Getting into a vehicle accident can be both stressful and financially catastrophic. You might be saddled with a mountain of medical expenses and auto repair costs if the incident caused any injuries or severe property damage. You may also find it much harder to pay your bills if you are unable to go back to work because of your injuries.
Depending on the circumstances of the car collision, you may be able to collect damages from the person responsible. A lawsuit must be filed to recover these damages from the liable party.
However, the claims process following a car accident can be complex and overwhelming. At Fetterman & Associates, P.A, our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers can not only ease your burden in filing a lawsuit but will also help guarantee that you obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Fort Pierce?
Fort Pierce can be found on St. Lucie County’s Treasure Coast, which sees thousands of vehicle accidents and injuries each year.
St. Lucie County provided the following car accident statistics in 2020:
- Over 4,700 car accidents happened in St. Lucie County.
- Over 2,600 car accident-related injuries in St. Lucie County.
- There were 49 people killed in car accidents in St. Lucie.
Riskiest Fort Pierce Intersections
Fort Pierce has multiple intersections where car accidents frequently take place.
- Georgia Avenue, Sunrise Boulevard, and U.S. 1 intersection: Semi-trucks often load and offload cargo in the enormous rail yard to the east of this intersection, increasing the risk. For semi-trucks, this junction is extremely challenging.
- St. Lucie Boulevard and U.S. 1 intersection: This junction is hazardous for pedestrians. It is pretty difficult to cross this intersection after dark because of the absence of streetlights.
- Midway Road and Okeechobee Road intersection: This crossing has a reputation for deadly collisions because it lacks a traffic light.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Fort Pierce
An automobile accident can take even the most experienced drivers entirely by surprise. When things get hectic, it is easy to overlook the most fundamental actions.
You should take these steps immediately following a car accident if you are not seriously wounded and can perform all these tasks at the scene:
- Call the police.
- Photographs and videos of the crash scene should be taken to offer evidence in the future.
- If you have been hurt, get medical attention.
- Talk to onlookers and get their contact details if possible. If you do this, your lawyer can subsequently contact the witnesses and use their statements to build a strong case on your behalf during the claims process.
- Do not talk to an insurance company, make a testimony, or go to court without consulting a Fort Pierce car accident lawyers from Fetterman & Associates, P.A. Insurance adjusters primarily care about their own financial gain. Get an attorney who is knowledgeable about the law to protect your rights.
- Contact your insurance provider and provide them with all the relevant information. They may later deny your claim if you do not comply and reveal the facts.
How Negligence Is Determined in a Car Collision
For the most part, vehicle accidents can be traced back to negligence. Anyone driving a car owes it to themselves and those in their way to do it safely and avoid harming anyone else. If a driver’s actions present an undue danger of injury to others, they may be considered negligent. An injured individual must prove a specific set of criteria to determine negligence under Florida law. This involves establishing four elements to show that the other party was negligent and caused the collision, which are:
- Duty of care: When it comes to determining negligence in vehicle accident lawsuits, this one is very clear because anybody driving a car bears the obligation of avoiding inflicting harm to other people.
- Breach of duty: The negligent party violated their duty of care. It is possible to prove fault if the other motorist broke traffic rules or committed other reckless actions.
- Causation: Your car accident ensued from the negligence of the other motorist. Your injuries must be proven to result from the driver’s recklessness.
- Damages: As a result of the other driver’s negligence, you sustained injuries and incurred financial losses.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Every car collision is different. It is possible to pinpoint the exact cause of a car crash in some situations. Although in some circumstances, determining fault becomes more complicated because multiple factors lead to the accident.
Here are some of the leading causes of car accidents:
Over-speeding, swerving between other cars, racing, and tailgating are only a few examples of reckless driving. These are the most common causes of car collisions, and they put other motorists at risk.
When under the influence of alcohol, a driver’s judgment, response time, concentration, and other essential driving skills are all compromised. The death toll from drunk driving is an average of 29 people each day.
Driving requires a high level of awareness and fast response times. Unfortunately, both can be jeopardized by a lack of sleep. As a result, driving while fatigued increases the risk of a collision.
Distracted driving is a significant factor in many car crashes. Distractions include anything that can divert a driver’s concentration, take their attention off the road, or keep their hands away from the wheel. Despite the widespread notion that humans are capable of multitasking, it is difficult to drive safely while texting or eating.
Poor Road Conditions
There are situations when you and the other motorist involved in the collision are not at fault for the accident at all. A significant number of car accidents are caused by problems with the road. It is not uncommon to find road hazards such as potholes, fading or missing lane markers or signs, weak guardrails, and very steep shoulder embankments.
Car accidents can also occur due to adverse weather conditions. Fog can make it difficult for drivers to see other cars on the road because it reduces visibility. Snow, ice, or water on the road can cause cars to slip or collide with one other.
Faulty Auto Parts
The vehicles we drive and the parts that go into them are made by manufacturing companies. Customers have a great deal of faith in the car and its components to work as expected. However, if a car or one of its parts malfunctions, you run the risk of being injured.
Injuries Commonly Sustained in a Car Accident
In some cases, car accidents in Fort Pierce can cause injuries that are so minimal that immediate medical attention is not necessary. Others are more serious and require emergency medical attention. Common injuries sustained in a car accident include:
- Wrongful death
- Herniations and ruptured discs
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Closed head injuries
What Kinds of Damages Can Car Accident Victims Recover?
After a collision, vehicle accident victims may be burdened with hefty expenses. Besides contending with property damage and hospital bills, a car wreck victim may also lose pay due to time off work.
In most cases, however, victims can pursue legal action to receive compensation for their losses and injuries. The financial compensation that a vehicle accident victim may collect is referred to as “damages.” Damages given to a car collision victim can be divided into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
The expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident are referred to as economic damages. In the event of a vehicle accident, victims may be entitled to the following types of economic damages:
- Property damage (including expenses of repairing the car and replacing any personal belongings damaged in the accident)
- Medical fees (such as current and upcoming bills, prescription costs, rehabilitative treatments, and so on)
- Reduction of capacity to earn
- Loss of wages and income
- Rental car expenses
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are immaterial losses that are difficult to quantify. Instead, a jury assesses these damages in a lawsuit. Here are some of the non-economic damages that a car accident victim can recover:
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of affection or companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A vehicle accident victim can receive punitive damages as well. In cases when the negligent party’s acts were deemed to be exceedingly irresponsible, egregious, or malicious, such compensation may be granted to the victim. Instead of merely compensating the victim, punitive damages aim to punish the offender.
Get In Touch with Our Fort Pierce Car Accident Lawyers After Any Vehicle Crash
Even though most car accidents can happen in a snap, the resulting injuries and deaths can be catastrophic.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Fort Pierce, Florida, you may be entitled to recompense for your losses.
There are many ways our firm can help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident caused by another driver’s careless actions. We can conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence and cooperate with the relevant authorities to prove your case. In addition, we work with doctors and financial experts to establish the full extent of your injuries, including their present and future costs. Our goal is to secure fair compensation for anyone who has been injured in car accidents, whether through negotiation or litigation.
Do not delay. Contact Fetterman & Associates P.A. today.