Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can happen in an instant, leaving you shocked, injured, and facing thousands of dollars in medical and repair bills.
Did you drive properly and still find yourself in an accident? Did an ambulance need to take you to the hospital, or in the days afterward, have nagging aches and pains failed to dissipate—or did they grow worse, despite your doctor’s best efforts? Do you fear the bills that will start coming in the mail?
Call Law Offices of Jared Spingarn right away. Our Jacksonville car accident lawyers will hear you out, investigate your claim, and evaluate your case—all for free. If we choose to work together, we can fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.
Why Do so Many Jacksonville Car Accidents Take Place?
There are an average of 6 million accidents in the U.S. each year. Although people drove less than usual during 2020, data shows an estimated 38,680 motor vehicle fatalities that year. There are approximately 15,368,695 licensed drivers in Florida, so it is no surprise that car accidents happen all the time. Duval County has the highest accident rate of Florida’s top 10 counties.
Jacksonville is a large, heavily populated city, split in two by the Saint Johns River. The roadway system is complex and often under construction. An accident on one of the bridges can disrupt traffic for hours. I-10 and I-95 are often called two of the most dangerous interstates in America.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Frequently car accidents include:
- Rear-end accidents. These often happen because the driver in the back is following too closely. They may also be speeding or distracted.
- Head-on collisions. These accidents often happen because one vehicle crosses the centerline of a freeway and crashes head-on into an oncoming vehicle. In some cases, the driver is fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Intersection Accidents. These usually happen when a driver attempting to turn left has misjudged the speed of oncoming traffic or a driver has run a stop sign or signal.
- Side-impact collisions. These are commonly known as T-bone accidents. They are often serious or even fatal because the side of the vehicle is unable to absorb the impact.
- Sideswipe Collisions. These accidents frequently happen when a driver misjudges a curve or drifts across lanes.
- Multi-car accidents.
- Collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians.
What Are Some Common Causes of Jacksonville Car Accidents?
Countless variables contribute to car accidents. Human error contributes to more accidents than anything else. Even the most experienced drivers sometimes make mistakes or are forced into dangerous situations by the actions of other drivers. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates there were significant changes in driving behaviors during the pandemic. In general, drivers were more likely to engage in dangerous behavior such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, or failing to wear a seat belt.
Some common causes of car accidents include:
- Speeding – Speeding is involved in nearly 10,000 fatal accidents a year and has contributed to about thirty percent of accident fatalities for many years. In 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people. The risk of a crash increases for every mile per hour over the speed limit. In some cases, drivers exceeded the speed limit. In others, drivers were going too fast for road conditions. In 2020, average speeds increased, and incidents of extreme speeds became more common.
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving refers to any non-driving activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. According to the CDC distracted driving report, distracted drivers killed more than 2,800. In the United States, about 9 people are killed every day due to car crashes involving a distracted driver. Once a driver has been distracted, it takes only 3 seconds for a car crash to occur. Even a simple action such as reaching for an object increases the chances of a collision by about 8 times. The NHTSA reports that about 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while behind the wheel.
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs – Most people recognize the dangers of drunk driving, but alcohol remains a major factor in traffic accidents. In 2018, impaired driving accidents resulted in 10,511 fatalities. In 2019, 28 percent of all accident fatalities involved alcohol. Alcohol slows a driver’s reaction time, impairs their judgment, and overall hampers a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Over the years, public service groups have campaigned hard to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents; however, they continue to be an enormous problem. Driving while impaired by any substance can be deadly. In addition to drunk driving, impaired driving includes the effects of illegal drugs and some prescription or over-the-counter medications. In 2018, 12.6 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs.
- Driving while fatigued – Approximately 7.5 million U.S. drivers admit that they dozed off at the wheel every month. Drowsy driving may sound harmless, but a fatigued driver may experience many of the same problems with judgment and slow reaction as a driver who is impaired by drinking or drugs. Shift workers, commercial drivers, rideshare drivers, and people with sleep disorders are especially at risk. According to research, falling asleep at the wheel has led to approximately 292,000 crashes in six months.
- Aggressive driving – People may become angry, impatient, or stressed when driving. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as traffic offenses that are a danger to people or property. An aggressive driver may crowd the car in front, change lanes without warning, speed through red lights, or otherwise drive recklessly. Such actions are often done deliberately and without regard for the safety of others. In some cases, aggressive driving crosses the line into road rage. In one study, approximately 78 percent of U.S. drivers admitted to driving with aggression or road rage.
- Failure to yield – Failure to yield is a traffic violation in which a driver does not yield to traffic with the right of way. The driver who fails to yield may end up with a ticket and a fine, but they may also cause a serious accident. Such accidents often happen when a driver is turning at an intersection, merging, or colliding with bicyclists or pedestrians. Often the injured person drives into the driver who failed to yield.
- Vehicle defects – Usually, we assume that our cars are well constructed and safe, but a defect or malfunction can cause dangerous accidents. These issues may arise in the vehicle’s design, manufacture, or even repairs. If a vehicle defect resulted in a crash, those responsible might include the designer, manufacturer, and others in the chain of distribution.
Common Types of Jacksonville Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries vary widely but may include:
- Back, neck, and spinal injuries. There is a wide range of back, neck, and spinal injuries, including whiplash and temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Head injuries. Accidents can cause head injuries, skull fractures, or traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury disrupts the brain’s function and can lead to memory loss and other problems with cognitive functioning. In some circumstances, the injured person is not aware of the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries or other head injuries at first, so it is important to get medical care as quickly as possible.
- Internal injuries. Victims cannot always see or feel internal injuries. They are easy to miss without a thorough medical exam.
- Broken bones. Fractures, such as broken legs, arms, hips, pelvis, and others, are common car accident injuries. Some may require surgery or long-term treatment.
- Rib injuries. Our ribs protect our vital organs. Therefore, rib and torso injuries are not only painful but cracked and broken ribs can damage internal organs.
- Lacerations and burns. Cuts and burns may sound like relatively minor injuries, but they may leave the injured person with permanent disfiguring scars.
- Seat belt injuries. Seat belts save lives, but they also can injure the ribs, chest, sternum, shoulder, and abdominal area.
- Wrongful death. In a wrongful death claim, the family of a person who died in an accident may file a lawsuit for compensation.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Florida
Florida’s drivers are required to carry the following minimum insurance:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
- $10,000in property damage liability (PDL) benefits.
PIP means Personal Injury Protection. In Florida, it compensates the injured person for medical expenses and lost wages no matter who was at fault for the car accident.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that you turn first to your own car insurance coverage to get compensation for injuries and lost income. Therefore, after an accident occurs, each driver submits a claim to their own insurance company to cover losses. However, these rules do not always prevent a victim from filing a lawsuit. In some cases, the injured person may be able to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for financial losses, as well as pain and suffering and other intangible losses suffered as a result of the accident.
These exceptions to the no-fault law include:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
The Basics of Jacksonville Car Accident Lawsuits
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, and you meet the requirements of the exceptions to the no-fault law, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
The commonly accepted definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” If a lawsuit is based on someone’s negligence, the plaintiff needs to establish that the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff; that the defendant breached that duty; and that as a result of the breach, the plaintiff suffered an injury.
Another important statute is the “statute of limitations.” This is a law that determines the time within which you may file a lawsuit after an accident. In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits, including car accidents, is four years. Car insurance companies have their own rules for filing claims. It is essential to discuss all time limits with your attorney as early as possible to avoid missing any important deadlines. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today to get started.
What Types of Compensation Might Be Available in a Jacksonville Car Accident Case?
To recover compensation, also called damages, you must prove any damages that resulted from the accident. Therefore, you should keep records of your medical expenses and all other losses related to the accident. The amount of damages depends on many factors, including the extent and impact of the injuries and other losses.
Each accident is unique, so the losses and injuries vary widely, but may include:
- The cost of current and future medical care
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- In some cases, the court may award punitive damages
Contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to discuss your legal options and the damages that you can pursue.
What Steps Should You Take After a Jacksonville Car Accident?
- If possible, move to a safe area.
- Get medical care for yourself and others who may be injured. Remember that the symptoms of some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Stay at the scene of the crash and call 911. Florida’s statutes require that you report a crash with an injury or a fatality, a hit-and-run, a DUI crash, one that requires a wrecker, a crash with a commercial vehicle, or a crash with apparent damage of at least $500.
- Share information. Obtain the other driver’s contact and insurance information. If possible, gather information such as the other driver’s full name and contact information, license plate, driver’s license number, the name of their insurance company, and policy information. Also, note the specific location of the accident.
- Take pictures or videos of the vehicles, including interior damage, the area of the accident, and surrounding debris. Note any video cameras in the area that may have recorded the accident.
- Avoid posting pictures or comments about your accident on social media.
- Gather witness contact information.
- Contact your insurer.
- Contact your attorney. Avoid signing documents or discussing the question with fault until you have spoken with your lawyer. Contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn as soon as possible.
Consult a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney
Even car accidents that seem simple at first often have complicated legal issues. It may be difficult to know who is responsible. In some situations, more than one person or entity may bear liability for your injuries. A Jacksonville car accident lawyer has the skills and resources to investigate the causes of the accident, as well as gather and preserve all of the evidence to prove your case.
Discuss your case with a zealous Jacksonville car accident lawyer who will protect your rights and guide you through the process. For more information or to arrange a free consultation, contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn by calling 1-866-HIRE-JARED or contact us online.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
5011 Gate Parkway, Building 100, Suite 100
Jacksonville, FL 32256