Auto Accidents in Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach features six miles of ocean beaches with easy access from one end of the city to another. There are oceanfront parks, fantastic golf courses, plenty of unique dining and shopping experiences, and many adventures.
This makes the city particularly popular for tourists. At certain times of the year, such as when there is a space event at nearby Cape Canaveral or during Spring Break, the roads can fill up with travelers who are not only unfamiliar with the roadway but are distracted by the sights and sounds and possibly impaired by alcohol.
If a car accident injured you, let a Cocoa Beach car accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA provide a free case evaluation. We can tell you about the process of seeking compensation for the financial and psychological costs of your injury. We can also tell you about our firm, our passion for assisting the injured across Florida Coasts, and how we can assist you with your claim.
Table of Contents
- Driver Negligence that Can Result In Car Accidents in Cocoa Beach
- Types of Cocoa Beach Car Accidents
- Contact a Cocoa Beach Car Accident Attorney Today
- Frequently Asked Questions
Driver Negligence that Can Result In Car Accidents in Cocoa Beach
The most common cause of car accidents in Cocoa Beach is human error. Human errors usually result from carelessness or recklessness, also known as negligence.
Some hazardous areas in and around the city for motorists include:
- S.R. 520
Here is a look at some of the negligent driving practices that commonly cause car accidents in Cocoa Beach.
Cocoa Beach Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
Speeding refers to exceeding the posted speed limit and driving too fast for the weather and traffic conditions of the roadway. It is a factor in around one-third of all motor vehicle accidents.
Some of the hazards created by traveling at an excessive speed include:
- A reduction in the time a driver has to notice a hazard on the roadway and respond to it by braking.
- An increase in the distance the vehicle will travel after the driver has braked, as the excess speed requires the brakes to work harder to pull the vehicle’s weight to a complete stop.
- More difficult for other drivers to judge a safe gap in traffic in which to enter a travel lane.
- A greater risk that the driver will lose control of their vehicle.
- Increased crash severity makes the vehicle’s safety features, such as seat belts, airbags, and the steel frame, less effective.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Cocoa Beach, call 833-552-7274
Distracted driving is another major hazard for travelers in and around Cocoa Beach.
The three types of driving distractions include:
- Manual distractions cause the driver to take their hands from the wheel.
- Visual distractions, which cause the driver to look away from the road.
- Cognitive distractions cause the driver’s focus to stray from the task of driving safely.
One of the most concerning types of driver distraction is texting and driving. In the time it takes a driver on I-95 to read or reply to a text, they will have traveled the distance of a football field without looking at the road—plenty of time for another vehicle to enter the travel lane or for traffic to unexpectedly slow down.
As a popular vacation destination, Cocoa Beach has no shortage of dining and drinking establishments that cater to visitors and residents alike as they unwind and enjoy time with friends. Alcohol-impaired driving is one of the top causes of traffic accidents, with more than a quarter of all fatal traffic accidents involving an impaired driver.
The legal impairment limit for most adults over 21 operating vehicles on Cocoa Beach roadways is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood. Most people reach this level of impairment by consuming around four drinks in an hour. However, alcohol affects people differently depending on weight, metabolism, and even how often they drink.
At the legal impairment limit, most drivers experience impacts such as:
- Significant loss of muscle coordination
- Short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating on driving
- Difficulty maintaining a single lane of travel
- They are less likely to notice if a traffic light has changed or a pedestrian has entered the roadway.
- Difficulty braking or steering the vehicle.
- Difficulty making good driving decisions.
Failure to Yield
Failure to yield the right-of-way is one of the most common causes of accidents at intersections. This includes running red lights or stop signs, failing to judge a safe gap in traffic when turning on a solid green light, or even pulling or backing out of a private drive on the roadway.
Tailgating refers to the risky driving practice of following another vehicle too closely. A driver can’t stop when there is a hazard on the roadway instantly. Braking is a process in which the driver must first perceive the hazard and respond by pressing on their brakes and brakes to pull the vehicle’s weight to a safe stop.
The heavier the vehicle and the faster it travels when the brakes are applied, the longer the stopping distance required. Wet roads can also increase stopping distance. When one vehicle is following another too closely, the risk is high that they will be unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the car in front of them if it should suddenly slow down or stop.
Lack of Experience
There are around a thousand students in attendance at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School. Over the next few years, nearly all of these students will obtain their driver’s licenses. Additionally, teens and young adults often choose Cocoa Beach as a vacation destination, with driving being part of the adventure. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens.
Young drivers have the highest risk of car accidents because:
- They are less experienced than other drivers. New drivers are still honing the skills needed to stay safe on roadways, including roadway surveillance, speed control, smooth lane changes, and how to respond in emergency driving situations.
- Teens are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors or become distracted when other teens are in the vehicle.
- Teens require more sleep than adults and are at a higher risk of making errors during nighttime driving due to fatigue.
- Nighttime driving, in general, is more dangerous for young drivers, as they are not only still developing the skills for safe driving but must negotiate factors such as reduced visibility.
- While teens are less likely than adults to drive while impaired by alcohol, they have a higher risk of crashing.
Aggressive driving refers to a series of risky and deliberate driving behaviors that a driver often engages in to escape congestion on the roadways. These behaviors are often anger about other drivers’ driving skills and behaviors.
Aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Improper passing, such as rapidly or frequently changing lanes to go around other traffic, often without a turn signal, or passing on the shoulder, median, or in areas where passing is prohibited.
- Running red lights or stop signs.
- Following other vehicles too closely forces other drivers to speed up or change lanes.
- Attempting to block another vehicle from passing or turning.
- Speeding or racing other vehicles on the roadway.
According to a survey by the AAA Foundation, around 80 percent of drivers experience significant anger, aggression, or even rage when traveling on busy roadways.
Vehicle Maintenance Issues
Many drivers fail to regularly maintain their vehicle, instead choosing to drive a vehicle with unsafe tires or other issues that can result in a malfunction on the roadway. A tire blowout, for example, can cause a driver to quickly lose control and collide with other vehicles, as can a loss of the vehicle’s brakes. Defective brakes are the most common maintenance issue leading to car accidents.
Other types of maintenance issues that can lead to car accidents include:
- Defective lights
- Steering and suspension issues
- Broken or missing mirrors
Types of Cocoa Beach Car Accidents
Just as an accident can occur on the streets of Cocoa Beach in many ways, many types of accidents can occur. Here are some of the most common types of car accidents.
Rear-end collisions involve the front of one vehicle colliding with the rear of another vehicle. This is one of the most common accident types, accounting for around 29 percent of all accidents on U.S. roadways. Rear-end collisions are also the most common cause of whiplash, a type of injury involving damage to the neck’s soft tissues and resulting from the sufferer’s head snapping back and forth on the neck, similar to the cracking of a whip.
Broadside (T-Bone) Accidents
Broadside accidents—also known as T-bone accidents or side-angle crashes—occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. T-bone accidents most commonly occur in an intersection and are generally caused by one driver failing to yield the right-of-way to the drivers in other travel lanes.
Broadside collisions can seriously injure people due to the lack of crash protection in the doors of most vehicles. This is especially true if there is a big discrepancy between the vehicles involved in the accident.
Head-on collisions occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another vehicle. This type of accident can result from wrong-way driving on a roadway or highway entrance or exit. It can also occur due to a previous accident that pushes one vehicle into oncoming traffic. Also, improper passing on narrow roadways can lead to head-on collisions.
Head-on collisions are relatively rare but overrepresented in fatal crash statistics due to their increased crash severity.
Sideswipe accidents involve the side of one vehicle colliding with the side of another vehicle. Many sideswipes result from a driver failing to check their blind spot before changing lanes. A blind spot is an area around the vehicle that the driver cannot see by looking in their rear or side-view mirrors.
Instead, they must look over their shoulder to determine if a lane is clear before merging into it. Another cause of sideswipes is a driver swerving into a different travel lane due to impairment, fatigue, or distraction.
Sideswipe accidents can be extremely dangerous as they pose a high risk of one or both drivers losing control of their vehicles due to the collision.
Vehicle rollovers occur when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof or from running off the roadway. Rollovers are often violent crashes with a high risk of injury or death, particularly for vehicle occupants not wearing their seat belts.
Most rollovers occur due to the vehicle’s tires “tripping” on an object such as a median, another vehicle, a guardrail, or a roadway sign. While any vehicle can roll over in certain circumstances, rollovers are more common for vehicles with a higher center of gravity, such as commercial trucks, SUVs, pickups, and vans.
When hearing about single-car accidents, many people think about accidents in which a distracted or fatigued driver runs off the road without the involvement of any other roadway user. Other types include motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents. Around 42 percent of vehicle occupant deaths are the result of single-car crashes.
Contact a Cocoa Beach Car Accident Attorney Today
Let an experienced car accident attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA evaluate your case for free. We can provide answers to the questions you have about your specific case, as well as more information about the personalized and compassionate services we can provide for you as we fight alongside you for the compensation you need.
Cocoa Beach Office
1980 N Atlantic Ave, STE 218
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
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How do I know if I should file a claim against my PIP policy or seek compensation through a car accident claim?
Florida drivers who wish to register their vehicles in-state must purchase a personal injury protection (PIP) policy that provides at least $10,000 worth of coverage. This policy will provide partial coverage of wage loss and medical expenses incurred in car accidents, regardless of who was at fault. Most personal injury claimants must first seek compensation for their injuries through their PIP policy or one held by someone in their household.
Only those whose expenses have exceeded the policy limit of their claim or who have an injury that meets the state’s serious injury threshold are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury.
Florida’s serious injury threshold includes:
- Injuries that result in the permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent injuries
- Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Injuries that result in death
An experienced Cocoa Beach car accident lawyer can help determine whether your injury satisfies the state’s serious injury threshold.
What is the process involved in seeking compensation through a personal injury claim?
When an individual seeks compensation through the personal injury claims process, they initially file their claim with the insurance provider who services the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy.
Upon receiving the claim, the insurance provider will assign a claims adjuster to investigate the claim on their behalf and determine how much compensation the claimant deserves. Because the claims adjuster works for the insurance company, they are committed to protecting the company’s bottom line by limiting the payouts on third-party claims as much as possible.
If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, you can file a lawsuit. This legal claim filed in civil court asks the court to decide on liability and compensation.
How long do I have to file a Cocoa Beach car accident claim?
Cocoa Beach car accident claimants usually have four years after the accident to file their claim in court. While most claims resolve through a pre-trial settlement, you must file the claim before the statute of limitations expires. Failing to do so will end the claimant’s ability to use the court process to seek compensation for their injury.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will refuse to settle the claim without legal ramifications in the form of lawsuits.
Who can be liable for causing a car accident in Cocoa Beach?
Liability refers to a person’s legal responsibility in a given set of circumstances to take reasonable actions to avoid causing injuries or property damage to others. The most common cause of car accidents is driver error.
However, other types of issues that can give rise to a Cocoa Beach car accident claim include:
- Defective parts on one of the vehicles involved in the accident. When an accident occurs due to a product defect, the victim of the accident can seek compensation from the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the product through a product liability claim.
- The owner or manager of an eating or drinking establishment or a social host who knowingly serves alcohol to a minor or an addict who later causes a drunk driving accident.
- The governmental agency must repair and maintain roads if an accident occurs due to a road defect.
How do I prove liability in a car accident claim?
To prove liability in a car accident claim, you must be able to show that another driver or other party was negligent.
Here’s how we prove negligence:
- In a given circumstance, the at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions to avoid causing injuries or property damage. Reasonable actions in a car accident claim often are simple as operating the vehicle safely and following state and local traffic laws.
- The at-fault party breached the duty they owed though unsafe or illegal driving actions.
- This breach resulted in a Cocoa Beach car accident in which you sustained injuries.
Can I still file a claim if I was partially responsible for the accident that caused my injuries?
Yes, car accident claimants in Cocoa Beach who have some liability for the accident may seek compensation from other at-fault parties. However, be upfront with your Cocoa Beach car accident lawyer about any liability you believe you had for the accident that caused your injuries.
This allows them the best opportunity to limit the negative impacts of your liability to your claim. Additionally, in many cases, the claimant believes they were partially at fault for an accident, and their attorney can help them understand that they weren’t liable.
A couple of things to remember if you feel you’re partially liable for the accident:
- Don’t mention your liability to the at-fault party’s insurance provider, as they can use your own words against you to reduce the value of your claim.
- If you bear some responsibility for the accident, your compensation will decrease by your percentage of liability.
Is the personal injury claims process appropriate for cases in which the claimant died of their injuries, and the family needs help?
If your loved one died from injuries sustained in a Cocoa Beach car accident, a personal representative of the estate can file a claim to seek compensation on behalf of the family members and the estate for the expenses and impacts of the loss.
Many personal injury attorneys—including the legal team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA—are also experienced in the wrongful death claims process and can assist representatives of the estate with obtaining the compensation needed for the deceased’s family members.
The type of compensation available through the wrongful death claims process includes:
- Coverage of medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the deceased’s final injuries.
- Coverage of lost income from the time of the injury until the time of death.
- Loss of net accumulations to the estate would have been incurred if the deceased had survived their injuries and finished their career.
- The cost of a funeral service and burial or cremation.
- The loss of comfort, society, and protection provided by the deceased to their spouse.
- The loss of parental nurturing and guidance provided by the deceased to their children.
- The deceased’s family members suffered mental anguish.
While seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim is very similar to personal injury claims, a wrongful death claim has a shorter statute of limitations. The claim must be filed as a lawsuit in court within two years of the death’s date.
What is the average settlement for a car accident claim in Cocoa Beach?
The value of a personal injury claim is different for every claimant. Some of the differences involve the severity of the injury, the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault party has, how much income the claimant was earning at the time of the accident, and how much the injuries sustained will impact the claimant’s ability to earn an income.
Beyond the claim’s value, every settlement is different, too, as they represent the will of the insurance provider and the at-fault party to compromise to create an agreement that everyone can live with. Some insurance companies prefer to settle claims quickly, while others are willing to take their chances on litigation if they think they can avoid a large payout.
Suffice it to say, there is no such thing as an average car accident.
What services can a Cocoa Beach car accident attorney provide to assist me with my claim?
One of the most important qualities a Cocoa Beach car accident attorney can bring to your case is experience, including experience with the legal claims process, experience valuing high-value claims, and experience in the courtroom.
A car accident lawyer can:
- Investigate the claim to determine liability and the type of compensation needed to cover the claimant’s expenses and impacts.
- Determine a value to the claim and demand that value from the insurance company.
- Communicate with the insurance provider during settlement negotiations.
- Guiding the claimant in understanding the process and how their claim is valued. The decision of whether to accept a settlement offer is solely the claimant’s to make.
- Gather evidence and witness testimony needed to prove liability.
- Managing the claim to ensure that the statute of limitations does not expire.
- Litigate services include preparing evidence exhibits, filing motions, and preparing opening and closing arguments.
- Collect their clients’ negotiated settlements or court awards.
What should I do if I can’t afford to hire a Cocoa Beach car accident attorney?
Many people avoid speaking with an attorney about their accident because they fear they cannot afford to pay for the attorney’s services.
However, the contingent fee billing method that our personal injury attorneys use allows anyone injured by someone else’s negligence to obtain legal assistance, even if they can’t pay for those services upfront.
Some advantages of the contingent fee billing method include:
- The claimant can wait until the successful conclusion of their claim to pay for their legal team’s services. If the case does not result in compensation for the claimant, they do not have to pay for their attorney’s legal services.
- The legal team can begin working on the claim immediately rather than waiting for the claimant to scrape up money for a retainer. This billing method also ensures that work can continue without the interruption of having the claimant fall behind on hourly billing.
- You pay for the attorney’s services with a percentage of the compensation received. This allows the claimant to rest assured that their legal team is working on a resolution. To get paid, their lawyer must recover compensation.
- The claimant can know exactly how much their attorney will receive after the case because the contingent fee agreement that the attorney and claimant enter into at the start of the case outlines the percentage.