Tough times have led some people to make bad choices, especially when they get behind the wheel of a car. And for Floridians, going out on the road is becoming more dangerous every year. The Sunshine State now ranks third for the highest number of traffic fatalities in the nation.
Risky driving behaviors, such as driving aggressively, driving over the speed limit including speeds of over 80 miles per hour, driving while impaired or distracted, or driving without a seatbelt, have been steadily on the rise in recent years. Throughout 2020, even with fewer drivers on the road, motor vehicle deaths went up.
When factored against vehicle miles travelled (VMT), however, the rate of casualties was 24% higher over the previous year, marking the greatest surge since data-collecting began. Authorities attribute this spike to risky driving.
What happens when you are in a car accident
The damage that occurs from an avoidable accident is a tragedy that takes a split second to happen but scars the victims and their families for life. Floridians who are serious injured by negligent or aggressive drivers may have to deal with bills for hospital stays, medical and rehabilitative treatment and loss of income, not to mention the pain and suffering that the other driver’s actions have caused.
Although insurance companies are supposed to respond in a timely manner, they often deny or delay claims, or offer to settle for far less than what the claim is worth. Knowing the laws that apply to your case can help when filing a claim.
The theory of comparative negligence guides Florida law, which means that if the injured party was partially to blame for the accident, the amount they may recover will diminish according to the percentage of their responsibility in causing the accident.
If more than one party is to blame for the accident, such as the vehicle equipment manufacturer in a case involving a malfunctioning airbag, faulty brakes or other defective equipment, they may share liability for damages even if the plaintiff has not named them in the lawsuit.
Victims may file a claim for medical expenses related to the accident, outpatient care, lost wages, pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. In general, the statute of limitations on filing a claim in the state is four years.