It only takes a second for a negligent or reckless driver to change your life forever. When you experience serious injuries in a crash caused by another driver, you face a future of great uncertainty.
In addition to your painful injuries, you feel stress regarding your finances due to time away from work. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may never fully return to your career or life as you knew it.
If you were seriously injured in a car crash due to no fault of your own, contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer at Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman without delay.
About Our Tampa Car Accidents Law Practice
The experienced lawyers at Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman represent Tampa residents who have suffered serious injuries and tragic losses because of someone else’s wrongful actions. A significant part of our practice focuses on advocating for victims of Gulf Coast motor vehicle accidents, including many in and around Tampa. Our mission in every case is to obtain maximum compensation to help our clients pay for the high costs of unexpected car accident injuries, and to support them through a terribly difficult and disruptive period of their lives.
Over our combined decades of practice, we have obtained multiple million-dollar settlements and judgments for our clients in car accident cases. Recent successes include a $1.58 million jury verdict for a client who suffered herniated discs that impinge on her spinal court, and $1 million for the family of a father killed in a rideshare vehicle accident. You can read about more of our motor vehicle accident results here.
Of course, no car accident case has a guaranteed outcome. However, clients of Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman enjoy peace of mind in knowing their personal injury lawyers have the experience, know-how, and resources to achieve top-dollar results in Tampa car accident cases.
Common Causes of Tampa Car Accidents
Of the many factors that contribute to a car accident, significant number relate to driver error of one form or another. As everyone knows, driving is a privilege, not a right. Drivers who engage in risky behavior behind the wheel put innocent lives at risk.
Some of the most common causes of Tampa-area car accidents that injure our clients include:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that distracted driving kills approximately nine people per day in the United States, and injures as many as 1,000 more. Although cell phone use has garnered the most attention as a dangerously distracting driving behavior, the CDC notes that distracted driving constitutes any behavior that takes your eyes off the road (a visual distraction), your hands off the wheel (a manual distraction), or your mind off of safe vehicle operation (a cognitive distraction).
Texting is so dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction. At 55 mph, in the time it takes to send or read a single text, a car can travel more than the length of a football field. Other behaviors that result in dangerous distraction at the wheel reaching for items, eating, applying makeup, using an app, or programming a GPS.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that approximately 30 people die every day in drunk driving related crashes. Although Florida law sets a legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the truth is that impairment starts with the very first drink.
DUI is not just limited to alcohol, either. Of the 671 people killed in Florida crashes in a recent year, 31 percent involved drug-impaired drivers. There is no roadside test for marijuana and chemical testing for the drug in blood and urine is not always reliable. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for producing the psychological effect of marijuana—can stay in a person’s system for days or weeks.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Florida, but medical marijuana is legal for permanent or seasonal residents with a qualifying medical condition. More than 300,000 Florida residents have met the requirements needed for a medical marijuana card, increasing the risk an accident caused by driving high.
Tampa residents, like most Americans, do not get enough sleep. The CDC reports that more than one third of adults in the Sunshine State sleep less than the 7 to 8 hours that the vast majority of us need in order to wake up refreshed and recharged. That chronic sleep deprivation leads to serious risks of car accidents in Tampa.
A person who drives at the end of as little as 18 hours without sleep will suffer the same impairments behind the wheel as a driver with a 0.08 BAC. That’s right, driving fatigued is as dangerous as driving drunk. Fatigue likely contributes to the cause of far more car accidents in Tampa and around Florida every year than we even know, considering how many people drive while tired. However, just because lots of people take the wheel without proper rest does not make it okay. Driver fatigue puts lives at risk.
According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers admitted to expressing anger through their driving behaviors. Additional research found that over the course of a four-year period, more than half of all traffic fatalities involved an aggressive driver.
Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Blocking cars from changing lanes
- Cutting in front of a car, then slowing down
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights
- Speeding in heavy traffic
This type of driving can also escalate into road rage. Other drivers are at risk for serious harm when aggressive drivers start honking unnecessarily, passing dangerously, throwing objects, or even forcing another driver off the road.
How common is road rage? AAA found that over the course of one year, 51 percent of drivers admitted to tailgating and 47 percent admitted to yelling at another driver.
Additional Dangers for Tampa Drivers
In addition to dangerous driving behaviors, Tampa drivers also encounter risky situations on the road because of:
When fully loaded, a semi-truck needs 20-40 percent more distance to stop compared to a passenger vehicle. A semi-truck also weighs many times more than other cars and trucks on the road, which translates into catastrophic damage in a crash. Semi-trucks are also taller and have greater ground clearance than other vehicles, so they pose a constant risk of rolling over or of pinning a smaller vehicle under their trailers.
Many passenger car drivers do not appreciate these risks when sharing the road with semi-trucks, which can lead them to make unsafe decisions about when to pass a semi and how to avoid unnecessary accident risks. Truckers, in contrast, may understand the dangers their vehicle pose to everyone else on the road, but they face their own wide array of challenges. As a group, truckers suffer from excessive fatigue. Their irregular working hours and relatively poor health often prevent them from getting the sleep they need, even when they obey regulations that limit their time behind the wheel.
The first 18 months of a newly licensed teen are the most dangerous for not only them, but also their passengers and for other drivers. During this time, teens are four times more likely to crash due to their inexperience and because of distractions. Teens driving with teen passengers are more likely to drive distracted. Smartphones, apps, and GPS systems also add additional distractions that take their eyes and mind off the road and their hands off the wheel.
Alcohol is an especially dangerous combination for inexperienced teen drivers. Peer pressure often leads teens to make bad decisions. Despite Florida law of Zero Tolerance for underage drinking, teens continue to participate in this reckless behavior.
Rideshare companies have revolutionized how many Tampa residents get around town. Unfortunately, the convenience of hailing a ride through Uber or Lyft comes with downsides. Rideshare drivers have no special training, and they find rides by using an app that can easily distract them as much as sending a text or programming a GPS.
Rideshare passengers and anyone who shares the road with a rideshare driver may well face a higher-than-average risk that the driver will make a mistake and cause a car accident in Tampa.
Types of Serious Injuries
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 400,000 motor vehicle accidents occurred throughout Florida in 2017. These crashes included 3,116 fatalities and 20,380 victims with incapacitating injuries—severe and disabling injuries such as broken bones or severed limbs, requiring immediate transport to a hospital.
Other types of possible serious injuries from a car accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—The CDC defines a TBI as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can result in long-term effects on a person’s cognitive and motor function, their vision and hearing, and their behavior. A TBI also affects relationships, employment, and the ability to do daily tasks. Consequently, a TBI can inflict extreme expenses on victims and their families.
- Spinal cord injury – An injury to the spinal cord interrupts signals between the brain and the body, causing weakness, numbness, or paralysis. A severe spinal cord injury resulting in partial or total paralysis can cost over one million dollars to treat in the first year after an injury, and millions more over a lifetime.
- Broken bones – Tampa car accidents frequently leave victims with broken bones. Even a minor fracture, such as a broken collarbone, can cause debilitating pain. Major fractures, such as those that happen when a crash collapses the passenger compartment, can lead to diminished use of a limb or loss of the limb altogether. Any broken bone will lead to thousands of dollars of expense for the victim, at a bare minimum.
- Neck and back injuries – Serious injuries to your neck and/or back can require surgeries, neck and back braces, and physical therapy, all of which can quickly deplete a victim’s insurance coverage, leaving massive out-of-pocket medical expenses in their wake.
Virtually any Tampa car accident injury imaginable can lead to severe financial strain for victims and their families. Medical expense, in fact, represents a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. No Tampa car crash victim should have to face financial ruin because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct. Victims deserve compensation, and with the help of an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer, they can get it.
Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman: Your Tampa Car Accident Lawyers
There are more than 17 million licensed drivers in Florida and more than 125 million visitors every year. It is often not a matter of if a serious crash will occur, but rather when. The moment of impact is a stopping point in time for you and your loved ones. Your life changes as you face new physical, mental, and emotional limitations—all caused by someone else’s dangerous choices and actions.
Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman lawyers proudly represent car accident victims throughout the Tampa region. We have convenient office locations along both Florida coasts. Our legal team treats all clients with respect and we keep the lines of communication open. Our clients always know the status of their case.
Put the Tampa car accident attorneys at the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman to work for you right away. The sooner we can get to work reviewing the circumstances of your Tampa car accident, the better your chances of recovering the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page. We’re happy to provide a free, confidential, no-obligation case consultation.
We represent Tampa car accident clients on a contingency fee basis, which means they pay nothing up front, and we only get paid if our efforts get them paid for their injuries and losses. But do not delay—the clock is ticking on your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.