Personal Injury Law Firm
Protecting The Rights of Florida Accident Victims
Car Accident Lawyer in Sarasota & Venice
Helping Accident Victims in Florida Seek Fair Compensation
Traffic crashes are among the most common types of accidents and causes of fatal injuries in Florida and throughout the country. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that auto accidents resulted in over 38,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2020; in Florida alone, about 6,500 annual car crashes lead to over 3,100 fatalities.
Car accidents—whatever the cause—pose a threat to all drivers and passengers on the road, and often leave those involved with serious injuries. An auto accident can occur due to any number of factors but most often, negligence, recklessness or carelessness play a key role.
If a driver’s irresponsible decisions leave you or your loved one injured, a skilled Venice car accident attorney from Gerber Law can help you seek crucial coverage for your medical costs and resulting financial losses, as well as compensation for the other physical, emotional, and monetary hardships you might incur as a result.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
The following negligence-related behaviors are some of the top contributors to car crashes in Sarasota and throughout Florida:
- Distracted drivers – According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), driver distraction plays at least some role in 25-50% of all auto accidents. The most typical driver distractions include other accidents on the road (rubbernecking), observing the scenery, paying attention to children or other passengers, adjusting the radio, talking or texting on a mobile phone, using a GPS or other electronic device, reading, and eating or drinking.
- Fatigue – The NHTSA reports that driver fatigue causes about 100,000 accidents in the U.S. annually. Especially when a driver has been on the road for an extended period of time without taking proper rest, they become a risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Symptoms of driver fatigue include heavy eyelids, frequent yawning, misjudging traffic situations, and an inability to maintain a constant speed.
- Drunk driving – Alcohol plays a part in about 30% of fatal car accidents according to the NHTSA. Drinking and driving is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous to everyone on the road, and can easily lead to catastrophic injuries. And driving drunk is not taken lightly in the legal system. Those found guilty of DWI in Florida end up with a criminal record, not to mention serious fines to pay, potential jail time and/or a probation period, and possibly even loss of license.
- Speeding – Failing to obey the speed limit not only increases the risk of a car accident but also allows crashes that do occur to be more severe in damage and injuries.
- Weather – Florida is known for its rain and hurricane risk almost as much as it’s known for the sun and heat. While cold weather conditions like ice and snow pose little danger to Sarasota drivers, we must remain alert and prepared to adjust to weather hazards such as serious fog, winds, unpredictable showers, and even flash floods. Failure to do so could easily lead to hydroplaning and serious accidents.
Car Accident Injuries You Might Suffer in a Crash
A single auto accident can leave you and anyone else involved with numerous physical injuries—not to mention the financial impact, emotional trauma, potential loss of property and other immeasurable lasting damages.
After a serious car accident, it’s imperative to seek medical attention regardless of how you feel. Many internal or otherwise unapparent injuries could have occurred, and others might still be developing. It is common for people not to grasp the extent of their injuries immediately due to a rush of adrenaline in the wake of an accident, only to realize later the severity—and sometimes delaying critical medical care could mean the difference between life and death.
Consider some of the following types of injuries most common in a car crash and what could happen if they go untreated:
- Neck injuries – The most common neck injury associated with car accidents is whiplash, usually from read-end impact. Its symptoms include neck pain and restricted neck and head movement and rotation. Other common neck injuries include disc sprains, slips or ruptures.
- Back and spine injuries – Injuries to the mid and lower back can be serious. Fractured discs or vertebrae can cause permanent disability. Disc herniations or bulges can result in compression of the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are especially serious, as they can lead to paralysis—in fact, many require immediate surgery or other intervention in order to prevent lifelong damage. Early symptoms of a spinal injury include weakness of one or more limbs, numbness, tingling, difficulty breathing, or the inability to control the bowel or bladder. Additionally, nerves, ligaments, and muscles in the back often suffer damage in car accidents, with symptoms including pain and inflammation, soreness, and limited range of motion.
- Brain injuries – Often the most serious type of injury, brain trauma from an accident can range from mild to catastrophic. Less severe brain injuries include concussions, seizures, headaches, vertigo, and memory loss. The most grave, known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), include skull fractures, hematoma (brain bruises), and nerve damage, and can leave the victim with lifelong impairment or disability.
- Fractures –Broken bones such as arms, legs, ankles, and wrists are some of the most common car accident injuries. More serious compound fractures are also possible and typically require surgery to correct.
- Internal injuries – Broken ribs, torn spleens, punctured lungs, and internal bleeding are all commonly suffered in car crashes, but require diagnostic testing to identify. Without proper medical attention, many internal injuries can prove fatal.
Do You Need Pip Insurance in Florida?
Yes, all drivers registered in the state of Florida must carry a minimum of $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 worth of property damage liability (PDL) coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.
PIP coverage is part of Florida's no-fault liability system and is therefore the main way injury victims can recover compensation. Failure to have this required insurance can result in a penalties of a $500 fee and a license suspension of up to three years.
Florida is a No-Fault State
When it comes to car accidents, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, regardless of fault, each motorist must exhaust the coverage they carry for medical costs and property damage/loss before filing a claim for any damages beyond that.
Nevertheless, car accident victims who suffer serious injuries are likely to exceed the minimum coverage quickly—especially if they require extended hospital stays, round-the-clock care, or multiple surgical procedures. Indeed, if your car crash and resulting injury were caused by a negligent driver, you’ll likely be entitled to further compensation. Consult a reliable attorney from Gerber Law for guidance on your options and support throughout the process.
If you were hurt in an auto crash, you might find yourself temporarily incapacitated and facing serious medical costs, automobile repair fees, and in many cases lost wages from work you must miss while you rehabilitate. If your injury is more serious, you could be facing lifelong conditions that prohibit you from working, such as chronic pain or confinement to a wheelchair. Surely these costs should not be your burden, especially when the accident was someone else’s fault.
When you choose Gerber Law, your injury lawyer is your biggest ally and best resource in the wake of a serious accident; we advocate for you and look out for your best interests at every stage of the legal process. We know how to get you coverage for all your medical necessities, lost work wages, and consideration for the full breadth of damages you suffer.
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