of-way, accidents at intersections typically involve multiple vehicles.
These accidents range from several vehicles rear-ending each other in a line to multi-vehicle pileups. Poor weather and low visibility are often contributing factors, as well as when drivers try to avoid a pileup that they spot in the distance.
When an at-fault driver flees the scene, recovering compensation can sometimes be more difficult. Our firm, however, may still be able to obtain compensation for you even if the driver is never located.
Dealing with insurance companies, proving fault and establishing damages differs between all of the accidents above. At the Maus Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers can assist with all of these scenarios and fight for your maximum possible compensation.
Causes of South Florida Car Accidents
Along with the various types of impacts, Fort Lauderdale car crashes also have varying causes. Common causes of car accidents include the following:
- Distracted Driving: Distracted drivers have always been a major cause of car accidents. Now with the added temptations of cell phones, smartphones and GPS devices, the number of potential distractions for drivers has multiplied. These distractions can lead to the driver missing a traffic signal, stop sign, or a slow or stopped vehicle.
- Reckless Driving: Driving recklessly can be something as simple as driving at excessive speeds. It could also include more serious conduct, such as racing or road rage. Unlike mere careless or distracted driving, reckless driving could result in criminal punishment if an injury or death results.
- Drunk Driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are a nationwide problem, but Broward County has more than its share of intoxicated drivers. As with reckless driving, drunk driving generally has consequences that include criminal punishment in addition to the personal injury claim.
- Poor Weather: Rainstorms are common in South Florida, and inclement weather is a contributing factor for many Fort Lauderdale car accidents. These heavy downpours can reduce visibility and make the road surfaces more slippery. A driver who fails to adjust his or her driving to poor weather conditions could be found liable for reckless driving.
- Accidents with Keyless Ignition Cars: Keyless ignition cars cause accidents including inhalation of carbon monoxide — a hazard that can lead to serious injury or death.
When are Drivers Required to Report Car Accidents in Florida?
If you have been involved in a fender bender and are wondering if it is worth dealing with the insurance companies, there are two separate – and equally important – questions you need to answer: (i) Are you required to report the accident to the police and/or your insurer? (ii) Even if you are not legally required to report the accident, it is still in your best interests to do so? The answers to these questions are not as straightforward as they may seem, and our Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers are here to help.
There are several circumstances under which drivers are required to report car accidents under Florida law. As you can see, several of these circumstances can potentially be relevant even in the case of a fender benders or other “minor” collision:
- The other driver fled the scene of the accident
- The other driver was under the influence of alcohol
- The accident involved a commercial vehicle
- Either your or the other driver was operating a rental car
- The accident involved personal injury or death
- Any vehicle involved in the accident needed to be towed
Additionally, most auto insurance companies require their policyholders to report all accidents regardless of severity, and this requirement may be written into the terms of your policy. If you fail to timely report an accident and then subsequently file a claim for coverage, your insurance company may try to argue that your failure to timely report the accident justifies a denial of coverage.
Our Florida Automobile Accident Lawyers Encourage You To Report Your Car Accident
Let’s assume that you are not required to report your fender bender under Florida law or the terms of your auto insurance policy (which is not an assumption you should make until you have spoken with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney). Should you report the accident anyway?
As we mentioned above, there are a number of reasons why it may be in your best interests to report the accident even if you are not required to do so. For example, potential issues that could come up once you get home following the accident include:
- The other driver claims that the accident never happened
- The other driver claims to be seriously injured and accuses you of being at fault
- You begin to experience pain or other symptoms of a potentially-serious injury
Among all of the various reasons why you may want (or need) to report a car accident, this last reason is in many respects the most important. After a car accident, it is common not to experience symptoms right away, and even “minor” accidents such as fender benders can cause concussions and other serious injuries. If you have been injured, your medical expenses and other costs could quickly get out of hand, and reporting the accident promptly could be critical to recovering just compensation.
Why You Should Consult with a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Motor Vehicle Insurance Rules Are Complicated
Even in very simple scenarios, dealing with insurance is complicated. It’s hard to know how you’re supposed to comply with procedures for car insurance and health insurance and be sure you’re getting the compensation you’ve paid for with your premiums. And if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, things get more complicated. An experienced accident attorney has the expertise to sort through the procedures and help you get the coverage you purchased with your policy.
Insurers Want You to Settle Quickly
You may be surprised to hear from insurance companies the day after your car accident. They’re not being neighborly, they’re trying to get you to settle as quickly as possible so they can close the file on your case. Problem is, you may be entitled to a better settlement than what they offer. A car accident lawyer can help you understand what they’re doing and how to respond. (Read more about auto accident settlements here)
Liability May Extend to Other Parties
If your car or the car that hit you was found to have a design or manufacturing defect, the car manufacturer could share in the liability for your injuries. A good injury lawyer knows to check out all possible liabilities associated with the case, not just the other driver. If the car that hit you is found to be defective, this information could also be beneficial to future accident victims as well.
You Have Nothing to Lose By Calling a Car Accident Law Firm
Many top accident and injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. If there is no judgment awarded, there is no attorney fee. At the Maus Law Firm, we can evaluate your situation and explain what type of settlement you’re entitled to. You have nothing to lose by calling, and a lot to lose by not calling.
Collecting Evidence to Prove Your Accident Claim
When you need to recover financial compensation after an auto accident, collecting evidence is crucial to proving both (i) your legal right to be compensated, and (ii) the amount that you are entitled to recover. While you may have some evidence already, you will need to hire a Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer to gather additional evidence in order to prove your claim for damages.
Evidence You May Already Have in Your Possession
What evidence might you have already? If you have any of the following, you should bring it with you to your free initial consultation:
- Photos or video from the scene of the accident
- Repair estimates and/or photos of the damage to your car
- The other driver’s insurance and contact information
- Contact information for any eye witnesses
- Scans, test results and other medical records
- Medical bills and receipts for your prescriptions
- Any notes you have taken to record details of the accident or the effects of your injuries
While all of these forms of evidence can be helpful, none of them are strictly necessary. So, if you don’t have something, you shouldn’t worry. However, in order to make sure that your lawyer has the best chance to recover your losses, you will want to schedule a free consultation about your accident as soon as possible.
Evidence Your Accident Lawyers Will Need to Collect for You
In addition to the types of evidence listed above, there are various additional forms of evidence that your attorney will need to collect in order to pursue your claim. This includes evidence from the scene of the accident, other evidence of liability, and evidence of the extent and effects of your injuries. Examples of the types of evidence that can be used to prove liability for an automobile accident include:
- Forensic evidence from the scene of the accident
- The official police report
- Traffic or security camera footage
- Eye witness statements
- Cell phone records
- Employment records (if the other driver was working at the time of the crash)
- Vehicle maintenance and repair records
Examples of the types of evidence that can be used to prove the amount you are entitled to recover for your accident-related losses include:
- Expert opinions from medical specialists
- Expert opinions from accountants and other financial professionals
- Your education and employment history
- Statements from friends, family members and coworkers
- Documentation of the direct out-of-pocket costs you have incurred due to your injuries
- Documentation of your pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Other evidence of the financial and non-financial impacts of your injuries
In the end, the more evidence you have in support of your claim, the higher your chances are of securing a favorable result. Fort Lauderdale accident lawyer Joseph Maus has decades of experience helping victims and families recover just compensation, and he can use this experience to help protect your legal rights.
Contact the Lawyers at the Maus Law Firm Today
Our Fort Lauderdale automobile accident attorneys will help you seek compensation for your injuries after a car accident. It is important to work with a car accident law firm who has extensive experience with motor vehicle accidents and knows how to obtain the most compensation for their clients. For a consultation, contact us online or call 855-999-5297.