Experienced lawyers explain why these accidents happen in Florida
While car accidents can happen anywhere in Sarasota, Florida, one of the most common places where they occur is at intersections. The same is true throughout Florida. Intersection accidents often happen statewide and result in serious injuries or fatalities, especially in cases involving head-on collisions and T-bone accidents, when one vehicle crashes into the side of another car. Worst of all, intersection accidents have been getting worse in recent years.
Why are intersections so dangerous in Sarasota? How bad is the problem? And what should a driver do if they’re involved in a bad car accident caused by another driver at an intersection? Below, you can learn more about intersection accidents and better understand your rights, thanks to Sarasota car accident lawyers with years of experience representing injury victims in such cases.
How bad is the problem?
Car accident fatalities overall in Florida and Sarasota continue to climb higher every year. In 2020, even though there were fewer drivers on the road, Florida and Sarasota both had record highs for motor vehicle fatalities last year, according to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). In 2020, a total of 3,342 people statewide and 64 people in Sarasota County died in motor vehicle accidents. Statewide, that was most motor vehicle fatalities in a single year since 2006, when 3,365 people died in car accidents in Florida. Sarasota’s 2020 death toll was also the highest in years.
As for intersection accidents, these types of accidents continue to be a serious problem in Sarasota and statewide. In 2019, a total of 884 people were killed in intersection accidents in Florida, along with 6,748 incapacitating injuries and 28,693 non-incapacitating injuries, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the FLHSMV. Since 2013, Florida has defined an incapacitating injury as “disabling injuries, such as broken bones, severed limbs, etc. These injuries usually require hospitalization and transport to a medical facility.”
As for Sarasota County, intersection accidents resulted in the second most fatalities (single-vehicle crashes were the highest) of any type of accident in 2019. That year, 25 people died in intersection accidents in Sarasota, the most intersection fatalities in the county since 2015, when 26 people died in these types of crashes in Sarasota. What’s more, intersection accident fatalities in 2019 accounted for 43.8 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in Sarasota County that year, when 57 people died overall in car accidents, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Nationwide, intersection accidents are just as dangerous. More than 50 percent of motor vehicle accidents that result in fatalities or injuries occur at or near an intersection, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Why do intersection accidents happen?
While the particular circumstances surrounding every intersection accident are different, many have certain things in common. Often, such accidents happen because one of the drivers was behaving in a reckless or negligent manner. Specific reasons why can include:
- Running a red light and crashing into another vehicle
- Not stopping for a stop sign and colliding into another car
- Speeding through an intersection, resulting in an accident
- Distracted drivers not paying attention at an intersection
- Texting drivers causing a head-on collision or T-bone accident
- Drunk drivers unaware that they’re driving through an intersection
- Tired drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and crash into other vehicles
These are just some of the reasons why intersection accidents happen in Sarasota. The bottom line is drivers need to be prepared to take certain steps after an accident to protect their rights and their well-being.
What should drivers do afterward?
If you have been injured in an intersection accident caused by another driver in Sarasota, here are some of the recommended steps you should consider taking the following steps after your crash. Keep in mind that every accident is different and you may need to take additional steps, as well.
At the scene of your intersection accident, such steps should include:
- Call the police and ask them to respond to your accident.
- Ask the police to send an ambulance if you or anyone else appears injured.
- If you believe you have a serious injury, ask to be taken to the nearest emergency room.
- Talk to witnesses who saw your accident and get their full name and phone number.
- Take pictures of your accident, especially before the vehicles are moved if possible.
- Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, and insurance information.
- Do not discuss your accident with the other driver or anyone other than the police.
Several hours or days after your accident, you should take the following steps:
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about the legal options available to you.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Many car accident injuries, including whiplash and concussions, sometimes take several days to develop.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions after your accident. If you fail to do so, your injury claim or efforts to obtain additional money for injury-related expenses, including medical bills, could be denied due to not following your doctor’s instructions.
- Call your insurance company and tell them you have been in an accident caused by another driver. Keep your comments brief during your first call. Even though it’s your insurance company, it’s best to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies shortly after an accident.
- Obtain a copy of your official Florida car accident report from the police officer who investigated your Sarasota accident. If you are not sure how to do this, your lawyer can help obtain a copy of your report and review it with you to make sure it’s accurate.
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not talk to them or answer their questions. You have the right to refuse to talk to them. Anything you say can be used to reduce or deny your accident claim. If they insist on talking to you, simply tell them to talk to your lawyer.
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a settlement offer, keep in mind that many insurance companies make lowball settlement offers soon after an accident. Often, they’re hoping you will accept such an offer rather than ask for additional money to cover all your past, present and future anticipated accident-related expenses.
- Do not discuss your accident or post anything on social media about your crash. Anything you say or write could be used by the at-fault driver’s insurance company to deny an injury claim related to your accident.
If you have any questions about what to do after your accident, talk to your attorney as soon as possible. It’s their job to advise you on the best course of action after your crash.
How can a lawyer help in such cases?
You might think you don’t need an attorney if another driver clearly caused your intersection accident, but cases often turn out to be very challenging. Sometimes, it’s the other driver that’s the issue. They might deny doing anything wrong and try to claim you somehow caused the accident.
Other times, the other driver’s insurance company can be a problem. If your accident-related expenses add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more, don’t be surprised if the other driver’s insurance company does everything they can to try to reduce or deny your claim.
Our dedicated accident attorneys at Farrow & Pulice, Attorneys At Law in Sarasota can help you every step of the way. We have years of experience investigating accidents in Sarasota and throughout central Florida. We understand how the legal system works in Sarasota County. We’re familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to motor vehicle accidents. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success. In case after case, we consistently obtain large settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families. Case results matter here.
Learn more about how we can help you after your intersection accident. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today. We have seven offices conveniently located throughout Florida, including two offices in Sarasota.