Rear end car accidents occur when one car runs into the back of another. This type of car accident can lead to various injuries and damage to your property. Your injuries may attract high medical costs in addition to repair costs.
You have a legal right to recover these and other costs. St. Petersburg rear end car accident collision injury lawyers can help if you or a loved one has been in a rear end car accident. Dolman Law Group can help you build a strong case and handle the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Reasons for the Occurrence of Rear End Car Crashes
Drivers must maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them. This helps prevent or minimize the occurrence of rear end car accidents. Tailgating occurs when a driver fails to obey this rule and follows too closely behind another car. It is one of the main reasons rear end car accidents occur.
Another major cause of rear end collisions is speeding and aggressive driving. When a driver speeds, it is difficult for them to stop quickly if they need to. It also makes the driver more likely to lose control of their vehicle. Furthermore, if a driver is distracted, there is a greater chance that they will crash into the rear of another vehicle. When distracted, the driver may not be aware of their surroundings, causing the accident.
Driving while drunk or after using other substances also increases the risk of rear end accidents. This is because alcohol and drugs can reduce the reaction time of the driver. All these are instances of negligence by the driver. A lawyer can analyze your case to determine if someone's negligence led to your rear end car accident.
Compensation Following a Rear-End Car Accident
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that after a car wreck, you will turn to your insurer first for compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. To facilitate this arrangement, the state requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their car insurance package. The PIP policy covers medical costs and lost income.
To be precise, this covers 80% of your medical expenses and a maximum of 60% of your lost income. Your PIP policy is capped at $10,000. You may have severe injuries such that your medical expenses exceed the $10,000 limit. In this event, you can seek compensation for the car accident from the defendant.
When you turn to the at-fault party's insurer, they may try to disqualify your claims that you sustained severe injuries. They may do this to devalue your claim and therefore pay less as compensation. But rear end car accident collision injury attorneys serving the St. Petersburg area can help advocate for you to the insurance company.
Establishing Fault in Your Rear End Car Crash
For you to obtain compensation from the other party, you must prove their liability in your car accident. A major component of establishing fault in a car accident is proving negligence. The first part of proving negligence is showing that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
In Florida, drivers have a duty of care to other motorists and road users. This means they must act with care to avoid harming others. The second component involves showing the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care. Failure to drive within the speed limit, follow all traffic control devices, or pay attention to the road are all ways a driver can fail to uphold their duty of care.
This failure must have caused your injury and other damage for the driver to be held liable. Your lawyer can help you prove negligence by investigating your accident. Doing so will uncover how it happened and who is to blame.
Shared Fault for the Car Accident
Picture this scenario. Another driver hit your car from behind while they were speeding. You want to hold them responsible for your accident, but they claim that you were stopped illegally. This complicates your case, but it does not mean that you cannot recover damages. Under Florida Statute 768.81(2) your contribution of fault does not bar your recovery of damages.
In this case, the amount you can recover as compensation gets reduced by the percentage you contributed to the accident. Other states place a restriction where you cannot recover compensation if your fault goes past 50%. But Florida follows the law of pure comparative fault. Under this policy, you can receive compensation regardless of your percentage of fault—even if it goes past 50%.
The at-fault party's insurance may attempt to use the pure comparative fault policy to their advantage. They do this by attempting to pin more fault on you, the plaintiff. This way, it reduces the at-fault party's liability and therefore how much they must pay in damages. A rear end car accident attorney can attempt to reduce or limit the defense's ability to claim comparative fault, thus safeguarding your compensation.
Damages in a St. Petersburg Rear End Car Accident
After a rear end car wreck, you can recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are measurable and include:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost income
Non-economic damages, however, are intangible and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of support
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional anguish
A car accident attorney can examine your case to establish which damages you qualify for. This will impact how much you can recover in your claim.
We Can Help You Recover Damages
If you were in a rear end car accident, you can recover damages. An attorney can help you file a claim and advocate for your rights with the insurer or in court. Consider reaching out to Dolman Law Groups for a free consultation and begin the process of getting you the compensation you deserve.
St Petersburg Office
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Phone: (727) 472-3909