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Top Causes of Car Accidents in Southwestern Florida - Experienced Attorneys Handling Complex Cases

Every car accident that occurs in Sarasota, Bradenton or surrounding communities is unique. But just as some types of car accidents are more common than others, many car accidents throughout the area can be attributed to any number of common causes. But even when the cause of your accident appears to be clear-cut, you may find that proving fault after an accident is difficult without the help of an experienced attorney.

At Farrow & Pulice, our legal team has over 50 years of combined experience protecting the rights of car accident victims across Southwestern Florida. We know how to find the right evidence. We typically consult top medical experts and accident reconstruction teams. We obtain police reports. We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the compensation you deserve.

If you've done nothing wrong or even if you're partially at fault for an accident, you deserve an attorney who is committed to getting justice. Call us today for a free consultation: 866-408-1220.

Some of the most common causes of car accidents include the following:

Let Us Protect Your Rights. Contact Farrow & Pulice Today.

Knowing what you need to do to protect your rights after a car accident can be difficult and confusing. If you've been injured, you may face skyrocketing medical bills due to ambulance and emergency room visits. The cost of your future care may be overwhelming. You may not be able to return to work. Car repairs and rentals can get expensive.

To make matters worse, the person who caused your accident may deny any wrongdoing. His or her insurance company might even delay your claim, deny your claim or say that it was you who caused the accident.

Hold careless drivers accountable. The experienced legal team at Farrow & Pulice is ready to fight for you. Call us today at 866-408-1220 or contact our firm online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our car accident law firm has offices in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Englewood, Lakewood Ranch and Port Charlotte that are centrally located to major hospitals for your convenience.

Distracted Driving

The dangers of distracted driving are well-documented. Drivers know they should focus on the road ahead. But many drivers across Florida use time spent behind-the-wheel to multitask - from texting and talking on smart phones to eating, drinking and even grooming. At Farrow & Pulice, our experienced attorneys understand that drivers shift their attention away from the road for a variety of different reasons. These drivers put all others on the road at risk and often cause some of the state's most catastrophic accidents.

Distracted driving includes any activity that requires you to take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off driving, such as:

  • Sending or reading a text message
  • Dialing or talking on your cellphone
  • Emailing messages
  • Visiting social media websites
  • Taking photos
  • Watching videos
  • Eating or drinking
  • Personal grooming
  • Talking with a passenger
  • Configuring radio or GPS system
  • Reading a map or navigational device
  • Reaching for an item in the backseat

Distracted driving is a public safety concern in Florida and throughout the United States. According to statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 3,300 people were killed in distraction-related crashes in 2011 and 2012. Furthermore, over 421,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2012, representing a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.

When injured by a distracted driver, it's important to contact an attorney who knows how to find the facts to support your claim. A distracted driver may deny any wrongdoing after an accident. His or her insurance company might even try to shift the blame to you for the accident. You may hear from a claims adjuster who wants you to settle for less than your case is worth.

With so much at stake, you need Farrow & Pulice on your side. Our firm works tirelessly to uncover the evidence necessary to hold distracted drivers accountable.

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Texting While Driving

Drivers in Florida know better than to text while behind the wheel. But while the dangers of texting and driving have been well-documented in recent years, thousands of drivers in the Sarasota area alone engage in this risky activity every day. According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, at any given moment when the sun is up in Florida, about 40,000 drivers are distracted by technology.

At Farrow & Pulice, our experienced attorneys have seen firsthand the devastating consequences that result from texting accidents involving other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. We know that victims and families who contact us are facing significant financial and emotional losses.

Florida drivers who pay more attention to their cell phone than the road ahead often cause rear-end crashes, head-on collisions and accidents at intersections. They may stray from their lane and cause bicycle or pedestrian accidents or hit a runner on the side of the street. These types of accidents may result in injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Head injury
  • Injury to the extremities
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation

Not only is texting while driving dangerous, it is also illegal. Effective October 2013, Florida drivers who text and drive face a nonmoving violation for a first offense and moving violations with points and fines for any subsequent offenses within five years. Although Florida does not have a law specifically banning cell phone use, you may be charged with reckless driving, defined by Florida Statutes 316.192 as "driving a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property."

Regardless of the criminal penalties and Department of Motor Vehicle consequences of driving while texting, a driver who is engaged in these inappropriate activities may be civilly liable for any personal injuries caused. Our attorneys subpoena phone and data records to determine whether the driver was distracted at the time of your accident and use the information to your advantage during civil procedures.

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Talking on a Cellphone

Cell phone use has exploded over the decade. It's not unusual to see people talking on their cell phones in Sarasota, Bradenton and surrounding communities. While talking on a cellphone while driving is not against the law in Florida, it's nevertheless a dangerous practice. Studies have found that simply talking on a phone and driving - even if it's a hands-free device - distracts your mind from processing information about the road ahead. Drivers who become distracted by their cell phone and ignore the road ahead cause some of the most catastrophic accidents seen on Florida roadways.

Farrow & Pulice has worked with accident victims injured in crashes caused by drivers talking on the phone and driving at the same time. Just because talking on the phone while driving is legal in Florida doesn't mean that driver should be given a pass for causing an accident. Yet all-too-often, insurance companies for at-fault drivers will try to minimize the responsibility of the careless driver. Claims adjusters will try to downplay the cause of the accident or injuries sustained in the crash. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you may be taken advantage of by these big companies that typically want to put profits before people.

Cellphone accident injuries can be particularly devastating, because when a driver's eyes are taken off the road, many types of accidents can occur, from rear-enders to rollovers. The result can be any number of car accident injuries, from broken bones to back and neck injuries. You need an aggressive legal team that will fight for you and your family. Don't let the driver who was on a phone call when they hit you get away with it.

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Drowsy Driving

Tired drivers pose a risk to everyone on the roadway. Drivers who get behind the wheel while fatigued have been responsible for deadly rear-end crashes and head-on collisions in Florida as well as many other types of serious accidents. Driver fatigue is often a factor in truck accidents.  But drivers of passenger vehicles, light trucks and delivery vans are equally at risk of causing an accident when too tired to drive.

While falling asleep at the wheel may seem like a victimless crime, Farrow & Pulice understands that fatigued drivers make the choice to get behind the wheel. Studies indicate that driving while tired has similar effects to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (See our drunk driving section for more information). That means a fatigued driver may be just as likely to swerve in and out of traffic lanes, ignore traffic signals, speed or engage in other reckless behaviors.

Florida created the RonShay Dugans Act, which established Drowsy Driving Prevention Week during the first week of September. The act was designed to offer education and awareness about the risks of drowsy driving. RonShay was an 8-year-old girl who was killed in a bus accident caused by a truck driver who was said to be fatigued and driving recklessly.

The cause of your accident may seem clear-cut. You were hit by a tired driver. But building a case against a fatigued driver who caused an accident takes more work than you may think. It can be difficult to prove that a driver fell asleep at the wheel. Sometimes, the driver may deny falling asleep. Other times the driver might claim you did something to cause the accident. Our skilled attorneys know how to handle such scenarios. We know how to hold fatigued drivers accountable for their reckless behavior.

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Drunk Driving

Florida drivers are well-aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving. But that doesn't stop drivers in Sarasota, Bradenton, Port Charlotte or other Southwestern Florida communities from getting behind the wheel and causing a serious accident. Farrow & Pulice, P.A. works relentlessly to hold drunk drivers accountable for their negligent actions. Our legal team helps clients get the compensation they deserve injuries sustained in DUI accidents.

Our law firm knows first-hand just how devastating impaired accidents can be. Not only have we handled these accidents, but founding partner Jo-Ann Pulice's father was hit by a drunk driver when she was in grade school. Jo-Ann tells the story to clients who ask why she became an attorney. Jo-Ann's family suffered an injustice because the drunk driver appeared to get preferential treatment because of her wealth. Her passion for justice was ignited that day.

What makes driving under the influence of alcohol so dangerous? Impaired vision, motor coordination, and response times that a drunk drivers exhibit make them capable of extreme recklessness on the road. Drunk drivers often exhibit the following behaviors immediately preceding an accident:

  • Swerving into oncoming traffic
  • Entering the highway on an exit ramp
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Forgetting to turn on headlights
  • Side-swiping a car in an adjacent lane

Florida's laws against drunk driving are contained in Florida Statute 316.193. Driving while impaired or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is illegal in the state. The drunk driver who ran into you faces a heavy sentence, including incarceration, probation, fines, and loss of driving privileges, if convicted of DUI. Under the American criminal justice system, prosecutors must prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt and often conduct an intense investigation to secure enough evidence to reach this high standard of proof.

If you are retained by our firm, our experienced Sarasota drunk driving accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate your crash and create a plan of action to obtain maximum compensation. We negotiate with the insurance companies to recover damages and take your case to trial if we think we can achieve better results. The civil courts require a lesser burden of proof, so you may recover financial damages even if the drunk driver is ultimately acquitted of the criminal offense of DUI.

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High-Speed Driving

Speeding is a major public safety concern on Florida roadways and common on roads such as I-75, Route 301 and Route 70 in the Sarasota area. But nothing feels common about a high-speed collision after you've been injured or a loved one was killed as a result of somebody else's negligence. While some drivers might dismiss speeding as a "minor" offense, Farrow & Pulice understands that the dangers of speeding cannot be dismissed.

More than 100,000 speeding tickets are written nationwide every day. One in six drivers receives a speeding ticket every year. When automobiles traveling at high speeds collide, the consequences can be especially catastrophic for drivers and passengers. The significant forces involved in high speed accidents can result in a variety of severe and potentially fatal injuries, from broken bones and whiplash to brain injury or spinal cord injury.

While posted speed limits help determine the safest speed on Florida roadways, other important factors exist in determining a safe speed of travel. Road conditions, weather and traffic volume often play a role in serious high-speed accidents. A speeding accident can happen anywhere or anytime and can be just as deadly on rural roads around towns such as Port Charlotte, Venice or Bradenton as major highways across the area.

At Farrow & Pulice, our experienced legal team has seen first-hand how a speeding accident can lead to years of physical, emotional and financial hardship. We put experience and resources to work for our clients to make sure they get all the financial compensation they need and deserve. We work with accident reconstructionists and collect police records. We have access to top medical experts. We put together a winning team to fight for maximum compensation. Contact us today. We're ready to fight for you.

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