Bradenton Car Accident Attorneys
Car accidents are on the rise in Bradenton and throughout Manatee County. In 2016 alone, 6,208 crashes occurred in the county, marking an 8.5 percent increase from the prior year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Meanwhile, the total number of crash-related fatalities (71) rose by 27 percent, and the number of injuries (4,445) went up by 14 percent. At Buckman & Buckman, P.A., we realize how these numbers represent individuals and families whose lives have been greatly affected. We want to help.
Unlike many law firms, at Buckman & Buckman, we are a family, too. We know that after a serious car crash, nothing is more important than your health and making sure you get the care you need. This is why we work hard to make sure our clients can spend this crucial time with their loved ones, while we protect their rights and fight for all compensation they are due.
Contact us today to learn more about our firm and schedule a free consultation with a Bradenton car accident attorney who will work tirelessly for you.
Why Do Car Crashes Happen in Bradenton?
Drivers in Bradenton and other communities in Manatee County can get into crashes for a wide range of reasons. Heavy traffic, a growing population and increased highway construction all contribute to the problem. But typically, it’s just human error. When someone fails to follow the rules of the road or behaves carelessly, it’s called negligence. Here are just a few ways that Bradenton drivers are frequently negligent:
- Distracted driving – Whether it is texting, talking on the phone, finding a business or messing with vehicle controls or GPS devices, distracted drivers cause thousands of serious crashes every year in Florida.
- Drunk driving – Drunk drivers remain a leading cause of highway fatalities in the U.S. But don’t forget that impaired driving includes driving after consuming illegal drugs or certain types of prescription medication.
- Driver fatigue – Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy or fatigued drivers can veer off the road, swerve and even fall asleep at the wheel, causing head-on crashes and intersection collisions.
- Speeding – Many people seem to think the speed limit has “wiggle room,” leading them to drive 10, 20, 30 or more miles per hour above the posted limit. This is very dangerous. It is also dangerous to go too fast when traffic, road and weather conditions demand a slower speed in order to be safe.
- Aggressive driving – Road rage and reckless driving are serious problems throughout south Florida and the Gulf Coast. You can find these aggressive drivers just about any time. They tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, travel at extremely high speeds and even race each other.
What Can You Do If You Are Hurt in a Bradenton Auto Accident?
If you are injured in a motor vehicle wreck in Bradenton, you have options. First, you will have to notify your own insurance company. This is because Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state. Here’s how the process works:
File your injury claim with your own insurance company. This triggers your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This benefit covers you and your passengers regardless of fault for up to $10,000 (or more, depending on the amount of coverage you choose to carry).
Determine if you qualify to bring a claim against the at-fault driver. If you have a minor injury that requires very little care, you will likely not be allowed to pursue a claim for injuries against the other driver’s insurance company. In order to pursue your claim against the at-fault driver, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Permanent injuries
- Permanent losses of important bodily functions
- Scarring or disfigurement
Keep in mind that permanency, disfigurement, scarring, and loss of bodily functions must be significant and proven by medical evidence.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you will need to explore other potential options. For example, if you carry uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, you may be able to collect compensation beyond your PIP benefits through this coverage. If the other driver has insurance – but not enough to cover your losses – you may be able to turn to your own underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.