Car accident statistics for this area
Tampa, and Florida as a whole, is filled with drivers all year round. This includes both locals as well as a perpetual stream of visitors who may be unfamiliar with our roadways. Unfortunately, this translates into a significant amount of car accidents each year. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 403,000 total traffic crashes reported during the latest year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were:
- 3,135 traffic collision fatalities
- 236,157 traffic collision injuries
Tampa offers plenty of attractions the draw in visitors from around the state and throughout the country, including our beautiful beaches, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the Florida Aquarium, and more.
Common causes of car accidents in Tampa
Some of the most common causes of traffic collisions in the Tampa area include a failure to obey traffic walls. In many cases, this includes:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Improper turning or improper use of turn signal
- Failing to stop at a stoplight or stop sign
However, looking beyond regular traffic violations, there are various other causes of collisions in Tampa. During the latest reporting year of data, state officials show that there were more than 5,000 traffic collisions involving alcohol and more than 670 traffic collisions involving drug-impaired drivers. In some cases, officials reported that drivers were impaired by both alcohol and drugs at the same time. Overall, there were more than 1,000 total fatalities and more than 2,600 injuries caused by drug or alcohol-impaired driving during the latest reporting year.
We also know that distracted driving poses a significant threat to those on the roadway in and around the Tampa area. Distracted driving occurs in various different ways, and is often associated with the use of cell phones. As our lives and vehicles have become more and more integrated with technology, this has led to more people taking their eyes off the road to focus on various screens and devices. It is not uncommon for vehicle accidents to be caused by drivers sending or reading text messages, browsing social media, creating videos, and more.
Most common car accident injuries
Most car accident injuries are relatively minor, and the victims are able to make a full recovery. However, it is important to remember that even minor injuries can cause a victim to sustain significant medical bills and time away from work.
Unfortunately, traffic collisions in Tampa often result in severe injuries for drivers. It is not uncommon for Tampa car accident lawyer Paul Rebein to help clients who have sustained the following injuries:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Other neck or back injuries (whiplash)
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
Each of these injuries can result in a victim incurring tremendous pain and suffering as well as significant medical bills. We also want to note that car accident victims can also sustain emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the accident and their subsequent injuries. It is not uncommon for a car accident injury victim in Tampa to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Will a Tampa car accident case need to go to trial?
The vast majority of car accident cases in Tampa will be resolved through the insurance carriers of the drivers involved. However, if the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies a claim, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a lawsuit in order to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, the matter will generally be resolved before going to a full trial. This will take place after negotiations between attorneys for both sides, usually while the investigation into the car accident is ongoing. However, a trial may be necessary if the at-fault party still refuses to offer a fair settlement.
What is the time limit to file a Tampa car accident case?
Every state is responsible for setting a time limit for how long injury victims have to file lawsuits against an alleged negligent party. The statute of limitations for a Tampa car accident case is going to be four years from the day the incident occurred. If a car accident victim does not file a lawsuit within this four-year window, they will lose the ability to recover any compensation for their claim.
Please understand that this four-year statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance reporting requirements. In general, you are required to report a car accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible after the incident occurs, often within a day or two of the incident. Failing to do so could result in your claim being delayed or denied by the insurance carrier. Please speak to a Tampa car accident lawyer as soon as possible to get your case moving in the right direction.
What kind of compensation is available for a Tampa car accident case?
Anybody who is injured in a car accident caused by the negligence actions of somebody else should be entitled to compensation for their losses. It is important to understand that no two Tampa car accident cases are exactly the same. However, Paul Rebein will be able to conduct a full investigation into your case and work to secure the following on your behalf:
- Coverage of all crash-related medical bills
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income if you cannot work while you recover
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Property damage expenses
The total amount of compensation available in a Tampa car accident case will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. Some elements that alter total compensation will include the severity of the injuries, whether there are any long-term disabilities, how much property damage there was, and more.
How will comparative negligence affect car accident settlement?
Another factor that could affect compensation in these cases involves shared fault. Many people think that if they contributed in any way to the car accident that they will not be able to recover compensation. However, that is not the case. Florida operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system when it comes to shared fault and compensation.
In Florida, car accident victims can still recover compensation if they were partially at fault for the incident. In some states, car accident victims cannot recover compensation If they are more than 50% or 51% responsible for the incident. However, Florida allows victims to recover compensation regardless of how much fault they had (up to 99%).
In these cases, the total amount of compensation awarded will be reduced based on a person’s percentage of fault for the incident. For example, if a driver is awarded $10,000 in total compensation, but it is determined that they were 20% responsible for the incident, then they would receive $8,000 in compensation.
What you can do to help your Tampa car accident case
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Tampa, there are various steps you can take immediately following a crash to help ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
- Seek medical care. Your first priority needs to be taking steps to ensure your well-being and the well-being of others involved in the car accident. If you have sustained any injuries, you need to seek medical care immediately. Even if your injuries seem relatively minor, please understand that the signs and symptoms of some car accident injuries do not appear until hours or even days after the incident occurs. Not only are you ensuring your well-being by seeking medical assistance, but you are also establishing an immediate link between the incident and your injuries.
- Begin gathering evidence. If you can safely do so at the car accident scene, you should begin gathering as much evidence as possible. Use a smartphone or other camera to take photographs of any damages to vehicles, injuries, debris lying around the accident, causes of the crash, and more. If there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, get their names and contact information. Finally, make sure to exchange information with other drivers involved.
- Keep track of all expenses. You need to keep track of every expense caused by the car accident. This includes all medical bills, any out-of-pocket expenses, prescription and over-the-counter medications, property damage expenses, and more.
- Keep a daily journal. Keep a daily log of your recovery progress. This can include your day-to-day activities following the incident and your injuries as well as information pertaining to how you are feeling (i.e. your level of pain, emotional well-being, etc.).
- Be wary of insurance carriers. Soon after an accident occurs, you will likely be contacted by the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver. Never go into detail about the accident and do not give a recorded statement. Do not sign over your medical records. Any information gathered by an insurance claims adjuster could be used against you to lower your settlement amount or even deny your claim.
- Continue medical care. You need to continue your medical treatment until you have reached maximum medical recovery. If you discontinue your medical care, the insurance carrier of the other party could use this as evidence that you should not receive much compensation.
What will a Tampa car accident lawyer do?
Most people who sustain injuries and property damage in a car accident do not have the resources to obtain maximum compensation for their claim. However, a skilled and experienced Tampa car accident attorney will be able to:
- Obtain any evidence related to the crash needed to prove liability, including available photo or video surveillance, accident reports, statements from eyewitnesses, and more.
- Work with trusted medical and economic professionals to help calculate a victim’s total expected losses.
- Handle all communication and negotiations with other parties in an effort to obtain a fair settlement on behalf of the client.
- Prepare a case for trial if the other party does not offer a fair settlement.
Contact our Tampa car accident lawyer for a free consultation
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You can count on Paul Rebein to have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into your case. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries and property damage, so contact our team today for a free consultation so we can get started.