St. Petersburg Rear-End Accident Lawyers
Rear-end crashes are the most common types of car accidents in the United States. If a driver hits your car from behind, especially at a high speed, there’s great potential for property damage and injuries. Statistically, Florida is one of the least safe states for drivers. You should be aware of the consequences of rear-end accidents and the steps to take after one occurs. You can call Bulluck Law Group if you need to speak with a rear-end accident attorney in St. Petersburg.
REAR-END ACCIDENT DANGERS
Even at moderate speeds, rear-end accidents can cause significant injuries and damage. Many factors play a role in the outcome including speed, road conditions, and the size and weight of the vehicles.
About 28% of all motor vehicle accidents are rear-end crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safety features such as front-collision detection and automatic braking that come with new vehicles may help reduce the number of rear-end accidents. However, it’s ultimately up to drivers to safely operate their vehicles and do their best to prevent crashes.
COMMON CAUSES OF REAR-END CRASHES
Aggressive driving, driver inattention, driving under the influence, and poorly timed lane changes can all result in rear-end accidents. A rear-end crash commonly happens when the front driver brakes suddenly, and the rear driver is too close to be able to stop in time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as avoiding a hazard, pedestrian, or animal in the road.
Rear-end crashes can happen when visibility is low. If a driver forgets to turn on their lights between dusk and dawn, another driver may not notice there’s a car in front of them until it’s too late. Inclement weather can also impair visibility and affect a driver’s ability to stop quickly. Drivers should allow more time and distance between their car and other vehicles to prevent rear-end crashes in snow, ice, and rain.
In general, drivers should keep a healthy distance between their vehicles and other cars at all times. A good rule of thumb is to allow for one car length of distance per 10 mph. For example, if a driver is traveling 40 mph, they need to stay four car lengths away from the next vehicle. Drivers should use their best judgment when it comes to maintaining safe distances from other motorists.
REAR-END COLLISION SERIOUS INJURIES
Rear-end accidents may cause broken bones, cuts, and bruises. They can also lead to crushing injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and soft tissue injuries such as whiplash.
Whiplash is a common injury associated with rear-end crashes. The term implies a violent snapping or twisting of the neck and head. A sudden stop can cause the drivers and passengers involved to feel the force of impact while their seat belts secure them in place. The momentum can thrust an occupant’s head and neck forward and backward after impact.
Symptoms of whiplash include dizziness, headaches, nausea, and pain in the neck, head, and shoulders. Some victims also experience sleeping issues, memory loss, blurred vision, irritability, tinnitus, and depression. Generally, these symptoms will fade in a few weeks, but some people experience pain for months or even years after the accident.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A REAR-END ACCIDENT
Following a rear-end crash, you must call the police to report any injuries, deaths, or property damage, then wait at the scene for first responders to arrive. You should give law enforcement a concise statement about the collision—if you have minor injuries and can do so. If you are seriously hurt, call 911 and wait for help.
The police will remove the vehicles and clear the debris once they complete their initial investigation. If you’re not seriously hurt, you should try to take some pictures of the scene before this happens. This includes damaged vehicles, skidmarks on the road, and injuries. If you pursue a lawsuit, these photos could be crucial evidence.
REAR-END CRASH INSURANCE CONCERNS
When it comes to car accidents, Florida adheres to a no-fault law. This means a driver who’s hurt can file a claim with their insurance provider to get compensation. The state requires all motorists to have auto insurance that offers a minimum of up to $10,000 property damage liability coverage and up to $10,000 for personal injury protection coverage.
Motorists may buy additional coverage such as bodily injury liability. However, Florida’s no-fault law could make it more difficult for rear-end accident victims to get compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
ST. PETERSBURG REAR-END COLLISION LAWSUITS
If you were hurt in a rear-end crash, and you’ve already given a statement to the police and sought medical attention, you need to think about your legal options.
Insurance claims can be daunting, and the right lawyer can help you with the process and manage pushback from adjusters. If the insurance claim doesn’t cover your damages, a lawyer will advise filing a claim against the insurance company of the at-fault driver or building a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
REAR-END COLLISION COMPENSATION & DAMAGES
To recover pain and suffering damages from a rear-end collision in a no-fault state, you must have suffered a permanent injury or an injury serious enough to cause great pain and substantial recovery.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover all of your losses, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim against the driver. This process involves gathering evidence from the accident scene (such as pictures), obtaining statements from witnesses, and contacting medical experts to testify.
The fault in rear-end accidents is generally easier to determine than other types of car crashes. The driver of the rear vehicle is presumed to be negligent unless they can offer evidence to the contrary. Just because you made a sudden stop, that doesn’t necessarily take the blame off the rear driver.
To raise questions about liability, you must have stopped at a time and place that could not have been reasonably anticipated by the rear driver. The stop must have been arbitrary. A sudden stop at an intersection does not relieve the rear driver from presumption of negligence, because any driver is expected to maintain a safe distance in that situation.
If it can be proved that you were partially at fault, you can still get compensation from a settlement under Florida’s pure comparative fault law. The court will lower the amount you receive in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Do I Need an Attorney?
The rear-end accident attorneys at Bulluck Law Group understand the risks facing drivers in St. Petersburg. We know it can be frustrating to try to navigate Florida’s no-fault law and insurance issues. You may feel tempted to accept an insurer’s initial settlement offer to put the ordeal behind you, but then you’ll be left with far less compensation.
Before you talk to an insurance company about your rear-end collision, schedule a consultation with Bulluck Law Group. We can help you determine your legal options and maximize your recovery with our experience and expertise.
Were you or a loved one involved in a rear-end collision in St. Petersburg, FL, which resulted in an injury? Call Bulluck Law Group before talking to the insurance company.