Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have become ever more popular as motorists seek more room and safer vehicles. But just how safe an SUV really is depends on whom you ask. For pedestrians and bicyclists, an SUV can wreak havoc in a collision. If you suffered life-changing injuries or a loved one died in an accident involving an SUV, you may qualify for financial compensation. A Bradenton SUV accident lawyer from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman can assist you with an SUV accident claim and lawsuit. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
About Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we pursue compensation and justice for our clients. The shock and sudden changes your accident brought to your life are not fair. You do not have to deal with your case alone.
We can start by negotiating with an insurance adjuster on your behalf. And while many SUV accident cases settle out of court, some cases do go to trial. The goal is to not settle for less compensation than you deserve.
Your injuries or the death of your loved one was expensive. Medical costs constantly increase and funeral costs range in the thousands of dollars. Unexpected expenses, along with stress, can wreak havoc on your life.
SUV drivers typically escape accidents without any injuries. The vehicle saves them from serious harm or death. For pedestrians and bicyclists, there are no airbags or other safety equipment to protect them from harm.
If you suffered serious injuries or you lost a loved one in an SUV accident, take action.
Possible Forms of Compensation in Bradenton SUV Accidents
Our SUV accident lawyers typically fight for the following types of compensation:
- Time missed from work;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Medical bills;
- Ongoing medical costs such as rehabilitation; and
- Pain and suffering.
The outcome of your case will depend upon the details of your accident. There is no way to predict if you will receive compensation and if so, how much. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman fight aggressively to secure the best outcome possible in every case we take. Our proven track record demonstrates our commitment to our clients.
We can help you through this difficult time. The impact of an SUV crash on your life is profound. Our work on behalf of SUV accident clients is important to us. If you suffered serious injuries at the hands of an SUV driver, let us get to work for you.
The Popularity of SUVs in Bradenton
Everywhere you travel, you see SUVs. Their recent rise in popularity resulted in Ford discontinuing several types of sedans. In addition to the higher seating and extra space, SUVs are also consistently improving in performance. This may cause some drivers to push the limits of their SUV by speeding or showing off for other drivers.
Sportier SUVs draw additional drivers to the SUV market. While safety features protect SUV drivers and their passengers, they do nothing for pedestrians or bicycles in the event of an accident. Pedestrians and bicyclists are prone to serious injuries and death in an SUV crash.
Research shows that sedans cause less physical damage in similar accidents. The rise in popularity of SUVs is now causing a decline in sedan sales. The decline in sedan sales is in turn leading to a rise in pedestrian deaths.
The Danger of SUVs in Bradenton
The very features that draw drivers to an SUV are the same features that can cause serious harm to others. The higher profile of an SUV makes an impact with a pedestrian or bicyclist especially harmful.
Pedestrian deaths are on the rise throughout the United States and many experts attribute the rise to SUV crashes.
A study of 79 vehicle crashes in three Michigan cities found the following differences between crashes involving cars versus SUVs:
- Thirty percent of pedestrians struck by an SUV traveling between 20 to 39 miles per hour died from their injuries.
- Twenty-five percent of pedestrians struck by cars traveling between 20 to 39 miles per hour died from their injuries.
The higher the speed, the greater the risk for death:
- One hundred percent of pedestrians struck by an SUV traveling at 40 miles per hour or more died from their injuries.
- Fifty-four percent of pedestrians struck by a car traveling at 40 miles per hour or more died from their injuries.
The study also found that the front end design of an SUV throws a pedestrian forward upon impact. Pedestrians are twice as likely to incur severe hip and thigh injuries when struck by an SUV.
An SUV accident lawyer from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman can investigate your accident to determine if speed was a factor. They can also investigate whether other negligent driver behaviors caused your serious injuries. The investigation can determine not only the accident’s cause, but can help your lawyer prove the other driver’s negligence.
Common Types of Dangerous SUV Driver Behaviors in Bradenton
An SUV driver may feel comfortable and protected—and possibly invincible. This can lead them to make poor decisions, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: despite ever-stricter DUI laws, drivers still risk being caught.
- Texting or other forms of distracted driving, such as reaching for items or eating are other forms of distraction.
- Aggressive driving that leads to road rage, such as speeding or changing lanes without signaling.
- Driving drowsy or nodding off behind the wheel, which can happen due to a lack of rest, prescription medication, or an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
These and other types of negligent behaviors can impair a driver’s ability to maintain control of their vehicle. The resulting injuries or death they cause demands justice.
Pursuing a civil claim can hold the driver accountable for their actions. While legal action can never replace your loved one, it can perhaps prevent the driver from engaging in the same behavior again.
Serious Injuries Associated With Bradenton SUV Accidents
SUV accidents often cause pedestrians or bicyclists painful hip and leg fractures. Other types of possible injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – Florida law does not require bicyclists age 16 and older to wear helmets. Pedestrians and bicyclists who suffer a TBI often face a future of extensive, long-term medical and personal care. A severe TBI can disrupt brain function to the point that even the easiest tasks become difficult.
- Spinal cord injury – A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis below the point of injury. This permanent type of injury is catastrophic and requires many changes to the patient’s home, transportation, and life in general.
- Internal injuries – Internal injuries are of special concern following an SUV collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist. Seeking immediate medical help is vital to preventing possible organ damage.
While not complete, the above list demonstrates the physical damage an SUV accident can cause. An SUV driver’s failure to use caution can change another person’s life forever. Pursuing financial compensation after an SUV accident with the help of a lawyer can give you peace of mind. While there are never any guarantees when it comes to an award, hiring an attorney is the best way to maximize the compensation you receive.
The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman help SUV accident victims in a multitude of ways. From our caring approach to our aggressive stand with insurance companies, we are by our client’s side throughout their case. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
Watch out for Insurance Company Adjusters After Your Bradenton SUV Accident
If an insurance company adjuster calls you soon after your accident, decline to speak with them. Hire legal representation immediately and refer the adjuster to your lawyer. Saying, accepting, or signing the wrong thing can impact your ability to pay for your future medical needs.
Accepting a settlement offer closes your claim. This will likely prevent you from pursuing compensation in the future should your medical condition worsen. Many accident victims do not understand this and accept the offer, believing they can always file a lawsuit later.
The anxiety you likely have regarding your bills and lack of income is understandable. While the amount the insurance adjuster offers you may seem like a large sum, chances are that it is the lowest amount they think they can get away with offering you.
As for-profit businesses, insurance companies strive to protect their bottom line. Their ultimate goal is to settle your claim quickly and for the least amount of money possible. Do not fall for their high-pressure tactics. Protect your best interests and contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman without delay.
The Statute of Limitations After Your Bradenton SUV Accident
The statute of limitations is a law that requires that you file a lawsuit within four years of the date of your injury. Four years may seem like a long time, but when you’ve experienced serious injuries, this time can fly by.
To prepare the best case possible, our lawyers must gather and examine all evidence connected with your injuries as soon after the accident as possible.
This can include:
- Photographs and videos;
- Police reports;
- Witness statements; and
- Medical records.
Taking quick action helps not only meet the deadline but build your case. Witness memories can fade and photographs may be deleted. The sooner you reach out to a member of our team, the faster we can get to work for you.
Wrongful Deaths From Bradenton SUV Accidents
The statistics listed at the beginning of this article indicate the high number of pedestrian deaths that result from SUV accidents. If you lost a close loved one in such a tragic way, you may be entitled to compensation. An SUV accident lawyer from our team can determine if you qualify for a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
No one wants to receive the news that a loved one is never coming home. Florida law allows family members two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is half the time allowed for filing a lawsuit, making quick action on your part imperative.
The loss of your loved one is something no amount of money can fix, but compensation might help your family get back on its feet. If your loved one contributed financially to your household, their loss of income is something we can include in your claim and lawsuit.
Other types of damages can include:
- Funeral expenses for your loved one;
- Their final medical costs;
- Loss of companionship; and
- The mental anguish you suffer as a result of your loss.
Wrongful death cases are often quite complex and emotional for family members. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we keep our clients updated on the various aspects and developments of their case. At the same time, we respect your privacy as you mourn your loved one.
Bradenton SUV Accident FAQ
When an SUV crashes into your smaller car, the SUV’s weight and mass often contribute to serious injuries. Changes in SUV and private passenger vehicle designs have reduced the risk of fatal injuries. Nowadays, passengers of smaller cars have a better chance of surviving an SUV crash. SUV stability control technology reduces previous SUV rollover risks. Unfortunately, pedestrians don’t fare as well. When an SUV strikes a pedestrian, it frequently causes catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Despite SUV and private passenger vehicle modifications, many SUV models are still bigger and heavier than most private passenger vehicles. Drinking, drugs, speeding, and other bad driving behaviors magnify these differences. They enhance an SUV’s ability to damage a vehicle and injure its occupants. SUV operators with bad driving behaviors are a frequent factor in both vehicle crashes and fatal pedestrian accidents.
At Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, we’ve handled claims for many accident victims. We believe you need to understand the risks before you encounter or drive an SUV in traffic. We created this Bradenton SUV Accident FAQ because we believe drivers need to understand their rights and responsibilities before an accident occurs.
Why are SUV accidents such a concern in Bradenton?
Some SUVs cause more damage when they crash into smaller private passenger vehicles. When an accident occurs, differences in weight and mass usually translate into more severe injuries for smaller car passengers. When a vehicle weighs more, it causes more damage on impact and puts passengers’ lives at risk.
Why are SUVs a problem for Bradenton pedestrians?
More families choose SUVs for comfort and safety, so more of these vehicles are on the road. Safety agencies speculate that this switch from smaller cars is one factor driving the rise in pedestrian fatalities. While many studies have focused on SUV/car accidents, government agencies have only recently raised concerns about SUVs and their role in pedestrian fatalities.
Government Accounting Office: The GAO’s 2020 Pedestrian Safety report requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) address pedestrian safety in new car assessment programs. The NHTSA first proposed a change in 2015, but they have not initiated the process to make relevant program modifications.
The GAO report focuses on key factors related to recent increases in pedestrian fatalities:
- Vehicles 11 years old or older
- Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) as compared to other passenger vehicles
- Traveling over 30 mph
Governor’s Highway Safety Association: The GHSA’s report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State projected a 5 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the prior year.
The research documented the following trends.
- Pedestrian fatalities increased by 50 percent over the past 10 years.
- Forty-seven percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurred in five states: Florida, Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas.
- SUV involvement in pedestrian fatalities increased by 81 percent between 2009 and 2018.
- Car-related pedestrian fatalities happen more frequently, but the accident rate increased by only 53 percent during this time.
- A pedestrian struck by an SUV is twice as likely to die compared to a passenger struck by a car.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS): The IIHS expressed similar SUV/pedestrian safety concerns. When researchers analyzed recent NHTSA accident data, they found a lethal link between pedestrian accident fatalities and SUVs. Researchers found no appreciable differences in injuries when a car or SUV traveled at less than 20 miles per hour.
As vehicle speed increases, crashes reveal different outcomes:
- When an SUV struck pedestrians while traveling over 20 mph, the pedestrians sustained far more serious injuries than in an accident with a smaller car traveling the same speed.
- When an SUV/pedestrian collision occurred at 29 to 39 mph, 30 percent of the pedestrians sustained fatal injuries. A car traveling at these speeds caused pedestrian fatalities 23 percent of the time.
- At 40 miles per hour, all pedestrians sustained fatal injuries when struck by an SUV. When struck by a car at 40 miles per hour, the pedestrian fatality rate was 54 percent.
How many SUVs are registered in the Bradenton area?
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) statistics do not categorize SUVs as a registration category. As of September 2020, FLHSMV shows 290,476 cars and trucks registered in the Bradenton area. As federal SUV regulations designate SUVs as either cars or trucks, compiling vehicle statistics has inherent complications.
How have manufacturers improved SUVs?
In recent years, manufacturers have designed smaller, lighter SUVs that appear more like passenger cars. These changes responded to heavy damage and catastrophic injuries due to vehicle incompatibility.
What is vehicle incompatibility?
SUVs were originally engineered to protect their passengers and accommodate larger drivers and growing families. Before manufacturers began transitioning SUVs to more compact designs, the vehicles were massive, taller, and heavily steel-reinforced. They usually weighed more than most private passenger cars.
As the front end of an older SUV was higher than a car’s impact-absorbing bumper, a small vehicle’s front-end provided minimal protection during a front end crash with an SUV. During a sideswipe accident, an older SUV’s higher, reinforced sides will easily damage a small car’s sides. Older models were high enough to damage windows and heavy enough to cause metal intrusions into a passenger compartment. All of these features resulted in an incompatibility that put smaller vehicles at a disadvantage during an accident.
Have SUV improvements changed small car injury outcomes?
Based on IIHS research, when a late model SUV crashes into a smaller car, the occupants are only slightly more likely to die than in a crash with another car. While this doesn’t sound very positive, it represents a significant improvement over past SUV assessments.
Have smaller car designs changed too?
Vehicle manufacturers have also recently upgraded their smaller cars. As SUV manufacturing changes reduced the vehicles’ overall weight, small passenger car changes initiated a gradual weight increase.
These changes included features that enhance small vehicle safety:
- Tougher compartment reinforcement
- Side airbags and airbag curtains
- Driver assistance technologies
- Increased crash-worthiness
Do driver assistance technologies help improve SUV accident outcomes in Bradenton?
Safety agencies speculate that driver assistance technologies have contributed to a reduction in major car/SUV crashes. Unfortunately, there are no statistics to back up this theory. As more vehicles have these options installed in their vehicles, accident casualty numbers should show a corresponding decrease. Manufacturers have developed many technologies, including Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking.
The NHTSA provides information on many new assistance technologies, but they formally recommend only these four:
- Forward collision warning
- Auto emergency braking
- Lane departure warning
- Rearview video/camera systems
What is the average SUV weight?
As SUVs downsize and smaller cars add more safety features, average weights for both vehicles converge at around 4,000 pounds. Not all new SUVs are that small. Larger models such as the Tahoe, Expedition, Land Rover, and others weigh close to 6,000 pounds. They’re approximately one-ton heavier than the average car.
What is the difference between a truck SUV and a car SUV?
Based on federal regulatory definitions, an SUV with four-wheel drive or a gross vehicle weight rating of 6,000 pounds is not an automobile. For this type of vehicle, the EPA uses the term truck-SUV; a car-SUV is a two-wheel-drive passenger automobile.
What are the results of improvements in both small cars and SUVs?
Progress in newer SUV compatibility and small car crash-worthiness have reduced small car passenger/SUV accident death rates. As the IIHS explains, SUVs are no longer a “major” threat to smaller vehicles.
However, current information and statistics show that they are still a problem.
- The death rate for car occupants in an accident with a newer SUV is 28 percent higher than in an accident with a private passenger car.
- Car passengers in an accident with an SUV had a 132 percent death rate up until 1992 and a 59 percent death rate up until 2012.
Are all newer model SUVs smaller and less dangerous?
Newer body styles make some SUVs more crash compatible with smaller cars. Based on IIHS insurance loss records, these changes don’t always equal less damage and fewer injuries. Some smaller and larger SUVs have improved crash outcomes because of lighter weight materials, smaller sizes, and avoidance technology upgrades. Others have bodily injury and loss records rated worse than average or substantially worse than average.
How many older model SUVs are still on the road?
Many larger, heavier, older SUVs are still on the road. Just as with any make or model car, some owners drive them because they’re the best economic alternative. A recent study by analytics company, IHS Markit determined that the 280 million American vehicles on the road at the time were an average of 12 years old. When a CNBC journalist followed up with Markit, he learned that approximately 25 percent of vehicles are 16 years old or more. An online search for “Old SUVs for sale” delivers millions of results, some for SUVs dating back to 2005.
How do I file a claim against a Bradenton SUV owner who injures me in an accident?
When an accident in Bradenton injures you, your auto insurer pays your basic benefits. Your own Personal Injury Protection coverage applies whether you’re a vehicle occupant or a pedestrian. It pays regardless of fault. PIP coverage pays for medical treatment so long as you begin seeing a doctor within 14 days of your accident.
PIP coverage generally includes the following benefits:
- 80 percent of your medical bills
- 60 percent of your lost wages if you can’t work
- Expenses to service providers
- $5,000 death benefit
Shouldn’t the Bradenton SUV driver who caused my injuries offer me a settlement?
Based on Florida law, you only have a right to file a claim against a responsible party when your injuries meet certain thresholds:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Is there a time limit on filing a claim against the responsible party in my Bradenton SUV accident?
Florida’s statute of limitations for injury claims is four years. That means you have four years from the date of your accident to settle your injury claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you fail to take action before that date, you lose your right to make a claim.
Do I need to file a suit to recover damages after my Bradenton SUV accident?
You don’t necessarily have to file a lawsuit to recover damages. When your injuries fall within the above categories, you have a right to present your claim to the other party’s liability carrier. Insurance companies usually investigate accidents when their insured parties report them. By the time you present your claim for damages, the insurance company will likely have enough information to make an informed decision. The responsible party’s liability insurer will either make you a settlement offer or deny liability for your claim.
What can I do if the Bradenton SUV driver has no liability insurance?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage isn’t mandatory in Florida. If you have UM coverage on your auto policy, you can file a liability claim against your own insurance company. It will handle your claim in the same way that a liability carrier would. The insurance company makes a settlement offer if the other person is legally liable for your injuries and you meet one of the statutory injury thresholds.
If you have UM coverage, it pays under these circumstances:
- The negligent driver has no liability insurance.
- The negligent driver’s liability insurance company denies coverage.
- The liable insurance company is insolvent.
- You sustain injuries due to a hit-and-run accident.
- The Underinsured Motorist (UIM) provision applies if the responsible driver has less than state minimum coverage.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my Bradenton SUV accident claim?
Yes. When you work with an attorney, you have a better chance of settling your claim for maximum compensation. An attorney represents you and works hard to protect your legal interests. Attorneys deal with insurance companies and their legal representatives. They evaluate your injuries and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. When necessary, they file a lawsuit and present your case before a judge and jury.
To learn more about legal representation for your injuries, schedule a complimentary consultation. You have an opportunity to meet with an attorney to tell your version of the accident and learn more about your legal options.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP.
The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman No Recovery, No Fee Promise in Bradenton SUV Accident Claims
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we offer a No Recovery, No Fee Promise. What this means for you is that we require no money upfront for our services. We collect our fee only if and when we secure compensation for you.
In other words, if we do not win your case, you do not pay. When you experience harm or loss due to someone else’s negligence, you cannot afford to not secure legal representation. Our No Recovery, No Fee Promise allows you to breathe easier knowing you can afford to seek our help.
The SUV accident you experienced likely changed your life forever. The attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman understand that accident victims are dealing with a multitude of challenges, physically, financially, and emotionally. Our approach is to treat each client with compassion while aggressively fighting for the compensation they deserve.
Time really does fly. When you are in mourning or undergoing medical treatment, it seems as if time flies even faster than normal. You do not want to miss the deadline imposed by state law to file your civil lawsuit. Contact us as soon as possible.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page. Let our team get started on your case by contacting us for a free case evaluation. With the free evaluation and the no-fee guarantee, you have nothing to lose and possible compensation to gain. Our team is friendly, professional, and ready to fight for you.
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Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 961-8841
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