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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

What are the most common reasons for car accidents?

As a Florida driver, you have probably witnessed your share of dangerous and reckless driving on the roads. Despite knowing the risks, many people engage in dangerous or reckless behaviors while behind the wheel. Sometimes, these choices affect others, causing accidents that leave innocent people with serious injuries.

If you suffered injuries in an accident that was the result of the reckless or negligent choices of another person, you have the right to take action. A civil claim is not an appropriate course of action in every situation, but it could be the right way for you to secure compensation and hold liable parties accountable. It may be helpful to start by understanding why car accidents happen and the most common reasons for collisions.

Negligence often important in bicycle accident cases

Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries and can sometimes be fatal. Lawsuits in Florida to pursue damages from biking crashes with cars raise many of the same issues as motor vehicle accidents generally. In many cases, the question of liability comes down to negligence, whether the bicyclist was negligent and whether the driver of the car's negligence led to the accident. Like motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists are obligated to obey traffic laws and other rules of the road.

Bicyclist are expected to be careful regarding their own safety as well as the safety of others on the road. Generally speaking, when a cyclist brings a lawsuit for damages following a bicycle and motor vehicle crash, the outcome depends on the negligence of the parties involved. Negligence on the part of the driver can manifest in many ways. Speeding, ignoring traffic signs or drifting into the bike lane will usually constitute negligence.

Do dram shop laws apply to your injury case?

The state of Florida sees more than its fair share of drunk driving accidents. Numerous people face injuries in such events every year. If you have fallen victim to a drunk driver, you probably already know you may seek compensation for any damages sustained by filing civil claims against the responsible party. Did you know you may also file claims against the establishment that over-served him or her? Dram shop laws allow for this.

Dram shop laws do exist in quite a few states, but each state has its own interpretation of the law. In Florida, dram shop laws are extremely strict. They will not apply to every drunk driving injury case, and even if they might apply, it can be difficult to convince the court that they should apply.

What to do after a truck accident

Statistics show that large truck accidents are an increasingly common occurrence on Florida roadways. Because of the massive size of commercial big rigs, these accidents tend to cause more damage, injuries and deaths than accidents involving passenger vehicles. They can also be a major hassle to deal with in terms of insurance claims because multiple parties, including the truck driver and the trucking company, are often involved in the claims process.

Experts say that there are several things drivers can do to stay safe, protect themselves from legal liability and maximize their settlement in the event of truck accidents. The first thing for drivers to remember is to remain calm and check everyone involved for injuries. Next, they should call 911 and move their vehicle to the side of the road if it is possible to do so. Drivers should then set about recording the scene of the accident by taking pictures, saving dashcam recordings and gathering witness statements from anyone who may have seen the crash occur.

Determining negligence in car accidents

The term "negligence" generally refers to failing to take care of something or someone. When it comes to legal terms, however, negligence has a precise definition that can be used to determine if a person will be responsible for damages. Learning the definition could help an individual in Florida who is considering filing a car accident injury claim.

Negligence typically can be used to prove legal responsibility in an auto accident if three caveats of the definition apply. First, there must be an expectation of reasonable care. When it comes to a road user, this part is usually a given. Those who choose to drive a vehicle must operate it in a safe and responsible manner. Second, there must be evidence that care was not exercised by a driver. There may be evidence of a driver using excessive speeds or swerving in and out of traffic. Someone who chooses to drive while drowsy, distracted or intoxicated is not exercising proper care.

House bill would mandate ignition interlocks in all new vehicles

Florida is one of more than 20 states that have laws requiring individuals convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol to fit ignition interlock systems to their vehicles. Drivers breathe into interlock devices before turning the ignition key, and their vehicles will refuse to start if even small traces of alcohol are detected. A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make the technology mandatory on every car, SUV, minivan and pickup truck sold in America.

The Abbas Drunk Driving Act is named after the victims of a drunk driving accident that claimed five lives in Kentucky in January. An intoxicated wrong-way driver struck the Abbas family's car as they were returning home from a vacation in Florida. The Michigan lawmaker who sponsored the bill believes that its passage would prevent many of the accidents involving drivers impaired by alcohol that kill about 10,000 road users in the United States each year.

When is it necessary to seek legal help after an accident?

After a car accident in Florida, it's not always easy to know what to do next. Should you go to a doctor? How can you know when it's necessary to seek medical attention? It's not always easy to navigate the aftermath of this type of traumatic event, even if it was not a serious car accident.

There are many reasons why it may be prudent to seek medical attention after a car accident. Establishing documentation is an important aspect of a successful personal injury claim, which may be a reasonable course of action for you in the future. It is also smart to make sure you do not have any underlying injuries that could cause issues down the road.

Teens crash more when newly licensed than when holding permit

Newly licensed teen drivers are more dangerous on the road than teens with a learner's permit, says one study from Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health. Drivers in Florida should know that the risk for a crash or near-miss with another car goes up eight months from the last three months that teens have their permit to the first three months that they have a license.

The study involved 90 teen and 131 parent participants. Through dash cams and special software that recorded braking and speed, researchers monitored teens from the time they obtained their permit to the end of their first year as licensed drivers. Due to the sudden absence of parent supervision, newly licensed drivers were found to engage in risky behavior like harsh braking, fast acceleration and severe turns.

Distracted drivers pose danger in school zones, at bus stops

You may be one of the many Florida parents who put your children on the school bus each weekday morning in order for them to get to school. You likely also allow your children to ride the bus home from school in the afternoons. This arrangement makes sense for you and numerous other families who may not have the ability to take the kids to or pick them up from school for whatever reason.

While riding the school bus is a relatively safe mode of transportation, it is not entirely hazard-free. In fact, your children may face considerable risk of danger because of distracted drivers as they get on or off the bus.

Speed continues to cause deadly truck accidents

In January, seven people were killed in a fiery traffic accident in Florida. The victims, who included five children, were headed to Disney World when they were struck by a tractor-trailer truck. The incident is an example of the thousands of deadly truck accidents that occur across the United States each year.

In 2014, there were 23,515 truck crashes in Florida, but that number skyrocketed to 32,513 in 2018. Even worse, most of the victims of accidents involving large trucks aren't truck drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 72% of fatalities in large truck crashes are occupants of the other vehicle, which is typically a passenger car or truck.

Father And Son Team Working Together To Serve Our Clients

Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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