Automobile accidents are far and away the most common type of personal injury claims. The primary issue in an automobile accident is the question of negligence. Negligence in an automobile accident means the driver failed to use “due care,” or failed to act as another reasonable driver would have done under the same circumstances. Some examples of negligence include exceeding the speed limit, failure to obey a traffic control device or sign, tailgating or failure to pay attention to traffic conditions. Having an automobile accident can leave you injured, unable to work and anxious about your future.
You may not fully understand how the insurance system works or may trust that the insurance company’s first offer is a fair one. For all these reasons and more, having an experienced automobile accident attorney by your side from the time of your accident can truly make a difference in the outcome of your automobile accident claim. Additionally, when you have an attorney from Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti handling the legal details of your automobile accident, you can focus on getting well and getting back to your normal life.
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Our attorneys have been helping those in South Florida get their life back following an automobile accident since 1973. We have the experience and skills necessary to ensure the best outcome possible following your automobile accident. We are highly skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators when warranted. We are an exceptionally personalized, hands-on law firm who believes in the rights and the future of our clients.
Auto Accident Facts
According to car industry experts, the average driver will file a collision claim approximately once every 17.9 years. And, while many of us would like to think we are an above-average driver, in fact, the majority of drivers fall into the “average” category with others falling into the “below-average” category. This means that drivers who got their first driver’s license at age 16 can expect to be involved in at least one auto collision by the age of 34, and that over the course of a lifetime, the “average” driver will be involved in 3-4 auto accidents.
That is not to say that any of those accidents will be deadly—parking lot run-ins were considered “accidents” just the same as deadly, multi-car pile-ups. Naturally your exact risk of having an auto accident will depend on where you drive as well as how often you drive. If you are a daily commuter in a large city, you are probably more likely to meet your “quota” of auto accidents than the driver who lives in a very rural area and rarely drives in a city.
Safer America found there were 37,461 auto accident fatalities in 2016 across the United States, with the deadliest three-hour period being between midnight to 3:00 a.m. on Saturdays, followed by 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The months of June through September are the months when the most fatal car accidents occur, probably due to more inexperienced teen drivers out and about and more drivers overall on the roadways due to summer activities and summer vacations. Almost half of all fatal car accidents occur after dark. Teen drivers have a much higher risk of being involved in a car collision than any other group and are much more likely to drive while distracted.
A teen’s risk of a fatal crash doubles if they have one other teen passenger and when they have more than one other teen passenger, that risk increases to five times the “normal” risk. Distracted driving is not just a problem for teens—it is estimated that 3,450 people were killed and almost 400,000 injured in 2016 as a direct result of distracted driving, largely from cell phone use. Nearly half a million drivers use their phones on a regular basis while driving—while most adults will agree it is risky to talk or text while driving, those same adults will talk and text while behind the wheel.
Common Types of North Miami Beach Automobile Accidents
There are many different types of automobile accidents; while every auto accident has its own unique characteristics, the injuries and damages from each type may be somewhat similar. The most common types of automobile accidents include:
- Side-impact collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that more than a quarter of all automobile collisions are side-impact collisions. Side-impact collisions can cause very serious injuries, particularly when there are no side airbags in the vehicle which is hit. A side-impact collision is sometimes known as a “t-bone” accident, often occurring when an automobile runs through a traffic light, slamming into a vehicle legally driving through an intersection on a green light.
- Merging crashes are commonly seen in larger cities with lots of traffic and are caused by merging drivers who neglected to check their blind spot prior to merging.
- Rear-end accidents are the most common type of auto accident (making up about 29 percent of all auto accidents), usually caused by tailgaters or distracted drivers.
- Head-on crashes are more likely to be fatal than any other type of automobile accident. Since head-on crashes usually occur at high speeds, the safety features in most cars simply cannot absorb enough of the impact to fully protect those inside.
- Multi-vehicle crashes—crashes involving three or more vehicles—are also quite dangerous. Multi-vehicle accidents are typically very difficult to avoid, particularly when one driver is caught between two negligent drivers.
Common Injuries Received from North Miami Beach Automobile Accidents
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, your injuries may depend on the speed of the collision, the type of collision, or may seems to be totally random. It is always extremely important that you have a medical professional check you out following a car accident. Even if you think you are “fine” the adrenaline rush experienced during the accident could be masking serious injuries. Particularly for neck and back injuries, it can potentially take hours, or even days, for the injuries to manifest. If you fail to receive prompt medical treatment, an insurance company could later try to deny your claim simply because you failed to see a doctor following the crash. The most common types of automobile accident injuries include:
- Head injuries;
- Concussions, from mild to severe;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Facial lacerations;
- Neck and back injuries, including whiplash, strains and sprains;
- Burn injuries, from minor to severe;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Broken bone;
- Soft tissue injuries resulting from stretched or torn muscles, tendons or ligaments, or
- Internal injuries.
Comparative Negligence in a North Miami Beach Automobile Accident
Negligence standards vary considerably from state to state. The state of Florida operates under the pure comparative negligence standard which means that if you were also at least somewhat responsible for the accident, your recovery will be limited by your level of liability. As an example, if another driver ran a stop light and hit you as you were going through the intersection, it would appear that driver was wholly responsible for the accident.
If, however, you were exceeding the speed limit, you could bear at least some of the fault. If your actions were deemed to be 20 percent negligent, then any damages you received would be decreased by 20 percent. So, if you were entitled to $80,000 from the negligent driver, you would only receive $64,000. Negligence is established under Florida law when it can be shown that the other driver owed you a duty of care, did not meet that duty of care and, as a result, you were injured and suffered damages.
How a North Miami Beach Automobile Accident Attorney from Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti Can Help
At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, we are often able to settle automobile accident claims through negotiation, which can allow you to receive a settlement much sooner than when you go to trial. We handle automobile accident claims on a contingency fee; that is, we receive a fee only if we obtain a recovery, whether through a negotiated settlement or in trial. At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, we understand what you are going through, and believe we can take much of the worry from your shoulders, allowing you to heal while we handle the legal aspects of your accident. With more than 80 years of collective experience, our attorneys have compassion for your current situation, both your physical injuries and your financial issues. We want to help you get through this difficult time and will work hard on your behalf to do just that. Contact Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti today for a comprehensive consultation.
At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A. in North Miami Beach, FL we have over 30 years of experience representing people injured in motor vehicle accidents. We represent clients throughout the Miami area and the surrounding area of South Florida. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Miami auto accident lawyer, contact our offices today. We handle all injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay us nothing unless you are compensated for your injuries.