Wrong-Way Car Crashes On Florida Roads
While automobile accidents happen with regularity on Florida roads, every so often, a wrong-way collision will occur, causing serious injuries and fatalities. Wrong-way crashes happen for a variety of specific reasons, and if you are involved in an auto accident with a wrong-way driver, you may be able to seek compensation from them for any injuries you suffered.
Fatalities Are Disproportionately High
Statistics estimate that only around 350 people are killed in wrong-way accidents per year, but this is a disproportionately high amount for the small number of these types of crashes that actually occur. A Michigan study showed that around 20 percent of wrong-way accidents involved a fatality, while only 0.3 percent of all other types of accidents could say the same. This is logical, given the almost-total lack of preparedness that a driver will have when suddenly faced with a driver going the wrong way, especially on a road with signs and markings.
There are multiple causes of wrong-way accidents, though some do tend to show up at a higher clip than others. For example, intoxication is disproportionately common in wrong-way crashes, with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimating that as high as 70 percent of wrong-way drivers were intoxicated at the time of their accidents. Another often-seen factor is a lack of visibility, either in terms of not seeing an incoming vehicle, or not seeing wrong-way signage, especially since most wrong-way crashes occur at night.
Florida follows a no-fault system of auto insurance, meaning that if you are in an accident, you generally seek compensation by filing a claim with your insurance company (or, in some cases, the insurer of the person who struck you and caused the accident). Every Florida driver is required to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance before driving on Florida roads, though a significant minority do drive without insurance. The idea is that if an accident occurs, both drivers are (in theory) carrying enough insurance coverage to ensure that their medical bills are paid.
However, many accidents do not wind up this neatly – if you are struck by a wrong-way driver who comes from out of state, or are uninsured, they may not have the required insurance coverage, or your injuries may simply be too severe to be covered by your PIP coverage. If the latter is true, Florida law does have a provision that states if you suffer a “significant and permanent” loss of a bodily function, or another type of permanent injury, you are permitted to file suit against the person who is allegedly responsible, so as to give you a greater chance to recoup some of the costs and lost wages you have sustained.
Call A Tampa Wrong-Way Crash Attorney
Wrong-way accidents are some of the most dangerous, having a higher chance to result in injury or fatality. If you have been injured in an accident with a wrong-way driver, you need to enlist the help of a Tampa car accident lawyer to make sure that you have the best chance to recover for your injuries. The Rinaldo Law Group has experienced attorneys who can offer you compassionate and zealous representation so that you can focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.