Tampa Side-Impact Collision Lawyer
Most auto accidents are classified as side-impact collisions. Put simply, this means that one or more vehicles are hit on their sides, usually on the driver’s or passenger’s side doors. Side-impact collisions are often far more dangerous than rear- or front-end collisions because the sides generally lack any protection from a bumper or airbags to cushion the blow.
Side-impact collisions most commonly occur in intersections where one vehicle has entered without stopping or yielding as required by local traffic laws. Such negligence can be potentially fatal for the people involved in the subsequent impact. And even non-fatal injuries can leave the victims struggling to get back on their feet both physically and financially.
A skilled Tampa side-impact collision lawyer can represent you in seeking compensation for your injuries following a side-impact collision. We can review your case, help you determine who can be held legally responsible, and represent you in dealing with insurance companies or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
How Side-Impact Crashes Occur in Florida
Side-impact collisions are often the result of driver negligence. Some of the more common causes of these accidents include:
- Speeding and Failing to Stop. Drivers who travel at excessive speeds have less time to react to conditions on the road, including sudden changes at traffic signals. Indeed, one of the more common reasons side-impact collisions occur is a driver trying to “beat” a yellow light before it turns red by speeding up rather than slowing down.
- DUI. Another reason drivers are slow to react at an intersection is they are compromised by drug or alcohol use. Driving under the influence is illegal for a reason. And drivers who insist on driving drunk create a substantial risk of a side-impact collision.
- Distractions. While drunk driving accidents tend to draw the most public and legal attention, the reality is that a far more common cause of side-impact collisions is distracted driving. When a driver is not keeping their eyes on the road for any reason, they are far more likely to hit another vehicle.
It is important to note that Florida is a no-fault state with respect to auto insurance. This means that following most side-impact collisions, the victims must look first to their own insurance policies for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP will pay for 80 percent of your accident-related medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages (up to a $10,000 limit). But you cannot recover other damages, such as pain and suffering, under the no-fault system.
However, many side-impact collisions cause more serious injuries that exceed the scope of PIP coverage. In those cases, you can seek compensation directly from the negligent driver and their insurance company. Such damages are not subject to PIP restrictions, and can include the full value of your medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Don’t Delay, Contact Florin Gray
It only takes a split second for a side-impact crash to change your life forever. So if you need legal advice and counsel on what steps to take next from a qualified Tampa side-impact collision lawyer, contact Florin Gray today to schedule a free consultation.