Types & Causes of Car Accidents
Car accident deaths kill more than 37,000 people each year, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). Roughly 9,600 of those deaths are people under the age of 20. Over 2 million people are injured or disabled annually. These crashes cost the United States around $230.6 billion annually.
In 2015, the United States saw a 14% increase in accident related deaths in a one-year period, the largest single year increase in five decades.
What’s Causing All of These Accidents?
According to the Center for Disease Control, the majority of accidents are caused by one of three things.
- Drunk driving (or driving under the influence) resulted in 1.41 million drivers being arrested in 2010. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates the approximately 300,000 people drive drunk daily.
- Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all accidents. Our society likes things fast. We microwave our dinners, chat on our Bluetooth while running through the 1-hour dry clean, all while texting the boss. It comes as no surprise that many people speed while driving. Speeding is the second most common reason to be involved in an accident. Remember, the difference between a few miles per hour can be the difference between life and death.
- Distracted Driving. We’ve all seen it. Pull up to any stop sign and the person next to you is likely to be on the phone. Light turns green, and they don’t even notice. Sadly, drivers using smart phones while driving are four times more likely to get into a serious car accident. By texting and driving, you increase the likelihood that you’ll get into an accident 23 percent!
Lower Gas Prices and the Economy
The National Safety Council also attributes the large increase in accidents to lower gas prices and an improving economy, resulting in more people on the road, especially during the summer months for vacation. “One of the strongest correlations tends to be between the economy and traffic fatalities,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the NSC told Newsweek. “When the economy is doing well and things are growing, we tend to see more fatalities.”
Whatever the Cause or Type of Accident, Buckman and Buckman, P.A. Can Help
We care about the well-being of our community where we work and play. Please remember to follow the rules of the road. We hope to meet under the best of circumstances, not by accident.
The attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A., are extremely experienced in all areas of Personal Injury, Car Accident, and Motorcycle Accident cases. We are aggressive trial lawyers with a strong track record of client compensation. We have practiced law for over 18 years in the Sarasota and Manatee communities and have earned the respect of our peers and clients.
To find out what you should expect from a personal injury lawyer, click here. Or call us at 941-923-7700.
Intersection Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries
Intersection accidents are very common and usually happen in one of three ways:
- A driver runs a red light causing a head on collision.
- One car rear ends another.
- A vehicle turns into the path of oncoming traffic while trying to cross the intersection, causing a side-impact accident.
Side impact accidents are usually severe and the people involved often have spinal injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and worse. In fact, side impact car accidents are often fatal because the victims are sitting in a part of the car that has very little structural protection.
The law says that the driver who causes an intersection accident can be held liable for injuries to other drivers and passengers in the accident. But even in a clear-cut accident case, you should never file a “do it yourself” insurance claim because that’s exactly what the insurance company wants. It allows them to manage your claim.
That’s why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury and accident lawyer representing you if you’ve been injured. Remember, it’s the insurance company’s job to settle your claim for as little money as possible, no matter how badly you’re hurt.
Complexity of Multi-Car Pileups Requires a Thorough Investigation
The first step in a personal injury accident investigation of a complex multi-vehicle crash is to reconstruct the accident scene immediately. Waiting too long to contact an attorney in these situations can make a complicated accident investigation even more difficult.
Often it takes time to get toxicology reports back and those results could impact the case outcome, so having your attorney stay on top of these case elements is essential. By gathering as much evidence as possible as soon as possible, it usually makes for a much stronger claim against the negligent driver’s insurance.
Another thing to investigate very closely are the traffic devices at the intersection. Your attorney will want to time the lights, look at the pedestrian crossing signals, and check for anything unusual at the intersection. Again, time is what makes this part of building a personal injury case so important. At the end of the day, the injured victims will want to be certain that their claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is as strong as possible.
Often the insurance investigation to determine fault is based on different factors than the police use to determine blame in a traffic citation. That’s why you need an attorney to represent you – to make sure your medical bills and other expenses are paid and that you’re represented in all aspects of the accident investigation.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident by a driver who ran a red light, the personal injury attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A., can help you in the fight against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Special Issues in Crashes With a Hit and Run Driver
What makes a hit and run driver take off instead of stopping? Sometimes the driver panics. They act irrationally and do the first thing that comes to them – they run. But other hit and run drivers may be scared of getting in trouble, especially if they’ve been drinking or have something illegal in their car.
These drivers make a decision to run if they’ve got something to hide, or something to loose. Unfortunately, the person who loses the most is the victim. In Sarasota and Manatee Counties, hit and run accidents are more common that you’d expect. And for pedestrians involved in hit and run accidents, the outcome is often deadly.
What should you do after a hit and run accident?
- Call 911 and get immediate medical attention.
- Report everything you can about the car, the driver, and the circumstances to the police as soon as possible. If you can, write down the details of what happened immediately so you don’t have to rely only on your memory. Or have someone else write this down for you.
- If it’s possible, get photos of the accident scene and get the names of witnesses.
- Contact an attorney like the lawyers at Buckman and Buckman, P.A., in Sarasota or Manatee counties for more information about what you can do if you’re the victim of a hit and run car accident, motorcycle accident or a pedestrian accident.
Multi-Car Accidents: A Chain Reaction of Blame
In every multiple car accident, there is usually a chain reaction of blame. Which driver started the accident? Were other drivers at fault or driving negligently? If you were rear ended and then crashed into the car in front of you, whose fault is that? What if your car got pushed into oncoming traffic in another lane? It’s so complicated and convoluted that there’s a ripple down of cause and effect and blame. To get a better idea of how confusing these crashes are, read the details of a Sarasota accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol:
“Vehicle-1 was stopped in the driveway of the Sunoco Gas Station located at 3190 SR-758 (Bee Ridge Road) facing north. Vehicle-2 was traveling eastbound on SR-758 (Bee Ridge Road) in the left lane.Vehicle-3 was traveling westbound on SR-758 approaching the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road in the left lane. Vehicle-4 was traveling westbound on SR-758 approaching the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road in the center lane. Vehicle-5 was traveling westbound on SR-758 approaching the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road in the right lane. The driver of Vehicle-1, (D-1) proceeded to make a left turn onto SR-758 in at attempt to travel west and stopped in the left eastbound travel lane. The front of Vehicle-2 struck the right front of Vehicle-1. Due to the impact of the collision Vehicle-2 rotated counter clockwise traveling northeast in the westbound lanes of SR-758. The Driver of Vehicle-3 observed Vehicle-2 and took evasive action and swerved into the center westbound travel lane of SR-758. The right front of Vehicle-2 struck the front of Vehicle-3. Due to the impact of the collision the right front of Vehicle-3 struck the left front and side of Vehicle-4. The right front of Vehicle-4 struck the left front of Vehicle-5. Vehicle-4 then traveled northwest on SR-758. The right side of Vehicle-3 struck the left side of Vehicle-5. Vehicle-5 struck a pedestrian crossing sign with its right front. Before coming to final rest the front of Vehicle-4 struck the rear of Vehicle-3. The Driver of Vehicle-2, (D-2) was ejected onto the roadway of SR-758 and was transported by Bayflite to Blake Medical Center.”
Anyone involved in a multiple car accident like this one should hire an attorney immediately. Here are more reasons why:
- A Traffic Ticket Can’t Be Used as Evidence in Court
You can’t depend on a police report or a traffic ticket to prove that another driver caused your injury. Believe it or not, traffic citations issued by the police cannot be used as evidence in a civil trial. It is your lawyer’s job to determine who is at fault in a multi-car accident, not the police officer who was on the scene.
- What the Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Know
The other driver’s insurance company knows that you cannot use a traffic ticket to show blame in a civil court. The insurance company counts on the fact that you don’t know that information. That’s why you need an independent investigation of the accident. When you hire an accident attorney, that is the first thing they will do for your case. Again, don’t count on a police report or citation to make your case. It won’t work.
- Other Accident Victims Can Sue You Even If It’s Not Your Fault
You could be badly hurt because of someone else’s bad driving, but still end up getting sued by one of the other accident victims. This happens all the time in multiple car accident cases. Again, that’s why you need an attorney who will conduct an independent investigation of the entire accident to show that you were not at fault.
- Multi-Car Crashes Cause More Serious Injuries
When people get hurt in multiple vehicle accidents the injuries are usually much more severe than in typical crashes. Forces from different sides of the car are involved and can lead to very intense impacts on your body. In a typical two-car accident, it’s clear who caused your injuries. Fault gets more complicated when there are 3 or more other drivers involved. That’s when it’s essential to hire a car accident attorney to help you fight back.
Legal advice after a multi-car accident can make the difference if you face the possibility of huge medical expenses, lost work time, insurance increases, car repairs, and more. The attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A., are experienced in representing victims of multiple vehicle crashes. Let us evaluate your case to see how we can help you with the investigation and insurance issues.
The Passenger-Driver Relationship
Most people riding in a car together have some sort of relationship. They’re friends or family or co-workers. So when a driver causes an accident, sometimes the passenger is reluctant to hire an attorney because of the friendship. That’s a big mistake.
Your lawyer is NOT going after the driver. Their job is to protect you from the insurance company. Your attorney will make sure the insurance company treats you fairly and get your medical bills paid. There’s nothing you can do to prevent the police from filing charges against the driver. That’s out of your hands.
However, an attorney who is sensitive to your relationship with the driver can help make the personal injury process go smoothly. Ultimately, the goal is to get you back on your feet so you can work out your relationship with the driver.
Red Light Running Accident Investigations
Red light running is one of the most common intersection accidents and seriously hurts about 165,000 people in the U.S. each year. Often the victims hurt by a red light runner are driving through the intersection when out of nowhere another car slams into them. These types of “out of the blue” crashes tend to happen when the red light runner is also a distracted driver or an impaired driver.
An experienced car accident lawyer should know how to conduct a thorough crash investigation to show proof that the other driver was negligent. That includes knowing how red light cameras work, how the stoplights are triggered, testing the lights for timing issues, even looking for nearby store surveillance video if there’s no intersection camera. It’s all valuable evidence that can prove that your injuries were conclusively caused by the red light runner.
Why You Should Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Buckman and Buckman, P.A.
Drake Buckman and Amiee Buckman are experienced Sarasota personal injury lawyers who have successfully investigated many types of serious car accidents for many clients. Their goal is to make sure Sarasota car accident victims are treated fairly by aggressive insurance adjusters.
Find out more about how Buckman and Buckman, P.A., can help you and your family during the aftermath of a car crash. Call them at (941) 923-7700 for a free case evaluation. You can also reach them online through their free case evaluation form.